Posted by: travelrat | September 7, 2012


Brussels: 23rd June 2012.

A lot of people I know describe Brussels as ‘boring’. Maybe I’ve never stayed in Brussels long enough to get bored … the longest so far was a 3-day stay during the Ommegang procession, which definitely isn’t boring.

Anyway, our primary purpose in this brief stop was to get something to eat before checking into our hotel. And, at least, in Brussels, there’s no lack of choice. The one restaurant we picked was in the Rue Marché aux Herbes (its Dutch name, Grasmarkt, is a lot more concise!) which went by the typical Belgian name of the Pizzeria Napoli.

No, we didn’t have a pizza! Belgian cuisine was once described to me as ‘French quality in Dutch quantity’ … but we didn’t have that, either. We settled for steak and chips … but chips as only Belgians can cook them.

I suppose an estate agent would describe the restaurant as ‘intimate’ … we’ve often seen that in the Low Countries. The waiters don’t actually climb over the tables to serve their customers … not quite, anyway. And, of course, washed down with a beer … they only had Leffe, which, although quite palatable, is rather mass-produced and not as tasty as that from the smaller breweries.

After the meal, I had a short wander down to the main square, the Grand’Place … mainly in search of a great bar and micro-brewery I’ve visited in the past; De Brouwers or La Brasserie, depending on which language you speak. Sadly, I couldn’t find it, and I fear it is no more.

However, I got some photos of the Grand’Place … on a previous visit, it was being prepared for the Ommegang, and before that, for a beach volleyball tournament. So, I managed to get some pictures showing the square as it normally is. Even though work was in progress on one of the buildings, they’ve covered the scaffolding with canvas, showing the building as it looks usually.

Now, what I’d like is some pictures of the square with nobody in it at all. But, I suspect I’d have to get up very early for that!


  1. The architecture is striking with all those windows and the town square really appeals to me. You’d probably find it is never completely empty…THose sketches look really good!

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