Local Heart, Global Soul

November 14, 2013

Babies Heads, Bashed Noses, Street Stones And Tying Up Loose Ends…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is my final post from Bruges, Belgium. My diary entries have been detailing our adventures and now it’s time to move on and check out new places and experiences further afield.

My Singaporean friend “Velveteen” (I use her internet screen name here to protect her privacy) is a real kindred spirit when it comes to loving architectural detail, stained glass, visiting churches, museums, admiring artworks and enjoying chocolate, but I never realised how similar her tastes were until I found her photographing the different sorts of street stones and patterned floors.

I totally assumed that I was the only one who found these, and patterned man hole covers, photogenic material.

The photo of mine taken of wet cobbles, has a little story behind it. Little Mr. in the back seat of the van decided to pick something up from the floor of the van at the same moment that Kiwi Daughter decided to rearrange her long legs to change her sitting position. This resulted in an unintentional whack on Little Mr’s nose and a lot of blood flowing down his face.

Little Mr. has a history of  bleeding  impressively when he suffers a bloody nose or a cut and as a result in the past has freaked out Himself as well as crèche and school staff. As a kid I had exactly the same  problem until  it got so bad that a hot New Zealand summer’s day could produce three or four serious nosebleeds if I  so much as went to pick up a pencil from the floor, so I had to have some little blood vessels in my nose quarterized. Since with Little Mr. even a tiny cut produces a lot of blood, the main trick is to keep him calm and still, apply pressure to a dressing and if possible an icepack and after about ten minutes all will be well again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Having just arrived in Bruges at the time, Himself  had gone to look for someone to help us find our hotel (as usual for our family we were lost and Our Lady of the Tom Tom was having some sort of meltdown directing us in circles).

This is how I find myself in the back seat of the van armed with wads of tissues from the family box of tissues that are a standard accessory to all our long car journeys, cuddling my son in my lap and trying to stem the seemingly inexhaustible supply of blood issuing from his nose.

The sight of red tissues is freaking out Kiwi Daughter and Velveteen is getting a lesson in the type of first aid parents everywhere learn to handle. She was quickly delegated the job of distracting Kiwi Daughter so we start a conversation together about the amazing cobbles. “Real” and ancient cobbles in Belgium and The Netherlands (and maybe elsewhere too)  used to be made up of really round stones and earned the nick-name “babies heads”, a fact that delivered the expected “eew’s”  from the kids and  provided an opportunity to photograph some of the ones we were parked on in the rain  after I also I confessed my man-hole cover photography obsession. After that, Velveteen felt right at home photographing various brick and cobbles beneath her feet. I “get it”and think they are beautiful.. if you don’t please just bare with us, we clear suffer from “bricks on the brain”. I believe it’s an affliction bought  on by exposure to European cities after being bought up in countries that have a profound absence of bricks and cobbles.

Little Mr. self-mended after a little cuddle and some tissue pressure on his nose from Mama, Himself returned to the van to stories of the drama from Kiwi Daughter that made it sound like Little Mr. was bleeding to death and we even successfully found our hotel shortly afterwards. The rest of these photographs are various bits and bobs that caught our eye and camera lenses around Bruges…  a reminder that there is always more to see in a new place than can be fitted into the time you have, no matter how long the time you planned.  Right now though it’s time to bid adieu to Belgium… and head for the border…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

November 13, 2013

The Crash Landing Around The Corner…

Filed under: ART,BELGIUM,Bruges,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Another page of my last summer’s travel diary. My Singaporean friend Velveteen and I are walking around Bruges, Belgium, enjoying the sights, taking more photographs than is sensible and loving it.  We’ve been around the back side of the Church of Our Lady but on the front side we find something that makes us laugh… a humorous  art installation that makes you do a double take. It’s a sculpture make to look like a small aeroplane has crashed, and for a nanosecond we both went “whoooooa!” before realising that of course it wasn’t real. Since it’s “crashed” in a churchyard,  I make a silly joke about at least the pilot was aiming for his final resting place… and we naturally take the opportunity to take more photographs…

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) use with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) use with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) use with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) use with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 12, 2013

Determination Means Not Ever Giving Up, No Matter What (Or How Long) It Takes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This isn’t my first visit to Bruges.  I was last here with my parents in 1988 because we were visiting relatives in The Netherlands and made a week long side trip that incorporated London and an overnight stop in Bruges on the way back.

Back then it was literally a whistle-stop visit, we arrived in the afternoon, I was able to visit Michelangelo’s  statue of  Madonna in the Church of Our Lady. All I remember of the church was a quick glimpse of the statue because we arrived minutes before the churched closed for the day and joined at least a hundred other tourists who were also trying to get a last minute peek.

My one precious (film was very expensive) photograph was a beautifully blurred example because I got elbowed by someone as I clicked the shutter closed, but I still kept the photo for a long time afterwards because it was a reminder and proof  that I had really seen a real Michaelangelo.  You can imagine my pride as I pulled the photo out with the apology, “I know the photo’s not great but that white blurred blob really IS a real Michelangelo statue!”.  I remembered absolutely nothing else about the interior of the church, but it was something behind the church that has been the driving force behind my wish to return here ever since that d.ay

My father had a back problem and had been tired out by an incident earlier :  His mother (my Dutch Oma) had requested a special sort of  chocolate from Bruges. We had very limited time on that trip and the shops were starting to shut, but my father hadn’t managed to track down these elusive favourites and he openly admitted that he was too scared to go back to her without them.

Therefore i witnessed my father literally running from one chocolate shop to another minutes before closing time trying to find what he wanted. Finally there was a lady who was actually trying to close the shop door to lock up for the night, but had answered “yes we have those, but we are closed so please come back tomorrow” to the question my father has asked.

He was however so intent on not leaving empty handed that he jammed his foot in the door and then the rest of him, and refused to budge until the lady sold him what he wanted.  Witnessing your father physically wrestling with the door that this Belgium lady was just as intent on closing was one of those life’s images burned into my brain. My mother and I thought it was all very comical but for him it was no laughing matter. Eventually the lady gave up trying to evict him and with a lot of muttering and grumbling because the till had already been closed she sold him the chocolates he wanted.

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

Afterwards my Mother dared to ask if we could try one… the glare we both received told us that probably the second worst thing to facing Oma without her favourite chocolates would be facing her with a depleted supply, so it was more than our lives were worth to dare touch that little gift wrapped cardboard box.

After this incident we had managed our few minutes inside the church and now that all the drama and rush was over,  all my father wanted to do was to collapse back at the hotel.  It was a beautiful summer’s night and the hotel was close by so I elected to walk around the church first and set out by myself.  I remember the stillness of the evening as I stumbled upon a little bridge over the canal,  situated just behind the church: there were beautiful buildings on the canal around it and I was completely and utterly alone.

The evening light was magical and the stillness,  solitude and peace  of the moment in this beautiful spot left a lasting impression.  I spent about twenty minutes there before other people arrived and the spell was broken.

Ever since that day I knew I wanted to return one day to that one little spot in Bruges, and now decades later I have finally done it. Amazingly the details were exactly as I remembered,  even the weather was similar, but unfortunately this time there was no total solitude and silence.  A constant stream of tourists kept coming to the bridge, photographs would be taken at each end and in the middle… getting photos without “extra’s” posing in them became a the challenge that I was determined to win. It took a while but Velveteen and I were determined, patient and at least partially successful.

This post therefore has become one of persistence on many levels, and whilst I have no idea what the canal or this area are officially called, the little path across the bridge becomes a cherished trip down memory lane.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen)used with permission

November 11, 2013

Love It Or Hate It… At Least Two Of Us Are Happy Swimming In The Artistry…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this post  detailing our last summer’s European travel adventures we are walking around the stupidly touristic but amazingly beautiful city of Bruges in Belgium. (sigh, yes I realise we were adding to the tourist hordes by being tourists here too).

There is an archway on the opposite side of the canal street we have just been walking down, and we have watched a steady stream of horses and carriages pass though it.

We watch for a while and  also see tourists follow them, so now we are curious and with a giggling cry of “follow that horse!” we make our way through the archway too.

Once through we find ourselves in a small park-like area, with neat short hedges and sculptures and artworks dotted around it.

Immediately to our right as we enter the area we see a mural/triptych set into the wall of the building we are walking past, depicting very different takes on that I think is a “Madonna with Child” theme.  At the end of of the park area stands a beautiful gazebo with a statue of two two tussling cherubs in the centre of it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The main sculptures are of the  “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”  and a name board close by tells me that the bronzes are by artist Rik Poot. Yes, there are six photographs of them, but they were really interesting so I took a few extra photos from different angles.

There are plenty of things to delight art lovers around Bruges, statues, carved architectural detail, wrought iron work, all add to the general feel that you are in an amazingly beautiful city and of course that’s exactly the reason the place is overrun by tourists.

I have to admit that the hordes of tourists are the reason that Bruges is Himself’s least favourite city in all of Europe,  but I adore it in spite of the kitschy  carriage rides and obvious streams of bus tour groups.

I’m delighting in the fact that Velveteen’s presence has arm twisted Himself into visiting  (he has strongly resisted suggestions for us to visit on previous occasions), but I knew that Velveteen would drool over Bruges like I do, and Himself  has conceded that maybe now that he’s here that maybe it’s not such a bad place after all.  I know that the hotel having a swimming pool and  him being able to “escape” some of the things like the Church of Our Lady that has no interest for him to take the kids swimming has been a deciding factor of this change of heart… along with copious quantities of chocolate of course (I sincerely hope our dentist isn’t reading this because it’s true that we seriously overindulged).

Velveteen and I enjoy nothing more than traipsing around museums, arty places and churches together so he’s also delighted that I finally have someone to share my love of these places with. Bruges is filled with delights of the arts…  Here are just a few of the images that we captured that we found pleasing to the eye…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 10, 2013

Two Buildings, Colourful For Different Reasons…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

In continuation of yesterday’s post, I find a set of neighbouring buildings that grab my attention and beg for a post of their own. Close to a bridge, there is a boat dock for tourist canal tours and it’s been decorated with masses of colourful hanging baskets full of flowers. Alongside the boat dock building stands an antique, bric-a-brac and second hand shop, with wooden dolls and merchandise in the windows. Both are colourful for different reasons, interesting and amusing… both deserve a longer and closer look…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

November 9, 2013

A Canal Walk And Detailing The Views…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

My Singaporean friend Velveteen and I have been doing plenty of walking around Brugge (Bruges) in recent days… one of our walks  took us along some of the inner city canals, where we checked out the beautiful buildings and watched a procession of horses and carriages go by. A photographic post detailing the views…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 8, 2013

Apparently It’s A Sad Day When You Realise That You Weren’t Born A Ferrari…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges,Funny,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Another post from my last summer’s diary  about our European travels… During our wanderings around Bruges we see some funny things…  Two cars catch our attention (well one catches mine and the other one was Himself’s distraction). Actually whilst I was taking photographs of the  Ferrari, much to my amusement I noticed that it turned the head of every male who passed by…   Velveteen and I on the other hand noticed the number plate of another car… maybe it was sad that it wasn’t a Ferrari?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

November 7, 2013

The Maria van Bourgondie Both Delivers And Disappoints…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page of my diary as I document our last summer’s travels with our visiting Singaporean friend “Velveteen”. We are currently having dinner in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant in Bruges, Belgium, and it’s been an interesting meal so far to say the least.

First there was the Waffle saga where they would only serve waffles between two in the afternoon and six in the evening  and at no other time except this.

We finally succeeded in getting our waffle at a few minutes to six, by resorting to having dessert before our main course, but at least we then had the entertainment of  seeing one of the biggest steaks I have ever seen in my life being prepared for Velveteen on the grill next to our table.

Now the rest of our food arrives and we spend a leisurely evening slowly making our way though our chosen dishes.   The kids get sly and ask for dessert after dinner and we say they may share an ice cream between them, and only after it’s been delivered do the sly pair remind us that this is their second  dessert of the evening:  “Had we forgotten that we had waffles at the start of the meal?”

All I can say is that we were tired and a little on automatic pilot by this stage of the evening, my foot was painfully letting me know that all this walking was probably more than I could manage and that a quiet few days would be in order.  We laughed at the kids struggling though the ice cream, it turned out that their eyes were rather larger then their bellies so Himself ended up helping them finish it.

My meatballs weren’t bad… nothing special, but at least Velveteen’s steak was decent and we finally succeeded in getting our Belgium waffle.  We also educated Velveteen and the kids that “French fries”are actually not French … they originated in Belgium. Service was without a smile (but this is Flanders so no different to the indifferent service we usually get in the The Netherlands) and we were rather shocked at the brusque and inflexible manner the waffle saga played out. After a slow walk back to the hotel we asked for some ice at the hotel reception for my now rapidly swelling foot and they were at least far  friendlier, delivering a whopping party size bag  of ice which, along with painkillers numbed the pain into submission.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 6, 2013

Captivated By the Decoration…

In this travel post of our last summer’s adventures, we are dining in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant in  Bruges, Belgium. The restaurant is laden with decorative ornaments and quirky details so even a trip upstairs to the Ladies reveals  decoration galore, which luckily had a calming effect  of restoring my sense of peace and tranquillity after a steep staircase  that was a nightmare to negotiate on crutches. The detail was hard to catch due to the low light available, but Velveteen and I definitely tried…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 5, 2013

When Ordering a Steak Gets You Supplied With A Small Beast!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post,  Family Kiwidutch and Singaporean friend “Velveteen”  continue with their topsy-turvy meal in the Maria van Bourgondie Restaurant  in Bruges, Belgium.

We started dinner with waffle desserts and now it’s time to order our main course.

Velveteen orders a steak from the grill,  which happens by chance to be situated right next to our table so we get to watch and photograph it being cooked.

Both Himself and I are well used to Dutch portions of meat, the quantity of which can be summed up in a word: Tiny.

Therefore we were both wide eyed when Velveteen’s steak was added to the grill, the size of this steak was humongous in size  and most unexpected !

It was a great slab of meat, more like an entire small beast than just a steak, and as big a single piece of meat as I have ever seen served in a restaurant in all my time in Europe.

The steak is flame grilled on the cast iron stove, with is beautifully decorated with Delft’s blue and white tiles,  and when it’s almost done, it is carved off the bone (one that Bruge’s famous  doggy Fidel would have envied) and then returned to the grill for the last minute or so before being carved into thick slices which were practically mini-steaks themselves. The plate it was served on was so large, it was really hard to show just how much meat was sitting there…   Himself and I joked that it was just as well Velveteen had had her long awaited waffle first, because there might not have been space left after eating this!

I’m not personally a fan of meat cooked as rare as this, but Himself had a piece and both he and Velveteen declared it to be delicious. I have to admit that steak isn’t something that he and I indulge in at home, since in the Netherlands you get so little meat for such a ridiculous price and the few times Himself has tried, the chefs have generally massacred it. I think it comes down to the logical deduction that you should always try and eat something that is a speciality of the region you are in, and which the chefs are experienced in cooking, otherwise the results tend to be less than wonderful. Here at least the steak was edible and enjoyed, and seeing the process of it being cooked added it’s own flavour to the meal.

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

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