Oh she was gorgeous: the Hôtel Max Hallet


Technically speaking this post does not belong in a list of gorgeous women. But I think of a house as being a feminine entity, nurturing and tending to the people inside, keeping them warm or cool, depending on the seasons, and embracing them as they come home every night.

I am excessively fond of old houses, and our house is no exception. Built in 1900, it has its quirks, but it also comes with a mosaic floor, a gorgeous stairwell, wood floors, a neo-classic façade and the original doors and glass windows.

When it comes to period architecture, however, I profess to being wholeheartedly smitten with the houses of Victor Horta. The Hôtel Max Hallet, recently reopened to the public as an events venue, is a perfect example of the Brussels' architect's art. Carefully and lovingly restored, the symphonic swirls of the banisters, the winter garden and the detailing in the stained glass windows make for a visual extravaganza. Likewise, the Hôtel Armand Solvay is a gem, and of course, the architect's own house, which is now a museum. My former boss is fortunate enough to live in one of his houses.

So, if you ever find yourself in Brussels, do try and make some time to visit these delightful exponents of Art Nouveau. In the meantime, click here to enjoy the Hôtel Hallet. And if you're in Antwerp, don't forget to take a stroll down Cogels Osylei, for a stunning row of period houses.

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