March 02, 2015

Hippodroom restaurant Antwerp

 Quite unexpectedly, showing an out of town visitor around,  we ended up at restaurant "Hippodroom" located in the trendy "Zuid" area of Antwerp at the Leopold De Waelsquare.  The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, across the street,  is closed for extensive renovation until 2017.
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening,  the friendly reception at the Hippodroom, the food, wine, ambiance...  I recommend that you put this restaurant on your list for your next visit to Antwerp and hope to be back myself very soon. 
http://www.hippodroom.be

February 22, 2015

Brussels' Midi Market





Plenty of local websites and bloggers will tell you about the colourful Sunday morning market near Brussels' South station, aka the Midi-market, about the abundance of fruits, vegetables, cheap clothes, household things, plants and flowers, about the African and/or Mediterranean spirit but what struck me most this morning was that Magritte and Tintin are never far away. 

February 17, 2015

Carnival in Binche and Aalst

Carnival in Belgium is a feast for participants, bystanders and photographers. 
I did not make it this year and dug into the archives to show you examples of past celebrations in both Wallonia and Flanders.
Binche, home of the Gilles who march through town on the beat of drums in their typical costumes, carrying baskets of oranges which they throw at the public watching the parade.  The yellow mimosa flower is also typical for the Binche carnival.
(http://whatisbelgium.blogspot.be/2012/02/binche-carnival.html)
Aalst (or Oilsjt in the local dialect) where Prime Minister Michel participated yesterday in the ritual of throwing onions - replaced in recent history by candy- into the public.
http://whatisbelgium.blogspot.be/2013/02/carnival-in-aalst.html
To avoid any misunderstanding, there is a lot of ambiance all over the place and carnival in Belgium is not just about throwing things at people.

February 15, 2015

Forest's beautiful squares

 Forest/Vorst is one of the municipalities of Brussels, home to beautiful squares such as Constantin Meunier and Altitude 100, both close to Parc Duden which offers a perfect green escape on a sunny Sunday. 

February 11, 2015

Garage à manger

Eating in a garage does not sound that appetizing but the reviews are unanimously positive. The garage is connected to the  Pêle-Mêle bookshop, open 7/7, serves a wonderful brunch during weekends... it looks clean, easy going .. "a vibe combined with a family-friendly atmosphere" according to S Marks The Spots.
http://www.smarksthespots.com/garage-a-manger/
http://www.garage-a-manger.be

February 04, 2015

Pêle-Mêle, second hand books etc.






A lover of bookstores, I particularly enjoy this one, Pêle-Mêle in Ixelles/Elsene,  a fun place to hang around, browse and catch that great find. The offer is not limited to books, there are Dvd's, games, CD's etc. The store also has artwork on display, interesting furniture and a restaurant connected to it, the "Garage à manger" which looks equally inviting, photos to follow.
  • Chaussée de Waterloo 566
    1050 Ixelles
    Ixelles 
  • Phone number02 888 95 44
  • Business websitepele-mele.be

January 22, 2015

Groenendaal

thank you Graham for the photos

The Hippodrome of Groenendael was built at the end of the 19th century at the request of King Leopold II. The race track was situated in the gorgeous forest de Soignes and once was one of the most beautiful and biggest tracks in Europe. 
I have written about the Forêt de Soignes/Zoniënwoud before. It is located on the grounds of the towns Hoeilaart, Groenendaal, Uccle, Auderghem, La Hulpe, Waterloo, Tervuren...and the perfect outing  for a green excursion close to the Brussels. 
The Racetrack deteriorated and was abandoned, the main building has been demolished and what you see above, the Royal Lodge,  is all that is left now. It seems that restoration will soon be on the way.