Monday, 11 August 2014

Brunch at Au Pays Des Merveilles (APDM), Brussels

Mama Hosie and the Shrimp of a sister came to visit me last weekend. It was mucho fun.

And you know what visiting parents means, don't you?

Going to restaurants! YAY!

We all woke up late on Saturday morning, so I thought this would be a marvelous opportunity to go out for a big ole brunch. It was also the perfect chance to try out the awesome-looking café I'd peered through the windows at numerous times: Au Pays Des Merveilles, or, as it is more commonly know, APDM. (Oh, and if one was to translate that, one might say "In Wonderland", but let's just stick with APDM.)

After a week of breakfasts al desko, it was a right treat to go out for a leisurely munch to start the day. Frightfully good fun with my mad madre and sister too.

APDM is a quirky, cool and cute café just round the corner from where I live. They specialise in bagels. And I like bagels.

Oh my days, there is a lot of choice. We took a seat and took our time perusing the many options on the menu. (Have a look online here, although it's actually a little different to what's in the café.) I was pretty tempted by the pancakes too, but their brunch deals were just too good to pass up.

The basic 'small' is a hot drink and either a bagel or baguette served with a range of spreads for 4 Euros. Add 2.50 more for a freshly squeezed juice (the 'medium'), upgrade to the 'large' for 11.50, and you can keep stepping up until you get to the XXL brunch for 25 Euros. 

And it sounded epic: a hot drink, a fresh orange juice, 2 pancakes with maple syrup, 2 English muffins, scrambled eggs, a plate of hams, salmon and cheeses, a selection of jams, spreads and cream cheese, AND a bowl of yoghurt with muesli and berries. For reals.

Delicate flowers that we are, the Hosie ladies went for slightly less extravagant brunches that turned out to be pretty huge anyway.

We placed our orders and were served swiftly and with a smile. The staff were delightfully friendly, which is always nice.

First up came a trio of juices, which was odd seeing as only the Shrimp had ordered one, but hey. I totally enjoyed mine. Freshly squeezed, baby!

Next up, the hot drinks: coffee for Madre and hot chocolate for me (I've learnt not to order tea once you've crossed the English Channel.)

I was served a beautifully big glass of hot, frothy milk, and a little glass of chocolate buttons to melt in. Um, YUM! Classic Belgians. They know their chocolate. Unsurprisingly it was divine, if a little on the tepid side.

But before we knew it our food had arrived, hoorah!

For the Shrimp, a bagel with scrambled eggs and bacon:

And mum and I both went for the 'small' breakfast combos...

 ...with yoghurt/fruit/muesli mixes on the side.

They were beautifully presented, which always makes a difference in my books.

The bagels were lightly toasted, just as I like them, and super tasty. If I could've, I probably would've preferred a wholemeal bagel, but only the plain ones were part of the deal. Still, they were delish.

Mum actually went for some ciabatta-y baguette instead of a bagel, which looked pretty tasty too.

Hot milk for the coffee served in a cute little bottle too
To spread on top of our bagels/bread we had strawberry jam, apricot jam, chocolate spread and peanut butter. So, naturally, I had to have a bit of everything.

PB and J is always a winner, right?
Post juice, hot chocolate and bagel (oh sure, and eating the chocolate spread by itself with a teaspoon), I was already pretty full, but that didn't stop me scoffing my yoghurt, muesli and fruit. After all, this was breakfast and lunch, right?

Although served in stylish tall glasses, you're conveniently given nice big bowls in which to mix everything up.

Yum yum yum. Kiwi, apple, nectarine, amazingly thick natural yoghurt and lovely muesli. It was delicious and I finished the lot.

Had I had any space left in my tummy I would've pounced on the cakes too as they looked divine, but there was just no way.

Considering how much food we had, I really think it's rather reasonably priced too.

The staff and service were great, the ambiance was relaxed, our fellow diners looked cool, the food was delicious and the company top notch. What a treat and a super way to start a Saturday. If only family came to visit every weekend, eh?

Au Pays Des Merveilles can be found at Avenue Louis Lepoutre 6, 1050 Brussels.

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