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Den Amand (Bruges, Belgium)

Well, the next day in Brussels, we again decided to set off for Bruges, and this time we were successful—no drama with the rental flat, and the trains were running on time. So by mid-morning we had arrived in Bruges. Bruges is an interesting little city; it’s the capital of the Belgian province of West-Flanders (and distinctly in the Flemish part of Belgian: put away your French, folks, you won’t be needing it here). It’s also, by deliberate choice, retains a rather substantial medieval feel, between the authentic (Gothic period buildings), semi-authentic (Bruges had a rather substantial Neo-Gothic movement in the 19th century), and modern building codes (intended to keep things looking Gothic), it’s been fairly successful. The result is something halfway between authentic and touristy, but it’s a pleasant destination nonetheless. We did most of the standard Bruges tourist things, including walking along the canals, drinking beer, and climbing the Belfort (Belfry, the central tower in Bruges). After a round of that, we were ready for some lunch. As was, well, the rest of Bruges, including the tourists. But consulting one of several of our tourism guides, a mere block from the central Grote Markt we found Den Amand, a small bistro.

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