We took the car from Bovey Castle to the train station in Exeter, took the train to London’s Paddington Station then a taxi to St. Pancras station. We were at this station in 2005 to take the train to Paris but it’s been completely redone since then. An hour later, we boarded the Eurostar train to Brussels. This was a great ride. Our car was almost empty, there was just a group of 4 business people and a few other people in the car, so Hudson’s cries about his teeth didn’t bother anyone.
The food was pretty good too. I had the moussaka and Gay had the salmon. And wine, of course. Havana had a kid’s meal of chicken. I even found the latest Economist to read so I have one less issue to catch up on when I get home (why isn’t the Economist on the Kindle?!?).
We arrived in Brussels and took a taxi to the apartment we rented. Actually, we took it to the office to get the keys to the apartment, then to an ATM to get cash for the taxi and then to the apartment. We went out to get groceries for the kids, walked around the neighborhood and finally found Les Brassins, which Gay had found online as a good place to go. The staff was very friendly, they gave us a table in the corner of the very crowded restaurant even though we didn’t have reservations. And the waitress was very polite with us on our first attempt in years to try to speak French.
The restaurant didn’t take credit cards (something surprisingly common in Brussels) so we were careful to stay within the limited cash we got from the cash machine. They have lots of beers but only two on tap, Taras Boulbas (?), and a wit beer. I got the first one and Gay got the other. Both were good and we were glad to be back in a land of carbonated beer. Gay got the spaghetti bollainaise, which everyone in the place seemed to have ordered so it was a safe bet that it was good. I thought I ordered the duck special but ended up with beef carpacchio, which we think was intended as an appetizer. Since we were limited on cash and because the kids were tired and Hudson was complaining about his teeth we figured we should eat and go as soon as we could. So I didn’t attempt a re-order of the duck. It was also very good and a big enough appetizer that I was content to order a second beer and enjoy that.
After dinner we returned to our apartment. We were disappointed in our apartment – Gay had found it online but the pictures didn’t match the reality. And although the neighborhood is billed as the hip place to be with great shopping, we didn’t find it that appealing (I never find shopping appealing) and it was 1.5 miles from the city center. After our experience walking in London, we realized that the kids can only take so much walking/strolling before getting very bored. So we decided we’d see if we could find a better hotel closer to the city center. After the kids went to bed, we got online and searched for a hotel.