Brussels, May 23 2008 The Sofitel Brussels „Le Louise‟ is today officially inaugurating its Crystal Lounge. The result of a meeting between Antoine Pinto and Serge Eymery, this new prestige location, nestling in the heart of the Louise district in Brussels, offers a new style of bar-restaurant entirely dedicated to the well-being of its guests. In a décor born of the genius of Antoine Pinto and his unique creations, the Crystal Lounge welcomes its guests into a resolutely modern setting, transforming their break, their lunch or their dinner into a unique moment. The cuisine, inspired by chef Serge Eymery, puts the accent on excellence, spontaneity and conviviality. It is an invitation to a journey through tastes, colours and textures, harking back to the classic dishes of French cuisine, to Belgian specialities, and adding a touch of the South of France… The service, the musical atmosphere and the lighting… everything has been carefully thought out to offer a unique experience depending on the time of day: if the client chooses a table at midday, he will discover a totally different Crystal Lounge from the one he would find sitting at the bar in the evening, or in a salon in the middle of the afternoon. The Crystal Lounge can accommodate up to 85 guests. The restaurant is open every day from 12.00 midday to 2.30 pm, and from 7.00 pm to 10.30 pm. The bar is open every day from 10.00 am to 1.00 am, with the possibility of eating at any time.


Crystal Lounge Avenue de le Toison d’Or 40 1050 Brussels Information and reservations : 02.549 61 44 Car parking service

Crystal Lounge, the design Right from the entrance, celebrated designer Antoine Pinto wanted to set he tone: light and transparency! A majestic „bag of pearls‟, a crystal chandelier measuring 3.50 metres by 2 metres, captures the eye th and illuminates the entrance with a thousand amethyst reflections. This piece, invented in the 18 century and exclusively recreated for the Crystal Lounge, is famous for the innumerable number of crystals which make it up. Its colour, a unique mixture of amethyst and blue created by Antoine Pinto, inspires at once sensuality, prestige and extravagance. The same impression is given by the majestic lace wall in the entrance. With a surface area of more than 130 m², this unprecedented creation, a veritable work of art in relief within the „corian‟, is an enlarged and stylised reproduction of the celebrated Brussels lace of mediaeval times. Illuminated from the inside, the lace reflects the amethyst colours of the chandelier, creating a magnificent light show. In the restaurant, the light, an essential element within this Antoine Pinto creation, is also at the centre of the architectural concept. Sometimes filtered, sometimes coloured, it plays on transparency and reflections, translucence and the glittering of the materials. In the centre of the room, a 12 meter long, back-lit bar in pure alabaster provides an impressive well of light. The defining colour of this area is this mix of amethyst created by Antoine Pinto, a tone reputed to inspire creativity. And it was certainly present when the designer was conceiving this space, because it is decorated in a totally new concept. Furniture made from worked „wengé‟ wood, tables with lamps at their centre, immense leather armchairs… A prestigious décor which is the perfect introduction to your experience in the Crystal Lounge.

Crystal Lounge, the gastronomy Just like the delightful ringing of two pieces of crystal when they come together, the architectural genius of Antoine Pinto and the inspired Serge Eymery cuisine form a marvellous duo, creating an exceptional ensemble. Serge Eymery has been digging into his travel notes in order to create a cuisine which is a pleasure for all the senses. He has travelled the world and discovered some wonderful tastes; he has gone back to the very roots of local cuisine, discovering methods of preparation and cooking, tasting the purity of natural products. A voyage which inspired him towards a cuisine which is light and gourmet, feminine and inventive. Drawing from the best in southern cooking and recipes, Serge Eymery also revisits the great classics of Belgian and French gastronomy, with a touch of originality which first astonishes and then delights. His menu aims to be inventive and original in its simplicity. Every day, a menu is on offer which has been created according to market availability, and without forgetting the exceptional Belgian specialities.

To arouse your senses, Serge Eymery suggests, for example: To start, a salad of seafood ‘trompe l’oeil’ with leek shoots. To follow, a fine tart of red mullet with a southern compote and piquillo sauce. And to finish, a minestrone of fresh fruits and whipped milk with violets. Without forgetting an original version of endives and ham gratin. To accompany these taste sensations, the Crystal Lounge proposes a wine list made up of new discoveries, of classics and of prestige vineyards. For wine lovers, the Crystal Lounge has created an original wine-tasting formula: 3 wines from the same grape variety, to be discovered in 3 different wine types. This unusual voyage is also on offer for champagne, cocktails and the great spirits such as cognac. For many reasons, the Crystal Lounge is set to become one of the best bars in Brussels. Its unique décor is an invitation to the guest to come in, its exceptional menu will draw his total attention, and the service and ambiance do all the rest to make this THE place to meet. Thanks to its 12 metre length overhung by 32 alcoves, the bar of the Crystal Lounge is the ideal setting in which to display the most precious bottles. Such as the 32 carafes which Val Saint-Lambert has recreated exclusively for the Crystal Lounge. Spice and spirits blend together for the pleasure of the taste buds. Celebrated champagnes, prestigious spirits, beers from the best breweries, innovative cocktails and marvellous bites, the two waiters at the head of this magnificent spot harbour treasures to delight their guests. As an appetising aperitif, they have selected the Crystal Dream, an exceptional vodka sprinkled with golden spangles, to be shared by two along with the „edible cocktails’, creations in mousse and jelly of the best cocktails. And then there are the original mixtures which have earned the two waiters some prestigious prizes: Perfect Louise, (vodka, cream of banana, nectar of mango, passion fruit and lemon st juice, National 1 prize 2006 Belgium), SueÑo Azul (Martini bianco, cream of banana, green Manzana, nd blue Curaçao and lemon juice, 2 National prize, 2007 Belgium). Where ambiance is concerned, the Crystal Lounge takes its inspiration from the great DJ‟s of the moment to create a musical décor in perfect harmony with the unique character of this place and the different times of the day. Benjamin Bialek (most notably the creator of the Chine and Scabal compilations) helped with the choice of music in collaboration with the „Agence du Son’ (the musical arm of Sofitel Luxury Hotels). French artiste Néo created a tailor made Crystal Lounge compilation, a limited edition. Thanks to its long bar, its two salons with a capacity of 8 to 25 persons, its terrace and its garden – amongst the biggest in Brussels – the Crystal Lounge is a totally modulable area which can be adapted at any time to the wishes of the client. Then there is the smoking room with a view over the garden, where those who smoke can enjoy the ambiance of the bar and all its comfort without upsetting the non-smokers. Crystal Lounge, afternoon tea like nowhere else The Crystal Lounge has not forgotten the afternoon stroll: for those who love coffee, afternoon tea and its accompaniments, the chef has discovered some exceptional products.

The coffee menu offers a selection of expresso‟s from the mildest to the bitterest, Blue Mountain direct from Jamaica and other coffees produced via equitable trade. Where tea is concerned, the Crystal Lounge puts the accent on excellence and rarity, with over 24 types of tea and infusions directly imported from China and India through equitable trade. Previously unseen mixtures with evocative names: Nurelia Orange Pekoe (black tea), Jin Shan Shi Yu (green tea), Envol des Fleurs (aromatic white and green tea), Tender is the Night (infusion)… Not to forget the trolley with its fine pastries which, simply to look at it, is a real masterpiece… The men behind the Crystal Lounge Antoine Pinto, designer Interior architect, designer, painter and sculptor, Antoine Pinto also delights gourmets with his cooking. Since 1980, he has opened around 50 very well known establishments including restaurants, brasseries, bars, cafés, discotheques, along with shops and private houses. With the famous Belga Queen, for which he designed the interior concept as well as the gastronomy, he has proved that his talent has more than one string to its bow. For the Crysstal Lounge, he has chosen to adopt a theatrical tone, by playing with space, colour and light, and above all as an exceptional means of bringing out the best in the décor, where every room is unique. Serge Eymery, chef Originating from the Drôme in France, Serge Eymery grew up on a farm, thus discovering from a very young age the tastes of products issuing from nature, or from hunting and fishing. Following his studies in food products, he turned towards the restaurant sector and obtained a level IV diploma at the „Infath‟ training centre in Marseille. Serge Eymery was then taken on by the Sofitel Thalassa in Ajaccio, Corsica. He then travelled throughout France and the Caribbean islands, experiencing every aspect of the restaurant business, from gastronomy to diet, not forgetting the commercial side and cuisines from around the world. Passionate about travelling and discovering, Serge Eymery quite naturally imagined a restaurant concept for the Crystal Lounge which would bear the stamp of originality, attempting to astonish guests through the presentation on the plate before delighting them with a multitude of tastes. Olivier Pichon, Barman Having attended the hotel school at Dinard in France, Olivier Pichon has been exercising his talents as a barman in the most prestigious bars in Belgium since 2001. An active member of the Union of Barmen of Belgium, he has often been called onto the podium at major national and international st competitions including the national „Sherry‟ competition (1 place in 2006), the Giffard and Pernod st competition in France (1 place)… For the Crystal lounge he has reinvented „edible cocktails‟, a Parisian concept not previously seen in Brussels: recipes created with the same ingredients as the best known cocktails but presented in mousse or a jelly, and to be eaten with a spoon. Benjamin Bialek, „sound designer‟ Graduating from the „National Higher Institute for the Entertainment Arts‟ in Brussels, Benjamin Bialek began his career in 1996 as a cinematographic photo director. Six years later, he created „1 to 3’, the

first company in Belgium specialising in sound illustration and the creation of compilations for brands. Bellerose, Chine and Scabal are just some of the great names which have confided their sound to him. In the words of Benjamin Bialek, “Sound illustration enables a universe to become complete. Just like light or perfume, music contributes to creating an ambiance, to personalise a setting and to strengthen the identity of a place”. **** Sofitel reinvents the French feeling for elegance across the world. Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand to be present on five continents and in over 50 countries. Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts which respond to the expectations of the differing luxury hotel clients of today, who are looking for aesthetics, quality and excellence. Whether this is in the heart of a large metropolis such as Paris, New York or Bangkok, or nestling in the landscape of Polynesia or Brazil, each Sofitel provides a genuine experience of the art of living as the French define it. Discover Sofitel on

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