Christian’s 50th Birthday Weekend – Part One – Bruges

18 Oct

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I had just unpacked from my Spain trip when I packed again for a Belgium/Netherlands trip …

Christian’s 50th birthday dinner was to be celebrated and he had kindly invited me to attend alongside a group of his closest friends – a very kind gesture that I appreciated coming from such a warm-hearted person.

It was again a long but nice drive, 4 hrs for 460 km to just inside the Dutch border next to Belgium, a very fertile, green, soft & flat farm area north of Bruges.

I arrived at the farmhouse chalets that had been reserved for a group of friends and was completely alone. Didn’t see a single person for hours, but  the chalets were open and I made myself at home in a wonderful 4 bedroom house.

Christian had kindly left a bottle of tasty rum on the table so I had a cigar and a glass of rum and a nice long nap on the sofa.

Then it all suddenly became hectic with Cliff coming to greet me, then getting instructions from Christian to meet at his office.

So we drove to Christian’s office and met my French housemates, Anne-Laure, Fred and Alex. Love at first sight, great people.

After a short tour of his office and walk-in we drove to his house and enjoyed a perfect dinner of mussel soup and lamb chops cooked by Christian and “sous-chef” Jorg with some fantastic 1966 wines by Christian and a 1980’s Monte 4 courtesy of Cliff and finsihed with a vintage Calvados.

What a great way to start the weekend !

The next day started early and foggy – Christian picked us up for a nice breakfast at Juliette’s in Bruges, a lovely city which I will visit with more time on my hands as I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours there and the ambience of the city.

We walked around with the sun burning away the fog and I had the chance to get to know Christoph and Peter Bonne of Missault cigars. Extremely friendly and warm people and I share the taste for the Stones and the movie “In Bruges” with Peter …

Next stop was, you guessed it, again a cigar store, once again an extremely well appointed place, La Casa Del Tabaco with great service by Erik, the manager, and we sat down to smoke a perfect BBF to coffee and rum.

From there it was back to the chalet to change for the reception at Christian’s house and the dinner to be held at the Michelin-star rated “The Jane” in Antwerp, an hour away.

Stay tuned …


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