Great atmospheric place, old wooden decor, nice place to bave a beer. The beer list is pretty basic (for Brussels) apart from Westie 12. On my visit service was slow and pretty hostile, maybe should have sat by the bar.
I love this place - no trip to Brussels is complete without a trip here. The selection of beers aren’t stellar but they have many of the essentials - and rotate the selection so you can get Christmas brews at that time of year, so it’s not too bad. The prices are pretty average. The atmosphere is absolutely great, though, which is why I go there time after time.
Au Bon Vieux Temps is a wonderful old place down a cobbled alleyway. It has dark wood panelling and a sort of arts and crafts meets hunting lodge feel, mercifully without the stuffed animals. It’s quite grand and elegant, but on a small scale. There’s some very nice stained glass – some old, with heraldic and religious themes, plus a more modern piece showing a chef with a lobster.
The beer list is fairly ordinary although it did include Westvleteren for 10 euros.
(Visited 2 October 2012).
Another little pub nestled in a tiny alley. This one ends up in one of the many little shop galleries.
Place shines by its décor that let’s you breath in the decade old history or even plunge you back in time of the real Brussels. Usually very quiet compared to the overly noisy and touristy streets outside.
I guess you may go there more for the atmosphere than to find the ultimate gem. Not much in terms of selection that you can’t get elsewhere. They advertise Westy12 @ 10€ but the beer is often out of stock. The rest is left to InBev and John Martin beers along with others such as Timmermans, Westmalle. A tad overpriced.
Whilst there might as well settle for an old school ’Vieux-Temps’ on draft.
Number two (after Toone) on the Brussels “ancient bar down an alleyway” circuit. Certainly has an ancient feel. Woody. Cozy. More ornate and less rickety than some of the other Brussels heritage bars. Lots of carving and stained glass. Reminded me a bit of the Old Mitre in London. In common with some of the other bars of the same ilk that we visited they had the radio playing as background music - this time crappy 70s easy listening, e.g. Cliff Richard. Lower volume than Toone though. Not that much to mark it out beer-wise although they do list Westvleteren (no indication of which one) at 10 euro. No idea whether they actually have it though. Strangely, the house lager is listed is Diekirch from Luxembourg (which is in the AB InBev stable) but I didn’t order it to check out whether that is really the case.
I like this place, solid, old, clean and almost empty on both visits during afternoons in October 2006 and Dec 2011. The beer list isn’t huge or fantastic, or even interesting, but the place just fits my idea of what a small Brussels bar must have been like before the 20th century.
Lead glass windows and being in an alley, ensures it is dark, the ancient darkwood panelling and dim lighting compound the issue, it all adds to the atmostphere. This is old Brussels meets the tourist trade, it does it very nicely in my opinion. My parents thought it lovely when I took them and they are not easily pleased.
Fin (950) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | December 19, 2011
This was one of three alleyway pubs the other being Becasse and the other a few doors along I forget the name of; however alll three are cracking little places and on a cold, miserable, wet, windy, snowy day like it was when visited on Saturday 17th December 2011, all of them were just about the best and most atmospheric places that we went to in Brussels this weekend. On another day, say in summer a place like this or the other two may not hold the same attraction but hey-ho we visited in Winter and it is the only time I’ve been in here, though Loz tells me that I’d been here before though it was a fleeting visit. I had an Orval Loz a Kasteel Bruin, the place was busy, warm and buzzing with chatter. The surroundings were full of olde world charm, the service was excellent and it just came across as a cracking little place to visit that is right in the heart of the action but also off of the radar of most visitors. Once again the ’Around Brussels in 80 Beers’ proved very helpful and was remarked on by a fellow countryman and his entourage, who spoke of how helpful it had been to them on their visit and how much they loved the book.