Despite the lack of parks and the abundance of bicycles and trams all threatening to run a little girl down, I believe the good people of Ghent love children. (Though it's possible they love dentists more, given the way they serve small children orange juice in glasses edged in sugar...)
Not only are there hundreds of sweet and chocolate shops, there were masses of really lovely children's clothes shops.Ellie was very taken with a pair of sandles, but this shop was so posh that they wouldn't sell these shoes to us. They were too large. Phew. That saved us a bundle.
Here I pretended to take a photo of Recarro enjoying his first Belgian beer of the weekend, but in truth, I was taking a photo of the clothes shop behind him for you guys.
I didn't think about children's clothes all the time. As if my attention span would allow it with all this abundance of beer, chocolate and boutiques.
At American Outfitters, I was drawn to their easy list of how to be hip. But really, how many among us can make striped jeans work. I'm not sure I really want the lines of jeans to emphasise the curviness of my butt and thighs. Also, I have no idea what a cache-coeur is. It sounds like a marketing term for a best seller, pronounced in a very dodgy French accent.
Also, what is a vichy smock short. I think I must be a long way off hip. I'll have to confer with Don Mills Diva for much needed guidance.
Ghent shop keepers like to have a free rein on how they use their shop windows. Some fill them with junk utterly unrelated to what is being sold inside.
Others, get over excited at the possible use of a mannequin. But perhaps that's better than just filling the window of your umbrella shop with ... let's be wild here and suggest umbrellas!
There will also be many among you who are desparate to recreate that vintage 70's look in your homes. For those of you who have no time for modern taupe and buttercream and don't wish to dally with highlights of mint, sage or lavender, I've found just the shop for you.
You CAN buy retro wallpaper. You can recreate the kitchens of your childhood. In fact in Ghent, they have a number of shops dedicated to the stuff.