I speak French! Je m'appelle mwahmwahmwahmwah
Brussels Travel Blog› entry 24 of 48 › view all entries
On Saturday afternoon, RuiRui, her mom, Manali, and I all headed to Brussels for an overnight visit. It was quite an adventure travelling on the train with the baby, and we occupied many seats on the 3 hour ride between Amsterdam and Brussels.
Upon arrival, we upgraded our room at the Royal Windsor Hotel, since the first room would barely have fit 2 people, much less all 4 plus the baby. After a brief stop for pumping and such duties, RuiRui, Manali and I headed out for dinner while her mom stayed in with room service to watch the baby.
Dinner was amazing. We went to a restaurant called Belga Queen, where we split an oyster platter and foie gras for appetizers (both good but not super remarkable) and availed ourselves of some delicious white wines. For the main course, Manali ordered waterzooi, a Belgian dish comprised of some sort of cream sauce with cuckoo and other ingredients. Yum! I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was really subtly flavored and super tender. I ordered a lamb loin thingie which was sooooo good. I think there were maybe 10 pieces or so on the rack, and I probably could've eaten three times that amount. I felt no shame in sucking the bones after I'd already gnawed off all the meat hehee. RuiRui ordered some kind of cod dish which was our least favorite but still very good.
During this meal, I realized I need to practice taking better food pictures. The most delicious foods often appear totally unappetizing once I've captured them on camera, though I suppose I could just blame this on bad plating or presentation. Or maybe the lighting. Yeah, I'll go with that : P No but seriously, maybe I'll try taking more pictures from straight above. That generally seems to work best.
Anyway, after dinner we headed back to the hotel for RuiRui to pump some more, then forced ourselves to go out even though everyone was falling asleep. RuiRui so rarely gets a night out we figured it'd be a waste if we didn't. Plus we were in a new country, so there was really no alternative . . .
We initially aimed for an unmarked club across the street but were denied entry as it turned out to be a Men's Only club, and we were not men. As we loitered around trying to decide what to do, a friendly Brussels guy named Jean Phillipe passed by and asked if we were looking for somewhere to go. He himself was heading to a club called Coccoon about 10 minutes away, so we decided to accompany him there. Unfortunately, once we reached the place we were again denied entry, this time because it was an access card only club, and we were not access card holders. While Jean Phillipe went inside, we headed to a place called Fuse on his recommendation instead.
Fuse was a ton of fun. Moth, RR and I had not been out together in a long time, and I forgot how ridiculous this combination can be. Much hilarity ensued, and we ended up with a good set of stories, one pair of soaked jeans, and a resolution for Moth to conceive a husband for Kiri. After picking up some meatballs, chicken skewers and pastry snacks, we headed back to rest at the hotel.
The next morning (way too soon), we packed up and headed towards the Grand Place, which is the main square in Brussels. On the way, we passed through a small crafts fair, where I made my favorite purchase of the trip so far: a super duper soft, palm-sized, stuffed hedgehog. So cute! Manali bought a rabbit by the same maker, and Kiri got a hedgehog as well.
The Grand Place was really impressive, even after all the magnificent buildings and plazas I've already encountered. Apparently Victor Hugo called it the most beautiful square in the world, and I can certainly see why. It didn't hurt that a symphony was playing in the square that day, and a festival going on in the streets. Some folks maintain that Brussels is a boring place to visit (we'd all heard this from various sources), but we didn't get that impression at all.
In the end, we packed ourselves stuffed and happy back on the train after lunching on moules frites (mussels with fries) and entrecote (ribsteak) and sharing some Belgian waffles. We arrived in Amsterdam before dinnertime, then enjoyed a perfectly simple home-cooked meal by RuiRui's mom. All in all, a more than loverly weekend : )