Cider and Cinema Beer Special: In Bruges

I went to Belgium last week and really enjoyed looking at all the old buildings and that.  These ones were in Brussels…

Now, I love cider as you might already know if you’ve seen this, this or this.  I’ve never been a beer drinker, but and it’s basically all they drink over there.  So, when in Rome…


I tried a few beers while I was in Belgium and my favourite was this delightful little blond.  Seriously, I never liked beer.  Well, maybe the very occasional Tiger with a Thai meal, but that’s it.  Delirium Tremens, on the other hand, I can happily drink as I would cider or wine.  It’s quite strong at 8.5% so it’s best to sip a small glass slowly.


A bit different to how we Brits usually drink beer eg by the pint and at speed!  Anyway, this one is hard to get hold of here so I’m going to have to order it online if I want to drink it at home.  What we can get hold of is another Belgian beer I liked, Duvel.  And that brings me neatly to my Cider and Cinema Beer Special , featuring In Bruges.


The perfect Belgian themed night in. Belgian beer poured correctly*) in a Belgian beer glass, Belgian chocolates and In Bruges on the telly

Tonight’s beverage of choice is Duvel, a ‘Belgian Golden Ale’ (so the label says).  Because I’m not a beer drinker I’m not really sure how to talk about beer… tips, anyone?  Umm…well, I like it.  It doesn’t have that metallic weird taste that makes my eyes go squinty.


Anyway, I’m waffling.  Tonight’s film is In Bruges.  I watched it last night too, but my boyfriend wanted to watch it again, so we did.

I don’t want to give anything away, because you need to watch this if you haven’t already, so I’ll just say… It stars the awesome and amazing Brendan Gleeson from the truly excellent Calvary**.  He’s just so good.  In everything he does.  He’s one of my favourites.

Look at him, he even walks awesomely

Look at him, he even walks awesomely

Amazingly, as if by the power of osmosis, Colin Farrell is actually very good, too.  He’s usually shit, right?  Or does he just choose bad films?  I’m looking at you, Total Recall remake.

No, Colin. Just no.

No, Colin. Just no.

So, the nutshell version is that Ralph Fiennes sends Gleeson and Farrell go to Bruges, for some reason.  Gleeson’s Ken likes it.  He enjoy the medieval buildings, the twinkly lights and the whole fairy tale feel of the place.  Farrell’s Ray, on the other hand, is like a stroppy teenager.  He’s not into gothic architecture.  He thinks the place is a shit hole.  But he’s clearly wrong, I’ve just been there and it’s absolutely beautiful.  I think it might be my favourite place.  If the Tories haven’t abolished retirement by that point, I’d like to spend my twilight years there.

This is the tower and square that feature heavily in the film, as well as views from the top

So what’s so good about In Bruges?  It has an engaging plot, which upon first viewing is actually pretty mysterious.  Both Glesson and Farrell give strong, emotional performances but there’s also some wonderfully dark humour.  I also really liked the way they used Bruges itself as part of the story.  I’m not sure about Fiennes as a mockney gangster.  I mean, I can buy him as a psychopathic hard-man but the accent just didn’t work for me.  Although I did enjoy this…

If you have the opportunity to go to Bruges, GO!  You can go on a boat ride on the canal just like they did in the film.  We did it and it was 16 euros well spent.

If you can’t get to Bruges, you could always get some imported beers in and watch In Bruges instead.

Score: 8.5/10

*The man at the Beer Museum told us that you pour the beer so the foam overflows, scrap the foam off the top of the glass and dip the glass in a sink full of water to clean it.

**Gleeson also worked with In Bruges writer/director, Martin McDonagh, on the very enjoyable Seven Psycopaths.  He’s also the protagonist in McDonagh’s brother’s ‘suicide trilogy’ which started with the brilliant The Guard and was followed up by quite excellent Calvary. The final film has yet to be released but I’m sure as shit it’ll be good.




40 responses to “Cider and Cinema Beer Special: In Bruges

  1. Great post lovely Laura!! Great pics too 🙂 I’ve never been to Bruges but is definitely on my ‘to do’ list! I’ve always fancied all the beautiful turrets and canals. And chocolate…….and beer!

    So true about us Brits drinking beer by the pint and at speed lol.

    Fitting film choice also!! In Bruges is one of those cool films that is equally funny and sad. And had characters that I cared about 🙂

    P.S love that glass with little elephants all over it!

  2. Great photos. Bruges is an absolute dream. Completely overconsumed when I went there. 4 days right before Christmas a few years ago, it was just a ridiculous selection of beers and after a couple you’re knocked for 6!

    • Thanks! It is lovely there, isn’t it? I’d love to go at Christmastime. It must be magical. I know what you mean about the beer. They’re so much stronger than at home, but I prefer it. They taste better, and you don’t end up drinking gallons of the stuff because you’d end up on the floor!

    • Thanks, Cindy! In Bruges is a great film, and the place is really beautiful. I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you ever have the chance to go, I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed.

  3. I was ‘In Bruges’ recently but it was pouring with rain so we didn’t get a chacne to explore much. Once the weather cleared up in the evening I might have had one too many Duvel’s!

    • That’s such a shame. We were only there for a day and it rained in the morning, but we were lucky it cleared up and we managed to sit outside and have a local beer before heading back to our base in Brussels.

      I really liked Duvel and was very glad to see it in my local Tesco.

  4. My Dear fn,

    It looks and sounds like you had a great time, In Bruges is an awesome movie, I loved Fiennes and is that last pic my dear fn?

    Yours Truly,


    P.S. I drink a lot of beer, quickly – so I drink the cheap shit and follow it with a shot or so.

    • Dear ei,
      We loved Bruges but didn’t think so much of Brussels. Bruges was beautiful and In Bruges is great. Yes, that is me drinking a beer. I drink beer, now.
      P.S. Have you tried Tremens? It’s my new favourite.

      • Dearest fn,

        You are beautiful, mysterious and powerful!



        P.S. I do not think so. When I drink my beer I have about six or seven so I go cheap. Also – some of those fancy import beers really give me the bloat after about four or five.

      • Dear ei,
        You’re too kind.
        P.S. Probably best to steer clear of the Belgian ones, then. They’re very strong and I couldn’t recommend drinking so many of them!

  5. Great film! Mr O and I almost booked to go to the Christmas markets in Bruges this year but then we decided on Salzburg instead. Maybe next year! 🙂

    • We’re going to Berlin! Let me know how Saltzburg is. I highly recommend Bruges, it’s a beautiful little town.

  6. Very cool! I went to Bruges last year, and we actually only wanted to go to Paris but after seeing In Bruges, we had to include this picturesque town. Great pics, you made me all nostalgic 😀

    • You went to Paris and Bruges? Wow, that must have been a wonderful trip. Paris is on my list and I’d love to go back to Bruges.

  7. Great post, and some lovely picks. Belgium certainly make good beer. I bought this movie years ago because I’d just seen No country… and imdb said this has Javier Bardem in it. I didn’t see you mention his name, does he only have a small part?

    Regardless, I think I might FINALLY open the DVD out of its wrapping and watch this one!!

    • It said Javier Bardem is in In Bruges? Unless he had some major prosthetics, I think they got that wrong! It’s good though, you should definitely watch it!

      • That’s just my memory for ya! Nice and random. I see on imdb that this is by the guy who directed Seven psychopaths, which I really enjoyed

      • Oh wow didn’t know that. Talented indeed, I loved Calvary. Still need to see the Guard, I’ve heard that one is pretty good

  8. Great pairing. Almost makes me wish I drank beer.
    I’m envious of your travels! I hope I’ll one day gaze upon the same buildings.
    Also: yes yes yes to Calvary.

    • It’s so weird because I’ve never liked beer, but I liked most of the ones I tried in Belgium. If you can get to Bruges, you really should. Such a beautiful place.

      I need to watch Calvary again. We watched The Guard the other night, I really like that one too. Brendan Gleeson is brilliant.

  9. Great post, Laura! And love your photo. 🙂 Hi! Lol. In Bruges is a great movie! I’ve wanted to go to Bruges ever since seeing the movie. Looks lovely! I’m jealous. 🙂

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