by Bear in Britain
Windsor, United Kingdom
October 21, 2002
I found the Ter Brughe to be a pleasant compromise between large and small hotels. It had the style, service and professionalism of a corporate enterprise with the decorating touches, size and feel of a B&B. The whole place has been recently refurbished. My room on the top floor was beautifully furnished and had shutter windows that opened over a glorious expanse of tile rooftops. The beds were piled with rich blankets, the bathroom had a huge tub and the TV carried stations from around Europe (including several in English). It was a wonderful place to snuggle in on an inclement winter weekend.
I suspect there must be an English link here … either in owners or simply to the long tradition of English tourists who love this place … because the rooms and halls are decorated almost exclusively with lovely British prints. The one major exception is the main entrance hall, which is dominated by a colourful, life-size mural of a Bruges market scene from the late middle ages. It’s painted in a bright, realistic style similar to the murals in the old town hall (see separate entry).
The breakfast room in the basement is built into the old warehouse area. After helping yourself to a typical Dutch buffet (rolls, cheeses, sliced meats, fruit, cereals and yoghurt) you can settle next to one of the large windows and watch the canal float by. It’s not unusual to be nose-to-nose with a swan or a flotilla of ducks. And with a bit of imagination, you can visualise medieval workmen outside the windows, using the pulleys and winches on the outside of the building to load bales of silk, spices and other riches of the east onto the warehouse floor.
The Ter Brughe isn’t cheap, but it is excellent value for money. Like most European hotels you can pick up some great off-season deals. My rate in late February was more than 30 euro below the standard rate.
From journal A Winter Weekend in Bruges