Brussels: Belgian Lifestyle
Alright, this is the final installment of the 3-part Euro trip blogs, and then I'll be returning to my usual blog posts! Where do I begin with this one...
This blog will be a bit longer, as this was the first time I've ever been to Brussels, so I kind of took way more photos than I should have. Brussels, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful and quaint cities I've ever visited. As a designer, I'm so incredibly in awe by the beautiful architecture that make up the city of Brussels. There are just so many unique qualities to this small city, it's kind of hard to put all of it down in one blog post.
I'm going to give you an easy-to-swallow history lesson: The interesting thing about Brussels is that, in 1958, it became the capital of a project that we know of today as the European Union. There are 2 linguistic groups: the Flemish, who are the Dutch speaking population, generally reside in Northern Belgium, while the French speaking population generally reside in the south. However, Brussels is different. The majority of people living in Brussels are immigrants; some of these are people working for the bureaucracy of the EU while others are working-class citizens. As a result, Brussels is really a beautiful amalgam of cultures, languages, stories, and ideals. Most (if not all) people that live in Brussels speak English - so really this is the language that sort of brings all nationalities and backgrounds together.
Oh. My. God. There was something so surreal when I walked into La Grand Place square for the first time. I've never felt more serene, calm, and in awe in this moment. The only time I was ever this taken aback by the sheer grandness of it all, I was in Florence, Italy. But this moment in the Grand Place tops it by far. The photos don't do it justice - you kind of just have to visit on your own.
La Grand Place has been used as a town square since the 12th century, so much of the cobblestone and architecture still exist.
Being such a small city, Brussels is so easily walkable. Just outside the Grand-Place is this beautiful opera house. I think one of the main draws for me is the fact that Brussels is in fact a city, but still quite local and quaint.
Walking out of the Grand Place, you'll find some incredible small and windy roads. Delirium beer was born here in Brussels, so there were at least 5 Delirium pubs in this one road leading to one of the famous peeing statues...
I literally don't know why this is such a hyped-up tourist attraction, because the fountains themselves are tiny. Perhaps it's Belgium's way of mocking the idea of a touristy attraction. It was cool I guess.
The famous fountain, Manneken Pis, is the one we all know and love. They outfit this tiny dude with a bunch of different outfits depending on season and event. This guy was wearing some sort of Olympic gear at the time. Gotta love the humor in this.
Walking up from the Grand Place (this city is kind of built on a large hill), we saw an incredible glimpse of the beautiful building that is part of the town square.
One of the coolest areas we walked to is a place called the "Mont Des Arts" which is literally translated to "Mount of the Arts", dedicated to museums and parks. There was so much action here. It felt kind of like a college campus - a bunch of young people making their way to the museums and skateboarders all over the place. I was really feelin it.
Ok so at this point of the trip, we needed a snack to keep us going. And of course, in Belgian fashion, we decided to get some Belgian waffles. I literally ate like 3 of these a day. I'm obsessed.
If any of you know about those incredible waffles from the Waffle Cabin at the base of a ski resort, these Belgian waffles are pretty much a cracked-up version of that. Crack.
We then headed over to the Royal Palace of Brussels, which was about 5 minutes from the Mont Des Arts. While truly breathtaking, I really wonder if the royal Belgian family actually live here.
Just a royal palace, no biggie.
We walked and walked some more. I've never done so much walking in my life at this point.
I'm literally obsessed with this hat at the moment. I randomly walked into a hat shop called La Chapeliere in Brussels and came out with this amazing thing. It's owned by a cute old man and his wife, and they make their hats right in the shop. Always support small businesses, especially if it's of high quality :)
We ended the day here, in this beautiful park we stumbled upon. Behind it was the Palais D'Egmont but it was unfortunately closed at the time. So, we walked back to our apartment to get ready for the evening.
Ok, I didn't think the Grand Place would get any better, but it does at night. The way the buildings are lit magnifies all of the architectural details and I just couldn't help but take a photo. For my OOTN, I wore my trusty Theory wool coat over a Zara leather jacket over a Sandro polo. The jeans I'm wearing are my favorite - the gray Current/Elliot ones I'm obsessed with. Pulling it all together, I wore my Stuart Weitzman Hiline boots in Gray Taupe (my favorite color EVER).
FOR DINNER, just OMG. I can't. We went to this incredible, non-descript place called Fin De Siecle. This is the sort of place that you have to wait, no matter what day or time it is, for a table. It's that packed, and that good. I wouldn't call myself a foodie, but this is honestly one of the best places I've ever eaten at in my entire life. I didn't know what to expect with classic Belgian cuisine, and I was told that there would be a lot of meat in the dishes.
Boy, did we get a lot of meat.
Everything we ordered was cooked and seasoned to perfection. This place had a rustic, fresh farm-to-table feeling and the dishes were much like what I call "elevated home cooking". There were elements of what a home-cooked meal was like, but brought up a couple of notches higher to create mouthwatering masterpieces on a plate. I'm literally drooling thinking of the meal we had that night. I recommend all of you to go if you're staying in Brussels. I beg you.
Once we finished dinner, we headed over to a cool apothecary-inspired bar called La Pharmacie Anglaise. If you're looking for cool places to go at night in Brussels, definitely check this one out. The vibe is super chill which makes it easy to converse. Drinks were solid as well. It was a really great night cap to an equally great day(s).
And that concludes my 3-part Euro-trip blog! Phew. This was a long one. I hope you enjoyed this little travel series!
At this point, these travel blogs are almost like a diary about my travels and not so much about getting that "perfect" shot. At the end of the day, what I'm really trying to do is record all of my thoughts and experiences on this blog in the hopes that you all find some interest in it as well :)
Please let me know in the comments below what you would like to see next on my blog. It can literally be anything! More fashion posts? More beauty? More travel? More home/lifestyle? Let me know! Til then, love you all.