Antwerpen


I have just come back from a weekend in Antwerpen. It is a lovely city and for places to see and visit, you will find a lot to read at their Antwerp site on Wikipedia and its sister site Wikitravel.

One of the best restaurants is Het Pomphuis. We ate there on my birthday. A lovely leisurely meal, with absolutely no pressures. The food was delightful and the service impeccable. Attentive without being intrusive. The waiter took charge of our bottle, and was there to top up our glasses whenever they needed topping up. And he made our bottle last with about six or seven top ups throughout the meal. This was the type of restaurant one reads about in establishments a hundred or so years ago.

We had a three course meal with a bottle of wine, then a glass each of dessert wine with our sweet, and coffee afterwards. The bill came to 150 Euros but you could easily go to 300 Euros. Not cheap by any means but if you look at the “value for money” this comes up very high on my list. To get there from the centre? Taxi 15 Euros, three buses go by from the centre, or you can walk it in about 45 minutes.

Public transport is by means of bus, tram or larger tram they call their Metro. Tickets are E1.60 each if you pay the driver, if you buy at the bus stop it is E1.25 or you can purchase a ticket for ten journeys which work out at 0.80 cents a journey. Once you activate the ticket you can make as many changes as you wish during the hour from the first ticket activation. I give you an example. From our hotel, there was a lovely cafe five stops away in the old town. We could go there, have a coffee, and return to the hotel with the return journey not being charged for.

Our hotel was a four star hotel called the Plaza Hotel in Charlottalei (the name of the street, and also Metro station). The hotel people had a sense of humour. They gave me room 69 as I was 69 when we arrived. I had visions of them moving me to room 70 on my birthday, but thank goodness it didn’t happen! Room 69 turned out to be a junior suite but we weren’t charged extra which I thought was very nice, as was the box of Belgian chocolates they placed in my room on the day.

As a little footnote, we saw the package advertised in one of the package trips to Europe deals, but as we are over 60 I checked prices separately. And we saved £140 between us by booking Eurostar and the hotel ourselves. The Hotel was the same but as we were older, we got a better deal on Eurostar.

All in all, a very enjoyable weekend and one I would recommend. You don’t have to go “four star” but if you want to be pampered…

Ampers

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  1. #1 by Ampers on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - 9:00 am

    I do as well. The Walloons, (a race of a mixed Celtic and Romanic stock) seem so much more unfriendly than the Flemish (Dutch speaking Belgians) who make up marginally over half of the Belgian people at the last count.I am sure Walloons are also friendly people, but they have never, ever, been friendly to Pam and me on our travels in Belgium. Whereas I have yet to meet a Flemish person who has been anything but receptive and friendly to us on our stays.Perhaps we have just been unlucky?Ampers

  2. #2 by Shibby on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - 12:44 am

    Went there on a school trip back in high school. Beautiful place – like much of Belgium.Brings back memories…

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