If you were to ask an average European what they associate with Belgium I am sure most of them would mention chocolate.
Chocolate, beer, mussels and fries… Out of all Belgian specialties chocolate is my favourite. I have to admit that living in Brussels spoils me (and my figure!) quite a lot in this regard. I even read once that Brussels itself is like a box of chocolates – it is filled with delicious sweets and full of attractions, which just like chocolates, can be enjoyed endlessly.
Place du Grand Sablon, one of Brussels most impressive squares, is one of those attractions I enjoy most here. The square is surrounded by antique shops, restaurants and cafes and is a perfect place for a calm Sunday afternoon. But what brings me to Sablon are all the chocolatiers located there – Godiva, Leonidas, Neuhaus, Pierre Marcolini, you name it and it is there.
My personal favourite is Patrick Roger, a French chocolate maker, whose shops serve also as a display area for his giant creatures. This season he amuses the crowds of this this chic part of Brussels with two hippos looking at each other with their huge mouths wide open. To be seen! Patrick’s chocolates taste and look incredible, the flavour combinations are classic, like crispy hazelnuts or pistachio paste but the final effect always surprises me with its delicacy and subtleties.
Those who feel like having something more than chocolate should try Pierre Marcolini’s pâtisserie. Perfect combination of ingredients and flavours, like edible pieces of art, not a crumble left… Do I have to say anything more?
And if you need a glass of wine after all these sweeties check my favourite wine bar in Brussels: Les caves de la Nonciature. Hidden in the cellars in the corner of Sablon but definitely worth the efforts to find it! You will want to get lost there for the rest of your day…
Patrick Roger Place du Grand Sablon 43 , 1000 Brussels Pierre Marcolini – Rue des Minimes, 1 Place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Brussels (shop) – Place do Grand Sablon 39, 1000 Brussels (La Manufacture) Les Caves de la Nonciature Rue des Sablons 7, 1000 Brussels