Archive for the 'Belgium' Category

Worldwide Pop-up Restaurant Day August 17

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

An international idea celebrated in 50 countries, Restaurant Day is a food carnival created by food-loving people setting up one-day restaurants. The idea of the day is to have fun, share new food experiences and meet others in our community. People offer their family cuisine, favorite recipes, desserts or whatever in their backyard or a park.  Prices are very inexpensive.RestaurantDay

Check the maps to see if there is one in your city.

Date: Sunday, August 17

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Belgium: Farm to Table

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Michelin listed Ghent restaurant t’Pakhuis ( takes the concept of farm right to table so seriously that they bought the farm – in Bresse, France. So now they breed and serve famous and flavourful Bresse chickens, guinea fowl, Hampshire down lambs, and Bayeux pigs. From home in Belgium, they get special tomatoes, their herbs, and even “lost and forgotten” vegetables

Located in a former ironworks factory with painted cast-iron pillars and a soaring wrought-iron balcony now filled with light from the huge roof skylight, the noisy chattering happy diners, both inside and out might be enjoying the beers and fancy cocktails at the bar or on the large terrace. In keeping with it’s slick metallic theme, it has the coolest bathroom lock I’ve ever encountered and I challenge you to try to turn on the tap without having to ask!

And the food – my liver screamed for mercy but my mouth was bathed in smiles. Though you could start with  a lighter lobster soup or beef carpaccio, if you dare, the foie gras plate had the most generous hunk of silky foie we have ever encountered accompanied by sage apple cream and dates. Had I stopped there, it would have been a perfect dinner.

But yet we ventured on to the grilled duck breast in pea cream with baby veggies and mashies that were so smoothly whipped that they could have been served for a dessert sorbet. The asparagus risotto with lemon butter was so yummy, it alone could turn me into a vegetarian.

We could have ended the meal with a locally favorite flavor, gingerbread, in cheesecake with vanilla sauce or gone lightly with some sorbets, but we took it to the max with a silky creme brûlée. Sigh.

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Belgium: Museum of Immigration to the New World

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

When you hear the words “Ellis Island“, you think of the immigrants pouring in from Europe yearning for a new life. The flip side of the North American tale of immigration is now on display at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. The brand-new museum presents the experience of the over two million people who emigrated from Europe between 1873 and 1934 aboard the ships of the Belgian-American company Red Star Line.
Immigrant Family

Visitors of the Red Star Line Museum get a glimpse of what an immigrant’s journey was like – from the docks of Europe, across the churning waters of the Atlantic, to starting a whole new life in North America.  You can read personal tales of present and past immigration as well as view the plates used on the ships, smell the scent of the disinfecting showers, and try your hands at a puzzle once used to assess newcomers’ intelligence. Anyone can search the genealogical database, or even add personal comments and family history.

Among them were famous passengers such as Albert Einstein and Golda Meir. The museum lets you trace their travel across the ocean. When you sing “God Bless America” or “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” you’re paying tribute to a Red Star Line immigrant named Israel Baline (better by his Americanized name, Irving Berlin). By the time of his death, his songwriting included 1,500 songs, 19 musicals and 18 feature films.

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Sandra and Stan on Radio

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

On Saturday Sept 10th, My husband and I will be on Radio Centre-Ville’s Centre-Ville Consumer show with Beta Wayne.

Tune to 102.3  between 12:30 p.m.  and 1 p.m. and you’ll hear about our experiences in Holland and Flanders, Belgium in May. It will be the full half hour of conversation between us.

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Famous Diamond Cutter – Antwerp

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Antwerps’s diamond cutters are world famous. Marcel Tolkowsky (an engineer by profession but from a family of diamond cutters) is celebrated as the father of the round brilliant diamond cut (called the American Standard, American Ideal Cut, Tolkowsky cut or Tolkowsky Brilliant), using an optimal number of facets to achieve maximum brilliance.

He set the diamond cutting benchmark in North America and his technique is still used today. In 1919 he derived it from mathematical calculations that considered both brilliance and fire of the stone. Learn this and more sparkling info at the Diamond Museum ( ) in Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp Diamond Trade

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Eight out of ten of the “rough” diamonds sold worldwide pass through Antwerp, Belgium, the most important world diamond trade center. More than 50% of the world’s cut, precious stone quality diamonds and industrial diamonds are handled there.

Diamond Cutting – Antwerp

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

We were surprised to find out, at the Diamond Museum in Antwerp, that when cutting a diamond to expose its brilliance, you lose 50% of the diamond. Don’t worry – they don’t toss the scraps out. Leftovers are saved for industrial use – it is, after all, the hardest substance in the world. You can only cut a diamond with a diamond.

Diamond Quotes – Antwerp

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Famous diamond quotes are on the wall of the Diamond Museum in Antwerp, Belgium: Zsa Zsa Gabor, “I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back”.

Large Canadian Diamond – Antwerp

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

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Check out the 181.02 carat diamond in the Diamond Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. It’s from the Ekati Diamond mine located in Canada, 200 km. south of the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories. This was Canada’s first diamond mine.

Colored Diamonds – Antwerp

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Diamonds are not only white gemstones; Fancy colored ones (which you can see at the Diamond Museum in Antwerp) can be cognac colored or like whiskey, or even pink from Australia.