24 hrs in Brussels
I used to live in Brussels, so walking around there still feels like home. A few months ago we had a party with friends who live there and decided not to take the last train back home but stay in a hotel and feel like tourists for a day!
Brussels has seen many new hotels popping up in recent years, but Hotel Bloom is always our first choice. Great location next to the Botanical gardens and a tram stop right in front of the hotel, perfect! Every room is differently decorated and they know us by now, so we get a different flower theme every time we stay. Breakfast at Hotel Bloom is always a treat with the waffle van parked in the room!
The tram outside Hotel Bloom takes you straight the Avenue Louise, the best shopping area in town. Get off one stop before and admire the great view of 'downtown' Brussels on Place Poelaert!
A five minutes walk and you have two shopping streets to start with: Avenue Louise is filled with great fashion brands like Max Mara, COS and Comptoir des Cottoniers and all the way along Avenue Toison d'Or you find the high street brands like Zara and Esprit but also a great &Other stories shop and not to forget the only Marks & Spencers in the country. We can't leave Brussels with a visit to the Food market there and this time we met up with some friends for a 'very British' cup of tea and cake at the Marks & Spencers tearoom upstairs, overlooking the shopping crowd outside.
A lovely place for lunch is Hinterland. This inviting corner spot in a side street of Avenue Louise has a daily changing menu of salads, quiches, soups and sandwiches. You must try their spelt toasties, they are yum! Their tagline is 'urban retreat' and the urban is what you see outside passing by through the high windows, while feeling cosy inside. On Saturdays there is a brunch menu as well, hurry up to get a table then!
Walk further on Avenue Louise until you get to the Rue Bailli, where the shopping continues with a great shoe shop and quirky home décor store.
Now you deserved a cocktail - and some dim sum! Less than a year old but already given great accolades: Dam Sum. Have a peek first through the window and see the open kitchen where the chefs are skillfully are the fresh dim sum, steam baskets piled up ready. The menu isn't long, which makes it easy to chose and gives time to think about what cocktail to have! The house specials are a must: Xiao Long Bao, soup dumpling and Char Siu Bao, bbq pork buns.
We loved the trendy Asian decor, it made us think of our visits to Hong Kong (Iris) and Taiwan (Els)
May I give a big thumbs up for the waitress, who was super friendly and helpful. We always talk about the food but service is so important too!
And then it was time to go home, packed with Marks & Spencer foodcourt bags we got back on the train.
One day I am going to move back to Brussels.
Rue Royal 250
Chausée de Charleroi 179
Open Tues-Fri 8hr-18hr, Sat 10hr-18hr
11 Parvis de la Trinité
Open Tue-Sat, 12hr-14hr and 19hr-22hr
and NEW, now open for Sunday brunch too!