When you arrive at the new reception of the HOTEL ALMA GRAND PLACE, you notice the nod to Vermeer (Johannes or Jan Van der Meer, 1632-1675, one of the greatest masters of Dutch painting) and his painting "The Girl with the Pearl" ("Meisje met de parel") (1665?) .

Not forgetting the work of photographer Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk (mentioned in episode 13) where we see that she is attracted to the light used by Golden Age painters.

Amazing, isn't it?

The painting "The Girl with the Pearl" (nicknamed "the Mona Lisa of the North") is on display in the MAURITSHUIS Museum (a world-renowned collection of paintings) in The Hague, the Netherlands.


The city of Bruges (Brugge), the capital of West Flanders, also has a nickname: "The Venice of the North". 

You can get there very easily from the BRUSSELS CENTRAL STATION, which is only 5 minutes away from the ALMA GRAND PLACE and ARIS GRAND PLACE HOTELS.

A return trip can be made on the same day without any problems.

The BRUSSELS CENTRAL STATION is also served by the metro (lines 1 and 5), for which renovation work has just begun. It is expected to be completed by 2025.



The STIB recently put its new M7 metro train into circulation.

Brussels in motion'. 

These new trains will also run on the future metro line 3, which will connect Albert to Bordet (see episode 8).

In the 1910s and 1930s, Victor Horta was entrusted with the management of the BRUSSELS CENTRAL STATION, but the Second World War brought the project to a halt.

Maxime Brunfaut (a Belgian architect and town planner, a former student of Victor Horta, 1909-2003) took up the torch.  

It has Art Deco accents (those of its design) and has kept its original style. 

Let's not forget its secret place, the "SALON ROYAL", Art Deco open during the HERITAGE DAYS.

This year's theme (which is under debate?) will be "The traces of colonisation".  17 and 18 September 2022. 

From 23 to 25 September 2022, in Brussels: "LES JOURNEES DU MATRIMOINE" (4th edition). Initiated in Paris in 2015.

The word 'heritage' refers to the assets, tangible or intangible, of artistic or historical importance inherited from women.

In 2020, the documentary "Rêveuses de filles" by Joseph Hillel was broadcast for the first time in Belgium.


Screening also in 2021 at the CINEMA AVENTURE located in the "GALERIE DU CENTRE" (built in 1951-1952 by the architect Collin) occupied today almost exclusively by Asian-style nail salons (nail shops), rue des Fripiers 15.

I really like the continuous vault combining concrete and glass that illuminates the gallery. Circular layout.

As well as its main entrance covered with a Norwegian quartz cladding. 

The gallery is strangely similar to the GALERIE D'IXELLES by the same architect. Since 2017, "GALERIE MATONGE".

MATONGE is the African district of Brussels.

The CINÉMA AVENTURE (entirely renovated in 2010) offers an eclectic program of quality with a special place for documentary films, festivals (MILLENIUM FESTIVAL, MEDITERRANEAN FESTIVAL, PINK SCREEN FESTIVAL,...) and partnerships such as "LES LUNDIS DES AUTEURS" of the SACD-SVAM, the "CINÉ CLUB DES LIBERTÉS"...

3 cinemas, 2 of which are equipped with 3D.

The place welcomes spectators in love "with open arms". Love seats" or "seats for lovers" are placed on the last row of the rooms.

You can take your glass of wine or beer with you in one of the comfortable rooms.

Atypical" cinema. In the heart of the historic centre of Brussels. Close to the PLACE DE LA MONNAIE and the ARIS GRAND PLACE HOTEL.  

The next edition of the documentary film festival "MILLENIUM FESTIVAL" will take place from 5 to 12 May 2022.

From 10 to 19 November 2022: the "PINK SCREENS FESTIVAL" (21st edition), queer film festival.

The BELGIAN PRIDE PARADE 2022 will take place on 21 May 2022. "Belgian Gay Pride".

The event attracts thousands of visitors, so book your stay as soon as possible. 

The Arbany hotels fill up quickly during this period. Alma Grand Place and Aris Grand Place hotels are gayfriendly. 

From 16 to 20 March 2022 the "FESTIVAL COURTS MAIS TRASH" took place at the CINEMA AVENTURE.

National and international selection of short films.  Not necessarily provocative or shocking. Alternative, political, offbeat films.  All categories (experimental, clip, animation, docu....).

Broke films also in competition. 

A meeting place for underground film lovers and fans of fun.

For its 25th edition, the BRUSSELS SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (BSFF) is back in Ixelles and Brussels at its usual time: from 20 to 30 April 2022.

Short film festival that offers three competitions: International, National and Next Generation (highlighting films by film school students).

Since 2018, the BSFF is a qualifier for the Oscars.

Over 300 screenings in ten days.

From 6 to 13 March 2022, the City of Brussels organised the "WOMEN'S RIGHTS WEEK" (a series of activities to raise public awareness of the role of women in society).

On 8 March 2022, "INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY" was celebrated.

When you leave the CENTRAL STATION, you arrive at the "CARREFOUR DE L'EUROPE" square, which has had a circular section since 2010 ("rotunda?")

In 2018, the city of Brussels commemorated the "Treaty of Rome" by placing explanatory plaques in various places and buildings that are linked to these two treaties.

A plaque is installed in front of the BRUSSELS CENTRAL STATION, at the CARREFOUR DE L'EUROPE. Near the main entrance doors.

Other locations with explanatory plaques in Brussels are

§ THE BERLAYMONT BUILDING which houses the headquarters of the European Commission. It owes its name to the convent of the Dames du Berlaymont.

Its asymmetrical cross shape and its underlying esplanade are typical of the 1960s. A curiosity is that only its central axis touches the ground.


Since 2013, every year in May, this roundabout is transformed into a giant bakery: "LA FETE DES PAINS". 

On 7 May 2022 (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) visitors will be able to taste and buy bakery specialities from all over Europe during this flagship event, as part of the Open Doors of the European Institutions.

This symbolic place of the capital of Europe should undergo a redevelopment of high architectural and urbanistic quality.

A building permit has just been granted to Brussels Mobility.  Contested. 

What will it look like? 

The project includes a modern steel canopy with a green roof. A large pedestrian area will be created, with benches, shrubs and a hundred trees.

An almost car-free urban square. A "Schuman Agora"?

Work is scheduled to start at the end of 2022.

Robert Schuman (1886-1963 - French statesman), the "father of European construction" ?

§ JUSTIUS LIPSIUS BUILDING, former main seat of the Council of the EU (European Union). It is named after the Brabant philologist Justus Lipsius (1547-1606). 

Now connected by two footbridges to the very NEW EUROPA BUILDING (formerly known as the PALACE RESIDENCE - seat of the European Council and the Council of the European Union. 

§ LE CHARLEMAGNE (= an office complex in Brussels housing bodies of the European Commission). 

I can't help thinking of "Sacré Charlemagne" (1964), a song sung by France Gall (French singer, 1947-2018) and written by her own father Robert Gall (French lyricist, 1918-1990) when I pass this building. 

This composer having written the song "la mama" (1963) performed by Charles Aznavour (real name Shahnourh Vaghinag Aznavourian, French-Armenian singer-songwriter, actor and writer, 1924-2018).  The "French Sinatra" ? 

In 2015, Charles Aznavour received the distinction of Commander of the Order of the Crown at the PALAIS D'EGMONT in Brussels. 


THE PALAIS D'EGMONT ("Egmontpaleis") is located at PLACE DU PETIT SABLON.

This place has welcomed almost all the world's heads of state. The grand staircase was inspired by the ambassadors' staircase of the CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES, which has now disappeared. 

In the 19th century, the time could vary from one Belgian city to another. 

In 1881, the Belgian railways made it compulsory to set all clocks in the country to Brussels time. 

In 1892, Belgium adopted the international time of Greenwich

From the central hall of the CENTRAL STATION (inaugurated on 4 October 1952 by the young King Baudouin, in the middle of a chaotic urban landscape), you can reach the BOZAR (a formidable "forum-agora" with an eclectic programme), the GALERIE RAVENSTEIN (adorned with a gigantic glass-brick dome and magnificent astral frescoes, see episode 1) and the GRAND-PLACE via the surprising GALERIE HORTA (Rue du Marché Aux Herbes 116, 1000 Brussels). 

I like to take the "escalator" lined with woodwork, restored. 

The GALLERY (Art Deco) leading from the PLACE AGORA to the CENTRAL STATION was largely designed by Victor Horta in the 1930s and was bought by Anthony Huerta (set designer, animator, director, cultural events operator).

Since 2018, the "C12" (nightclub), nestled at the back of the GALERIE HORTA (Rue Marché aux Herbes, 116), has been claiming a free spirit for music and art lovers.  

Multidisciplinary platform of the Brussels collective Deep in House (see episode 11).


Events available on their website or on their Facebook page.

A new canteen, the "BAMBINO CAFÉ EN VILLE" has just opened (fifth in Brussels) but this time very central (between the CENTRAL STATION AND THE MONT DES ARTS, Rue Ravenstein 50-70).


This place with its industrial-chic, very luminous, cosy decor (created by the Italian artists Piovenefabi and Maniera) is accessible to coworkers and offices in the area (like the "BELGA" downton style - see episode 13). (designed by the Italian artists Piovenefabi and Maniera) is accessible to coworkers and offices in the vicinity (like the "BELGA" downton style - see episode 13) but it is above all open to the city and welcomes a changing public from morning to evening (late!): ideal for enjoying a good coffee (Parlor?), a small morning meeting, having breakfast...

At lunchtime, a buffet of dishes always organic and locavore (= eating locally), sometimes vegan, ... Dessert counter... Plates are paid by weight.

The menu changes every day!

In the evening, the place is very lively. Pizzas ("pizzettes"), tapas, small dishes to share, cocktails and a very nice selection of wines (by the glass) in the air of time!

Happy hours (two glasses of wine for the price of one) from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm from Monday to Friday.

Saturday is reserved for events.

As you have already known for a few months (15 July 2021), dear faithful readers (see episode 8), from 22 April 2022, Brussels will celebrate the 100th birthday of our jazz icon, Toots Thielemans (1922-2016): numerous concerts and not forgetting the immersive exhibition "TOOTS 100. THE SOUND OF BELGIAN LEGEND' (22 April - 31 August at the ROYAL LIBRARY OF BELGIUM (KBR). 

In the BOZAR (formerly known as the PALAIS DES BEAUX-ARTS, a cultural centre in a beautiful Art Deco building designed by Victor Horta) on 29 April (Toots' birthday) a concert will be held with the JAZZ ORCHESTRA,  the METROPOLE ORCHESTRA and musicians such as Philip Catherine (Belgian jazz guitarist), Kenny Werner (American jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer), Grégoire Maret (Swiss jazz harmonica player) and Tutu Pouane (South African jazz singer).

From 9 May to 4 June 2022, the REINE ELISABETH COMPETITION will take place at STUDIO 4 DE FLAGEY (see episode 9) and at the BOZAR (the acoustics of the SALLE HENRY LE BŒUF - see episode 1) are remarkable). 

It will be dedicated for the second time to the cello (68 candidates, including a Belgian, Stéphanie Huang).

You can also book your rooms at the ALMA GRAND PLACE AND ARIS GRAND PLACE HOTELS on our websites or by phone. 

Don't forget our Loyalty Program. 11th night free!

If you like classical music or want to (re)discover it, I advise you to go to the temple of classical music in Brussels (since 1935), "LA BOITE A MUSIQUE".

This shop is located at Coudenberg 74.

 Between the M.I.M (MUSEE DES INSTRUMENTS DE MUSIQUE) with its magnificent collection of more than 10,000 instruments (of which 1,000 are actually on display), and BOZAR which hosted the Franco-Belgian exhibition "EMERGENCES.FR" (young designers from eight French art and design schools), an original idea from LA VILLETTE in Paris.  From 29 January 2022 to 10 April 2022.


LA BOITE A MUSIQUE is the first CD-shop in Brussels for classical music. 

Real enthusiasts will give you advice. 

You will find your music lover's delight among their 15,000 references in stock (125,000 on order), a pantagruelic quantity.

Patented supplier of the Court of Belgium since 1994!

They will find you the dream recording you are looking for from the most meagre of clues.

A reference!

The festival "L'EUROVISION DES JEUNES MUSICIENS" will take place in Montpellier (France) on 23 July 2022.

The event will be broadcast on La Trois and Musiq'3.

Our candidate: cellist Thaïs Defoort.

The "EUROVISION SONG COMPETITION 2022" (66th Edition) will be held in Turin (Italy) on 14 May 2022.

This is the most watched television competition in the world.

The Belgian candidate (living in Brussels and who should defend our colours?) will be Jérémie Makiese (winner of "The Voice Belgium" in 2021) with "Miss you" (clip shot in Mons).

From 31 March to 21 July 2022, BOZAR (Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles) is celebrating its centenary with the "PROJET PALAIS" exhibition, a succession of contemporary artistic interventions inspired by the past and looking to the future. 

Symbolic anniversary: invitation of numerous artists and collectives such as:

* Lynn Cassiers (Belgian jazz musician)

She has composed a contemporary anthem for BOZAR.

* Sammy Baloji (photographer from the Democratic Republic of Congo)

* Johan Lagae (professor at Ghent University) and Traumnovelle (Brussels collective).

Brussels lives to the rhythm of its festivals: cinema, music, folklore...

Like last year, the "BALKAN TRAFIK" FESTIVAL (16th edition) returned to us from 28 April to 1 May 2022 in Brussels (PLACE DE BROUCKÈRE and GRAND-PLACE (Giant Horo...), "open air" (first time!) and also in Namur at the "DELTA" (cultural venue, first time): concerts, debates, exhibitions,... Varied programme. 

The "best artists" of the Balkans (more than 150) from "trad" (= traditional) folk music, through jazz, brass bands (=Brass" as in brass and "Band" as in ensemble) and punk (Bohemians Betyars).

At the moment, the PLACE DE BROUCKÈRE is undergoing a major demolition project that is attracting the attention of passers-by: the "BROUCK'R" project project, to give a new lease of life to the centre of Brussels?


Transformation of this "zone" (in other words, the entire block of houses opposite the MÉTROPOLE HOTEL, with the exception of the UGC DE BROUCKÈRE cinema complex) into an environment that combines quality of life and work in the city centre: offices, shops, flats and student accommodation.

Preservation of the historic facades.

The desired outcome: a multifunctional, dynamic and animated urban living space 24/7.

From 29 April to 1 May 2022, a unique festival took place where art, inventive architecture and electronic music meet: "HORST ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL" (Mechelsesteenweg 255, 1800 Vilvoorde) in a former military site. 8th edition. About a hundred artists!

A must-see event for fans of pioneering and innovative electronic music. 

A crazy weekend awaits you. Want to discover the latest nuggets of the creative world? Then go for it.

We are waiting for you in our HOTELS ALMA GRAND PLACE and ARIS GRAND PLACE to get your feedback.  Make a reservation!

The 'URBAN LEZARTS FESTIVAL' has moved to the KVS (KONINKLIJKE VLAAMSE SCHOUWBURG) , ROYAL FLEMISH THEATRE, for its 17th edition from 2 to 3 April 2022.

During the whole weekend, the festival presented a wide range of creations, techniques and styles.

This year, in addition to street dances, the festival opened up to slam and rap. The headliner was "Blind", a creation of the Belgian krumpeuse Hendricks Ntela.

The word Krump means: Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise / kingdom = kingdom; radically = radically; uplifted = lifted; mighty = powerful; praise = praise.

Urban dance style derived from hip-hop, born in the ghettos of Los Angeles at the end of the 1990s, characterized by fast, jerky movements and aggressive mimics

The KVS (Quai aux Pierres de Taille 7 in Brussels) is a former neo-Flemish renaissance-style armoury (1780-1781) built by the architect Nivoy.

This prestigious, "curious", "hybrid" building, with its "pagodizing" structure, was converted into a theatre by the decorator architect Jean Baes (1848-1914).

Its main façade is located in the rue de Laeken.

Renowned cultural institution. Highly specialized and contemporary programming.

The House contributes to the dissemination of quality professional Dutch-language theatre in Belgium and abroad.

If the doors are open, don't hesitate to take a look at the new, amazing and ultra-modern theatre.

From Friday 22 to Sunday 24 April 2022, the capital's eclectic scene will be concentrated in the GRAND HOSPICE, in the OLD PACHECO HOSPITAL (designed by Belgian architect Henri Partoes, a leading specialist in hospital architecture, 1790-1873).

This unique event, called "RED BULL UNLOCKED", turned Brussels into a giant open-air nightclub.

Three days of fiesta in the heart of the capital!

12 clubs and bars gathered in this emblematic place (gardens, corridors and rooms) including the C12, MADAME MOUSTACHE, the FUSE, the MIRANO, the HANGAR...


 MADAME MOUSTACHE (Quai au Bois à Brûler 5-7- 1000 Brussels) near the Place Ste Catherine, on the Place du Marché aux Poissons 

This "café-concert" with a cabaret feel offers rock concerts, DJ evenings, cutting edge concerts, dance evenings...

A quirky universe, a décor that mixes burlesque and cabaret, omnipresent mirrors, a must for Brussels nightlife.


New concept of techno parties in Brussels launched by three young Brussels people.  4 parties per year in this former industrial site located on the Digue du CANAL in Anderlecht. 


- The FUSE (Rue Blaes, 2081000 Brussels)

Mythical Brussels nightclub (founded in 1994) located in Les Marolles (a popular, historic district of Brussels).

Temple of techno.

The most famous DJs in the world have made its reputation: from Daft Punk to Kevin Saunderson, via Jeff Mills, Luke Slater, Carl Craig, Bjôrk, or Paul Kalkbrenner,...

FUSE is the-place-to-be. A reference! 


There are also gay parties as sultry as they are famous on our continent: "LA DEMENCE".

Thousands of clubbers...

The " NUITS BOTANIQUE  2022 " (festival) returns from April 27th to May 16th in Brussels, 29th edition full of promise (Rue Royale 236 /Koningsstraat /1210 Brussels )

The first emblematic event to open the festival season!

As every year, "LES NUITS" will present "tomorrow's greats", regional and international artists with incredible potential.


The BOTA teams have invited nearly 200 artists to come and celebrate the revival of live music (about 1/3 are Belgian):

Iliona, Reinel Bakole, K.Zia, Vaague, or Tukan…). An "attractive" programme.

Concerts will take place at L'ORANGERIE (multi-purpose hall of the Bota), at the GRAND SALON, at LA ROTONDE (ideal for concerts, more intimate "projects" - the artists and the public appreciate its acoustics and aesthetics).

Opportunity to have a drink at CAFE BOTA (rue Royale 236). Where traditional Italian cuisine was on offer. (Closed. To be continued?).

Superb (huge) terrace with a unique view of the JARDIN BOTANIQUE

Victor Hugo, during his first stay in Brussels in 1852, wrote: "Brussels has two unique wonders in the world: the Grand-Place and the panorama of the Botanical Garden".

This public park (more than 6 hectares with its numerous sculptures, pond, etc.) is a small 'haven of peace' in the heart of Brussels.

A contrast with the neighbouring buildings is guaranteed. 

An iris garden was inaugurated in 1995. This flower is the symbol of the city of Brussels.


The FETE DE L'IRIS (cultural, artistic and popular event, free of charge!) will take place from 6 to 8 May 2022.

It was in the basement of the BOTANIQUE that the white-leaved chicory, the chicon, was first cultivated.


Garden where it is not uncommon to see famous/recognized artists singing one or more songs. 

Example: the British rock band "Band of Skulls" who performed the song "Asleep at the Wheel" on the sunny steps of the BOTANIQUE (surrounded by sandwich eaters...). 

From March 17, 2022 until May 14, 2022, an immersive exhibition on one of the world's most influential artists, Frida Kahlo (Magdalena Frida Carmen Kahlo Calderón, 1906-1954), painter, Mexican, feminist, revolutionary, communist... is taking place at the GALERIE HORTA (just a stone's throw from the ARBANY HOTELS!).

This exhibition entitled ""FRIDA KAHLO , LA VIE  D ’UNE ICÔNE" is already a huge success. A unique experience in Brussels.

At number 7 rue de la Madeleine, admire the splendid geometrical Art Nouveau window of the "MARJOLAINE" antique shop (a stone's throw from the GRAND PLACE and the ARIS GRAND PLACE HOTEL) built in 1904 by the Belgian architect Léon Sneyers (1877-1948, one of the collaborators (pupil) of the architect Paul Hankar ) . His signature is engraved on the blue stone of the base (as is the name of the Belgian architect of the HÔTEL ALMA GRAND PLACE, see episode 13)

In 1996, the stained glass windows were restored by Jean-Marc Gdalewitch (master glassmaker: restorer, creator and producer of stained glass in Brussels).

One of the few remaining Art Nouveau-style shop windows in Brussels (an elusive city that often brings out little gems, a city where life is good)!

Dare to push the door open and enter this tiny Ali Baba's cave (collectors' items): jewellery, dolls, clothes, figurines... "treasures"!

Let's not forget that Brussels is a European capital of Art Nouveau alongside Barcelona (capital of Catalonia) with its "modernismo" or Vienna (capital of Austria) with its "Jugendstil".

"Our tram 92 tells me that I should tell you about the "ANCIENNE CHEMISERIE NIGUET" (rue Royale 13, listed since 1984).  Today, it has become the showcase of the florist Daniel Ost (nicknamed "the Picasso of floral art"). He is right.

This Temple of Art Nouveau is now a Temple of floral art.

I never tire of looking at the magnificent Art Nouveau façade.  My eyes are caught by all those extravagant curves and knots of wood.  

13 rue Royale is one of the first buildings designed by Paul Hankar (1859-1901).

The front is surmounted by the inscription "Chemiserie A. Niguet - House founded in 1835".

What a pleasure to go inside... observe the magnificent pictorial decorations by 'Adolphe Crespin (1859-1944, Belgian painter-decorator and poster artist), mill wing motifs (particular to the architect).

There are very few examples of this type of shop in such good condition. Enjoy your visit.

When the shop is closed, the shutter hides the woodwork. Just like the MARJOLAINE shop.

In the course of 2022, the STIB will make the TNG (New Generation Tram) available to passengers. Special features: wide doors, low floor....

To be seen, to be tried.

And soon, the digital ticket that will allow passengers to use their smartphone to buy and validate tickets directly.

A second immersive exhibition on Frida Kahlo (the first woman - at last - to be celebrated by such an exhibition in Brussels) called "FRIDA KAHLO IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE" takes place at the IAGE DIGITAL ART THEATRE (30, boulevard Anspach, 1000 Brussels). From 18 March to 1 May 2022.

À  nouveau à  deux pas des HÔTELS ARBANY

Vous aurez un aperçu global de la vie tragique de cette personnalité unique

Bruxelles est ainsi la deuxième ville européenne à accueillir cette exposition numérique immersive monumentale.

"L'événement culturel" du printemps?

L'HOTEL ALMA GRAND PLACE détient à sa manière sa « Mona Lisa du Nord »?

"Mona Lisa" également connue sous le nom de "la joconde" (Lisa del Giocondo (1479-1542), épouse de Francesco del Giocondo (+, 1460-1539), est un portait du 16e siècle peint par Leonardo da Vinci (Leondardo di ser Piero da Vinci, 1452 -1519), peintre, sculpteur, anatomiste, architecte, écrivain... italien durant la Renaisance italienne.

Oeuvre exposée au MUSEE DU LOUVRE à Paris (France). 


Again, just a stone's throw from the HÔTELS ARBANY

You will get a comprehensive insight into the tragic life of this unique personality. 

Brussels is the second European city to host this monumental immersive digital exhibition.

"The 'cultural event' of the spring?

The HOTEL ALMA GRAND PLACE has its own 'Mona Lisa of the North'?

"Mona Lisa" also known as "la joconde" (Lisa del Giocondo (1479-1542), wife of Francesco del Giocondo (+, 1460-1539), is a 16th century portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci (Leondardo di ser Piero da Vinci, 1452 -1519), an Italian painter, sculptor, anatomist, architect, writer... during the Italian Renaissance.

Work exhibited at the MUSEE DU LOUVRE in Paris (France). 

In 2004 the film " Girl with a Pearl Earing " was released, directed by Peter Webber (British director, screenwriter, etc.).

This film is an adaptation of the novel by Tracy Chevalier ( 1962- ), an American and British writer.
Marcel Proust (French writer / 1871-1922) could not help but refer to the "genre painter" Vermeer (his favourite) in his major literary work (composed of seven parts published from 1913 to 1927) "In Search of Lost Time" following his amazement at the painting "The View of Delft" which he considered the most beautiful in the world. 

A sensory shock for Proust  (the first classic of his time?).


In Brussels (Saint- Josse -ten-Noode) from Saturday 12 February 2022 at 6 pm to the following day, Sunday 13 February 2022 at 6 pm, a reading marathon, "DESACRALISER PROUST", took place at the ATELIERS MOMMEN (a 19th century "building" built for art, an artists' city, a space for work, reflections, experimentation, expression, dissemination, ....). 

Close to the European institutions.

In 2023, in Amsterdam ("Dutch Venice"?) at the RIJKSMUSEUM, the largest exhibition ever devoted to the paintings of Johannes Vermeer will be held. It will bring together works from museums all over the world.


From 28 April 2022 to 1 May 2022, the first Belgian edition (after nine editions in Basel-Switzerland) of the contemporary art fair "THE SOLO PROJECT" will be held at the CIRCULARIUM  (an industrial site near the CANAL and the GARE DU MIDI (Hall Liverpool 1, 77 rue de Liverpool in Anderlecht).

An opportunity to see throughout this fair, in the middle of the public, the performances of Wim Vandekeybus (contemporary dancer and choreographer as well as Belgian director and producer) and his dance company "ULTIMA VEZ".

A curated exhibition where some thirty galleries are invited to present one artist or to exhibit a carefully selected group of related works.

The fair is an initiative of Paul Kusseneers (GALERIE KUSSENEERS in Brussels/ Molenbeek-Saint-Jean).

From 5 March to 2 April 2022, there was an exhibition by Laurent Impeduglia (an internationally recognised Belgian artist): "DANCING IN THE DARK".

Bravo Laurent.  Nice course. So many memories...

"Dancing in the Dark" is also a song written, composed and interpreted by Bruce Springsteen (American author, composer and performer) in 1984 (who visited Brussels many times).

From 28 April to 1 May 2022, at TOURS & TAXIS, one of the biggest contemporary art fairs in Europe: "ART BRUSSELS" (38th edition). Avenue du Port 86C, 1000 Brussels, from 11 am to 7 pm.

Each year, nearly 30,000 professionals, collectors and art lovers come together. 

Nearly 160 local and international galleries will take part in the event.

Galleries will be presented in the Prime, Discovery, Rediscovery, Invited and Solo sections.

We are looking forward to meeting Liege artist Frédéric Plateus  who will present works through "GALERIE  RUTTKOWSKI;68" (art gallery based in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Paris).

His work is often linked to the tradition of "Finish Fetish" (a movement born on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s).

This self-taught artist often draws his inspiration from sports (skateboarding, basketball, motor sports), technology, exact sciences, the conquest of space, science fiction or graffiti....

Sculptures with a high-tech, sophisticated, shiny, smooth, uncluttered look... "Impeccable" objects.

A true virtuoso. To be discovered.

 When will we see a Frédéric catalogue?

Du 11 au 17 avril 2022, dans différents lieux à Bruxelles, Le festival  de crique « HOPLA! » (15eme édition) a animé de nombreux quartiers  avec une quinzaine de spectacles (gratuits).

A flea market (at first exclusively dedicated to design and productions from the 50s to the early 80s) The "BRUSSELS DESIGN MARKET" will take place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2022 at TOUR & TAXIS.

More than a hundred exhibitors. Relaxed spirit of a big flea market.

From 11 to 17 April 2022, in various locations in Brussels, the "HOPLA!" cricket festival (15th edition) animated many neighbourhoods with some fifteen (free) shows.

Brussels is back on track.

It follows the "UP Festival" (festival of circus arts), from 15 to 27 March 2022, with numerous shows in various places in Brussels such as :


 Cultural site of the commune of Woluwe Saint Lambert

* the BRONKS

This is Brussels' Dutch-language theatre for young audiences.


Lieu de création et de découvertes artistiques où se mêlent théâtre contemporain,  cirque, danse, musique. Situé à Ixelles

* the 140

Performance venue in Schaerbeeck, offering Brussels an international showcase for theatre, dance, comedy and concerts. It is known for its daring programming. This theatre has been a forerunner in innovative, surprising and sometimes 'irreverent' shows.


Concerts, exhibitions, shows and think tanks are on the programme of this cultural environment. 

Just a stone's throw from the Place Flagey.

Since I was a child, I have associated the circus with the white clown (ringmaster recognisable by his white make-up, an eyebrow drawn on his forehead, etc.) and the august with the red nose, his wig recognisable among a thousand.... zany, grotesque character, burlesque clothes. A "jester"?

What about you?

Do you want to dress up? 

Go to PICARD-MEGAFUN with its 2 colourful floors (confetti, jokes, accessories, theatrical make-up, variety of costumes (for hire or for sale)... An institution since 1929.

Rue du Marché au Charbon Kolenmarkt 43, 1000 Brussels.

I also think of the film by Frédérico Fellini, "La Strada" (1959) with the Italian actress Giuletta Masina (1929-1994) and Anthony Quinn (American actor of Mexican origin, 1915-2001). 

A masterpiece, a moving drama like no other. "Magic realism"?

In 2013, when Pope Francis said: "Fellini's La Strada is perhaps the film I have loved the most".

I love the "clowns" of the Belgian contemporary artist Michael Dans.

This genius uses different techniques: photography, installation, performance, drawing, painting, writing, sculptures...

Exhibitions in the most prestigious galleries in Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Vienna or Brussels.

Often aesthetic, disturbing images.

A critical look at society ?

His work challenges me, questions me.  Its strength, its poetry, its language.  Sensitivity.  "Intimacy ? His "mises en scène". Situations... 

He confuses you/me.  "Unclassifiable" you are.

Thank you, Mike. Thank you for this book with your autograph.

So many memories.

And what about the flowers? ...at this time of year.

To be seen and seen again.

In spring, Brussels is repainted in technicolour with the green of its parks and gardens, the pink of its Japanese cherry trees and the blue of its hyacinths!

The colours are waiting for you everywhere in one of the greenest capitals in Europe.

Stroll, breathe... (with all the usual health precautions, of course).

Nature is waking up.

Do you remember the CHATEAU DE GRAND-BIGARD  in episode 12?



From April 2 to May 3, 2022, the CHÂTEAU DE GRAND-BIGARD will once again open the doors of its park (14 hectares).

Located 7km from Brussels (on the outskirts, in Dilbeek), it offers one of the most prestigious flower shows in Belgium: "FLORALIA BRUSSELS" (19th edition).

More than one million bulbs (onions) are planted each year by hand.... including 400 varieties of tulips for your viewing pleasure.

An unforgettable floral experience.

The impression of being in a fairy tale when you walk through the huge flower garden surrounding this 17th century Brabant renaissance castle built in Spanish brick and stone: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils ... in full bloom!

The setting was recently used as a film location for the French comedy film "Les profs 2(2015)  with Kev Adams.

From 29 April to 8 May 2022, the city of Ghent organises its "FLORALIES("FLORALIEN GENT", 36th edition, every 4 years!) with the theme "My paradise, my garden of the world" (hidden floral pearls, taste walks and exhibitions...). 

Various places: the familiar ICC BUILDINGS, the HALL DES FLORALIES and the KUIPKE (legendary velodrome) located in the Citadel Park), the MAISON D'ALLIJN (museum of "everyday life"), the splendid "HÔTEL D'HANE STEENHUYSE" (18th century palace) located in the Veldstraat),...

This theme refers to the famous work by the Van Eyck brothers entitled "The Mystic Lamb", painted in 1432 in the city of Gand

A return trip from Brussels is easy. This is an advantage for those of you staying in our hotels.  


THE SERRES ROYALES OF LAEKEN (designed by the Belgian architect Alphonse Balat (1818-1895, a teacher of Victor Horta) in 1873, on the initiative of Leopold II) is open to the public until 8 May 2022 (approximately 3 weeks).

This Art Nouveau jewel is part of a 200-hectare royal estate, the CHÂTEAU DE LAEKEN (official residence of the king and the royal family).

It is one of Belgium's postcards. 

A place that makes Instagrammers from all over the world happy.

Have you checked the Instagrams of the Arbany hotels and the visits of the Instagrammers?

Throughout the year, it is the King who enjoys the place.

This year, there will be evening events on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on 18 April for Easter Monday.

Thousands of heritage and nature lovers will come to visit this true 19th century masterpiece. A city of glass and metal considered to be the largest private greenhouse complex in Europe. Nicknamed "the glass cathedral".

Two walks are available: one long (2.5 hours) and one short (1.5 hours).

Around the gardens: QUEEN ELISABETH'S WORKSHOP, the ROSER GARDEN in an arc, the RUINES OF A TEMPLE by a pond...

Inside: discovery of the grandiose greenhouses: the EMBARCADERE GREENHOUSE, the CONGO GREENHOUSE (with its subtropical plants), the WINTER GARDEN GREENHOUSE and its famous COUPOLE (impressive palm trees and tree ferns), and the ORANGERIE (where orange trees, laurels and camellias winter).

Tickets can only be purchased on the website of the Laeken greenhouses. 

Access via the gates on the Avenue du Parc Royal in Laeken.

If you like flowers, plants, ... we invite you to visit the JARDIN BOTANIQUE DE MEISE (created in 1958).

 One of the largest plant gardens in the world (no less than 18,000 different species of plants).

It is located on the edge of Brussels, not far from the ATOMIUM.... At the gates of the capital. A 92-hectare park with its jewel, the BALAT GREENHOUSE, its PALAIS DES PLANTES (a complex of 13 greenhouses) ....

Installed in a new estate consisting of the CHÂTEAU DE BOUCHOUT estate (where Princess Charlotte of Belgium, daughter of Léopold 1er, lived) and the CHÂTEAU DE MEISE estate (now destroyed, of which only the Orangery remains).

The Belgian singer Saule will perform "Home sweet Home" in the SERRE DU DÉSERT.

It was in the small SERRE DE BALAT that the singer Warhola (member of the founding group Bazart), accompanied by his keyboard, sang a duet with Tessa Dixson entitled "Drive".

More than 200,000 visitors per year.

Each season has its own little pleasures.

If you take the rue des Eperonniers to get to the HÔTEL ALMA GRAND PLACE, if you look up, you will notice...

More in the next episode.