With its sparkling lights, 24 carat gilding and huge wall mirror at the back it seems like Le Greenwich goes on forever. And now, freshly reopened and gleaming after a costly renovation, it just might.
For too long this historic bar had wallowed in its own smoky grime, trading on its reputation of years of epic chess matches, rumours of original tiled bathrooms, and its most famous customer, René Magritte. Coming back I’m astonished at the transformation: it’s almost too new, and so shiny that Magritte would probably not recognise it. It’s certainly no longer a place where I can imagine any scruffy artist at the window trying to sell paintings. I haven’t yet spotted any chess players, either.
It took a private Dutch investor and some regional subsidies to finally save this listed building from leaks and bring it up to modern standards. Sitting in here you feel like a drinker in the first class lounge on the Titanic. I’m told by one of the waiters that Magritte used to sit in the right hand window viewed from outside - in any case, that table is always occupied! Drink one - drink three - but I think the food is better elsewhere - best to head next door for that (or try one of the many other restaurants nearby).
Rue des Chartreux 7, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
+32 2 511 41 67
Google map: bit.ly/Ksb0N5
* Bec is our Been there local for Brussels. You can view her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/brussels-local-rebecca.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/Becinbrussels
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