• Arcadi Cafe (Brussels)

Warm up time.  The melody of a flute cuts through the hum of strings, then a trombone.  Hellos, kisses, friendlier colleagues from all over the world.  Each in their individual zone, till silence then coming together as one.

I had never seen my friend’s orchestra play, and felt honoured to to be able to watch them rehearse.  Tens of talented musicians, working but playing as if each piece was already in their own musical memory.

The rehearsal finished early so she took me to the Arcadi Cafe.  I reflected on how the everyday with friends is so close, even if across the other side of the world – like an after work drink but transported to Europe after only one day and one night of travel.

Look at the menu and you realise you are not in Melbourne.  But the familiarity of close friendship is constant and home.

The quiches were recommended and I ordered one with broccoli, Roquefort and basil.  It was delicious with a moist texture but heavy.  Salad was on the side.

As minutes passed, more and more diners squished into the tightly arranged tables and chairs.  Tip: if eating here, arrive early.

The cabinet of cakes and tarts was too tempting and I opted for a strawberry tart with house-made short-crust; a delectable, eggy custard, and; fresh strawberries.  This dessert was divine.

Coffee was fair, but any comments of mine on this topic will be shaped by the fussy tastes I have learnt as a Melbournian.

Arcadi Cafe is close to the station and tourist sights like the main square and the galleria.  We trooped off, violin in hand, to a near-by chocolatier.  Music, art, a good meal, chocolate and the company of a good friend.  Life does not get much better than this.

Arcadi Cafe
1b Rue d’Arenberg
1000 Bruxelles
+32 2 511 33 43