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NEWS/ESQUIRE 6 Reasons To Love Belgium: Salamander

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Mar 16 2014

16 March 2014 For three years, Scandinavia has reigned at the top of the cultural charts. From TV drama to trendy, uncomfortable furniture, if it's got a 'Made in Sweden' tag on it, there's a good chance you'll find a fawning article on it in the design mag of your choice. But, fickle souls that we are, Esquire Weekly's head is now being turned by a nation less than an hour away from the UK by train, ferry or plane: Belgium.

The catalyst is Salamander, a crime series that's replaced Borgen in the hearts of the BBC Four foreign-drama crowd. Following maverick cop Paul Gerardi's quest to uncover the truth behind the robbery of a private bank, it's got intrigue and murder in spades.

The show, which climaxes this weekend, isn't the only thing this country of 11 million should be proud of, because Belgium – despite the difficulties between the Flemish-speaking north and the francophone south – has a cultural output that puts its bigger neighbours to shame. Don't believe us? Here's six reasons why Belgium is making the rest of Europe look, well, a bit like Belgium.