Brussels Journals

A Brief History of Beer and Bande Dessinee in Brussels

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A November 2010 trip to Brussels by sararevell

Beers at Cafe Kafka Photo, Brussels, Belgium More Photos
Quote: A November weekend getaway in Brussels led us to some intriguing beers, warm chocolatey waffles and forty-five hours of rain. However the weather didn’t deter us from a lengthy walking tour of the Belgian capital, taking in the Mannequin-Pis and some other artwork along the way.

Getting to Belgium by Ferry from Dover

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Story/Tip

Ferry from Dover to Dunkerque Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
We drove from London to Brussels and although the journey takes about six hours, it was quite an easy and cheap way to get there and back. From the north of London it is about a two hour drive to Dover. For those living in South London it is about half that.Norfolkline ferries depart from Dover and make a two-hour crossing to Dunkerque, which is about fifteen minutes from the France-Belgium border and two hours from Brussels itself. Ferry tickets are extremely cheap and start at £19 for a one-way ticket, which includes the car, four people and just about as much luggage as your vehicle can hold. Checking in and negotiating customs and immigration is far easier than at any airpo...Read More
Grand Place, Brussels Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Brussels is very walkable. The centre is compact, mostly flat and there is plenty to see. Unfortunately our Saturday tour was rain-filled but that didn’t stop us and indeed many others from rambling around Brussels’ stylish shops and charming streets.One of the most entertaining aspects of walking around Brussels is the variety of ‘bande dessinee’ (cartoon strips) that can be seen on city buildings, the scale and quality of which puts a lot of other street art to shame. A few pieces that we saw covered three or more storeys but even so, they’re easy to miss if you don’t make the effort to look up or even behind you every once in a while. We spotted a few along the way but if I go back I ma...Read More

Belgian Beer Sampling at Monk & Kafka

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Story/Tip

Monk on Rue Sainte-Catherine Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Late on a Friday night and after a substantial meal at Au Lotus, we were persuaded to go out one more time to try a variety of one of Belgium’s finest exports – beer. At two very lively bars we worked our way through a selection of five different brews before finally calling it a night.We stopped in first at Monk on Rue Sainte-Catherine. In the middle of this large, smoky, sweaty bar we perched beside a piano but were soon fortunate to find an empty table. En route to the toilets was another sizable room occupied by a private party. The large glass doors allowed non-invitees to peer through and know that they weren’t missing out on much.We got a round of Jupiler, the same beer ...Read More

Le Trappiste

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Restaurant | "A Popular Brussels Brasserie"

Le Trappiste Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Le Trappiste is a classic continental brasserie although ironically it reminded me greatly of the lovely Bistrot du Coin in Washington DC. A pretty pea coloured art nouveau entrance way leads to a long hall with bright red booths running down the centre and sides. We took a table near the bar and a serious waiter brought us a padded menu book. Le Trappiste was popular with couples and loners and seemed to be a perfect hideaway on a cold and rainy day. Some individuals busied themselves with work and a coffee while others indulged in a leisurely late lunch. At 4pm and knowing that we would be going out to dinner later, I wanted to order something light. The salads so...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2010

Le Trappiste
Avenue De La Toison D'or 3
Brussels, Belgium 1050
02 511 7927

Au Lotus Thai

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Restaurant | "The Place to go for Pho"

Au Lotus Thai Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
On a cold, rainy Friday night we ran around the streets of central Brussels thinking that most sensible people would have stayed at home and that finding a place for dinner wouldn’t be too challenging. Unfortunately (for us at least), Brussels on a Friday night is not a quiet affair. It may have had something to do with the bank holiday the day before but in any case, I would strongly recommend making dinner reservations.We went to about four or five places all within a few blocks of each other and were told that a table would be available from anywhere within two hours to two weeks! One street where tables were plentiful was along Rue des Bouchers near Grand Place, but the pus...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2010

Au Lotus Thai
31 Rue Jules Van Praet
Brussels, Belgium 1000
02 502 07 29

Wittamer Cafe

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Restaurant | "High Priced Waffles and Hot Chocolate"

Wittamer Cafe Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
On a second trip (in October 2011) we took the Eurostar from London to Brussels Midi Station. We arrived around 10am and had a couple of hours to kill before we had to meet a friend who was taking us on to Germany. Even though it was late in the morning, Brussels seemed to be making a slow start to the day. We walked through a popular shopping area between the station and the city centre and only one or two shops appeared to be open. We were making our way to Grand Sablon, home to some of Brussels finest chocolatiers, a picturesque outdoor market and the modest but beautiful Church of Our Lady of Sablon. I had read good things about the hot chocolate at the Wittamer Café and as we were als...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 13, 2011

Wittamer Cafe
Place du Grand Sablon 6
Brussels, Belgium 1000
+32 2 512 37 42