Belgium

For Christmas this year, my family & I wanted to break tradition of a Christmas and New Years in Hong Kong and indulge in our first legitimate wintery wonderland-esque holiday. Much to my delight, with my extreme fear of flying, we opted to take the Eurostar to Brussels for a 4 day mini-cation. With absolutely no preconceived idea of what Belgium had to offer (apart from chocolate and beer), it was great to have no expectations and the ability to explore.

We spent the first day in Brussels and checked into The Queen Anne Hotel, located conveniently within a 10 minute taxi between the North, South and Central stations. Everything about our stay at The Queen Anne was perfect. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly, the beds were unbelievable comfortable and location was a god send. I would highly recommend for anyone visiting Brussels who doesn’t have a large budget. The only downfall admittedly was having a satanic child staying across from us who was more than happy to scream it’s lungs for no apparent reason for about half an hour each morning.

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Our first day was spent walking around the centre, visiting the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, the Christmas Market (Grote Markt) and my most favourite of all, The Grand Place. The light show was magnificent! so so magical. It’s just one of the things where no explanation will do it justice.

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On the second day, we caught an hours train to Antwerp, where my uncle resides. We spent the day tasting a variety of Belgian beer (Cherry Liefmans for the win!) and Glühwein (in our attempt to dodge the rain), wandering the christmas market to see the Silvius Brabo statue and finishing off the day with a lovely 5 course dinner at Jeanty’s.

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On Christmas Day, we hopped one another train to Bruges. Bruges was filled with cobbled streets, chocolatiers and little beer factories. Such an enchanted little city.

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We travelled back to Brussels for Boxing Day which we spent relaxing and wandering around before our train back to London. My experience of Belgium was one I had not expected and I’ve genuinely fallen in love with it’s town and cities (There are restaurants dedicated to varieties of chips. HEAVEN on earth).

Thanks mother dearest for a great christmas holiday. K

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The Move.

It’s been just over a week since Phil & I made the move from Bayswater to Clapham and so far I am loving it! With the common literally on our doorstep, I have settled in rather quickly (nature galllllll). Bayswater was the perfect place to live in for the first part of my London adventure and being within walking distance of Notting Hill and Hyde Park was a god send but all good things must come to an end!

During this week, I have managed to experience my first bavarian beer house, produce a selection of cold pressed juicer from my new braun juicer (I am obsessed), turn 25 years young (lacking grace of course..who doesn’t cry on their birthdays?) and was treated to a spa day in Shepherds Bush by the lovely boyfriend and a celebratory dinner with Hong Kong friends at the famous Bodeans. For someone who has attempted Pescetarianism for the last few weeks (and rather enjoying it!), I just knew my birthday would end up being an exception.  Their menu includes brisket, pulled pork, hot dogs, ribs and much more. We opted for Nachos as a starter and then shared The Bodeans Platter (A selection of Spare Ribs and Baby Back Ribs, Burnt Ends, Pulled Pork and Chicken Thighs, served with Fries and Coleslaw) and my god, everything was so succulent and flavoursome. I would highly recommend this establishment to any Londoners who have yet to experience this level of meat heaven.

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To carry on the festivities, one of my oldest HK friends treated me to a painting pottery morning at SammyDuder located in Battersea. I have always been the type to enjoy anything creative and jumped at the chance to get my hands dirty post night out, sans hangover (luckily). The shop was a full of pastel colours and bunting..pretty much a little girls dream. The pottery ranged from teapots to plates to christmas ornaments. They had it all.

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I opted to paint a small plate (£10) and a Christmas ornament (£4).  A studio fee of £5 covers the processing costs and then they glaze and fire the piece, ready for you to pick up 10 days later.  It was such a fun and a surprinsingly therapeutic experience and I hope to drag friends there in the next couple of weeks to make a start of Xmas gifts.

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For more info, check out: http://www.sammyduder.com

K