The boyf and I had quite some big travel plans before corona hit. Ever since the we only went to Limburg for our 30th birthday and that was it. One morning I was aimlessly scrolling through my Instagram stories when I found out about a contest to win a stay in Mechelen. And of course I wouldn’t be mentioning this if I hadn’t won it. 😉
Over the past years I’ve heard several people say how nice Mechelen has become over the years and how they enjoyed their stay. It had been on my list for a while but I wasn’t planning on visiting it anytime soon. So glad we did! I was pleasantly surprised with the city and we just had a blast.
Now here I might be a little prejudiced to say we loved staying at the Martin’s Patershof Mechelen hotel because we won our stay. However, my parents have stayed here, the boyf’s parents have stayed here and they all loved it as well.
The hotel is situated in an old monastery which you can still see in some of the rooms. Our room for example had those cute little windows, while other rooms have stained glass windows. If you take the (extensive!) breakfast you can eat it in the old chapel where the organ is the center piece.
What to do in Mechelen
Right before leaving for Mechelen we had no idea how we were going to spend our days. Somehow being out of the house and going to an unknown destination was enough for us. But we still wanted to make the most out of our stay so a quick search brought us to some fun things to do:
It’s quite impossible to miss when you wander around the city because it towers over the houses. We did not visit it, even though it looked very interesting to do so. You get information about the tower and at the top you have a (probably magnificent) view over the city.
We were planning on arriving in the morning. Before grabbing some lunch and discovering the city we still wanted to relax a bit after the car drive. The Kruidtuin was the best place to do so: it’s quite a large park quite in the center of the city. We returned on our second day as well because it was the best place to unwind. There were also two ducks wandering round the park and they were more scared of us than I was of them.
- Kazerne Dossin
When my parents visited Mechelen, they were particularly fond of the Kazerne Dossin. I can see why, but we definitely had an information overload. While we were there a guide was guiding a tour and he told so many small stories, which made it super worthwile to book a guide. We might visit another time with the guide because we found it so interesting.
- Groot & Klein Begijnhof
Since the weather was good we decided to wander around the Groot & Klein Begijnhof. We loved discovering the cosy little streets and the garden.
- Shopping on the Bruul
Since we moved away from Ghent and the corona virus hit I haven’t been in a large city for a while. In the end I didn’t buy anything though.
Where to eat in Mechelen
Our preparation was minimal so I guess we were lucky the restaurants we chose were that good.
- Tapas bar Puncho
We had no idea how big the plates would be and it all sounded so good so of course we chose too many dishes. They also didn’t mention how many dishes you should pick per person. The portions were OK, the dishes were tasty, but the prices were a bit high according to us.
This was a restaurant that was suggested by the hotel since they don’t have a restaurant themselves. It had been aaages since we actually went to a restaurant (blame you, corona) so we went all in. Since the boyf is not a fan of fish dishes I always choose fish when we eat out. I was not disappointed.
The boyf has this habit on holiday of eating a lot for breakfast, skipping lunch and then having a snack around 4. I’m never having any of this because I want to eat in as many places as possible. Who knows when will be the next time we will have the opportunity to eat here?! I had spotted this cosy restaurant and had to lead the boyf three times to it before he gave in. Sharing street food from around the world: what’s not to love? It was super useful that the menu already said how many dishes per person you should take.
I feel like you kind of never know how much you need a holiday until you are on holiday. Mechelen was the perfect destination for us at that time: just being away, having good food, good weather, … This was mostly possible thanks to Sara Verjans‘ collaboration with Martin’s Hotels. She is one of these people I have been following for a long time.