Brussels, Belgium’s lively capital, has a lot to offer: some of the finest art museums and architectural gems, but also exciting gastronomy and a vivid and varied nightlife. In The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels, written by local journalist Derek Blyth, you’ll discover some of the cities most curious little spots. Looking for some holiday reading? Then consider a visit to one of the bookshops Blyth loves best.
This beautiful bookshop occupies a former restaurant in a 19th century arcade. The ornate ceilings and high mirrors are still in place, creating a spectacular setting for browsing. Most of the books are in French, but they have a small section of English books next to the staircase. (Galerie des Princes 11, Central Brussels) www.tropismes.be
Originally a branch of WH Smith’s, this English-language bookshop was founded in 1921. Now owned by Waterstones, the shop has thick carpets, knowledgeable staff and an inspiring range of books, magazines and newspapers. The neighbourhood, unfortunately, is not as smart as it was back in 1921. (Boulevard Adolph Max 71, Central Brussels)
This English-language bookshop near the opera house has a strong fiction section, a good collection of books on Brussels and a wide range of magazines. (Rue du Fossé aux Loups 38, Central Brussels) www.sterlingbooks.be
4) Librairie Saint Hubert
A sumptuous art bookshop with a dark wood interior located in the Saint Hubert arcade. Contemporary art exhibitions are held in a small back room. (Galerie du Roi 2, Central Brussels)
A sublime secondhand bookshop located in the rambling ground floor rooms of two connected town houses. Named after the famous Russian dancer, Nijinsky stocks an eclectic range of books and art magazines. Most books are in French, but a small collection of English fiction is found in an alcove at the back. (Rue du Page 15, Ixelles)