It first caught our eye as simply a cool-looking cafe, as we walked along Rue Haute on our way to Place du Grand Sablon, around brunch time.
A big glass front showcased the stylish, stripped-wood furniture inside, the headlight of a pale blue Vespa winked at me invitingly just beyond the door (I’m a sucker for a smart Vespa), whilst window signs enticed us in with promise of beer, bagels, coffee, cake, soup and more brunch-friendly delights. (Beer for brunch is fine, right?)
But on entering, we soon realised the cafe is just the start of what L’Atlelier en Ville is all about…
The cafe runs down the left-hand side of the large warehouse style room, but after spotting price tags placed atop most of the striking pieces of furniture, it quickly became apparent that the rest of the floor space is actually a designer furniture shop. And a super trendy one at that – complete with raw wood tables, funky chairs, cushions in unique prints and other designer homeware. All on display amongst exposed brick walls and steel beams.
It’s like a little piece of New York loft-living in the heart of Brussels. That also sells beer and cake. Nice.
But not content with all that, L’Atelier en Ville has decided to up the cool stakes even further, by adding an equally hip clothes boutique upstairs.
A metal staircase leads up to two rooms of fashionable clothing, one for menswear and one for womenswear.
The main brands stocked in the boutique are, I think, house brands. Garçon for men and Fille for women. Both have a scandi-style look to them featuring edgy, minimalist designs and smart nordic knits in blacks, whites and greys – some with the odd flash of bold colour and vivid patterns. I also spotted Danish brand Samsøe & Samsøe amongst the menswear – confirming both the scandinavian-inspired theme they’ve gone for, and that it’s just the place I could spend a lot of money in.
And spend money I did.
I was really impressed with the menswear here, and ended up coming away from L’Atelier en Ville nearly 100 Euros lighter, thanks to a black, oversized knitted jumper I couldn’t resist from Garcon (59 Euros) and a t-shirt (35 Euros) from another new brand to me, APADANA – a Paris-based urban clothing company inspired by Persian art and culture.
Not wanting to be left out, of course, my girlfriend Alex also came away with a fantastic knit from the women’s brand Fille (69 Euros).
Not a bad bit of upselling there when all we went in for was a bagel and a beer!
Back downstairs and there’s one trick still left up L’Atelier en Ville’s sleeve – the courtyard. Out the back of the cafe/shop is an almost secret garden, a lovely terrace with outdoor seating on multi-coloured tables and chairs and plenty of greenery climbing up the walls.
It feels like a real oasis away from the busy, tourist-heavy Place du Grand Sablon just around the corner, and is yet another string to the uber-stylish bow of L’Atelier en Ville. What a find this place turned out to be!
So next time you’re in Brussels, be sure to pay L’Atelier en Ville a visit. It really is a place to seek out, chill out and get kitted out.
A cafe, bar, designer furniture store and clothing boutique all rolled into one.
That’s how you do brunch in Brussels.
L’Atelier en Ville – Rue Haute 64, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium