Lucky Me Lucky You

Dinant Belgium

Picture perfect Dinant in Wallonia.

This is the story of luck. Not just my luck, it also has to do with your luck. Sometimes I get lucky. The travel Gods shine down upon me and give me a friendly hand, but this time they shined down upon me and gave me a trip to Belgium. Last fall I submitted this story and photography to a contest that AFAR Magazine was running online. Miracle of miracles – mine won.

AFAR Magazine

My winning picture and article in AFAR Magazine

For submitting an article about a cool off-the-beaten-path Highlight in the Netherlands, I won a trip to Belgium for two! The next decision was whom was I going to take? The lucky friend ended up being my girlfriend Charlie, another avid traveler and photographer. Together we started planning our Belgium trip. Since I had been to Belgium and Brussels before I was eager to try to find some new places that I was yet to explore in Brussels, and Charlie and I were also eager to do some gastronomy travel in Belgium. I personally think that Belgium has some of the best gastronomic delights in the world – frites, cheese, beer, mussels, chocolate, and waffles to name a few classics.

As part of the prize, Visit Belgium tourist office helped us organize our desires and plan a gastronomy day in the Wallonia region. Then I went to my good friend and Belgian expat, Alison of the blog Cheeseweb.eu (who knows EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about travel in Belgium), and got advice from her on how to get off the beaten path in Brussels. For Alison’s help in planning I decided to make her a lucky friend and invite her along for the gastronomy day in Wallonia.

Everyone else is lucky – but what about your luck? Hold on to your rabbit’s foot – don’t worry, it’s coming… (or simply scroll to the bottom if you are that impatient!)

A wonderful caloric and unique Belgium itinerary developed! I’ll be writing about our food filled travel next week. But to kick off my Belgium travel, here’s some Belgium photography of the out of the way places that I visited in Belgium that most tourists don’t get to.

Brussels Royal Gardens Laeken

Royal Gardens in Laeken has an Asian touch

Royal Palace Laeken

Royal Palace in Laeken

Namur citadel belgium

Citadel in town of Namur. Perched high above the river and city.

Belgium Royal Greenhouse

Inside the Royal Greenhouse in Laeken

City Hall Brussels

A city hall near the neighborhood of Jette in Brussels.

Castle along the Meuse

Castle grounds in Wallonia near Meuse River

Royal Gardens Laeken

Royal Gardens Brussels

Farmhouse door

Farmhouse in Wallonia

Wallonisa

Old Wallonia homes – I believe this one was for sale!

Now it’s your turn to get lucky. I have a year subscription to AFAR Magazine to give away to a lucky reader who has a US based mailing address.
Simply sign in or fill out the information below, AND leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what is your favorite country for food travel! And you get a bonus double entry if you ‘like’ my FaceBook page (also counts if you already like my FB page). Contest ends July 31 at 11:59PM.
It’s that simple. Now, go ahead, try your luck – just follow the instructions on the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AFARcover02 AFAR is an award winning travel magazine which inspires and guides those who travel the world to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives. In addition to the magazine, they have a load of information online via their Wanderlistsand Highlights which provides loads of advice about how to find cool and different things to eat, drink, shop, stay and do for your next trip. And finally they also have a great AFAR phone app you can use for your travel planning.

Your Comments

70 Comments so far

  1. Kaleb says:

    I love food! I wanted to be a chef all my life but change my mind and stayed a foodie! If you ask me my fav. contry for food travel iwill have to say Puerto Rico!! I know thats where im from but i my God there is so much food from cool to wierd awesome!!!

    • Sherry says:

      I’ve only been to Puerto Rico once years ago for work – I clearly didn’t eat the right things. What’s your favorite dish there?

  2. Okay, the picture of the royal gardens and the farmhouse back to back make me think of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

    With that, right now (haven’t been everywhere), London is my favorite spot for food. It just has everything…so many cultures. I particularly loved the North Africa/Middle Eastern area. Southwest France would be a close second and then South Texas for some of the most authentic Tex-Mex food I’ve ever eaten.

    However, if I ever get to Japan, I would imagine that I would be in Heaven with the food. Maybe not so much for my boyfriend.

    • Sherry says:

      That’s hilarious about The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe! Never would have thought about that! You are right – London and other big cities offer a lot of variety in food choices – which ranks them pretty high on my list too!

  3. Catherine Graham says:

    My favorite country for food Thailand – the freshness of the ingredients from street food to top end restaurants is amazing – and I love that there are now cooking classes all over the country.

  4. I realize this is probably very cliché, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal in France.

  5. Tessa says:

    Picking one place is so hard, but so far in my travels, Greece (specifically Crete) has been my favorite – as for destinations’ food I dream of eating? Vietnam.

  6. Angela says:

    I would love to read more about traveling by winning a subscription to a travel magazine!

  7. Dave says:

    Cool for you to do this! I’m adopting travel as a lifestyle!

  8. Anne Burner says:

    I have to say Japan. Such a wide variety of food (and not just cooked and raw fish!). I love it.

  9. Jill says:

    My favorite country so far has been Italy! (I may be partial bc I’m Italian but I found it highly intoxicating and romantic, both the sites & the food!). I’ve also been to Belgium and rely enjoyed it as well. Some of the architecture there is unbelievable. And I loved the mussels and frites!!

  10. Brianna Simmons says:

    That’s a tough one to nail down. Best meal of my life was in Avignon France and started my love affair with food but I’d have to give the nod to Spain. The variety and creativity of tapas, the wine and the lazy evenings. Also chorizo makes everything better:)

  11. Bisa Myles says:

    My favorite country so far is Italy for food of the 3 countries I’ve visited.

  12. lani says:

    Definitely, India…

  13. Lauren says:

    I love Greek food!

  14. Rachael says:

    Thailand! Or Malaysia! Or Jordan! Too many…

  15. Neha says:

    i’m a vegetarian, and food usually turns out to be a disappointment when I Travel. But surprisingly, I loved the variety, I tasted during my trip to China. Loved the food n the country.

  16. Lilly Garcia says:

    No doubt, Vietnam! Pho is my new comfort food!

  17. Woah! What amazing photographs you have! I love to travel to Italy for the food, oh, and Mexico!

  18. Margaret says:

    I love authentic Mexican food. The fresh, handmade tortillas and the meats and homemade salsas and chips are amazing!

  19. Definitely Belgium! The best destination for food tourism – delicious and affordable too.

  20. Sara S says:

    This is so hard to say. I recently spent 3 months in Japan and I ate so much and it was so good.

    Before that I spent almost two weeks in Turkey and Turkey hands down had food that made me want to dance with every bite.

    And then there is something, some food that I remember in every city…the hot chocolate in Berlin, the steak and empanadas in Argentina, the tapas in Barcelona, hmm….

    But I will say that some of the best food I’ve ever tasted was in Italy. Every region during my 15 days traveling was a food marvel. It was all different and unique. The best was made by the old mom and pop restaurants, but the gelato in Rome after my marathon was exquisite! The cheese plate that I ate in Pisa made my eyes roll. The steak in Florence, so good. The pizza in Naples made my heart and my mind expand. The seafood in Cinque Terre was worth every Euro. So yeah, Italy, Italy, Italy.

    But I could eat the world over and be happy, really. :)

  21. Sharon Watrous says:

    The US there is such diversity

  22. Sharon Watrous says:

    I love Italian food, the pasta and fresh veggies.

  23. Amanda says:

    Sweden. There is nothing better than fresh Swedish made kanelbullar.

    • Amanda says:

      Surprisingly Sweden has a lot of variety too, not just fish like many think–though the fish/shrimp is really good. I was surprised at how many Thai restaurants are in Stockholm!

      Worst: Iceland.

  24. Bridget says:

    I loved all the stir fried veggies in China!! Wasn’t so excited about the meat I couldn’t identify… or even the meat I could!! :/

  25. Maggie says:

    I would say for me…Italy, just because I had a few transformative pasta dishes in Rome.

  26. Tink says:

    Congratulations on your winning entry, you deserve it, I love you pictures and stories and have followed you for I think 5+ years now. Started following you when you were less than a year ‘out of cube’. My fav pic this blog is absolutely the Farmhouse, I have a thing for doors. Favorite food travels, Thailand – cheap and yummy!! Thanks for sharing your travels!

  27. I love the photo inside the Royal Greenhouse! The colors are gorgeous!

    My favorite country for food is Spain because it’s the only place outside of the United States that I’ve actually lived, so it tastes like home away from home!

  28. JoAnna says:

    I spent one day in Brussels and really enjoyed that, so now I’m definitely curious about exploring the rest of Belgium.

    • Sherry says:

      You should!! And go beyond Brugge too as that’s quite touristy. I absolutely loved the town on the Muese River – very quaint, great food, and not many tourists!

  29. Ray says:

    Great photos! Looks like an amazing trip.

  30. Candace says:

    I haven’t travelled much, but since I love Italian food so much, I’m going to say Italy would be my favorite country to tour for food!

  31. Ruth says:

    I have been to many countries but have to say my favorite in terms of food is Mexico. Even the smallest, most remote town has great food. Recently, I visited Oaxaca and run out of time to try everything I had on my list. I am always eager to discover a new dish.

  32. Roxanne says:

    Traveled throughout Germany a few years ago, the food was incredible. Definitely a wide variety of food, but my favorites are schnitzel, spaetzle, rouladen, red cabbage… oh, and the breads! Loved fresh brotchen (rolls) every morning for breakfast!

  33. I love eating in Greece (and Italy, of course). The worst food country is also my favorite country, Norway. Lutefisk is just not good

  34. Larissa says:

    For me it’s a tough choice between Italy and Vietnam. . . but they both involve noodles so there must be a theme there. . .

    I haven’t spent much time in Belgium, but I do love those Liege waffles!

  35. Taylor says:

    Sadly, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to leave the country, but it is a dream. So I’ll speak hypothetically! My favorite country to experience food culture would probably be Argentina. They have such a variety of interesting dishes and I’m big on trying new things especially when they’re cooked naturally and in such a cultural environment. Everything from the meats, the herbs, and the dessert dishes sound so appealing.

  36. Anne says:

    Congrats on winning the trip to Belgium!!
    Morocco is my favorite country for food travel!! Friendly locals are always inviting people to come sit, drink some mint tea, and share some pastries including delicious petit pain. And now, during Ramadan, it’s an amazing experience to break the fast with Moroccans and enjoy the traditional breakfast, known as “Iftar”. It usually consists of dates, Harira (traditional Moroccan soup), and shebakkiya (fried twists of bread covered in honey).
    All of it is delicious!!

  37. Yeison says:

    Great post, I love to read everythig related with food. good job

  38. Patricia says:

    I love your photos and your stories. I’m with Larissa- Italy and Vietnam- although because playing tourist seemed to conflict with Italian eating schedules (except for gelato shops), I’m going to go with Vietnam- specifically Hoi An (:-

  39. Christine says:

    Hands down, Greece!!! The food was so good there that all we thought about was our next meal. Oh boy, it was good. And the wine…don’t get me started!!! Not to mention the baked goods. YUM YUM YUM!

  40. katie says:

    I have to say Italy (Bologna specifically!). I am hungry just thinking about it :)

  41. Ryan says:

    I learn by following your adventures.

  42. Morin says:

    Definitely India – So many varied colorful tastes, smells and aromas in this amazing continent <3

  43. Laiah says:

    The best country for food is definitely India!!! The best place for a vegetarian by far.

  44. Mackenzie Nolan says:

    I love Italian food so I have to say that Italy was one of may favorite places to visit. How about buying pizza by weight outside of the Vatican City!! I also really enjoy Greek food, and nothing beats an ocean view, so Greece was another fantastic place to visit!!

  45. Gail says:

    Italy by far the best…especially Tuscany

  46. Ariana says:

    You capture the places beautifully. I like the Royal Gardens in Laeken that has an Asian Touch. Luxurious places are eye catching. Thanks for this i really enjoy your post!

  47. My favourite country for food travel is Spain. I try as many paellas as possible everytime I visit. I have had some excellent paellas but I also enjoy other Spanish dishes.

  48. BON VOYAGE says:

    I LOVE this photo of Dinant!!!! Gorgeous! Congratulations!!

  49. Dave says:

    I love your story and photography, Royal Gardens picture is the best on them.

    My favorite country for food is India because a wide variety of regional cuisines as rich and diverse as its people and history.

  50. Devendra says:

    Nice Picture collection!
    Especially the photo of Dinant in Wallonia is awesome.

    I like Indian and Thai food its very spicy and tasty, Also Indian food is rich in fibers , iron, protein & calcium.

  51. Frank says:

    Great post Sherry! I’ve wanted to go to Belgium ever since I saw “In Bruges”. Your photos are fantastic.
    Frank (bbqboy)

  52. Congratulations on your winning article and image! It looks as though your trip was a fabulous prize to say the least! Absolutely gorgeous images! I love the first shot of Dinant in Wallonia, that of the citadel and the incredibly whimsical image of the farmhouse garden gate, though they are all beautiful!

  53. Beautiful shots Sherry :) Are they HDR images? They’re so vibrant!


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