The Hotel Egmond in Bruges, Belgium
How important to feel finally refreshed after I slept on clean sheets and had a breakfast at the Hotel Egmond. The hotel is located close to Begijnhof (buildings used by Beguines) in Bruges, Belgium. Before I entered the hotel property, I saw a romantic small lake known as ‘Love Lake’.
At the moment, my hubby and I were not yet romantic when we got lost in Bruges with many one way streets (mostly under construction). We drove through the tiny historical district three times screaming, “Why can’t the GPS find the hotel?!”
We drove through the beautiful Begijnhof streets without knowing which places were historically protected areas (yeah, we drove through a wildlife reserve, even though other employee cars were parked alongside the road). At some point I screamed, “Watch out for the person!”, “too narrow street!”, or “One way again!” My hubby drove backwards several blocks when necessary.
The hotel owner waited for us for almost two hours after our estimated arrival time. He gave us a key and immediately left with his two dogs. When I entered the room, I felt like I time-traveled into the eighteenth century, it was that large and comfortable. I learned later that he went into town to buy fresh cheese and ham for our breakfast.
I opened the windows in the morning. I let an early spring breeze in the room while my hubby was still sleeping. I saw an old church. Crocus and daffodils started blooming—I was just thankful to be there to see it—and I smelled chocolate croissants.
After I shook my hubby awake, I greeted both dogs, a squirrel statue, and several beautiful women—I did not expect so many women to be staying overnight here—to find various cheeses, ham, pastries, bagels, and chocolate croissants beautifully lined up. I was not a big fan of cheese in my life even though my husband had a passion for it. I really love cheese now after tasting a lot of it in The Netherlands. They were fantastically delicious. In addition, all the pastries and croissants were made by the hotel’s caretaker. Only he and his mother took care of the hotel (cleaning, cooking, laundering, gardening, etc…), providing a simple breakfast depicting their art in hospitality.
After the breakfast, I was talking to the owner about how he prepared the chocolate croissants. He easily said, “I used pasty sheets with Belgian chocolates and put it in the oven. It works out well for everyone that way.”
I decided to adapt the hotel Egmond’s simple style into our apartment. I decorated it with tulips and washed our sheets and pillowcases with no problems—and I baked. I baked chocolate muffins and sponge cake. I used fine chocolate from Belgium. When I showed it to my mother over Skype, my mother asked, “Is this a burnt rice cracker? It looks so flat…” My hubby ate only one piece. I defended myself by saying the taste was not that bad. “Of course, the chocolates came from Belgium,” my mother said.
My next challenge is to use pastry sheets and make chocolate croissants. I already ate all the chocolates from Belgium I saw, so that is another great excuse to buy more chocolate.
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