Chocolatier Tour in Brussels

23 May

We recently did a little weekend trip through Belgium and Holland and whilst I would normally cram our weekend itinerary in one post, I thought I would split it in two. Part one will focus entirely on the first half day of our four day weekend during which we ran frantically in and out of Chocolatier’s in Brussels, sampling and purchasing a lot of chocolatey goodness.

I always thought that Belgian chocolates were Swiss chocolates rivals but it wasn’t until we visited these Chocolatiers that I realised there’s no competition. Belgian chocolate = pralines. Swiss chocolate = block chocolate. Therefore they both win in their respective categories and I don’t have to choose a winner ­čÖé The End. Ok seriously though, I would actually choose a good block of Swiss chocolate over pralines and I promise I’m not biased!

Anyway, if you’re visiting Brussels and want to check out some Chocolatiers, then here’s my top picks…

Galeries Royales St Hubert

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a shopping arcade – obvious from the photos below – and is home to luxury boutiques, clockmakers and chocolate shops. Here you will find five of Belgium’s master chocolatiers including Mary, Neuhaus, Godiva, Corn├ę Port Royal and La Belgique Gourmande all offering their own unique pralines. It’s a one stop shop if you’re short on time.

Mary

Belgian master chocolatier since 1919. I loved this shop purely for the looks – the store, the packaging, all so lovely. Their range of pralines and pricing is reasonable. We did purchase a few different pralines but can’t for the life of me remember what we chose or whether we liked them compared to others so you’re just going to have to try them for yourself. Or just stop buy to admire the pretty packages.

Pierre Marcolini

If you visit this store, be sure to try the “Grand Cru” chocolates; a dark chocolate ganache made with cocoa from Venezuela, Java and Madagascar. Elegant black boxes will ensure that your purchases can be safely transported home unless you eat them all before you arrive at your final destination! Pierre Marcolini introduces a new collection each season and the craftmanship is superb, we didn’t see anything like it in any of the other chocolatiers. Eggs and bunnies were in season when we visited since we were there around Easter.

Le Comptoir de Mathilde

Ok so it’s not quite a Belgian master chocolatier and it is actually French, but this little shop is well worth the visit. It has chocolate, of course, in many varying forms (but not the praline sort) as well as many other yummy things to tempt you. If you emerge from here in under half an hour and without sampling everything and without purchasing even the smallest piece of chocolate, I will be very impressed and will likely never be your friend!

Elisabeth

We didn’t stop to buy anything from Elisabeth but I was drawn to it for two reasons; it shares its name with my mother and it had giant meringues.

Well that’s about as much chocolate as I can handle for one day. I know that there are plenty more things to see and do in Brussels but with only a few hours to kill in this city, I think we spent it wisely!

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