Ghent is one of the most beautiful cities in Flanders. A historic centre that bursts with atmosphere and cosiness all year round. Are you looking for the ideal place in Ghent to ask your partner to marry you? Look no further! Kristof Boxy, one half of the culinary Boxy twins, gives you his favourite locations in Ghent for your dream proposal!
In the beating heart of Ghent, with a view on the water, you will find the Graslei. Especially in the summer months, the Graslei is a wonderful place to get down on one knee. Kristof explains: “The Graslei is the symbolic heart of Ghent. Over the years, the City of Ghent has beautifully renovated the banks of the Leie here, so that you can come closer to the water to enjoy the peace and quietness or to socialise. The historic stepped gables of the surrounding houses also contribute to the picturesque character of the location, and the sun gives off its heat until late. In short: if you want to propose in summer, the Graslei is the ideal place.”
In Ghent you can also enjoy some beautiful views. Kristof: “Go with your partner to the top of the Boekentoren. Here, the view over Ghent is spectacular – you are at the highest point of Ghent. I like to compare the Boekentoren in Ghent with the Empire State Building: you never forget being asked to marry on such a high point. Plus: not everyone knows that you can and may go up in the Boekentoren. It’s always ‘fun’ when you find a location that is exceptional, that your partner doesn’t know and where he or she wouldn’t expect a proposal at all. Of course, you do have to officially ‘get down on one knee’ here, as it should be”, Kristof laughs. Tip: only for couples where the partner is not afraid of heights…
3. Sint- Baafs Cathedral
Perhaps not the most obvious choice, but Kristof immediately thinks of the famous Sint-Baafs Cathedral. Kristof explains: “The Sint-Baafs Cathedral has something very intimate; the atmosphere there is very serene. The Mystic Lamb that hangs there, embodies for me a kind of intense happiness. It has something pious, but at the same time also something very worldly. When you want to propose to someone, that is also the exciting, blissful atmosphere you experience; a proposal is an intense affair. That is why, for me at least, Sint-Baafs Cathedral cannot be missing from this list.”
4. On the boats
In and around Ghent, where the Leie and Schelde rivers merge, there are some great boat rental companies. Get down on one knee during an idyllic canal cruise! Kristof is a big fan: “Rent a boat and sail for example from the centre of Ghent to the artists’ villages Sint-Martens-Latem and Deurle. Pure romance on the boat, where the two of you enjoy a glass of champagne and the beautiful view. While your partner looks away, you get your ring out…”.
5. The Ghent Festivities
For fans of a more grandiose approach, there are still the Gentse Feesten. Go big or go home. Kristof explains: “Take your bystanders with you in your happiness and enthusiasm to ask your partner to marry you! Say it, with a microphone in your hand, in front of everyone: “I love you! Will you marry me?”. Want to bet that the people will cheer for your proposal? If you’re lucky, your proposal will even be filmed. What an experience!”
Congratulations, you are engaged! Such a unique event cannot be allowed to pass by unnoticed. Besides the very best proposal locations, Ghent also offers a lot of known and hidden gems where you and your fiancé can enjoy yourselves. Let us spoil you at one of Kristof’s favourite celebration spots!
1. The Cobbler
The Cobbler is a hidden cocktail bar in the 1898 The Post hotel, between Graslei and Korenmarkt. Kristof comments: “In the wonderfully cosy seats of the cocktail bar on the first floor of the hotel, you can toast on your future together. The bar is open to everyone, and sitting at the window you have a view of the beautiful historic Ghent outside. A glass of champagne, cocktail, … Here you can sit quietly and enjoy the intimate atmosphere that this bar has to offer.”
2. Cafe Theatre
Cafe Theatre is a gem at the opera of Ghent, on the Kouter. “Cafe Theatre is a very nice and solid bar where you can drink cocktails or a glass of champagne. It is a place for connoisseurs and epicureans, and for an audience that also likes a slightly more intimate atmosphere. Highly recommended”, says Kristof Boxy.
3. ‘t Galgenhuisje
On the other hand… Nothing more authentic than a good brown café! Kristof explains: “The friendly Galgenhuisje on the Groentemarkt, in the heart of Ghent, is a brown café with its own history. ‘t Galgenhuisje is the ideal café to celebrate your good news with the two of you, or with your best friends. It is small and intimate, and there is a big chance that the other people will immediately decide to celebrate with you when they hear that you are engaged!”
4. Café Albatros
Or maybe you fancy a good old-fashioned pub crawl? Kristof: “The historic Café Albatros is also close to Vrijdagsmarkt. You can start at the Albatros, and then walk from one pub to the other – you are right in the centre, between a few other gems of pubs. It’s great to celebrate your good news here with some good friends.”
5. The Charlatan
For the couples who like to dance afterwards, the Charlatan is the place to be. Kristof: “It is a music and dance bar that is very much appreciated by the ‘youth of all ages’. Occasionally live jazz is played and musicians perform. A very nice way to end your engagement day together!”
About Kristof Boxy
“Food is more than nutrition, it is part of a lifestyle”, is Stefan and Kristof Boxy’s motto. The twin brothers conquered Flanders with their refined cooking and recently with their playful appearance on TV in cooking programmes.
Kristof: “You can safely call Boxy’s a vocation. Good food, art and wine are our lifeblood. If we could, we would turn every moment into a feast. As a caterer, we are often lucky to serve in the most beautiful buildings and art collections. Combining hospitality and beauty gives us enormous satisfaction. That is why we swear by authenticity and accessibility. This applies to ourselves as well as to our dishes. They are never artificial, always generous. It is hard work, but making people happy with quality, that is always an enjoyment.”