But we made it to Antwerp, albeit a bit later than we hoped, and got started on our relaxing weekend trip. Our take away message from the weekend was that Belgium is completely underrated as a vacation spot (we'd also visited Brussels back in September). Like the country itself, the food is somewhere between Dutch and French, with elements of the satisfying, hearty simplicity of the former mixed with what we'll politely call the "somewhat more expansive" flavor profiles of the latter. Oh, and they love to cook things in beer.
Booking through Airbnb, we stayed at a great apartment (definitely worth looking through the pictures in the link) with an awesome host, and we were well set up to wander around Antwerp checking out cool vintage shops and taking advantage of Europe's winter sales.
|Not sure what we'd do with them, but we definitely wanted a collection of these |
dudes that were hanging out in an art shop window.
|Rockin' the new winter style, and enjoying the hell out of some espressos at |
Caffenation [winners of the 2011 World Aeropress Championship
- this is the kind of stuff I prioritize when I travel
(double bracket time: 2012 WAC will be in our future home of Portland!)].
|The huge book on the stand is the guest log, but the other two are beer menus!?|
|Stacks upon stacks of the mythical Trappist-brewed Westvleteren.|
True fact: there's no lighting in this picture; God smiles contentedly on His favorites.
|Looking through the menu - second to last column is the year, last one is the price.|
|Our first drink of the evening. It waited 13 years in that bottle for us.|
How do we compete with this type of visceral description? Well, my notes say that it "still packs the sour punch you expect, but less aggressive on the roof of the mouth, not as much of the 'post-vomit' feeling you often get from a gueuze without the protection afforded by food."
So, yeah, maybe it's not a style for everybody. But we loved it! It makes me a little sad that we haven't been able to resist drinking all of the Cantillons we brought back, as I'm sured they would've aged at least as well, and given us something with which to celebrate when we turn 40!
|Our second beer. So thoroughly predates the internet you can't even read about it online.|
|Our nattily attired final beer of the evening.|
If you like beer, I give Kulminator my fullest possible recommendation! It's a really cozy space, you get to try all sorts of cool beers, and for all that it's actually not very expensive - which is great, since it turns out to be cash only. I've pasted below a couple more pictures from our experience, including some at the end just to prove that we occasionally check out things other than coffee and beer!
|When Nisha imagines that Portland will inspire us to take up hiking, I'm pretty sure she pictures me like this guy|
- traipsing around with a basket full of beer on my back.
|What qualifies 1986 as the "year of the beer"?|
I have no idea, but I desperately want this as a T-shirt.
|One of the owners. |
"How am I supposed to remember where we parked the Delorean?"
|Open town square + dramatically lit buildings is a winning combination.|
|If they were going for authenticity, shouldn't they be open on Sunday afternoon?|