Well known to viewers of the TV show “Affaire conclue” broadcast in France and Belgium, French antique dealer Alexandra Morel has just opened her first shop in one of the most popular districts of Brussels, the Marolles.
Located between the Midi train station, the Palais de Justice and the Sablons, this is the place to go to discover the “real” Brussels, the one made of bricks, the one of second-hand goods.
The two main streets, rue Haute and rue Blaes, lead directly to the Place du Jeu de Balle. It is on this square that the famous flea market has been held every day for over a century. With its popular, friendly and slightly offbeat atmosphere.
Alexandra Morel had been coming to Brussels regularly for about fifteen years. Over the years, Belgium has become one of the hubs of the antiques and art market – where sellers, buyers, collectors, connoisseurs and the simply curious meet.
“There has always been a very big market in Brussels, a very big demand…” explains Alexandra. “Since I buy a lot, moving to the Marolles district in Brussels was the right thing to do. I was waiting to find the right time, the right place and the right people. In Belgium, art and antiques professionals don’t take themselves seriously. It’s not like in France. There is a real simplicity in the work. There is a great energy.”
It’s no coincidence that La Brocante by Alexandra Morel is located on Rue Blaes, just a stone’s throw from Stéphane Vanhandenhoven’s shop and opposite Julien Cohen’s – the two co-stars we met on the set of the television talk show.
“Brussels is an attractive, welcoming, dynamic and festive city…” adds Alexandra. “It makes you want to spend time and stay here. I meet new people every day. I have easily recreated a family, friends and habits. I could never have envisaged this adventure anywhere else but in Brussels. It was an obvious choice.”
“I think I have become the best ambassador for the city of Brussels in France…” smiles Alexandra. “I know what I’m leaving behind when I go back to Paris.”
Before, we used to go to the Marolles to visit the flea market, to drink a beer or eat a typical Belgian dish – to find the rare pearl in one of the vintage or antique shops. Some tourists come from far away to find a beautiful object or to sniff out a good deal. From now on, when you go to the Marolles, you can also discover Alexandra’s shop which specialises in Art Nouveau, glassware, the Nancy School with Emile Gallé, Daum, Amalric Walter or the Muller brothers.
The shop is gigantic but also warm and efficient. There is something for every taste and budget.
The store aims to attract a new clientele that did not previously come to the Marolles. Alexandra’s reputation has enabled her to help revitalise this popular district.
Perhaps the Marolles is the new place-to-be?
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