Through a heavy front door one walks up some charming apartment steps to reach the studio. The building itself is evocative and charming, it oozes European cool, like the set of a Jean Cocteau film, and the style doesn’t stop when you reach the apartment.
A far cry from the humble neighbourhood in which it is located Steve’s place is overflowing with boutique brilliance. It is part clean, minimalist and practical; part colourful, campy and kitsch. The attention to detail is remarkable, everything ties together to create an aesthetically pleasing space. Elsewhere in Europe you would pay significantly more for equivalent attention to decor. The coloured LED mood lights are, for some presumably primal reason, amazing and fun.
The bathroom is small but designed well. The shower is actually very large for a bathroom of its size. There are good soaps, shampoos and other toiletries available too - an excellent touch.
The bed is the real star of the show. I think I even detected a hint of fragrance in the sheets. I am not sure if it was sprayed on, washed in or if I was simply so happy I was hallucinating scents, but it was lovely to get into a bed that smelled so clean and fresh. It was also very, very comfortable.
There should not be too much lively nightlife around the neighbourhood and we found it to be quiet and safe. Despite the quiet this place is only a few minute’s walk to Grand Place, the main tourist point in Brussels, and within walking distance of many other landmarks and attractions.
Finally, how can we assess this place without including the man himself? Steve was a warm and welcoming host who is communicative, reliable and will go above and beyond what is needed to ensure your stay is a happy one. He will personally check you in, actually carried my girlfriend’s luggage up the many flights of stairs which saved me a heart-attack, gives you all the details you need to know and lives just downstairs if you need help any other time. He provided us with a written list of good places to eat, drink and get chocolate simply because I had mentioned we liked eating at good places when we booked...Four months ago! Attention to detail like that is what makes this place special.
Like Steve’s place, Brussels is surprisingly cool and eclectic. Having a comfortable, clean, beautiful and bright space to come back to is essential to immerse yourself in the role of a cosmopolitan European socialite. It’s almost enough to make you want to sit and enjoy fresh seafood down by Place Sainte Catherine rather than sit in your pants and watch Family Guy with Dutch subtitles whilst eating a mitraillette from the local fritkot – Though experience tells me both are incredibly indulgent fun, and best done while staying here!