Four years ago B and I were both living and working in Paris, going on our little week-end trips around France and never even giving a thought to our neighboring country in the North. Then B started going quite often to Brussels for his work bringing back home chocolates from Pierre Marcolini or biscuits from Maison Dandoy and my interest started growing towards this city of french fries and art deco. Soon after I booked a week-end trip for us to spend the Valentine’s day in Brussels. As usual we went there without a specific plan or even a map and just wandered around admiring the architecture and tasting local specialities. In the evening it was very cold when we stepped out from our hotel and started to look for a restaurant. Nearby we found Chinese restaurant, another Chinese and an Irish pub… Not good. B started to be cranky because I wanted to keep walking in the dark hoping of finding something even a bit interesting and obviously I didn’t have a clue where we were going. We ended up in some dark back streets of Avenue Louise, at this point B had stopped talking to me, when suddenly I saw a dim light far away on a side street. And there it was, Les Brassins, a Belgian bistro exactly as we like it!
The restaurant is cozy and I love the decor with old beer ads on the walls. The customers are a mix of locals that look like they’ve been going there for generations and some tourists too. The menu is perfect with a good variety of traditional dishes such as shrimp croquettes or rabbit in a cherry beer sauce and modern bistro food like filet mignon or Brassins burger. The beer menu is wide and the draught beer is called Silly!
Ever since this restaurant has become the place where we often take our guests visiting Brussels or when we want to celebrate special occasions. And of course each time we think about that Valentine’s day 4 years ago and the fact how we didn’t have a clue that a year from it we would have a second home in Belgium!
Rue Keyenveld 36
+32 2 512 69 99
This week-end we had some friends from Paris visiting us in Brussels. As usual I had work on Saturday in Paris and straight after finishing my day I hopped into Thalys and arrived to Brussels to meet B and our guests.
Our Belgian home is in Ixelles, one of the 19 municipalities of Brussels Capital Region and perfectly located nearby the Cimetière d’Ixelles neighborhood which is mostly known for bars, restaurants and beer drinking students. I might not be a student anymore but I love the liveliness of the Cimetière d’Ixelles and that’s where we wanted to take our friends too.
One of my favorite restaurants in Brussels is Mirabelle. It has 40 years of history and it is an institution in this neighborhood. What I love about their menu is that you can find all the traditional dishes but also modern bistro food. And most importantly, it is well prepared and delicious. Portions are generous and it is impossible to leave there hungry.
This high quality picture is taken from my favorite part of the menu.
The interior of the restaurant is cozy and in the summertime they open a terrace at the inside court. Actually I really love the terraces in Belgium because they are often not in the front like in France but hidden at the back where you can enjoy your meal in the calm (and not in the middle of the street next to trash cans and pedestrians like in Paris).
Mirabelle is open everyday from 12 a.m. to 2.30 a.m and you can find it at Chaussée de Boondael 459, 1050 Ixelles.
A fun place to visit when you are in Belgium. The Brewery of St Feuillien is runned by family Friart from 1873 where they make traditional beers with natural fermenting process without additives. Every Saturday they organize a guided tour in their brewery and at the end you can taste 2 beers of your choice ( included to the tour price of 6€). They also sell their products so no need to leave empty handed!
Mielenkiintoinen ja hauska kohde Le Roeulxissa St-Feillienin panimo.
Vuodesta 1873 alkaen Friartin perhe on valmistanut St Feuillienin oluita, luonnollisia kaymisprosesseja kayttaen ilman lisa-aineita.
Lauantaisin panimolla on opastettu kierros, jossa nahdaan oluen valmistuksen eri vaiheet ja lopulla paastaan maistelemaan! Puolentoista tunnin kierros maksaa 6 Euroa ja kierroksen lopussa saa maistaa 2 haluamaansa olutta Panimon baarissa.
Parin belgialaisen oluen jalkeen tekeekin sitten mieli ostella kotiinviemisia!
7070 Le Roeulx
Une excellente visite intéressent et divertissent, le Brasserie St-Feuillien à Le Roeulx. Les samedis ils organisent une visite guidée pour découvrir les méthodes de fabrication de bières naturelles de fermentation haute sans additifs. Le visite guidée coute 6 Euros et inclue une dégustation de de bières dans le bar de la brasserie. Il y a également une possibilité de faire des achats sur place!
This Saturday we are supposed to go there. I had a very good first impression from this city last year when we went there.
Lauantaina olisi tarkoitus menna Antwerpeniin. Viime vuonna jai oikein hyva ensivaikutelma kaupungista.
Samedi prochain on va en Anvers. L’année dernier on a eu un très bon première impression!
Knokke-Zoute is a very stylish beach town in Belgium. This July has started with nice warm weather so one Sunday morning we took the car and headed to the beach. It’s 1,5 hour drive and we were there before noon. We parked the car next to some really nice looking villas, took our beach towels and went sun bathing. For lunch we went to a french bakery and cafe but funnily enough no one spoke French there! We witnessed also the presence of a belgian gentlemen who had came for lunch in his bathrobe, enjoyed a large Belgian beer with his lunch and left with his golf car. It was quite exotic sight! In the evening we head back to Brussels with a million other people with car and spent 2,5 hours in a traffic jam. Traffic jam is actually a belgian way of life and you just have to live with it. Next time I’ll take the train!
Heinakuu on alkanut suht lampimissa merkeissa ja yhtena sunnuntaina paatimme lahtea rannalle pohjoisen St-Tropeziin eli Knokke Zouteen. Lahdimme aikaisin aamulla, jotta valttaisimme pahimmat ruuhkat ja aurinko lammittikin mukavasti jo varhain.
Olimme perilla noin yhdentoista aikoihin ja loysimme suht helposti parkkipaikankin. Sitten vaan pyyhkeet olalle ja rannalle! Knokke Zoute on varakkaamman vaen suosiossa ja rantaboulevardilla on ravintolojen ja luksusputiikkien seassa huomattava maara taidegallerioita, mika loi ainutlaatuista tunnelmaa Knokke Zouteen.
Olimme ostaneet aamupalaksi ja evaaksi Brysselista portugalilaisesta leipomosta uunituoreita pateis de natoja ja nautimme ne appelsiinimehun kanssa rantahietikolla. Tuli ihan parin kuukauden takainen Portugalin reissu mieleen!
Paiva meni nopeasti auringosta nauttien ja paikallista menoa ihmetellen. Illalla paluu liikenne oli melkoinen ja kartalla n. 1,5 tunnin matka pidentyi noin tunnilla. Belgiassa ruuhkat ovat osa elamantapaa, sille ei voi mitaan.
Une Dimanche à Knokke Zoute. Des voitures de luxe, Des galeries d’art au bord de la plage à coté des boutiques de Vuitton, Ralph Lauren etc. Pendant notre déjeuner dans un boulangerie française (où les serveuses ne parlaient pas français) on témoignait quelque chose de typiquement belge; un monsieur déjeunait tranquillement dans son peignoir accompagné par un bon bière belge et après avoir finis il partait avec sa voiture de golf dans les rues Knokke Zoutien! On voit ça que en Belgique!