Tag Archives: bar

La Chaloupe d’or

La Chaloupe d’Or (Den Gulden Boot in Dutch) is a popular café restaurant located right in the heart of Brussels at it’s famous Grand place. Since medieval times and until the 14th Century here stood the guildhall of the tailors association. Remnants of that era like the statue of Saint Homobonus, patron saint of business people and tailors can still be seen on top of it’s facade. The building that stands today was rebuilt in 1697 after the 1695 bombardement of Brussels ordered by Lois XIV.

Location of La Chaloupe d’Or:

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Photos La Chaloupe d’or:

The bust of Saint Barabara overlooking the pub and it’s terrace is from 1872

Entering the Pub

Cozy fireplace in the corner warms you up on those cold winter days

Making my way up the stairs

A few pictures of the room of the first floor

Well worth trying off their menu are their specialties:  The Liegeoise (potatoes, beans and bacon bits) or American salad (steak tartar).

The seats in the back will give you one of the best view of the Grand Place

Place looks empty and deserted as it was just about to open to the public

Back downstairs view from the back

La Fleur en Papier Doré

The La Fleur en Papier Doré small maisonnette style house dating from the middle of the 18th century was once home to the convent of the sisters of Saint-Vincentius but somewhere in the first half of the 20th century changed vocation. Owned by Geert Van Bruaene (nicknamed le petit Gerard) the pub “La Fleur en Papier Doré (French) or Het Goudblommeke in Papier (Dutch)” became the meeting place of the surrealistic scene of Brussels. Paul Rouge, René Magritte, Louis Scutenaire, Marcel Lecomte, Charles Plisnier, Paul Mariën, ELT Mesens, Georges Remi (Hergé) and a lot of others gathered in the cafe and made it famous. Inside you can still find a photograph where a number of the above mentioned posed for eternity in front of the pub. The pope of surrealism, Rene Magritte, organized in this pub, well before he got famous, his first exposition of drawings and paintings.

Outside of La Fleur en Papier Doré

After the war some members of the Cobra movement visited the cafe such as Pierre Alechinsky, Christian Dotremont, Marcel Mariën, Paul Colinet and Jean Dubuffet, beside Flemish writers like Louis Paul Boon, Simon Vinkenoog, Jan Walravens and Hugo Claus. The last person mentioned in the list celebrated here in 1955 in a rather tumultuous manner his first marriage.

All these great minds created under the guidance of the inimitable Geert Van Bruaene this disconcerting melting pot of antics and kitsch such as you can see today. Some citations written on the walls of the pub like: ‘ Philologue, il est permis de se taire dans toutes les langues’ or ‘Chacun a droit a 24 heures de liberté par jour’, perfectly reflect the state of mind of these glorious days.

Entering the Het Goudblommeke in Papier pub

Until now the “Het Goudblommeke in Papier or La Fleur en Papier Dore” remained a scene where several poetical and cultural events take place. This rich history didn’t escape to the attention of the Brussels Government which proceeded in 1997 to the protection of the facade, the roof, and the first three rooms on the groundfloor as well as parts of the furniture, all the paintings, drawings and aphorisms.

Location of the La Fleur en Papier Doré café:

Agrandir le plan

Photos of La Fleur en Papier Doré:

View across the café from the room in the back

Example of some of the citations written on the wall

The decorations on the walls are abundant

Wild Boar

Poetry (among many other things) on the walls

Bar located in the middle

Room in the center

The mix of Antics & kitsch

The old fireplace

Prose and poetry sessions are often held in this establishment

A very surreal decor

On my way out

Greenwich café

Built in 1914 the Greenwich café is the well-known meeting point of Brussels chess players where at any time of day or night multiple groups of players abound inside. The original decor completed in 1916 gives the pub its pleasant and authentic feel, where probably little changed from the time Magritte apparently frequented the place. A great place to relax in a calm environment while playing or simply watching a good game of chess.

Location of the Greenwich café:

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Photos of Greenwich café

Approching the pub with its outside terrace

The tables in the middle are reserved for the chess players

Closer look at the chess players

Corner view from my seat

The back near the toilets

The Greenwich seen from all the way in the back

Drug Opera

A rather large English style pub spread over three floor the Drug Opera bar and restaurant takes its name from an old pharmacy that used to occupy previously the same location. Place is rarely ever packed so it makes it a good spot for a drink or some quick food in a calm decor away from the hustle and bustle.


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Photos of the Drug Opera from outside during the day

The main entrance of the Drug Opera

Close up of the drug opera sign

The imposing bar: First thing you see as you enter

swirling around the bar

View all the way to the end of the downstairs portion

At the end looking back catching a glimpse of the 2nd floor

Stair going upstairs

2nd floor of Drug Opera pub

lots of Empty seats

Looking down this time at the 1st floor

3rd and last floor not quite opened yet

Drug Opera seen at night this time again from the exterior