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    La Fleur, the surrealists' bar in Brussels

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    Judit Llordés

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    La Fleur en Papier Doré in Brussels, the pub where you can have a beer, where the Surrealists met to discuss art and life, a unique place to visit absolutely.

    In Rue des Alexiens, today as then there is a place where the inhabitants of Brussels they love to spend their evenings, in the company of excellent glasses of Belgian beer, accompanied by a typically local cuisine. It is only a 6-minute walk from the Grand-Place, the hub of city life and the center of the European capital, but the place located in the quiet and peaceful Rue des Alexiens seems completely another world.

    Is called La Fleur en Papier Doré and it is at first sight an old bar, frequented only by Belgians: groups of friends or families. In fact, La Fleur en Papier Doré encloses within its now peeling walls and with an infinite variety of hanging objects, an important part of the history of the city.

    This small but cozy bar was in fact the favorite meeting place of the Belgian artists of the surrealist current. Poets, painters, writers met here every evening, leaving traces of their passage even today, right on those peeling and at first sight ruined walls. The same Rene Magritte, had used La Fleur as a venue for his first exhibition of paintings, when he was still to be known throughout the world.

    The bar offers an excellent variety of exclusively Belgian beers, in addition to those of the abbey and those also exported abroad, the real specialty of La Fleur are the Geuze and Kriek, the two types preferred by the Belgians: the first definitely has a very acid taste, while the second is sweeter, flavored with raspberry.

    The cuisine, homemade both in the portions and in the quality of the dishes, offers some Brussels specialties that are difficult to find elsewhere, such as the bloempanch (sausage and caramelized apple), the tete pressée (a paté made with pork and herbs), the Belgian chocolate pralines “La Fleur”, as well as of course platters of local cheeses and cold cuts, soups with onions and croutons, dishes based on potatoes and meatballs and finally, the carbonnades à la bruxelloise, the typical stew cooked in beer.

    The typical national dish, known as moules et frites (mussels and fried potatoes), does not appear on the menu, due to a precise gastronomic choice of offering only typical flavors of ancient home cooking. Spend an evening a Flower it means breathing a part of the city's history, letting oneself be carried away by the magic of its walls, objects, decorations, writings, but above all it means being able to still attend evenings dedicated to poetry and the creations of the numerous Belgian artists who still frequent it.

    It is Maigritte who still dictates the rules for those who enter this place: "Tout homme a droit à 24 heures de liberté par jour", and it is with this spirit that one must live the unique experience of La Fleur en Papier Doré.

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