Smugly I thought I was completely in control and super organised for this trip to Bruges. The perfect property was identified and decided upon, we left it a week before booking, then discovered we’d missed out and it was already taken. That was precisely thirteen months before this holiday. Disappointment rife it was back to the drawing board, we promptly reserved our number two choice – Huize Ewoud found on HomeAway and paid the deposit post haste. Hindsight is a great thing though, I am glad we ended up where we did. The house was charming, the owner was responsive, helpful and a delight to work with and the location worked well.
We found the house very easily, just a few straight roads off the motorway to Brussels and we were there. A non descript residential street but it was quiet and peaceful, I don’t think we saw a single person during our comings and goings. Free on-street parking and most of the time a spot right outside the front door – an unexpected bonus. All that plus super convenient for getting out of Bruges, a great location.
Inside the front door was the most charming house, dating back to 1930 but completely renovated. All the mod-cons you could ever need in a style sympathetic to the origins of the property. Everything was tasteful and lovely.
An open-plan ground floor had a large living area with flatscreen television, the airy kitchen/diner had an American style fridge, loads of workspace and everything you could need. The big glass doors opened out onto a south-facing garden and the wooden bench style table came in handy for al-fresco breakfasts. Loads of glasses, cutlery and crockery too although our cooking was basic to say the least. Free, speedy WiFi and we were all set.
Two more floors up the narrowest stairs ever – not sure if this is a Belgian quirk, I don’t have the largest feet in the world but felt safer turning them sideways to go down.
Two bedrooms in the middle floor and right on top, the piece de resistance, a huge attic bedroom with dormer windows in the roof and big window overlooking the garden – light, spacious and lovely.
We paid extra for sheets and towels, plenty of all to go round but a slight downside was the bathroom. It was superb – huge with jumbo sized bath, wet-room style shower and double basins, the strange thing was you accessed it via one of the double bedrooms. Fine for us, we all get on well, but maybe not the norm and it wouldn’t be my preference. The other slight negative, a house catering for eight people and just one bathroom….
Seriously hot temperatures during our stay meant we needed the windows open at night for ventilation. Cool and lovely except for a platoon of invisible insects which turned me into a midnight feast. Each and every night I was munched on, the Guinness Book of Records award for most bites in one week had to go to me. Note to self, do not be complacent about plug-in bug things ever again. Husband never normally suffers – he is not to the insects’ taste but even he had a few nasty, red bumps in Bruges.
A couple of supermarkets nearby, several great little bakeries on the doorstep and we were able to keep well stocked.
The house was a little way out of the centre of Bruges – a good twenty minute walk. The first evening we felt a bit disappointed, preferring really to be closer to the action. However the walk was nice, flat and interesting, plenty of things to look at along the way so we got used to it and by the end of the week my waistline definitely thanked me that we had a short hike to reach the bars and chocolate shops. Even Son found nothing to grumble about with this walk – that is definitely the seal of approval.
The perfect Bruges bolt hole in the end, we loved staying in this house and felt like locals. Reluctance to leave at after a week was balanced out by relief (on my part) that the mosquito bites were at an end. I would go back here again, just armed with a suitcase of bug spray.