As the first of a short series of ‘Weekend Architecture’ trips, choose Brussels, the historic capital city of the European country Belgium for your visit.
A quick and inexpensive couple of short flights away from Kuwait or Riyadh, Brussels is a getaway destination which feels further than it is and brings that getaway feeling which feels like a week when in fact it is for three days !
Refreshing, yes, cool, yes and in the winter much more so, to enjoy the chilled streets to explore this tightly knitted gem of deep history.
Firstly, where to stay, for a weekend an hotel is the thing, no hassle with owners and keys and deposits and kitchens, straight in, ideally central where you need to be, and as historic as the city.
Brussels has it, spot on, the old, almost ancient, city centre Hotel Metropole. The rooms are newly and magnificently decorated, antique furnished, large windowed, and wallowing in soft comforts with details of design contemporary with its age. Superb. The sometimes creaky floors and elderly elevator exposed in the midst of the stairwell are a fabulous feeling from the long gone era of the unique and the unusual. Love this place, admire its details, luxuriate in its embrace, experience the café restaurant with elegant indoor and outdoor (heated) seating, and the grand breakfast hall.
The Hotel Metropole added for this winter, a spectacular exhibition of wildlife photographs from Africa. Many events will be coming.
Your other world weekend will truly be beginning.
Central Brussels is walking territory, very needed after the far too sedentary existences in the Arabian worlds.
You can walk and walk. Look everywhere. Small alleyways, ancient paving, multitudes of European shops, palaces, splendid houses, exquisite roof tops, a crescendo of gargoyles, pinnacles, turrets, dormer windows, masonry, brick artwork, stoneworks.
Your eyes will feast on the fabulous, spectacular, regal, glamourous, surroundings.
This is the other world. Time travel in architecture.
Becoming hungry, as you imagine these days on your feet ? This is the next level of the experience awaiting. Restaurants. Cafes are for the afternoon ; restaurants to be lavishly enjoyed later in the day, abound on nearly every street. The test of good eating is to not choose your restaurant. Just go in, order without deep thought, eat with wonder and excitement. Central Brussels will not let you down.
Time, your weekend, will pass too quickly, will enthuse your travel for the next trip, will bring you special memories and fine experiences.
And, before moving to your next weekend, and if you wish for European nightlife, a suggestion to check, the Spirito Nightclub!