Brunch & Culture • Royal Museums of Fine Arts
Living in Belgium is a real delight thanks to the wide variety of cities and landscapes to visit. There's just one catch to our country: the weather. If you're often faced with the question what to do when it's cold or raining, I might have the answer: Grab a friend, go for brunch and visit a museum! For this first "Brunch & Culture" post, let's head to Brussels and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
L'Arrière-Pays (60 Rue des Minimes) feels very Parisian to me. When you enter the restaurant, it's like you're suddenly in the Marais! On Saturday and Sunday noon they offer a great brunch composed of bread, yogurt, fruit, cheesecake and eggs. And it's just €19,90, drinks included. The place fits really well into this beautiful area that's packed with antiquaries and is therefore perfect to get you in the mood for an artistic afternoon. And in summer their terrace is definitely an extra asset!
After having brunch, head to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, also know as "Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts", located across the Place Royale. This historic building actually houses four different museums. You can either get access to one of them for €8,00 or you can choose to get access to all four for €13,00. I recommend the second option for a full afternoon of artistic discoveries!
The Oldmasters Museum upstairs has the most exquisite setting. Its collection is composed of major paintings ranging from the 15th to the 18th century. Here you'll come across the famous "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" by Bruegel for example.
The Fin-de-Siècle Museum downstairs is less flamboyant but the works displayed are my favourites. It is dedicated to the 1900s, a very prolific period for the arts, and features beautiful, romantic paintings, but also sculptures, objects, etc.
The Modern Museum is dedicated to the works ranging from the 18th century until today. A part of the museum is on the same level as the Oldmasters museum, this is where the famous "The Death of Marat" by Jacques-Louis David is located. Another part takes the form of temporary themed exhibitions in the "Patio" room. The Modern collection is undergoing some changes and will be moved to a different location in Brussels at some point.
The Magritte Museum is an institution on its own. If you love Surrealist art and Belgium like I do, then you've got to love Magritte! The museum has the largest collection of works in the world by the Belgian artist so you can easily dedicate an afternoon to the exploration of this museum alone.