It’s official, I’ve found my favourite café in Ghent. Huset, which is Swedish for “the house”, is anything but just that, it’s more of a home. You enter a house that you had no idea was a place to eat and immediately, it’s like your in someone’s living room. You are welcomed by the friendly host that serves you at your table right next to the big piano decorated with flowers. The food has the same hominess to it: baked goodies, scones (delicious!), hot soup,… all things that warm the heart! I love the imperfectness of the place more than anything: from the jungle of plants to the mismatched cutlery and plates. For any fika lovers our there, this place is a MUST. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking…
Where? Hoogstraat 49, 9000 Gent
When? Every Monday – Friday from 11am till 6pm plus on evenings when they have an event going on (imagine the #hygge then!)
It’s time for some another #HOTSPOT for the coffee and cake lovers. Take Five Espresso bar is, as the name suggests, an espresso bar with different types of coffee and delicious homemade baked goodies. It’s a great place to peoplewatch, because the street the café is on is often busy with people going past. Good thing the bar has a huge window you can silently sip your coffee. They also have free WiFi, which makes it a good place to do group work, have meetings or book a trip with friends in a cozy yet simple environment. Check out the tiles too, they are very pretty :-)
Where? Take Five Espresso bar is located really close to the city centre, which makes it an ideal place to take a break from shopping or sightseeing. It’s located at Volderstraat 10, 9000 Gent.
When? You can grab a coffee to go or sit down Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 6pm or on Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.
When I stumbled across Helen B’s instagram account, it was love at first sight. The joy that her designs spark in such simplicity, is what I love most. Her drawings always put a smile on my face. And, as I’m always interested in supporting local or national artists and creators, I took a little trip to her shop in Ghent (a good excuse to go back again!). Let me tell you, it was hard to decide what to get. Funny story; a few weeks later, one of my friends bought me a couple of extra coffee mugs for my birthday. Turned out we had discovered this cute shop separately, but shared a mutual love for the designer.
Where? You can buy stuff from the webshop on the website but I’m more of an old school shopper, so you can go to the shop at Bij Sint-Jacobs 7, 9000 Ghent. On the website, there’s a list with all the other shops that sell Helen B.
When? Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10am to 6pm and every first Sunday of the month from 11am to 5pm.
Goesting is a small, barely noticeable establishment in Ghent where you can have lunch, soup, coffee, tea and, of course, lots of pie. What I like most about Goesting is its name, because it is a typical Flemish word that reflects exactly the feeling you get when you are craving something, whether it be food or something else. You can totally have “goesting” for a piece of pie, for example. The second thing I like about Goesting is its simplicity: the interior, the menu, the way they serve the food, everything is kept simple. But hey, less is more sometimes.
Because Goesting is located right next to the water, it’s a perfect spot for people watching. Especially considering it is located right by the Dille & Kamille (always a nice treat to pop in there) as well as the busy Veldstraat, which means that there’s always plenty of cyclists and people walking by. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find yourself basking in sunlight behind the glass window, which feels amazing, especially while sipping a cup of great coffee.
Where? Goesting is located on the Predikherenlei 25 in Ghent.
When? Every day from 10am to 6pm, except for Tuesdays.
Alice is a Rococco-like old manor house located only a short walk from the main shopping street, the Veldstraat. With its chandeliers, etsy chairs and baroque paintings, you’d think you are visiting Louis XIV. Nothing is less true of course, because the relaxed atmosphere in combination with the oh so fancy decor is what makes this place so special. No need to tiptoe around, just a very cool place to have a coffee or dinner with friends. Did I mention I also had the best cake (of my life!) there? It was a mascarpone and brownie piece of pie and I still dream about it sometimes. I’ve also read that Alice does afternoon tea and that is something I feel needs to be tried before I eventually move away from Ghent, too. I’ll definitely report back on that later…
(And, if you’re a bit of a weirdo, like me, you’ll very much enjoy the rounded door in the bathroom. Just one of those things that excite me for no apparent reason).
Where? Alice can be found at Onderbergen 9, right across from the beautiful “het Pand”, which is part of the university and is also worth a quick browse. Because it’s so close to the main shopping street, it’s perfect for that little pick me up that you so desperately need sometimes while on a shopping spree.
What? A festival held every five years all about making artworks out of flowers. An impressive and beautiful sight to see.
Where? Ghent. This year, at 4 different locations: the Sint-Pieters square, abbey and abbey garden, the Bijloke, the old barracks (Leopoldskazerne) and the Citadelpark.
More information? The Floraliën still run until May 1 2016. Tickets are available from their website, as well as more information: click here. (I swear I am not sponsored, but I realise I just sounded like I am)