Sunday, 20 October 2013

Autumn walk through the Tervuren Park

Weather was quite good on Saturday. I was beginning to feel better after a horrible bout of flu which had me confined at home with over 38 degrees fever for three days. I was not fully recovered, but desperately wanted to get out into the fresh air.

So, around lunchtime, off we went to the Tervuren Park, which has to be one of the biggest, nicest parks in Brussels.

First we went for lunch. We headed to the Bootjeshuis, which serves typical Belgian brasserie-style food: Belgian carbonnades (beer beef stew), sausages with stoemp (a typical Belgian pure) and the like. While the setting is lovely and the food and service are quite correct, it was a bit of a let down. The restaurant had just started the lunch service and already they did not have a few of their specialities. On top of tat, at the end of the meal Mr M had to go to the nearest cash machine as they did not accept credit cards..... I don't know if they had a particular issue with their system that day, but I found it quite odd that such a big restaurant only accepted cash. Anyway, be warned.

On the plus side, they had a very nice baby-changing station, so I give them credit for that. Most restaurants in Brussels don't cater for families with babies that need a diaper change every once in a while, so it was a nice surprise.

After lunch, we went for a walk through this lovely, huge park. Due to its location close to the British School of Brussels, lots of English-speaking expats live in the area. It felt a bit like walking through a huge Regents Park.

There were many geese, ducks and swans to watch.

And even some spiky, weird-looking caterpillars

The Tervuren Park also houses the Royal Museum for Central Africa. It's set in a magnificent building built during Leopold II reign and houses all sorts of interesting pieces that give testimony of Belgian colonial history in the Congo. Neglected for a few years, the museum will finally undergo mayor renovation works that will last several years. You can still visit the old museum until December 1 2013, so hurry up if you want to see the "before" and "after" effect.

Our walk took us up to the "Spaanse Huis" (Spanish House in Flemish), which, besides not looking very Spanish at all, is a beautiful former water mill that since last year houses a nice cafe with a charming little terrace.

It was a great autumn walk, definitely worth taking your camera and recording the beautiful colours of the trees. Kids will love to walk, cycle or dart around in their "trotinettes" (scooters) through the parc (and they will sleep like angels on the way back home) :-)

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