“After passing through Ouse, by six in the evening, I arrived at Ghent. This is a city of so great a circumference, that it is reported to be seven leagues round; but there is not half of it now built, much of it remaining in fields and desolate pastures even within the walls, which have strong gates towards the west, and two fair churches.”
— from the 8.October.1641 diary entry of John Evelyn (1620-1706, English writer, gardener and diarist)
On the streets of Ghent we found a man with a cart selling the Nose of Ghent, a cone-shaped sweet also known as a cuberdon. The dark purple, chewy candy (raspberry syrup, sugar & gum of Arabic are the key ingredients) dates to the mid-19th century. The cuberdon is poured into cone-shaped molds; the outside then grows hard, while the inside stays liquid. The name cuberdon comes from the word kupe, Flemish for ‘tub.’
“Everything looks just as it did before. The building is a monument, inside and outside. Yeah, the interior is protected. Than come here quite often people who once lived in Ghent. Fortunately, they say then, here’s at least everything it remained the same.”
— Mrs. Caesens, owner of Mosterdfabriek Tierenteyn
Mostaard Factory stands in the beautiful building at Number 3 Groentemarkt; the intriguing calligraphy of the sign is enough to lure anyone inside. Here time seems to have stood still. The recipes for the all-natural mustard are from 1790.
The Vve (a Flemish corruption of the French veuve, for widow) of Tier Teijn-Verlent founded the firm in 1790. Although there are no longer any Tier Teijn family members involved, the all-natural mustard is still made from the exact same recipe. “We sell the mustard to go,” said Mrs. Caesen. “Customers bring a pot to buy the mustard; it must have a lid, otherwise we do not sell. Mustard can leave such nasty stains!”
If you do not have a mustard jar, you buy beautiful jars filled with it. The spicy scent that hangs in the shop, comes not only from the mustard. “We sell everything that you cook,” says Ms. Caesens.
Behind the nostalgic counters there are fragrant herbs, sauces, olive oil, vinegar, pickles and almond paste. Also jars with confit de bière blonde and confit de bière blanche can be found there. Then we know for sure we are in Belgium, the land of many beers.
The best known shopping streets in Gent are "Veldstraat" and "Langemunt" where you can find stores like H&M, Zara, Coolcat, Fnac, Phone shops, Brooklyn (very nice shop with a lot of hip clothing) and a lot more.
Not far from the centre you also have a lot of clothing shops like Bellerose (KorteDagsteeg 40) and The Movies (Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 5)
Other nice shops:
Cream: Hoogpoort 9 - not far from "Langemunt"
Limits: Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 38
Very cool and MUST SEE-shop for citytrippers in Ghent who are looking for original and trendy gifts, interior-objects, lighting, design-accessories, gadgets,...
With every visit you'll find here new, funny stuff you won't see anywhere else!
What to pay: All price-ranges (gifts from € 5.00 to € 12.50 or € 25), lighting from € 35 to € 75, € 100 or € 150),...
A beautiful traditional old shop which has hardly changed over many years.
What to buy: The speciality of the shop is its home-made mustard which is kept in a large wooden barrel at the back of the shop. You buy a suitable sized container and, with much panache, they pour the mustard from a wooden ladle into your jar. It's a fantastic mustard, too, strong but not harsh or bitter. I now have to bring several jars back for friends on each visit.
What to pay: Varies on size of container - abot 3-5 euros gets you decent jar - and you get a discount if you return it for re-filling
Shopping mall near centre (8 minutes walk from St. Baafs Church). All kinds of shops and bakeries and brasseries and a big supermarket.
What to buy: Clothes, shoes, computer and mobile stuff, perfume, all kinds of food, household things, gifts, bags etc.
If you you really like to shop when away from home you will be happy in Gent!
From chocolates (or pralines) and beer, high fashion or second hand retro, toys and crafts, books and breads, waffles and jams, mustard and cheeses, lace and carpets, kitchen pans and crystal glasses - it's all here.
Along the main shopping street you will find all the well-known global regulars but don't neglect the little independent shops in cobbled streets near to where people live - and the markets.
Just look and you will find exactly what you want!
We came home with a pot of the Vve.Tierenteyn-Verlent's mustard.
The previous "Vleeshallen" - Meatmarket in Ghent, completely transformed into a modern shop.The only thing that remains are the stones/bricks and the impressive wooden roofconstruction.
What to buy: Next to chocolat, lace and beer, another culinary tip whenever visiting the flemish area of Belgium is the famous "Ganda Ham"
I took this picture in Ghent (of course) , in the center of the old town, next to the "Vleeshallen"
Next to food and alcohol you will find some shops selling fancy clothes for women and men.
Let your company stroll around in the shop, in the meantime have a drink in the pubs.
Another modern shopping center you will find in the same area, namely on the "Korenmarkt" (tram1), an ex main post office, but tuned into a huge shop
The Fallen Angels and The Fallen Angels Gallery are two nice little shops situated in the historical centre of Gent.
THE FALLEN ANGELS
For those who require a little bit of nostalgia this is the place to visit. Here you will find old postcards, devotioncards, old dolls, bears, old toys, tin cookie jars, etc...
THE FALLEN ANGELS GALLERY
A small paradise for original old advertising and motion picture posters, fun old enamel signs, original ashtrays, old pill boxes, etc…. Real collectors’ items. For lesser money you will also find a full assortment of repro articles.
What to buy: All kind of old toys, postcards, posters, dolls, cans, ...
What to pay: The original stuff is off course quite expensive; it are real collectors´items. But for lesser money you will also find a lot of repro articles. The Fallen Angels Gallery, for example, sells very nice reproduction pin-up girls postcards.
One of the things I enjoyed while walking around Gent was admiring (OK drooling over!) the various food shops and their window displays. Of course I knew already about Belgian chocolate and expected to see (and taste) great examples of that, but I hadn’t realised that the Belgians put so much care into other foods as well. We saw wonderful displays of pastries, cheeses and, as in this photo, a huge variety of breads.
What to buy: We bought chocolate to bring home to friends and family but otherwise didn’t sample any of these delicacies. If we’d been visiting in the summer I think it would have been great to make up a picnic with some of these breads and cheeses to enjoy beside the canal.
What to buy:
-- Gentsche mastellen --
looks like a donut, but tastes a lot different. lot's of butter and kaneel in it.
-- Mokken, makroens en kletskoppen --
different type of coockies loved by tourists. Again kaneel is the key of it.
-- Wippers --
Was supposed to be a soft sweet (karamel), but accidentally tuned into a hard one, but a good one.
-- beesekes and muiletrekkers --
if you know the meaning of 'muiletrekkers', you can guess what's in it... not sweet at all.
-- Gentsche jenerver --
There are a lot of jenevers (kind of 'snapps') in Belgium. The local one's are "Gentse Bobke" and "Keizer Karel".
-- Tierenteyn mostard --
This is the most famoust Ghentse mostard. Very strong as well...
Modern, with good music, nice brands, alternative (and sometimes too alternative), big pants department with different kinds of jeans. The also sell shirts, shoes, .... for both men & women.
What to buy: Men :
ADIDAS BURLINGTON CUIRCO DIESEL JAPAN RAG ENERGIE
FRED PERRY G - STAR L.T.B. MASON’S MELTIN’POT NAPAPIJRI
PRINGLE PEPE JEANS POLO R.L. UNDERWEAR REPLAY
SCOTCH & SODA SIXTY SUPERDRY TOMMY HILFIGER
WEARFIRST WE ARE REPLAY Z - BRAND & many more
ADIDAS BURLINGTON BUFFALO CIMARRON COLCCI
CUIRCO DIESEL LE TEMPS DES CERISES FORNARINA FREEMAN FREE SOUL G - STAR GUESS KILLAH LADY SOUL L.T.B. MELTIN’POT
MISS SIXTY PRINGLE RELIGION WOMEN REPLAY WE ARE REPLAY ....
What to pay: From average to expensive prices
The most expensive i saw was an ughly jeans with spots on it like you spilt som cofee for €200!
The shop has designer clothes for male/female. It's well organised and they have everything from t-shirts to jackets to ...
It's one of my latest discoveries in Gent, very expensive, but I suggest to visit it in the sales period, then you get -30 -50 % off, enjoy!
What to pay: more expensive prices, not for everyone
Having had a taste of Belgian beer you are sure to want to take some home and a fairly cheap way to do it is to look in the small convenience stores around the city. I found this one, with heaving shelves, on St Veerleplein next to the Gravensteen castle.
There are a number of chocolatiers in Gent, you'll find one of them in St Baafsplein near the Belfry.
What to buy: Unless you want to upset your work colleagues and be on coffee duty for the next six weeks you'd better take them back some Belgian chocolates.
What to pay: They're not cheap but you have to pay for quality