The Wednesday Market

Wednesday, 2 August, 2017 – weather: grey then lots of rain

Our plan today is to visit the Wednesday market which is supposed to be something special. Here is the hype:

Wednesdays are for the Chatelain market – at least in my books!

The Chatelain neighbourhood is one of the poshest in town and probably as close to Paris as Brussels can get. The whole area is filled with smart shops, cafés, and some of my favourite restaurants. On Wednesdays the main square (Place du Chatelain / Kasteleinsplein) turns into an open-air market, where local producers sell pretty much everything from fresh meat, fish and vegetables to cheese, bread, olives, candy and flowers. If you arrive around 14:00 when the market opens, you’ll be able to do your shopping at ease and probably spot groups of friends making a bee line in front of the food stalls before they head back to the Chatelain Boutique Hotel for a cooking class. I always make sure to stop for a waffle (60 cents each!), an Italian piadina from Il Sapore Della Dolce Vita or an ice pop from Nanouk as I browse the fresh supplies on display.

The real attraction however takes place towards its closing when people make their way to the Chatelain market for after-work drinks (or an “apéro”, as the locals call it). The whole area comes alive as buzzing crowds gather on the square sipping wine or beer, tasting fresh oysters or nibbles from the various food stands and catching up with old and new friends. The party continues long after the market is officially closed in the nearby bars, especially during summer time. So, next Wednesday don’t make any other plans – head straight to the Chatelain market and enjoy!

We have breakfast at home again although Julie has to go out and get some supplies. Her hip / leg is acting up badly so she has organised a visit to a:

an Osteopath – who warns her that serious problems may develop without care and exercise

After treatment makes a few stops along the way

Julie returns after 4:00 and says that it is raining quite heavily outside. This puts a dampener, pun intended, on our plans to go to the market. Eventually, when the rain slows down, we decide we will go suitably rugged up. Google says that it is a 23 minute walk, more like 35 with my slowness, the rain and wrong direction decisions. Turns out it is very close to Julie’s Osteo visit.

On the way

Look at all those

Arriving at the market – you can see how wet it was

A “Wet” bar across the way

The first huge food truck was primarily a chicken shop but in the cooked foods it had chooks (oops, Kip), sausages, ribs, etc.

Vegie stand

Pastries and pies

I had been hankering for dim sims for quite a while but still passed on them

I have never seen so many olives

Crepes are popular all over town

A restaurant at the bottom end of the market – no editorial comment

We walk along the back of the market which is not as wide or as exciting

There were a few interesting sights

Smoked salmon; the rain is steaming up the display cases

Fresh salmon and other fish

As the rain continues, we make a very good decision not to get food from within the market as the best in terms of seating is small tables with rickety stools or milk cartons to sit on. That was the good news. The bad news is that we decided to pick a restaurant next to the market and, what’s worse, not a very good one.

A bar across the street

The table setting

Inside, we were seated outside away from the rain

Our waitress was a nice person but must have been a total airhead. I ordered a bottle of Cotes du Rhone, she areed. Then she came back to the table seeking a confirmation from me – yes, it is the Cotes du Rhone. Then this is what we got:

Not happy Jan!

Julie’s Salmon Salad had only a small amont of Salmon in it

The Mussels were quite good basically cooked in a “celery soup” broth

The fries were also good – I had to have Moules Frites at least once in Belgium.

The rain would come and go. It cleared for a while and the open air tables for this restaurant and the bar across the street were all filled up. Then a downpour came which drove all the people away from their tables to cover. We decide we will walk home in the rain which is consistent but not horrific. You should have seen the vultures rushing to grab our table.

We can’t say that we enjoyed the experience of the market, it was OK but not the extra special implied by the Internet article. And we certainly did not appreciate our chosen restaurant.

It is a 30 minute walk in the rain. Julie is still hungry, I did give her most of the soup, the vegies and several mussels, so we stop at a shop along the way to get more salmon etc. for a night meal, I don’t require any more food, vino yes. As well as smoked salmon on fried bread, Julie made herself an Irish coffee from our supplies at home.

About beauperi

Gourmand & Wine Connoisseur.
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2 Responses to The Wednesday Market

  1. Lois says:

    Hope your hip is on the improve Julie,the cruise will give you a chance to relax( if you can)

  2. dawn agius says:

    Hope you’re feeling better Julie. Patrick, I need to see you in one of those bow ties! X

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