At breakfast there’s a guy on the table next to us with four dissimilar mobile phones! Do you really need that many phones? I’ve heard what having two phones makes you, but four? Could it be one to call his mum, one for his wife, another for his girlfriend, and the other? Who knows……
After breakfast we make our way to the flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle and have a good wander round. There’s lots of eclectic stuff and a good mix of everything. We could have stayed here for hours discovering all the little trinkets and oddities that are on offer.
Chandelier spare parts, tools and beer glasses dotted about the place. Guys selling rugs laid on the floor for all to walk over, which was unfortunate and hardly fair when they’re being sold!
After meandering through the stalls we take a refreshment break. A glass of Grimbergen Blonde, with its sweet, soft, yeasty, bananary tinged character offers up a good time to reflect on the previous few hours perusing.
With the Grimbergen departed and after a further few hundred yards of energy expulsion, we plant ourselves outside La Brocante. Funky jazz band jamming we order up lunch and drinks.
My fruity wife decided she’d take a cherry beer and ended up with Kriek Boon which she was impressed with, but left her thirsty, not necessarily for more, but for water! I on the other hand had Delta from Belgian Beer Project. A Belgian IPA, the aroma of which is difficult to separate from the mix of food, coffee and surrounding cigars. Similar to a classic IPA but which has much more of a tang and yeasty character. It’s bitter but feels quite sour at the same time.
Following this and preceeded by the words ‘excellent choice’ was a Westmalle Trappist Tripel, and I can’t see us moving for at least half an hour. My wife’s eyes shot out and brows hit the clouds when she saw it’s 9.5%. It is after all a fairly substantial beer for only 2pm. But then this has to be the most drinkable beer of this strength I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. I was so in awe of this beer that I completely forgot to fathom its taste; instead I just admired the creation that sat before me and settled right into it.
Walking through the streets towards Place de la Chapelle Kapellemarkt, we come across two guys walking with a music box blasting out reggae tunes, who in England would probably be accused of being a nuisance, brighten up the light drizzle now descending upon us.
After our Bob Marley moment we head back to the hotel stumble across the Leffe Cafe, but I receive the look that says no more beer, for now. I don’t mind though, a 2cv is spotted opposite so I take that instead.
We head out for the evening, and no messing we head straight to Le Cirio; one of the oldest bars in Brussels. The Belgians are reknown for having a glass for each beer and here of all places is where they appear most proud. On display are glasses for almost every conceivable Belgian beer. It must be pretty hard work for a new employee to find their feet, or glasses as it were.
Here I find myself getting acquainted with a nice blonde, a Ciney blonde in fact. Another Lambic is in order for my wife; much like a cherry tart this one.
Sat people watching we see something drastically unsettle the couple opposite; both drinks are necked, one being a Westmalle Tripel too! Something has obviously bothered them and they’re off……
We are too, for dinner, but at a more leisurely pace.
To be continued in part three.
Part one here!