This book is an ode to Belgium’s traditional cafés, to their landlords and -ladies, and to the regular customers who come there not only for a drink but also for some company. It is also a plea to handle the café heritage of Belgium with the greatest care. Because we haven been taking these little cafés for granted for too long now, they have become fragile, despite the fact that they are an important part of our social and cultural patrimony.
Food writer, photographer and graphic designer Regula Ysewijn runs the blog Miss Foodwise. She is also the author of ‘Pride and Pudding, The history of British puddings savoury and sweet’. She’s a true Anglophile, and she often works in London, but she lives in Belgium and cherishes her Flemish roots.
For this book Regula visited 45 traditional cafés in Belgium. She drank a beer in the oldest café in the country (it opened in 1515) and in the café of Belgium’s oldest landlady, Juliette (who is 96); she visited cafés with beautiful Art Deco interiors, and cafés where you can still find a savings cupboard with numbered slots hanging on the wall. In each of these cafés she talked to the landlords and -ladies and to the regular guests who have become part of the soul of these places, and she managed to capture all of this in beautiful, touching photos.
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