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.
The Groot Vleeshuis was built between 1407 and 1419 and was designed by Gillis De Suttere.
Groot Vleeshuis means big Meathouse. A Meathouse was a covered marketplace where the selling of meat was centralised, this way the freshness and quality could be controlled. The selling of meat elsewhere was prohibited. At the south-east wing they added intestines-houses in 1542-1543. For hygienis reasons intestines had to be sold seperately in this houses. They were sold to the poor people.
From the end of the19th century meat could be sold elsewhere, and the Groot Vleeshuis got a new role. It started as postoffice, served as a warehouse, an exhibitonroom and party room.
Today it is used to promote east flemish produces.
tuesday-sunday: 10.00 -18.00
closed on monday
What to buy: East flemish produces would be:
alcoholic beverages, mustard, chocolat, meatproducts.
Above the door is a sign: Mostaard fabriek. Inside it looks like time stood still. The building is a monument, inside and outside.
Mustard is made her according to the same recipe as in 1790. Bring your own bowl and they put your mustard in it. Or you can buy one of the bowls on display.
It was Vve (from the french veuve, widow) Tierenteijn-Verlent who started the firm in 1790.
But they sell more than mustard. behind the nostalgic counters you will find spices and sauces, oliveoil and vinegar.
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.
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...
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
An instution in Gent. Known by all people who like to take a coffee in the morning with some cookies.
Mr Benny fevery is known over the borders and goes twice per year to South Africa where he prepares the High noon tea at the Palace Hotel in Sun City.
Benny is a world traveler and if you ask for him he will make time for a chat or some info on Gent or about the places he has been visiting.
Benny is also maitre Sommelier and has a wine cellar worth to visit. Only if you ask for himself.
What to buy: Home made Cookies.
Ask for his chocalate cake : Louise or his famous Telstar (chocolate or buttercream)
The fruit cakes
Visit the web site and get an impression of his show room
What to pay: Depending how hungry you are and how many cakes you will eat
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.
Ghent has some of the most marvelous chocolate shops in Europe. Not only are they delicious, but they look like pieces of art. I bought a box of chocolates home for my sister, and in the refrigerator they stayed good for two months. A must souvenir from Ghent. Wonderful Marzipan as well.
What to buy: Fabulous Chocolate
What to pay: it's worth it
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
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),...
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.
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!
Maybe this is the nicest and most original shop in the citycenter of Ghent. Full of new, funny and unexpected ideas for yourself or your friends, all at very cool prices!
What to buy: At Axeswar Design you'll find small design objects and trendy gifts. Also a lot of retro-seventies-items.
What to pay: Prices differ from € 5 to € 150. Axeswar Design offers a great mix of gift- and decoration-ideas, at all prices (average: only € 12.50 !)