First rays of sun
You don’t need to wait for spring! Thanks to the daily flower market, you can see a bright tapestry of flowers every day of the year on the Kouter. But the best time of all to visit is on a sunny Sunday morning in spring. Stretch your legs in the first rays of spring sunshine, enjoy the colours and listen to music playing in the background. Blissful. If you’re lucky, a brass band will be playing in the bandstand. This is what we call the good life.
The Blue Kiosk
Ghent’s most sophisticated gourmets gather at De Blauwe Kiosk at about eleven in the morning. This monument converted into an aperitif bar serves a glass of cava, fresh oysters and other amuse-bouches to connoisseurs at the market. Originally a hexagonal newspaper kiosk, the little building has stood on the Kouter since 1885. Once upon a time, a total of 38 such kiosks were spread over the centre of Ghent. Today this one is the only survivor. Since 1990, it has had a new lease of life as an open-air bar.
There is more here than just strolling, flowers and wine! The Kouter is also a hub of music. There is something here for everyone! A central spot on the Kouter is occupied by a magnificent wrought iron kiosk on a base of natural stone. This music kiosk was designed by the city architect Adolphe Pauli in 1878. The roof features the names of four famous composers: Mozart, Gretry, Rossini and Auber. You can find another one of these gems in the Citadel park.
The 19th-century Opera Gent building and De Handelsbeurs concert venue on the Kouter span the entire music scene, from pop, rock and world music to jazz, opera and classical music. Perhaps running through the entire offerings would be a bit much. Simply rest assured that the Kouter is the place to be if you’re a music lover.
A snack before hitting the shops?
Is your stomach starting to rumble? Brasserie HA’ beside De Handelsbeurs has a table awaiting. Or pull up a chair at Cafe Theatre beside the Opera. Around the corner, on the Ketelvest, you will find mouth-watering menus at Walters’ and Le Homard Rouge. A gourmet paradise. And if you would prefer to stay on the Kouter itself, be sure to stop at CRU - Cuit. Come to this all-in-one greengrocer’s-and-restaurant to enjoy authentic seasonal produce.
And then you’re all ready to hit the shops! The Kouter is the perfect place to start a shopping spree in the Veldstraat.