Brussels bars: When the confinement was finally lifted the cafés and bars thankfully reopened, albeit with some restrictions, of course. That meant that one of my favourite bars in Brussels had flung open it doors, dusted the place down and brought the terrace furniture out once more. The place had been shut for two years, so it was a sight for sore eyes as we descended the tram on Place Eugène Flagey to witness the comings and goings once more within. De Valeras boasts a prime corner spot in the hustle and bustle of Flagey life. From the terrace, you can see the tail end of the Ixelles ponds.
Inside, the walls are festooned with excellent screens showing sports of all kinds being energetically carried out. The décor inside has a proper Irish feel to it – including a photo of the man himself, a black-and-white snapshot of the Irish Dáil back in the day with former Taoiseach Éamon de Valera occupying the best seat in the middle. And then there’s the wooden pulpit – naturally – twisting as it rising up above the tables and chairs. And De Valeras has that essential element in any self-respecting Irish bar: a long counter where new and old friends can exchange pleasantries.
Of course the Guinness is great, and they have a range of Belgian and international beers. For us the biggest attraction is the grub. For now there is a restricted choice of dishes but the fish and chips can still be had throughout the day as can the full Irish breakfast – bear in mind that, for now, food is served Wednesday through Sunday. The staff are very attentive and among the friendliest in town. So get along there post-haste and sláinte! Just up the hill you will find De Valeras’ sister Irish Pub the Michael Collins (who was a formidable adversary to De Valera in the battle for Ireland’s freedom).
For more Brussels bars check out our dining pages.