Monday, 29 December 2014

A Little Trip to Bruges: Where we stayed

The Pand Hotel

I don't think I've stayed in a nicer hotel. Now I can't say I've stayed in many, but this place is gorgeous. I'd recommend it if you're looking for a romantic break or even with friends if you want somewhere that looks pretty.

The staff were so friendly and helpful. They'll go our of their way to help you, which I think is the key to hospitality, although not everywhere has cracked this.

The breakfast was delicious. With complimentary champagne, a choice of fresh orange, apple or grapefruit juice to start the morning. You can have cooked breakfast or just stick with the continental style. The perfect start to the  morning. All the bread, fruit and pain de chocolat you could eat.

The hotels decor was really nice too. It has a elegant, cottage feel to it. With a few Christmasy touches to put you in the festive mood.
The hotel even had a few different games dotted out to keep you occupied. A cute little touch I really liked.

If you're thinking about heading to Bruges, I'd recommend checking this hotel out. It has a lovely atmosphere, a great location and a good price. The only thing I can say is that the shower head wasn't attached to the wall, it was only you had to hold yourself, which made washing your hair a little more challenging, but it wasn't too bad, so don't let that put you off.

G x

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Little Trip to Bruges: What we did

I'm getting the Christmas feeling. December is here and Christmas is nearly upon us. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I'm just getting started, I really should get a move on. 

Recently I took a trip to Bruges in Belgium. It is such a breathtakingly beautiful place, especially around Christmas, there's a Christmas Market in the town centre and so many little Christmas shops. All filled with precious decorations, a lot of them homemade. They're perfect if you're looking for that extra special something for to treat yourself or someone else this Christmas. 

Despite Bruges being a little town, the area was buzzing and there were plenty of things to see and do. We managed to fit quite a lot into the 2 days we were there and even had a little wonder around Brussels while we were waiting for our train back to London.

Brewery Tour

Belgium is mainly known for 2 things, I'm sure you can guess what they are .. Beer and Chocolate! After dumping our bags and grabbing a quick lunch we headed straight to a tour around Bruges' main beer brewery.

Although I'm not really into beer it was quite an interesting tour. Understanding how much effort goes in to making it and how much the industry has come along. Did you know when beer was first made it could only be produced in the winter and you need a cold environment for fermentation and they were carried around by horse and carts.

We also got a free beer at the end. Nothing like a nice drink after a long day of travelling.

Chocolate Museum

As you can tell this trip revolved a lot around eating and drinking. I lost count of how many pieces of chocolate, waffles and pints of flavoured beer I had. We went on a tour around the chocolate museum and found out the origins behind chocolate. For a long time Chocolate wasn't actually eaten in the solid form we love today, it was just drank, it wasn't until 18th century that this all changed - another amazing fact for you.

Horse and Carriage Ride

This was lovely, I've always wanted to do something like this. It was a 30 minutes tour around Bruges, through all the bumpy side streets. I haven't been on one before, but the tour guide was really nice. Although I did think we might run over a some of the tourist a few times during the journey as the turnings were very narrow. But don't worry everyone got out of the way in time!

We had a little pit stop, by the 'lake of love' while the horse refuelled. Apparently thousands of couple travel there especially to take their wedding photo. It was a beautiful spot, full of swans and other pretty birds.

Canal Ride 

The town of Bruges is circled by a beautiful canal. We couldn't just leave without taking a river tour now could we. It was nice to see all the site from a slightly different view.

It's also a skill trying to take pictures, whilst travelling at speed and not dropping my phone into the water.

La Trappiste

This bar was a little gem, hidden towards the back of town. Amazing decor, it was as though you'd stepped in to a medieval tunnel. There's a fanatic atmosphere, the bar staff were very friendly and willing to help you choose from the many beers they have to offer. We even made a few friends.

We decided to go for a little taster of a few different beers and chose 5 different beers to taste. I'm normally a fan of beer but I did really like the flavoured ones they had to offer. I went for the raspberry and cherry beer, for those like me who aren't too keen on beer, I'd recommend trying the flavoured beers.. they're really nice.

Well this is my trip summed up, I feel like we managed to fit quite a lot into two days. Let me know if you're heading away for a city break and where you're going. I do love visiting new places! 

G x

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Book Thief

I find nothing more relaxing than finding a good book, making a nice hot cuppa and getting comfy on the sofa to have a read. I really enjoyed reading The Book Thief. It's one of those books which is really easy to get into, although there were times when I didn't want to put it down, if I did and didn't read it for a little while when I did give it another read I still knew exactly what was going on.

Markus Zusak is a very talented writer, The Book Thief is a heart touching book which I think will become a new classic and it will still be read for years to come.

The narrator of the story is Death, and although this probably isn't a new concept, I've never read a book where death is the narrator. It was a little confusing for me at first, but once I got my head around it I really enjoyed this new aspect of story telling. I though it added a special, creative touch to the story.

The basic gist of the story is; Liesel, a young girl is practically left an orphan and is taken in by Hans and Rosa Herbermann. Liesel's life is change when she picks up a book, this is her first act of thievery. The tale follows the lives of this little family and you see Nazi Germany through the eye of a child, which I think is a great touch to the book. 

I really enjoyed learning about the Nazi and the Second World War at school and Uni, so I knew this book would be something I'd enjoy, I just didn't know how much. I would definitely recommend giving it a read if you haven't already and if you have read it let me know what you though of it in the comments.

G x