October 12, 2017
On a nice sunny morning at a manor house in the country, the only thing to do is take a turn about the gardens. How very Jane Austen of us. Fall is definitely upon us and the leaves are changing and falling, leaving behind a carpet of color. We discovered several different types of mushrooms among the ground cover. I suggested that they should get a truffle dog to sniff the grounds – maybe they have a fortune in truffles just waiting to be discovered. As we traversed the grounds, our host pointed out where the flowers bloom in the spring – tulips here, lily of the valley there …, absolutely gorgeous.
After a load or two of laundry, our group headed into Ghent for lunch. (Ghent is also spelled Gent or Gand, depending on whether you are French, German, or Flemish/Dutch). Brasserie Pakhuis provided us each with a quintessential Belgian meal – Moules et Frites (mussels and fries), and a local Belgian beer for the others.
Ghent was occupied by the Germans in both World Wars, but escaped severe destruction. It’s a lovely little city; much of the city’s medieval architecture remains intact and is well preserved and restored. The center of the city is car-free and easy to get around.
A highlight was Saint Bavo Cathedral with the Ghent Altarpiece (no photographs allowed). We spent the afternoon walking in and out of churches, up and down side streets, just taking in the sights (and getting our 10,000 steps in).
Back at the house, we gathered our thoughts, and then went back to Ghent to De Rave Restaurant for a dinner of chicken & foie gras, partridge and steak for two. Another delicious meal. We even tried the Dom Blanche, which was good. however, it didn’t take over first place in the Dom Blanche tour of 2017.