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A Chocoholic’s Paradise: Brussels

IsBlogs - Brussels - Sweet temptations

Brussels has become a trendy destination for a weekend break offering a whole lot more than chocolates and beer.  Home to the European Parliament, it is truly a cosmopolitan city, overflowing with history, museums, bars, restaurants and lovely little streets perfect for strolling…..

 

The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels, a UNESCO World heritage site, dating back to the 13th Century; the square is surrounded by opulent buildings including the Town Hall and the Museum of the City of Brussels.  The Grand Place is always teeming with locals and tourists of all nationalities and is an equally enchanting place to visit after dark.

A warm welcome awaits at the Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo situated right in the very centre of Brussels.  An ideal  location at the heart of the city with everything you could want on your doorstep. Excellent service and comfortable rooms make this the perfect base for a weekend break.

The best chocolate in the world?  Those famous Belgian chocolates can be found on every street corner, who can resist and not indulge in some exquisite hand-made chocolates…..

A must visit has to be the Galerie de la Reine, a period arcade with a selection of unusual, specialist shops. It also houses one of the famous Corne Port-Royal chocolatier shops, selling exquisite handmade chocolates from recipes handed down from its founder, Maurice Corne’, who started the whole thing off in 1932 as a young patissier in Brussels.

Stop for brunch in the Arcade at Le PainQuotidien; thoroughly recommended; fresh pastries, home-made bread and organic eggs with fresh coffee are a delight before browsing the arcade shops.  All this just a short walk from the hotel.

Pastries to die for…… the perfection of these eclairs is a delight not only to the eye…..this is not a city to visit if on a diet……

Food, food, glorious food…. The narrow cobbled streets close to the Galarie de la Reine are teeming with quaint restaurants catering to all tastes, all washed down with a glass of the famous, refreshing Belgium beer; with over 180 breweries, beer is taken very seriously in this country, with almost every style of beer having its own particular, uniquely shaped glass.

Best known for chocolate, waffles, “frites” and beer, a must try is the “Moules-frites”, one of Belgium’s national dishes, served at almost every restaurant.

One cannot leave Brussels without visiting the infamous “Manneken Pis” which remains the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the City of Brussels. This bronze statue was at first a fountain which played an important role in the distribution of water to the city in the 15th Century.  The statue gradually became an image of Brussels folklore and is dressed in different outfits at various times in the year. There is a yearly Calendar of dressings and Manneken Pis regularly receives new suits.  His wardrobe boasts 800 costumes which are housed in the Museum of the City of Brussels.


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