Fabulous Finds

By - August 8, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

We had another low key weekend this week but we found some great things. We explored some of the different regions of Brussels in search of some stores I found on the net. I found a couple of craft stores; one that has great beading and jewelry making supplies and another that had a bit of needlework and a bit of scrapbooking. Nothing too exciting but at least I could find the basics.

We also discovered a really nice grocery market called Rob. It’s an upscale, gourmet market; definitely not affordable for everyday shopping. It’s kind of along the lines of Pete’s at home. They had super produce and loads of really yummy treats. In fact, I have found heaven in a box. I’ve tried a lot of chocolate, especially since moving to Belgium (I know, I know … all this sampling is had work but someone has to do it…). This is the best, hands down, by a long shot. The company is Wittamer. It comes in a pink and white box. It is phenomenal. I thought Neuhaus was super but this is so much better. It is almost unbelievable.

Al’s new office space. For more pictures, go HERE

After we did a bit of exploring we went to Ikea for the next furniture installment. We decided we needed to get our computers off of our lovely dining table so we decided to get our desk. The desk we wanted was marked 130€. We decided to get our bookcase as well. To round off our 500€ budget we also got some lighting and plants. The bonus was that we found the exact desk we wanted in the show model room for only 40€! We just had to take it apart to get it in the car.

So I now have a little office area for myself. I decided I didn’t want to use the spare bedroom for an office because it’s in the dark side of the house, facing the street. There is lots of noise on that side and it’s just not as nice. I spend 90% of my time in the living room because it is bright and sunny and overlooks the yard. So, I dedicated a little corner of the room for my office.

We used the bookshelf as a room divider and it worked out very well. I just need a proper desk chair and I’ll be all set. Oh and a printer, which I am going quite crazy without. But overall, our house is coming together and finally starting to look like a home rather than an encampment.

Sunday night we had another find. The best dining experience we’ve had so far in Belgium. The restaurant was The Blue Elephant Royal Thai, and it was divine. The restaurant itself was dripping with plants and fresh orchids… everywhere. They must spend a fortune on the orchids alone because they are on every table, in huge arrangements on the walls and the give each of the female patrons one when they leave. The food was superb. We started with a very spicy Thai soup. Anything truly spicy in this country is a welcome treat for me because food is usually tamed down here. This soup even made my noise run. Poor Andrew was guzzling the Perrier. Our main meal was Cashew Chicken, Pad Thai and Drunken Beef (which was a medium spicy concoction with basil that was amazing). The whole meal was fantastic and we left with very full but decidedly happy bellies.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
All the things we need to RV fill time... Plus some fun stuff. 🚙 - 2 hours ago


  1. Comment by Ash

    Ash August 9, 2005 at 13:08

    Your meal sounds like it was fantastic. I have yet to have a proper Thai meal here, but then again, as we don’t live in Amsterdam central and don’t have a car I’ll be waiting a while 😉 Now I’m desperate for Thai!

  2. Comment by Jenn

    Jenn August 9, 2005 at 17:08

    I am jealous as usual over your new IKEA stuff. I love the bookcase and the way you’re using it is awesome.
    Any place that’s named after a elephant has got to be good. When I visit, we definately have to go 🙂

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