Bread and Butter - Bruges - West-Flanders

cijferA visit to Brugge, stay at the home of an interior designer/stylist.

We were warmly greeted at Bread&Butter by Frederika and John. That she is an interior designer/stylist is easy to see. Muted colours are combined with flair throughout the house and their contemporary take on Flemish style is a delight to behold, far exceeding our expectations from their website.

We had the whole top floor to ourselves consisting of a spacious bedroom with paned double doors leading to the bathroom under the sloping roof. The mezzanine lounge area under the eaves is reached by rather precarious banister-less staircase, a perfect space to curl up with a book or watch tv.

Our room was a trendy mix of retro 70s design, rich but restful colours and natural materials. We instantly felt at home. The kingsize antique brass bed (or two twins), with its soporific mattress, is made up with slate grey linens. Flexible lighting, a collection of books - both novels and info on the city - and the original wooden floor create a relaxing atmosphere. Quirky vintage details are interwoven with contemporary items, effortlessly blending style and comfort.

Bread&Butter's bathroom has a rustic feel with all the walls covered in the same raw planks found in the bedroom. These come from a local marble works and have a unique whitewashed effect, produced by the marble powder during the stone cutting process. Beneath the huge paper globe lantern, the deep bath is strikingly panelled in orange. It has views of the ever changing clouds (or the stars) through two large skylights. The only slight inconvenience is that the wc, whilst private to the room, is a flight and a half down.

The next morning we enjoyed a delicious and beautifully presented breakfast in the living room downstairs, in summer you can eat in the small garden. Frederika and John love good food and the test was in the tasting. On the second morning, we were looking forward to the fresh croissants, wonderful breads, a variety of interesting teas, homemade jams and cake, even a little bit of Belgian chocolate! We enjoyed our conversations with Frederika, a discrete yet invitingly open host who was always happy to help.

A 15-20 minute stroll along the picturesque canals to the Markt, Bread&Butter is located in a quiet street in the north of the city. Parking in the area is free for a maximum of four hours, although Frederika helpfully stretched this limit by adjusting the timer for us. The centre is best visited on foot - most streets are one-way and parking is hard to find.

Bruges is an incredibly well-preserved mediaeval city that reached its heyday in the 14th century and then avoided modernisation by falling from the giddy heights of success for the next few centuries. What could have become a Disney-esque toy town, is in fact a delight to visit, easy to get around on foot, gorgeous to look at and has lots of things to do and see. A boat ride on the canals is recommended and more so if you manage to catch Pierre Peche, an enthusiastic polyglot who operates from the boat dock opposite the entrance to the Gruuthuse. Bruges is a perfect urban getaway, and romantic to boot.

Whilst it seemed that nearly every restaurant had standard Flemish items on the menu (such as shrimp croquettes and scampi), Mojo is one that the locals flock to for the atmosphere and good food. Mojo, Schaarstraat 4, +32 (0)50 68 05 09. We also found a couple of gems bucking the trend. The Olive Tree, a Greek restaurant just off the Markt, offers traditional cuisine in a modern setting, with genuinely friendly service. The Olive Tree, Wollestraat 3, +32 (0)50 33 00 81. Lotus, Frederika's recommendation, is open only for lunch. It serves generous portions of mostly vegetarian food, bursting with the flavours of the varied ingredients. Lotus, Wapenmakersstraat 5, +32 (0)50 33 10 78.

The warm welcome, spacious and stylish accommodation, free parking, wonderful breakfast and excellent value for money.

The wc separated from the room.

Overall, Bread&Butter was a wonderful place to stay and one we hope to go back to. We really felt we made friends in Bruges.

  • Bread and Butter
  • Rooms start at Euro 100,-
  • Julius & Maurits Sabbestraat 39
  • 8000 Bruges
  • (0)50 33.47.26
decor Score_5
location Score_4
facilities Score_3
breakfast Score_4
service Score_5
price/quality Score_5

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