Graanmarkt 13

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Carrot Bitterballen

For our first dinner with Nicole and Adam, we chose the restaurant Graanmarkt 13. The food is seasonal, with a weekly menu based on what vegetables are in season. From the site: “Graanmarkt 13 offers a daily varying choice of fish or meat along with various vegetarian tapas-style dishes to share with your company.” Chef Seppe Nobels won the prize “Best Vegetable restaurant 2015 of Flanders” by Gault Millau. So this was the perfect place to take our guests!

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De Arme Duivel & De Koninck with Nicole & Adam!

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Nicole & Adam at the De Koninck Brewery!

You never know who you’ll meet – while on the Trans-Siberian Express, the 5 days from Moscow to Irkutsk, we met another couple who’ve turned into good friends. Nicole and Adam had a similar planning to ours and throughout our 3 week trip we met up in Russia, Mongolia, and China. So why not add Belgium to the list?

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The Butcher’s Son: 12 Year Anniversary

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The Butcher’s Son at De Koninck

Koen and I always celebrate two anniversaries:

  1. March 29th, when we first started dating
  2. October 18th, when we got married

It’s perfect – celebrations of our relationship twice a year!

This March 29th we celebrated 12 years together!!

Where to go? To celebrate we decided on lunching at the 1 Michelin starred The Butcher’s Son at the De Koninck Brewery for delicious steak. To quote the Michelin guide, “De Koninck brasserie is the perfect blend of smart, urban design. Red meat showcased like artwork in display cabinets reminds the visitor that meat is the star of the show here; it is traditionally prepared by the chef and served with delicious side dishes. Balanced flavours come above all else at the Butcher’s son. “

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Dinant, Belgium

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The Citadel, Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, and statue of Charles de Gaulle

I visited Dinant with my parents back in 2014, but Koen had never been. We had a bit of sunshine, so I convinced Koen to take the trek down south. Dinant is most famously known as being the home of Adolphe Sax, who invented the saxophone, and the Battle of Dinant in 1914, where Lieutenant Charles de Gaulle was wounded. The landmarks are the Citadel of Dinant and the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame. Important to Koen and me is of course the regional cuisine – the couques de Dinant, Europe’s hardest cookie, the flamiche, a type of quiche, and Leffe beer which comes from the Leffe Abbey. A lot to see and take in!

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Ostend, Belgium

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Picture Perfect Ostend

Although still cold, the sun was shining – so why not take a trip to the Belgian coast? There are so many cities in Beligum I’d still like to visit and Ostend was at the top of my list.

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Lux Restaurant – Christmas Dinner

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Opening my gift at the table

Two years in a row now I’ve celebrated Christmas dinner at Lux Restaurant in ‘t Eilandje. Delicious food and a great atmosphere!

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Otomat (My Brother’s in Antwerp!)

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Grayson and me with the hand of Antwerp

My brother was in Europe traveling through a few countries for work and was able to plan in one day to visit me in Antwerp! We visited De Koninck Brewery and finished the evening at one of my favorite pizza places – Otomat. From their site:

Otomat is the first completely Belgian pizza concept. Typically Belgian is the “beer'” character, with more than 20 Belgian beers and the pizza dough is made with Duvel beer yeast – heavenly pizza with the Duvel inside.

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Hof Van Cleve

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Dinner at Hof Van Cleve!

Koen and I decided we really wanted to try eating at the best restaurants in Belgium, so of course Hof Van Cleve was at the top of our list – Number 50 Best Restaurant in the World 2017 and it has 3 Michelin stars.

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De Koninck Brewery with the Family

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Entrance to De Koninck

My parents are in town! I really love the De Koninck Brewery, so I thought this would be a fun family outing for both my parents and my in-laws to do together!

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Leuven

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Heading to downtown Leuven

A good friend of ours just moved to Leuven, so we came to visit to see the new place and explore! This was my first time in the city, but I knew I wanted to have dinner at Würst – the “haute” dog restaurant by Jeroen Meus. We tried a few varieties, but my favorite has to be the most classic – topped with pickles and sauerkraut. After dinner we went for homemade gelato at Decadenza Gelateria. A delicious evening!

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