Around The World : The Culture
A discussion of Be lgian culture requires discussing both those aspects of cultural life shared by the Belgians, regardless of what language they speak, and the differences between the main cultural communities: the Flemish people from Flanders and the French-speakers from Brussels and Wallonia — although the grouping of Brussels and Wallonia as one cultural community is sometimes rejected, for instance by the Manifesto for Walloon culture as well as certain regionalists from Brussels.
Most Belgians tend to view their culture as an integral part of European or Western culture. Nevertheless, both main communities tend to make their individual and collective cultural choices mainly from within their own community, and then, when going beyond, the Flemish draw intensively from both the English-speaking culture (which dominates sciences, professional life and most news media) and the Netherlands, whereas French-speakers focus on cultural life in France and elsewhere in the French-speaking world, and less outside.
“Belgium is the best remedy against patriotism.”
Around The World : The Traditions
The culture of Belgium comes into shape through the customs and traditions of a population consisting of people from different ethnic groups. The French speakers from Brussels and Flemish from Flanders together give color to the distinct Belgian culture.
This Feast of Sinterklaas
Sinterklaas (or more formally SintNicolaas or SintNikolaas; Saint Nicolas in French; Sankt Nikolaus in German) is a traditional Winter holiday figure still celebrated today in the Low Countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as French Flanders (Lille) and Artois (Arras). He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including South Africa, Aruba, Suriname, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Indonesia. He is one of the sources of the holiday figure of Santa Claus in North America.
A special Belgian wedding tradition is to have the bride carry a handkerchief specially embroidered with her name on it. What makes the handkerchief special is that it also carries the name of the bride's mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and other female ancestors. The handkerchief becomes a family heirloom. It is framed after the wedding, then when the bride's daughter is to be wed, then the handkerchief is taken down and passed on to her.
Procession of the Holy Blood
The Procession of the Holy Blood is a large religious procession, dating back to the Middle Ages, which takes place each Ascension Day in Bruges, Belgium. The centerpiece is the Blood of Christ, a coagulated relic said to become fluid again each year on this day. Sixty to one hundred thousand spectators watch the procession, a parade of historical scenes and biblical stories. Choirs, dance groups (e.g. dance theatre Aglaja), animals (ranging from geese to camels), horse-drawn floats and small plays with many actors pass by within a couple of hours. More than 3,000 people participate in the spectacle, which is also called "BruggesSchoonste Dag" (The Most Beautiful Day in Bruges). The event retains its spiritual aspect, as many bishops, priests and nuns from all over the world come to celebrate. When the Holy Blood passes by, the crowd becomes still and silent in reverence. The event is protected by the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“We must not only give what we have; we must also give what we are.”
Around The World : The People
Belgians are people originating from the Kingdom of Belgium, a federal state in Western Europe.Belgians are a relatively "new" people. The 1830 revolution led to the establishment of an independent country under a provisional government and a national congress. The name "Belgium" was adopted for the country, the word being derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that, before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples.
Belgians are primarily a nationality or citizen group, by jus soli , also known as birthright citizenship, and are not a homogeneous ethnic group. Belgians are made up of two main linguistic and ethnic groups; the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons, as well as a third tiny but constitutionally recognized group from two small German-speaking areas. These sometimes competing ethnic and linguistic priorities are governed by constitutionally designated "regions or communities", depending on the constitutional realm of the topic, a complex and uniquely Belgian political construct. Since many Belgians are at least bilingual, or even trilingual, it is common for business, social and family networks to include members of the various ethnic groups composing Belgium.
Around The World : The Chefs
Born : March 5, 1939
Origin : Belgium
Pierre Wynants (born 5 March 1939, in Brussels) is a Belgian chef. He owned and led the Comme chez Soi restaurant in Brussels, one of the finest and most famous restaurants in Belgium. Under his ownership, the restaurant held three Michelin stars from 1979 until 2006.
In 2004, he created the menu of the Ostend Queen establishment. This restaurant received a rather good review in the 2005 Benelux edition Michelin restaurant guide (or Benelux Michelin Guide), although the restaurant had not opened at the time of publication of the guide. This breach of the renowned guide's rules created quite a stir in the Belgian press, particularly in Le Soir. Shortly after this scandal, the managers of the France-based restaurant guide recalled all fifty thousand copies of the newly published guide. In 2007 he passed over control of Comme chez Soi to his son-in-law Lionel Rigolet.
Eat At Restaurants
Comme Chez Soi : Bruxelles
Contact Pierre Wynants
Website : commechezsoi.be
Born : December 7, 1962
Origin : Belgium
Piet Huysentruyt (born 7 December 1962) is a Belgian TV chef and the author of two bestselling cooking books. Piet Huytsentruyt, born in 1962, studied at the cooking school TerDuinen in Koksijde before working in a number of restaurants in Belgium and abroad. He opened his own restaurant in Wortegem-Petegem, and got his first Michelin Guide star a few years later.
He starred in a few TV shows, the most famous being SOS Piet, which spawned two books. By December 2008, he has sold 250,000 copies of his books SOS Piet and SOS Piet 2, and his books top the bestseller list in Flanders in December 2008. In December 2009, he will appear in the new film about Kabouter Plop, Plop en de Kabouterbaby.
View Television Shows
SOS Piet : Video | Recipe
Contact Piet Huysentruyt
Website : vtm.be/sos-piet
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/Piet-Huysentruyt
Born : March 4, 1961
Origin : Belgium
Alain Coumont is the son and grandson of grocers. His grandmother ran a hotel in front of the train station in Huy, Belgium. As a child in Belgium, Coumont spent countless hours perched on a chair, watching his grandmother make bread. Then, in 1977, after a voyage to the United States, where he was impressed by the success of Michel Guérard, he abandoned his classical studies and enrolled in the Hotel School of Namur in Belgium. After graduating, Coumont worked in a number of highly regarded restaurants including Michel Guérard (Eugenie Les Bains, France), Georges Blanc (Vonnas, France) and Joel Robuchon (Paris, France).
As a young chef in Brussels, Coumont could not find the right bread for his restaurant. Passionate about quality, he returned to his roots and opened a small bakery where he could knead flour, salt and water into the rustic loaves of his childhood. Coumont opened his bakery in rue Antoine Dansaert in Brussels in 1990, in those days an avant-garde quarter of Belgian fashion. He named his bakery “Le Pain Quotidien.” Brussels quickly took to the taste of this traditional bread. Alain evolved his offering to include simple salads and tartines, keeping bread the cornerstone of the menu. At a local flea market, Coumont found a long table where his guests could sit to eat together; it became Le Pain Quotidien’s first communal table.
Success was rapid and Coumont had numerous candidates who wanted to open other Le Pain Quotidien outlets. In the space of a few months, 10 locations opened in Brussels. Coumont then followed his dream to open restaurants in the United States. In 1997, Coumont opened his first store on Madison Avenue in New York City, which was an instant success. Shortly thereafter, he met a group of Belgian investors who backed his U.S. expansion plans. With this financial support, he opened several locations in New York City and later in Los Angeles.
Coumont currently serves as the Company’s Chief Creative Officer. In this role, he remains the driving force behind the brand’s dedication to organic ingredients. Coumont spends most of this time traveling to support the concept throughout the world. Coumont is also the co-founder of BioGhetto.com, which he established in 2005 with Gilles Valeriani. The company produces a line of organic vins de pique-nique (picnic wines) under the RN13 label, which are produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.Coumont currently resides with his family in Clermont l'Hérault, France.
Contact Alain Coumont
Website : lepainquotidien.com
Website : bioghetto.com
Twitter : twitter.com/lepainquotidien
Facebook : facebook.com/LePainQuotidien
Around The World : Food Bloggers
Favorite Towns : Dallas, London, Dublin, Chicago, Austin, Munich, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, San Diego, Atlanta, and Grand Bahama
Favorite Restaurants : Hoffbrau Steakhouse, Royal Thai, Cafe Hana, Roy's, Texas de Brazil, Craft, Abacus, The Spotted Pig, The Fatty Crab, Purple
Favorite Dishes : Anything with Bacon, Sourdough Bread, Fresh Gulf Shrimp, Cookies, Aged Cheddar, and Apples
Favorite Ingredients : Valhrona Chocolate, Brazos Raw Milk Gouda, Kerrygold Butter, Cowgirl Creamery Cheese, pork belly, and Vanilla Bean Paste
Favorite Recipe Cringe Inducing : Breakfast Bread Pudding or Orange Chocolate Stout Cake, Sheep Stomach and anything by Sandra Lee
Evil Shenanigans’ mission is to bring you exceptional recipes that are good for your taste buds but bad for your waistline! Life is short, eat the food you love! When I started this blog in 2006 I was part-time culinary student with a full-time passion for food – especially dessert! Today I am just a glutton who is interested in sharing my love of all things delicious with you!
So, what will you find in my pantry? I like to cook with fresh, local ingredients like grass feed beef and free-range chicken. I love all things exotic and I enjoy shopping for spices more than I like shopping for shoes. I can’t live without my butter, vanilla beans, chili peppers, and chocolate.
In a former life I sang opera. I belly dance for fun. If I could live in any other place, I would live in Dublin, Ireland. I love reading and writing, but have more talent with the former than the latter. I may be obsessed with Nigella Lawson.
I am happily married, have three dogs, I love hockey, I am a proud Texan, and I have a perpetually messy house. My first cookbook, Everything Pie, is available now, my second book, Not-So-Humble Pie, will be out March 2012, and I am currently working on my third book all about muffins!.
Contact Evil Shenanigans
Blog : evilshenanigans.com
Facebook : facebook.com/EvilShenanigans
Twitter : twitter.com/#!/bakingblog
Hi. I’m Jane, an American living and working in Brussels. It took me 10 years to fall in love with this city and now I can’t get enough, so I started this blog to share my thoughts on the best of Brussels – things to do, places to eat, and tips on where to simply relax. Whether you’re a tourist, new arrival or have been living here for decades, I hope my little guide can help you enjoy Brussels for all it has to offer!
P.S. All of the views and advice on this blog are my own, based on my experiences. No one pays me to write anything nice. Thanks for asking if you want to use any of my content.
Contact Jane Goodyear
Blog : bestofbrusselsblog.com
Twitter : twitter.com/bestofbrussels
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/Best-of-Brussels
Origin : French A first class gourmet French (Parisian following her lover in Brussels), born 3/4 Belgian, who one day was told it would still be nice to blog everything she eats out of her fridge kitchen or a restaurant. But that does not necessarily mean that I eat more than you. (Quoique. ..)
The photos on this blog are done with my Fujifilm S2500HD bridge or iPhone 3G when I'm out of battery or I forgot the camera ...
My kitchen is the theater of all kinds of experiences that are sometimes a fiasco but more often earned me great Miiiaaam from my company at home. (Cats, my loyal assistants, included)
Contact Véronique Vigneron-Dermaux
Blog : foodinbrussels.blogspot.com
Twitter : twitter.com/FoodinBrussels
Facebook : facebook.com/vignerondermaux
Facebook : facebook.com/FoodinBrussels
Around The World : TV Personalties
Born : March 13, 1978
Origin : Leuven, Blegium
JeroenMeus was born on March 13, 1978 in Leuven and cook for several years at top level. A main study was the young Jeroen, but at the Hotel Ter Dunes in Koksijde, he discovered his true vocation: to make people happy through their taste buds. During his school years he ended up in restaurants in Ghent, Brussels and Blanden, and then abroad, including in a starred restaurant in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d'Azur. There, under the strict guidance of a chef, he could experience what it was to prepare a meal for stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Bruce Willis and Rod Stewart. A hard school for eighteen years, but essential.
And when the boy was 21 ... and he followed Ronny Desiron as chef at the restaurant Le Fil in Leuven. He threw himself on the world cuisine and made extensive use of the wok, combine Italian, Japanese and African ingredients on a plate and constantly invented new combinations. Soon a cook Jeroen own supporters together. His own passion grew, and his desire to gradually develop their own style, especially when he is behind the stoves at The Boardroom in Heverlee did take root.
A new step was TV1 talk show at the table, in which four different chefs were discussed: a Swede (Christer), a Moroccan (Mo), a Mexican (Alejandro) and ... a young Belgian. Jeroen had two summers long (culinary) face and was widely sought for ancillary jumps: The quick bite on Vitaya TV, but also contribute to the magazines Taste and Feeling, cooking demonstrations on media and corporate events. Hard work, but like his interventions as part of : The E-Team - the cooking section of Women's Tongues on Radio Donna - enriching and fun to do / see / hear.
Contact Jeroen Meus
Website : jeroenmeus.be/sitepages/#/jeroen meus
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/Jeroen-Meus
Born : November 30,1959
Origin : Mortsel, Belgium
Occupation : actor, musician, television presenter
Bart Peeters (born 30 November 1959, Mortsel) is a Belgian singer, drummer, television presenter and actor. Peeters studied Germanic philology and drama in Antwerp. In 1972, Peeters, still a teenager, played the title role in teen drama "Bart Banninks". He went on to present some comedy and music shows aimed at teenagers. In 1978, Bart Peeters, Hugo Matthysen, Jan Leyers and Marc Kruithof played in a coverband called BeriBeri, but as a musician Bart Peeters gained his fame as drummer with The Radios. This band (with Ronny Mosuse, Robert Mosuse, DanyLademacher, Alain Van Zeveren and Marc Bonne) had an international hit with 'She Goes Nana' in 1991.'
Contact Bart Peeters
Website : bartpeeters.net
Facebook : facebook.com/bartpeetersofficieel
Born : 1975
Origin : Belgium
Restaurant : Petrus
Jean-Philippe Susilovic (born 1975) is a Belgian television personality of Serbian ancestry, known for his appearances as the Maître d' on the American version of Gordon Ramsay's cooking reality show Hell's Kitchen; he was also the Maître d' for the first series of the original British version of the show.
Jean-Philippe joined Gordon in 1995 in Gordon's restaurant Aubergine. Jean-Philippe's experience in Michelin-starred restaurants broadened when he moved to the U.S. to work in restaurants such as New York's La Panetiere, Danube and Daniel's. In October 2001, he moved to the Middle East to work with Chef Ramsay as the manager of Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek.
For the past five years Susilovic has also been Restaurant Director at Gordon Ramsay's London restaurant Petrus; he left the American Hell's Kitchen show following the seventh season due to his commitment as Restaurant Director at Petrus.
Eat At Restaurants
Contact Jean-Philippe Susilovic
Website : gordonramsay.com/petrus
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/Jean-Philippe-Susilovic
Around The World : Notable People
Kim Antonie Lode Clijsters
Born : June 8, 1983
Origin : Bilzen, Belgium
Location : Bree, Belgium
Occupation : Tennis
Kim Antonie Lode Clijsters (born 8 June 1983) is a Belgian professional tennis player. As of 25 June 2012, Clijsters is ranked no. 47 in singles. Clijsters is a former world no. 1 in both singles and doubles. Clijsters has won 41 WTA singles titles and 11 WTA doubles titles. She has won four Grand Slam singles titles: three at the US Open, in 2005, 2009, and 2010 and one at the Australian Open in 2011. She has also been runner-up in four Grand Slam singles tournaments, and won the WTA Tour Championships singles title in 2002, 2003, and 2010. In doubles, she won the French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2003. Clijsters announced her retirement with immediate effect on 6 May 2007, but almost two years later, on 26 March 2009, she publicly declared her intent to return to the WTA tour for the 2009 summer hard court season. In only her third tournament back, she won her second US Open title, becoming the first unseeded player and wildcard to win the tournament, and the first mother to win a major since EvonneGoolagong in 1980.
In June 2011, TIME magazine named her one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future". According to Forbes in August 2011, she became the fifth highest-paid female athlete over the past year. On May 20, 2012, Clijsters, who had previously announced that 2012 would be her last season, revealed that she will retire after the US Open.
Contact Kim Antonie Lode Clijsters
Website : sport.be.msn.com/kimclijsters
Facebook : facebook.com/kimclijstersofficial
Born : August 29, 1981
Origin : Belœil, Hainaut, Belgium
Occupation : Actress
ÉmilieDequenne (born 29 August 1981 in Belœil, Hainaut, Belgium) is a French-speaking Belgian actress.She won the Best Actress award at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival for her debut film performance in the Palme d'Or-winning film Rosetta.Dequenne became more well-known with worldwide audiences following her role in Brotherhood of the Wolf, a $29 million-budgeted film that grossed more than $70 million in theaters worldwide. In 2009 she played the lead in André Téchiné's La Fille du Rer alongside Catherine Deneuve. She starred in the French thriller film The Pack, which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. In 2012, she won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for her role in film Loving Without Reason.
Contact Emilie Dequenne
Website : emilie.dequenne.actricesdefrance.org
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/%C3%89milie-Dequenne
Cécile de France
Born : July 19, 1975
Origin : Namur, Belgium
Occupation : Actress
Cécile de France (born 17 July 1975) is a Belgian actress. After achieving success in French cinema hits such as L'Art (délicat) de la séduction (2001) and Irène (2002), she gained international attention for her lead role in Haute Tension (2003) and Hereafter (2010). Born in Namur, she left Belgium at the age of 17 to go to Paris where she studied theatre for two years with actor Jean Paul Denizon, assistant to British director Peter Brook. She then spent three years (1995–98) at the acting academy ENSATT (ÉcoleNationaleSupérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre) in the DépartementComédie first at the Rue Blanche in Paris, then in Lyon. She was discovered by the agent Dominique Besnehard and appeared in French hit films such as L'Art (délicat) de la séduction (2001) and Irène (2002).
Her international breakthrough came with the horror thriller Haute Tension (2003, UK title: Switchblade Romance, US title: High Tension), which was a worldwide success. She caught the eye of Hollywood producers and soon landed her first major role in a US feature, Around the World in 80 Days (2004), in which she starred alongside Jackie Chan.
She won two César Awards for Most Promising Actress in L'Aubergeespagnole (2002), and Best Supporting Actress in Les Poupéesrusses (2005).
Contact Cécile de France
Website : cecile-de-france.com
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/Cécile-De-France/15579057571
Around The World : Foodies
Welcome at my online home! Baking awesome food at night, being a casual student by day; I intend to make the world a bit more delicious one piece of cake at a time...
In real life I 'm currently a student of educational sciences in Ghent, which is a lovely city in Belgium. I'm a 20-something girl trying to figure out my place in this crazy world. Sharing food and music with my loved ones makes my world go round.
Website : notyourmamasdinner.blogspot.com
Facebook : facebook.com/Notyourmamasdinner
Pinterest : pinterest.com/evadier
Living in Brussels for 10 11 12 13 14 15 years, I got to discover both its good and bad sides. Moving on from college parties, then cocktail parties and finger food (it was all about SATC) to proper dinner entertaining, I saw myself evolve in the kitchen without ignoring the one or the other kitchen disaster! We are dedicated gourmets, and here we share and write about our love of food and wine, as well as everything in between.
We are by no means trained chefs, trained photographers, aspiring perhaps, but living the real life for now. Don’t be shy to comment (in English, French, Dutch, German … they don’t call us Eurocrats for nothing!). We really appreciate it when ‘you’ take the time to pass by, read Glorious Food and Wine. And of course, we love comments and feedback on our blogging life. We also do our best to reply to e-mails, questions, comments as soon as time permits, which usually is soon’ish. Promise!
Contact Andreea Musings
Website : onfoodandwine.wordpress.com
Twitter : twitter.com/#!/onfoodandwine
Pinterest : pinterest.com/Andreea
The Petit Four is a space for all things culturally related to food, pleasurable drink and the good life. A ditty for the bon vivant in all of us. More specifically, The Petit Four was originally created as a space to break away from the restrictions of living in a tiny Chicago apartment with a tiny, tiny budget.* Somehow this has led me to Brussels, Belgium, the only other place I’ve called home since I left Michigan for Wisconsin, China and finally Chicago before ending up here. Now it’s a space for all things Belgian, Midwestern and everything-in-between.
Website : thepetitfour.com
“We must not only give what we have; we must also give what we are.”
Around The World : The Spices
The region which now constitutes Belgium has been invaded and ruled by many people over the centuries including Celts, Romans in 56 BC who ruled for four centuries, Franks in 455 AD at which time the demarcation between the Flemish and Walloons was established, Vikings in 830 AD, Spanish, Austrians and French in turn and the cuisine of Belgium is a true reflection of its history. Cooking techniques and ingredients were assimilated from all these cultures as was the habit of farming and keeping domesticated animals: prehistoric "Belgians" were mainly hunter gatherers. By the middle ages a distinct Belgian cuisine had taken shape and by this time Belgium became the centre of the North European spice trade. Spices such as ginger, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppercorns, were used to season many dishes and even beer - a practice which still exists in Belgium today.
Chervil (Anthriscuscerefolium), sometimes called garden chervil, is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. It is commonly used to season mild-flavored dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbs.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Crocus is a genus in the family Iridaceae. Each saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are each the distal end of a carpel.Together with the styles, or stalks that connect the stigmas to their host plant, the dried stigmas are used mainly in various cuisines as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, long among the world's most costly spices by weight, is native to Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in Greece. As a genetically monomorphic clone, it was slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed. Peppercorns, and the powdered pepper derived from grinding them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (dried ripe seeds).
Black pepper is native to SouthEast Asia and China, and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world's Piper nigrum crop as of 2008. Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavor and as a medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice. It is one of the most common spices added to European cuisine and its descendants. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine. It is ubiquitous in the industrialized world, often paired with table salt.
“We must not only give what we have; we must also give what we are.”
Around The World : Food
Belgium has been called a nation of gourmands rather than gourmets: a country, in other words, where "big cuisine" comes before "fine cuisine". It has been said that Belgium serves food of French quality in German quantities.
Around The World : Recipes
Waterzooi is a classic stew of Flanders. Its name is Dutch, "zooien" meaning "to boil". It is sometimes called GentseWaterzooi (in Dutch) which refers to Ghent, a city in Belgium.
1 large whole chicken
4 carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut in 1-inch pieces
4 shallots, coarsely chopped (or small onions)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
salt& freshly ground black pepper
2 leeks, cut in 1-inch pieces
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 egg yolks
1 cup cream
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pinch nutmeg
1) Stock: Place the chicken in a pot of water, covering the chicken entirely. Add 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 onion, cut into approximately 1-inch pieces. Add parsley, thyme and a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low and cook until chicken is cooked, about 20-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
2) Cut the remaining carrots, celery, onions into 1-inch sticks and place them in a saucepan with water to cover. Cut the leeks into 1-inch sticks, slice the mushrooms and add to saucepan. Parboil vegetables in salted water about 15 minutes. Take out the chicken when poached (no red color must be seen under the skin) and discard vegetables from stock. Strain the chicken stock through a strainer. Remove the skin from the chicken and cut chicken into 8 pieces. Put the chicken and the parboiled vegetables into the stock. Mix the egg yolks with the cream and add to the stock. Add the lemon juice and butter. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
3) I cook the second set of vegs. in the chicken stock to give more flavor. You could use canned chicken broth too.
4) Serve in soup plates with boiled potatoes or white steamed rice. Enjoy!
Belgian waffles are tender and flavorful waffles made with yeast. They're great topped with butter, whipped cream and fresh fruit.
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 egg yolks
2 3/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg whites
Instructions 1) In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the warm milk and the melted butter. Stir in the yeast mixture, sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk alternately with the flour, ending with the flour. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks; fold into the batter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3) Preheat the waffle iron. Brush with oil and spoon about 1/2 cup (or as recommended by manufacturer) onto center of iron. Close the lid and bake until it stops steaming and the waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in 200 degree oven.
This is a traditional dish from the Flemish cuisine, and it is a winter favorite. Best served with French fries and a salad or some green beans.
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
3/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
4 onions, diced
1 2/3 cups water
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle brown beer
1 slice bread
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1) Dredge the meat in the flour. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Brown meat in butter, then add the onions and fry until glazed. Stir in water and vinegar. Season with thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
2) Mix in the beer. Spread mustard over bread, then add the bread and the carrots to the meat. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix in the brown sugar (two tablespoons is a minimum! A lot of people prefer more).
Around The World : Restaurant Menu Items
fillet that has been cured and then hot smoked with canapés.
Menu Item Review
“ I have been several times to the wine bar du sablon with friends and as couple. We asked each time the crew to prepare us a meal according to their/the chefs feeling of the day. Like that we've had great scallops, very nice patanegra (with delicious Piquillo peppers!), their smoked salmon is really fine (not too smokey still keeping the lightness of the fish itself) and last but not least one should try the salty caramel or vanilla icecream (which comes with apple pie for example). Once we asked a vegetarian dish as it was quite late in the evening, nothing on the menu but the chef perpared a superb warm salad with shaved truffle on top, delicous! We were always very pleased with our evenings there, it has been our favourite place in Brussels for some time now!”
Contact Le Wine Bar
Website : winebarsablon.be/en
Aubel syrup, pineapple and salted butter caramel
Menu Item Review
“ I choose this restaurant on the basis of tripadvisor reviews and because it was only a five minute walk from the hotel I was staying at the Four Points Sheraton. I choose the surprise three course meal with wine. It started with a small tasty bouche. The first course was a salmon starter with a light salad and beetroot. The main was wild duck, roast potatos and I pumpkin. I love wild duck and it was cooked perfectly. The Dessert was a CremeBruilee which was delicious. The restaurant is small but tastefully decorated. It can be a bit noisy with people speaking at other tables but not to overwhelming. My only complaint is when I came to pay the meal I did with my credit card and the hostess put it in pounds and I would have preferred to have paid with euros on my creditcard. But this is a minor thing and I had a very enjoyable meal with good wine. Hope to go back with my wife on a future trip.”
Website : o-restaurant.be
Menu Item : Duck leg confit with grilled mushrooms : Les Brassins
Slowly seared and garnished with grilled mushrooms
Menu Item Review
“ LesBrassins features meat dishes well paired with their excellent and diverse beer selection. One might be put off by the immediate block north or south of Les Brassins, thinking it a bit sketchy, as the surrounding buildings are vacant. But, fear not, and plunge in, as you'll love it. I had the duck confit, served with frites and a salad, with a Golden Carolus triple. Big portions, some might think huge, but I'm a big eater as I exercise a lot, so it was no trouble to eat the meal. The duck was cooked medium rare, very flavorful, and I dipped the frites in the duck juice, which was deliciously decadent. My duck was about 16 euros. Other menu items were priced in the 12-17 euro category, which is quite reasonable. The beer list is extensive. They also have wine if you're not a beer drinker. Service was excellent and attentive.”
Contact Les Brassins
Website : lesbrassins.com
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Around The World : Drinks
This unique drink was served to a friend on a trip to Brussels. We tinkered in the kitchen for several tries before coming up with this perfect rendition. The addition of almond syrup to the oranges has an almost candy-like quality. The additions of pink grapefruit, lemonade, and a bit of fizz save the drink from being cloyingly sweet.
3 thin slices of orange (peel on)
2 teaspoons almond syrup
2 oz gin
1 oz pink grapefruit juice
1/2 oz lemonade
1 oz seltzer water
2 dashes bitters
Using a tablespoon, lightly crush the orange slices in a tall glass. Do not mash the oranges; just crush them enough to release a bit of juice. Add 1/3 cup ice to the cup, fill with the remaining ingredients, and then stir lightly, keeping the orange slices at the bottom of the glass. Makes 1 serving.
Belgians must have a high-tolerance for the amount of hot chocolate they can drink, and you might find it serves a few more than indicated. Leftover mix can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days, and re-warmed in a saucepan or microwave oven.
1 quart (1l) half-and-half or whole milk
8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces (115g) milk chocolate, finely chopped
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1) Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
2) Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon.
3) Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Serve very warm.
4) At Wittamer, it’s served with a poof of whipped cream and chocolate curls.
The Belgian Brownie includes another, less expected ingredient: Jenever gin. This is the more strongly juniper flavored stuff, also known as Dutch gin. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s surprising how well it works in this recipe.
1 ounce Jenever (Dutch) gin
1/2 ounce cognac
1 ounce chocolate liqueur
1) Pour gin, cognac and chocolate liqueur into a glass filled with ice cubes. Fill the glass the rest of the way with heavy cream. Stir it gently.
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Around The World : Wine
Belgian wine is produced in several parts of Belgium and production, although still modest at 1,400 hectoliter in 2004, has expanded in recent decades. Belgian wine first appeared in the Middle Ages, around the 9th century. It is unlikely that wine was made in the area now known as Belgium before that, since the climate was not suitable and Gaul was covered with thick forests. However, there are mentions of Paris vineyards in the 4th century. From that time, vine cultivation spread northward and in the 8th century the banks of the Rhine were covered with vineyards. The first attempts at viniculture in Belgium were made around the same time. Moreover, the vineyards were already well established in Amay. The vineyard at Vivegnis, in the north of the province of Liège, was already considered old in the 9th century, as well as the vineyard at Huy, which belonged in part to the Bishop of Liège. The edges of the Meuse River were intensively cultivated because they offered well-exposed hillsides. The expansion of the Belgian winegrowing area in the late 20th and early 21st century is part of a larger trend of increase in cold-climate winemaking. In many cases, new vineyards have been created in areas previously known for orchards.
Powerful and full nose of the splendid Williams Bon Chrétien pear, picked in the Swiss Valais region. Every bottle contains the equivalent of 10 kg of fresh Williams pears. Flavours develop in the mouth giving the impression of ‘biting’ into the fruit.
Contact Distillerie de Biercee
Website : distilleriedebiercee.be
Twitter : twitter.com/distibiercee
Facebook : facebook.com/distilleriebiercee
3 years "sur lattes" (the yeast) an assemblage of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc Despite the long maturation, still fruity. Dosage
Website : perso.ovh.net/~schorpio
hness and diversity of Belgium's brewing heritage.Elaborated from top-quality special Belgian beers, all known for their powerful aromatic qualities.
Contact Distillerie de Biercee
Website : distilleriedebiercee.be
Twitter : twitter.com/distibiercee
Facebook : facebook.com/distilleriebiercee
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
Around The World : Beer
What to drink with all those tasty dishes? Why, beer, of course! Belgium is justly famous for its brewing tradition, and this tiny country has more than 100 breweries producing around 450 different brews. Some are pilsners, like Stella Artois, Jupiler, Maes, Primus, and Eupener. The majority, however, are local beers, specialties of a region, city, town, or village; some are made by monks. Each beer has a distinct, and often beautiful, glass, which is why you can instantly tell what everyone is drinking in a Belgian bar. Needless to say, with so many choices it may take quite a bit of sampling to find a favorite. Among names to look for are Duvel, Chimay, Hoegaarden, De Koninck, and Kwak; and Faro, Kriek, and Lambiek from the area around Brussels.
The last 50 barrels of one, two and three year old lambic, Armand Debelder brewed were first assembled into a Single Blend Oude Geuze 3 Fontaines . This assemblage and bottling took place on 4 different days , each bottling, so each season, thereby a different flavor . The collector-lover will be delighted to discover these subtle differences in taste. In Armand'4 are already fine complex taste of fruity esters to recognize, especially with the typical grapefruit keys. The sweet-sour of the spontaneous fermentation is completely balanced with mild bitterness from Challenger hops and ripe flavors of the oak barrels. Over time, its taste is softer and fuller, Oude Geuze ideal for a long time to mature .
Contact 3 Fonteinen
Website : 3fonteinen.be
The absolute top quality in the hierarchy of the St. Bernardus beers. It is also the beer with the highest alcohol content (10.50 %). A dark ivory coloured beer with a high fermentation. The show piece of the brewery. Thanks to its soft and unconditionally genuine aroma, the beer can be smoothly tasted. The Abt has a very fruity flavor.
Contact St Bernardus
Website : sintbernardus.be
This Belgian IPA is from DuvelMoortgat Brewery in Breendonk, Belgium and comes in at 9.5%. Pours a cloudy gold color with a thick and fluffy white head. The aroma is very floral and piney. The taste is out of this world goodness! Floral, peppery, earthy, slight honeysuckle. Very unique and unlike any other beer we've ever had!
Website : duvel.be
Twitter : twitter.com/duvelusa
Twitter : twitter.com/duvelbeer
Facebook : facebook.com/Duvelcollection
Facebook : facebook.com/Duvel.beer
“I don't make music for eyes. I make music for ears.”
Around The World : The Music
The music of Belgium is a cultural crossroads where Flemish Dutch-speaking and Walloon French-speaking traditions mix with those of German minorities and of immigrant communities from Democratic Republic of the Congo and other distant countries.
Birth Name : Wouter "Wally" De Backer
Born : 21 May 1980
Location : Bruges, Belgium
Origin : Bruges, Belgium
Genres : Indie rock, alternative rock
Occupation : Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, musician and embryo
Instruments : Vocals, guitar, drums, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer
Years Active : 2001–present
Labels : Fairfax, Universal Republic, Independent, Samples 'n' Seconds, Inertia, Lucky Number, Eleven
Associated Acts : The Basics, Kimbra
Wouter "Wally" De Backer (born 21 May 1980, also known professionally by his stage name Gotye is a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. The name "Gotye" is derived from "Gauthier", the French equivalent of "Walter" or "Wouter". His voice has been compared to those of Sting and Peter Gabriel.
Gotye has released three studio albums independently and one album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums. He is a member of the Melbourne indie-pop trio The Basics, who have independently released three studio albums and numerous other titles since 2002. Gotye's 2011 single "Somebody That I Used to Know" reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the fifth Australian artist to do so and the second Belgian (after SœurSourire in 1963). He has won five ARIA Awards and received a nomination for an MTV EMA for Best Asia and Pacific Act. Gotye described himself as "less of a musician, more of a tinkerer."
Website : gotye.com
Facebook : facebook.com/gotye
Birth Name : Tom Barman
Born : January 1, 1972
Origin : Belgium
Occupation : Musician, songwriter, film director
Instruments : Vocals, guitar
Genre : Rock and Roll
Label : Columbia
Associated Acts : Deus
Tom Barman (born 1 January 1972) is a Belgian musician and film director. Barman studied at the film school of St.-Lucas in Brussels, but didn't finish his studies because of he wished to pursue a career in music. He began by forming the rock band, Deus in Antwerp, in 1989. Although he had chosen music over his interest in film, his experience aided him in directing his own music videos for Deus, and he made a short film in 1996 titled Turnpike. He also directed videos for other Belgian musicians including Axelle Red and Hooverphonic among others.
In the summer of 2002 shooting started in Antwerp for his first feature film Any Way the Wind Blows which was released in Belgian cinemas in the summer of 2003. In February 2004, he released "The Body Gave You Everything", the debut album by Magnus, his dance-oriented project with techno producer CJ Bolland. Barman has since explored the other side of the camera as well. He agreed to a "leading role" allowing directors, Manu Riche and RenaatLambeet to film a documentary derived by Barman's everyday life, entitled Tempo of a Restless Soul. After showing at the Ghent Film Festival one reviewer from Flanders Today ranked the film with a split score. He feels the film should receive three of five stars for fans only, and two stars for others. Deus fans already familiar with Barman, he pointed out, may be interested in the backstage, personal nature of the man due to the everyday "fly on the wall" view of the film. However, he cautioned, it might be confusing to find the semi-retiring rock frontman behind scenes. Barman is now again playing with Deus. In 2006, Barman was one of the driving forces behind the 0110 concerts.
Contact Tom Barman
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/Tom-Barman
Birth Name : FabienneDemal
Born : 15 February 1968
Origin : Belgium
Genres : Pop Music
Occupation : Singer/songwriter
Years Active : 1993–present
Label : Virgin Records
Axelle Red (born FabienneDemal on 15 February 1968) is a Belgian singer-songwriter.She was born at Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium, the daughter of Roland Demal, a solicitor in Hasselt and Councillor for the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) in the City Council. Nowadays a committed artist and a militant humanist, back in 1993 Axelle graduated from the VrijeUniversiteitBrussel (VUB) as a lawyer, the same year her first album Sans Plus Attendre was released which immediately resulted in her artistic break out in France, Switzerland, Canada and Belgium, where sales alone amounted to more than 200,000.
Her soul album, À Tâtons, recorded in 1996 in Memphis with musicians from the Stax label, including Steve Cropper and Isaac Hayes, is a real eye-opener. Axelle received an International Federation of the Phonographic Industry platinum award for sales of more than 1 million and a year later, she sold out the Paris Olympia for the first time. 2006 saw the release of Jardin Secret, Axelle’s fifth studio album, a story of hope, optimism and positive thinking. Fleeing to a personal utopian world as a reaction to the pessimism in the world. The tracks were recorded in Willie Mitchell’s legendary Royal studios in Memphis (where Al Green and Ann Peebles recorded all their albums. In September 2006, Axelle received the highest artistic honour, becoming ‘Chevalier dansl'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’, presented to her by the French minister of culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. She also took part in the 0110 concerts against intolerance and racism in Antwerp and Brussels.
In May 2008, the University of Hasselt awarded Axelle the honorary title of ‘Doctor HonorisCausa’ for her social commitment as an artist and human rights’ activist. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Axelle was guest speaker at the Council of Europe during a debate on ‘domestic violence’. She also wrote her first album in English, Sisters & Empathy, and recorded it with her regular musicians, Michael Toles and Lester Snell from Memphis and Jeff Anderson and Damon Duewhite from New York.
Contact Axelle Red
Website : axelle-red.com
Twitter : twitter.com/#!/axelleredcom
Blog : axelle-red.com/blog
“Belgium thinks that however great the peril which a country might have to undergo under the system which we seek to establish here, that country ought to do its duty.”
Around The World : The Land
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi), and it has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups, the Dutch-speakers, mostly Flemish (about 60%), and the French-speakers, mostly Walloons (about 40%), plus a small group of German-speakers. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of government.
Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin because of the Roman province Gallia Belgica which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, it was a prosperous centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, many battles between European powers were fought in the area of Belgium, causing it to be dubbed the battleground of Europe, a reputation strengthened by both World Wars.
Around The World : The Restaurants
Restaurant : Café Rose Red
Café Rose Red is a cheery café that is full of character. It is located in the heart of Bruges, a stone's throw from the market. A quiet side street takes you away from the tourist route and spirits you away into an authentic jewel in the town centre of Bruges. Our speciality is Trappist beer; hence we offer all the trappist beers that are recommended all over the world. Come savour this delectable nectar inside the café or on our pleasant terrace.
“This small romantic bar is great, we had to find it first and not far from main square and it was worth every moment. Natalie was extremely attentive and helpful. We didn't drink any beer but the wine was fabulous along with tapas of sundried tomatoes, cheeses & sausages. It's definitely a bar not to miss..”
Contact Café Rose Red
Website : cordoeanier.be/en
Dome Restaurant adjusts its menu daily, depending on the seasons and the best products available. Guests can 'à la carte " to make a choice between seven appetizers and seven entrees. Or they can go all out for the 'Menu Carte Blanche' , a summary of the menu of the day in seven dishes to measure: three starters, a visbereiding, a main course based on meat and two small desserts. Dome takes into account specific needs of each guest so that for example, vegetarians can enjoy the inspiration of the moment.
“ We were lucky and able to reserve a table for 2 just two weeks on beforehand. The Chef knows what he's doing and so do all the staff members: very refined dishes accompanied by service with a smile and astonishing wines. Particular to have the explanation on the wine choice by the sommelier after you finished your plate. She was right when telling us whilst serving the first glass that this way of working would add an extra to the experience. And we can say: she's definitely spot on with her choices! Again, this restaurant demonstrates that exquisite cuisine all comes with superior product quality and exceptional craftsman skills. I’m not going to run through the Carte Blanche menu we opted for, but you surely want to run to Dôme and please for a table.”
Website : domeweb.be
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/D%C3%B4me
In the simple, chic interiors like that of The Glorious Bistro hear a similar kitchen. Chef Johan Van Raes choose fun, sophisticated and very recognizable dishes which he no-nonsense style defines tasteful contemporary bistro cuisine.Van Raes creates a welcome alternative to the all too predictable restaurant kitchen. Both regular clientele and occasional passers-by know his approach and signature of our products. Tastefully he seeks genuine products and generate a cross-over between nostalgic home cooking and authentic bistro shape.
“ I visit this restaurant on a regular basis, and that says it all.This is a place with that little extra. Food is realy good but misses maybe a touch of finesse sometimes (this is detail critcism), wine list is outstanding with lots of wines by the glass. Service is always impeccable, and the owner always makes you feel welcome and at home. And I almost forgot to mention the decor! shame on me.One of my all timefavorites in Antwerp (and far beyond).”
Contact The Glorious
Website : .theglorious.be/glorious-winebar-bistro
Facebook : facebook.com/pages/The-Glorious
Around The World : Resorts
Ideally located in the heart of the city, a few steps from the iconic Grand-Place, Le Méridien Brussels offers you a new perspective on the city. Just few steps from the hotel you'll find the MannekenPis, the BOZAR museum, the Square convention center and the antique dealers of the Sablondisctrict in a time-worn paving stones and remarkable buildings setting.
Savour elegant cuisine at L'Epicerie Restaurant which combines timeless local and international dishes in addition with the refined French cuisine, and features the finest wines in the world to complement every meal. Sample the constantly changing "Discovery" menu; embark on a journey of the senses with our Executive Chef.
“ We stayed at the Brussels Meridien located a couple minutes walk to the Queen and King Galleries as well as the Grand Place area. The hotel is well appointed and it has all the amenities you would expect for a 5 *****. The staff is extremely attentive however, they could not provide any room for early check in which we requested early as our daughter is wheelchair bound and needed to rest. They managed to give us two rooms at 2:00 on different floors otherwise we would have had to wait until 4:00 pm which does not make sense. The hotel cleaning staff is simply very slow. The shower is amazing we loved it.”
Contact Le Merdien Brussels
Website : lemeridienbrussels.com
Facebook : facebook.com/lemeridienbrusselshotel
FourSquare : foursquare.com/v/le-méridien-brussels/4ade0d61f964a520406b21e3
Rocco Forte Hotels is delighted to introduce the Hotel Amigo, which we have restored to its rightful status as the best luxury hotel in Brussels. Superbly located in the very heart of Brussels, adjacent to one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, Grand Place, close to Brussels' financial district and within easy walking distance of the antiques district of Le Sablon, Hotel Amigo now provides a stylish and central base from which to explore the city.
Dedicated to the delights of Italian cuisine, RistoranteBocconi rates as one of the best places to eat in Brussels and has received a number of prestigious awards. A special treat awaits diners. The new menu has been compiled by Boconni’s Head Chef Adriano Venturini and FulvioPierangelini, Italy’s most renowned chef. Fulvio’s philosophy is centred on simplicity being the most important thing in the kitchen. Like so many of today’s leading chefs, he is happy to pass on his knowledge and expertise to others and acts as an art culinary advisor to Rocco Forte Hotels. Today’s menu combines the Italy’s and Belgium’s best produce to please all lovers of fine cuisine.
“ Excellent city hotel in a great location within walking distance to many things, including within 5 minutes walk of the central train station, 10 minutes walk to the main shopping street with its department stores and 20 minutes drive to the airport. Staff were friendly; dinner and breakfast in the Italian restaurant on property were excellent; gym was adequate. Junior suite felt like a suite and was "simply elegant" just like the hotel says in its tag line. Bright and tastefully done; very large bathroom. Not perfect mind you -- some white colored stuff on the inside of my shower door that I don't know what it was. Climate control in the room was very good. TV selection also very good. My one beef here is that the hotel website, and American Express platinum site advertise rooms with excellent views of the Grand Place which is simply not true. A rather tall and wide City Hall lies between the hotel and the Grand Place. When I checked in, a manager of guest relations told me the hotel does not advertise such views because there are none and showed me several rooms and suites but said that none had views over the Grand Place, but when I returned home I checked both websites and saw categories of rooms advertised stating they had great views over the Grand Place (which is what i had hoped for upon check-in). Hopefully, this review on Trip Advisor will force a bit of truth in advertising here and alert Amex to the issue because they otherwise appear to just take the hotels at their word in terms of putting room descriptions on their website.”
Contact Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo
Website : hotelamigo.com
The Sofitel Brussels Le Louise is a 5-star hotel designed by famous architect Antoine Pinto to reflect light and create a theatrical and stylish atmosphere. Located in the exclusive Avenue Louise area, with the best luxury boutiques, the Grand Sablonandthe Grand Place just moments away. Our rooms and suites with My Bed and our Crystal Lounge with its beautiful Terrace offer an unforgettable traveling experience.
At Sofitel, we have transformed conviviality and comfort into an art form. Our restaurants and bars provide the perfect setting for relaxing and socializing and offer refined French cuisine with the latest in fusion dishes from around the world.
“ I normally try to stay at the Stanhope, but it was booked so I went for the Sofitel just a few blocks away. I'm glad I did, as I really liked the Sofitel. Good location, next to Avenue Louise and lots of restaurants, but still a reasonable walk to the European Parliament as well as the Grand Place. New hotel so things were in pretty good shape. The shower has one of those lovely "rainfall" shower heads but you also have to put up with the unfathomable-to-me Euro custom of no shower door, so watch for flooding! My room was on a side street, so there was a bit of noise in the morning as the garbage trucks came through the neighborhood. But, it's a city so one has to expect that and it was only a very minor annoyance. My only complaint is that the hotel common areas were incredibly stuffy. There was little or no air which made it uncomfortably warm, whether in the bar (nice, if a bit dark) or in the breakfast area. As for breakfast, the selection was good. Definitely a good bargain (bearing in mind I did have a conference rate). The staff was very attentive and responsive and early check-in was not a problem. The fitness facility was a bit small, but I was lucky to not have to wait for the machine I wanted. All in all, I was very pleased and plan to stay there again. Definitely recommend.”
Contact Sofitel Brusseks Le Louise
Website : sofitel.com/gb/hotel-1071-sofitel-brussels-le-louise
Facebook : facebook.com/Sofitel
Twitter : twitter.com/#!/SofitelBrussels