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Contrary to popular belief, Brussels is a very lively city. There’s always a special event taking place to entertain the expat community, visitors and locals too. Weekdays are no exception: Mondays are for the market at Place van Meenen in Saint-Gilles, Tuesdays are for Fun Food and Acting at the Théâtre de la Toison d’Or, Thursdays are for drinks at Place Lux and Wednesdays are for the Chatelain market – at least in my books! 

The Chatelain neighbourhood is one of the poshest in town and probably as close to Paris as Brussels can get. The whole area is filled with smart shops, cafés, and some of my favourite restaurants. On Wednesdays the main square (Place du Chatelain / Kasteleinsplein) turns into an open-air market, where local producers sell pretty much everything from fresh meat, fish and vegetables to cheese, bread, olives, candy and flowers. If you arrive around 14:00 when the market opens, you’ll be able to do your shopping at ease and probably spot groups of friends making a bee line in front of the food stalls before they head back to the Chatelain Boutique Hotel for a cooking class. I always make sure to stop for a waffle (60 cents each!), an Italian piadina from Il Sapore Della Dolce Vita or an ice pop from Nanouk as I browse the fresh supplies on display.

The real attraction however takes place towards its closing when people make their way to the Chatelain market for after-work drinks (or an “apéro”, as the locals call it). The whole area comes alive as buzzing crowds gather on the square sipping wine or beer, tasting fresh oysters or nibbles from the various food stands and catching up with old and new friends. The party continues long after the market is officially closed in the nearby bars, especially during summer time. So, next Wednesday don’t make any other plans – head straight to the Chatelain market and enjoy!    

Address: Place du Chatelain, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)