Long weekend in Brussels
In November, I took my second solo trip of 2022. I traveled to Brussels to visit my niece who has been living here for years.
Small boutique hotel in Saint-Gilles
I flew to Brussels on Thursday and arrived quite late so the hotel reception was closed. I had instructions on getting into the hotel but had a moment of despair at around midnight outside the hotel. There was a mechanical lockbox and I got the code right I had difficulty opening the box. I eventually succeeded and entered the hotel. The hotel was a small boutique hotel, the Neufchatel Belgian Hotel. I loved the design and all the rooms had their own motif. Mine was the Atome room. The downside was poor lighting in the room. There was a skylight but in November it didn’t help much. The building was lovely and the location was great for me. The room was nice, with a comfy bed and a rain shower that I love. I could imagine staying at this hotel again.
Long park stroll and Lebanese dinner
On Friday morning I headed to the nearby JAT Café for breakfast. The egg and bacon breakfast was tasty and filling. My niece joined me for coffee. Then we headed to Bois de la Cambre, one of the largest parks in the region. We walked around for hours chatting and taking in the fresh air. After leaving the park it was time for a spot of lunch. We headed to Le Pain Quotidien where we had a nice lunch. Next, we felt like a drink so ended up at a bar for a beer. Then my niece headed home to freshen up and I went to my hotel to relax before dinner. We met up at the restaurant La Chatelaine du Liban where we enjoyed a dinner of mezze. When dinner was done it was time for me to head to the hotel and for my niece to head home.
Brunch, local beer and visiting my niece’s home
On Saturday I took a stroll around Saint-Gilles and then hopped on a tram where I met my niece. We drove into Brussels center for brunch. The plan was to go to The Sister Brussels Café but unfortunately, it was full. We ended up at another location of Le Pain Quotidien and had a nice brunch. After brunch, we walked around downtown for a bit and eventually ended up at Halles Saint-Géry. The Saint-Géry market was built in 1882 and served as a market until 1977. In 1987, the Brussels Region listed it as a protected building and since 1999, the Halles Saint-Géry has housed an information and exhibition center. We enjoyed some local beers by Bobbi Brewery. After getting refreshed and fortified by the beers we headed to my niece’s neighborhood Uccle. We bought groceries on the way and spent the evening cooking, eating, drinking wine, and chatting.
Vegan pancakes for breakfast before heading home
On Sunday morning I again strolled around the neighborhood I was staying in. After the stroll, I went to Café Hinterland for breakfast. The café was just up the street from my hotel. I had super tasty vegan pancakes and a delicious vegan PSL to kick-start my day. Breakfast finished I headed back to the hotel to pack. Once I was all packed I ordered and uber and headed to the airport. Since my niece has been living in Brussels for years, I have visited the city on several occasions. Therefore, I rarely do any “touristy” stuff there anymore. This was a great weekend and a short break from everyday life. I got to spend quality time with my niece and experience the Brussels region like a local. I’m looking forward to my next visit to Belgium.
Next, I’ll post about our Texas adventure that we returned from a good week ago, so stay tuned.