A Place to Stay
It was to be a treat. When we visited Poperinge we were going to stay at Hotel Recour
. Our hosts, Greet and Leigh , have stayed here before and wanted Lynne and I to experience this lovely upscale small hotel, "The Best Hotel in the World" and eat in it's restaurant, Pegasus. The owner/chef of the hotel is know for his excellence as an innkeeper and chef.
Our short stay here was very special. It certainly was a unusual experience for me to "live so high off the hog". The decor was lovely in every detail. The staff was well trained and attentive to your every need without being intrusive and the meal was an adventure in eating.
We enjoyed the "six course" menu over a liesurely couple of hours. This consisted of small portions of everything on the menu delivered in a timely fashion. Each item was a delight and surprise in both its presentation and its taste (I am starting to sound like a food critic. Enough!)
It was a wonderful and a different eating experience in fine dining.
It would have been nice to have spent a couple of days here and seen more of this small town including the Hops Museum. Another time, perhaps.(click on photo to enlarge)
Irons statue of Pegasus outside Hotel Recour
A wonderful bed with lovely white linens.
Greet, Leigh, Lynne enjoying a glass of wine (or two) and a smoke
before dinner. I was tempted to partake of a cigar out of the humidor, but refrained.
The lovely formal garden where the chef kept an herb garden, which he frequently used so that his creations included the freshest of ingredients.
Most of the time we stayed in Antwerp we stayed in a very nice bed and breakfast place,
Bed, Bad and Brood.
I was amused by the "bad" in this title. I think this is Flemish for Bed, Bathe and Board. In any case, I tried not to be "bad". It was very conveniently located. Our rooms were on the second floor (above the ground floor if you remember your high school french). There were about five flights of stairs to reach it which challenged my failing knees. By the end of our stay this climb was becoming less of a challenge. This was a great place to stay. I recommend it if you ever get to Antwerp.
On our short trip outside Antwerp, we stayed in several other nice places besides the luxurious Hotel Recour in Poperinge. In Arras France we stayed in the Hotel d 'Angleterre
overlooking the town square. It would have been nice to stay here and see some of the local site but we were there to visit Vimy Ridge and later to travel to Iepers (Ypers) to visit the Flanders Field Museum.
Next we visited Poperinge and toured The Talbot House. (which I wrote about previously)
Our last place to stay while away from Antwerp was The Alfa Inn
in Blankenberge a town on the coast. Our hosts, Greet and Leigh wanted us to see the North Sea coast. I think the real reason we spent a day there was that Greet, a sun worshiper, wanted to spend some time on the beach deepening her tan in the pefect weather we were enjoying. The rest of us took the train along the coast to the town of Knokke, just to see a little more of the countryside.
From the coast we went to Bruges and then back to Antwerp. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of the countryside of Belgium, the small towns and the farms.
Wherever we stayed we always ate in very nice restaurants. I think fine wines and fine food were a hobby for Greet and Leigh. We got to share some of their upscale dining. The only time Lynne and I ate "fast food" was the one evening we were on our own and being late we resorted to a pizza place around the corner from our B & B as the closest restaurant was closing.
We managed to sample some of the foods Belgium is famous for: beer, chocolate, Belgium waffles and frites (fries). The Belgium fries are the best I have ever had. I was told how to make them. If they turn out I will share the information. I passed on the moules (clams) after being told by our host that it was not the best season for them ( as the name of the month did not have an "r" in it. ????) only to see him one evening ordering the moules and frites. I guess this will have to wait until I have a return visit.
The lovely dining during our stay in Belgium made it all very special. We participated in the cafe society, (wine beer and good food) which seems to be a big part of life in Antwerp.