Derek Blyth Meet the author Bruges

Derek Blyth
Derek Blyth

Derek Blyth is a journalist and translator based in Brussels. Over several decades, he has visited almost every part of Belgium. He is the author of The 500 Hidden Secrets guides to Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp, as well as Hidden Belgium. He is deeply fond of Belgium and loves exploring the remote corners of the country in search of history, culture and quirky charm.

"In the evening, after the crowds have gone, Bruges becomes a mysterious, silent city with ancient stone bridges and forgotten waterways."

Derek Blyth

What Derek loves most about Bruges:

"My favourite activity in Bruges is to go for a walk along the canals in the evening after the crowds have gone. You find yourself plunged into a mysterious, silent city with ancient stone bridges and forgotten waterways that meander behind old palaces. Along the way, you might be tempted into an old brown cafe or a hidden jazz venue."

Derek's perfect day in the city might look like this:

"First, I'd start with a coffee in the relaxed coffee bar Li O Lait. If the sun is hitting the courtyard, I'll try to perch outside somewhere with a favourite book. Next, I will stroll around a few shops, stopping off at De Reyghere, the oldest bookshop in the country, to pick up a newspaper and maybe a novel or two. Then I might head down the lively Langestraat to hunt out rare local beers at De Bierboom.

For lunch, I might pick up a picnic lunch at Babette and then wander off to find a quiet bench on the Augustijnenrei. But if I'm with foodie friends, I'll call ahead to book a table at Lieven. After lunch, I might decide to head across to the cultural centre De Republiek (open after 12) to pick up some ideas on films or exhibitions. Or just to sit outside in the hidden garden with a coffee.

Lastly, I would book dinner at a local restaurant off the beaten track such as 't Oud Handbogenhof or 't Gezelleke. Then I'd wander along the canals in search of a bar that stocks the lovely local beer Brugse Zot."