Welcome to Lisbon, the gorgeous city built on seven hills!
There are many ways I could describe Lisbon. It’s bohemian, yet it screams romanticism all over. It’s lively and spirited in nature, yet life seems to go calm and undisturbed. It’s Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque…all at once! There’s always something spectacular to marvel at in Lisbon and its magic and charm seem to have persisted throughout the years. Every corner, colourful building and cobbled street hide unpredictable surprises. I’d be lying if I said that Lisbon isn’t one of my favourite dots on the map!
As you can see, Lisboa is a very special place. Of course, I couldn’t resist encapsulating everything we love about the city of Fado in a travel guide. Grab a cuppa, sit down and get comfy, this is going to be a lovely long one…
Madeira has to be one of Portugal’s best kept secrets. I cannot begin to describe how beautiful this small volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is. Stupendous green landscapes cover the entirety of Madeira, turning it, somehow, into a floating garden. The rocky mountains, moist laurisilva forests and vineyards cover the higher peaks and valleys. Meanwhile, the subtropical palm trees and rough cliffs crown the coast. You will inevitably fall in love with the extraordinary micro-climates. The sense of relaxing atmosphere will hit you as soon as you step on the island. And you won’t help but think if you should just ignore your return flight and settle in a beach house in Funchal instead. Oh well.
But there is more. Madeira is full of incredible places to explore, an exquisite gastronomy and a singular history that still lives up to this day. So where do you start? Check our list on things you must do in Cristiano Ronaldo’s birthplace.
I must confess brunch is hands down one of my favourite meals of the day. Why? Because not only do you get breakfast, you also get lunch, of course. Two for the price of one, people! Bargain. Plus, it is quite a millennial chic thing to go for nowadays and it can be very healthy if you make it properly. In my case, I love it when I can pair it with a freshly squeezed green juice or a nice cuppa. Sometimes even chai latte (an all time favourite of mine), if I am feeling adventurous. And then I am good to go for the rest of the day.
This is exactly what we needed on our last day in Belgium. We’d only stayed 24 hours in Brussels, but I was already feeling the after-effects of eating too much chocolate in one go. We’d heard wonderful recommendations about Peck 47, a cute little brunch spot close to Bourse de Bruxelles where we were staying. We decided to give it a go and once we got there, we couldn’t resist popping in.
Cosy, centric and cheerful, there seems to be a reason this brunch place is often busy.
Woah. That was some gooood food. So good, I think I am still full from those frites in Bruges. We promised we’d do the same in Brussels and here I am, true to our words, thinking of the countless chocolate pralines I engulfed in under 24h. Who am I kidding? I am certain we finished a bag (or two) in just half an hour. But it is all for the sake of taking advantage of the time spent in Belgium and bringing it closer to you. Plus we burn the calories by endless walking while exploring each city, right? Does that work as an excuse? Please say yes.
With a bod now far from that of Jean-Claude van Damme (he’s known as ”The Muscles from Brussels” for a reason), we have put together a little guide of some of our favourite places to get immersed in the best of Belgian food in Brussels (and some other extras).
Quite surprisingly and despite its size, Bruges has an enviable gastronomy that matches the variety and quality of that in larger cities. For those with a sophisticated palate, this small city is actually the home of several Michelin star restaurants. Many others can also be found along Bib Gourmand and GaultMillau listings. Impressive!
However, and despite our little fancy moments (and of those we have many), Sam and I try to go local whenever possible. We love going back to the roots and get the most of each regional cuisine as much as we can.
In this case, Belgian cuisine seems to reflect that of neighbouring France, Netherlands and Germany. Say hello to moules, fries, waffles, chocolate and beers galore!
It has been difficult to pick among all the cute little places in Bruges, believe me! However, we think these are the places to eat traditional Belgian food in Bruges. Along with where the best pubs in Bruges are, to wash it down with a Belgian beer.
“You know, get to see Bruges. I’d like to see Bruges again before I die”. – Ralph Fiennes as Harry Waters, “In Bruges”.
Bruges is like a fairytale. Cobbled streets, Gothic architecture surrounded by willows, swans and ducks cheering from the beautiful canals…all topped with tons of medieval charm! I find myself writing this post with almost no words to describe how beautiful Bruges is. Truth is, I’m a sucker for old historic buildings and cultural traditions (guilty). I’ve lost count of the times I’ve enthusiastically made a little jump/dance every time we bumped into cute antique shops, fragrant chocolatiers and epoch-making buildings.
And Bruges is chock-full of them.
Following Colin Farrell’s steps in the classic black comedy “In Bruges” and what we’ve discovered from our own wandering, we have compiled a list of the things you must see in Bruges (it’s in Belgium). *Wink wink*.