What’s on: Foodie feast with a sea view


It’s a good week to go to Ostend, with both a swanky food festival and a heady exhibition on in the coastal resort

Chefs Collective Belgium

Thirteen collective Michelin stars await you at Chefs Collective Belgium, the foodie event of the year at the coast. Enter to find nearly 30 Belgian chefs and five bartenders serving up bites and cocktails to fit any taste.

Some of Flanders’ greatest chefs will be here, such as Michaël Vrijmoed of Vrijmoed in Ghent, Nick Bril of The Jane in Antwerp and Filip Claeys of De Jonkman in Bruges. Dominique Persoone of The Chocolate Line will be there to help you finish your meal(s) with flair. 9 December from 15.00, Thermae Palace Hotel, Koningin Astridlaan 7, Ostend

Giants Procession of Ronse

Ronse in the Flemish Ardennes has some fantastic “giants”, those huge figures seen in so many parades and processions across Belgium. They are generally tied to a town’s identity or history, and so it is that in Ronse the giants are associated with the area’s formerly rich textile industry. Two of the giants have been renovated and are part of a special giant procession this weekend featuring giants from other Belgian cities to welcome them back to the fold. Ronse was also in the news recently for being home to the best walking trail in East Flanders, namely the Muziekbos. Make a day of it in one of the southern-most parts of Flanders. 8 December, start at 14.45, across Ronse

The Weather is Quiet, Cool and Soft

To visit an exhibition dedicated to the work of Guy Mees is to not know what you are going to get. Photographs? Collage? Watercolours? Chromatic charts? The 20th-century artist, part of the New Flemish School, created a great body of work, much of it seemingly simplistic; it’s about the ideas more than the media. He was very thorough, for instance, in his imagery of three people posed on blocks of different heights in a sort of medal podium of the ordinary. But are they all equally ordinary if one is higher than the other? Mees used repetitiveness to question hierarchies and structures. This show brings together works from various decades to present an overview of an artist who steadfastly refused to discuss his work, preferring to let the chips fall where they may. Until 10 March, Mu.Zee, Romestraat 11, Ostend

Don Pasquale

Though perhaps best known to the general public for the great tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor, the prolific 19th-century Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti wrote some of the world’s finest comedic operas. De Munt opera house has wisely chosen French theatre director Laurent Pelly’s version of Don Pasquale, as madcap as they come. The hilarious story of the grouchy old Pasquale who decides to marry to prevent his nephew from inheriting his fortune, only to be tricked into marrying his nephew’s beloved, is lively, colourful and deliciously exaggerated. Pelly calls Don Pasquale Donizetti’s best comedy, and you’ll be hard-pressed to disagree. (In Italian, surtitles in Dutch and French) 9-23 December, De Munt, Muntplein 5