Category: Belgium

When we moved from Australia to France, our alcohol allowance was very small, so Scott grabbed a few Aussie & NZ beers to bring, and that was that.  This time however, our wine allowance is 90 litres with 110 for beer, and our removals agent specifically said, “have fun shopping.”  And so, we have.

wines- small

So far there’s a heavy emphasis on Bandol reds and Belgian beers with more Champagne and all the liqueurs to come tomorrow.

I also started working on my parapharmacie list, so I was super chuffed when I went to pick up some Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum this morning, and I found this pale mofo bargain of the week:

serum- small

The full sized serum plus a full sized 50 face sunscreen for 39 Euros.  Considering the serum alone retails for $79 in the States, I am a happy bunny today.  🙂

  • Current contents of our refrigerator: half a watermelon, Perrier, Dolin Vermouth, and. . .

this bowl of salsa

salsa- small

  • Things to sell: microwave, apartment (first & hopefully only viewing tomorrow), sofas- deemed too brown to live (viewing tomorrow), oven (viewing tomorrow)
  • Things to book: movers (awaiting more quotes), flights, cleaners, new bank account, temporary accommodation on the other end
  • Things to terminate: internet, phone & tv, water, gas, electricity, box subscriptions, French bank account, leaving taxes, work contract
  • Things to aquire: new sofas- not brown, wines, Belgian beers, Champagne, jams, French parapharmacie goods
  • Things to give away: whatever is left when the dust clears

Feeling smugly ahead of schedule this time around.  Should probably get in the kitchen for a bit though.  😉

A couple of years ago I managed to get my hands on some Westvleteren 12, often regarded as one of the best beers in the world. The beer itself is from 2011, so my remaining bottles have been aging nicely in the cellar. In the meantime, I’ve been collecting those beers considered most similar to the excellent Westy, along with newer beers inspired by the original.

westy clones- small

The beers are all between 1-5 years old by this point, so methinks a tasting is due!

This year’s post is not comprehensive.  We just went too many places, so I’ve had to edit.  I’ve left out most of France, the UK, and quite a few places in the US.  Here are some leftovers. . .  🙂

Barcelona, Spain

barcelona extra 1- small

barcelona extra 2- small

Annecy, France

annecy extra 1- small

annecy extra 2- small

Saronic Gulf Islands, Greece

greece extra- small

greece extra 2

greece extra 3- small

Milan, Italy

milan extra 1- small

milan extra 2- small

milan extra 3- small

Johannesburg, South Africa

South Africa 1- small

south africa 4- small

south africa 2- small

south africa 3

Portland, Oregon. . .USA

portland- small

Atlanta, Georgia. . .USA

atlanta- small

Brussels, Belgium

brussels extra- small

chocolates- small

Bruges, Belgium

gv 2- small

GV 1- small

gin cocktail- small

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ams 1- small

ams 2- small

ams 3- small

ams 4- small

Now on to planning 2015!  So far, we’re tentatively looking at London, New York, Barbados. . . and maybe Sardinia.  🙂

We really enjoyed our time in Belgium. The architecture is as impressive as you’d imagine, although for me the real fairytale is the beer- what a fantastic birthday gift from my awesome wife!  I could go on at great length about both the brews (big and Belgian) and the bars (full of beer), but I’ll try and keep it short.   😉

Moeder Lambic (Brussels)

A bar which specialises – as the name suggests – in Lambic (sour) beers. A very cool place which was very busy on a Friday night, though we got great seats at the bar.

moeder lambic- small

moeder lambic 2- small

Cambrinus (Bruges)

Might seems a little touristy – not to mention packed – but as more of a restaurant it’s a great stop for food to sustain epic beer tastings.

cambrinus paddle= small

De Garre (Bruges)

Down a tiny cobbled alley, this multi-storey bar is rather awesome. The clientele is somewhat more … silver … than you might imagine, but the real surprise was the “never happened in 30 years” rain of sausage and herring from upstairs!!  That one did produce some free drinks … and broken glass.

de garre- small

Brouwerij de Halve Maan (Bruges)

They make four beers. You can tour the brewery and then drink them.  How could you not?

bruges 9- small

de halve 3- small

de halve 4- small

de halve 5- small

‘t Brugsch Bieratelier (Bruges)

The only thing you need to know about this delightfully small bar is that you can do a paddle of all 12 tap beers at once. 12 Belgian beers, all in a row … just think about that for a minute .  🙂

12 beer paddle- small

La Morte Subite  (Brussels)

A nice old style cafe feel for a quick beer.

mort subite- small

Delirium Cafe (Brussels)

Not only home to 3000 plus beers, this is actually a collective of eight differently themed bars.  We started with a paddle at the Taphouse (ground floor) before heading to the basement for the Cafe.

delirium- small

delirium paddle= small

delirium2- small

delirium 3- small

Outside of the unexpected holiday which Cafe Rose Red took while we were in town, it was a most excellent trip!  The bar of the trip was definitely Moeder Lambic.  I could see that being a regular haunt.  Along that line, the beers of the trip were absolutely hands down: the lambics. I’ve always liked sours, but from the 2008 vintage Cantillon to the puckering Gentleman Sour Ale, a collab from Naparbier & Picobrouwerij Alvinne, that’s a lot of wow!

(Just FYI, all the Belgian beer pics have been saved for a separate post.  Scott’s just been busy.  Lest you think all we did was sight see and go to museums.  🙂 )

brussels gp 4- small

brussels comics- small

brussels cat- small

brussels gp 1- small

brussels gp 3- small

brussels 1- small

brussels gp 2- small

A selection of noms from Brussels to Bruges and things in between. . .


waffle- small

Bierbrasserie Cambrinus

Sliced Chicken with Mushrooms, Silver Onions and Bacon with “Flemish Old Brown” Beer

chicken stew- small

Trappist Cheese Croquettes

croquettes- small

Flemish Carbonades prepared with “Gulden Draak” Beer, served with Applesauce

carbonnade- small

Pierre Marcolini

macarons- small


fritland- small

frites 2- small

frit chicken- small

scott frit- small

Room Service!

room service- small

bruges 6- small

bruges 2- small

bruges 4- small

bruges 8- small

bruges 7- small

bruges 10- small

bruges 3- small

bruges 1- small

bruges 5- small


We are currently back home on French soil, but I’m not sure how long things will stay that way.  In the next 30 days, there are possible trips to London, Bournemouth, Orlando, Brussels, Mechelen & Bruges.  It’s set to be another possibly very busy month here in Nowsonland.  🙂

A quick break from the Barcelona posts to bring you a few shots of goods acquired this morning at our favourite local market: Marché de l’Estacade. . .

marche 1- small

Fresh orecchiette, olives & rocket.

marche 2- small

Lots of veggies.  At the moment, white asparagus, radishes of every shape and colour and turnips seem to be pervasive.

marche 4- small

Scott-Scott gets a treat.

marche 3- small

Lunch of crawfish and squid.

red tulip- small

More tulips!  Not actual size.  🙂

A prompt return to Parc Güell and more Barcelona pics in a few days.  😉