A day spent in brussels. The city is small and easily walked around in a day, obviously more time would be beneficial! I started the day with what I can only describe as a 'delightfully mundane' breakfast. A small cafe run by an older couple 'chez laurent' (Place du Châtelain)was quiet with background jazz. Breakfast was basic yet perfect fresh juice, coffee, croissant along with an egg and selection of bread all for 6.50euros.
My first shopping port was the second hand shop 'Les Petits Riens' (Rue Américaine) here was a three storey building filled with everything you could ever want! Some rubbish of course but some great finds! I brought an abstract colourful skirt for the bargain price of 3euros! Rue Américaine is great for eating and drinking and I wish I had more time to take in some wine…. maybe next time.
'Cheep' was my sound shopping port of call, this little boutique had a great selection ranging from vila to american vintage. The shop fit was simple but bang on trend with a lightbox ceiling, 1950 teak furniture and sympathetic shelving and rails. A perfectly curated little shop, which I couldn't afford to spend more time in, but I will be sure to go back when my wallet is healthier! It is on Parvis de la Trinité which has lots of other little boutiques and small shops well worth a visit as does near by Rue du Bailli.
Next shopping destination was Place de Jeu de Balle which has an eclectic flea market till 3pm. Around this area there are also treasure trove antique shops that seem to go on and on pilled high with luxury and random artefacts. One of the most ext ordinary was Passage 125 (rue blades), it was such an aladins cave and well worth an explore.
For lunch I went to Le Pain Quotidien (Rue des Sablons) which I felt guilty about as it is a chain and I should have really tried a more belgian option. However my friend eased my mind by informing me that it is a belgian chain, started in Brussels over 100 years ago, which made me enjoy my pea and courgette Gazpacho much more!
Now that I had well and truly covered shopping I turned to culture! I didn't make it to the Horta museum which I'm told is a must and I will make sure I do this next time. I did make it to the fabulous Wile's museum this new gallery is housed in an old brewery. The entrance is so impressive with black and turquoise tiles clashing with the copper vats, here scrumptious cakes and coffee should be consumed. The upper levels are the galleries with rough cast concrete walls painted white and long windows that fill the walls the space has been perfectly converted into an inspiring and interesting museum. Two great small ceramic galleries that are worth a mention and a visit are Puls and Pierre Marie Giraud. Both these galleries show contemporary international ceramics (maybe me one day!) and I felt at home Puls housing an exhibition of work from Turi Heisselberg Pedersen who was my MA examiner. Where as Giraud shows the work of Bente Skjottgaard who was a tutor on my course, a familiar danish vibe in Brussels!
So Brussels it was short but sweet and I will be back for food and wine!