When we got off the train at Brussels it almost felt like we walk a little back in time. The trains looked like vessels and from the 1980s and the platforms and everything surrounded were to follow suit. We hopped onto the train that headed through Bruges, watched the pastures roll pass and the windmills greet us with their twirls and then we got to Bruges some 45 minutes later.
On the ride over to Heritage Hotel we saw those 1980s-inspired buildings turn into something that looked a bit similar to Amsterdam yet with a bit of a more royal touch to it. The pointed tops were adorned with ornaments and the sides of the buildings were home to immaculate light fixtures. The corner of each building with sculptures and soon we were in the old town and it was like stepping into a fairy tale.
Cobblestone floors and all, we walked over to the Heritage Hotel, a Relais & Châteaux property. With its green canopy facade, the hotel clearly hid the fact that the inside mimicked a royal estate. With strong gilded accents, crystal chandeliers and velvet tufted sofas—it was where a princess belonged.
The staff were expecting us and knew us by name. The exchange of smile and key, we were taken to the room and were greeted by a gorgeous quaint room that boasted the renaissance. We took a few minutes to enjoy the room, the treats and then made our way downstairs for an aperitif and then dinner with Le Mystique.
dinner with Le Mystique
Each Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel comes accompanied with a gourmet restaurant to provide you an all encompassing luxury experience that makes it hard to mimic anywhere else.
Made of vodka, tarragon and ginger our welcome cocktail was sweet to the touch and refreshing to the taste. We were greeted to the gorgeous dining hall where a school of candles lit up the fireplace and flickered and flirted with the sparkle of the crystals in the chandelier.
An assortment of amuse-bouche made their way to our table. From Italian flavors of thyme and oregano to Asian textures from the salty seaweed and the crunch of sesame topped salads-it was clear to us the chef Gregory had something special up his sleeves.
and it continued…
With tickled senses, we were served the first course of sol with a touch of peanut and gorgeous crunch of the root vegetables to accompany. Surprisingly enough, my favorite were the artichokes. Perfect to accompany the flaky fish and the refreshing vegetables. Served with a chardonnay that was “grey” in flavor, but boldly picked to pair with the aromatic sauce of the fish.
The second course of the veal was something I was looking much forward to as the wine that was initially served had stronger hints of spices and I knew it would be too good to be true. With our table knives, we casually cut through the meat as if it were nothing too serious. The plate was accompanied by a brown sauce that elevated the experience and look for the course, which prepared us for the next two rounds…
to end the culinary adventure
Surprisingly enough we were served a Slovakian wine that I didn’t think would ever happen since pretentiousness is often the strategy of the game, but boldly placed for us to enjoy with our first dessert of the carrot cake. The wine just full-bodied and bold enough to bring out the sweetness of each textural element of the first dessert. I will admit that I was anticipating for the second dessert of chocolate as we were indeed in the home of chocolate being in Belgium.
The sweet wine arrived and so did the second dessert. From just a touch of bitterness against the tart fruit and the sweetness of the fig from the after dinner wine, we were in heaven with all the pairings.
The night was culinary magic and with very happy bellies we made our way for the deepest slumber we never thought we’d experience.