Wed, 15 Dec 2010 12:02:00 GMT
Fans of Belgian beer could do a lot worse than heading across the Channel by Eurostar next weekend. Every year the small village of Essen near Antwerp plays host to a Christmas Beer Festival
, celebrating the country’s proud position as the Continent’s spiritual home of artisan beers.
For two days visitors can sample a selection of more than 150 beers, from well-known classics to specially brewed festive tipples. The beer list is regarded as one of the best in the world, and last year over 2500 beer-lovers headed to the event from Belgium and way beyond. There’s also a food menu to help you refuel between tasting the potent trappist brews, including a hearty beef stew, cheeses, sausages – and even Christmas Beer soup.
If you’re looking to do a little bit of last minute shopping you could even combine your trip with a visit to the splendid Christmas market in Bruges
. Essen is just over an hour’s ride from Bruxelles-Nord station.Return tickets to any station in Belgium start from just £80 return.
Find out more about travelling to Brussels
in our destination guide.