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Culture beat – September 5

12:36 05/09/2014
Hip design, helium balloons and al fresco food and wine: just some of September’s rich pickings

In addition to the unexpected sunshine, the benefits of La rentrée (back to school) include the start of the cultural season. Networking events also swing into action. Tonight (Friday) the Irish in Europe group host the Back to Work Piazza party on the Terrace at The Meeting Point, 39 Rue du Taciturne, Schuman, from 18.30 to 23.00. It welcomes newcomers, interns, students and old EU hands. Admission free.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Irish singer Perry Rose is performing at Cellule 133a in saint-Gilles on. The long-time Belgian resident performs latest EP Splendid at 20.30.

The US-inspired event the Balloon’s Day Parade returns on Saturday afternoon as part of the Fête de la BD all weekend. A procession of giant balloons in the form of comic-strip characters will wend its way through the city centre, accompanied by foklore groups, police and marching bands. It starts in Place des Palais and ends in Place de Brouckère, passing through Rue de la Loi, Place de L’Albertine and Boulevard d’Anspach. One of the highlights of the festival is a gathering of more than 60 cars and other vehicles depicted in Tintin adventures (Sunday at 14.30 in Place des Palais).

Brussels is becoming a serious design destination. The major event Design September runs from September 9 to 30. As an annual platform for Belgian design it also invites guest international designers. Design September takes a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating furniture, architecture, objects, fashion, jewellery, graphic design and textile, with more than 100 events around the capital. They range from talks, exhibitions, pop-up shops, and a Pecha Kucha. One of the most is the Brussels Design Market, specialising in mid- to late-20th century furniture and deco, at Tour & Taxis on September 13 and 14. Festival hub is Trattoria San Pellegrino.

One exhibition under the Design September umbrella is The Power of Object(s), at ING Art Centre, Place Royale, until January 11. Also entitled Design Bestsellers in Belgium, it features 25 designers (chosen for their success in bringing products to the market) who have each selected three objects according to their iconic and bestseller status (numbers and profit margin). Interestingly it is not necessarily the best-known product that makes the most money. Belgian designers are characterised by their practical and market-led approach to their work, which explains why many have set up their own production companies. Designers represented include Jean-François D’Or, Nathalie Dewez, Michael Young, Xavier Lust, Christa Reniers and Charles Kaisin. The show is curated by Australian-born Danny Venlet, designer and director of MAD Brussels.

Outdoor festivities persist with eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux festival next weekend from September 11 to 14 at Bois de la Cambre. The third edition of the gastronomic event promotes around 20 restaurants in Brussels and partner cities and regions. This year the festival teams up with the Bordeaux wine region to offer wine tasting, the sampling of Brussels specialities and artisan food, culinary tips from cooking school Mmmmh and bucolic walks in the woods. A fve-service dinner designed by Michelin chef David Martin) with ‘Grands Crus Classés de Saint-Emilion’ is on September 12 at 19.00 (€150, reservation necessary). Check the website for the names of restaurants taking part. Purchase a Wine Pass which gives you coupons for the wine tasting and access to a wine school workshop (dependent on places). In front of Chalet Robinson, Carrefour des Attelages.

Fancy treading the boards or getting your hands dirty backstage? Brussels’ amateur dramatic groups are ready to welcome you at Theatre Open Day at The Warehouse Studio Theatre in Schaerbeek on September 14 from 14.00 to 20.00. There’ll also be free performances by the ATC, BSS, ECC, ETC and ITG. Click here if you don’t know all the acronyms!


Written by Sarah Crew