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Stanhope Hotel

9 Rue du Commerce
Brussels , Belgium http://www.brusselshotelstanhope.com/
32 2 506-9111

A haven of calm set between the bustling blocks between the European Parliament and the Royal Palace, the 1991 Stanhope has a decidedly British charm. And it’s no wonder: half the 108 rooms, which are spread among three adjacent 19th-century townhouses, were designed by Viscount Linley, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II. These feature soft, floral fabrics, portraits of bewigged dukes, and prints of the hunting and cricketing set. Guests can also sip Earl Grey tea amid leather-bound books and Persian rugs in the library bar, or take a gin fizz on the terrace beneath a 100-year-old magnolia tree. (No wonder Brits like Tony Blair, Ewan McGregor, and Shirley Bassey have stopped off here.) The restaurant is an Oriental fantasy inspired by George IV’s banqueting hall in the Brighton Royal Pavilion, but the food is gourmet French—try the sweetbreads with black Périgord truffles.

Insider Tip: Round the corner at 39 Avenue des Arts, Filigranes is one of the city’s great bookshops, with a café, wine bar, and basement English section (www.filigranes.be).

Room to Book: No. 110, the Print Room, is a duplex with the bedroom reached by a curving wooden staircase and walls covered with etchings of ancient Rome.

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