Orval Abbey is a Must Stop on a Belgium Road Trip

When visiting a Trappist brewery in Belgium, most of our experience was simply seeing them from a distance- picking up beer just inside the gates of Westvleteren or a tourist-oriented museum with bar and restaurant at Chamay. Getting on the grounds of a Trappist producer is, well, quite impossible most of the time.

But there was one Trappist brewery whose historic grounds were (mostly) open to explore, and that was Orval in southern Belgium. Although we went out of our way to check this one out, we'd do it again in a heartbeat as it was one of the biggest surprises of our trip!

Read more

Zilte Review – A High-End Lunch Experience in Antwerp

Zilte is a three-Michelin-star fine dining restaurant in Antwerp with stunning views and an emphasis on seafood dishes. Prix fixe menus are on offer here, with different numbers of courses available depending on whether you're dining at lunch or dinner, and the day of the week.

We went for lunch instead of dinner at Zilte, which is a strategy we've used several times to experience Michelin-starred restaurants at a slightly more affordable price point. As we dined in winter, another pro of lunch instead of dinner was having enough daylight to enjoy the beautiful views from the top of the MAS building- including an absolutely stunning sunset at the end!

Read more

Westvleteren 12 vs Rochefort 10 vs St. Bernardus 12 – Blind Tasting

After going on a pilgrimage to buy Westvleteren beer in Belgium, we knew one of the first things we had to do when we got home was to try it next to other popular Belgian quadrupels (quads) to see how it stacks up.

While we enjoyed many famous quads when in the country, we never were able to sample some of the most famous in a proper side-by-side. So we gathered a couple friends, found a few more famous Belgian quads, and devised a blind taste test to see which one liked the most.

Our lineup put Westvelteren 12 vs Rochefort 10 vs St. Bernardus 12, three of the most famous quads in all of Belgium, against each other. For a bit of a twist, we also threw in a quad from a local producer in Pittsburgh, Strange Roots, for good measure.

So, how did the blind taste test turn out? We have some thoughts!

Read more

Tips and Advice for Driving in Belgium and Luxembourg

When we decided to go to Belgium and Luxembourg on vacation, we knew we would rent a car. Part of this was because we wanted to visit many Belgian breweries and buy beer at Westvleteren. The other part was that reaching Luxembourg City without a car looked like a headache due to transfers.

Ultimately, we really loved having a car to drive around these two countries, and after our experience driving around Brussels, Ghent, rural Belgium, rural Luxembourg, and Luxembourg city, we have some tips to share!

Don't worry, driving in Belgium and Luxembourg is nothing like our experience driving in Tuscany!

  • Note: Historically we would include photos of our vehicle and notable driving concerns in articles like these. However, as it was incredibly easy to drive in these countries we found ourselves without any good photos to share for illustration purposes. Instead, we are featuring some fun photos of what we saw in Belgium and Luxembourg in this one. 

Read more