Choosing to breakfast among amazing interior design in the middle the historic, bustling Belgium city of Ghent was a no-brainer. Exploring the city’s thriving cafe and restaurant and cafe scene during a long weekend cycle tour of the country, this morning we were heading for ‘La Bohemien Jardin’. It was no coincidence that we happened on this particular cafe and B&B. We had read all about it in the newly published coffee table book, ‘Bohemian Modern’ written by US-born, London-based stylist and author Emily Henson (@lifeunstyled). In her book, Emily describes the owners, Jeanpierre and Kristine creating ‘a home so stylish and creative that is almost defies words’.
While we didn’t get to see the upper floors where the family live – it was guarded by some serious taxidermy (adult male stag, fox, badger and sheep (!) on a huge mezzanine landing – the sprawling ground floor cafe in Emily’s words, was a place that “mixes old and new, taxidermy and plywood, neon pink and peeling paint for a style that resists categorization. As well as being a cool place for coffee and cake, everything in the cafe is for sale – because why not?”
Thus we found ourselves cycling through Ghent on a fresh, early Sunday morning in mid-September looking forward a hearty breakfast to set us on our way for the day’s sixty or so miles taking us from Ghent to Ypres, our final destination. However, on this Autumnal morning we were to get our energy not from fried eggs and ham, but from coffee bursting with cream, delicate and moreishly tempting pain au chocolates and mini croissant and freshly squeezed orange juice. This is not a place that does the ‘full English’ of eggs, bacon, sausage … we discovered.
So. fuelled up after an hour in the cafe and enjoying watching increasing numbers of stylish people amble in with newspapers and a need for good, strong coffee, we headed back out into the cool air, seeking road signs leading us to towards more coffee at around 11 and then onward for chips and national favourite Tangelo beer for lunch.