Life in London has been getting very busy lately! My boyfriend and I have had some very big weekends of social activities, weekends away with friends, work functions, mid-week catch ups, coming home late, and me constantly being busy working on my blog, that we haven’t really had any quality time together. Since our last Euro trip was to Portugal six weeks ago we were well and truly overdue for a weekend away. So, we decided to book a last minute trip to Belgium!
I was super excited because the first thing that came to mind was mussels, (Mussels in Brussels um YES!) Belgian waffles (drool!) Belgian chocolate (OMG stop it!) and apparently Belgian beer is some of the best on the world (okay so not as excited but I’ll go with the flow). This would not only be a great travel experience and another country to tick off the list, but it also falls perfectly in line with moving away from obsessing over healthy food choices and feeling guilty for eating and drinking nice things – another epicurean adventure! Go me!
So after getting into Brussels last Friday night, we caught a train on the Saturday to Bruge, which more or less hasn’t changed since the 13th Century with its cobbled streets, canals, clock towers and horse drawn carriages. It was made even more beautiful with the red, yellow and orange autumn leaves scattered above us and along the pathways at our feet, while a million white swans glided through the water as we walked, keeping an eye on us in the hope that we might have some food.
We spent the afternoon wandering around on a city tour learning the town’s history, but we got pretty hungry towards the end so we were keen to find a little restaurant to eat some of those famous mussels and Belgian bier. It had started to rain slightly and was getting dark and extremely cold by this point, so were desperate to get inside somewhere warm. We found one restaurant called Moules Poules which our tour guide had mentioned had the best mussels in town and was out of the main tourist square.
Once we got inside we were seated next to a fireplace to warm ourselves and order some Leffe biers and our pots of mussels. I ordered the white wine and vegetables pot while my boyfriend ordered the tomato and basil, and we shared a blue cheese sauce as a dip for them which was so sensationally delicious but very rich so I had to stop half way through!
We then moved onto another little restaurant to try their Belgian waffles, which to be honest I was a little underwhelmed by. They weren’t as fluffy as other waffles I have tried so personally I think we got ripped off a little from the proper waffle experience! Afterwards we then just wandered along the canals admiring all the beautiful fairy lights in the trees and the Christmas decorations in the shop windows. We tried a few other places for some final beers before catching the train back to Brussels.
After some hectic weeks it was so nice to just finally spend quality time with my partner in such a romantic little European town, eating delicious food together, relaxing, snuggled in next to fireplaces and drinking together. We would have long discussions and debates about everything, plan our lives, observe and chuckle about the quirks of the Europeans, then wishing we were European, and talking about our dreams and aspirations. Our lives are so busy back in London and its so easy to go an entire week and not have a proper conversation or time alone together. It makes you realise that it’s so important for couples to set aside time (not necessarily fly to Belgium!) and go on a date night, have dinner together and connect again without the distraction of big social groups, gatherings, or even TV, Netflix or iPhones. It makes you remember why you love them in the first place and helps you both grow together and keep your dreams and goals aligned. Because I couldn’t imagine anything worse than one day realising you drifted too far apart, because you couldn’t find the time to invest in each other.