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Baillihoo! Ixelles' Rue du Bailli

15:16 02/03/2014
Delphine Thizy shows The Bulletin around one of Ixelles’ liveliest areas

When 30-year-old Delphine Thizy, a consultant in social performance, moved from France to Brussels four years ago, she settled down on Rue de l’Aqueduc. A year later, she moved with her Italian boyfriend to an apartment on Rue du Bailli, above one of the street's many hairdressers. “Rent is quite high in the neighbourhood, so we couldn’t believe our luck when we found a place with a garden well within our budget. My boyfriend is a musician, so it was important he could practise at home. That’s one of the advantages of sharing your building with a shop: you can make all the noise you want.”

Rue du Bailli connects Avenue Louise to the towering Eglise de la Trinité, a stone’s throw from the bustling Place du Châtelain. The independent boutiques, cosy terraces and restaurants give it a charming look, which is probably why so many people choose this area for their shopping. “The first shop I ever walked into was Zao (96 Rue du Bailli), and I loved it right away. It sells a mix of funny-but-useless gifts and children’s clothes and toys,” Delphine says. “There are many of these shops in Rue du Bailli, but I quite like the new
Hopono (48 Rue du Bailli). They sell slightly more practical things for the house and your wellbeing.” It is on the spot where Austrian clothing shop L’Edelweis used to be. “It closed because the owners retired,” Delphine says, “but many other shops in the area had to close because of the recession. The lovely tea room at number five, for instance, is now home to new sushi place Makisu.”

Fashion shoppers looking for a bargain are spoilt for choice here. Outlet DOD has shops along the street, for kids (at number 8), men (89), women (64) and underwear (86). Shoe lovers should head straight to Dégrif (47 Rue Simonis) for discounted designer shoes. “I’m not much of an outlet shopper,” Delphine confesses. “I do like bags, though, and one of my best shop memories in Rue du Bailli took place at Belgian bag shop Lilu (9). After closing time, my boyfriend asked the owner to hide the prices of her handmade bags and told me I could pick the one I liked.”

For a bite to eat, the area has plenty of options too. “As we’re a French-Italian couple, we’re all about food,” Delphine says with a laugh. “We love the pastries and cakes from Les Caprices du Bailli (75 Rue du Bailli). It’s not as expensive as it looks!” For more sweet cravings, ice-cream shop Le Frambosier Doré (35) has people queuing up on sunny days. Delphine also recommends the burgers at Irish pub Michael Collins (1 Rue du Bailli). “My boyfriend is the best Italian cook, so we don’t eat Italian food when we’re out, though we sometimes get ingredients at Italian deli Antichi Sapori (73 Rue du Bailli).”

To celebrate special occasions, Delphine heads to Le Fils de Jules (35 Rue du Page) for a meal or Tonton Marcel (106 Rue du Bailli) for a bottle of good wine. “I’m not sure if the owner is actually called Marcel, but he’s a very friendly guy who gives good advice on both cheaper and pricy bottles.” You can’t leave the area without a drink in one of the many bars. “I love Supra Bailly (77 Rue du Bailli) for a coffee in the morning or early afternoon or Le Châtelain (17 Place du Châtelain), with its funny mix of young and older people. Another gem is Le Chat-Pitre (1 Rue du Tabellion), known for its jazz concerts on Wednesday. The wine is terrible but the music is great.” For popular music or a more loungy feel, try Roxi (81 Rue du Bailli) or Banco (79 Rue du Bailli). And on Wednesdays, when the area is swamped by the many visitors to the Châtelain market, Delphine has one last tip: “When it gets too busy here, we walk down to Place Flagey for a drink. That’s another advantage of the area: other great neighbourhoods like Flagey or Parvis de Saint-Gilles are very close by.”

Essential information

Mainly townhouses divided into apartments, above shops, restaurants or bars. Buying a
property costs around €2,500 per square metre, while two-bedroom apartments tend
to start at around €900 per month

Take trams 81, 83 or 94 and get off at Bailli or hop on bus 54. Rue du Bailli is also a 15-minute walk from metro station Louise on lines 2 and 6. There’s a Villo rental bike point in the area

Meet the neighbours
A mix of Belgians and Eurocrats. It’s mainly younger people without children, as the rent
tends to be high and there are few places with gardens

In & round Rue du Bailli

Tonton Marcel

Friendly advice on wines for every budget. 106 Rue du Bailli

Les Caprices du Bailli

Cakes and other sweet treats made by the renowned patisserie Debailleul. 75 Rue du Bailli


Unusual gifts plus clothes and kids’ toys. 96 Rue du Bailli


Pick up practical but pretty household goods. 48 Rue du Bailli

Delphine says: ‘Even though it’s away from the actual city centre, Bailli does feel a bit like the centre of Brussels as everybody seems to come here for their Saturday shopping or a drink on Wednesday evenings. This makes the area very lively, but finding a place to park is a nightmare.”

Photos by Sander De Wilde

Written by Katrien Lindemans



Parking a nightmare? Don't drive!

Mar 16, 2014 21:23