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How Selah got her groove back

It seems to be written, though we’re not entirely sure where, that the success of any female singer will be directly p roportional to the size of what sits on top of her head. Think about it: Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé, Adele – all the female music icons of our time have very big hair. This...

Park Side Brasserie

A year on, Park Side does what it says on the box. On a warm rentrée lunchtime, the sober black, brown and white interior and the terrace overlooking Cinquantenaire Park were packed with euro-types exercising their expense accounts. Bustling waiters in black aprons shuttled trays from the kitchen hatch past the horseshoe-shaped bar and a striking bubble-glass lighting feature. Chef Donald Loriaux aims for food that is sophisticated but not over-elaborate, letting his excellent ingredients do all the talking.

Exit International - "Black Junk"

When the mighty Girls Against Boys called it a day, a golden opportunity arose for any punk/grunge band with two bass players to fill the gap.

Welsh outfit Exit International did far better than that. They now count GvsB’s Eli Janney among their most fervent admirers. This breathtaking debut album will gain them many, many more, so infectious is the twin-bass racket cooked up by Fudge Wilson and Scott Lee Andrews. Drummer AdamThomas more than keeps up with the onslaught, as the suitably scary Lights Out will testify.

(Undergroove Records)

Chao Phraya

Given that Chao Phraya covers so many bases, it goes without saying that it does some things better than others. The service is polite and efficient but could do with a touch of warmth. The décor has an Ikea-does-Thai feel to it which is inoffensive but hardly reminiscent of the Buddha Bar style opulence to which it appears to claim affinity to. And the food? Generally it’s solid Thai fare with occasional flashes of excellence. The beef penaeng would have been perfect if only the meat provided a little less work for the jaw.

Medical matters

Belgium has one of the highest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world, with one doctor for 220 inhabitants, against 300 in France, 390 in the US and 440 in the UK. Here’s how to make the most of one of the world’s best health systems. Correctly insured While you will never be refused medical...

Culture Shock

Want to know where to find a tap-dancing class? Don’t know how to get from Brussels to Milan by train? You can post a question on the Q&A and it will probably be answered within a couple of hours. It can be anything at all. Someone will know the answer. Clubs It takes time to settle into a new...

10 of the best Brussels cocktail bars

They exist in all the colours of the rainbow, have the craziest names and are mixed with myriad ingredients. Here are 10 of the best bars to enjoy a cocktail in the city. Life is Beautiful This tiny bar near the canal offers a varied and interesting list of cocktails using top-quality spirits,...

Easy Tempo

The signs were bad, for so many reasons. Firstly, there was my friend Jack’s claim that he knew “this great little Italian”. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard this announcement, but it’s often enough to twig that “great little” usually means “cheap(ish), for the very good reason that the food is – at best – average”. Secondly, there was the fact that the restaurant in question was in the stretch of Rue Haute halfway between the flea market and the bottom of the Sablon; an area where the onus is more on fashion statements than on culinary excellence.

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