My kingdom for a croissant! Don't get stuck traipsing around Bruges trying to find somewhere that's open in the off-season (seriously, our attempt to secure a pint on a Friday afternoon in January nearly took a turn into Lord of the Flies territory). To ensure your brunch plans don't go down a similar route, here are four places which offer some delicious off-season brunching:
"The bagel is an unsweetened donut with rigor mortis." Potentially the best hangover cure in Bruges is the bagel haven known as Sanseveria. Serving up heavenly bagels and quiches in their adorably tiny space, this place is solid gold. The prices are fair, the atmosphere is wonderfully quaint, and the bagel sandwiches would make even the pickiest New Yorker come back for seconds.
The Gulliver Tree
If you've just spent the weekend attempting to drink all the beer in Belgium (a worthy endeavor) and are in serious need of a detox, The Gulliver Tree is a must. This family-run tearoom has a buzzy yet cozy feel, with a menu offering several choices for the more health-conscious among us. Their detox bowl (a blend of bananas, avocados and other such things to help counteract all the abuse you've been hurling at your liver) was a welcome treat after my epic weekend of beer and chocolate consumption. There are also alternative options for those looking for something a bit more substantial, as well as a decent tea and coffee selection.
The place to go if you're feeling decadent, Prestige offers an extensive brunch menu in a luxurious setting. The decor is like something out of a Jane Austen novel, with cutesy flower wallpaper and plush velvet benches (and a pasty counter that will give you diabetes just by looking at it). It's the type of place where it almost seems blasphemous not to order a mimosa. Of course all this comes at a price, but chances are you've saved a few pennies by coming to Bruges in the off-season, so why not treat yourself.
Because, when in Belgium, it's always waffle o'clock. For the biggest and best Belgian waffles in Bruges, head to Lizzie's Wafels. Their impressively ginormous yet light and fluffy waffles come with a variety of toppings to choose from, delivered to your table by Lizzie herself. Make sure to wash it all down with one of their delicious make-it-yourself hot chocolates. The second the glasses were delivered to our table, I immediately turned into the equivalent of a five-year-old child who has just been given a free bag of Halloween candy. Though we were instructed to drop the chocolate bomb into the steamed milk and wait for it to dissolve before stirring, I think I lasted about 30 seconds before giving in to its sweet creamy goodness. The verdict? My sweet tooth has never been so satisfied.