Top things to do in Bruges, Belgium


Bruges located in the northwest side of Belgium, is a historic and popular UNESCO World Heritage Site more commonly known as 'The Venice of the North' and is known for it's canals, medieval buildings and cobbled streets. Although it’s a small city, there are still lots of sites and points of interests that you may want to visit especially in and around the Old Town. 

Top things to do in Bruges, Belgium

Take a boat tour down the canals

Being a city of the canals has earned Bruges the title of ‘The Venice of the North' and with many waterways crisscrossing the city, a boat tour is one of the most popular things to do in Bruges. If you're visiting Bruges, then you can also opt for a 30 minute journey departing from Huidenvettersplein. 

Belfry of Bruges

Belfry of Bruges

Belfry is a medieval bell tower in the Markt Square and visitors have to take 366 steps to reach the top to witness panoramic views of the city. The 83 meter high building was constructed in the 13th century, and has originally been a part of the town halls and has 45 impressive bells. 

FrietMuseum

FrietMuseum

Bruges has some quirky museums and one of the most visited museums in my opinion is the Frietmuseum - a museum dedicated to French fries! As you may also know that Belgium is really popular for Fries with mayonnaise, and I think every tourist who visits Bruges does enjoy this treat at least once. 

St. Salvator’s Cathedral

St. Salvator’s Cathedral

This massive central tower built in the 13th century looks fascinating at night. The high interior of the tower has a selection of antique tapestries and some painted graves can be found under the glass floor found beneath the tower. Visitors can also see some interesting treasury that display 15th century brasses and a triptych by Dirk Bouts dating back to 1559.

Historium Bruges

Historium Bruges

You can visit the Historium at the northern side of the Markt. It's a a neo-Gothic building that enables visitors to go back to 1435 through it's multimedia experience, thus claiming it to be a medieval movie instead of a museum. The audio and video tour that lasts an hour takes visitors to medieval Bruges, and besides the other historic experiences, the visitors can also look around Van Eyck’s studio.

Bruges City Hall at the Burg Square

Visit the Provinciaal Hof & Bruges City Hall at the Burg Square 

Town halls don’t really make to the top 10 things to see in a city. However, the Bruges city hall (Stadhuis van Brugge) has been constructed in Gothic style and I really loved the architectural design. 

Bruges Markt

Spend time at the Bruges Markt & Ride on a Horse-Drawn Carriage 

The Bruges Markt also known as the Market Square is surrounded with lots of colourful buildings and you’ll easily be able to spot a nice cafe nearby. Moreover, after enjoying a coffee or a snack, you can also take a ride on a horse carriage. I spotted lots of chocolate shops such as Godiva at the square. 

Choco-Story Belgium

Visit Choco-Story and enjoy lots of chocolate & waffles

Belgium is a heaven for the chocolate lovers, and Belgian chocolate is known to be the best all over the world. The long chocolate-making history of the Belgians can be proved by the number of chocolate shops that showcase the most delectable selection of treats as truffles, pralines and both white and dark chocolate. Belgium is so popular for chocolates that Bruges also has a chocolate museum called Choco-Story where visitors can not only learn about the history of chocolate but they also get to taste different samples of chocolate too. 


Go for souvenir shopping 

Bruges has lots of shops that sell quirky items and souvenirs that tourists and visitors can take back home to keep as a memory of their trip. I make sure to get souvenirs from where ever I visit, and I’ve now got loads of magnets from all the trips I’ve made.

Let me know if you've been to Bruges before, and what did you enjoy the most!

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Experience of trying exotic food & different cuisines of the world

exotic food of the world

When talking about tasting food and different cuisines, I’ll always be seen as the first person in the queue. Having been able to live and travel around the different countries in the world, I’ve been lucky enough to try lots of cuisines that originate from the various countries worldwide. Some of you might be aware that I’ve lived in the UAE, more specifically in Dubai for a few years and for me it was like a food heaven. Restaurants with food from all over the world have opened their doors not just for the residents but for tourists too, and since all the food served there is Halal, there have never (mostly) been any boundary for us to set when dining out. 

Exotic food I’ve tried...

I’ve been to the top restaurants in Dubai run by Michelin chefs and have tried some exotic foods such as a variety of sea food including lobster and crabs at a known Japanese restaurant in Atlantis and luckily, the restaurant is in London too. Exotic fruits such as passion fruit and loquats are also something that I've enjoyed eating. Commonly found in California, loquat is an orange coloured pear shaped fruit that tastes like a peach and mango. Native to South America, passion fruit is a golf ball sized fruit that has a hard skin and juicy seeds that can be scooped out with a spoon to eat. I’ve tried them at some fine dining restaurants in London and Kent. They’re not just served with desserts but in drinks too.
passion fruit

passion fruit

Favourite food destination... 

For me, UAE definitely gets the highest numbers for the country that has the best food and these aren’t just based on the taste but also keeping in mind the variety too. Dubai has got endless options from cheap eats to fine dining options so it’s a perfect destination for every budget. The restaurants there serve almost all the cuisines in the world, so one doesn’t need to visit Canada to try their most popular coffee place or to visit America for their famous burger joints. I’m also a fan of the Middle Eastern cuisine and Mandi, hummus, grilled halloumi, umm ali, shawarma and shish tawook are a few favourites, to name a few. If you would like to plan a trip to Dubai, then visit the website for more details. 

middle eastern food

Cuisine I'd like to try... 

There are a few cuisines that I’d still like to try and the Greek cuisine tops the list. I’ve had a look at the traditional Greek food, and it has a lot of similarity with the Turkish cuisine. In Greek cuisine I’d like to try Moussaka, a dish that has different variations but this layered Greek dish is served with sautéed aubergine, minced meat, spices, garlic, onion and tomato puree are topped with cheese and béchamel sauce. Also trying out fresh grilled fish from the Mediterranean, served at a seaside taverna with a ladholemono (a lemon and oil dressing) is definitely something I’d like to try on a pleasant evening in Greece.

greek grilled fish

Let me know about any exotic food you've tried or any cuisine that you would like to try!

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Weekend Stay at Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall is located in central London, thus making it a really prime location especially for the tourists or those planning a short getaway. Their suites equipped with kitchens makes longer stays for guests even more convenient. The apartment style accommodation is in a quiet location, yet near the Vauxhall bus and tube station allowing the guests an easy access to public transportation. One of those relatively free weekends, I decided to have some family time in London, and chose to stay at the Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall. 

On arrival, we had a really smooth check-in and it was a pleasant surprise to see my name as the 'guest of the day!' This was the first time I've seen such an initiative by the hotel's management and it was a proud moment for me. Inside our suite, personal touches like a welcome card on behalf of the General Manager made us feel very special and the welcome basket with treats and a balloon for BabyN’ got him really excited! The first impression of the hotel was incredible and it was the perfect start of the weekend. 

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

The 24 hour convenience store located inside the hotel, at the front desk is called The Pantry and it stocks a great selection of food and drinks. So the guests have the option of purchasing anything at any time, without having to leave the hotel. 

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

The kitchen in our suite was fully equipped with a room-fridge, toaster, dishwasher, hob with two plates and a combination oven which can also be used as a microwave to heat food. Besides that, the kitchen also has plates, cups, glasses, cooking utensils such as pots and frying pan. In addition they’ve also got cutlery, pizza cutter, tin opener, peeler, tongs, bottle opener, gloves and sieve - so basically everything that one might need for a comfortable stay. Don't fancy cooking? You can always use some suggestions from Staybridge and get food delivered straight to your suite.  

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

While in the suite, the guests can utilize entertainment options including a flat screen offered with five terrestrial channels, including digital services, movies, radio and music channels. The Smart TV provides access to internet as well allowing connection to various apps or general browsing. We had one TV in the bedroom and another in the living area which was a nice privilege as the two boys in the family haven't still found a common favorite to watch.

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Although free access to WiFi is provided to hotel guests, there’s also an access point in case your laptop needs to be connected with a cable and our suite also had a telephone which we could use for internet and external calls. We always carry our essentials when traveling, but in case someone forgets their mobile charger, then it can be borrowed from the reception. 

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Notice board in the suite, has instructions of using the electrical appliances, and the details of events in the area, Every Wednesday, the guests can meet the other hotel guests by joining the family style table for breakfast or meet for snacks and drinks in the evening. The plush armchairs and over sized sofas are great for enjoying a show on the giant flat screen TV in the lounge downstairs. The Den is a quiet area for guests to relax, watch a movie, read a book or play board games. Other amenities include a spacious fitness room, great for a workout and a laundry room providing free laundry services, which is a fantastic option for the guests opting to stay for longer periods. For those travelling by car, there are a few parking areas nearby, just ask the hotel and they’ll provide the map. We could easily find a free parking spot nearby as it was a Sunday and a bank holiday the next day. 
Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Hot breakfast buffet is served in an informal setting every morning from 6:30 am - 9:30 am on weekdays and from 7:30 am - 10:30 am on weekends and bank holidays. The breakfast included both hot and cold items such as poached eggs, a vegetarian option, mushrooms, beans and non-veg items. The breakfast bar also serves a variety of cereal, teas and coffee, fruits, yogurt, bread and cheese to name a few. 

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall has a prime location as most of the popular tourist attractions of London are quite near the hotel and are almost walkable. The Westminster Abbey being 1.3 miles, the Big Ben is 1.4 miles while the Covent Garden is 2.3 miles and the St Paul's Cathedral is 3 miles from the hotel. There are also many other tourist attractions near the Big Ben, that the visitors can see when they’re in the area. However, if you prefer you can also take public transport or car like we did but finding a nearby parking spot might be a little difficult so it’s better to either walk or take public transport. Generally, parking is available and is free on bank holiday weekends and on Sundays so that can also be a good option to plan a visit to central London. 

Since we’ve already seen most of the popular London attractions several times already, we spent a few hours at the lively Covent Garden, as it’s great for shopping or for stopping for a quick bite, and the visitors can also enjoy the performances of the street artists.  Very near to the Covent Garden is the St. Paul’s Cathedral, the place where Princess Diana of Wales got married to Prince Charles. The area also has some theaters, so if of interest you can choose any of from The Lyceum theater, Duchess Theater, Adelphi Theater or the Vaudeville Theater among some others. After spending the afternoon in Covent Garden, we headed to a Latin American themed restaurant for dinner before going back to the hotel for rest. 

Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

To help visitors make the most of London, Staybridge Suites London – Vauxhall offers guests a two-night ‘Staybridge Weekend’ package that combines the flexibility of home with classic hotel services. Prices start from £350 (£175 per person), based on two people sharing a spacious suite, and includes breakfast, use of the on-site gym and free WiFi. We had a great stay at the hotel, and would definitely recommend it. To find out more or to book the ‘Staybridge Weekend’ break, visit their website or give them a call (details shared below). 

Important Information - Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall
Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-out: 12:00 am
Parking: Street parking available at Glasshouse Walk or NCP car park
Breakfast: Buffet styled, English breakfast
In-room amenities: Hair dryer, iron, kettle, coffee machine, complimentary toiletries & tea/coffee facility provided
Other facilities: Gym, laundry services 
Location: 100 Vauxhall Walk London, SE11 5EL United Kingdom
Telephone: 44-207-5824688
Website: https://bit.ly/2v5Ftmo

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Easter Sunday Dinner at Las Iguanas - London, UK

 Las Iguanas London

We had our Easter Sunday dinner at Las Iguanas, a Latin American themed casual dining restaurant chain that serves Brazilian, Spanish & Mexican food and has 54 restaurants all over the UK. We stopped by at their Brunswick Square restaurant in London at 6:30 pm and easily found a nearby parking spot. Since it was a bank holiday evening, the streets were quite empty and parking was free too. However, I believe street parking is also free after 6:30 pm even on regular days. It is also close to the Russell Square tube station, thus making it convenient for everyone to enjoy the food. 

Las Iguanas was founded in 1991 when it opened it's first restaurant in Bristol before expanding to the other big cities in the UK - Bath, Manchester, London and Edinburgh. The menu includes Latin American classics such as Nachos, Burritos, Xinxim, Fajitas and a range of tapas with other dishes such as burgers and steaks alongside a legendary cocktail menu. 

Pina Colada Las Iguanas London

The lamb, chicken and duck at Las Iguanas restaurants are Halal, and they also have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for the diners. We tried their two course Nightlife menu (£14.95 for starter and main) served Sunday to Thursday 6:30 pm onward. We also decided to order another starter from their al-a-carte menu. Las Iguanas also currently has a buy 1 get one free offer on the cocktails, so the diners can get two same cocktails for the price of one. I really like Virgin Pina Colada (£4.95), and luckily it was in the menu so I ordered it without any second thoughts. For the starters, we ordered Pato Taquito and Albondigas. 

Chicken Wings Las Iguanas

The chicken wings (4 for £6.60) are served with a choice of sauces that include three options and we opted for the honey peri peri sauce. The freshly cooked tender chicken wings served with the sticky and syrupy sauce were delectable. 

Our other two starters were Pato Taquito and Albondigas and both were full of flavour and tasted great. Pato Taquito was a char-grilled flour tortilla with roast duck and caramelized onion and was served with a cranberry salsa. The taste of the dish itself was good as it had been seasoned really well, but the combination with the cranberry salsa further enhanced the taste, making it really tantalizing. Albondigas was Patagonian-style lamb meatballs braised in a rich tomato, mint and mild chili sauce and was served with ciabatta. The good-sized meatballs were flavoursome, and the sauce had a mild tangy taste. The flavour wasn't overdone, yet was enjoyable. 

Pato Taquito Las Iguanas

Pato Taquito Las Iguanas

Albondigas Las Iguanas London

The first main was Blazing Bird, half chicken served with a sauce and options for the sauce include honey peri-peri, spicy BBQ jerk and Vivo (flaming hot habanero). I opted for the last one as we had already ordered the chicken wings with the honey peri peri sauce. Vivo was tangy and tasted almost similar like the tamarind chutney that I make at home. Although the first bite was enjoyable, but for me just a little bit of sauce was enough with each bite as the sauce was full of flavour. The chicken is served with slaw and on the menu, there were a few options for the choice of fries or salad. I was asked to order from the potato fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings and I opted for the sweet potato fries as I really love them. However, I wasn't aware of the fact that I'll be charged extra for that. Our bill mentioned 50 pence extra for the sweet potato fries which came to us a surprise, and although our waiter was really good and it isn't even a huge amount but I think we should have been told about this when ordering. 

Blazing Bird Las Iguanas London

The second main was Enchilada, a hand-rolled tortilla with smoky chipotle sauce and was served on a bed of spring onion rice and beans. When ordering the Enchilada, we had two options to choose from that included a vegetarian and a non-veg option so we opted for the latter - spicy chicken, pepper, onion & cheese. After seeing the massive serving (Blazing Bird) in front of me, I could hardly eat a couple of spoons of the Enchilada. The beans were well-cooked, and the cheese topped on the tortilla worked perfectly! 

ENCHILADA Las Iguanas

Although we had skipped lunch that day, we were quite full after the starters and the mains at Las Iguanas because the portion sizes were really generous. Therefore, we just ordered one dessert to share, which was Pina Colada Mess (£5.50), a dessert that came with pina colada ice cream and was topped with  caramelised pineapple salsa, crispy pineapple pieces and toasted coconut chips. The combination of the ice cream with the toppings was quite good, and it wasn't too heavy, so it was the perfect choice for us!

Pina Colada Mess Las Iguanas

We had a great evening at Las Iguanas, and it was value for money. I was really impressed by the generous portion sizes, and with the hospitality of the staff. The restaurant is child friendly too, as BabyN' was handed over a colouring and activity sheet with colours as soon as we got seated and Las Iguanas also has a kid's menu that includes a main, dessert and drink for £5.90. 

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Rating: 8/10 
Pricing: Mid-Range 
Halal Options: Chicken, Lamb & Duck are Halal
Child-Friendly: Yes, but I couldn't find a baby changing facility & there are steps heading to the entrance of the restaurant
Alcohol Available: Yes
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EASTER GIVEAWAY: Chutneys and Pickles from The English Provender Co.


The English Provender Co. has a variety of chutneys and pickles and now that summer is not so far, it is the perfect time to get your hands on these bottles to spice up your BBQ parties. You can add these chutneys and pickles to your traditional beef burgers to jazz them up, or add more flavour to any of your favourite recipes. I love going on picnics with friends and families in the summer months, and these seem perfect for sandwiches and wraps. The brand has got some recipes on their website, so if you would like to try them out then you can check them out too. 

The varieties of chutneys in The English Provender Co.'s range include Caramelised Red Onion Chutney, Sweet Tomato & Chilli Chutney, Plum & Bramley Apple Chutney, Apple, Pear & Fig Chutney, Moroccan Spiced Chutney and Hot Chilli & Red Pepper Chutney. Their pickles include Classic Chunky Pickle, Hot Tomato Pickle, Beetroot Pickle and Finely Chopped Pickle. If you would like to win a selection of products from the English Provender Co.'s  chutneys and pickles range, then make sure to enter the giveaway below (Terms & Conditions apply). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclaimer:  This is a collaborative post and the competition prize is sponsored by The English Provender Co. All responsibility for the competition in terms of the prize is on them. The prize is a selection of their chutneys and pickles Giveaway is open to UK residents only & ends on April 2nd, 2018.