Sunday, 17 February 2013

Dinos and bagels

On Friday, I decided to make the most of the last day of the Krokusvakantie and the fact that baby Pingu was at daycare to take Bibu to his favourite museum: the Natural Science museum in Ixelles (a.k.a. the dino museum)

We have been there a few times already and it's funny to see how each time is like the first time for Bibu, albeit with the already acquired knowledge on how to best navigate the museum and the best perks of the visit.

We arrived to an entrance hall full of parents and kids in similar states of excitement, mostly Flemish. For some unfathomable reason known only to the high powers of the museum and the two grumpy ladies behind the ticket desks, the museum was still shut at 9:45am, when it states in their website that it opens at 9:30 on weekdays. So, a word to the wise, better arrive 10-ish.

We did the grand tour, Bibu happily inaugurated the sand box where you can "dig a dino" and we visited the museum shop (and managed not to buy anything) When the the time came around lunchtime, I already knew that the musuem cafe was really a no-go. It's small, the offer of food is terrible (dubious hot dogs and soggy sandwiches) and one look at the enormous queue that had formed had Bibu and I going for the exit in search of a more human place to eat. I knew that there were plenty of places around Place de Luxemburg, so we headed there.

We ended up going into Karsmakers, which is one of those places I intended to go to for some time but never quite found the time. It specialises in coffee and NY-style bagels. There was a bit of a queue at the door (you need to order first and they bring it to your table) but we stayed and hoped for the best. Bibu ordered the ham, tomato and creme cheese plain bagel and I had the poppy "bagel of the month", which consisted of a roast pumpkin, ricotta and pesto filling (de-li-ci-ous!). Luckily, we found two empty spots at the sofas in the back and settled there (quite cozy, but one of the tables with regular chair would be easier for a kid to eat from, provided they are available).

VEREDICT: It was not an obvious choice to go with small kids: I think quite ok for a 4-year old but more tricky with babies or toddlers, specially at lunchtime when the place is packed with with Euro-interns. The service at the counter was very efficient and quite fast and the waiter that tended to us was a Spanish-speaker and very nice (he even reminded us I was leaving my umbrella behind). The toilets were nice and clean and even had a folding changing table, but you had to go down a flight of narrow stairs to get there. I would definitely go again but sans les kids, or maybe on a Sunday with Mr M and the kids for a late breakfast.

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