Condé Nast Traveler recently published their diamonds in the rough list. A list of destinations that are slightly off the beaten track. They often offer cheaper accommodations, a bit more adventure and easier travel than their more renowned counterparts. I was very happy to see that my hometown Ghent made it the the first spot on that particular list!
Let me take you through my sleep and eat tips for this Condé Nast Travelers dark horse destination.
Stay at the Guesthouse Verhaegen, situated at the Oude Houtlei in the heart of the city. The guesthouse is located in a beautiful old town mansion. There’s free wifi and breakfast available and the lovely garden offers an oasis of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of Ghent. One note though: if you want to visit Ghent during the so called “Gentse Feesten”, I would suggest taking a hotel further away from the city centre. This is a 10 day festival in the city that always attracts a huge crowd. Atmosphere is great, but it’s difficult to find a parking spot and to get a good nights sleep as the music can go on for quite a while.
Eat in Vintage. And don’t you dare leave this city without having had lunch or dinner there! Make your reservations in advance, because it can fill up really quickly here, especially on weekends. You’re welcomed by the co-owner Mathieu who is also the in-house sommelier. He always has new wines or bubblies for me to taste and he never ceases to amaze me. The food is incredibly good, they’re like little works of art on your plate. The menu often changes with the seasons, so there’s always something new to try. But please don’t forget to leave some space for dessert! Go for the cheese and wine experience (if you’re not driving home): you get a selection of 4 cheeses with 4 assorted wines that go with each cheese. Heavenly.
Read up about all 8 drake horse destinations on the Condé Nast Travelers website: http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-01-02/diamonds-in-the-rough-8-dark-horse-destinations-victoria-tulum-ghent