Monday, 13 July 2015

La Terrasse de l'Hippodrome (chaussée de la Hulpe)

I'm not, by any definition, a member of the 'gilded youth' of Brussels, but if you are, La Terrasse would be an excellent place to spend the evening quaffing from bottles supplied by its sponsor Moët, having your photo taken in the special posing area (tenue correcte exigée, warns the website), and lounging round its knee-deep pool. 
(only 2600 euros)

But earlier in the day this pop-up (it's only open till July 20) bar and restaurant, next to the all but abandoned Hippodrome de Boitsfort, offered a more gentle experience - on a sedate Sunday morning, the food wasn't spectacularly good, but it was decent value, well presented, and came with none of the queues and crowds of Brussels' better known brunch outlets.
Admittedly the protein-heavy half of the 12.5E brunch could have been more impressive - the bacon and cured ham were fine, but the rubbery slices of cheese clearly came from a packet and the scrambled egg, lacking all traces of salt, had been whipped to the texture of cottage cheese. On the other hand, this came with a basket of still warm bread and pastries - unlike with the cheese, someone had bothered to source a good quality product.
So, a mixed selection, but I found it hard to dislike La Terrasse and its pleasant outdoor dining area, friendly service, and shady trees with deckchairs underneath (the nightclubby toilets and the building site next door - not that anything was happening there at the weekend - were more forgettable). It's ephemeral, imperfect, but somehow charming - like a member of the jeunesse dorée?

 La Terrasse
Chaussée de la Hulpe 51 - 53
1180 Brussels


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