The top 10 terraces in Liège where you can enjoy a drink in the sunshine.
The art of enjoying a drink on a terrace during the all-too-rare sunny intervals in the typical Belgian summer is all about how well and how quickly you can react. Once again this year, “Today in Liège” has tracked down the best terraces in the Glowing City for you, so you can simply take a seat, order a drink, close your eyes and daydream... with a smile towards the sun in stylish surroundings.
“Espace Saveurs”- for peace and quiet.
This terrace in a former cloister, now part of the Museum of Walloon Life calls to mind one of those lovely quiet courtyards in the centre of Avignon. Pleasant and shady, with full sun if you want it, this covered terrace is quite simply perfect. Both zen and arty (the courtyard is decorated by pieces of contemporary-style sculpture), not surprisingly it is popular at lunchtime. But once the crowd has gone in the afternoon, the peace and quiet return.The café is run by a charity that trains people for the world of work and is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm every day except Monday. Prices: €1.80 for a “pêket citron”, €2 for a beer, €1.80 for a Coke, €9 for a salad or the dish of the day. To reserve, phone 04 237 2367. Address: Cours des Mineurs
“La Capitainerie”- for a maritime atmosphere and a magnificent view.
This is THE weekend terrace in Liège, where you can enjoy the atmosphere of a seaside marina without having to travel to the Belgian coast. While most of its customers come to “La Capitainerie” as a restaurant, it has an agreement with the pleasure port allowing its customers to enjoy drinks on the terrace every day between 2.30pm and 5.30pm. While not an ideal place to grab a quick lunch, it comes into its own at the weekend when there are more free places in the car park next door.
A beer will set you back €2.40 or a Coke €2.20 but most people drink wine (€3 a glass) or jugs of sangria (€6 per person). If the restaurant is not that busy, one of the chefs may rustle up some tapas this summer, which can be enjoyed as you survey the 2,000 or so pleasure boats that pass through the river port each year. In any case, the terrace enjoys a magnificent panoramic view of the river. Sun-worshippers should note that only the edges of the tarrace remain shade-free all afternoon.
“Le Comptoir”- for the trendy Place des Carmes
When the “Saga Café” succeeded in attracting a wealthy clientèle who like to see and be seen to this square, its neighbours were not far behind and today their terraces are full of rather more well-off customers that you can find at the Place du Marché. Of course, this means that the service has improved as the prices have risen. “Le Comptoir” features an interior decorated by talented local designers such as Benjamin Pailhe.
“Le Comptoir” on facebook www.facebook.com/lecomptoirliege?fref=ts
“Poivre et Sel”- for the most country-style terrace
While it’s true that you can only order a drink with food here, a sandwich at €3.80 won’t break the bank and will allow you to enjoy this unique spot. At the heart of this building at 18, Rue Fond-Saint-Servais is a Walloon Heritage Site which resembles an eighteenth-century coaching inn. A glass of traditionally-brewed Caulier beer (€3) adds to the countyside atmosphere, as does the unfriendly serving staff. A Coke will set you back €2.20. Open from Monday to Friday from 11am to 2.30pm.
“Ô Cocottes” - for the cherry on the cake
While Liège’s only five-star hotel is classy by definition, it is open to non-residents and the general public, without restrictions. Head for the “Ô Cocottes” brasserie and the terrace of its Lobby Bar, which offers a brush with luxury, with free WiFi and drinks starting at €4 (tea or beer). The terrace can seat 100 people and enjoys panoramic views of Liège and of the old mansions of the Sélys-Lonchamps family and the Counts of Méan. If you’re in a celebratory mood, splash out on a glass of champagne (€12.50) or a sandwich (from €12.50 to €20).
Address: 9-11, Mont Saint-Martin - Open from 8am to 10.30pm.
“Le Pot au Lait”- for the one everyone forgets
Formerly the most popular student café in Liège, behind its grand carriage entrance there is now a new artsy interior and it is at its busiest late at night. During the university holidays it’s full of foreign language students. Its pleasant terrace has its own soundtrack of birdsong produced by the occupants of the nests in the ivy which covers the walls, and it rarely closes before 4 or 5am. A beer or a Coke will only set you back €1.80, but the crowds of students mean it can be difficult to find a seat once classes have finished for the day.
Address: 9, Rue Soeurs de Hasque - Open every day from 10am (Mon-Fri), 12 noon (Sat) or 2pm (Sun) onwards.
Cafeteria of the Grand Curtius museum – for a break among tourists
Its not too difficult to find a parking space here in the St Leonard district, where you can discover this courtyard which still echoes to the sounds of horse-drawn carriages and is now home to the new museum’s cultural events. Huge parasols filter the sunlight and not many locals come here. Outside the tourist rush-hours, you can enjoy the peace and quiet and the marvellous light. The only snag is that the cafeteria and bar are self-service. A beer or Coke costs €2, a white beer €3 and a brie sandwich €4.50. Open every day except Tuesday from 10am to 6pm. At the end of the Rue Féronstrée.
MAD Café – for an escape from work
This haven is bang in the middle of the Parc d’Avroy, and is an ideal bolt-hole for a lunchtime drink or meal. Everyone appears laid-back here and the newly-renovated kiosk adds a touch of the countryside. There is a varied and reasonably-priced menu. Access on foot or by car (there is a large car park just in front of the entrance to their neighbouring MAD museum). In addition, it is run by a social charity. Open from 9.30am to 6pm in the summer. Meals available from 11.30am to 3pm: it’s best to reserve a table by phoning 04 223 1619
The Place du Marché – for people-watching
Even though it has recently been abandoned by the trendy hipsters in favour of the Place des Carmes, the Place du Marché remains one of the most popular suqares in Liège as soon as the sun comes out, with its trees, its historic buildings, its pigeons and its varied terraces. All you need to do is find somewhere to park, then a seat!
“Côté Cour, Côté Jardin”- for when you want to feel like an artistLocated at 48, Boulevard de la Constitution, “Coté Cour, Côté Jardin” offers the only terrace in the Outremeuse district which is part of a delightful garden. The prices are more than reasonable with beer and Coke at €1.80 a glass, sandwiches at around €4.50 and main courses around €12. It is popular with the budding artists from the St Luke’s School of Art across the street.