Sometimes you just want to get out with friends and the littles and find the offerings are really quite limited when it comes to places where you can go and have a chat with your adult friends, without worrying about your kids being – well, KIDS! Enter Haricot Magique…
Haricot Magique is the first Stroller Café (Café Poussette) in Brussels. Born out of frustration in feeling unwelcome at certain cafés in town, The Haricot Magique (magic bean) team brought the growing European trend to Schaerbeek in Brussels.
I’ve personally had a hard time in many cafés and restaurants finding a place to change the baby Sprouts other than on top of the toillet (not nice at all with a newborn – yuck!). And while most places do welcome children with open(ish) arms, most do expect you to keep them “sage” (literally means wise, which I guess they better be if they don’t want to get into trouble!) and I’ve even had sideways glances and sighs from staff upon seeing us enter with kids in tow.
Here, however, you can have a light snack and coffee (or tea, etc) with your friends AND include the kids as well. They have baby food for the very little ones, and a range of high chairs to suit first sitters as well as sitting pros that just need the extra height to comfortably reach the table. They even have bibs and cutlery for small hands, so no need to bring anything from home. Oh, and most products are Fair Trade and/or Organic – a definite plus in my book.
There is also a little boutique with high-quality children’s ware, from creative kits to bento-boxes, clothes, toys and more (you can have a glimpse in the second picture above).
But, hands down, their best feature is a children’s area in the back stocked with toys, mats, books and a table and chairs, where the small ones can hang out while their adults enjoy their snack at the tables. The only con is the current lack of visibility, but the owners have let me know they have plans to install a concave mirror in the near future to improve visibility.
The place is usually bustling on Wednesday afternoons and weekends, and there is lots to do as well. On their website you can find a calendar with activities, ranging from baby massage to live music. If you want some calm, then I do suggest weekdays, especially mornings.
Both my children love coming here, and so do I. Oh, and they speak English as well, if French isn’t your thing 😉
Avenue Louis Bertrand 22,