Brussels is an incredible city from very many points of view. It looks amazing because of its outstanding architecture, due to the fact that many famous architects and artists lived and worked in the city, leaving their imprint on the face of the city. Many outstanding restaurants are also available, most of them serving incredible dishes, which incorporate fine taste and high-quality ingredients. It is also a shopping heaven, especially if you are looking to find top notch products that are personalized and not mass-made. I discovered all of these, and more, on my trip to Brussels, the following lines will be me sharing my experiences with you. What I want to mention, before I begin, is the fact that I looked in particular for the top services in every domain, to see the best of the best that Brussels can offer to its visitors that appreciate the fine things.
Staying at the Amigo Hotel
The Amigo Hotel by Rocco Forte was not a completely new experience for me, as I have been here several years ago. Now, for my trip in Brussels, I chose to return at this hotel, and I had my expectancies exceeded this time. From the first moment I set my foot in the hotel, the staff members made me feel like a VIP client, although I was not one. The concierge service is amazing, with 6 concierges’ clefs d’Or, everybody seeming to be able to anticipate your desires and provide more than you even ask. In my opinion, this is the best hotel in Europe, being a Palace in my eyes for the services it offers.
Also, during my stay here, I noticed that some wealthy men stayed at the hotel, the personnel doing their best to make their experience discreet and cozy, without too much fuss about their presence, even if a bodyguard or two could be seen in the hotel. Still, it wasn’t bothering at all. The rooms are splendid, offering 5 star luxury conditions, like a marble bath, hot towel systems, exclusive personal care products, and luxurious decoration, like antiques and art pieces related to Magritte and Tintin, which can really make you feel like arriving to Belgium. The breakfast is included, of course, being a perfect balance between perfectly cooked scrambled eggs and fresh fruits and juices. But, do feel free to choose the best breakfast for you, as you have plenty to choose from.
Brussels for foodies
The Bocconi Restaurant, fine Italian cuisine
The best Mediterranean flavors are captured in the dishes prepared at the Bocconi restaurant, which is part of the Amigo Hotel. The freshest ingredients are used for creating exquisite Italian food, served in an elegant and cozy atmosphere. It is hard not to feel like traveling far away from Belgium each time you have a bite from the food prepared here.
The fish here was amazing, but there are so many other dishes to discover. This was my second experience at this restaurant, as I was here once in the past, returning just to be surprised by the great changes in both the appearance and the service of the restaurant.
The Gramm Restaurant, fusion Eurasian cuisine
If you want to enjoy modern food in a private atmosphere, the Gramm restaurant will be the best choice for you. A very talented chef is behind the menu at this place, serving dishes that are a fusion between European and Asian cuisine.
Your taste buds will be extremely delighted and your eyes will enjoy a simple presentation, where freshness and a clear view of what is in your plate primes.
The San Sablon
My experience at the San restaurant was an unforgettable one. A famous Belgian chef, the winner of 2 Michelin stars, creates here dishes that you will rarely find anywhere else. All the ingredients he uses are organic and of the best quality, as he grows them in his own garden.
The restaurant has a Zen atmosphere, making you enjoy the food even more. My dinner here was also accompanied by some incredible wines, organic as well, allowing me to end the day in a great manner.
I loved the Villa Emily posh deco restaurant that made me feel like the VIP since the first moment I walked inside. The gorgeous décor with large crystal chandeliers and wood accents had an exquisite air.
To my surprise, the food was the same. I had an incredible dinner, accompanied by the best matching wine. The dishes here can easily meet the requirements of even the most sophisticated gourmands, as they all looked and tasted divine.
Craft beer at the Brussels Beer Project
There is nothing like a good craft beer. The Brussels Beer Project proposes not only one type of craft beer, but several amazing assortments. The entire project and the Dansaert Brewery, responsible for making the beer, are both sponsored through Crowdfunding.
The beer is indeed delicious and it has surprising flavors, as its creators use specific techniques to make it. You need to be a part of this project if you want to taste incredible beer that is made exclusively in Brussels.
Laurent Gerbaud Chocolate maker
There isn’t a person that won’t appreciate chocolate for dessert. I know I do, but I took my passion for this sweet treat to another level.
I took part in a chocolate making workshop organized by Laurent Gerbaud. It tends to get rather messy, since most participants have no skills in maneuvering chocolate, but the outcome is delicious. Not to mention that you are surrounded by chocolate throughout the entire workshop.
Brussels for art enthusiasts
The Magritte Museum is totally dedicated to celebrating the life and art of René François Ghislain Magritte, shortly known as René Magritte, an incredible surrealist artist.
This museum has the largest number of Magritte artworks in the world, the masterpieces coming both from the museum’s inventory and private collections. Because it managed to gather so many Magritte pieces, the museum in invited to participate at various international art events and exhibitions, allowing people in Belgium and in any parts of the world enjoy the art of this visionary artist.
Maison Horta and Art Nouveau
At a first glance, Brussels will amaze its visitors through its incredible architecture, but also through its rich art and cultural background. From all the forms of art in Brussels, Art Nouveau is probable one of the most visible. It is enough to visit Maison Horta to understand why.
Maison Horta was the residence of Victor Horta, one of the most important artists and architects that supported Art Nouveau through his work. Because he was born in Belgium, he had to leave a legacy behind. His legacy can now be found in his old house, which was transformed into a beautiful museum by the local authorities. If you want to see how an Art Nouveau house looks like, you need to visit this museum.
The MIMA is probably one of the youngest museums in Brussels, being recently opened to the public. It mission is to bring contemporary art into attention and allow people to get closer to art by discovering its more mundane manifestations.
Art today is not something very sophisticated, as anyone with an idea and plenty of creativity can create art. The accessibility of art is precisely the detailed underlined by this museum, which wishes to make people understand that art is a natural part of our life.
La Patinoire Royale
The Patinoire Royale is a gorgeous venue for art exhibitions, being an old building itself that is worth seeing.
As the name suggests, which is the Royal Skating in English, this place was a location where roller skaters could gather and have fun. In time, it ended being a depot, garage, and, finally, an art gallery. I had a very interesting time looking at the neo-classical pieces of art and the modular house presented there.
As mentioned previously as well, Brussels in an incredible city to visit if you want to see various architectural styles. Villa Empain is one of the buildings you need to see, as it is a gorgeous Art Deco creation, which once belonged to a wealthy Baron in Belgium.
Today, it is the headquarters of the Boghossian foundation that promotes and supports art in every form, education, and cross-cultural communication.
Luxury shopping and fashion designers in Brussels
My Luxury shopping experience
If you appreciate high-quality products that are made by designers in limited quantities and tailored to meet your needs and preferences, you need to come to Brussels.
It is known that the city is a heaven to anyone looking to purchase the best items available on the market, because many designers and artists work here only, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Degand, Manalys, Ludovic Lunetier, these are only a few shops you need to find in Brussels for luxury products.
Talented fashion designers and objects designers
If you dream about bespoke products made by talented designers according to your style and needs, Brussels is the city to visit. Various workshops in town run by young and promising designers are doing their best to meet the demands of their clients.
And they have quite a few clients, as more and more people appreciate items that are made from the finest materials and tailored to fit them perfectly. Conni Kamiski, Benoite Parotte, Niyona are just a few names of the designers and brands that create personalized products. Still, they are not the only ones to do so.
Brussels is more trendy as ever and have all what luxury travelers expect for a sucessful citytrip, be like me among the first to rediscover this city, you will find many ideas and thema walks like the Tintin or Art nouveau architecture walk maps on Visit Brussels website.