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How to eat and drink your way around Liège.
Table of Contents
Restaurants in Liège – Bruit Qui Court:
Dinner on our first evening was at Bruit Qui Court, a restaurant just a few minutes walk from our hotel, ideal after a day travelling.
Bruit Qui Court is discreetly set back from the street through an archway, as you enter you feel as if you’re taking a step back in time. It was rather like walking into the set of a 20’s film with a bit of 70’s decor throw in for good measure, with cool marble floors, floor to ceiling mirrors, large pillars and an overhanging balcony. The room was filled with stark brown tables, black leather seats, glowing side lamps and red paper napkins all lit up by hologram pictures on the wall.
It was busy, bustling with couples and groups of friends. The menu offered a range of classic Belgian food with a modern slant but was entirely in French so my schoolgirl French wasn’t much help when it came to ordering. We got there in the end with a little help from the restaurant.
To start my friend enjoyed an ample Buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad with a tangy basil vinaigrette dressing and I relished my portefeuille feuilleté de chèvre chaud – a tasty warm parcel of light pastry filled with creamy goats cheese and a crunchy salad with walnuts.
The mains were very substantial. Linguine with prawns was rather too rich and creamy for me. It was served with a multitude of vegetables including courgettes carrots and peppers onions with lashings of Parmesan cheese.
Juliet’s meaty white fish was well cooked and served with a tomato sauce and mashed potatoes.
Bruit Qui Court offered an extensive dessert menu, which seemed to be a real forté – it was just a shame for us we were so full from the main courses. We shared a perfect light creamy creme brûlée, which was divine!
Bruit Qui Court seemed to be a popular destination. It was a little too hearty meal for us in the middle of a heatwave, but I can imagine it is probably ideal in the colder weather.
Restaurants in Liège – Pilori Brasserie:
Liège is a walking city, we went everywhere on foot. The main square in Liège is the Place Saint-Lambert where there are plenty of brasseries and coffees houses to choose from. We enjoyed lunch at A Pilori, a typical Belgian Brasserie ideally situated on the cobbled pavement right next to Place Saint-Lambert, it was full of locals and tourists alike enjoying dining al-fresco in the sunshine.
The menu offers a broad selection of Belgian beers and wine plus traditional Brasserie fare. We enjoyed a delicious lunch starting off with large shrimp croquettes and some tender smoked salmon served with toast, followed a couple of excellent salads. Washed down with a cool beer it was perfect!
Restaurants in Liège – Tchantchès & Nanesse Restaurant
Tchantchès & Nanesse is situated on the other side of the river to the main city centre; we took a pleasant 20-minute walk across the bridge, enjoying the views of a stunning sunset over the city.
Tchantchès & Nanesse is unlike any restaurant I have been to before. It felt like a living museum, perhaps due to the enormous collection of marionettes and paintings, all painstaking collected and painted by the proprietor Francois Ducroux’s late father. Francois has lived in this extraordinary restaurant all his life; it was started by his parents 50 years ago, and was their lifelong passion, as it now seems to be his. Alongside the many paintings are also photos and pictures of Francois’s father.
Tchantchès & Nanesse is named after two famous puppets from Liège: They encapsulate the culture of Liege; these two characters are usually encountered as marionettes or giant puppets and are carried by people at folk parades. Probably every child in the city has enjoyed a marionette play in the Outremeuse district. Tchantchès symbolises the typical Liège chap, he is a popular, libertarian, witty and rebellious and a true Belgian folk hero.
The restaurant’s cosy interior is a mix of traditional dark wood adorned with red tablecloths and a wooden long bar. Set in the middle of a residential area, the garden’s outlook is not so pretty but the restaurant has created a unique area with a metal pagoda, wooden beer barrels and life-size model horses with hanging lampshades and a traditional wooden seating, bringing the space to life.
Our lovely waiter was absolutely charming and did a great job speaking English. The menu served traditional Liège cuisine but it was very limited as there were only two dishes available both of the meat variety (meatballs and rabbit legs). The problem was that we hadn’t realised that we’d be offered a set menu and my friend is a pescatarian. Be warned this is not an ideal dining destination for non-meat eaters! But the restaurant kindly prepared a substantial salad made with warm melting goats cheese and fresh crisp salad and a balsamic vinaigrette.
I went for a very traditional Liège dish – Boulets à la Liégeoise. Belgian Meatballs are made with ground pork and beef, breadcrumbs, onions and herbs and served with a thick apple and pear syrup and brown beer sauce.
These were meatballs like I’ve never seen before, two huge remarkably tender and delicious balls of meat swimming in a sweet syrupy sauce and served with salad and homemade chips.
We washed this down with an excellent dry, crisp chilled bottle of Sancerre Domaine Reverdy-Ducroux 2016 which Francois was proud to tell us carried his name…..Ducroux!
Tchantchès & Nanesse is an unusual find; the family atmosphere provides a very warm welcome and some hearty Belgian food, giving a real insight into Liège cuisine and its folklore.
Eating and Drinking in Liège – Brewery C Tour and lunch at Brasserie C
On our final day, we visited Brasserie C and Brewery C, originally set up by two students, Renaud and Francois who were studying in Liège. So taken were they with the art of brewing beer, they created a selection of their own craft beers and went on to start up a small business experimenting with a variety of flavours and creating 60 different recipes. They produced their first beer in 2012; a triple blonde light Beer that they called Curtius.
Renaud and Francois entered a television show in Belgium for young entrepreneurs, (which sounds rather similar to the UK program Dragons Den), which they went on to win. With this success under their belt, their business went from strength to strength.
As the business flourished they quickly grew out of their first premises in Brewery Street, and in 2015 they moved to their present premises, a wonderful old beguinage set on the hillside in central Liège.
Brewery C now has 10 full-time employees. It’s a vibrant young company with the entire team under 31 years old. That really shines through in the contemporary style and outlook of the brewery. Then there’s the addition of the fabulous Brasserie C situated in the same building which serves the sort of fresh vibrant modern cuisine you might expect to find in other happening cities across Europe.
Before eating in Brasserie C we were given an informative brewery tour by Kerian, one the team. We learnt how they started out, discovered more about the grains and the use of herbs and spices used to give Belgian beers their unique taste. At Brewery C they commonly use cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander and dry orange peel to give their beers wonderful rich, fruity and spicy flavours.
We got to see where it all happens and smell the rich hop aromas, taste the different grains and meet one of the brewers. And more importantly, we got the opportunity to try some of their delicious beers!
Curtius (7% alcohol) is full of wonderful fruity flavours and remains their most popular beer, and I have to say it was my firm favourite. Their newly launched beer Smash C (6.2% alcohol) is delightfully smooth and palatable; it is maltier and richer than the Curtius, infused with flavours of passion fruit and grapefruit. They also produce several other beers and export 10-12% of their production. One-hour tours with tastings are available at the weekend for 7 Euros.
Foodwise, we definitely saved the best until last with lunch at Brasserie C, our final meal in Liège. The set menu is a very reasonable 20 Euro for a 3-courses.
We started with a chilled gazpacho au sorbet framboise. A smooth, lightly spiced tomato and red pepper based soup complimented by a deliciously sweet surprise of raspberry sorbet made a perfect summer soup.
The poke bowl was a beautifully presented bowl of vibrantly coloured fresh vegetables with tofu, edamame, avocado and red cabbage. Tasty, healthy and everything we needed after indulging in a lot of rich food.
For mains, we both tucked into cabillaud roti (roast cod) with lentils – a large steak of tender baked white fish with a light herby, balsamic jus and served with warm citrus lentils and florets of cauliflower and edamame – fresh, wholesome and wonderfully tasty.
We finished our meal with a delicious palate cleansing selection of sorbets.
Naturally, we enjoyed their signatures beers with our meal first a Curtius, followed by a Smash C.
If you visit Liège I highly recommend paying a visit to this fabulous brewery and brasserie.
Shopping in Liège:
There was so much to see and do in Liège that we didn’t get much time for shopping, but there are plenty of interesting shops centrally located around the city centre. Liège is famous for their delicious chocolate and for high calibre crystal if you fancy taking home a real treat!
We did visit a very quirky shop called Wattitude, which sold a wonderful array of stylish Belgian gifts and a great selection of independent beers.
Right opposite Wattitude is an impressively well-stocked vintage shop called Di Vintage.
Every Sunday in Liège people come from far and wide to La Batte, which is one of the largest and oldest markets in Belgium. It sells everything from vegetables, books and clothes to plants and live animals. Unfortunately, I visited during the week, so didn’t get the chance to go to market, but it sounds well worth a visit.
Tip: Most shops and museums are closed on Monday in Liège.
Where to stay in Liège – The Penta Hotel:
We had the pleasure of staying at the Penta Hotel, which is perfectly located in the heart of Liège. Because of its central location we were able to walk to restaurants, bars and museums. Everything was within 25 minutes for our entire stay, which made life very easy. If you prefer not to walk it’s also easy to grab a taxi or take the bus.
The Penta is a lifestyle hotel, with a colourful and funky interior. The foyer, bar, restaurant and reception are all open plan on the ground floor. The design creates a fun feel with dark walls and industrial piping along the ceilings. There is atmospheric lighting, hanging glitter balls, a billiards table, Chesterfield sofas and large comfy leather armchairs just waiting for you to sink in.
Our room didn’t have any view to speak of, but it was very comfortable with delicious white crisp white cotton bedding, and simple stylish furnishings, which created a distinctly modern feel. We had a large walk-in shower and cute bags with a collection of colourful Anatomical products. The Penta Hotel supplied tea and coffee making facilities, a safe and a small fridge, which was perfect for keeping us stocked up with water. The curtains provided complete blackout, which I love, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep.
Breakfast was buffet style with a mixture of hot and cold food. There was a great selection of meats, smoked salmon, cheeses, fresh fruit, yoghurts, bread, cakes and pastries as well as cooked breakfast options, plus a coffee machine that satisfied my morning coffee craving. There was even an ice bucket with bottles of prosecco, but as much as I like a glass of fizz it was far too early for me!
We were very happy with our stay at the Penta Hotel, the hotel staff were friendly and helpful and its central location was perfect for our needs.
With our trip to Liège nearly over it was time to pack our bags and head to the train station. We returned to Brussels where we picked up the Eurostar for an effortlessly smooth and comfortable journey home.
Check out my previous post and learn more about why I highly recommend a visit to Liège, it’s a remarkably friendly and vibrant city with plenty to eat, drink explore. It’s an easy day trip from Brussels with plenty of things to do.
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I travelled to Liège as a guest of The Wallonia Tourist Board:
I travelled with Eurostar via Brussels. There are regular departures from St Pancras Station and the journey to Liège takes around 4 hours.