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What if I told you that there’s an island in Brussels accessible only by boat, well hidden in a big park in the midst of the city? No, it’s not April Fools’ Day and I’m not joking! Instead, I’m taking you to Le Chalet Robinson, a cafe -restaurant on a tiny island at the Bois de la Cambre / Ter Kameren Bos in Brussels.

The Bois de la Cambre is probably the biggest and definitely one of the most beautiful parks in Brussels (you can take a glimpse here and here). In the middle of it lies a lake with a small piece of land. Get on the flat boat, which is crossing the pond back and forth, and reach your destination in less than a minute. Well, you know the saying: It’s all about the journey, not the destination! The Chalet Robinson has a long – and rather unfortunate – story. Initially built in 1877, the building got burnt down in 1896 and was reconstructed only in 1924 to be destroyed again by a fire in 1991. Luckily, it opened its doors again in 2009 and has been ever since the perfect destination on a sunny day.

Overlooking both the park and the lake, the Chalet Robinson has one of the best terraces in Brussels and is a true oasis of calm. I always go there on Sundays, when there’s non-stop service, for tea, cookies and some quality time with my book. The restaurant also serves dinner, about which I’ve heard only good things. My only complaint would be their slow and sometimes rude service (a very common phenomenon in Brussels I’m afraid), but hopefully they’ll take note and improve in the future. So next time you’re in the area looking for a place to relax, give the Chalet Robinson a try; it is worth crossing water for!

Address: Sentier de l’Embarcadère 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 3729292
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Sandy (@smarksthespots)