Pretty Places, Interesting People

Belgium is full of surprises, and a couple of weeks ago that was brought home to me on a sunshine-y early Autumn day. From a chateau in the morning to a private home in the afternoon, the day was full and fun, the very best kind, spent with a creative and interesting friend.

First stop was the recently renovated Chateau Viviers and her gardens, located near Mons. 22066550076_cc06440dde_z

The family who bought the property and renovated it now lives in the chateau, so it was not open to the public. But we did get to walk right in front of it and all around the grounds.

Une belle journée

Une belle journée

Une belle journée


The caretaker’s house is a spectacular dwelling on its own. Most homes in Belgium are brick on the outside, and of course, this was no exception. The bordering landscape is pasture, woods and the park-like grounds of the chateau.

Une belle journée

There is a small and striking chapel on the grounds, and they have mass, I think every week. I particularly loved the blue, star-covered ceiling.

Une belle journée

Une belle journée

After the chateau, we went back to my friend’s house, grabbed bikes and rode to a house belonging to a family of artists. Everyone here is related either by blood or marriage, and everyone is creative as h-e-double-toothpicks!

The dad (and grandad) is a metal and glass artist.

The youngest member of the family is even learning from her grandfather the art that her dad practices: craft beermaking.

The family’s matriarch creates magical flower arrangements.
  

The daughters and daughter in law are also artists. One daughter makes artisan chocolate, not large quantities at all. Another works in beautiful stained glass, designing and creating pretty pieces. 
The wife of the beer-making son makes, from scratch, glass beads.  She explained and demonstrated the process for us, and graciously let me film her. You can see the video here.

Surprise, surprise, a sunny day in Belgium, filled with creative Belgian people and interesting Belgian places. And best of all, I spent it with a friend.

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About Sunny

I'm an American with a Spanish heart, and one foot in France. But both feet are in Belgium, along with the rest of me.
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