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. Itís quite grand and elegant, but on a small scale. Thereís some very nice stained glass Ė 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).
Authentic old-school pub with yesteryear charm and character. The bar folk were colourful and chatty, though service was staunchly no frills. I liked it. The pub the locals go to, but Iím sure just as many tourists come through as well. Beers are not the most exciting but itís Belgium so thereís always something worth drinking. Get along and check it.
Fin (1025) 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 Iíve been in here, though Loz tells me that Iíd 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 íAround Brussels in 80 Beersí 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.
Through the ancient stone arch. Down the alley. Through the ancient entrance. Enter into wood, copper, stained glass, and a wholly local experience. Short beer list. BUT! The list includes Westvleteren 12 for 10 EURO. With the possible exception of Toon, there is no more ancient venue for hiding away with a great beer. Didnít see a cat though. So Toon is more cool in that way.
Iíve actually been to this bar twice both, times Iíve been to Brussels and it is one of my favorite Brussels Bars. Most Brussel bars are way to crowded and noisy and appeal to the tourist. This place is located down some random alley so you really have to look for it to find it. Its small and authenic inside, tons of locals. The beer menu is small but has all the trappist beers and both times Iíve been here they have had Westy 12 at a very reasonable price.
If youíre looking to escape the busy scene and want a great place to just chill and drink some good beer, this is the place to go.
Number two (after Toone) on the Brussels ďancient bar down an alleywayĒ 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 didnít 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 isnít 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.
Nice old pub, hidden in a small alley 20 meters away from the busy and noise central tourist streets, look for the small sign over the entrance. No taps, bottlelist includes Westy 12 at 10 Ä. Service a little on the slow side. Prices where fine considering the area. Since this bar was very close to our hotel, i enjoyed a couple of Orvals here, while waiting for the wife :) Not a beergeeks place, but nice enough for a beer or 2.