Belgium · November 25 - December 4 2024

Sip-Swirl-Savor in Belgium

Gastronomical Delights, Beers ‘a’ Plenty, Rich Sights, & Rewards

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Overview

Join us on a tour of gastronomical delights as we travel through Belgian Beer Country. From canal-laced, fairy-tale cities like Bruges and Ghent to the urban centers of Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium sits at the crossroads of medieval and modern Europe. The chance to sample famous exports such as chocolate and beer straight from the source only sweetens a visit. Energetic and carefree, Belgium is undeniable as a country of welcoming connoisseurs. Belgium is home to over 300 breweries and more than 1000 types of Belgian Beer. So, it’s practically a requirement to imbibe while you’re there. Honestly, you might be judged if you order a glass of vino instead of a homegrown brew at the local pub. We will try everything from pilsners and witbier to Trappist ales and naturally fermented lambics.

Highlights

Breweries, Breweries, Breweries

Breweries, Breweries, Breweries

We will visit 6 acclaimed Belgian Breweries from the monastic gems to producers of quality Lambics. Have a chance to sample the finest of brews right from the source. We will even take you to a brewery that is still wood firing the kettles as they did 400 years ago. Breweries will include : Cantillon Het Anker De Halve Mann Brewery Caracole St Bernardus Maredsous Abbey

The Gorgeous Cities and Towns of Belgium

The Gorgeous Cities and Towns of Belgium

We will be staying in Dinant, home of Leffe Belgian Abbey Beer brewed since 1240AD. In fact our hotel was once the convent attached to the famous Abbey and houses Maison Leffe which we will be sure to visit. Dinant is a charming city in the Walloon Region of Belgium, nestled on the banks of the Meuse River. It is a perfect destination for history lovers, nature enthusiasts, culture seekers and beer lovers. We will make the short drive into the heart of Wallonia wherein lies chocolate-box Durbuy, a Belgian Ardennes town that claims to be the smallest town in the world, and with its charming architecture and winding cobbled streets, one of the most beautiful too. Following our time in Wallonia, we will head to Bruges which feels like stepping into a fairytale. Often called the Venice of the North, the city is incredibly charming, with its intricate network of tree-lined canals, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved buildings. To add to the allure, much of the distinctively medieval architecture looks like gingerbread houses; thanks to the red Gothic brick. All that and the fact that it's the birthplace of Flemish Primitive painting helped designate the entire historic city center of Bruges as a Unesco World Heritage Site. We will make a stop in Ghent, the second most populated city in Belgium which has a truly lively vibe. Ghent wins out with architectural wonders, and it feels like every corner involves a new “wow” moment. We can Marvel at the Gothic St Bavo’s Cathedral, wonder at the incredible Gravansteen Castle and of course, climb the steps of the Belfry. I would recommend a visit to the Christmas Market and enjoy the foodie culture which is uniquely vegetarian. We will spend some time in Mechelen, a beautiful historic city, full of character and some of Belgium’s best-known monuments and buildings. If you are up for it, take a deep breath and climb the 514 steps of St Rumbold’s Tower for incredible views of the city. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort. Round off a stop in Mechelen by enjoying a cool glass of Gouden Carolus beer right at the Brewery. Our final destination for our tour will be Belgium's capital, Brussels. Brussels, is one of, if not our favorite, capital in Europe. Brussels has a catchy atmosphere with jazz, beer, waffles, shopping, and chocolate all vying for attention. My favorite sights in Brussels include the Grand Place, the Atomium, and the comical bronze statue of a peeing boy, Manneken Pis! He will probably be dressed for the holidays. Brussels’ magnificent Grand Place is one of the world’s most unforgettable urban ensembles. Oddly hidden, the enclosed cobblestone square is only revealed as you enter on foot from one of six narrow side alleys: Rue des Harengs is the best first approach. The focal point is the spired 15th-century city hall, but each of the antique guildhalls (mostly 1697–1705) has a charm of its own. Most are unashamed exhibitionists, with fine baroque gables, gilded statues and elaborate guild symbols.

Guided Walking Beer Tours of Bruges and Brussels with local guides

Guided Walking Beer Tours of Bruges and Brussels with local guides

Bruges is one large open-air museum. We will discover this medieval city which revolves around 25 tales of beers and brewing which we will hear whilst wandering this beautiful town and enjoying 5 of Bruges finest beers. In approximately three hours you will travel through the ages from 1000 A.D. to the actual Bruges of today. We will start the beer walk at the Bruges Beer Museum and let the wonderful history of this charming town surprise you during this tour and beer tasting. Bruges is well known for its secret hideaways and amazing sites, but its world class beers which are steeped in history and tradition, are probably the best kept secret in town. . Pleasure your palate with the rich taste of Belgian beers on a beer-tasting tour of Brussels. Accompanied by an expert guide, discover why Belgium is famed for its effervescent ales and gain insight into ancient brewing traditions; visit a variety of popular bars and cafes and sample rich meats and creamy cheese alongside different types of beer. Enjoy an intimate atmosphere on this small-group tour, where numbers are limited to ensure a better experience. We will taste a selection of beers in some of Brussels oldest bars and most famed beer halls, enjoy quality Belgian cheeses, smoked ham and delicious chocolates.

Belgium is often overshadowed by its neighbor France but, in my mind, has taken many influences from its closest friends and perfected a perfect meal

Belgium is often overshadowed by its neighbor France but, in my mind, has taken many influences from its closest friends and perfected a perfect meal

The country is famous for its mussels and frites (French-fried potatoes), waffles, and endive. Fine chocolates are a passion and exquisite chocolatiers dot the marketplace of every city. More beer is consumed than wine by the populace. Many beers are crafted by small artisanal brewers whose family recipes and techniques go back generations. Beer laces the national dish, carbonnades flamandes, a Flemish beef stew. Belgians love potatoes and are fond of game and meat. Charcuterie, a basket of bread, and beer often make a meal. Fish and seafood are important. Hearty soups play a big role, and the so-called waterzooies are the most typical. Medieval cookery still influences the cuisine with today's prevalence of condiments, mustards, vinegars, and dried fruits that lend a sweet-sour and sweet-salty flavor to dishes. Almonds and spices are used in abundance, and fresh herbs lace appetizers, salads, meats, and even desserts. Street food in Belgium means frites or French fries. Stands serve them in a paper cone accompanied by mayonnaise, bearnaise or curry sauce. Another popular fast food is the Belgian waffle. Stands in outdoor markets bake them with crunchy bits of pearl sugar in the batter. Roasted chestnuts are an aromatic item heating in outdoor stalls in the winter months, while we will be there.

Hosts

Your fun-loving guides for this tour will be Graeme Leask and Ciaran Leask, brewer extrordinare.

Graeme Leask & Ciaran Leask

Graeme Leask & Ciaran Leask

Be ready for laughter and prepare to get your beer fancies tickled by these two characters. These two make a great pair for learning about history and all the stories you can handle especially when there is beer involved. 

What's included

What's Included

All Accommodations

Breakfasts

Ground Transportation

6 Brewery Visits

2 Guided Walking Beer Tours

Christmas Market Visits

Great Cities of Culture and Beer

Memories for a Lifetime

Airfare/Flights

Lunches/Dinners

You'll Be Staying Here

La Merveilleuse

La Merveilleuse

The hotel “La Merveilleuse by Infiniti Resorts”.

The marvellous, the astonishing, all synonymous with ‘La Merveilleuse’.

Discover a unique place where past and present form a beautiful harmony, where tradition does not give way to luxury and hospitality is elevated to the heavenly.

Die Swaene Hotel

Die Swaene Hotel

Gorgeous boutique hotel in the heart of Brugge along the canal, ‘Groenerei’.

Juliana Hotel Brussels, Bruxelles

Juliana Hotel Brussels, Bruxelles

5 star luxury hotel and spa in Brussels

Sip-Swirl-Savor in Belgium

Belgium · November 25 - December 4 2024 · 9 nights

FROM$3,995.00/pp

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