Friday, 25 May 2018

8 Hours in Bruges and Lunch at Bistro Kok Au Vin, Belgium

Bruges swept me away. No doubt, it was definitely love at first sight.  
Only an hour's away by train from Brussels, this charming old town is made up of cobbled streets, market squares and well-preserved medieval buildings that stretch out from the city’s numerous canals. It is one of Europe's most beautiful and unspoilt cities and truly the hidden treasure of Flanders. If you are a lover of medieval arts and achitecture like me, you should prioritise this town for you will surely adore it.


Standing here in the middle of this amazingly beautiful city of Bruges soaking up the view. 
 
Bruges' popular morning market in its beautiful setting.


You can't leave Belgium without eating waffles because the best waffles in the world is right here!
Did you know that there are two types of Belgian Waffles? 

First type: Liege Waffle (photo above)
Liege Waffles are made with a thicker batter similar to bread dough. Hence they are denser, thicker and richer than Brussels Waffles. 


Second type: Brussels Waffles
Brussels Waffles are made with yeast-leavened batter which gives them a crispier texture on the surface but airy and light inside. They are golden in colour and rectangular in shape.

Both are delicious but when it comes down to choosing only one, I prefer the lightness and crispiness of the Brussels Waffles. You can easily find both waffles in most restaurants and cafes in Belgium. Locals prefer their waffles dusted with sugar while tourists like them with cream and fruits. Whichever way you choose to eat them, they are all delicious and I may never want to go back to eating ordinary waffles again.


Neuzekes or Cuberdon is a cone-shaped Belgian candy.

Chocolate Tools

Belgium is also famous for its chocolates. 
Their chocolate industry became very popular after the invention of praline by Jean Neuhaus II in 1912.



Beguinage is an architectural complex which formerly housed beguines, Christian lay religious women who lived in community without taking vows or following a prescribed rule of life.




Saint John's Hospital




For fans of "The White Queen" based on The Cousin's War, a very popular series of historical novels by British writer Philippa Gregory (author of Other Boleyn Girl), set during the War of the Roses. Here are some of the shooting locations in Bruges from the TV series.
(above) Church of Our Lady 

  As Westminster Abbey and St Stephen's Chapel.
(Episode 2)
Margaret asks God for a sign.
(Episode 8)
Richard is persuaded by his wife Anne to take the throne and decides to crown himself King.




Basilica of the Holy Blood 

(Episode 1)
Chapel near Grafton Manor
Elizabeth and Edward's secret wedding.

Basilica of the Holy Blood 


Blinde Ezelstraat 

(Episode 2)
"Coronation Street" where crowned Queen Elizabeth is showered with petals.

City Hall / Gothic Room

  As the Royal Court at Westminster Palace.
(Episode 1)
KIng Edward announces his marriage to a shocked court and a furious Warwick.
(Episode 2)
Royal banquet for the nobles after Elizabeth's coronation.

City Hall / Gothic Room




 Kok Au Vin, Bruges
Awarded Bib Gourmand status
by Michelin Guide, the guide's version of a “best cheap eats” list. We opted for their 3-course set menu. The food went above and beyond our expectations. Quality was outstanding and each dish was superb. We very much enjoyed it and well worth a visit when in Bruges.



 Ravioli, Pesto, Goats Cheese, Tomatoes
 
Flemish-style Asparagus. Iberico Ham

Kalamansi, Meringue Rood Fruit (soft fruit)


Bistro Kok Au Vin
Ezelstraat 21, 8000 Bruges, Belgium

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Ali Pacha Restaurante, La Paz, Bolivia

Here's a restaurant taking La Paz by storm and it's called Ali Pacha, a name which means the "universe of plants" in the native Aymara language. This plant-based fine dining restaurant's menu showcases the diversity of Bolivia's exotic ingredients and uses them to create innovative dishes.
 We were served plate after plate of fascinating Bolivian flavours and food worthy of a Michelin Star. Don't let it being vegan put you off because it was an incredible experience from start to finish and I realised I didn't even miss meat in the slightest. The service was polite, friendly and professional but many of the staff do not speak English. That said, do not expect locals to speak English when you visit THEIR country, make an effort to learn a few words or phrases in their language it will go a long way. 

Gorgeous patterned floor tiles.

Cutlery tray and filtered water in bottles.

Sourdough bread served with coconut butter was gobsmackingly delicious!

Radish

 
Beetroot and Corn

Root Vegetables and Fava Beans

Yucca, Mushroom and Quinoa



Receipt came rolled on a mini rolling pin.






Ali Pacha Restaurante
Calle Colón Nº 1306, La Paz, Bolivia
+591 2 2202366