Brussels Flower Carpet and Belgian beer crawl

Trip Start Apr 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Every year, the Grand Place in Brussels is filled with a carpet of flowers for a weekend.  This year our friends, Rich and Joey, invited us down to visit with them for the weekend and see the carpet.  The carpet is difficult to see at ground level and getting meaningful pictures requires finding a window several stories above.  To accommodate this, Rich suggested a restaurant and a brewery where we were able to go to the 3rd floor to get great shots. 

Of course one can only look at a carpet of flowers for so long, no matter how pretty it is.  Knowing this, Rich had planned a Brussels Beer Crawl, including breweries and restaurants that serve beers that are difficult to find even in Brussels.  We started at Les Brasseurs de la Grande Place, one of only 3 breweries in Brussels proper, and the location of one of the 3rd floor windows from which pictures were taken.  From there we moved to Royal Theatre Toone, a funny little bar with a relaxing garden that also has a puppet theater with pull out bleachers for the audience to use during showtime.  From the website you would never know that it is a great place to sit and have a beer, but Rich knew!  Finally we stopped at the store Delices & Caprices, which has a fine selection of the Cantillion beers, among others.  In addition to being a store, there are a few tables set outside (on the street actually - a bit strange when cars go by), where one can sit and enjoy a beer or glass of wine.

As we aren't as young as we used to be, this was about all the beer crawling we could handle.  Time for dinner.  The owner of the beer store recommended a place which cooks with beer, La Villette.  Here we were able to sit outside and enjoy the cool night air while eating some of the best food we've had in Brussels.  Melanie had mussels cooked in endive, cream and white beer sauce, Chris and Rich had pork medallions cooked in a sauce flavored with trappist beer and topped with Orval cheese.  Joey had a puff pastry/creamed chicken dish which everybody agreed was wonderful.

Sunday was a rainy, lazy day spent sleeping, reading, chatting and relaxing.  Another very quick getaway, but so fun and relaxing that we're wondering when we can squeeze in another one!

Thanks to Rich and Joey for the hospitality and the great time!

Melanie and Chris
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