Top positive review
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Fully re-researched and re-written
on 17 March 2011
As the author I naturally leave others to comment on the overall qualities of this book. However, I feel obliged to reply to the previous reviewer's comments that this guidebook was based on old or internet based reviews and that little had changed from previous editions. I can only assume that the reviewer was referring to an older edition. The current (4th) edition has been very thoroughly re-written and re-researched to a degree that is far beyond what is common in any normal guidebook update. Most significantly perhaps, the 4th edition goes out of its way to introduce dozens of intriguing smaller destinations that had been previously overlooked by guidebooks altogether (eg Marienbourg, Philippeville, Aarschot, Thuin, Gembloux, Spiennes, Aubechies, Ellezelles, Enghien, Sint-Truiden, Tienen, Hoegaarden, Turnhout, Hoogstraaten, Westmalle, Geraardsbergen, Reinhardtstein, Comines, Crupet, Lavaux-Ste-Anne, Semois Valley, Seraing, Remouchamps etc etc).
There was no earthly reason for me to recycle internet reviews given that I visited everywhere covered (the research took about half a year in-country) and the reviewer's assertion that reviews are out of date is particularly surprising. While I did retain some hotels and restaurants that had been reviewed in the past and that I felt were still good choices, reviews for such places were often entirely reworked. Meanwhile a large percentage of bars and restaurants were reviewed for the first time and several places that I included had only opened during 2009 (such as the Herge Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Hotel Verviers in Verviers and Chateau de la Poste hotel near Crupet). Again, I suspect that the reviewer was talking about the 3rd edition and, if not, I would be interested to hear which specific reviews were considered to be out of date at the time of publication (inevitably many other places have changed in the year since the book was researched).
I would also point out that a large proportion of the more mainstream coverage had been carefully re-thought to make it more practical, and that most of the maps have been re-drawn from scratch based on aerial imagery with laborious on-the-ground checks (ie me walking the streets). All in all, this is certainly NOT a half hearted update of previous editions as should be very quickly apparent if you put the third and fourth editions side by side.