Last Saturday was our one day in Brussels. Of course, no one can go to Brussels without eating chocolate, but we ended up pretty much spending the whole day eating chocolate. We went on a chocolate tour where we got to visit 5 chocolate shops and taste samples, and we also got to make some easy chocolates to take home. As if we didn’t get enough chocolate, we visited a few more shops in the afternoon by ourselves. My top three favorites ended up being:
- Frederic Blondeel
- Laurent Gerbaud
But… I liked Parisian chocolate better than Belgian chocolate so the winners from Paris, l’Etoile d’Or and Puyricard, are still the best for me. From Frederic Blondeel one of the chocolates I really liked was the rose caramel. Sometimes rose can be soapy, but this one was just fruity. You should try it if you get to stop by this shop some time.
We also spent some time at an antiques market where there were stalls full of antique books, buttons, and maps or brooches, thimbles, and cameos. There was one stall just selling antique prints and paintings. There was one really beautiful piece which was a draft for a real painting. It was in the Art Neauou style and it was all gridded out with artist’s notes and swatches on the edges of the paper, and the painting faded out around the edges in the unfinished places.
This antiques market different from the Feira da Ladra in Lisbon because all of the antiques seemed more authentic- there were no stands with mismatched shoes next to a carved mirror, or buckets of little plastic toys and boxes of chandelier crystals. In a way the Fiera da Ladra was cooler because all of the stuff was just piled up on tables in a crazy jumble, which made it feel like I Spy, but in the antiques market the products were arranged a little more, and some of the things were in cases.
We did not miss out on Belgian waffles either, though I’m sure they weren’t the best in the city (another food quest!!). I wish David Lebovitz wrote more about Belgium, but he says he just kept going back to Paris on the train when he was living there. Oh well.
We’re in Copenhagen now and in a few hours we’re going to be in a tiny fishing village in Lithuania. I’ll tell you all about it soon!