Brussels

Brussels Travel Guide

The multitalented Muriel Bardinet (dealer, interior designer, painter, photographer) puts the chic back into shabby.

Haute Antiques houses 40 dealers whose wares span the full range of styles and periods, from a fanciful iron birdcage and a mod trapezoidal fireplace, to a flat-bottomed skiff suspended from the ceiling in the basement.

What to Expect: Brussels' Christmas market has been around only since 2002, but it pulls off its Plaisirs d'Hiver/Winter Pret ("Pleasures of Winter") festival with elegant style.

Treat yourself to a package of speculoos (traditional Belgian spice cookies) to snack on as you descend back toward the Grand Place.

American decorators haunt this place for Michel Lambrecht's clever furnishings.

An ormolu-mounted fruit-wood desk and a bench of thick rubber molded to resemble giant blocks of chocolate front a huge painting of African dancers.

Take a break from antiques-hunting with a stop by this chococalatier in Place du Grand Sablon.

One of the few active breweries remaining in Brussels is the family-run Cantillon Brewery, built in 1900 in an old warehouse and famous for its acidic lambic brews (in March and November they invite the public to participate in the process, which may include adding hops or cleaning the 19th-centu

To go antiquing in Brussels is to bask in civility and ease. Stay hard by the Gothic, gilded Grand Place - a square called on of the most beautiful in the world by no less than Victor Hugo.

Rue Haute, like parallel Rue Blaes, traverses the Marolles district; both are dotted with antiquaries that grow more affordable the farther you travel away from the Place du Grand Sablon.

At the Desmet antiques gallery, nearly everything is of majestic scale and almost nothing is Belgian. Sarcophagus-like stone tubs come from France, boldly framed mirrors from the Netherlands and Italy, a pair of Georgian gateleg tables from Britain.

Vincent Colet is a shop that appreciates the industrial, as in the Triplex Pendlar lamp, by Swedish inventor-designer Johan Petter provenance.