Sunday, January 27, 2013

BXL walk : Rue du Page & La Meute

We are city hikers! We love to walk in cities, as well as in nature actually. It's such a good way to discover an area or to rediscover your own neighborhood. I love "Rue du Page" in Ixelles, it's walking distance from our place and makes me feel abroad.... It could be Berlin, Stockholm or just some place nice elsewhere.   We bumped into the recently opened La Meute shop. A collection of bizarre and quirky things, yet you feel the beauty.  I liked many of the out of the ordinary objects, the lovely mugs, the porcelain rabbit piggy bank, the little black notebooks, the black dresses... Everything is carefully selected in a dark and cool mood. 

 I loved this argentic photograph, which of course was a bit pricy...

Here are some other cool stop-worthy shops on that same "Rue du Page" 

Wineshop Basin Marot who sells lots of natural bottles to good restos

Fixerati for the bike lovers (fixed gears though) 

Luxury Vintage shop

 Yummy lunch place

After this cold walk, we were in need to sit and drink a hot beverage, so we stopped at The Coffee Parlor, a new place around the corner from our apartment. It's pretty cosy and the owner is a young couple so good luck to them with their project!

Happy Sunday x

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bistronomie at Selecto

You know I love food right, so once in a while I like to have yummy food in a restaurant instead of at home.  Last week I tried Selecto with a few friends. It's actually the 2nd time I try it... I visited more than a year ago and was curious to know if it was still as good as then...   Selecto is a place that serves Bistronomie, i.e. high class food in a bistro atmosphere.  Cosiness, refined food and affordable, that's how we like it :-)

L'apero was sparkling rosé wine, called "Pièges à filles" (girl's trap hihi)

 Wine from the Campania region, aaah sigh, beautiful Amalfi coast...

Marinated scallops or coquilles St-Jacques from Brittany with an oriental touch

Roasted sea bass on the skin, butternut crumble and spring onions, mozzarella di buffalo, sooo tasty cider butter sauce

This dessert was DELICIOUS!!!  Iced soufflé with Piemonte hazelnuts and salted butter caramel

Also, the menu is no too long, so always fresh and seasonal and changes regularly. Count about 50€ per person for the 3-course menu and drinks.  If you want to try Selecto, book ahead! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Amalfi Coast : part 2#

Reason 5 and 6 to enjoy the Amalfi are last but not least!

5#  CAPRI  :  this enchanting island near the Amalfi coast is unique. To enjoy it to the fullest you must stay over, we stayed 2 nights in the lovely decorated Capri Suite in Anacapri, followed by 2 nights in Capri. We are definitely going back to Capri, for its mesmerizing sunsets and killer views, beautiful hikes, great swims, deep blue sea, unique atmosphere and quietness (once you leave the tourist roads).

Il Faraglioni

Full Moon in Marina Piccola

Old forts hike

Prosecco time

Refreshing lunch

Mmmmm pasta & clams!

6#  HIKES  :  The Amalfi Coast is full of unforgettable hikes, the most famous one is the path of the Gods. It is an ancient shepherd's path connecting Positano to Praiano. The views are amazing!  It's pretty tiring in summer because of the heat, I think I've never sweated that much in my whole life! The path is about 12km long and pretty steep to start but just memorable, and if you don't feel up for it, some short cuts are possible :-)

View on the complete Amalfi Coast, reaching till Capri

Here I got quiet and happily enjoyed the view...

Some useful tips if you decide to explore that beautiful region :

  • avoid touristy areas on weekends
  •  rent a boat, that's a must 
  • drive a little further south and stay in agriturismo (b&b with agricultural touch, most make local produce like olive oil, limoncello, cheese, ... ) we stayed at the friendly and affordable casale giancesare.
  • get a condition, cuz steep coasts mean you have to walk down to the sea with lots and lots of stairs and you must hike in the region
  • enjoy the local delicacies and eat at the slow food jewel Per Bacco

Ciao Ciao!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Central Park

Yesterday I took an afternoon walk in our own Central Park and it did me much good!   Le Bois de la Cambre or Ter Kameren bos is right in the middle of the city, so all you need to do is take an hour or so and go walking around.  And when it has snowed, it's even better, because life seems slower and sounds are muted. I just sooo love the quietness of the snow. The peacefulness of nature!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

6 Reasons to visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy

It's getting colder again here, so I thought about our summer trip on the Amalfi Coast to warm me up.... Plenty of reasons to go there, but here is my list!

1#  OBVIOUSLY THE FOOD : fresh fish & seafood, Setaro pasta, good local wines, gelato, aperitivo, big green olives, Campania is the Mozzarella di Buffala region, limoncello, crema con café (delicious very sweet iced coffee).... MMM!

Pasta with green peppers and fresh anchovy at PER BACCO. Best pasta dish I ever had. Vito Puglia, the owner of the restaurant is also one of the first pioneers and founders of the Slow Food movement.   We had good meals every day, but this place has it all, great location in the middle of nowhere, quiet, simple, lots of wines, delicious food, cosiness, music..... "simplicity is the essence". Slow Food is all about going back to basics, back to essence, with respect for local produce and the environment. This little gem is situated further down south in Pisciotta, in the not very touristy Cilento region on the Salerno coast.

2#  MAGNIFICAMENTE   = sea + sun + nature + Italian vibe

View from Praiano

View on Capri from Massa Lubresne

 Further south in Palinuro 

 Positano from the sea

Positano beach

3#  NAPOLI  vibrant rough city full of history and home town of the pizza

 Il Vesuvio watches over Napoli

Bagno Elena : Napoli beach

4#  HISTORY  Put on your walking shoes and explore the footpaths of our ancestors in ancient Pompeii and climb the Vesuvius.  Although I'm not particularly a fan of history, I must say it was pretty impressive.  The good way to get into it, is to start with Naples National Archaeological Museum that gives you a better insight for your Pompeii visit, then climb the Vesuvius, since it's because of his eruption that the ancient city is so well preserved and then walk on the cobbled streets of Pompeii.  

To Be Continued ...