Belge une fois, reports:
Our recommendations in Oostende #2019
Belge une fois, alias Natacha and Arthur, is a couple that lives in Brussels. We launched our brand, ‘Belge une fois’, in 2015. The idea was to promote the Belgian identity through self-mockery and the second level via different media. These days, it is also a shop in the historic heart of Brussels that promotes well over a hundred Belgian designers.
Aside from being the name of our blog and our business, ‘Belge une fois’ has literally turned into a lifestyle these past few years. Via this somewhat clichéd expression, Belgian style, we try to enjoy all the experiences that cross our path to the full and without pretension. From a long journey abroad to a trip a few miles outside of Brussels, enjoying a change of scenery is within everyone’s reach and a whole lot easier than you might imagine.
Lately, we’ve started travelling the length and breadth of our own country as there are far too many places and regions we know all too little about! Sharing our experiences and enticing others to do likewise, has slowly but surely become the leitmotiv of the ‘Belge une fois’ blog.
One thing we’ve discovered thus far: life quite simply isn’t long enough to discover everything!
To tell the truth, I note that we go to this beautiful coastal town of Oostende once a year in the same period.
Where to stay?
We discovered a brand-new hotel in Oostende, a few steps away from the promenade, so its location couldn’t be more perfect: we nearly did everything on foot. Though the hotel does not have a car park, there’s a public car park just down the road. The interior is most unusual: a mix between industrial, touches of vintage and an urban side but the atmosphere is wonderful. I have to say it’s very cool, very hip. The staff are genuinely friendly but what really did it for me was the breakfast. I have seldom seen such a selection, let alone so many good-quality products! I can highly recommend this hotel because it was outstanding value for money (from 50 euro).
The tiny touches that made our stay:
- The nice staff
- The interior
- No car park: expensive public car park
Tel. : +32 (0)59/ 46 66 66
A drink on the beach
Dying for a drink, we happened on Polé Polé Beach, a pop-up where you’re almost sitting in the sand. It’s really relaxing and a great location to have a drink. They also serve snacks, so enjoy!
Albert I-promenade 51
Where to go for a spot of fine-dining?
We discovered a beautiful gastronomic restaurant right on the promenade. The first thing that struck us was the gorgeous interior: very classy. We arrived at our impeccably dressed table, all excited about the idea of having a meal at Savarin. The waiters were genuinely friendly and we decided to go for the savarin menu, see below. We loved everything we got, but did find it a little pricey when the time came to settle our bill.
Opened by couple Michiel and Nathalie, this restaurant is relatively new and quite simply out of this world! We loved it so much that we can’t wait to go back again. We tried out the only menu for lunch, everything was excellent: from the service to the presentation on the plates to what was on the plates.
A cheaper place to eat? These are the new places we discovered!
This truly trendy restaurant serves world cuisine. We weren’t exactly sold on the menu when we saw it first but it turned out to be a real find! The food was excellent. Price-wise, it was most affordable. My compliments for the excellent value for money! The only fly in the ointment was that it was too noisy to eat inside but the terrace was very pleasant.
Tel. : +32 (0)59/ 70 00 27
As this extremely trendy bar / restaurant had caught our eye, there was no question about it, we were going to hit Mommy’s Bastards for lunch. The interior is gorgeous, it’s done in the industrial style which we love, and the service was once again superb. We fell for a hamburger, the potatoes were excellent but the burger was only average and a little expensive for what we got. Although we were a little disappointed we’ll definitely go back to try something else because we loved the decor and the food the other people around us were eating looked really good.
I adore this type of place. Even though we didn’t eat here, everything we saw being served looked very nice indeed! We only had a coffee here but thoroughly enjoyed our visit!
Hendrik Serruyslaan 18A
Tel. : +32 (0)496/ 25 84 88
What to do and see in Oostende?
Each year, Oostende organises a fireworks festival. Eight Belgian fireworks manufacturers take part, all of them determined to win. A sparkling fireworks show guaranteed! A professional jury decides which fireworks manufacturer comes first, second and third. The public decides who gets the spectators’ prize.
Groot Strand (Grand Plage)
Albert I-promenade 64
As we were making our way towards the Mercator, we discovered this 5 hectare park, the city’s green lung, by sheer fluke. It is stunning! Highly recommended for a lovely walk, to admire the statues, have a round of pitch & putt or to simply go for a drink.
The Japanese Garden
It’s minute, overly sweet, but free. Go and see it, for no reason other than its mediocrity. No, in all seriousness, you have to see it at least once in your lifetime!
Open: van 10.00 tot 18.00 uur
We went to visit the famous Mercator, a historic ship. We loved discovering this three-master that was transformed into a museum back in 1961. Definitely worth a visit, it’s magical and conjures up images of its 54 voyages, making you wish that you were one of the seamen on board!
Open: Elke dag van 10.00 tot 17.00 uur
Someone suggested that we should learn how to surf. Eh, come again? In Oostende. No, no, you’re not dreaming. Unfortunately we weren’t able to take any pictures but we thoroughly enjoyed that particular activity!!! Given that we’re also going to Indonesia on Tuesday, it was great to get a lesson in before we leave. The instructor was great; he put us completely at ease. That having been said, we never expected it to be such physically strenuous business. To make a long story short, we can’t wait for our next lesson.
Koningin Astridlaan 9
If I told you that Arthur and I had never set foot in a casino before you probably wouldn’t believe me. But it’s the truth. So we gave it a stab. We were a little embarrassed at first, enjoyed the experience but nothing more than that, just as well perhaps ha! ha!