I spent this weekend In Bruges with Petra. We had a hitlist: Belgian chocolate, speculoos, beer, frites, moules, waffles and hot chocolate.
Chocolate was easy to take out as every other shop looked like this
and there was even a chocolate squirrel in the bread basket at breakfast.
The shops that weren't selling chocolate sold other essentials like biscuits, lace and Christmas decorations. I'm looking forward to hanging this Bosch-inspired monstrosity on someone else's tree.
Speculoos is a particular love of mine and I went to town in Juliette's Bakery, buying Sinterklaas biscuits and - a surprise favourite - wholemeal biscuits all with the signature blend of winter spices.
I even bought a recipe book and a wooden cookie stamper with a cat on it.
Petra refused the Speculoos on account of the name sounding too much like speculum, so she tackled moules instead.
We also took care of frites and beer in the same attack and particularly enjoyed this 11% house beer at De Garre.
Waffles was a botched job: Petra claims I simply dropped mine face down onto the pavement, witnesses say it was an unprovoked assault by her rucksack. Luckily the nice men at the stall gave me a fresh one and it was excellent. We also took out hot chocolate at the same time.
We left postcard-pretty Bruges for the larger but equally beautiful city of Gent where the only thing left on our hitlist was seeing some Brueghel and learning how to spell it, which we did at the Museum of Fine Arts. Ralph Fiennes would be well pleased with us.