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Visting Brussels

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by aarghh, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. aarghh

    aarghh Senior Member

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    I'll be visiting Brussels on business next week. Since I've never been there before I'm keen to see what all of you have to say about it. I'm planning to visit the J.M. Weston store on Ave. Louise, as well as a Martin Margiela boutique.

    Among other things, recommendations for a chocolatier would also be appreciated - I'm planning to check out Marcolini and Wittamer, but would definitely be interested in lesser known gems.

    Also on my shortlist: imbibe large quantities of beer, visit the Musee Horta, and the comic strip museum.

    I'll be staying at Le Dixseptieme, and am also planning a day trip to Antwerp on Saturday.
     


  2. stache

    stache Senior Member

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    Brussels is very good for just plain walking around. It is the birthplace of Art Nouveau and has many original Nouveau and Deco storefronts. Be sure to have a waffle.
     


  3. T4phage

    T4phage Distinguished Member

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    Visit the Galarie Louise and the adjacent Galarie Toison d'or, entrances on Avenue Louise/Louisalaan and Ave. de la Toison d'or/Waterloolaan (this is right near the Weston store). You will find many stores there including Crossword (or Crossroad?) that sells good quality men's suits such as Belvest and Stefanobi shoes. Also in one of those Galaries on the 2nd floor (1st floor for Europeans) is a store selling Rafaello Caruso suits. Across Ave. de la Toison d'or, on the Waterloo side you will find stores such as De Vlaminck (selling Borrelli shirts, Brioni, Belvest, Malo, Mantellassi), Reporter, Zegna, T. Pink. If you follow Waterloo to the left (assuming you have just exited one of the stores above), until you hit the stoplight, turn to the road on the left (I think it is called Namur) and there are stores selling Paraboot shoes and Ravazzolo suits.
     


  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Stylish Dinosaur

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    walking around is fun. I would suggest going to the Gare Central and taking a look - to me it is the perfect Beligian building, very nice early 20th century architecture, seedy, with a variety of beligians and immigrants working in the shops. you can get a good basic waffle there, as well as a working mans beer.


    the african musuem is very cool, one of the best of its kind in the world.

    for chocolates, my wife loves neuhaus, I am not a big chocolate fan, but I think that they are top notch.

    there are a number of very pretty pubs on the old town square, it is very pleasant to sit outside at night and enjoy the view and the good beer.

    I highly recomend the resteraunt aux armes de bruxelles at beenhouwerstraat 13 (rue des bouchers) tel +3225115598 this is in the old part of town, there are dozens of places around it, but I have had very good meals here. old fashioned kind of place, tourists but also lots of locals. it is across from leon's, which is an institution for mussles, but that I like less.

    have fun
     


  5. marc237

    marc237 Distinguished Member

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    Restaurant - COMME CHEZ SOI. Place Rouppe, 23. 1000 Brussels (Town) Tel : 02 512 29 21. Fax : 02 511 80 52. Website: http://www.commechezsoi.be - go for lunch. [ain't cheap.] Chocolates - I prefer Leonidas of the mass marketers. Not as fond of Neuhaus. Ask for the fresh cremes. However, another strategy is to wander and sample. Very little risk of getting bad chocolate in brussels.
     


  6. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    Avoid restaurants on or near la grand'place (expensive and of low standards). However, the "IIème Ã[​IMG][​IMG]ment" near la porte de Namur is excellent (Thai) ; For Belgian gastronomy, try le "fin de siècle".
    In the quartier de la Bourse (stock exchange) and also near Sablon, one finds small and friendly cafÃ[​IMG]s and restaurants. THere are classical brasseries like "la mort subite", or le "Falstaff". These are not too far from the Grand'Place, which should not be missed.

    For concerts, l'ancienne belgique; The MusÃ[​IMG]e de la bÃ[​IMG][​IMG] Belge and art-nouveau houses. There are organized tours (a company called Arcadia used to do that, not sure if they still do) It's really worth it. The serres royales de Laeken (Royal gardens/hot house) On Sunday, go to the outdoor market le marchÃ[​IMG] du midi, very colorful, and one finds turkish, morrocan, Italian specialties, etc. In Anderlecht (BXL), Visit la maison Erasme.

    If you speak French, get a Guide du Routard, there are great suggestions in the issue that covers Bruxelles.

    Taste the fries. And the mussels. Listen to some Brel.
     


  7. T4phage

    T4phage Distinguished Member

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    Oh, Don't forget to try the waffles. [​IMG]
     


  8. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior Member

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    Lots of good advice here. You will also find 3 good shoes stores in these galeries: Grenson, Church's and Allen Edmonds.
    Nearby is Bovy, my favorite Brussels shop; it sells Alden and some other ivy stuff.
    Be sure to explore the neighborhood around Wittamer for trendy shops and a great (expensive) Sunday flea market.
    Best chocolates are Mary, Wittamer and Corne' Toison D'Or. Leonidas is more ordinary, but still good and sells for 1/5 the NYC price of $28 per pound.
    For seafood (especially lobster) visit Place St. Catherine-over a dozen good places and less touristy that around the Grand Place. I agree that Falstaff (good food too) and the Mort Subite are classics but for a real thrill vist the bar at the Metropole Hotel; takes your breath away and reasonably priced too.
     


  9. T4phage

    T4phage Distinguished Member

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    Chocolates.. Go to Marcolini... ask for a bar of the Limited edition Porcelana (if you are a purist), also try their pralines (Jasmin, the, ginger).
     


  10. aarghh

    aarghh Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies - lots of useful information. I had La Mort Subite and Falstaff on my shortlist - I shall certainly try them out.
    Also the waffles.
     


  11. Walter

    Walter Senior Member

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    For high end clothing, check Degand on Av Louise.

    The largest beer lists can be found at "Moeder lambiek" near Saint Gilles city hall and "L'atelier" in Ixelles.

    If you want to try something unique in Europe "Saint Guidon" within the stadium of famous football club RSC Anderlecht is the only michelin-starred restaurant in a sports stadium in the world.
     


  12. T4phage

    T4phage Distinguished Member

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    Oh how could I forget Degand and Degand sport. They have Incotex.
     


  13. Looking to improve

    Looking to improve Senior Member

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    [​IMG] NOW you tell me? Â [​IMG] Â [​IMG] . I second the Marcolini Porcelana chocolate btw. MtB
     


  14. arenn1

    arenn1 Well-Known Member

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    A few recommendations on Belgium. Firstly, it contains one of the world's greatest restaurants in Brunneau, which IMO outclasses the more famous Comme Chez Soi in every regard (or at least did when I visited a couple years ago). You also can't go wrong just grabbing a waffle or cone of greasy fries with mayo. And don't forget to try the beers. I'd recommend items like Orval and Achouffe which are not as easy to find in the US as brands like Chimay. And another must-try is the sparkling water Bru. It's also from eastern Belgium from the same region as Spa, but is hands down the best mineral water I've ever had. The last time I was in the area I carted back several liters in my suitcase. You can see more of my first trip to Beligium, including a lot of Brussels pics, here: http://www.urbanophile.com/arenn/tra...m/belgium.html
     


  15. arenn1

    arenn1 Well-Known Member

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    I should probably have mentioned that both Brunneau and Comme Chez Soi are very expensive Michelin starred restaurants. Be prepared to dress and pay accordingly.
     


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