Meet Marie and Jenny, the dynamic Belgian duo behind Non Peut Être, for which they hunt down new places and things to do in and around Brussels. Since 2014, they incessantly keep Non Peut Être up and running while maintaining full time jobs. When they manage to find time for a break, they indulge in their local list toppers – from a scrumptious brunch, to pizza, ice cream, retro furniture and art galleries – the inseparable duo shares with us their personal favorites.
Mary, the brunette of Non Peut Être, is originally from Liege. She arrived in Brussels eight years ago for her studies, and stayed on. Brussels is the town where she feels the most comfortable. Jenny is the blonde of Non Peut Être: she is from Brussels, Woluwé Saint Pierre. Never far from each other, Mary lives in St. Gilles, Place Van Meenen and Jenny in Ixelles, Brugmann.
Since January 2014, the challenge behind Non Peut Être has been to find 5 different addresses on a particular theme, everyday, except Sunday and Monday; we are grumpy if we have to wake up early after the weekend, and we are lazy girls on Sundays.
The name “Non Peut Être” is a Brussels expression, used to confirm something you have said. It usually ends the sentence. It’s pronounced “non peutétrrrrrrre,” an ugly sound coming from a lady’s mouth.
We studied communications at the same school and this is where the magic happened. Shortly after our studies, we became inseparable. There are no secrets between us! We absolutely love our city, Brussels, because there are new things to do everyday, and we love to discover new places. We shop together, go restaurants, have tea-time (really important in a friendship), go to bars (even more important than the tea-time) and we have a Facebook page together for Non Peut Être.
Our best addresses for food would be a healthy breakfast at ICI (35 Rue Darwinstraat 1050). It’s a really cozy and nice place, with all bio and healthy products. We also like to go at La Belle Equipe (202 Rue Antoine Dansaertstraat 1000), a nice place to share a big pizza with friends. On a different note, for dinner we love Maru, a Korean restaurant. Their bibimbap is delicious. During the summer, if we want to eat “un petit sucré” (this is Jenny’s way of saying dessert) we go to Comus & Gasterea, they have the best ice cream ever! You should try it!
We both take a lot of tea every day, in the morning to wake up, during the afternoon at the office and after a diner. It’s a ritual! The best place for that is Comptoir Florian (Rue Sainte Boniface 17 Sint-Bonifaasstraat 1050) and Unami (97 Rue du Bailli 1050), (try a Japanese pastry, they are yummy!).
For shopping, we like Graphie Sud (Rue Berkendael 195 Berkendaalstraat 1050) and Kelly (60 Rue Darwinstraat 1050). Their selection is incredible; everything in these shops is beautiful! You’ll definitely want to buy all of their clothes. For books, we’d recommend Peinture Fraîche (Rue du Tabellion 10 Notarisstraat 1050): they have a large selection. As Mary is a furniture addict, she recommends Retro Factory, L’atelier en ville ( Place Stephanie 6 Stefaniaplein 1050) and Le Petit Coin (Rue Antoine Labarre 2 1050). In these shops you can find all sorts of treasures for your home. For art, there are so many cool galleries in Brussels. Jenny is an art lover, and her favourite galleries are Xavier Hufkens (Rue Saint-Georges 6 Sint-Jorisstraat 1050) and Pierre Marie Giraud (7 Rue de Praeterestraat 1050).
Aside from this, our favourite day is Sunday, because we can disconnect after a long workweek (Mary is an account manager for an advertising agency and Jenny is a freelance art project manager). On Sundays, we like to have a relaxed brunch at La Tricoterie (158 Rue Théodore Verhaegenstraat 1060). It’s a huge and beautiful space with a lot of tables; definitely a place where you can stay a long time with friends. Here you can also find a little bio market with some good products. As we are attentive to what we eat, we try to find the best fruits, vegetables, cheese and grains at the Biomarkt (Rue des Tanneurs 58 Huidevettersstraat 1000) on rue les Tanneurs. All of their products are amazing!
To sum it up, we are good friends that want to discover new places and share these with other people. That’s why we created Non Peut Être. In the future, we expect some collaborations and many more cool addresses to share on Non Peut Être .Featured images by Kevin Wipperman.