Pauline - A Fashion Taste, recounts:
9 to do’s en hotspots in Blankenberge
Travel, discovery and a busy bee: the first couple of keywords that describe me to a T. My name is Pauline Grossen, nearly 23 and active on the social media for years. Via my account @afashiontaste, I try to bring you along on an instagrammable trip around the globe with a positive slant. I love exploring, adore new and different cultures and can spend hours engrossing myself in fashion and lifestyle. And ... I am a child from the Coast! I lived in Middelkerke all my life and grasp every opportunity to return to my roots.
When I started modelling at the age of 8, it was clear for all to see that I loved the camera, video, writing and had a passion for all things beautiful. Until the age of 16 I worked for various Belgian fashion brands, appeared in commercials and had roles in movies like ‘Buitenspel’ and ‘De Helaasheid der Dingen’. It is from my passion for image and aesthetics that my blog was born. At the age of 14 I set up my own Wordpress page where I shared my photographs and behind-the-scenes of my modelling and acting work. Before I knew it, it had grown into a website I still post on today.
On www.afashiontaste.com, you can discover new destinations, read beauty reviews and find fashion inspiration. I’ve given up modelling and acting now but I still love bringing you along on my travels.
Ha, the seaside! As soon as I hear the sound of the waves, see the sun disappearing behind the horizon and feel the wind through my hair I know I am home again. And there is no need to travel for hours either because there are plenty of stunning spots on the Belgian Coast. We visited Blankenberge. We got into the water, had a cocktail and for the aficionados: lobster. Herewith 9 to-dos when you visit Blankenberge.
You either know it or you don’t: I am a child of the seaside. All my life I lived with my parents at some 500 metres from Middelkerke beach. Every day I saw the waves, had sand in my shoes and made paper flowers to exchange for shells. In spite of the move, the seaside will always be home to me. A place to visit at weekends, to enjoy, to become quiet and to relax. The seaside caters for all tastes: peace and quiet, entertainment, water activities, party time, fun and even nice weather on occasions.
In other words, everyone will find something to their liking at the seaside. When my friend and I were invited to make Blankenberge unsafe, we immediately saw an activity-packed weekend ahead.
So, here’s our list of the activities we enjoyed most in Blankenberge.
Get into the sea and learn how to SUP
The O’Neill Beachclub is your port of call if you love water sports. Here you can (learn how to) wavesurf, kitesurf, windsurf, or, to take a leaf out of our book, SUP (Stand-up Paddle boarding). I’m no stranger at exploring the coast on a paddle board, mostly in tropical locations I dare say, but on a sunny day there’s nothing like spending time on the water in Belgium. The beach club in Blankenberge is only one of the many beach clubs that organise lessons; for further details check out the BELGIAN COAST website!
Treat yourself to a cocktail in one of the many beach bars
On Blankenberge beach, you’ll come across one beach bar after the next. Some have loungers, others a mini playground for the kids and some have a themed decor. We went for a cocktail in Bamboo beach bar, where we imagined ourselves in the Costa Rican jungle for a while.
Dine at De Oesterput
A meal at De Oesterput is a veritable experience. The well-known restaurant the Devriendt family has been running for four generations is famed for its shellfish. The place to eat oysters, lobster, fresh fish, Jumbo mussels and a shellfish platter! If you love fish, you’re in for a real treat here. The decor is wonderfully old school and the service jovially ‘int west-vlams’ (in the West-Flemish style). Glorious!
Visit the oldest fisherman’s cottage
Word has it that the earliest fisherman’s cottage on this very spot dates from 1272. Over the course of the centuries, Majutte’s cottage was refurbished several times; it survived the various occupations and wars and has been gracing this spot in its current state since 1775. Absolutely tiny inside, this typical fisherman’s cottage on the Belgian Coast is well worth a detour. The inside has been turned into a free museum, coffee shop, place to have a chat…
Cycle one of those crazy bikes in De Lustige Velodroom
Firm favourite among holidaymakers on the Belgian Coast, De Lustige Velodroom, near the pier, is a wooden velodrome where people have been cycling since 1933. And not on regular bikes either. No, no, the so-called ‘crazy’ bikes. Believe me: quite tricky to ride but definitely great fun!
Eat the biggest Brussels waffle in Belgium at Silversand
If you love waffles head for Silversand! Never in my life have I seen waffles this huge anywhere. You can have them with fruit, chocolate, strawberries or anything else you fancy. Also their pancakes are to die for! Perfect for a sweet-tooth moment or brunch with kids.
Clear the cobwebs away on the pier at sunset
This one is a no-brainer: you haven’t been to the seaside if you haven’t watched a stunning sunset. Always romantic, colourful and sometimes a little windy.
Go shopping for your home at Escape store
A hotspot in Blankenberge is multi-store Escape: you can call in for a coffee and buy some stunning items for your home. The whole shop is trendy, unique and stocks loads of great gift ideas. My absolute favourite: the rugs in the shape of a tiger. Huggable and cool!
Go for coffee at De Kolonel
No shortage of hip and trendy spots in Blankenberge for they also have a cool coffee bar. From a mocha to a flat white and chai lattes: they have it all. We popped in for a caffeine fix because: ‘risen but not quite shining’ was most certainly the case that Sunday morning. We didn’t have breakfast here but they seem to do a mean American breakfast.
Ramses and I stayed at Hotel Sabot d’Or, a lovely little hotel with a friendly service within walking distance of the centre and close to the railway station. A great location if you were to travel to Blankenberge by train. And let’s face it: a delicious breakfast is always a bonus.