An Artistic Weekend

By - September 9, 2008 (Updated: January 7, 2016)

Bxl082008-05.jpgIt’s been a busy couple of days at La Loft. Mostly it’s because the sun has actually stayed out for the past few days. Shhh… don’t mention it out loud. You’ll scare it away again.

Saturday morning we decided that since we’ve been living here for four summers now, we should actually check out the Belgian Royal Palace, which, conveniently enough, is right around the corner from us (well, a couple of corners but very close).

Surprisingly, the palace is free to visit, while it is open to the public, during the summer months. They do however charge for the map and information booklet (which quite frankly wasn’t very informative, perhaps to encourage you to purchase the bigger, more expensive guide) and no photos are permitted inside. (In fact they check your bags and make you leave all cameras at the coat check – not my favourite thing to do).

Bxl082008-026.jpgThe palace itself is quite impressive. There are chandeliers that rival those at Versailles and the throne room is very ornately decorated. As it was the last weekend to visit the palace for this year, it wasn’t very crowded and we made it through in about an hour.

We then crossed the street to visit the Bozar (the major contemporary art gallery here in Brussels) to check out the Summer of Photography exhibits. I was pleasantly surprised this year as I enjoyed both shows. (Last year had been a bit of a disaster that turned me off photo exhibitions for a few months).

After a stop home for lunch, we headed down to Grand Place to investigate the Beer Fest. We spent some time admiring the newly restored and unveiled guild houses and checked out the beer situation. We decided that being crammed into tents with people who had been drinking beer since 9 that morning and puking on each other’s shoes, was not our scene. So we bought some beer at the supermarket and went home to our own beer fest on the terrace. (Minus the shoe puking)

Bxl082008-041.jpgOn Sunday we (ok I) decided it was high time we got some art on the walls. This revelation was brought about when I received my first canvas print from RedBubble. I was thrilled with the quality and speed at which it arrived. I had ordered the smallest canvas size to test it out before we committed to several large canvases for the loft and I say without hesitation that I will be ordering many more. I ordered one of my Forgotten Postcard series and we’ve decided to get the rest of them printed the same way and hang them together beside the bar.

We then hung our Sara Caracristi painting that we purchased last summer at the Argyle Fine Art gallery in Halifax. We loved her work immediately and carried our favourite back to Brussels with us. This is the first time it’s been out of the bubble wrap and I love how it complements the red wall.


We found a home between the bedroom and bathroom for a cross stitch I did a few years ago that my mother finished beautifully for me last spring.

Then we began our big project – the stairway. It’s my goal to fill this area with a combination of family and travel photos. It will be a work in progress for quite some time, and hopefully something we will continue to add to, but I’m happy with the results so far. I want to change out some of the photos, specifically the flower images, but we at least have the frames more or less how we want them until I can buy some new ink cartridges and print some new photos.


We had waited to do this project for months because we thought it would be easier to do after the railing was installed. Of course, once we had given up waiting, our landlord called THE NEXT DAY and asked if they could come and do the installation.


So this morning, after 5 months of waiting, our railing is in. It took them under an hour to install it. It’s not as bad as I expected it would be, but I do want to paint it – either black or red… thoughts?

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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+
It's after Halloween so I can officially share Christmas Markets now right...? 🎄🎅 - 1 week ago


  1. Comment by Jill

    Jill September 12, 2008 at 14:13

    I love the palace here! I think it might be better than versailles – My husband and i saw it last year.

  2. Comment by pugwash pops

    pugwash pops September 16, 2008 at 17:00

    Love the stuff … certainly kicks the castle up a notch … the painting view angle is neat for a place on top of the world, a wonderful piece … glad your canvas prints are coming out well too, goodonya! … as to the rail – black – then it joins the frames as an accent or structural element, red would stand in front of the pics and block them visually, also forcing your eye to run up and down the slope … sounds like you are taking fabulous advantage of living in town, great! … the pic of the boy and his toy is a keeper, he may be too! time will tell … nice shot, Toyota should buy it! … have fun … take care … lotsalov … Shady

  3. Comment by astrorainfall

    astrorainfall September 17, 2008 at 03:40

    You have a beautiful home 🙂

  4. Comment by Alison

    Alison September 17, 2008 at 09:05

    Thanks everyone! We’re really liking the new place and the fact that we are actually able to personalize it a lot more than our last one.

  5. Pingback: Coudenberg, Former Palace of Brussels, Belgium | Expat Life in Belgium, Travel and Photography | CheeseWeb

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