Saturday, 5 April 2014

Brussels Fabulous Finds: Melting Pot Kilo vintage, Chillbox froyo and L'Atelier En Ville concept store.

Last week was a tiring week. Having spent a wonderful but packed weekend with my mama, I unforch had not had much of a chance to chill before starting a new week of news interning (and another interesting week it was - MEP live debates, riots and all!)

I'm starting to understand a) how much you appreciate the weekend when you work a full-time job, regardless of how much you enjoy your work; and b) the pain of being office-based when it's glorious weather outside, as it has been all week.

It would've been totally pants if it'd been beaut weather all week and then rained over the weekend, but luckily it's been fantastic today too. I tell you what, if the weather's never bad though I'm NEVER going to make any progress with my essays!

Last night I went out for post-work drinks with my colleagues. It was a lot of fun, and put it this way: a LOT of beer was sampled! Being the cocktail/Malibu/Amaretto/Pimms-loving pansy of a drinker that I am, I was unsurprisingly keen to sample the fruity-flavoured beers for which Belgium is famous (and which most people think taste like vom.)

So many different beers (I obvs didn't drink all these though - we were a sizeable group.)
Reader, they were delicious! My faves were apple, mango and coconut. Yes, coconut beer. It tasted like a Pina Colada, and who wouldn't want that? Even the macho manly men were enjoying that one.

So, after a night of beer sampling, you'd think the following morning would be spent lounging around in PJs and gorging on bread, wouldn't you? Well, that was the plan in my mind anyway. However, something odd happened: I got up, went for a RUN, cleaned my room and did my laundry. Um, what? Who even am I?

Running under the blossom trees
I say I went for a run, but it was more of a jog-slash-walk, and it wasn't for very long. BUT HEY. I still did it. *deliberately doesn't think about how calorific beer is.* There were many fellow joggers out this morning, and I don't know about you but when I'm out running and someone jogs past me, I always feel like I want to give them a thumbs up or a high-five as if to say, "Go us!"

So anyway, it was a productive morning doing bits and bobs on my to-do list. 'Essays' may still be very much a feature on said list but meh... I just don't for the life of me understand how one is supposed to balance a full-time job, social life, two uni essays, running a blog, keeping fit AND relaxing just a little bit! Not. Enough. Hours. In. The. Day.

I mean, I was totally going to do some essay work this afternoon, but as I ate my lunch on my sun-drenched balcony a great idea hit me: Froyo. What a PERFECT day for froyo. Last week I finally discovered a froyo place here in Brussels (you may know I am a somewhat huge fan) and when the craving hits, what're ya gonna do? Am I the type of girl to make a special trip all the way into the centre of town just to get some froyo? I think you all know the answer to that.

So, off into the sun I went. And Brussels was looking BEAUTIFUL!

One of the great things about it being sunny is that no-one can see that you're not wearing any make-up under your sunglasses. Also: sunshine + a sequined top = I am a walking discoball. And who wouldn't want to be that? Exactly.

I seem to find myself in the touristy but terrific centre of Brussels every weekend somehow, and I love it: each time I go, I discover new things. Today, I strolled in a different way, and I'm SO glad I did.

Rue Haute is a quirky street with a fair few vintage shops, but today I discovered one that is particularly awesome: Melting Pot Kilo

The unique thing about Melting Pot Kilo is that you pay by weight - yup, just like with pick'n'mix or bananas. How cool is that? I'd never come across a clothes shop that works like that, have you?

And the thing is, at 15 Euros per kilo, everything is, like, crazy cheap. Regard:

Yup, that fabulous blouse costs a mere 2.18. It's irrelevant what the brand/designer is, and there's tons of great vintage stuff to be found! I spotted a few well-known designers - no Chanel or Dior but then again I didn't rummage through everything.

I did, however, treat myself to a rather fabulous blazer...

Awkward selfie.
Considering it's quite a thick, heavy item, I was expecting this beauty to be somewhat pricey. Just guess how much I paid. Go on, guess! Alright I'll tell you: a tenner! And that's euros, not even pounds! Mind = blown. 

Sure, it needs ironing, but it's a lovely shape, well-made material (I love the velvet lapels) and fits rather nicely, I think. A bargainous buy indeed. I'll certainly be back to Melting Pot Kilo. Regularly. Probably too regularly.

But today I carried on my stroll into the centre of Brussels with one aim in mind: froyo. (Am I coming across a bit demented?)

Just look at that sky!
It amazes me that each time I go out, I discover interesting, trendy, pretty, quirky, fun, stylish, new things. There's so much to Brussels, and I'm loving finding more and more (I hope you're enjoying coming along my voyage of discovery too!)

Trouble is, I now find it awfully difficult to walk past a chocolate shop without going in for a munch - free samples, I mean, not stealing. And in the centre of Brussels, every other shop is a chocolaterie, thus much willpower is needed. OK, I didn't manage it today, but chocolate is the obvious starter before a main of froyo, right? (No, this did not count as an actual meal.)

Anyhoo, I made it to Chillbox and treated myself to a long overdue froyo fix.

As you'd expect from a froyo shop, Chillbox has a trendy interior (pretty sure that's a prerequisite of froyo places), and I personally am highly pleased that it's self-serve and pay by weight. Don't you hate it when they're like £3 per topping. No thanks.

Not at Chillbox, my friends. With a wonderful array of fruity, chocolatey, biscuity, nutty and cereal toppings as well as various tempting sauces, I felt somewhat spoilt for choice. I made a bit of an error actually in not assessing all the options before diving in: first I got mango, but then I saw the Ferrero Rocher sauce, and HELLO, how could I pass up Ferrero Rocher sauce? I just about got around it by putting the sauce and the mango on separate sides of my froyo, thankfully. Phew, I know. Don't panic, guys.

I'm not really sure why Chillbox serve their froyo in cardboard cubes that look like tissue boxes - it seems like a lot of extra unnecessary packaging - but maybe it's so that your hands don't melt your froyo.

However, sitting in the sun in Grand' Place with my froyo, watching the world go by, I wasn't bothered that my froyo was melting in the heat of the day. It was deliciously refreshing and although kinda expensive (again, froyo always is), a worthwhile treat.

I sat in Grand' Place (it's spelt with an apostrophe because it should technically be Grande Place as 'place' is a feminine noun, but I'm sure you knew that already) soaking up the sun, snapchatting and writing postcards. Yes, the irony of snapchatting pictures of Grand' Place while simultaneously sending pictures of it in postcard form did strike me. New technology is great, but sometimes it's fun to go old school too.

As I made my way back home, I found another gem on Rue Haute: L'Atelier en Ville.

It's a café slash concept store, home to various little boutiques selling vintage clothes, handmade jewellery, individual clothing lines and even furniture.

There were lots of lovely, interesting things inside, and don't you think it's nice just to see something different for once?

I loved these earrings.
The funny thing is, I only went into L'Atelier en Ville in the hope of finding a loo (I was successful, I'm sure you're all pleased to know), but it just reminds me that often you find the best things when you're not looking. Metaphor for life? Ooh, yeah. I got deep. 

When I got home early evening, a couple of my housemates just happened to be in the kitchen making cocktails. How's that for perfect timing, eh? So, naturally, we (three of my female housemates and I) sat in the garden on a sunny warm evening, sipped our tropical cocktails (they tasted like SUMMER!) and discussed cats and feminism. As girls do.

So, oops. No essay action. But I was totally practising my French so no guilt here. Ahem.

Yay for exploring and finding new things, don't you think!?


  1. That shop looks amazing, and I love the jacket. There's a pay-by-weight vintage shop in Edinburgh (or there was last summer) but I've never had the chance to go! x

    1. Thanks, Chloe. Oh awesome! I'll have to try and find it next time I go. Thanks! X

  2. Lovely post - it looks beautiful there! And that jacket is amazing - such a bargain! :)

  3. I haven't had froyo in so long!! Why are there no froyo places in either of my hometowns?!

    1. Ahh man, that is a bit of a catastrophe. I feel for you! X


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