This years’ week long tour to Belgium saw the consumption of many new and interesting beers, and much chocolate! Oh, and we sang in three evening concerts, a church service and busked in many illegal places.
We started the week in the city of southern city of Namur where we rehearsed in the lovely acoustic of La Chappelle. In return we sang for a service and gave a full-house evening concert to much in-time applause!
Namur had many things to offer – not least an ancient Citadel – but especially interesting were the Youth Hostel’s terrapins (to which we fed the loser of Jon and David’s quiz). We all had much merriment in the game of “pub-golf” organised by Social Secretary, Michael. A few of us had too much merriment, James!
We sampled the many watering holes and eateries in and around Brussels, moving next to David’s find, the lovely Hotel Belmont. We busked (unwisely?) in the Grande Place and gave an evening concert in the main concert hall of Brussels Conservatoire – what an experience!
The compulsory chocolate factory tour was next on the cards as we visited the lovely market-town of Bruges for the day. Instead of making a trip to a brewery, we decided to spend most of the afternoon in a bar which sold 400 different beers – a wise choice – if only for the wonky and test-tube glasses!
Recovering from many a sore head, we spent our final day chez McGrath in Jodoigne; Paul and Tinuke provided a fantastic meal for us all with the local delicacy, cabbage-sausage, being a favourite! Our final concert was in a local church with a wonderful acoustic and the equally wonderful Soprano, Tinuke Olfman, taking the stage (or, rather, organ loft!) for Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum” and Mendelssohn’s “Hear My Prayer O Lord” with Organist Michel Crevecoeur.
On the Eurostar home, the Tour Committee awarded Tour Awards. Notable winners this year were:
Honorary Alcoholic of Tour: Carmel Edmonds (who graduated last year)
Best Quotation of Tour: David Chart
Jaime Morgan-Hitchcock Memorial Award: Andrew Lee