Subject: Re: Brussels
Hello Callie - Have spent quite a bit of time in the area the past couple of years. Best place we stayed in last time, for location and cost, was La Madeleine, which has recently been mentioned. We went back and forth from the train station/airport from there - it's an easy walk of a few minutes to the station. I'm going to include in this message a portion of an article I wrote recently (saves me the time of writing all of this again:))

On and near the Grand Place are numerous chocolate boutiques, including Neuhaus (proud inventor of the praline, or filled chocolate shell), Godiva, and Leonidas. Our personal favorite is Galler ,for it's rich, full taste. The pralines filled with fresh cream (in flavors such as coffee and kirsch) are fabulous-and unavailable in the states.

As for cuisine, we recently returned to a memorable place to see if it was really as good as we recalled. Kirk often says that the best meal he's ever had was Le Vistro's superb roasted lotte (monkfish) in honey lemon sauce. But we've wondered if it just seemed that way because we were so very hungry when we arrived unexpectedly in Brussels, and it was the only restaurant we could find open late that night. Le Vistro, one of the many seafood restaurants surrounding the Quaix aux Briques, is in the St. Catherine's area of town. You'll know you're there when you see the red neon lobsters adorning one establishment after another. Yes, Médallion de Lotte roti au miel et citron is still on the menu, and yes, it still wins Kirk's best meal prize. My choice of lobster on a bed of tagliatelle in a buttery melange of basil, tomato, and scallions was a winner as well.

Like to hunt for antique deals? I was thrilled to find a century-old gold leaf frame just perfect for a previously purchased Parisian print. After looking for over two years for just the right frame, imagine my delight at finding it at the Marolles flea market for under $40! You have to search through a lot of junk spread out on blankets across this vast cobbled square, but keep looking - you, too, may find just what you've been looking for.

Le Vistro 16 Quai Aux Briques 02/512 41 81 Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday

Galler Rue au Beurre, 44 (just off the Grand Place) 02/502 02 66

Place Sablon The area around the place du Grand Sablon hosts a small weekend antiques market. Sat. 9-6, Sun. 9-2

Marolles The flea market in the cobblestoned place du Jeu de Balle is held every day (7-2, depending on the weather) We went on Tuesday, which we had heard was the best day, and were certainly pleased with the selection, and the deals we found

Have a great trip! Anne in VA