Skip to main content
A fascinating seaside resort seen through the eyes of writers and painters

A Room in Ostend

Koen Peeters

Ostend, which grew from a fishing village and a garrison town into a fashionable petit Bruxelles, has inspired and attracted many artists over the years. Painters James Ensor and Léon Spilliaert and authors such as Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth and Hugo Claus spent a long time in Ostend and left their mark on the city.

Writer Koen Peeters and painter Koen Broucke, both fascinated by Ostend, wander through the streets in search of the town’s soul. ‘A Room in Ostend’ is a moving and sometimes ironic account of their peregrinations. The many residents they speak to pass before our eyes in a procession worthy of Ensor. In this tender novel of flânerie Peeters tells tales of human existence and the inevitability of ageing and making way for new generations.

The ingenuity with which this book was put together is astonishing ****
De Morgen

'A Room in Ostend’ is a book about friendship, loss, self-reflection, adventures big and small and the magic that encounters can bring. The incisive observations are recounted in evocative, literary language. The book walks a fine line between fiction and essay and also contains a few paintings that Broucke made in Ostend. Peeters’ sublime style, curiosity and open mind make this book a beautiful meditation on the things that pass and have passed into history.

A wealth of beautifully composed stories