BRUS­SELS, BEL­GIUM

Now (UK) - - FOOD -

Who goes there?

Home to great fries and good choco­late, you’d be mad not to visit Bel­gium at least once in your life. Lady Gaga re­cently spent a cul­tural week­end in Brus­sels, stay­ing at the su­per luxe Steigen­berger Wiltcher’s – per­haps the grand­est ho­tel in the city. It has ev­ery­thing you need for a mem­o­rable few days, although her suite will set you back around £4k a night. Ouch! Fel­low singer/ac­tor Jared Leto was in the city a few months ago – but you don’t need to be bona fide Hol­ly­wood roy­alty to visit.

What to do…

Grand Place is the city’s main square and it’s lined with the most fan­tas­ti­cally grandiose, or­nate build­ings – wan­der around, take some snaps and peo­ple watch from a nearby café. Man­neken and Jean­neke Pis are two of Brus­sels’ most fa­mous stat­ues. Man­neken Pis is the older of the two, the orig­i­nal be­ing placed in 1619, while Jean­neke Pis is a newer bronze statue that’s been around since 1987. Be sure to check them out, you won’t be dis­ap­pointed. For a lit­tle more cul­ture, take a trip to

the Horta Mu­seum – a gor­geous build­ing that cel­e­brates the life and work of the Art Nou­veau ar­chi­tect, Vic­tor Horta. Or visit the fa­mous Atomium, a cool mu­seum housed in a huge ring of sil­ver atoms – there’s even a restau­rant near the top.

eat this…

Bel­gium is fa­mous for all the good stuff – choco­late, waf­fles, fries, beer, the list goes on… Get your fries in a pa­per cone from a gen­uine frituur (chip shop) cov­ered in aioli or An­dalouse sauce, yum! For waf­fles, avoid any of the crazily overpriced places near the Grand Place.

In­stead, head to Bel­gaufre­cuy, a lit­tle chain that’s ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly good and, more of­ten than not, found in the metro sta­tions. For some­thing a lit­tle more sub­stan­tial, try Flem­ish stew – beef cooked slowly in Bel­gium beer. You’ll find a tasty ver­sion at 9 et Voisins or for a to-die-for se­lec­tion of de­li­cious Bel­gian meat­balls, there’s only one place to go – check out Balls & Glory.

Drink at…

Café La Bro­cante is a friendly place with a huge se­lec­tion of craft beers, lo­cated near the flea mar­ket, it’s a good place to have a quick lunch be­fore you check out the stalls. If you want some­thing a bit darker and cosier, try La Porte Noire, this very cool cel­lar bar has over 100 beers to choose from. If you’re avoid­ing al­co­hol, book onto a choco­late course at Lau­rent Ger­baud Choco­latier, you get to make your own and they also serve some of the best hot choco­late around.

sleep here…

For stylish rooms, book into the At­las ho­tel, which is walk­ing dis­tance from all the main sites. Rooms start at £98 a night, so it’s pretty good value for such a cen­tral lo­ca­tion and break­fast is in­cluded – re­sult!

On a bud­get? There’s no need to slum it. Book an en­tire du­plex in a her­itage-listed house, right next to the Grand Place, for only £62 a night (from airbnb.com).

Cute rooftops and colour­ful light­ing at the Grand Place

lady Gaga

Check out the el­e­gant Art Nou­veau Horta Mu­seum

Jared leto

The Jean­neke Pis statue is a must-see

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