A genuine pampering place in any season…..a nice city and the beach just around the corner and several great restaurants a mere stone’s throw away? Check!! This Local Hideaway should definitely feature on your to-go-to list, for instance for that lovely and relaxing weekend away with your beloved (and the children happily left behind with the sitter) or with a couple of friends, there’s room for four here.

Despite the fact that Belgian is actually the same language as Dutch, I always get that ultimate ´abroad´ feeling when crossing the Belgian border. It’s as if the Belgians celebrate life just a bit more, with great food and a nice glass of wine, real foodies, really….I’m all for it! And so, on a lovely Wednesday night in June, I arrive in Moere, a small town in a rural area, twenty minutes away from the sea and only twenty minutes outside of Bruges. My room for the next couple of nights is tucked away behind a stately fence ahead of which, at the end of a cobblestone driveway lined with magnificent trees, arises a gorgeous building: the former station house, where, in days gone by, the posh Parisians passed by train for a holiday in one of the fashionable places near the Belgian coast. It’s a truly magnificent building, gorgeous, acquired in 2000 by Irma and her husband. With the help of an accomplished architect, they crafted a modern interior. Eleven years later, after the children had flown the nest, an annexe was built, again with the help of an architect, and Irma opened a boutique Bed & Breakfast: Spoor.62, with only two rooms.

I have the pleasure of staying in the larger room, which features a free standing bathtub in addition to the rain shower (the other room only has a rain shower). It’s a lovely bright room (black out curtains for the night :-)). Large windows make the surrounding garden seem a beautiful green painting, and the design is sleek and modern, with attractive design pieces. While showing me around, Irma explains where everything is and asks me when I would like to have breakfast in the morning. After the introductions and the grand tour, I pour myself a drink from the honesty bar while running the Aquamass design bath tub, using some of the lovely Malin+Goetz complimetary bath amenities…..it’s a hard job ;-). By the way, I could also have settled for an evening of Netflix, for the television features an Apple TV with Netflix. The IPad mini that is provided in the room contains a list of all Spoor.62 recommendations, allowing me to make plans for the following day.

The next morning, I awake bright and well rested; the electric adjustable bed sleeps wonderfully! Off to breakfast, which is served in the common room. This elegant and comfortable room features a wood burning stove – lovely in autumn and winter – and a terrace for warmer days. The garden is open to guests and it’s is lovely to just laze about in one of the Fatboy hammocks. Irma’s breakfast is a real treat! It’s obvious that she enjoys preparing her guests something special. She’s also full of wonderful tips for how to spend the day: she knows exactly where to go in Bruges (away from the tourist traps), recommends a lovely small-scale Spa for some ultimate relaxation and knows where the food is great (she’s happy to reserve a table for her guests). I decide to follow the temporary Bruges art route and try a hidden restaurant for lunch….both totally worth it! The sporty guests will also be able to enjoy themselves: the former 22 km long rail track behind Irma’s house was transformed into a cycling and hiking trail that runs all the way to the Ostend coast (14 kms). Bikes (even e-bikes) are for rent at Spoor.62.

That night, I have dinner at a lovely nearby restaurant, which is full even on a regular Thursday night…. it must be that foodie culture again!

On the final morning of my stay here, I once again tuck into Irma’s breakfast, after which I head to the sea, for there’s no way I’m skipping that! Ostend is a mere 20 minutes away, but instead I decide to drive a bit further to De Haan, which is more charming and cosy. On my way back to Spoor.62 I stock up on pralines for back home, another one of Irma’s tips!

And then it’s off to home….back to reality. In the car I daydream about Spoor.62, while making plans for a return trip with my beloved. This Local Hideaway is really special, not many B&B’s are so complete. I can’t think of anything that needs improving or that was lacking (and I’m a very critical guest!). Such attention is paid to detail! But Irma’s wonderful hospitality and the joy she gets from pampering her guests is what really turns Spoor.62 into a unique Local Hideaway that really gives you your money’s worth!

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