Cook & Book, Brussels
I have a thing for cool bookstores. When I found Cook & Book during a Belgium Pinterest hunt, I knew I had to add it to our itinerary for our next Brussels visit.
Just outside of Brussels this adorable bookstore takes up most of a shopping plaza. There is ample street parking (metered). It was raining when we arrived and we were honestly confused by the size of the bookstore complex. We popped into the door that looked like a proper entrance. Turns out we could have gone into any of the half-dozen or so doors.
We were all a bit hungry so we took a beeline to the chairs directly in our sightline thinking this was the extent of the restaurant. This must have been what everyone does because this room quickly filled up.
Once we ordered the bigs and I went exploring. We found that every room is both bookstore and restaurant. Who knew?
I was totally transfixed by the funky architecture and the plethora of books. This place is a bookstore lover’s dream. And then I saw something that made my heart flutter…
An entire section of books in English! People. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a bookstore with a whole room of English books. Just as we were venturing down the hall to check it out, my phone rang. It was Jeff letting me know our food had arrived.
I headed back to the table to enjoy a lovely meal. The menu has a variety of options and everyone is bound to find something they enjoy. The kitchen is open and tucked into one of the bookstore rooms so you can also go watch your food being made.
Jeff paid the bill and we headed to check out the English section of the bookstore. We spent a long time sitting on the floor looking at books. The kids were excited to see many of their favorites and also look at a few new ones. I furiously took pictures of books to add to my Overdrive library list and Amazon wish list.
I’m not going to lie, one of the things I love most about my boys is how much they enjoy a good book. It was raining outside and they were both cozy on a couch with a book. Sigh. That’s basically my perfect day.
We finally pulled ourselves away from the English section to explore a bit more. Our Big Little found a chair with the number 5 on it and insisted on having his photo taken, since he will soon be five.
Room upon room of glorious books!
When the rain let up a bit we made a dash to the other building. There is even a small playground outside of this building, but we didn’t stop long enough to examine it. Inside this second building we found a missed opportunity. You can eat inside this old Airstream in the travel section. Sigh.
Upstairs a large childrens section holds a variety of kids books and toys. There is also a train table, a few random toys and see-through floors with a model train running under them. So basically, more of heaven. The kids played and we browsed until they lost their minds over the train table, something that almost seems inevitable with our two year old these days. We knew the warning signs and quickly grabbed the boys and headed back to the car.
If you’re in the area, or have a rainy day this is a great place to spend some time and enjoy a really fun, funky bookstore.