Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Go to Belgium

6 comments
Thanks to the alcoholic tendencies of lonely, womanless monks in the Middle Ages - they brewed great beer. Photo / iStock
Thanks to the alcoholic tendencies of lonely, womanless monks in the Middle Ages - they brewed great beer. Photo / iStock

I love Belgium. When I lived in London many moons ago, a good mate had settled in a village in the Belgian countryside and we would take the train from Waterloo station to visit him in his little village.

He'd met a local girl. Her dad was in the local gun club. "If you take her to New Zealand," declared her deadpan father: "I'll shoot you." Today, they live in New Zealand. My mate remains happily unshot, his father-in-law a frequent visitor to these shores.

The Belgians we met were straight-up people. They liked good, straight-up things done well. And - thanks to the alcoholic tendencies of lonely, womanless monks in the Middle Ages - they brewed great beer. Belgium is the only place in the world where I have woken up with a hangover and genuinely felt that a pre-9am beer would be the best thing to cure it.

We took long bike rides, typically to the fabulous Ter Dolen - a brewery in a 16th-century castle (the Kiwi craft beer scene has a lot going for it, but I'm yet to see anything to match a brewery in a 16th-century castle).

There might have been other things on Ter Dolen's menu, but the only thing we noticed - and the only thing we ordered - was a giant rack of ribs. They arrived as a slab of meat hanging over the edges of a plate the size of a Kenworth truck's steering wheel. Straight-up things done well.

In those days, from my home in London, I frequently visited friends and family in Paris and Madrid. London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels - they've got something in common: They're all terrific places and you should visit them.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 23 Jan 2017 08:42:11 Processing Time: 906ms