Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Points of Interest: Amsterdam, Belgium and Paris

During our recent trip to Europe, I collected a slew of business cards from different places (restaurants, cafes, galleries, shops) we dropped into. Faced with filing these things away somewhere where I'd likely never see them again, I thought I'd enter them all here for other folks benefit, who may travel to The Netherlands, Belgium or France, too. So, it's by no means comprehensive, but here are some places worth checking out in the following countries and cities:

Antwerp, Belgium
  • Hotel Postiljon - small, clean, comfortable rooms - and bathrooms with no doors on them! But exceptionally close to the Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal) - right behind it, in fact
Brugge, Belgium
  • Gran Kaffee de Passage, Dweersstraat 26-28 - excellent eating: tasty ribs and beer at this convivial restaurant in the ground floor of a hostel, believe it or not.
  • Hotel Cavalier, Kuiperstraat 25 - better looking on the outside or in the quaint cafe, than inside one of the rooms. Ours had a bed, which slanted downward to the head. Nonetheless, terrifically handy to everything in old Brugge.
Paris, France
  • La Flèche d'Or, 102 bis rue de Bagnolet - we had to walk a few blocks from the metro to find this music venue in a renovated train station, but we caught a good show with a faux-Irish punk Celtic band. Or something like that.
  • La Frégate, 1, rue du Bac angle 35 quai Voltaire - a typical French bistro in a sense, but with a stunning view of the Seine and the Louvre. Also: it's on on the site of the home of Marshal D’Artagnan, who inspired Dumas to write The Three Musketeeers.
  • Hotel Champ du Mars, 7 rue du Champ de Mars - tiny rooms, but it was well kept and close to the Eiffel Tower and other great walks
  • Lili's Brownie, 35 Rue Du Dragon - American-style brownies in, um, Paris
  • Mandalas, Artisanat du Tibet - across from our hotel on Champ du Mars, lovely jewelry from Tibet, about a block away from the Rue Cler market street
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • De Aardige Pers, 2e Hugo de grootstraat 13 B - it's a bit of a haul to get to this Iranian restaurant, but really worth it
  • Quinta - Nieuwe Leliestraat 4, across from Anne Frank House - tasteful wine and liquor shop where the proprietor provided an informative and impassioned homily on absinthe
  • Reypenaer - nice, bright cheese shop with very helpful informative owners and employees
  • Temploe Doeloe, Utrechtsestraat 75 - delicious Indonesian food

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