July 2, 2018

Europe 2018 day 3: hanging out with uncles

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We got up early in the morning to take the train to Antwerp.  Today we would be visiting Hello Kitty's uncles and aunts, and we got picked up after a 30-minute train ride.  We took breakfast at Den Artist so Hello Kitty could get her caffeine fix and sat on the sidewalk overlooking the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.  Unfortunately the Museum was being renovated and seemed closed.

I wanted to hit a few more UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city, so big uncle drove us around.  Our first stop was Maison Guiette, a house designed by Le Corbusier.

July 1, 2018

Europe 2018 day 2: tourist traps in Brussels

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Woke up in the morning to views of the hydrangeas in the garden right outside our windows at La Chambre d'à Côté.  Not something I'm used to, but how could I not love it?!

At the appointed time Anne-Catherine brought us the breakfast spread, and what a spread it was!

June 30, 2018

Europe 2018 day 1: country garden dining

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One of the highlights of our trip through Belgium was undoubtedly gonna be dinner at L'Air du Temps.  The restaurant is in Éghezée, and they have a few rooms on the premises for guests who wish to stay over.  Unfortunately for me, even though I was booking nearly 4 months in advance, the website told me that there were no rooms available (curiously, I got an email from the restaurant later asking if I wanted a room)...  Which was why we decided to book a room at La Chambre d'à Côté, a bed-and-breakfast within walking distance (or so I thought) of the restaurant.

Anne-Catherine and Kervyn run a charming little place with two guest rooms, and we took the suite on the ground floor, with a beautiful view outside the bedroom window.

Anne-Catherine offered to drive us to the restaurant, but I figured we could do a little walking around the country.  What I hadn't thought of was the fact that Hello Kitty would be in (admittedly low and chunky) heels, which would make the 1.3km walk seem an eternity...

Europe 2018 day 1: Hello, Brussels!

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We’re on a long, 18-day trip as we eat our way through Belgium and France. After landing in Brussels in early morning, we took the train from the airport to Gare de Bruxelles-Midi so that we can store our luggage in lockers and explore the city for a few hours.

Our first stop today was the Atomium. As a kid growing up in the 70s, the image of what was back then a futuristic structure had always been synonymous with Brussels, so it made sense to be our first stop.

June 28, 2018

Refreshing summer

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Ta Vie 旅 has been one of my favorite restaurants in town ever since my first visit, and over the years I have watched Sato-san further refine his cuisine.  When he posted about his new dishes for the summer, I knew it was time to visit them again... so I rounded up a few people - including Chef DaRC (I have been requested to remove the world "chef" when referring to him, although the request didn't come from him...) - and took the opportunity to introduce this place to a friend.

Sato-san has always been exceeding kind to me, and once again my menu is slightly different and special...

But first we got some of the homemade butter which I love so much.  Yes, boys and girls... the restaurant makes its own butter in-house.  And it's damn good.

The butter was made to go with their homemade nukazuke (糠漬け) bread.  Yup, the bread is made in-house, too... thanks to Sato-san's training.  I could never resist just having one of these...

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