Part 1 of our tour around the web.
Those fairly new to Brussels (and even those who’ve been here for a while) will, at one point, want to expand their knowledge of what’s available in and around the city.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ‘local’ websites offering goods, services, days and nights out or just a right riveting read. They may not be the best-designed (some are truly crap, frankly) but they will be useful.
By all means email us at email@example.com to suggest your favourite sites. You may even have your own business or leisure site that you think we should list. Alternatively, you could be
searching for something in particular and need a suggestion. We promise to take a look at each and every email. Meantime, here’s the first few, in no particular order:
A reliable taxi company with around 500 cars working city-wide. You'll find them in all the usual places - De Brouckere, Place du Luxembourg plus many other busy spots. They also have one of the most competitive fares for the Zaventem airport run.
A great lttle shop close to the Monnaie Theatre in the heart of the city. At Sterling, a comprehensive range of English-language books are presided over by cheerful,
enthusiastic young staff. There are regular deals on offer and you can join a mailing list to keep up to date.
These guys have ‘a nose for a good picture’ and regularly post reviews on both new and classic movies.
The key writers are both Brussels based and absolutely know their stuff. It’s also a very easy site to use and you can post your own comments about the content and opinions.
Fatboys Sports Bar & Grill
The owners of this site run one of the busiest sports bars in the city - considered by many to be the best. While this website will not win any design prizes, it’s a great tool for sports fans to check out what events are happening during the week - from soccer and American football to golf, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, boxing and more.
Once you’ve seen the schedule, it may be that your favourite bar nearer to home will show the game - but we do recommend Fatboys, anyway, especially if you like your burgers big and your testosterone in high doses. The original bar is on Place du Luxembourg but a second has recently opeened in the Schuman area.
The English Shop
One of several online expat food specialists in-and-around Brussels. This outfit is run by a husband-and-wife team who have worked hard over the past couple of years to broaden their range. There’s everything from Marmite and Bran Flakes to Chocolate Oranges and more. And it’s delivered to your door - free, if it’s a big enough order.
A comprehensive site, especially if you’re a news freak and want it in English. While not particularly sexy, the site is an excellent one-stop shop to help you integrate into Belgian life. All the basic info is there, from school searches and house-hunting to forums pointing you in the direction of an English-speaking dentist.
I Love Cake
An American-Belgian bakes cupcakes for every occasion, as well as sponge cakes, pies, cookies and more. There’s a minimum order but there’s free delivery within the city
centre. We’ve tried some of these cupcakes - and they’re absolutely fantastic.
Finally, if you’re not on the net at home yet and are hunting down the best package, it’s worth taking a look at what Belgacom offers. Belgium’s national supplier offers bundled packages of TV, internet, phone and even mobile and, by signing up online, you’ll save money. Installation takes 7-10 days and, despite all the gags about the company, the technical support is excellent. www.belgacom.be.