Trip to London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam

I was so busy at work these days that I did not have the chance to plan for my upcoming trip. At least I had the chance to go to the Richmond Public Library in Minoru and raided the shelves for travel books.


Next week, I will have another chance to go to London again for training. I was last in London last summer and did blog a series on the trip starting from this post here. This time, I will take 10 days after the training in London to visit the “low countries” — France, Belgium and the Netherlands. I have never been to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam before. I look so much forward to this.

I recall the last time, some of Chowtimes readers gave me same great tips AFTER my trip. I hope that this time round, I get some tips BEFORE my trip. I will be around the four cities for a period of two weeks. Basically, I plan to do the normal sights and most importantly try out some of the regional cuisines and food. So, I am looking for tips, advice and what nots …

What are some of the MUST DO places and MUST EAT things while I am in London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam?

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  1. Jennifer

    Paris is really over-rated. If you want to experience real France, and you have time, take the train out to Blois. We stayed at a cozy little hotel that served fresh croissants from the bakery down the street for breakfast and we went on a tour of Chateau De Chambord (home of Chambord Liqueur). That was awesome.

    There are little cafe’s, and it’s a quaint little french town with boutiques and small streets and ancient houses. I loved it far more than stinky, noisy Paris.

    As for food, we ate at one or two “fancy” places and were not all that impressed. We much preferred the simpler fare found at bakerys and cafe’s. I think my favorite was a simple ham and cheese baguette we bought at a sandwich stand. There was something really special about it.

    If you get to London, see about getting a reservation at 17 (Jamie Olivers rest). We ran out of time there and I really regret not at least trying to get in.

    I’m insanely jealous.

  2. RobynT

    I only went to London once and it was in high school, but I remember the food sucking. In college–after being introduced to Indian food–I was told that there is really good Indian food in London.

    Ooh, and I saw Rachael Ray eat some savory pancakes on 30-minute meals in Brussels. They sounded super good. Sort of crepe-like.

  3. MammaViv

    Check out: for restaurant tips.

    While in Paris, we always visit our favorite Bistro (ie Bistro Le Vieux They serve a mean pot of beef stew aka Boeuf Bourguignon. Also, beefsteak with Roquefort sauce and Dauphine pototes….yummy. And best of all, it’s located just by Notre Dame. We usually don’t go to restaurants near the touristy areas, but this is truly an exception.

    Don’t forget to make a reservation; we see tourists getting turned away all the time. Another tip: have your hotel concierge make the reservation for you; no misunderstandings this way. We know usually in advance where we will like to eat during our stay in Paris, so we have a list for the concierge to call. Works all the time ie no confusion and no misunderstandings πŸ™‚

  4. Laurent

    If you come to brussel, i live there so dont hesitate to contact me.

    I know all best places to enjoy belgian food, belgian chocolates and belgian beers.

    so really dont hesitate, i’m sure you can be amazed by burssel which is not as famous as other cities but has lot of great food surprises.

    Have a good trip

  5. tigerfish

    I don’t really enjoyed Paris when I was there some years ago.

    I’m not sure how far Bruge is from Brussels, but it’s recommended. And find a place to have mussels in a pot in Belgium…as mussels in Brussels.

    Amsterdam, no good impression as we were “attacked” by some robbers…disguised as police.

  6. Eileen

    The Duck rice in 4 Seasons restaurant (not the hotel) in Bayswater in world famous. You’ll find looooong Qs during peak hours. The siu-ngap is good, so is the salt & pepper deep fried calamari and steam fish.

    The national dish of UK is Chicken Tikka Masala.

    Do not hesitate to contact me when you’re in London. =)

  7. Mama BoK

    Will email a list of places.. that i’ve been to.. when i was in Paris.

  8. Janet

    You must try one of those crazy big hotdogs smothered in bechamel sauce and covered with cheese that they sell at many bakeries. They sell similar ones here at the Creperie but of course nothing tastes the same outside of Paris.

  9. Ben

    Hi Jennifer: I’ll plan to go to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant. It’s 15 right? Not 17? Sounds like an exciting place to visit.

    Hi RobynT: Savory Pancakes in Brussels … noted!

    Hi Vivian: Excellent … Le Vieux Bistro checked!

    Hi Laurent: Will try to contact you once I get into Brussels. Belgian chocs! I can’t wait.

    Hi Tigerfish: Is Amsterdam not that safe? Guess I gotta be really careful especially when I plan to lug my camera gears around too.

    Hi Eileen: Have also noted down the 4 Seasons. May not visit it because, well, I am not going all the way to London for chinese food! He he he … is Tikka Masala really the national food of the UK?! I can give you a call when I am there in London if you don’t mind.

    Hi MamaBok: Have you gotten the food stuff we mailed your yet? Oh yeah, send, send me your list of places.

    Hi Janet: Where is this hotdogs you said? Is it in Paris?

  10. Eileen

    it’s true! I’ve heard good reviews about Khan’s- an Indian restaurant.

    Yup, you can give me a ring when you’re in London. πŸ™‚

  11. Klai

    i lived in amsterdam for 4 years. Don’t walk down the little alleys at night, but otherwise i never had any problems. The best food was the fast snack food at Febo, which is food chain that serves the items behind columns of doors. You put your money in and then open the door to get the snack.
    kaas soufle which is deep fried cheese pie. and the kroketten are mystery meat deep fried again. sooo yummy. the indonesian food is very good, although nothing like the food in Vancouver. the regular dutch food is very boring. borenkool met worst – sausage with cabbage. Hmmm, not mmmmm.

  12. Windy

    Hi Ben

    I hope you donÒ€ℒt mind me to contribute a bit of my past experiences when I travelled in Central Europe before:

    1) The easiest and cheapest way to travel around Paris is by metro. But look after your stuff because I saw one of my mates was almost robbed by two children 2 years ago! They were trying to grab one of her shopping bags when the door was about to close (she was in the underground train and the children were outside).

    2) It would be nice to sit outside to eat in Paris, but they would charge you more than eating inside of the restaurant/cafe.

    3) When you arrive at Amsterdam by train, remember the left hand side is red light district. But I guess if you want to take a look at the red light, go with your friends – try not to take photos of the prostitutes thou.

    4) If you are brave enough, try the ‘space cake’ at Amsterdam.

  13. Ben

    Oh Wow everyone: Thanks for all the travel tips. I’m all excited for this trip. Leaving tonight but have not figured out where to stay when I get to Brussels and Amsterdam. I’ll figure it out when I get to London. Anyone has any suggestion? Am looking for some place safe, 2-3 stars sort of place, and don’t want to spend a lot of money just for a place to lay my head at the end of the day. He he he … when I get back I am gonna bore you all with all my travel blog. You know how boring it is when your relatives comes back from a vacation and tries to show you their vacation photos? πŸ™‚
    “Are We There Yet?”

  14. Peter Tsui

    Could please add our new Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant in London’s Chinatown at 12 Gerrard street,W1D 5PR.Telephone number 0207 494 0870 to our present Queensway branch

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