The tastiest event of the year is coming up and I have tickets to the opening night the 1/3 (it's open for the public the 2-3rd of March). Salon du Chocolat, the event that all chocolate lovers in Brussels can't miss. It will be the third year I am going, and this time I am bringing Cynthia with me, my Dutch journalist friend. It will be lots of fun! But what I am looking forward to the most isn't really the sample testing (if you go for it, make sure to only take tiny, tiny pieces, because you get filled up fast when the cocoa percentage is so high!). For me it's the fashion show that is the exciting part, where models show off outfits inspired and partly even made of chocolate.
For those of you who can't be there for the event, there are a lot of other opportunities in Brussels to taste some delicious chocolate and see how they are made. Of course, it's after all the capital of chocolate.
Here is a list of my favourites:
- The best hot chocolate is served at Frederic Blondeel, a chocolate café at Place Saint Catherine.(Quai aux Briques 24 /B-1000 Brussels). It comes with a glass of water and two pralines. After you've tried his cup of chocolate, you never want to drink anything of less quality. Mike & Becky is another delicious chocolate café, however it’s in Uccle, so a bit off for me.
- For historical background, visit Choco-Story, the Museum of cocoa and chocolate. It's having an exhibition section, and in the end a chocolate-maker shows how the pralines are made. Best part: to taste one of course.
- Praline shops in Brussels are expensive. At least if you want quality. It's like buying gold, haha. My favourite praline shops are Pierre Marcolini (the "haute couture" of chocolate brands, but they sell very fine chocolate and the small pralines are so intense that you only need a piece to get satisfied. However I never buy anything here unless it's a really special gift for someone because it would feel weird to eat up so much money!). A more reasonably priced chocolatier is Neuhaus. (Here is where I buy most of my gift boxes (and sometimes even for myself! ). I love to stand by the counter and pick and choose at their beautiful flagship shop Galerie de la Reine. Neuhaus also have an outlet just outside of Brussels. I haven't been there, but I've heard that they have good prices and lots of pralines to taste for free!
- Finally, there are some workshops where you can make your own chocolate. Either in groups or individually. I have never done it (but would love to try) but the one I have heard good things about is Zaabär.