We tried to get as many speciality dishes in as possible. To be fair, we did well: Waffles, mussels and chips, and Carbonade Flamande (Flemish Beef Stew) were all consumed with relish. It was only the 'waterzooi', a fish or chicken stew made with cream, that we missed out on.
Knowing that Bruges is a touristy town, I did a fair bit of research. There's nothing worse than being really excited about a meal only to discover it's a complete tourist trap, so armed with some excellent advice I booked tables at Den Dyver and De Visscherie.
Den Dyver is advertised as being a beer specialist. Lonely Planet called them 'afficionados' and I have to say that I agree. We went for the 3 course menu with matching beers. After an aperitif of beer, we got an amuse (which unfortunately I didn't photograph - too hungry).
To start, I had calf sweetbread in an orange crisp with jerusalem mash and bitter chocolate sauce. This was the first time I've had sweetbreads and it was great. It was a pillowy texture inside, balanced well with the orange crumb.
Monkfish was my main, with a white asparagus terrine, pea puree and matchstick potatoes. The cheese course was definitely strange; it was served with a sweet, dense ginger bread with a mustard icing. It was a bit mind-boggling, but the flavours worked well. Each time we had a different beer to match the food. Mainly Trappist beers with an average of 9%, we were pretty squiffy by the end of it.
We were wondering how Saturday's meal was going to turn out, given that we were off to such a flying start. De Visscherie stepped up to the plate.
The menu we went for was the tasting menu, with special focus being asparagus. I've never had white asparagus before and I prefer it to green. Shame I've never seen it on sale. The service was faultless, the presentation was amazing and the food tasted just as good as it looks
I was well-fed; mussels, monkfish, sweetbreads, caviar and the rest of it.
Unsurprisingly, I returned to London broke, but 4lb heavier.