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A day’s walk around Ghent

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Bruges offers visitors myriad attractions for a full two-day visit, but if you’re staying longer than a weekend, then consider a day trip to Ypres, Ghent, Brussels, Flanders Field or Ostend. All are within easy reach of Bruges – by road or rail – and make a worthwhile add-on to your Belgium experience. In the first in a series of day trips tips from Bruges, Gina Baksa takes a stroll around the historic city of Ghent

Only 20 minutes from Bruges by train – a tad longer by car – Ghent has with an edgier, funkier feel than its more sedate neighbour, especially after dark when the cafés and bars come alive. There’s a thriving music scene – jazz especially – and the nightlife is eclectic and vibrant, thanks in part to the large student population. Ghentians love their food.  From budget eats to Michelin-starred restaurants, the East Flanders capital is a smorgasbord of culture, design and history – and offers abundant gustatory pleasures for the discerning gourmand.

Divided into two distinct areas: the museums are mainly situated in the Arts Quarter, while the historic district – with its pedestrianised streets – offers visitors a cultural feast of medieval towers, fortress and of course the near-mythical Adoration of the Mystic Lamb altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers.

A day’s walk around Ghent

The route I took is around 1.5 miles, but with a stop for coffee, lunch, museums and sights along the way, you can easily spend a day exploring.

From Gent-Sint-Pieters station – collect a street map inside – jump on the number 1 tram – the stop is under the bridge on the left as you exit the station – and alight at Korenmarkt stop, just 15 minutes away. Make your way to St Nicholas Church (stniklaas.com) ahead of you – a restored 13th-century Gothic masterpiece with its Baroque altar, then head east to Sint-Baafsplein and the 300ft Belfry (visitgent.be). For some major bell-ringing action, time your climb just before noon. Unlike the belfry in Bruges, bell tower has a lift if you’d rather save your energy for lunch!

Passing the Cloth Hall (Lakenhealle) next to the Belfry you can’t miss St Bavo’s Cathedral rising majestically in front of you on the eastern side of Sint-Baafsplein.

The interior of this Gothic masterpiece boasts memorable treasures, including the van Eyck brothers’ Mystic Lamb altarpiece. This 20-panelled painting is famous for its mélange of mystical and natural themes and is displayed in the former baptismal chapel.

Leaving St Bavo’s take Biezekapel on your right, continuing over Hoogpoort and walk down Zandberg. A great lunch choice here is De Warempel (de.warempel.be)

Popular with locals, this vegetarian hotspot has inventive and tasty dishes that will satisfy even the hardened carnivore. If it’s too early for lunch then head round to St James’s Church (Sint Jacobskerk) to Vrijdagmarkt. The square is bordered by mansions and guildhouses, and there’s been a market here since the 13th century. My advice would be to head straight for Dulle Griet pub (dullegriet.be), which serves the largest selection of Belgian beer in Ghent. Order the immense 1.2-litre long glass of house beer and they will take your right shoe as a deposit and winch it up to the ceiling.

Assuming you haven’t overdone the amber nectar, make your way out of Vrijdagmarkt via Groot Kanon-plein and head over the bridge. You’re now in Patershol – the former red-light district – now home to trendy boutiques, bars and restaurants. Explore the streets behind Kraanlei quayside, bordered by 17th-century houses once occupied by tanners and weavers.

Continuing south down Kraanlei you’ll arrive at no 65 – the Folkore Museum (huisvanalijn.be) – a former hospice for children that shows what daily life was like in the city during the 19th century with an emphasis on craft and trade.

On leaving the museum continue to the end of Kraanlei and make a right onto Sint Veerleplein and a visit to the impressive Castle of the Counts (visitgent.be) with its fine buttresses (love that word), collection of Medieval torture instruments and a great view from the battlements.

On leaving the castle walk down Burgstraat across the river, then left down Korenlei to the Design Museum (designmuseum.gent.be). Once a family mansion, pieces on view include an impressive Art Noveau collection and 17th and 18th century furniture.
A post-design pit stop at the Brooderie bakery café (brooderie.be) opposite will touch the spot for a late lunch. If you can’t get a table (it’s tiny) head for Reserva just along the street for coffee and snacks.

Once replete head out along Kornlei – this part of the river is known as Tussen Brugen (between the bridges) and was Ghent’s commercial centre during the 11th to 18th centuries. The Marriott hotel was a former brewery and at no. 7 you’ll see the Guildhouse of the Tired Boatmen – aka The Anchor. Walking down to St Michael’s Bridge turn left and walk up Graslei. The Corn Stockpile House dates from the late 12th century and has allegedly the oldest step gable in the country. Next door is the Customs House and other sea-faring related dwellings, all restored.

Walking back to St Michael’s Bridge you’ll get great views east towards Ghent’s three towers. St Michael’s Church is worth a look and has the 1630 portrait of Christ by Anthony van Dyck. You’ve now arrived back where you started, near St Nicholas Church.

Getting There

By Train

Take train to Gent-Sint-Pieters Station. Journey time: 20 minutes. Then take tram no. 1 into the city. Get off at Korenmarkt stop (15 mins).

By Road

Follow signs to the E40 and stay on it till you reach Ghent. Journey time: 30 minutes.

Cycling

The LF5 Cycling route passes from Bruges to Thorn via Ghent.

Cycling routes website here: http://www.fietsroute.org/index.htm

Michelin-starred restaurants in Ghent

Publiek (Olly Ceulenaere) | Ham 39 | +32 9 330 04 86 | http://www.publiekgent.be

Horseele (Danny Horseele) | Stadion KAA Gent, Ottergemsesteenweg – Zuid 808 | www.restauranthorseele.be | +32 9 330 23 20

Vrijmoed (Michaël Vrijmoed) Vlaanderenstraat 22 | +32 9 279 99 77 | vrijmoed.be/en/

Also recommended:

Pakhuis | Schuurkenstraat 4; +32 9 223 5555 | pakhuis.be

Bruges’ Top 10 Art Galleries You Should Visit

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Top Art Galleries in Bruges

Best-known for its rosta of Flemish Primitive painters such Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Hugo van der Goes, Bruges is a hive of activity for modern art, as Gina Baksa discovered. Escape the medieval tryptychs with a visit to one of these 10 modern art galleries in the centre of Bruges.

Absolute Art Gallery

Dijver 4 | +32 32 50 49 10 12 | absoluteartgallery.com | 11am to 6pm; Thurs to Mon

A beautiful minimalist space with regular exhibitions featuring some of the gallery’s 32 artists, including Julian Opie, Marc Lagrange, and local artist Christine Comyn. Latest exhibition is Nick Gentry’s Memoryscapes, on until 26 April. A Central St Martin’s graduate, Gentry creates portraits combining obsolete media formats such as cassettes, floppy discs, VHS tapes and Polaroids as a metaphor for the way humankind interacts with technology.

Galerij Koen Broes

Simon Stevinplein 12 | broes.be |+ 32 50 33 37 74 | Tues to Sat: 10am to 12; 1.30-6pm

Specialises in graphic art on paper from contemporary artists, owners Koen and Carine Broes recognise the inherent craftsmanship behind each technique. You’ll find everything from aquatinting, to lithography via gouache and drypoint. Their focus is not on big names: “We prefer to seek out artists who are not yet demi-gods, but who make no concessions in terms of technical quality and radiance” Framing service available as well as advice on collecting. Works can be shown in your own home.

Callebert Design

callebert.be | Wollestraat 25 | +32 50 33 50 61 | Daily: 10am to 12noon; 2pm to 6pm (except Mondays 2pm to 6pm; Sundays 3pm to 6pm)

More retail space than art gallery, Callebert began life in Bruges in 1948 selling luxury tableware and gifts. Today, its premises are a sophisticated Aladdin’s Cave of home design (think tableware, ceramics, homeware, furniture, clothing, gifts and more) in a central Bruges location. Their own art gallery, Art O Nivo is situated on the first floor. A perfect store to buy gifts; some products are also available to purchase via their online shop.

Art O Nivo

Wollestraat 25, 1st floor | +32 51 24 33 88 | artonivo.be

Mon to Sat; 2 to 6pm. Closed Sundays. At the back of Callebert Design.

Glass, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, photography, graphics and architecture:

The website needs updating but still worth a look. A new café and terrace is planned for opening in July this year.

44 Gallery

44gallery.be | +32 489 552 663 | Genthof 44 | Sat and Sun 2pm to 6pm

Current exhibition: 18 April to 10 May.

Located north of the Markt, 44 Gallery’s (run by Luc Rabaey and Veerle De Sutter) latest exhibition is a Herman van den Boom retrospective featuring a selection of the photographer’s work taken in the USA in the Seventies. With limited edition prints for sale, the gallery also represents the likes of Julie Van Der Vaart and Titus Simoens.

Museum Gallery Xpo Salvador Dali

Belfort, Markt 7 | +32 50 33 83 44 | dali-interart.be | Daily 10am-6pm

A permanent exhibition (rotating) curated by dealers Interart, containing graphic art and some sculptures from the moustachioed one’s eclectic oeuvre. The large gallery/showroom space at the centrally located Belfry was once a medieval hall now transformed into a Dali-fest with gold, mother-of-pearl and pink colours, designed by the amusingly monikered Barron Saint Mythelfinger.  Some original prints are for sale, ask at reception.

Jacquemine art Gallery (+ luxury guesthouse)

Hoogstraat 34 | +32 478 37 56 96 | jacquemine.be

Combining an art gallery and a listed guesthouse, well-travelled couple Pavel and Annie welcome you into their beautiful home (named after the first-recorded owner Jacnquemine De Graevbe 1532) and his studio. Pavel’s abstract art, the ‘exploration of non-physical realities’ will appeal to those who enjoy fantasy and dream landscapes of the imagination. The elegant, 13th-century house offers two ensuite luxury guestrooms with views over a delightful garden across to the Groenerei canal.

Art 14

Dijver 14 | art-14.com | Thurs to Sun 2pm to 6.30pm

Until 10 May: Solo exhibition with the French painter Etien Gros. An intriguing concept installation with polyurethane 3-D torsos, X-rays and digital photography. Situated between the Church of Our Lady and the Groeningemuseum, Art 14 represents 12 artists including Milan Chabera, Jesus Curia, Lieven Demunter, Fons Bemelmans and Jacek Hazuka.

Svein Konigen Studio Gallery

Korte Vuldersstraat 17 | koningen.net | +32 486 46 94 86 | Visits by appointment

Norwegian by birth, abstract expressionist artist Konigen grew up in Amsterdam and Australia and has been living and painting successfully in Bruges for the past 10 years. Re-locating to London this summer – “I need new inspiration” – he is currently offering discounts on some of his paintings.

I never really know exactly what form the finished painting will take,” he says about his own creative process. “I simply allow my instinct to guide my hands and draw inspiration from the creative process. My passions, the place I live in, the surrounding environment and my music are all external factors that influence my work.”

Konigen is re-locating to London this summer so call him

Art Gallery Groeninge: Paul Van Hecke

Nieuwe Gentweg 27 | +32 50 34 18 36 | paul-van-hecke-art.be

Bruges-born Van Hecke’s travels in the Himalayas and exposure to Eastern philosophy as a young man had a life-changing effect, resulting in the style of painting he favours today. Meditative, healing and transformative, his art reflects the human connection with spirit and our heartfelt desire to live with an awakened consciousness.

 

Link for some image ideas:

http://www.koningen.net/wilderness-flowers/1826126

http://www.koningen.net/

pick one and I will ask him for a jpeg so it stretches across the page enough.

Explore Bruges on foot, canal, bike and Vespa

By | A Local's Guide to Bruges, Things to do in Bruges | No Comments

Bruges is one of the best cities in Europe to discover/explore on foot; its cobbled streets leading you on a beguiling Medieval time warp into secret alleyways and thoroughfares offering treasures both gastronomic and historic. Pick up a map from one of Bruges’s three tourist offices in the Concert Hall/Concertgebouw, Historium (Market Square) and in the railway station or join a popular walking tour and savour the history lesson as you perambulate.   

Alternatively, experience Bruges from a different aspect:

Bruges photography tours

The city is a photographer’s Mecca, as professional snapper and entrepreneur Andy McSweeney knows only too well. A native of Montreal, he’s been in Bruges for 14 years and has even married a local gal. So he knows his way around.

He has tours almost every day: early morning to catch the best light, lunchtime essentials, a hidden Bruges around 4pm and a spot of night photography in Bruges after dark. Andy’s passion for sharing his love of photography means this Photo Tour Brugge is a must whether you’re a pro, or just picked up your first disposable camera. Find out more at his website: www.phototourbrugge.com

  info@phototourbrugge.com |+32 486 175 275   | www.facebook.com/PhotoTourBrugge/

Cycling in Bruges

Flat landscapes make cycling a joy – whatever the weather – so take the weight off your feet and try some pedal power while you’re in Bruges. Either hire a bike for the day and do your own thing, or join a bike tour.  Quasimodo’s Bruges By Bike tour offers visitors a two-and-a-half hour ‘laid back’ wheelie around the backstreets and main streets of the city, exploring the waterways, monuments and city sights, the Belfry tower, the Lake of Love, the windmills, the canals…. Plus a stop at a local hostelry for a snifter of the best beer on the planet. Helmets and rain jackets and even a T-shirt are provided.

www.quasimundo.com | Predikherenstraat 28 | info@quasimundo.eu +32 50 330 775

If you’ve had your fill of cobbled streets and Gothic spires, then hire a bike for a tour of the tranquil polders outside the city limits. The flat landscape is an easy cycle and canal-side routes are beautiful and the perfect picnic stop in spring and summer. Green Bike Tours Tel: 050 612 667.  arlando@telenet.be

‘t Zand, Concertgebouw. English, Dutch and French spoken. Booking is required. Daily, by appointment only. Ask at the tourist information for details.

Bruges canal tours

Escape the tourist melee on the Burg and the Markt and hop on a boat for a relaxing canal tour of Bruges. The 30-minute ride follows the ancient fortifications and is an effortless way to see Bruges from a calmer perspective.

Prepare to queue in peak season. Boats leave from the quays behind the Stadhuis (City Hall), Belfry and the Church of Our Lady.     

Bruges bus tours

Perfect if you’re travelling with friends or family who can’t walk very far,  the minibus tour lasts 50 minutes and takes guests to all Bruges’s main sights.

Commentary is in several languages. Look out for the bright yellow buses. If you have more time, you can also join the minibus tour to the delightful village of Damme. Stop off there for lunch and return by barge.
The bright yellow buses depart every thirty minutes from the Markt – the square in front of the Belfry. More information at www.citytour.be/

Departures every 30 min.
Jan – Mar 10h till sunset, Apr 10h tot 18u, May – Sept 10h till 19h, Oct – Dec 10h till sunset
Bus stop: Markt, The market square in front of the Belfry. 
Tickets on the bus
Group reservations possible: info@citytour.be 

 

Bruges horse-drawn carriage rides

Earn brownie points and treat your loved one to a romantic 30-minute carriage ride along Bruges’s enchanting cobbled streets. There’s a brief stop at the medieval houses of the Beguinage, and the coachman will keep you well informed about the sights along the way. Rides leave from the carriage station on the Markt or from the Burg on Wednesdays before noon. If you’d rather not wait in line, then book a carriage to collect you from your hotel or restaurant.

www.visitbruges.be/en/bruges-by-horse-drawn-carriage-2

Vespa Tours Brugge

Escape from the city and enjoy a little Dolce Vita Belgium-style with a guided tour on a bright orange Vespa through scenic woodland and picturesque villages like Damme – once Bruges’s outer harbour. English, Dutch and French spoke and if you want to zip off alone you have the option to hire a scooter for the whole day. Book your seat now as they are very popular.

t’Zand 2 | +32 497 64 86 48 | Mobile: +38 497 648 648 | vespatours-brugge.be

Bruges Ballooning

Surely one of the best ways to see Bruges is from the air. Looking down over 1000 years of history you’ll be in very safe hands with Bruges Ballooning who have more than 20 years’ experience and even more reassuring: ‘zero accidents’. Clearly this is one activity that’s weather dependent, but if you’re lucky enough to get airborne, you could be gliding over city spires, polders and even see the Belgium coast with a Champagne and strawberry celebration on arrival at your destination.

bruges-ballooning.com | +32.475.972.887 | info@bruges-ballooning.com

Walking tours in Bruges

 

Pubs in Bruges with Live performances in July or August

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Live Bands play for Free in Pubs every Wednesday in July or August

Klinkende Kroegen, stands for Live performers in  Pubs in July or August in Bruges.

This means  3 performers in 3 pubs per night. Between 20u and  24u.


Agenda july and august Bruges 2017

5 july:

  • De Coulissen, Jakob van Ooststraat 4: DJ Andrew met Violinvasion
  • Rode Kruisopvangcentrum Patio, Vlamingstraat 55: Moonai People
  • Café Vlissinghe, Blekerstraat 2: Basement

12 july:

  • ‘t Hof van Beroep, parking Vuldersreitje: Calling Susan / Loudfire
  • Lokkedize, Korte Vuldersstraat 33: Women On Top
  • The Reflex, Predikherenstraat 35: Wasted 24/7 / Citizinsane / Guilty as Charged

19 july:

  • ‘t Verdriet van België, Kraanplein 1a: Alpha Whale
  • De Halve Maan, Walplein 26: Les Croissant Belges / Yves Bondue
  • Punta Est, Predikherenrei 1: DJ Andrew, viool, saxofoon & surprise act

26 july:

  • Café Rose Red, Sint-Jansplein: De Breeee Veertien / Tommy & The Wildflowers featuring Claudia Decaluwe
  • De Belleman Pub, Jozef Suvéestraat 22: Cajun Moon
  • Snuffel, Ezelstraat 47-49: Themoodofsteffie / Rhinos are People too

2 august:

  • l’Estaminet, Park 5: Rhythm Deep & special guest
  • The Monk, Vlamingstraat 37: The New Image
  • La Casita, Sint-Salvatorkerkhof 5: Team Latino

9 august:

  • Delaneys Irish Pub, Burg: Barabas
  • Molenhuis, Potterierei 109: Mr. Lemming featuring Sandrine
  • 27b Flat, Katelijnestraat 27b: The Fortune Tellers

16 augustus:

  • Comptoir des Arts, Vlamingstraat 53: Steven Troch Band
  • De Republiek, Sint-Jakobsstraat 36: SCHNTZL / Tangram Labelnight met Moodprint & Uphigh Collective
  • Vino Vino, Grauwwerkersstraat 15: Long Tall Danny & His Bluescombo

23 augustus:

  • ‘t Hof van Rembrandt, Eiermarkt: Edje Ska & The Pilchards
  • ‘t Gezelleke, Carmersstraat 15: The Claeyssons
  • Pergola Kaffee & Charlie Rockets, Meestraat 7: voorprogramma / Doghouse Rose

30 augustus:

  • De Vetten Os, Beursplein: Tropical party met Damp Oord!
  • ‘t Risico, Jeruzalemstraat 53: Cosy Corner
  • Winebar Est, Braambergstraat 7: Boogie Train

 

Tickets
Free

Where gastronomy meets Bruges: Kookeet

By | A Local's Guide to Bruges, Things to do in Bruges | No Comments
FOODFESTIVAL and gastronomic event with 32 Topchefs !
Three days long top chefs from Bruges and one visiting chef serve gastronomic dishes at reasonable prices.
Piet Huysentruyt, chef of the gourmet restaurant Likoké in the Ardèche, is the visiting chef on the seventh edition.
Chefs from Bruges who participate are without exception high class culinary chefs, with one or even more Michelin stars, a Bib Gourmand or Gault Millau award..
 
Participating Restaurants Kookeet 2017
 
De Jonkman**
Auberge de Herborist*
Sans Cravate*
Assiette Blanche
Bistro Bruut –
Bistro Refter
Bonte B
Cantine Copine
Rock-Fort
The Chocolate Line
De Mangerie –
Den Dyver
Den Gouden Karpel
De Visscherie
D’s Deldycke Traiteurs
Goffin
L.E.S.S.
Kok au Vin
Laissez-Faire
Le Mystique
La Tâche
Lieven
Likoké*
gastchef Piet Huysentruyt
Patisserie Academie
Restaurant Patrick Devos –
Ducheyne Atelier
Traiteur
‘t Pakhuis
Tête Pressée
Weinebrugge
Zet’joe (Geert Vanhecke)
 
Place to be
Saturday 23, sunday 24 and monday 25 September 2017
Station Square Bruges, backside St Michiels
#Gastronomic#gastronomic feast #foodtruck# De Jonkman # Auberge de Herborist* # Sans Cravate* # Assiette Blanche  #Bistro Bruut  #Bistro Refter # Bonte B #Cantine Copine  #Rock-Fort  #The Chocolate Line #De Mangerie  #Den Dyver #Den Gouden Karpel  #De Visscherie  #D’s Deldycke Traiteurs # Goffin  #L.E.S.S. #Kok au Vin  #Laissez-Faire  #Le Mystique  #La Tâche Lieven  #Likoké* –  #gastchef Piet Huysentruyt  #Patisserie Academie # Restaurant Patrick Devos – #Ducheyne Atelier Traiteur  #‘t Pakhuis #Tête Pressée  #Weinebrugge  #Zet’joe  (Geert Vanhecke) De Jonkman**  Auberge de Herborist*  Sans Cravate*  Assiette Blanche  Bistro Bruut – Bistro Refter  Bonte B Cantine Copine  Rock-Fort  The Chocolate Line De Mangerie – Den Dyver Den Gouden Karpel  De Visscherie  D’s Deldycke Traiteurs  Goffin  L.E.S.S. Kok au Vin  Laissez-Faire  Le Mystique  La Tâche Lieven  Likoké* –  gastchef Piet Huysentruyt  Patisserie Academie  Restaurant Patrick Devos – Ducheyne Atelier Traiteur  ‘t Pakhuis #Tête Pressée  Weinebrugge # Zet’joe  (Geert Vanhecke)#  Auberge de Herborist#  Sans Cravate*  Assiette Blanche  Bistro Bruut – Bistro Refter  Bonte B Cantine Copine  Rock-Fort  The Chocolate Line De Mangerie – Den Dyver Den Gouden Karpel  De Visscherie  D’s Deldycke Traiteurs  Goffin  L.E.S.S. Kok au Vin  Laissez-Faire  Le Mystique  #La Tâche Lieven  #Likoké* –  #gastchef Piet Huysentruyt  #Patisserie Academie  #Restaurant Patrick Devos – #Ducheyne Atelier Traiteur  #‘t Pakhuis #Tête Pressée  #Weinebrugge  #Zet’joe  (Geert Vanhecke)
Local Heroes
Astridpark 27/08
Chefs from Bruges, food from Bruges, Fun from Bruges
where:
Koningin Astridpark is a classic just-around-the-corner-get-away-from-the-crowd place.
https://www.visitbruges.be/en/koningin-astridpark-
serviced apartments bruges

Serviced Apartments Brussels-Ghent-Bruges: Frequently Asked Questions

By | Businesstravel and expats in Belgium, FAQ | No Comments

What are Serviced Apartments? A serviced or selfcatering apartment is the perfect combination between staying in a hotel and renting an apartment. What are the differences between hotels and serviced apartments?

What is a serviced apartment?

A serviced apartment or business apartment is a sort of accommodation that can be booked on mid or longterm basis, features kitchen facilities and an optional maid service. Rates generally reduce as the length of stay increases.

What is the difference  between hotels and serviced apartments?

A typical serviced apartment or selfcatering apartment offers 1/3  more space than a hotel room, with separate areas for  working, eating and sleeping.

The majority of serviced apartments have free Wi-Fi, and some in Brussels even offer rental of office equipment such as printers or copiers. .

For stays of one week or more, the average serviced apartment is 15% cheaper than equivalent hotel accommodation, increasing to 25% after 1 month, and 30% after 3 month.

Is there a minimum length of stay?

Yes. Minimum stay of one week. Please note that the minimum length of stay varies from property to property.

A greater selection of serviced apartments will be available to you if you book for one week or more.

How do I make a reservation?

Your best approach is to give us a call. Whatever your requirements are, we will suggest a selection of serviced apartments that match your given criteria.

You can also book online.

You can also speak to us online using whatsapp or via Skype.  You can also drop us a quick text.

When do I need to pay?

Reservations are billed at the point of booking and must be paid in full before check-in. Our Account Management team agree a monthly or weekly payment date with you during the reservation stage.

If I cancel, can I get a refund?

Whether you receive a refund is dependent on if you cancel your booking in accordance with the apartment’s cancellation policy.

 

 

What kitchen equipment will I find in my serviced apartment?

All serviced apartments have a  kitchenette or fully equipped kitchen.  As a minimum, a kitchen or kitchenette must include:

  • A cooking appliance such as an oven or microwave
  • Fridge
  • Glassware
  • Pots and pans, kitchen appliances
  • Dishwasher

 

What can I expect in my apartment?

Facilities you can expect to find in every property:

  • Kitchen or kitchenette
  • Sitting or living area
  • Sleeping area
  • Shower
  • Appliances, furnishings, kitchenware, bedding, linen and towels.
  • Furniture
  • Free Wi-Fi and TV package

Will there be WIFI access?

All serviced apartments have free Wi-Fi, and it’s included in the overall cost.

What’s included in a basic welcome pack?

A basic welcome pack contains items like tea, coffee, toilet paper and shower gel. Most properties also provide a small starter pack of water, milk, dishwashing liquid and/or dishwasher tablets.

More extensive welcome packs are often chargeable (cereal, bread, pasta, biscuits, fruit or chocolate).

How do I check-in to my apartment?

Check-in varies from property to property:

  • Self-check-in: you’ll be given access to secure codes for access to the main building and key safe.
  • Off-site check-in and key collection: keys will need to be collected from a location different to that of your apartment.

The standard check-in time is from 15.00, although this is not always the case. Full details of your check-in are provided at the confirmation stage.

What if I need to check in early or check out later ?

Please make this request via mail or phone or during the booking process.

An early check-in is sometimes possible, but needs to be asked in advance. Most properties are able to hold luggage on your behalf while you wait to access your apartment.

What should I do if I have a problem during my stay or on arrival ?

Please refer to the confirmation mail that was sent to you via email when you made your reservation. On your confirmation, you’ll find the following contact numbers:

  • Office number of the property manager
  • Emergency number of the property manager

What are the differences between  a fixed tenancy and serviced apartments?

Benefits of serviced apartments include:

  • Shorter notice period
  • Zero agent fees
  • Minimal paperwork
  • Flexibility to book short stays as one week or month instead of the required six months in a fixed tenancy
  • Freedom to extend or shorten your reservation.
  • A serviced apartment is fully equipped, eliminating the hassle of purchasing appliances, furnishings, kitchenware, bedding, linen and towels.
  • Most bills are included (to a certain maximum)
  • Internet and TV packages are included.
  • Maid service once a week, as a minimum, which includes a full clean and change of all towels and linen should be discussed before reservation.
  • Access to  guest service team at no extra charge.

What’s the pet policy in serviced apartments?

If you wish to bring your pet with you, please make this clear during the enquiry stage, and we’ll find an apartment that allows this.

An additional cleaning charge will be incurred by staying with a pet.

What do I do with my keys upon checking out?

Keys should safely be returned to reception or left in your property.

What security features do serviced apartments offer?

It is important to note that the Fire Safety Certificate is an approval of the fire safety of each apartment. (Vincotte fire safety certificate)

 

How many guests can stay in my apartment?

The maximum occupancy of each apartment type varies. Typically, the below rules apply

  • One bedroom apartment – two people
  • Two bedroom apartment – four people

When making your enquiry, please inform us of the exact number of guests (adults, children)  you need to accommodate,  and we’ll do our best to source the right properties.

Some apartments have cots or sofa beds available to allow one extra guest. If this is required, please let us know upon enquiry.

Is it possible for me to view an apartment before I make a reservation?

Yes. To arrange a viewing please contact us and we’ll organise a viewing for you. These visits depend on availability at the property in question.

Can I smoke in my apartment?

No!  All serviced apartments are non-smoking. Smoking may be permitted in external areas, such as balconies, roof terraces…

How do I make a payment?

When making a payment, you have two main options:

  • Bank transfer – Iban or Sepa
  • Card Payment – we accept payment in euro via our online payment system, supplied by Stripe or Paypal. This system accepts payment from American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Maestro and Electron. A 2.95% card transaction fee applies to all card payments.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

A number of properties may require a deposit, which is paid at the time of booking.

Alternative can be a pre-authorisation from a credit card which may then be used to cover any incidental costs occurred during your stay.

Is it safe for me to pay by card?

Yes. When you pay by card we’ll provide you with a payment link to our secure, online payment service provider Stripe or Paypal. This is a PCI compliant service, so none of your sensitive card information is shared with us.

When will you take my payment?

We agree a payment date with you at the reservation stage. Reservations are billed at the point of booking and must be paid in full before check-in.

What’s included in the cost of my serviced apartment?

  • Utility bills: water, heating, electricity, council tax, gas and television licence.
  • basic TV package
  • Wifi
  • Welcome pack

Other services are subject to an additional fee:

  • Maid service
  • Premium TV channels
  • Extra beds for additional guests
  • Parking

 

serviced apartments bruges

Business matters for expats in Belgium

By | Businesstravel and expats in Belgium | No Comments

Things you wish you’d known before moving to Belgium

Using the expat community web sites is a good solution for finding the starting points for a move to Belgium.
Several scenarios exist for expat businessmen working in Belgium: expats working for themselves, working for other expats, working for Belgian companies and expats working for British companies with offices and/or operations in Belgium.

All of them have one thing in common – a wealth of information the prospective businessman can take advantage of on visas, transport, accommodation, government permissions and licenses and last but definitely not least office and industrial etiquette for workers managers, and administrative staff.

The expats on various internet sites can provide the answers you need on just about any query you have and especially on best working practises. They have ‘been there, done that and got the t-shirt’ applies. Using the expat community web sites is a good solution to finding the starting points for a move to Belgium.

Going to Belgium under your own steam? Then extensive research and contacting people in the expat networks via the internet will definitely pay off and having the right visa is essential. Going to Belgium as a tourist or holiday visit is quite different to the visa for a final permanent move.

With UK membership of the EU up for a referendum in the UK in the not too distant future knowledge of the visa system and where your nearest Belgian embassy or consulate is will help if changes occur.

If your company is sending you then they will be able to advise you and make the necessary arrangements. They should be able to organise visas, airfares, hotel, guest house, help you meet business associates and so on. Certainty about your move outcome and knowing you have the right accommodations when you first arrive is paramount.

The job may well be one that you have desired for a long time and the change an exciting one, however, ensure you go to Belgium on a visit and have a look round before you make that irrevocable permanent move for yourself and family overseas if you have not already done so.

With UK membership of the EU up for a referendum in the UK in the not too distant future knowledge of the visa system and where your nearest Belgian embassy or consulate is will help if changes occur.

Vital tips:

1) Use the expat networks to make contact with other expat businessmen in Belgium and ‘pick their brains’. Make notes and bookmark  internet sites you know you will revisit again.

2) Visa requirements is the correct place to hat up on visas. Instructions given on this site are very specific and it is advisable to read it thoroughly.

3) ‘Know before you go’ by visiting lots of different places in Belgium on a short or not so short break holiday to be sure the city or town you choose to live in is right for you with your workplace easy to reach on public transport. Bruges is an excellent city to use as a base as it has great transport facilities to the other larger cities and towns like Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels. For accommodation go here: http://goo.gl/am8o7m

Languages and the Ways of Government.

One will need to understand, whether you are English or American, is the complete absence of a nationwide cultural infrastructure. Belgium is made up of language divisions as opposed to political ones. French, Dutch, German and Flemish are spoken in specific areas and regions in Belgium and each pretty much run their own administrations.

Brussels is officially bi-lingual, (whilst other cities are not), and it also holds the administrative seat for both French and Flemish speaking communities. It is not always easy to follow through on business with the Government as a result. You must persevere and learn who deals with what where and in what language.

If you do not yet speak French, Dutch or German it’s a good idea to start learning as soon as you can. Wikipedia has a really useful map of the language divisions in Belgium, showing the major language spoken in each one.

Brussels has an advantage for the English speaking expat. English is becoming established in Brussels as the common language for all thanks to NATO, the European Union and the huge numbers of foreign students living in this city.

Internations

Expatica

The Bulletin

 

Www.white-rooms.be offers serviced apartments in Bruges for B to B rentals for expats in Brussels, Ghent or Antwerp. We are a member of ASAPS (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers) and we will go for full accreditation this year.

Great restaurants in Flanders

By | Things to do in Bruges | No Comments

“A picture is worth a thousand words

Great restaurants in Flanders, close to Bruges.

 

Bruges

De Refter

Rock Fort

Kok au Vin

Sans Cravate

De Gouden Harynck

Assiette Blanche

Bruut

Hertog Jan

Tanuki – Oude Gentweg 1, Bruges 8000, +32 50 34 75 12

Grand Cafe Passage Dweersstraat 26, 8000 Brugge

Kortrijk

David Selen

Het Vliegend Tapijt –

Knokke

Bartholomeus – Zeedijk-Heist 267, Knokke-Heist 8301,  +32 50 51 75 76

Cuines 33 – Smedenstraat 33 | Knokke-Heist, Knokke, Knokke-Heist 8300, +32 50 60 60 69

 
Brussels

Gramm – Rue de Flandre 86, Brussels 1000,  +32 2 324 99 66

Selecto – Rue De Flandre, 95-97, Brussels, +32 2 511 40 95

La Buvette – Ch D’Alsemberg 108 – 1060 Saint Gilles  +32(0)2 534 13 03

Ghent

Roots – Vrouwebroersstraat 5, Ghent 9000, +32 9 310 67 73

GistLeopold de Waelstraat 9, Antwerp 2000, (Formerly Gigi il Bullo) +32 3 295 66 27

Le Dimanche – Markt 5, Ruiselede 8755, Belgium

Alberte –  Dendermondsesteenweg 78, Ghent 9000, +32 489 21 12 10

De Vitrine – La Chaparitta, Brabantdam 134, 9000 Gent

 
Antwerp

‘t Zilte – Hanzestedenplaats 5, Antwerp 2000, (top floor MAS museum) +32 3 283 40 40

l’Amitié – Vlaamsekaai 43, Antwerp 2000, Belgium, +32 3 257 50 05

Lam en Yin  – Reyndersstraat 17, Antwerp 2000, Belgium, +32 3 232 88 38

Dome Sur Mer – Arendstraat 1, Antwerp 2018, Belgium +32 3 281 74 33

Bredene

l’Homard Et La Moule – Duinenstraat 325, Bredene 8450, +32 59 32 02 28

Roeselare

Boury – Rumbeeksesteenweg 300, Roeselare 8800, +32 51 62 64 62

B’artiste –  Zuidstraat 50, 8800 Roeselare +32 51 251 241 eat@bartiste.be

further

Vintage

Veranda

Epicerie Du Cirque

Ossip –

Gouden Hoofd

Bart à Vin

Dôme

Flavie’s Tafel

Brasserie Latem –

Magis –

Bistro bis –

Publiek

Castor

Plat Préféré

In De Wulf

 

Top things to do during your stay in Bruges

By | FAQ, Things to do in Bruges, Trendy Bruges | No Comments

 Where to Eat Well in Bruges. From Breakfast to Lunch to High Tea to Diner. Where you can snack on Belgian wafflesgrab excellent coffee or …

No visit to Bruges can be complete without partaking of the delicious local cuisine, and guests at the White Rooms can enjoy some of the finest delicacies on offer from nearby tearooms and restaurants. From warm, golden Belgian waffles and biscuits, world-renowned Belgian chocolate, cheeses, meats and seafood, to one of the hundreds of different types of beer to choose from, there is something for a connoisseur of every persuasion. And after a day of culinary indulgence, enjoy a relaxing walk through the city’s winding streets or follow along the canals – or if you feel up to it, climb the 366 steps to the top of the famous medieval Belfort.

 

Top restaurants in Bruges

Parkrestaurant   (voted as N° I on tripadvisor on 565 restaurants in Bruges ….wow !!!!)

Minderbroederstraat 1; +32 497 801 872

Lieven 

Phlipstockstraat 45- Bruges (city center)

Bistro Bruut 

Meestraat 9 – Bruges (city center)

Bistro Refter

Molenmeers 2 – Bruges (city center)

Rock-Fort ♥♥

Langestraat 15 – Bruges (city center) ; closed on Saturday and Sunday

Den Heerd

Nieuwe Gentweg 76- Bruges (city center)

Sans Cravate 

Langestraat 155 – 159 -Bruges (city center)

Franco Belge 

Langestraat 109 – Bruges (city center)

Pomperlut ♥♥

Minderbroedersstraat 26 -Bruges (city center), closed on sunday and monday

De Twjfelaar

Eekhoutstraat 24-Bruges (city center), closed on monday and tuesday  (closed 8 until 19 march)

Kok-Au-Vin

Ezelstraat 21 -Bruges (city center) closed on Sunday & Monday

Hubert Gastrobar

Langestraat 155 – 159, Closed on Sunday & Monday

De Zuidkant

Jacob van Maerlantstraat 6 8340 Damme

Top  Places for Lunch in Bruges

Sanseveria

Predikherenstraat 11

Lunchboutique De Belegde Boterham ♥♥

Kleine St. Amandsstraat 5 Closed on sunday

Le Pain Quotidien

Philip Stockstraat 21

Simon Stevinplein 15 (new!)

Brasserie Raymond

Eiermarkt 5, closed on Sundays

Ellis Gourmet Burger

Simon Stevenplein 14

Floris 

Gistelsesteenweg 520

 ———————————-

Top 5 Breakfast in Bruges

Sanseveria, 

Predikherenstraat 11

Le Pain Quotidien

Philip Stockstraat 21

Simon Stevinplein 15 (new!)

Books&Brunch

Garenmarkt 30; Closed on saturday&sunday and school holidays

Carpe Diem (also online delivery)

Wijngaardstraat 8

Kempinski 

Prinsenhof 8

Ontbijt van Achiel 

Achiel van Ackerplein 2

‘t Eekhoetje

Eekhoutstraat 3 (next to apartment Dijver), Closed on thursday

—————————————————————————

Afternoon high Tea or Coffee in Bruges

De Medici

Geldmuntstraat 9

Academie 

Vlamingstraat 56, closed monday and tuesday

Merveilleux

Muntpoort     8 , closed on sunday and holidays

Carpe Diem

Wijngaardstraat 8

 

Cheap eats in Bruges

Soup (voted as 14 of 565 on tripadvisor)

Hallestraat 4, Bruges 8000

Bocca

Dweerstraat 13, Bruges 8000

Sanseveria, 

Predikherenstraat 11, Bruges 8000

Taboulé

Langestraat 93, Bruges 8000 (Lebanese resto)

Cocktail and Winebars in Bruges

Groot Vlaenderen

Vlamingstraat 94 Cocktail bar

Wine Bar Est

Braambergstraat 7

Bar Salon

Langestraat 17

 ———————–

Beers and pubs in Bruges

L’estaminet

Park 5 Pub

Brasserie Cambrinus 

Philipstockstraat 19

De Garre

De Garre 1

Brugs Beertje ♥♥

Kemelstraat 5

Café Rose Red

Cordoeanierstraat 16

Le Trappiste

Kuiperstraat 33

Jazz-Blues & Soul in Bruges

Comptoir des Arts

        Vlamingstraat 53

Catering in Bruges

Sud

Mallebergplaats 5 Italian

Traiteur Deldycke

Wollestraat 23 Closed on tuesday

Cuisine Tinguett

Wagnerstraat 81, 8310 Assebroek

La Dolce Maremma

Rijselstraat 40, 8200 Brugge ( St Michiels)


——————————–

Go veggie! in Bruges

 

Resto Lotus

Wapenmakersstraat 5 – Bruges

Resto Reliva

Goezeputstraat 6 -Bruges

Resto De Bottelier

Sint Jakobsstraat 63 -Bruges

Supermarket Bio Vita

Maalsesteenweg 299 –  8310 Bruges ( Sint Andries )

Origino

Katelijnestraat 142-Bruges

 

A taste of Asia in Bruges..

Chang Thong Thai

Kleine Hoefijzerstraat 3, 8000 Bruges (tripadvisor 4.5/5)

Stoepa

Oostmeers 124

Order a Taxi in Bruges

  • Taxi Snel: +32 50 34 34 69  or +32 478 35 35 35
  • Uber in Bruges is until now not available, only Brussels

Other things we are working on are experiences like bike excursions, guided tours, food and drink tastings, and various classes.

Bike tours in Bruges

Cycling through Bruges with a guide is a must-do for anyone visiting the old city. Bike tours start from the Burg Square which is next to the Market Square.

Bike tours over the cobblestones for 2.5 hours, you will admire the grandness & history of this ancient harbour city (free beer inclused)

Guided tours in Bruges

Explore one of Europe’s most vibrant medieval cities on a 7-hour day trip to Bruges from Brussels. Take a 4-hour guided walking tour on arrival. Take the train across country to discover the architecture and canals of the “Venice of the North.”

Your city guide will take you to see hidden gems known only to locals and discover why Bruges was at the forefront of western art and trade in the Middle Ages.

https://www.visitbruges.be/museumsplacesofinterestattractions


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Airbnb short-term holiday rentals are biting hoteliers’ bums

By | Airbnb | No Comments

 

Is the ‘sharing economy’, spearheaded by the likes of Airbnb, shaking up the traditional hospitality industry in the same way Uber has pounced on the taxi trade?

Founded by designers Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and their tech-savvy pal, Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008, Airbnb is the online community marketplace that enables homeowners to rent out a room, or their entire home, to independent travelers and has grabbed the lion’s share of the lucrative short-term apartment rental market worldwide. Why Airbnb does short term holiday lets so well…

Have you stayed in an Airbnb holiday apartment lately?  From airbeds to castles… The blue oceanstrategy in a shared economy in a new age! Gina Baksa finds out… Airbnb’s revenue in 2013 was a staggering $250 million, and with more than 10 million nights booked to date, the hotel industry is feeling the heat. No longer an edgy upstart, Airbnb is now a force to be reckoned with. Fancy a night in a castle? Check. Your own island in Fiji? It’s yours. An aeroplane? Climb aboard. Cash rich baby boomers with influence and purchasing power are collecting these unique experiences to impress their friends, share on social networks, and add to treasured memories. Eschewing stuffy impersonal hotel rooms, travelers across all demographics are increasingly choosing to experience unique apartments, houses, boats and even tree houses on their vacations. This group has huge influence and purchasing power – and most importantly, they are social network savvy. They like to share their good – and their bad experiences. Such is Airbnb’s reach and financial muscle, it makes a booking every two minutes and the company is reportedly worth an estimated 10 billion dollars – more than all the world’s hotels groups bar the top four. Growth due – in part – to last year’s cash injection from TPG Capital and other private equity firms. Quick to adapt to current trends, online hotel booking sites such as booking.com are already featuring short-term holiday rentals alongside its hotel and flight

Certainly Airbnb brings in cash to local infrastructure – restaurants, bars, museums and retail – and it creates jobs: 200 new positions are earmarked in Dublin this year alone. But what about occupancy taxes to local authorities? Tax which hotels are forced to pay. Considering its listing base now runs into the hundreds of thousands, the fact most Airbnb users contribute no local taxes in the cities they stay in has created a significant profit margin for buyers, sellers and Airbnb bosses. And angered many hoteliers who are demanding more stringent regulation. Civic authorities in San Francisco only made Airbnb legal last year via its Airbnb Law and forced Airbnb to charge users 14% tax to bring it in line with the city’s hotel tax legislation, while New York authorities have come down heavy on multiple rentals from a single user – calling them ‘illegal hotels’ and demanding regulation and payment of taxes. And what of market share? Airbnb’s listings are doubling each year – and could well become the world’s largest ‘hotel’ group by the end of next year, beating IHG and Hilton. At the upper end – the Hiltons, Marriott and Crowne Plazas – will continue to attract their core luxury and business clients, but many corporate expense accounts are now listing Airbnb usage. Yet the top dogs remain bullish: Christopher Norton, EVP of global product and operations at the Four Seasons dismissed Airbnb with a single soundbite: “Our guests don’t want the Airbnb feel and scent… [they expect] a level of service that is different, more sophisticated, detailed, and skillful.” Some brands such as the Marriott are feeling the Airbnb wolf at their door and investing in upgrading their boutique chains – partnering with designer Ian Schrager to help attract a different clientele. At the budget end of the hotel chain, however, it’s a different story, according to a recent study from Boston University that claims Airbnb has been taking around 5% business from budget hotels in areas with successful penetration. And in a recent Economist interview, president of New York’s Apple Core Hotels, Vijay Dandapani, admitted that: “We had continued growth until Airbnb. There are some hotels here who are like ostriches and have their buried in the sand, but I am of the view that this is a full-blown threat.’’ Around 80% of listings in New York are priced at $200 per night, often less, which means that the city’s hotels are losing potentially one million room nights a year. Airbnb is now looking at long-term rentals and nibbling at the heels of serviced apartments – one category that thought it was safe from attack. The company’s hire of hotel guru Chip Conley as global head of hospitality (he founded boutique hotel group Joie de Vivre) means Airbnb is going full guns – perhaps to snare more the lucrative business and luxury market. Bruges Airbnb holiday rentals Bruges Airbnb holiday rentals In Bruges, many homeowners are letting out their rooms and apartments via Airbnb, asking up to £167 a night for a four-bedroom apartment overlooking Sint-Annerei. Others are using Airbnb guests to funnel their inspired business model of buying up old historic apartments to refurbish and rent out – an example being White Rooms Bruges, which showcases the talents of interior designer, Natalie Haegeman. And even chocolatiers Spegelaere has refurbished an apartment specifically for the Bruges short-term holiday rental market at sweetchocolatedreams.be. Has Airbnb impacted the hotel market in Bruges? Apparently not, according to one top hotelier I spoke to, who seemed almost put out that I could suggest such a thing. The city’s top hotels probably won’t notice a drop in bookings due to Airbnb, but at the lower end of the scale, tired and run-down B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels in Bruges will go out of business, unless they revamp and re-think their business models. Many solo travelers, couples, families and business people now want a more unique experience when they visit a new city; accommodation that is homely yet sophisticated. So if you’re looking for a different way to experience Bruges this year, then check out Airbnb’s holiday rentals in Bruges.

 

Gina Baksi

www.white-rooms.be

 

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