It’s always nice to have a little getaway isn’t it? This year Kayle and I have been desperate to save up some pennies so we’ve been planning mini breaks starting with Brussels at the beginning of the month. Taking the direct Eurostar from Ashford to Brussels Midi, we went with the purpose of visiting his sister and discovering totally new parts of the city we’d been too a number of times.
I can’t recommend Ashford more if you’re living in or around Kent. It’s a lot more relaxed than if you were to use St Pancras as a departure point- and the train only totalled at £40 each way.
DAY ONE: COOK & BOOK, WAFFLES AND MIRROR SELFIES
An early train in meant we arrived at Brussels Midi around 9am local time- I definitely recommend an earlier train as it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the rest of your day (which was a Friday for us). After getting picked up by Jene, Kayle’s sister we then went for morning coffee at a fabulous bookstore called Cook & Book. Separated into different mini bookstores of different genres (eg British books, music, fashion, comics), each shop also had small cafes and a lovely outdoor seating area. After exploring the various sections and falling in love with a book on the illustrator Mark Ryden, we sipped our coffee and enjoyed the sunshine.
Nipping over the shopping centre across the road for waffles (they fill them with chocolate instead of having it as a topping for on-the-go convenience) and a look in the shops, we then headed home for the afternoon to enjoy the sunshine and have a little catch up. Jene’s house is a beautiful townhouse with three floors- our room had a glorious full length mirror so there were many selfies to be had.
DAY TWO: HASSELT JAPANESE GARDENS, THE DUTCH SIDE OF BELGIUM
For day two, we headed over to a Dutch province Limburg to see the city of Hasselt. The first place on our list was their Japanese Garden. Giant koi ponds made way for a stunning waterfall, endless blossoms and beautiful Japanese buildings- basically the most perfect place to Instagram! Next it was on to Hasselt itself, where we walked around the central shopping area and stopped for lunch- I had the most delicious pesto chicken burger, YAS! I loved how into the Easter decorating everyone all was- some of the displays were spectacular.
The evening was spent barbecuing in the sunshine and watching movies- downtime on small trips is super important!
DAY THREE: A BIKE RIDE THROUGH THE SUBURBS AND A NIGHT IN CENTRAL BRUSSELS
Another amazing thing about Brussels? You can hire bikes for just one euro 50! Sunday saw us grabbing two wheels and heading out of the city centre to a market in one of the suburbs.Food trucks, families picnicking and plenty of wine to be had, the way of life of the locals made me a little envious! Bicycle tracks were incredibly efficient and well marked so it made the trip super comfortable and the houses/lakes along the paths were breathtaking.
As the evening drew in we decided to head into the centre for a bite to eat and some drinks. After tucking in to an authentic kebab, Jene said she had found a bar on Google she thought we would like. Named Le Cercueil, the place embodied Halloween all year round and I was IN LOVE. Coffins as tables, skeletons everywhere and skulls to drink out of (if you want to pay 40 euros a pop!) the dingy but delightful pub had a pretty awesome playlist too.
Entering little alleys and nooks took us to small pubs filled with historic pieces and I always ordered my go-to cherry beer, Liefmans or Kriek (anyone else love that stuff??). A simple tram ride home saw us tucked up in our bed ready for the journey home the next morning- Why don’t I live in Brussels??
SHOP MY HOLIDAY WARDROBE:
Have you been to Brussels? Let me know which places you would recommend !