Thursday, 17 February 2011

Brussels

Brussels! This weekend Mr E and I headed to Brussels. We trained from Amsterdam, which is just under a 3 hours train ride, but it was direct and went quite quickly. The trains run a special fare on weekends (Friday through to Sunday) so that's handy as well. We arrived to sunshine and a mild 12 degrees. Balmy! Staying at Hotel Bloom which was a 10 minute walk from Central station, and overlooks the park above. Well, not our room, but some rooms. We'll know better next time to book early and ask for a view!
Brussels has some stunning old buildings, like the one above, and some incredibly modern ones, like the one below.
I really love this building. It's stunning, as far as I'm concerned.
We had lunch at Viva M'Boma and it was brilliant. The place looks very unassuming from the outside, and inside is decked out in floor to ceiling white tiles. The staff were very friendly and attentive and the food just delicious. According to the Lonely Planet write-up, 'Viva M'Boma' means 'long live the grandmother' in the old Bruxellois dialect. Well, the food sure did seems hearty. I had a great dish of vol-au-vant which I was expecting to be tiny, but was one actual pastry cup drowned in a thick creamy soup with mini meatballs and with at least half a chicken in there. Half of the most mouthwatering succulent chicken you've ever eaten, that is. Along with some wonderful mashed potato and sauteed mushrooms. Heavenly. So much, I barely made a dent in my meal. rule of thumb, the Belgium's are very generous with their helpings, so you can have lunch and skip dinner. Below is a picture from inside, we had a nice table at the back, close to the kitchen.At the end of the street is another famed restaurant: La Marée. This had rave reviews and we couldn't make it in for lunch so we booked a table for dinner and returned later. Had us some wonderful fish and fries and home made ta tare sauce.A few doors down there's a nice little vintage store, and at the end of the street (towards the canal) there's a OxFam Vintage. Though I didn't manage to find anything at either, both a bit run of the mill.
We called into the Museum of Costume and Lace, just a stone's thrown from the city square. It's not very big, so if you've 40 minutes of so it's well worth visiting. There's an exhibition on the Sixties - Liberating Colours right now. I wanted everything! The exhibition is on until February 27th so best get your skates on if you want to see it.
Wondering the streets was just bliss, but we'd come on a mission! No dilly dallying for us! We were here for one reason and one along, to check out all things comic strip. Tomorrow's post will reveal all...
Viva M'Boma: Vlaamsesteenweg 17 / Rue de Flandre 17, Brussels. Tel. : +32 2 512 1593.
La Marée: Vlaamseteenweg 99 / Rue de Flandre 99, Brussels. Telephone: +32 2 511 0040. Note, they're closed Sunday and Monday.
Museum of Costume and Lace: Rue de la Violette 12, Brussels. Entrance €4.
The Sixties - Liberating Colour: Until 27 February 2011 at the Museum of Costume and Lace. The exhibition can be visited from 10 am to 5 pm. During the weekend from 2 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Wednesdays and holidays.

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