maria booked our bargain eurostar trip to brussels and it was actually as quick a journey to manchester – i was astounded at the ease – it helps that i am only 5 mins away from st pancras, but brussels train station is pretty close to the centre too. brussels is grown up, full of eating places, SO much chocolate and beer! the art nouveau and deco buildings are all over the city. we just walked through all the areas, stopping for coffee and food now and again. there are so many lovely squares in brussells and we were very lucky with the weather.
places to eat are taverne de passage in the beautiful (though touristy) galeria arcade – it was a typical belgian brasserie; la belle maraichere is a family run fish restaurant right in the old fishing market square; restaurant vincent also looked interesting. be warned, restaurant prices are not cheap, though now you get more for your pound.. you must have a beer in the mort subite bar, with its many flavoured beers – loved the bustling old interior; visit the sablon area with its antique market – lovely art nouveau lamps and decoracion to be found amongst the high quality chocolate shops. we decided on chocolates from mary – i am a sucker for packaging! but it was the famous marshmallows that attracted me! stop for a coffee in the perfectly kept kartchmar cafe with its original art nouveau mirrors and lights in salon. a definite must is the horta museum, with its beautiful art nouveau details its just amazing to see – worth the extra journey on the tram out to another suburb.
when robert and I went for the night, we stayed at the rocco forte hotel, which was right next to the main beautiful square – its a super efficient hotel, but not a lot of character, but for one night it suited us well.