La, la, la, eh hem, ok all warmed up again. 🙂 Today I write another love letter, this time to an art nouveau master piece that, as with many beautiful places in Brussels, brings you back to another time. Walking in Parc Tournay-Solvay feels like a magical portal straight to the 20’s. I love it in every possible way.
Originally a property of the other Solvay brother, playboy Alfred, the property was developed in 1878. It is located in Watermeal-Boitfort, just steps from the local train station. Over the years it grew to include not only the now ruined castle-like residence but a breathtaking rose and flower garden, dreamy art nouveau-inspired lake and bridges and an abundant apple orchard and potager. Today the property is maintained as part of the “Promonade Vert” system.
This is hands-down one of my favorite photo locations in the Brussels area. Each family that has joined me there has been wowed by this somewhat hidden gem. Usually quiet even on the sunniest summer weekend. I can’t recommend it enough to you not only as a place for our next meeting but as a beautiful treasure to explore the next time you want to get slightly out of town and enjoy a picnic or walk in a a time gone by. Enjoy!
New favorite location alert! I do love summer, ripe peaches, warm days, lazy afternoons and bright evenings. But photographically speaking, in Belgium, it can be a bit…green. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice green forest but if you really want some color, it is necessary to go far afield to find some.
That is until the Coloma Rose Garden in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw popped up on my radar. Located just south of Brussels, this sprawling park has all the Brussels classics; long waterways, a beautiful 16th century manor home, extensive gardens and quirky features like a straight out of a fairytale wishing well. Home to more than 3,000 rose varieties from 26 countries. We spent the whole morning discovering one garden after the next.
You can cruise around, explore, and play. There is an interactive museum which was closed when we were there but I have read is very intereting. If you get tired or hungry there is a sweet looking Bistro called de Koetsier in the middle of the grounds. If you prefer something sweet then check out the Cremerie at Gaasbeek. Only 10 minutes further and hands down best ice cream in the greater Brussels region. Yum!
But I digress (sugar distracted much?)…this is a gorgeous photo location if you crave some summer colors, classic landscapes and romantic nooks to play and cuddle in. Perfect for engagement, maternity and family sessions.
Finding a great photo location can be a bit of a fine art. I look for beautiful features and shapes, easy access, not too crowded and often for a place with a little extra magic and wow factor. Though it changes quite often, my favorite photo location at the moment is the Rouge Cloitre which is a beautiful abbey located in the Sonian Forest just 10 minutes from the center of Brussels.
Founded in 1367, definitely brings the wow which makes it a very special backdrop for a photo sessions in all seasons. Brilliant colors, large reflecting ponds, a wild flower and vegetable garden and of course the abbey.
I don’t just come for photo sessions either. They have a great playground, a weekend cafe for cake, coffee or a beer and special events around the year including our favorite haunted forest around Halloween time.
I can’t wait for the Walk through Time Adventure on October 21 in my favorite fall location of all. 🙂 Here is a look at some of my favorite Rouge Cloitre images from all around the calendar.
Wow, what a year! Seems like a strange thing to say in August but the time until now has really flew by and now as we near the time to welcome our new baby boy, a sense of completion…and growth have settled in.
As the title implies, this new “project” has led to some ch-ch-ch-changes as we moved out to the ‘burbs into a sweet little house and I am just starting maternity leave now. Really I am much to big and lumbering to do my usual jumping up and down, running through parks and playing during photo sessions! It breaks my heart a little bit to miss my favorite photo time (fall) but I am determined to give this new little guy all I have got to make a great start in life.
So what’s next for Bear & Dragon? In the new year I will open a new studio space in a beautiful and convenient location in Brussels. I expect to be back in the early months of 2017 and can’t wait to see all my families, old friends and new for many new adventures.
In the meantime, stay tuned on the blog for some cool Brussels kids locations and to-do’s and a slice of life from bucolic Beersel.
It really was magical. Stepping out into the orchard with the heady smell of apple blossoms and buzz of bees at work. Green grass, pink and white buds, light rain and then sunshine. It was a gorgeous April day!
Thank you so much to the six adventurous families who joined me for this day out in Limberg at the PiPO organic orchard. Such a fun time was had by all. I am looking forward to bringing this experience full circle this fall, in the same location, to see our darling buds fully grown into bright apples. Another day in the fields awaits. 🙂
Hot off the editing table. What a beautiful duo! I loved having the feisty Annabelle and her lovely momma in the studio to capture some special moments before little brother arrives. Sweet, elegant and a perfect moment in time.
There must be something in the air. The gorgeous pregnant mommas are all dropping by for beautiful maternity sessions! The one I share today took an especially soulful approach. Drawing inspiration from antique photomatons that let you take four different pictures, just enough to capture the shapes that made up a whole. So we sought to capture some unconventional angles on the blooming relationship between a mother and her soon-to-be little one.
On the topic of mommas soon to be, it is just 18 days until my impending due date! Very excited, a little nervous, to welcome my little boy into the family. Wish us luck!
This much fun at a photo shoot should be illegal. It all started when Kasia’s best friend Amelia contacted me for a last minute maternity session to be done while she was visiting Brussels. Luckily things fell into place and we were able to schedule that week.
So what happens when a Polish beauty meets her Italian prince? A whole lot of fun, that’s what. Baby blanket togas and lots of strawberries later, we had our set. I present those most fit for public consumption. 🙂