It is that time of the year again, where the heart of romantic Bruges is turned into a joyous and merry Christmas 🎄 Market. We made our 1st visit last year and have been eager to come back since.
As Bruges is only 115km from Calais Eurotunnel, it is a manageble drive on Friday evening after work and you will wake up in this beautiful city on Saturday morning. It is a straight-forward drive on the A16 in France which seamlessly join to the E40 in Belgium with no tolls along the way.
Fill up at Lizzie’s Wafles
What better way to start the day then to indulge in one of the best waffle Bruges has to offer. Lizzie’s Wafles is a modern, sleek, bright and happy place. It churns out fresh extra large 7×5 rectangular delicious waffles with all the toppings. There is banana, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, caramel, warm cherries, homemade jam, whipped cream and strawberries, if in season. There is also eggnog…. perfect start to the festive holiday. But that’s not all, do indulge in their unique hot chocolate. It comes as a hot glass of milk with a separate cracked egg/ rose flower shaped layered chocolate. Get your camera into video mode, put the chocolate into the hot milk and watch it melt to create a smooth creamy decadent hot chocolate.
The Christmas 🎄 Market
We then made our way to the Christmas 🎄 Market. It is in Markt, the central square where the Belfry Tower is. There are about 40 individual wooden huts selling traditional Christmas decorations like handpainted baubles, lights, nutcrackers, German Christmas pyramids, handmade trolls sculptures and many more. About a quarter of the huts sell food like German sausages, mulled wine, Irish coffee and churros. There is a large Christmas tree in the middle with lights drapping down to the stalls. Such a magical winter wonderland and a great place to start the festivities.
Juicy burgers at Paul’s Boutique
We booked a table at one of the best burger joint on the globe for lunch. It is just off the Christmas 🎄 Market on Sint Amandsstraat. Paul’s Boutique feels like a toned down, relaxed Hard Rock Cafe. There are guitars, a gramophone, photos of rock and roll legends, pipework wall lights and exposed brick wall. The burgers are made from 100% Irish beef, served on multigrain buns and you can choose from a wide selection of toppings from Jalapeño, goat cheese, spicy sauce, egg, bacon, parmesan and even chocolate. They also have vegetarian burgers like Hazelnut and Quinoa burger. One for next time if I can resist not having their tasty beef burgers.
Wine and cheese at D’s Deldycke Traiteurs
On Wollestraat street, we found a modern, beautiful and inviting delicatessen. D’s Deldycke Traiteurs has been an event catering business for the last 30 years in Bruges. Thankfully for us, they have now expanded into gourmet food retailing. There is a good selection of cheese, cured hams, wine, champagne, olive oil, jam, sauces, canape-sized bites and many more. Pick and match and then enjoy them with a glass of wine at the sharing table.
Admire the canal
With truffle cheese and parma ham in the bag, we continued on Wollestraat towards the most photographed corner of Bruges. Take a left into the street between Pralinette and Boudoir and enter the courtyard Hotel Bourgoensch Hof. Here you will see the sweeping canal calmly flowing along. There are tables and seats here in the summer days to enjoy the view of the canal. Track back to Wollestraat and proceed on to the Beer Wall at 2be Bar. As the name suggest, you will find a wall filled with Belgian beers and their signature glass from top to bottom and for quite a stretch. Make sure you head to the beer garden and admire another view of the canal, with a Belgian beer in hand preferably.
Before we called it a night, we went back to the Christmas 🎄 Market. Grabbed some food bites and a couple of mulled wine, sat down on the bench tables and enjoyed the magical moment.
What is a Merveilleux?
On Sunday, after parking, we walked down Sint Jakobsstraat pass Lizzie’s Wafle toward the Belfry Tower of Bruges. At the end of the road, we joined the snaking queue at Aux Merveilleux De Fred Bruges for their mouthwatering merveilleux. They are made by sandwiching two meringues with whipped cream and dusting them with chocolate shaving or other toppings of choice. Apart of that, they also sell ultra light and fluffy brioche-like pillow buns called Cramiques. Both products are made fresh on premise and best consumed immediately. Top notch!
We parked at Interparking Biekorf which is a turn away from Lizzie’s Waffle and 5 mins walk to the Christmas Market. It is a 2 floors underground parking with 197 spaces. The entrance is a little narrow, be careful.
Low Emissions Zones
At the time of writing this article there are no driving restrictions or low emission zones in Rouen.
For additional reading on Bruges, you may want to check out the three top books on Bruges from Insights Guides or Lonely Planet or Eyewitness Travel on the Amazon links below.