How to spend a sustainable foodie weekend in Brussels, Belgium

I love living in Brussels, my home since 1994 – yep already 25 years . Brussels is hub for European institutions, NATO and many corporate HQ’s, making it definitely multicultural. Yet it is an European capital like none other. You can not only find every type of cuisine, every type of ingredient you are looking for but you can also live sustainably well.

If you are a regular reader than you already know I WILL TRAVEL FOR FOOD. I am a REAL food ENTHUSIAST so when I travel I do extensive research online and consult fellow foodie friends to find out what food places are a must. I like discovering new flavours, tastes, concepts and Chefs. And whenever possible I  commit to organic, seasonal, local and sustainable .

Brussels is blessed with a great bicycle, bus, tram and metro network for a reasonable price. Also sharing vehicles is available in different forms, so I have no need for a car in Brussels. Yes, it requires some time and detailed planning  but I really don’t miss having a car. The journey on the tram I see as me-time where I get to read and be on the insta. Or I walk home while brainstorming with myself and discovering new places.  I never have to look for a parking spot nor worry about having wine with ( before and after ) dinner. When in need of some fresh air and a bit of a green walk, I can easily get to one of the 40 parks in the Brussels region and plot down for a pick-nick.

More and more I make significant efforts in reducing my part of harming the planet by making conscious choices about my food and where it comes from. A major pet-peeve of mine ( all my friends know, I am mental) I just can’t eat food out of season, just can’t. And lucky for me Brussels offers a variety of organic shops and farmer markets.

Are you looking to come and visit Brussels and you are a conscious foodie like me, here is my sustainable foodie guide to Brussels. ENJOY!  (click on the places to get to their website)

Just a quick VOCAB reminder :

SUSTAINABLE – also called GREEN LIVING. Products/goods are made with eco-friendly resources such as sustainable grown crops or recycled materials. They provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health and environment over their whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal. Also while traveling this way of life can be adopted and Brussels is definitely doing it’s best to offer you that. Low impact living on the road can be a challenge with a little research you can make a difference.

THE ultimate LHH sustainable FOODIE ITINERARY

Saturday Morning : Head over to the GRAND PLACE area, the city historic center. Get a few selfies in and than stock up on sustainable goods and goodies at FÄRM on Place Saint Catherine. In 2013 the first shop opened and the sustainable friendly COÖP was created. You can shop at your and the planets delight and even become part of the change and invest in the coöp. I love their dry food selection; I love reading packages and learning more and more and more about the origins of my food and what’s in it! Also great selection of Belgian products: pick up some Belgian chocolate and this amazing ginger drink I am addicted too.

A 7 minutes walk from there, ( check out the gorgeous Grand Place ) pop into the Herboristerie Moderne  to pick up some medicinal and essentials oils. The original herbal shop opened in 1905, this modern adaption helps fight all those modern woos.

Lunch :  I got 2 options for you. Option one:If you are looking for a quick salad, sandwich, bowl of soup or quiche in a Belgian traditional bakery style, head over the Pain Quotidien ( Daily bread) I know there are now all over the world, but it is still Belgian, totally organic and sustainable and well totally yummy.  Option two: Looking for a 3 course organic and seasonal  “eat-what-we-cooked” type of lunch for € 22, check out Les Filles. They let you help yourself in the kitchen and happily adjust for the veggie exclusives. If you got time, they have a bunch of fabulous and convivial cooking classes you can sign up for as well.

Afternoon : Head over to the SABLON- NAMUR area and enjoy browsing in the antique and vintage shops and the market ( open Saturday & Sunday).

I love stopping by my favourite lady who sells silver old and new.  Walking up towards Porte de Namur area, get some skin, hair and body care essentials from AESOP. This Melbourne, Australia based company recently opened a shop in rue de Namur and is worth a little stop. Natures best from plants, herbs, fruits and nuts are used in their products making them simply divine. I love their Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol and hair and shower products. Their charity foundation also fosters literacy, storytelling and diversity. ( if you love art, check out the museums along the way)

Tea time: I like to take a little break from the street bustle and enjoy a cup of comfort at COMPTOIR FLORIAN  . The wide range of coffee and teas has been delighting us since 1897. They have a wide selection of organic tea as well as gorgeous accessories. It is such a serene place where cellphones must be silenced and phone calls have to be taken outside.

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My sautéed baby artichokes

Artichokes baby and other are in season now till end of May. Now total confession, I DO NOT LIKE artichokes and never cooked them before. I like a challenge! And it’s not because I don’t like it I want to deprive you! I read over 50 or so recipes and it comes down to 2 type of preparations: either boil or steam them OR sauté or roast them. I used baby artichokes versus the globe ones that require to remove the middle hairy part as that is inedible. Prepare yourself there is a LOT of waste in preparing artichokes. Most of this veg is for the compost bin. ARTICHOKES – baby or globe – this Mediterranean flower bud was hugely popular in Ancient Greece and Rome however it seems to ve originated in Egypt. Before the artichoke flowers, the bud is eaten. Baby artichokes re actually fully gown flower buds, just a. smaller variety.  You definitely need lemon juice while peering them or they go a nasty grey in seconds. STEP 1: Juice a lemon, add to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 100 ml of water and pinch of salt. STEP 2: Cut the stem off, and

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10 party planning steps the professionals (like me) swear by

The month of May is generally a BIG party month: lots of Belgian holidays, the wedding season starts, Catholic communion and confirmations and spring flings galore. I just LOVE it! But party planning can be very daunting and stressful. Me, as a professional events planner since 25 years, I always stick to my plan and my checklist. If I don’t write everything down than for sure I will forget a crucial step.  When I entertain at home I want to ENJOY myself and make sure my guests do too. Let me share with you MY 10 STEPS for stress-free entertaining at home. You can click in the sidebar to download it. Happy party planning!

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My almond and maple cake with strawberries and mascarpone cream

In season now : strawberries – YIPEEEEE, although they give me a terrible rash on my cheeks, I just can’t stop eating them! The 1st berry in season after winter,I am gorging right now and just don’t care. This sinful gluten-free cake is just soo simple and yummy. I used almond flour which is gluten-free instead of regular flour. I got this maple gift from a friend ( txs Shab) and as a substitute for sugar. I used olive oil instead of butter. I added to whipped cream some mascarpone with honey, and of course tons of strawberries. and the lilacs are in full bloom so I just had to add them. I LOVE spring!

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