‘Hi,’ a reader wrote, ‘You should take a look at Jackie on Chaussée de Charleroi. It’s a lovely local cafe with indie magazines and delicious cakes and a small but creative lunch menu. I think you will like it.’
So off I went on a rainy morning. The cafe is on a busy Brussels street with old mansions, trendy restaurants and trams rolling past. The coffee menu is impressive. Flip it over, and there is also a ‘Not Coffee’ menu on the back. The drinks are served on an elegant wooden tray. You can add a slice of homemade cake, if you want.
The interior is quite small. It quickly fills up. A lot of laptop nomads working on screens. But Jackie tries to persuade its customers to pick up a magazine from the racks on the wall. They have an inspiring range of design and lifestyle titles including Monocle, Drift, Delayed Gratification and The Brussels Times.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.