For those of you who don’t know, I have received a two year visa for the UK, and I will soon be spending a lot of time exploring England, and perhaps eventually working in a pub. First though, I have returned to Belgium to visit some of my favourite people and cafés, not necessarily in that order. Going forward, you can expect my blog to become in part a travel blog, complemented by the usual drink reviews.
I flew from Vancouver on the afternoon of 28 September, arriving in London at 8:30am local time on the 29th. After picking up my UK Residence Permit and visiting the lovely Jones sisters in Clapham, I took an overnight bus to Brussels. The highlight of the journey was certainly the opportunity to watch dozens of English lads throw back pint after pint on the ferry between Dover and Calais. The worst part was definitely the lack of sleep in over 40 hours.
That being said, the first thing I did upon arrival in Brussels at 7:30am was to seek out a can of Jupiler and drink deeply. I followed it up with a Lindemans Kriek and some pastries for breakfast, then quickly fell asleep by 10am in the guest bedroom of our Brussels based family friends.
After said power nap, a leisurely stroll through the Magritte Museum, and a couple of restorative meals, a proper nighttime sleep was in order. Sunday followed in similar fashion, with delicious meals interspersed by leisurely strolls and the occasional drink.
Monday was my first big day out in Brussels, and boy did I ever make the most of it! After a less than direct route to the Grand Place (that involved a stop for some fries with mayonnaise) I started out with a Vieux Temps at the Au Bon Vieux Temps.
This was followed by a visit to A La Bécasse where I had draught Lambic Doux served in a pottery jug. I also made use of my pocket beer tasting journal for the first time in Belgium.
Appearance: amber honey, very little head, 5%
Nose: tangy, lemons
Palate: tangy wheat
Finish: dry, lingering flavour, sweet lemons
Overall: pretty unique, a real treat!
Rating: 4/5 Excellent
Then I went to A La Mort Subite for a Lambic Blanche, which also happens to be the site of my previous blog post, Belgium part 1: Mort Subite Gueuze.
Appearance: yellow straw, lingering soft foam
Nose: wheat, mango
Palate: some carbonation, fruit salad
Finish: wheat, pineapple
Overall: not as interesting as other lambics…
Rating: 3/5 Good
After another stop for some fries, this time with cocktail sauce, I arrived at L’Imaige Nostre-Dame. There I enjoyed a Kwak, a Toubadour Magma, and an Oude Geuze Boon. I also made some new friends, including the members of the Norwegian punk band Forgetaboutit. That evening I ate mussels and fries at La Rose Blanche with our family friends. What a day!