Don’t get me wrong: I really like Brussels and actually feel terribly at home here. However, there is one thing I really do miss: My Starbucks-Coffee-Shops. In my hometown Vienna they are dotted all over town. No, I am not the type of person who loves to indulge in fancy latte drinks: When I got to Starbucks I usually opt for a tea or just a filter coffee. I go there for a different reason. For the comfortable hangout. Most of their shops in Vienna are very modern, there are cosy sofas, ample sockets to plug in your laptop and in I even have a members card where I get the second tea free – every single time! That means I can spend a couple of hours browsing, reading, working, chatting – feels like a second lounge.
Now, I am not suggesting that all towns look alike. (Nothing worse that walking down a cloned mainstreet with H&M and McDonald’s side by side). I really appreciate the Viennese Kaffeehaus held in a fin-de-ciecle-style, with an unfriendly waiter dressed like a penguin and a coffee for 5 Euros! (It is part of the Austrian Culture!) And I also am fully in favour of Belgien bars and cafés – one of my favourites is Les gens qui j’aime. However, most of them are cool, hip, stylish (note: most cafés opt for simple woodern interiour i.e. Belga on Flagey) – and that isn’t all that comfy.
But now I have made a new discovery: Café de la Presse.They do the fancy drinks that I can do without. But they have great armchairs, big windows to look out onto the street, staff that doesn’t nick your mug away before you are even empty. I don’t get my free refill – but instead they have great snacks in case I want to stay longer. Not just cakes but also loads of healthy stuff. However, you might want to give the muffins and a hot chocolate a try. Think how well you will get your work done after that!
Only downside, it is a bit far away from my home. I have taken to cycling there – this includes a hill. So I definitely have deserved that piece of cake!
Café de la Presse, Avenue Louise 493, Brussels // www.cafedelapresse.be