Perhaps one of the lesser-known facts about Brussels is that it is the birthplace of film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn. Upon discovering this exciting bit of trivia I dug a little deeper and found that the star’s first home is located in the neighbourhood of Ixelles, just a few minutes from the city centre and not far from the Zoom Hotel, where we’d be staying for our weekend staycation. Armed with a map of Brussels, I made my way to Rue Keyenveld in search of the birthplace of Audrey.
Despite its claim to fame, Rue Keyenveld is surprisingly very unassuming and looks just like any other residential street in Brussels, if not a little run-down. Modest townhouses in varying shades of grey and cream line the street, with the odd bit of graffiti adding a colourful contrast.
As we made our way down Rue Keyenveld we passed L’Epicerie, a café-restaurant housed in a grocery store that is known within the Brussels foodie scene as one of the better-kept secrets of the city. We were disappointed to find it closed on this particular day, but on the plus side it meant that we were able to admire the artwork adorning the shutters of the L’Epicerie shopfront.
A few blocks on, a wood-panelled garage way caught our attention as a picture-worthy spot. Our destination turned out to be right across the street: no. 48 Rue Keyenveld.
At number 48 stands the birthplace and first home of Audrey Hepburn, marked by a small gold plaque that reads “Here was born on 4 May 1929 the actress Audrey Hepburn”. The lack of fanfare makes for an understated yet graceful site – just like the star herself.