This post is prompted by remarks by Nigel Farage, an MEP for the UK Independence Party, in which he described Belgium as a “non-country“. I think the criticism levelled at Belgium by Mr Farage is unfair and reeks of a ‘my country is better than your country, so nyah’ attitude, which I feel is unacceptable for a supposedly respectable politician.
As a Brit, I feel it is therefore my duty to do my bit to show Belgium that we don’t all think that your country is insignificant. I personally think that the country has several things that are great about it, and once I have some more cash I plan to make another visit to the small but interesting nation.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of European Union. I visited in 2002 (back when this blog was barely a month old) and found it to be a great city. It’s well worth a visit and is (usually) less than 2 hours by train from the centre of London.
2. Belgian beer
We Brits are quite good at making beer, and the explosion of micro-breweries over the years has been very welcome. But the Belgians are also worthy contenders and I particularly appreciate their fruit beers such as those by Früli, Timmermans and Liefmans. Leffe is also particularly good, as is the amusingly-named Kwak which comes in an interestingly-shaped glass. Budweiser is also now owned by a Belgian company, but unfortunately that doesn’t stop it tasting a bit like a urine sample.
I really want to visit Bruges again, as it’s been almost 2 decades since I was there last. It’s a gorgeous city, full of canals and old buildings.
4. Belgian chocolate
While I will always have a soft spot for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, the Belgians have chocolate making down to an art.
5. Belgian waffles
Belgium is the country that introduced the concept of a sweet waffle, perhaps with a Belgian chocolate sauce or some ice cream. I’m genuinely pleased that Wetherspoon’s have started serving these again.
6. French Fries are from Belgium
They’re actually Belgian, not French.