On the façade of the Alma Grand Place hotel, an inscription. A name.
This Belgian Art Nouveau architect (1870 - 1947) built the Hotel Alma Grand Place (1898, a school center) and the house "Les Hiboux" (1899) to whom the Belgian symbolist painter Fernand Knopff (1858-1921), who is buried in the Laeken cemetery ("our Père Lachaise", near the church of Notre-Dame de Laeken - see episode 5), also entrusted the construction of his house, located near the Hannon Hotel (see episode 12).
The neo-Gothic church of Notre-Dame de Laeken (one of the most emblematic monuments of the capital) has been given a new and sumptuous illumination thanks to Béliris (350 projectors and 5 kilometers of cables) in October 2021.
The Belgian royal family was gathered in great numbers on February 17, 2022.
On the Parvis Notre-Dame de Laeken, at number 11, is the brewery "Le Royal" (former bakery in art deco style).
Today, the "Royal Atomium" brewery. On the walls, a multitude of portraits of our crowned heads, some unpublished as Prince Baudouin in boy-scout... Warm decoration. Monarchic atmosphere. Clever wood panelling made from recovered Art Deco bed elements.
On February 18, 2022, the RTBF (la Une) broadcast the report of Nicolas Delvaulx on Queen Paola: "Paola côté jardin". Our 6th queen of the Belgians confided as never before with a touching sincerity in this exceptional documentary that you can see or review on "Auvio" (television, video on demand and podcasting platform owned by the Rtbf).
For several years, the spires of the church of Our Lady of Laeken have also been a breeding ground for peregrine falcons.
An eagle has also settled at the top of the Maison Delune (villa avenue Franklin Roosevelt 86).
This residence (listed in 1994) with its bewitching architecture (mixture of styles, art nouveau and eclectic with Byzantine influences) is also called "the Castle", built in 1904 by the architect Léon-Joseph Delune (in anticipation of the 1910 World Fair).
No, it is not the "Château" (Château des Vives-Eaux in France) of the Star Académie (cult French television show of musical reality broadcast on TF1). Maison Delune, strange positioning of the building in relation to the neighboring constructions. Isolated villa.
Take time to admire the roofs, the sgraffiti of Paul Cauchie (Belgian architect, painter and decorator, 1875-1952).
The raptor is in fact a gilded bronze sculpture that has found its roof after being stolen and found at a junk shop.
It made a remarkable reappearance in 1993 in "Le bonheur dans le crime", a novel written by Jacqueline Harpman (Belgian French-speaking novelist, 1929-2012).
As for the curious house "Les Hiboux", it takes its name from the 2 blue stone sculptures representing these nocturnal birds located at the very top of the facade and from their presence on the sgraffito of the transom. The round windows remind us of the owls' eyes.
At number 89 of the Avenue Brugmann is the house-workshop of the Belgian sculptor Fernand Dubois (1861-1939) built in 1901 and 1903 by Victor Horta (classified since 1972). Of course, Horta did not sign here his most spectacular realization. Private mansion of Art Nouveau style.
Isn't it "nice" to stay in a hotel whose "Belgian designer" is recognized worldwide for his work?
Arbany Hotels love culture, and meeting history.
Don't forget our very successful "culture offer". Democratic prices.
Past and present together in one building. A unique place.
Edouard Pelseneer was also assistant of the architect Léon Govaerts (1869-1930). As for Léon Emmanuel Govaerts (1891-1970), he realized among other things the "la Taverne L'Espérance" (1930 - Art Deco style café, in an eclectic style building (1874) classified in 2008, "maison de rendez-vous" before ...) located in the rue du Finistère, a stone's throw from our hotels. The street is adjacent to the rue Neuve (the busiest pedestrian shopping street in Belgium).
I like to stop there for a moment to savor a "Kwak" ? A "Filou", a book by Georges Simenon (French-speaking Belgian writer 1903 -1989 whose numerous works were written under pseudonyms (27!)) in hand, in this bar where an atmosphere between two times floats, favourable to confidences.
The reviews are rave. Unanimous.
Bravo Sophie. Thank you.
Kwak is an "iconic" Belgian amber beer, named after the brewer Pauwel Kwak (who invented the recipe). He ran an inn "De Hoorn" (meaning "The Horn") in the Dutch-speaking town of Termonde and a stable for stagecoach horses.
"Kwak", "the" flagship brand of the Bosteels brewery...
Its particularity is to be served in a glass with a particular shape, the "coachman glass".
We invite you to test this glass in the shape of an hourglass, a destabilizing experience for some, but at what point? A "coac"? To your health.
The "Filou" is a strong blond beer that is easy to drink, with a lot of character (its name is a wink to the beer itself as well as to the person who tastes it). It is brewed by the Van Honsebrouck brewery.
Inside the first floor of "l'Esperance" (mythical and unavoidable place), the original equipment has been preserved. It is still possible to see the door drum, the panelling, the furniture, the stained glass windows, the frozen fountains, the planters...
I would like to see again this lady seen one late afternoon in this bar, a character who seems to have escaped from a Fellini movie, wearing a Jean Paul Gautier outfit, when he sang "How To do that" (1989)...
Green is dominant in this place (a real Art Deco pearl), a symbolic color of hope.
I remember the scenes with Bruno Cremer (French actor, 1929-2010) in the TV movie by J.-l. Muller's TV movie "Les scrupules de Maigret" (1976) filmed in this establishment. As well as the film by Jacques Rouffio (French director 1928/2016) "L' orchestre rouge" (from the book by Gilles Perrault) with Claude Brasseur (1936-2020).Bruno Cremer also played in the film "La bande à Bonnot" (1968) by Philippe Fourastié with Annie Girardot, Jacques Brel, JJean-Pierre Kalfon ...
A scene was shot in the estaminet "Le Cirio" (rue de la Bourse 8 in 1000 Brussels).
Real institution that one must discover one day in his life.
Don't be surprised to see the cat purring on a comfortable bench of this old fashioned café.
The atmosphere is "bruxello-bruxelleer" as you wish.
Don't hesitate to go to the bathroom. The porcelain urinals from "Jacob Delafon & Cie" are period as well as the ceramic tiles, the cast iron radiators, the enamelled plates on the doors...
The Cirio also seduced our Belgian filmmaker André Delvaux for scenes in the film "Benvenuta" (see episode 03)).
For the time being, it is unfortunately no longer possible to go to the toilets (a creation of Antoine Pinto who has a sense of humor) of the trendy, chic, emblematic restaurant, the "Belga Queen" (rue Fossé aux loups) in a beautiful building of the XVIIth century (previously the Hotel de la Poste, then a bank, the Crédit du Nord Belge). Closing. A goodbye?
This brasserie was an ambassador of "Made In Belgium".
Stopping by the toilets was a "special" experience. They consist of large windows that become opaque as soon as you close the lock. They surprised more than one person! It was a funny moment if....
Particular" experience and not "Une journée particulière" (1977), film of Ettore Scola (Italian director and scriptwriter, 1931-2016) with in the main roles Sophia Loren (Actress among the most important of the Italian cinema, 1934-) and Marcello Mastroiani (Italian actor - 1924-1996).
Sophia Loren irresistible when she sings "zoo be zoo" (lyrics in English) for the promotion of the film "les dessous de la millionaire" (1960) by Anthony Asquith (British director and screenwriter, 1902-1968).
The French version "zou bisou bisou" was interpreted by Gillian Hills (British singer and actress, born in 1944).
A mischievous tribute to kissing.
The "Belga Queen" in Brussels, a few dozen meters from the rue Neuve and the place de Brouckère.
Dreamers who walk "with their heads in the clouds" around the Place de Brouckère (a stone's throw from the Arbany hotels) may have the feeling of discovering a vague copy of "Liberty Enlightening the World" (or the Statue of Liberty) on the heights above the (closed) Hotel Métropole.
The lease of the pop-up for the Café Métropole ended on February 26, 2022.
We wish them a resumption for the pleasure of all Brussels inhabitants and visitors, in love with Brussels.
The "statue of the triumphant Progress" is represented by a goddess with a crown of stars. In one hand, she holds the torch that illuminates the world, in the other, the lightning and the propeller (attributes that refer us to two great modern intentions of the time: electricity and steam navigation).
On the left is Abundance, with the horn. On the right, Peace is holding an olive branch and a wreath of flowers, at her side a nest and two doves.
The statues are by the sculptor Jacques-Philippe De Haen (1831-1900). He was one of the students of Eugène Simonis (Belgian sculptor, 1810-1882).
Antoine Pinto arrived in Belgium at the age of 17 and has worked as a chef and decorator throughout Europe. He is a true creator of atmospheres, a designer and a restaurateur.
He was the initiator of the restaurant "Midi Station" (which he left).
Let's not forget the inevitable brasserie-ecailler " la Quincaillerie" (rue du Page in Ixelles).
housed in a former hardware store whose architecture bears the signature of a disciple of Victor Horta. Its Art Nouveau decor alone is worth a visit.
In 1987, Antonio Pinto dusted off the fabulous décor of the old hardware store and gave this place, which has kept its drawers, its large clock, its management office, its staircases with metal railings, the allure of a Café Costes.
So many memories at the "Café Costes" at the corner of Berger and Saint-Denis streets (Paris). Flagship café of the 80s.
Philippe Starck had emphasized the architecture: stairs, large volumes, tables, space and light.
This French designer, interior architect, creator, "explorer", industrial designer, .... had imagined a narrow armchair with only three legs to reduce the space on the ground and thus avoid that the waiter does not catch his feet in it.
Iconic piece of furniture.
I liked to admire it in the store "Ligne" located in the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert.
The reference in design furniture in Brussels!
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, because of its size and monumental character, will be copied.
In Ixelles, the restaurant " la Quincaillerie" serves seafood platters, with several varieties of oysters refined exclusively for the establishment ....
In Ghent (Gent in Dutch), the brewery "Pakhuis" (located in a former warehouse) also has the imprint of Pinto.
For Ghenters and lovers of real brasserie cuisine, this is a place that has been known for decades for its monumental character.
Large choice of shellfish, oysters and seafood platters...
The "Belgitude" would be also with the taste of the day with Frédéric Nicolay ("golden boy" of the Horeca?), designer of about forty bars and trendy restaurants in Brussels. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the pleasure islands accessible to all:
Rue Antoine Dansaert 22, 1000 Brussels (near the Arbany hotels)
"Trendy restaurant " recognizable with its rectangular stained glass windows of different sizes very colorful which will serve you until 23 hours!
Classic dishes of the Belgian/French cuisine revisited. Vegetarian dishes.
The Kaaitheater is housed in a remarkable Art Deco building "La Luna" (1932)
designed by the architect Marcel Driesman .
Put photo sr kaaitheatre the facade ?
"Bonsoir Clara (1972) is also the title of a song performed by Michel Sardou (French singer and actor).
Rue Jules Van Praet 35, 1000 Brussels
Place Saint -Gery
(near the Arbany hotels)
Trendy brasserie, the atmosphere is relaxed, the clientele is heterogeneous, cosmopolitan.
From the outside, you can see the inside of the bar through the large bay windows. Terrace often crowded.
The spiral staircase leads you to the first floor where a lounge and a cocktail bar cohabit. Seventies kitsh atmosphere. Pop decoration to make Barbarella jealous? It is there that some evenings the D.J.s of passage.
*le Mappa Mundo
Rue du Pont de la Carpe 2/6, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
Large bar with the appearance of a caravel, interior decoration made of a mixture of weathered wood. International fauna. Heated terrace in winter.
Pl. Eugène Flagey 18, 1050 Ixelles
Trendy bar in Flagey (see episode 9) restored according to the plans of the 1930s.
Place where you can meet (maybe) Benoît Poelvoorde ?
Benoît Poelvoorde is a Belgian actor and comedian revealed by the Belgian cult film "C'est arrivé près de chez vous" (1992) by Remy Belvaux (Belgian director, producer and screenwriter. 1966-2006), André Bonzel (French director, producer and screenwriter) and
To see and to see again.
* le Bar du Matin (café-bar)
Chau. d'Alsemberg 172, 1190 Forest
Albert metro station.
Airy setting organized around a central wooden bar with inspired design, large bay windows.
Sign in large colorful letters.
Many activities are organized there: weekly concerts and on Fridays & Saturdays thematic DJ sets.
Superb terrace (you could almost play a game of tennis).
Nec plus ultra of the place.
* le Flamingo
Rue de Laeken 177, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
Restaurant - Bar - Espresso Bar (in the neighborhood) with an atmosphere that changes throughout the afternoon.
You can enjoy japanese-fusion dishes, hearty burgers made at the minute or boards to share. Trendy establishment.
* le Zébra
Pl. Saint-Géry 33, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
The Zebra bar is a café recognizable from afar with its large terrace (often crowded) and its colorful chairs.
This place with its "post-industrial" decoration is a must on the Place Saint-Géry in Brussels.
Possibility to have a brunch. To nibble hapjes ("small snacks" in Flemish).
Concerts are organized there some days.
This name "Zebra" ... makes me think of...
that horse, the zebra ?
Or to the road markings (road signs)?
Vasarely (1906-1997) who is nicknamed the father of "Op Art" (or Optical Art), a movement at the border between art and mathematics.
Very nice retrospective in 2013/2014 of this artist at the musée d'ixelles.
Pl. Sainte-Croix 4, 1050 Ixelles
This brasserie-rotisserie is located on the first floor of the "Paquebot Flagey", right next to Café Belga. (See episode 9)
Wooden interior, vintage / art deco decoration.
It offers a quality Belgian cuisine including the great classics of Belgian cuisine (croquettes with grey shrimps, the vol-au-vent in the Variety style, the white lady ...).
* Potemkine (closed)
209, Rue Antoine Dansaert, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
Ambient "Basserie" with the canal as a backdrop. Brunch every Sunday. This bistro also offers vegetarian, halal and vegan cuisine. Large terrace.
* Robinet (fermé à mon grand regret)
Bd de Waterloo 136, 1000 Bruxelles.
* le Vismet
Pl. Sainte-Catherine 23, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
The Vismet (Brussels name for the fish market) is a restaurant where seafood is the star.
You will have the impression to enter the canteen of a beautiful ship (mirrors and rows of lamps).
* Belle Équipe (bar à pizzas)
Rue Antoine Dansaert 202, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
Pizzeria-wine bar: long wooden bar, "raw" atmosphere, even industrial, underlined by metal, wood and bricks...
This name reminds me of Julien Duvivier's film (French director, 1896-1967): "La belle équipe",(1936) with Jean Gabin (French actor, 1904-1976), Charles Vanel (French actor and director, 1892-1989).
*le Bravo (closed) became the Kumiko
Aalststraat 7, 1000 Brussels
(Near the Arbany hotels)
Healthy and fast Japanese food, all in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
I imagine seeing the Japanese singer Baguette Bardot, a "toast girl", who has breadsticks instead of arms and who sings French songs... but in Japanese.
Open late in the evening.
Rue Antoine Dansaert 20, 1000 Brussels
(near the Arbany hotels)
The couscous and tajines are divine!
A myth! This down-town Kasbah still exerts its bewitching magic with its 120 colorful lanterns arranged like stars as far as the eye can see. Vintage black and white portraits of Moroccan actors and writers. A gustatory journey is guaranteed with a wide choice of traditional dishes.
Grand' Route 234, 1620 Drogenbos
The restaurant's menu changes regularly according to the market.
Cuisine of the sea in phase with its time. Wild cooking with its fusions which are unleashed.
When the earth meets the sea.
* Grand Central ( bar and gastro pub)
Rue Belliard 190, 1040 Brussels
Industrial, raw. Numerous trees, housed (in transport pallets) green the place.
You can drink and eat there.
Perfect for a break between the musée des Sciences naturelles (the largest dinosaur gallery in Europe!) and a walk in the European Quarter (international employment center and headquarters of the European institutions).
* Barbeton (bar)
Rue Antoine Dansaert 114, 1000 Brussels
(Near the Arbany hotels)
A huge bar carved out of concrete sits in the center of the room.
The (generous) brunch is placed on it.
A good place for a lazy sunday.
Wood, shelves, green plants, metal chairs.
To discover also in afterwork mode with their famous tapas.
Pl. Fernand Cocq 12, 1050 Ixelles
This café will certainly become a trendy classic.
Le Cocq (the name of the place) is a bar, a café and a French fry shop with an adjoining self-service laundry.
Long counter that can be used both inside and outside.
All these places have a "soul", loving a "young" and "bobo" public.
Holy "Fred" the "trend-setter", with a great capacity to anticipate the "branchisation" of a (often) neglected popular district.
Thank you every time for revitalizing a neighborhood.
"We also owe him the return to grace of the Antwerp beer Vedett.
What a journey...
I am intrigued by your purchase of the parquet floor of the Bourse.
Why don't you take over the "Café Métropole"?
Frederic Nicolay "thinks" a place. Then it's not "him" anymore.
When you return from these places, we invite you (if you wish) to let us know your feelings at the reception of the Hotels Alma Grand Place and Aris Grand Place
We can then adjust our information if necessary.
Long live sharing.
Team Arbany + customers = 1
The satisfaction of our customers is of utmost importance.
Thank you for sharing your discoveries with us.
Brussels has a "love" side and has its secrets.
"Quinzaine de la jeunesse" is back in Belgium from 7 to 20 March 2022 (in Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders).
People between 18 and 30 years old (new clientele) will be able to enjoy discounts in restaurants run by members of The Mastercooks of Belgium (starred restaurants and restaurants that are top rated by the Gault&Milau Guide).
The culinary experience includes an aperitif, a three-course menu, two glasses of wine, a half bottle of BRU water and Rombouts coffee.
Gastronomy at low prices.
The event is sponsored by the famous soccer player Michel Preud'homme. Reservations are required.
As for the "Restodays" (25th edition), it will take place from 11 to 27 March 2022.
Gastronomic menus at low prices.
The biggest culinary event in Belgium and Luxembourg!
Are you more Art Nouveau or Art Deco?
The BANAD (Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco) Festival is back from March 12 to 27, 2022 in different places in Brussels usually closed to the public (6th edition, XXL).
Guided tours on foot, by bus and by bike, events, conferences and various activities, exhibitions, concerts, activities for families, thematic evenings,... are planned.
This year, about fifty exceptional Art Nouveau and Art Deco houses will open their doors to you.
We look forward to seeing you there, with "Art".
Each weekend will be dedicated to a geographical area of the capital in order to facilitate the discovery of several places in the same district.
When visiting this type of "houses", I always wonder if the walls have ears. What would they tell us if we lived in them? Would they reveal some secrets?
What about you?
In the rooms you occupy?
The festival opens this year the doors of places still unexplored, namely :
* La Maison Van Hoof (boulevard Lambermont),
* L’ancienne Banque Brunner (rue de la Loi),
* L’ancien Institut Coppez (avenue de Tervueren)
* La Maison-atelier
* l’ancien hôtel de la RTT (rue des Palais)
* l’ancien siège de la RVS (rue Royale)
* la Maison Langbehn (rue Renkin).
At number 33, a superb house built by Frans Van Ophen with remarkable sgraffiti (here, a representation of craftsmen at work) and a sculpture of a reclining woman by V. De Haen.
Starting point of this blog?
Place where I liked to live. I gave it the nickname of "My manor" because of its fireplaces, panelling, murals,... Very beautiful stained glass windows in the bathroom and kitchen. Classified house.
Dank U Iwein (owner-architect).
At number 76, beautiful mansion (1911 - Beaux-arts style) built for the Belgian painter Franz Kegeljan (rich heir of a family of bankers from Namur).
What a surprise to discover the identity of its architect: Paul Saintenoy (author of the former Old England stores, now the M.I.M.
As well as various places that you had the opportunity to read in our blog as :
* l'hôtel Solvay (épisode 6),
* la Maison Autrique (épisode 12).
* le M.IM (dès le 1er épisode ),
* Bozar (épisode 4),
* l'hôtel Max Hallet (episode 10),
* l'ancienne maison de la radio INR (épisode 9),
* la Maison Van Eetvelde (épisode 10)...
Brussels (world capital of Art Nouveau in the architectural field), offers you the possibility to dive into "Art" in different forms, with breathtaking decorations...
There is nothing like a dive at the Saint-Josse. Baths.
Art-deco building from 1933 classified in 2009, reopening since 2019, one of the most beautiful pools in Brussels.
Architects : Joseph Bytebier and Charles Schaessens.
In 2018, the French singer Jeanne Added (2 victories of music in 2019) shot a clip there. Piscine, then undergoing redevelopment.
"Jeanne Added Shop".
In 2021, stamps with the effigy of these baths were created.
Since this month of February, you have the possibility to use the new feature of Google Maps: detailed Street (detailed street maps).
In Belgium, the first one was given to Brussels.
With all the information provided by Detailed Street, you can easily choose the most appropriate and safest route. Especially for wheelchair users and strollers.
Our hotels have rooms for people with reduced mobility.
For families with children, don't forget the friends & family offers.
Very popular offers.
Brussels is a city of contrasts. Surprising.
From February 3, 2022 to March 5, 2022, a photo expo "Ugly Belgian Houses" takes place at the Ruby Gallery. Hannes Coudenys, has become a small celebrity in Belgium, with his blog, his books and his TV shows on the ugliest houses of the kingdom.
On TIKTOK , he has more than 425.000 followers (favorite network of teenagers and young adults).
This international contemporary art fair (which welcomes more than 15,000 people each year) aims to democratize the art market.
About 75 galleries, Belgian and international. Here are some art galleries in our capital :
Pl. du Jeu de Balle 67, 1000 Bruxelles
Chau. de Waterloo 1453, 1180 Uccle.
Ninoofsesteenweg 252, 1700 Dilbeek
And photographers such as :
"I travel the world to capture stories that matter for the love of humanity and mother nature".
This photographer imitates among other things a painting (a portrait) of a 17th century artist in the Netherlands is world famous.
Who is this artist? What is the name of this work?
To find out, come to the reception of the Alma Grand Place hotel.
We are waiting for you.
Is there anything in common between Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk and the Hotel Alma Grand Place?
Answer in the next episode.
Do you have "chills" or "Frisian"?
Answer in episode 14.
If the wait seems too long, a solution...
Come and dive into the comfortable bedding of Arbany Hotels.
What type of room do you choose?
Don't forget our loyalty program (after 10 nights the 11th is free!).
And subscribe to "our"Instagram.
Contests are organized.
See you soon ....