If you have been in Brussels for a while you will probably have noticed the lack of cosy cafés: If you fix up a “rendez-vous” with a Belgian in a café, you will most likely find yourself in a rather basic place with wooden tables and chairs. (Not coffee tables, more dining tables.) Over the past years we have tried to track down places with comfy sofas and armchairs. We have to disappoint you: There aren’t that many. (Your best try will be Café de la Press or Jat Café.)Recently, quite by chance on the way to a doctor’s appointment, I discovered Leopold Café Press, just on the Avenue de Tervuren (Nr. 107, between Merode and Montgomery). Since then we have been there about once a week – and it probably is my favourite café in Brussels.
Why? First of all there is the stylish interior design: Next to “normal” tables there are sofas, armchairs and my favourite seat in the house: the egg-chair. (This is what I call it!) A huge white egg shaped chair with purple velvet lining. There are all sorts of quirky things on the walls: Smurf pictures and even bicycles hanging from the ceilings. The large bookshelves are filled with books on cooking, Belgium and architecture and there are glasses of jams and spreads for sale.
Talking about jam: We have been here for breakfast a couple of times. For those of you following our blog, you will know that my favourite breakfast food (here in Brussels) is a Baguette a l’Ancienne (the nice crunchy style baguette) with some good jams and spreads. Here you will find whatever your heart desires: Leopold Café Press has three different chocolate spreads: a white one, a milky one and a dark one. In addition there is runny and thick honey, apricot and fruits of the forest jam.
Oh, and I nearly forgot: They have a fantastic “sirop”. (Liege Sirop is a Belgian speciality – sticky stuff made from fruits such as plums, apples and pears.) The nice thing is that the jam pots are all out on the tables. So you can just have a look round and ask your table neighbour to pass the honey. If you have a sweeter tooth try their pain au chocolat or a croissant. (or: if you want a change for breakfast go for cake!)
The prices are varied. The food is rather reasonable. (At lunchtime you can also opt for a bagel or a sandwich.) Drinks however are a bit more expensive: a rather small pot of tea is about 4 Euro. And if you drink coffee, don’t expect to get a glass of free tap water. When we were there on a very full Sunday I heard the waiter lecture a customer that “here in Belgium it is not obligatory to serve water with coffee.” Maybe the waiter was stressed though – it really was full. Usually the staff is rather friendly. Only once were we served by a bloke who didn’t seem to know his way around.
Try it out for yourself. With friends or alone. They have a couple of newspapers and magazines and even some ipads for general use. (Wonder how long they will last..!?)
Leopold Café Presse, Avenue du Tervuren 104, Brussels // Facebook-Page