My recent trip to Brussels: Part two.
Part one featured statues and mini-architecture , this time it's a rather bizarre combination of old-style Belgian brasseries and a quite unique, crazy pet shop.
Actually City Farm is really more a high-end pet accessories boutique than a pet shop; it's run by my friend Andrew (there are some shots of his amazing apartment in a previous Brussels post). Very kindly he allowed me to indulge my latest obsession, window dressing, (more about this in a future post) so I collected his most glamorous items and made him some Christmas windows.
Andrew's stock is mind-bogglingly eclectic so this was extremely fun!
I was seriously considering whether I could actually wear one of these diamante collars myself - the absolute apogee of glamour. And as for the gem encrusted dog hairbrush - really!
The real coral is so beautiful - all from a registered source, I think he said collection of coral from the sea is now banned.
The antique bird cage was just crying out for a parrot- luckily I found a fluffy stuffed one.
The delectable collars are perched on a cool, contemporary blue perspex dog bowl - "if it's square, we ain't there" say the dogs of Brussels!
Andrew makes these boxes of real butterflies himself - exquisite.
The pets of Brussels are certainly the best turned out in Belgium I reckon. You can find City Farm on Rue Stanley, Uccle, Brussels.
Less glamorous but equally atmospheric and visually enchanting are some of the traditional old brasseries in Belgium. They have stayed the same for decades and actually it's a style which is often - not very effectively - copied by contemporary bar and restaurant designers.
Some of the key design elements are: glass, old polished wood, vintage lighting, use of brass and copper and other metal in architectural detailing, tiled floors, mirrors and simply laid tables.
Atually this is a bakery not a brasserie, but check out the old-style graphics. I love!! (see my post on American signage)
The lighting is so atmospheric in these places.
Everyone thinks Paris is the place to find these traditional brasseries but often they are just tourist traps whereas the brasseries in Brussels are just unassuming workaday places. Lucky Belgians to be able to eat in such beautiful interiors.
I love continental handwriting and often photograph it.
Who wouldn't want to sit down here and have a glass of Belgian biere blanche to wash down a dish from the enticing menu above?
In London you pay a premium to have a drink or meal in an interior designed like this and the style always feels a bit self conscious - in Belgium it's the real thing and a lot cheaper!
Love the old enamel signs and the fact that they have never been updated for some modern plastic version. Why can't more people JUST LEAVE THINGS ALONE!!
See my other posts on Brussels:
Brussels + Antwerp
Brussels: statues + mini-architecture
Next week I'll be introducing my first ever guest blogger - some fantastic images - don't miss!!!