Throwback Thursday: Brussels

Tiina Kivelä

Three years ago I lived in Brussels for a while. Exciting, challenging, educative and fun period of my life, during which I learned to know in depth (and with debt I left the city after the poorly paid internships) both the loveliest and annoying parts of this city with so many faces. Nowadays I’m not sure if I’d like to move back there; so challenging it was, and not enough open water for my taste. But it would be nice to spend a week or two there again; to enjoy the loveliest parts, combined with a roadtrips to Champagne and Brasserie D’Achouffe. Preferably during spring, when the cherry trees and magnolias are blossoming and it’s warm enough to enjoy the drinks outside.

We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.

During the 9 months I lived in Brussels I changed my residence couple of times, and even though they all had their pros and cons, one neighborhood managed to stand out as especially lovely. And that’s Ixelles, the Paris of Brussels, about which I’ve written the following piece already year ago. Rerun (sorry!), but Ixelles is definitely worth it.


Ixelles. A commune inside a commune. The commune in which Audrey Hepburn was born. A lovely community in which I once lived. La Parisienne of Brussels.

And there, Place du Châtelain. On Wednesdays, after work. Ambience, international and exciting. Traditional food, delicatessen, flowers and drinks. Rosé with ice. Or beer. Beautiful women, handsome men, conversations, arguments, kisses and laughter. French, English, Arabic, Finnish, Swedish and many more. Trés chic!

Flaneur Rue du Bailli. Eat Sushi at Makisu. Drink a beer at Supra Bailly; pretend you’re an artist or a writer. Make a date, talk to strangers, eat something delicious at the market (I always had Pad Thai) and buy your weekly vegetables.

And smile; there’s wine!

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

Foto: Place du Châtelain. Au printemps 2013

*Repost from 20.2.2015

** Quotes © Ernest Hemingway – Moveable Feast