An insider’s guide to Brussels

Brussels is synonymous with the bustling Grand Place, but there’s plenty to explore beyond one of Europe’s largest and most picturesque squares. The city has more than 2,000 restaurants, 500 Art Nouveau buildings (the architectural style started here), 200 hotels, 100 museums and, of course, 65 chocolatiers.

To investigate further, we consulted Luxury Brusselsa new online platform dedicated to showcasing the luxurious side of the capital through stories and guided tours, to interview local tastemakers about their favorite places in town.

GUENDALINA LITTA

A highly sought-after event planner and producer across Europe, Brussels-based Litta recently released her second book, Dream Makers: Tailor-made celebrations.

Favorite Brussels spots

Osteria Romana. At this restaurant, indulge in as much carbonara as you want – you can order the tasty slivers by the gram. It also serves other Roman specialties, such as spicy amatriciana pasta and cheese cacio and pepe.

Floral designer Thierry Boutemy. Find whimsical flowers at this Brussels shop. You may have seen Boutemy’s work – he did the vibrant floral arrangements in Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette.

ONDINE & PATRICK MESTDAGH

The wife and husband team leads a Gallery in the Sablon of Brussels, a district known for its antiques and its chocolate. The Mestdagh are experts in non-European art and ancient culture.

Favorite Brussels spots

Barge. In this relaxed gourmet restaurant, chef Grégoire Gillard and sommelier Barbara Hoornaert pay homage to local products, building new menus every day around the latest harvest of seasonal vegetables from small farms.

Librarian Tropisms. Located in a former jazz club with stucco ceilings, mirrored walls and majestic columns, this large French-language bookstore in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert stocks its shelves with literature, books on the humanities and fine arts. arts and children’s books.

SANDRINE DE MONTMORT

Brussels expert in well-being, de Montmort launches the well-being site SandSab.com and has written several books, including live to learnwhich debuted in 2021.

Favorite Brussels spots

Be clinical. This facility performs plastic surgery and non-invasive cosmetic procedures. De Montmort recommends radiofrequency therapy, which uses a device that combines multipolar radiofrequency with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy to reduce wrinkles.

Chefs Market. The delicatessen is the unmissable meeting place for chefs and anyone else passionate about cooking. Open since 1986, the market prides itself on selling quality produce including fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats, artisan charcuterie, sweets, cheeses, wine and caviar.

WOLF. Browse 19 stalls and two bars in the city’s first food hall. The street food offer includes Syrian breads cooked over a wood fire (My Tannour); savory Belgian waffles (Gaufres & Waffles); Ethiopian flatbread injera stacked with savory meat, vegetables, sauces and spices (Toukoul); and more.

Hermes Brussels. Since 1837, this French company has been making clothes, accessories, shoes, jewelry, perfumes, makeup and more. Visit the Brussels outpost to get your own treasures in the signature orange box.

EDOUARD VERMEULEN

The creative director of the local fashion house Nathanthe Belgian designer has dressed the royal families of Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Luxembourg.

Favorite Brussels spots

Villa Lorraine. An institution since 1953, the gourmet restaurant is run by chef Yves Mattagne. To match the modern kitchen, it unveiled a new look in 2021 with pink velvet seats, bright paintings by Belgian Stefan de Jaeger and bold murals of concern by Brussels street artist Parole.

House Degand. This stylish boutique caters to stylish gentlemen with a curated selection of bespoke suits and shirts, leather shoes, knitwear, silk ties and pocket squares. On the third floor of the House, a Bayer & Bayer hair salon distributes shaves and haircuts.

MARIANO VANCLEVE

Vancleve is president of Les Clefs d’Or Belgium, the local chapter of the elite international association of hotel concierges, and chief concierge of Hotel Le Louise Brussels – MGallery.

Favorite Brussels spots

The Villa in the Sky. Located almost 400 feet in the air, La Villa offers breathtaking views from the floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the gourmet restaurant. Chef Alexandre Dionison offers creative dishes as breathtaking as the view.

Royal greenhouses of Laeken. A series of beautiful greenhouses with glass domes were designed in 1873 for King Leopold II in his castle. Some plants remain from the original collections of the king. Each spring, the greenhouses open to the public for three weeks.

Neuhaus Chocolates. In a country known for its chocolates, Neuhaus is a decadent treat. The family business has been in business since 1857 and invented the Belgian praline and the ballotin, a refined box for storing chocolates made in Belgium.

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