Daytrip From Brussels - where in France?

Old Feb 14th, 2006, 05:27 AM
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Daytrip From Brussels - where in France?

We're spending a long weekend (this coming weekend plus a few days) in Brussels.

As we crave for some hearty French food (in France) we are looking for suggestions for a reasonable day trip, using public transportation, to any nearby French town for some great lunch and a memorable walkaround.

Thank you.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 05:31 AM
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Oh, and just clarify, we've been to Paris numerous times and would like to go to some place closer, preferably a small town or village, with minimal or no commuting nightmare.
Thank you.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 06:22 AM
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How about Lille? It's just over the border and accessible by train. It's not the most memorable city in France but you'll definitely get the food and culture you're craving. Good luck!

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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Yes, Lille would be the first place that comes to mind that meets your criteria. Although, frankly, I think you would easily find outstanding French cuisine without having to leave town.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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I was just going to say the same thing; good French food is everywhere in Brussels! (and French food in Belgium is generally French food without the bits that many non-french don't like about French cooking).
But Lille would be easy and quick by train. A village would be more difficult to get to without a car.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Hi T,

I also wonder why you would want to leave Brussels to eat French food unless you were going to Alsace, Burgundy, Brittany, Provence or the Dordogne.

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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Hi ira,

Well, first of all this trip was just dreamed up and booked just last week, hence my prep work has been close to nil. We've never been to Brussels and, other than the popular moules et frittes, waffles, chocolates and beer (not necessarily in that order), we have no other expectations nor have read much, if any, about other great dishes, or restaurants that may serve indigenous dishes, or other French food that are must-haves while visiting.

I have heard/read opinions on the abundance of good restaurants in Brussels, but which, admittedly, do not seem to conjure images of French countryside or bistro dishes that I would, at least, like to have for a meal while I'm there. My fault - due to my lack of knowledge on the Brussels restaurant scene.

In that case, then, can anybody suggest
bistro or brasserie-like establishments in Brussels, be it Belgian or French food, that offers solid dishes and wines?

Thank you.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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The first one that comes to mind that is what you are looking for is Brassserie Georges on the Chaussee de Waterloo...

PB
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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Yes, Brasseries Georges is one, but actually, good bistro type restaurants abound in almost every Brussels neighborhood. Out by Stockel, for example, is Shake Hands, a weird name, but a nice local place, good food, interesting wine list. If you want a typical country style brasserie far from the usual tourist path, this is one to try. You can go the easy way (metro to the Stockel stop) or if you go for lunch, take the scenic route--pick up the #39 tram at Montgomery and take it past the Parc Woluwe and through a nice neighborhood. The tram stops right by the restaurant. FYI, if you order a bottle of white, try the Dents du Chien. It's a very good white that's also very difficult to find.
http://www.resto.be/ware/details.jsp?businessid=2452

The 400 to 600 blocks of Chaussee de Waterloo have several nice casual French style brasseries/bistros--Lettre a Elise or even better, En Face de Parachute
http://www.resto.be/ware/details.jsp?businessid=412

When we're in the mood for chicken, we head straight to Canterbury. Best chicken dishes in town; attractive restaurant with a nice fireplace.
If you want to try something a little different, check out Notos (www.notos.be). Reservations advised.

What areas do you plan to visit and what price range do you have in mind?

If you go out to the Woluwes, fit in a quick trip to Rob's Fine Foods and pick up gourmet treats or even have a glass of wine in their cafe (I love a grocery store with a huge wine cellar and its own cafe). www.robfinefood.be
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 06:14 AM
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Thank you ALL for your suggestions.

BTilke:

I haven't had the time to do any formal due diligence on what we're going ot do. We're booked at Welcome Hotel (they upgraded us to a suite for the price of a junior suite, presumably because it's the low season) and we simply decided to use up some ff miles for the upcoming long weekend here in the US - total of 4 days in Brussels for us.

Grand Palace seems to be a concensus as a must. As to what else, well, if it doesn't rain that much, we like walking, exploring and shopping, and if it rains quite a bit, then a nice art museum or 2. Suggestions?

Based on the responses here (and with the help of the search function), it looks like we will forego the idea of going to a French town and, instead, spend a daytrip in Brugge.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Hi TM,

>...we will forego the idea of going to a French town and, instead, spend a daytrip in Brugge.<

An excellent idea.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 03:05 AM
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Saving for the great restaurant reccomendations!!
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 03:26 AM
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And if you want something more upscale (which in this case also means more expensive--around 100 per head for multicourse dinner and wine, etc.) our favorite special occasion spot is Le Chalet de la Foret
http://www.lechaletdelaforet.be/
Reviews (this is one of the best restaurants in the area, but not that well known to visitors):
http://www.ebru.be/Restaurants/rest1...delaforet.html
http://www.sensum.be/guide-english/r...e-la-foret.php (English)
English review with photos of En Face de Parachute:
http://www.sensum.be/guide-english/r...-parachute.php

This is a chic new(ish) wine bar:
http://www.sensum.be/guide-english/r...nts/winery.php

So many good places to eat and drink!
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 04:37 AM
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For museums in Brussles, try
http://www.bruxelles.irisnet.be/en/t...ruxelles.shtml
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 05:15 AM
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ttt
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