Driving To Belgium For Waffles

When I heard that we would be driving through Belgium there was one thing on my mind…

But, before I delve into my love for those doughy little delights, let me rewind a little and start with why we were driving to Belgium!
The Easter bank holiday was fast approaching and S and I decided to take a little European road trip to The Netherlands with some friends so that we could be there in time for the MX GP. You see, S is obsessed with all things Motocross and I’m obsessed with having any excuse for an adventure, so it was the perfect fit.

We got to planning two nights before (can’t beat a last-minute trip!), and by first thing Saturday morning we were packed and ready to go. On the way, we decided that we’d squeeze an adventure into our adventure, and so on our way to The Netherlands, we made the decision that we’d also be driving to Belgium.
Our first port of call was to pick up some friends. We decided to drive because driving to Belgium, or France, or The Netherlands for that matter, is hella easy. You just head to the Eurotunnel and a few hours later and you’re exactly where you want to be. Which is exactly what we did. Only we misjudged traffic a little bit and arrived there way too early. So S whipped out our foldable chairs and we relaxed whilst the time passed, chilling in the carpark for an hour whilst chowing down on a McDonald’s brekkie—because I’m all about that healthy life.

Before long it was our turn to board the train, and just 35 minutes later we were in France! Our trip was broken into a few sections: driving to Folkestone, tunnelling our way to France and then driving to Belgium. Along the way we ended up stopping in a place called Antwerp and whilst it was a place I drove to having never heard of it, it was a place I left wanting to revisit.
Edit: I went back in 2018!
The architecture in Antwerp is beautiful. It’s very typically European, meaning you can’t help but gaze up at everything around you as you wander through the winding streets, but like most cities, it has that little something which sets it apart. For me, that little something was the smell of liege waffle dough wafting through the air.

I’ve had a love affair with waffles since 2009 when I would often shove them down my throat in a rabid quest for energy during my childcare days. But those were pre-packaged supermarket waffles. Driving to Belgium meant that I would have FRESH waffles. Which is why I took charge of the group’s lunch plans and decided that waffles were on the agenda.

We walked through Antwerp’s Grote Market before deciding to eat at The Waffle Factory because it had both sweet and savoury options available. S went for a cheese and ham number, whereas I got myself some sweet doughy goodness.

Just look at it!
I didn’t go for a liege waffle in the end—which is a classic waffle made with pearl sugar that caramelises as it baked. Instead, I went for a Brussels waffle and loaded it with chocolate sugar. Which was just as good. I mean, look at it with its crisp outer edges, fluffy inners and groves filled with puddles of Nutella.
Hubba hubba.
The waffle was almost everything I wanted. I say almost because my hair can attest to the fact that it’s not the best thing to eat outside on a windy day. But it is delicious, and therefore something which should definitely be eaten. Sticky hair be damned.

Unfortunately, We didn’t have a great deal of time to spend in Antwerp as this particular visit was just a pitstop on route to The Netherlands. But it was the perfect place to unwind for a few hours—especially as Antwerp is only a two-hour drive from the Eurotunnel.

I could have easily stayed in Antwerp for longer, sampling my way through every type of baked dough. But alas, it was time to go. We still had another two-hour drive to get to Eindhoven and as we (I) wanted to be unpacked at the hotel before dinner, time was not on our side. So, with bellies full of waffles we took the long way back to the car, taking in as much as we could as we went.

Overall, driving to Belgium was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. In total, it only took us four hours of driving to get from my house to Antwerp—making it closer to my house than Manchester is. The streets in Antwerp are lined with independent coffee shops, cute bakeries and all the shopping you could dream of… Seriously. Antwerp has everything from independent clothing shops to fashion powerhouses—plus a whole lot of diamonds.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to shop (nor browse that diamond district!) but as I say, driving to Belgium is definitely something I’ll be repeating. Because Antwerp is for sure a place I’ll be coming back to!

And with that, we climbed into the car and continued our drive until we reached The Netherlands. But more on that in my next post!
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Is driving to Belgium something you would do or are you more of a plane person?
Let me know in the comments.

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