The Grumpy Girl’s Guide to Gentse Feesten 2018

AKA Gentse Feesten Friday 2018

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I’m not going to lie - I was a horrible grump this past Friday. I worked all day, got an email I didn’t like and became tired before we even left the house. And I always have this expectation about me being happy all the damn time. But, despite my contradicting mood I soldiered on (and got a mini-lecture from PJ on not letting shit affect me the way that it sometimes can, but such is my life as an over-thinker & dreamer with a real knack for cynicism).

Keen to make the most of the evening without letting my mood destroy it, we did what we do best (and what we’re currently doing now): found the best spot in the area, had a drink and watched the world go by, which is far funnier when the world in front of you is full of 110,000 drunk people. 

PSA - if you don’t know about the Gentse Feesten, it’s a 10-day arts & culture festival taking place at venues all over the city. In the evening, it becomes a city-wide party, with concerts, DJs and rivers of Belgian beer flowing from every tap the city can handle. 

1st stop: Superette RTT (for some reason this link doesn't work on mobile?! Get it together Facebook.)
Location: Oude Beestenmaarkt
We’ve been here pretty often when it’s open. This little pop-up makes the best pizza in town, has a great forest-vibe setup, and sits next to water across from a few bars. Perfect people watching material. Can highly recommend the cava over the wines here.

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2nd stop: Gent city centre
Location: Sint Jacobs Kerk
A quick walk through town to the stage at Sint Jacobs is where I took the featured photo (which was also posted to the official @visitgent page), but also this one. An accurate representation of a normal, non-grumpy night:

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We stopped to watch 2 minutes of a concert before my mind said a big old NOPE to the number of people around us that were way more intoxicated than I’ve ever consciously considered being. I’m 100% sure the girl selling jenever made an absolute killing on Friday. 

3rd and final stop on the grumpy tour: Champagnekelder
Location: Smack in the middle of the City Pavilion and Korenmarkt, across from Sint Niklaas Kerk
Because we hadn’t properly celebrated PJ’s (most likely) passing of his exams, we went for the 3-glass tasting menu: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Titus was right to pen an entire song about it, even if I’m talking about grapes and his ode is to something slightly more risqué. Pinot Noir - you’re a star. 

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Just to reiterate these words of warning - there will be drunk people everywhere. A group of young kids, so stoned one poor guy could barely keep his eyes open, barreled their way onto the above-pictured terrace, ordered 6 cokes and ‘sneakily’ added red wine to their glasses when the waiters ‘weren’t looking’. No one was openly bothered, but I’d rather have shithead kids take their antics to a venue more prepared for their needs (and I mean that in the nicest way, I’m constantly a shithead).

Top tips for the grumpy girl:
  1. Take a jacket. Euro summers are great, but this is Belgium. There’s a 99% chance you’ll be cold at night
  2. Don’t wear white or shoes you like. You’ll probably have beers thrown on you. Whether accidental or on purpose is dependent on the situation. Again, Belgium. 
  3. Figure out how you’re getting home ahead of time. I’ll never condone drunken cycling (esp. since you get a hefty fine), and taxis/buses/trams can be hard to come by. If you’re close enough - walk. It’ll help you sober up if you choose to imbibe. 
  4. Don't be grumpy. Take a shot of tequila if you can to get out of your funk. Would have served me (but not my head) well on Friday night. 

Hope you have a good Gentsefeesten this year, and that you're in a far better mood to enjoy. 

xox,
Suz

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