I was more than delighted to make Brussels the first destination of my City Break. The BF was there a little earlier than me which was a good thing because he had found all the lovely places already and all I had to do was follow his lead. This was my second time in Brussels so it was not completely new to me , however, the last time I was here was about 14 years ago. It's fair to say things have massively changed since then so I took this particular trip as a brand new experience. I think I should put out my little disclaimer here- I have a whole lot of pictures but I am aware you guys don't mind. I also have an insane amount of chocolate pictures so if you are already hungry, these chocolate pictures may make your mouth water a little...
I don't know about you but I am always excited (and a little apprehensive) when I am in a new country especially one where English is not the official language. It makes me feel like I am in a proper foreign country and I can do all the touristy things I want to do. I do know a little French so it was fairly easy for me to get around but I really need to polish up to become more fluent. One thing I liked was how easy it was to get to the hotel from the airport as I just got on a bus which was like 30 minutes and dropped me smack in front of the hotel. I was a little tired from the entire journey from London but never too tired for chocolates. We stayed in a lovely hotel called Aloft Brussels Schuman which was quite close to the city centre. I really liked staying at this hotel and the rooms were so lovely. The staff were also super friendly and ensured we were super comfy throughout our stay.
After I freshened up, we made our way to the City Centre via the Schuman Metro to De Broukere. It was so beautiful as you would expect and it was not as crowded as London City Centres. Of course, we made our way to the Grote Markt (Grand Place) in a true tourist fashion manner. It was such an amazing area with incredible views surrounded by the city tower and beautiful old buildings. We just soaked in the atmosphere and walked round the city centre. There were loads of shops selling Belgian Waffles for only 1 Euro but I was after the chocolates so I had to find my way to the lovely lines of chocolate shops there. Belgium is know for their amazing Belgian Chocolates and I was not going to let that pass me by. We were completely spoilt for choice and I won't lie, we went a lil crazy (no regrets whatsoever I have to add). They all tasted amazingly authentic and delicious. I particularly liked that there were not too sweet or too cocoay (I know that's not a word but y'all get my drift). I was mostly impressed with four chocolate shops- Le Comptoir de Mathilde, Elisabeth, Godiva and Pierre Ledent.
Our first stop was Le Comptoir de Mathilde which is one of the most beautiful chocolate stores I have ever seen. It looks exactly like somewhere you would find in a cartoon or fairy tale. The selection of chocolate was out of this world and I just stood there in awe admiring all the beautiful chocolate creations. I just wanted to buy everything in there but I knew that would be foolhardy even if I could afford to. They stocked actual chocolates and various chocolate creations made in different shapes and sizes incuding chocolate spoons.
After we spent like forever oogling all their delicious chocolates, we settled for the Hot Chocolate which is essentially a chocolate block with a spoon. All you need to do is add hot water and you have a delicious cup of hot chocolate which tastes exactly like what you would get in a proper store. I also picked up the Hazel Nut and Wafer Spread which comes in a lovely jar which I know would serve me well even after the chocolate finishes. I even bought the little jute bags to protect the glass jar while travelling to other cities.
Our next stop was Pierre Ledent which was again incredibly beautiful. It was not as buzzing as Le Comptoir de Mathilde and I knew instantly it was going to be an expensive place.The entire store was so elegant and the packaging was spot on. All my senses had left me at this point because you all know I am a sucker for beautiful packaging. Everything in there was exquisitely packaged with an accompanying price tag but I was past caring. We got a lovely box of macarons which tasted so delicious with such rich flavours I had actually never had before (Caramel Sesame, Yusu, Cafe, Balsamique, Speculoos,Coco etc).
The first shot was taken in store but by the time I got to my next destination (Milan), the macarons were squashed but it did not deter me from taking thesephotos at all. They still looked beautiful even when cracked and we could not wait to devour them once the photoshoot was over. We also got a beautiful box of mixed chocolates containing all the flavours you can ever imagine. The packaging swivels to reveal the second layer of chocolate. I almost did not want to eat them; I just wanted to stare at them all day long!! I think they would definitely make a perfect Valentine's Day Gift!!
We made our way to Elisabeth Chocolatier which I first heard about from Liv's Blog (What Olivia Did) where she has a lovely Brussels Guide and I knew I had to check the store out for myself. Elisabeth stocks such delicious Belgian chocolates, waffles, truffles, biscuits and any other sweetsyou can think of. I also think they were very reasonably priced given the quality of the products in there. We got some waffles which the BF enjoyed alone because I am not really a huge fan per say. We also got these random chocolates from a shop I can't remember the name but it was really beautifully packaged. I love it!!
The last and final chocolate stop was Godiva who allegedly make one of the best chocolates in the world. It was a small shop but filled with such decadent goodies!! Everything was a little pricey (especially after purchasing all the other chocolates )so I decided to purchase only two bars- White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate which cost 9 Euros. It was a little expensive in my opinion but definitely worth it because it was absolutely delicious!!
Now, that we had got our chocolate fix, we had to go and say Hi to Mannekin Pis. I had previously read about Mannekin Pis before my trip so I was really excited to see it. It's a tourist attraction in Brussels and it's a statue of a little boy taking a pee with his willie on show (a little though). I think it's so cute and it's quite popular as you would expect. Apparently, he has many little outfits donated by several rulers and heads of state who make him one whenever they visit. I tried to get a few decent shots but it was quite difficult so pardon the unclear image. Soon enough, it was time to change his outfits and all the tourists cheered on as a guy (probably someone who oversees the statue) took off his clothes. I realise that sounds so pervy but l promise it was just hilarious and cute. I had to get some Mannekin Pis souvenirs to take home with me. I now have a little collection of these souvenirs of cities/countries I have been to.
Finally, we decided to have dinner on the other side of the city centre after such a long day. I just had to have something savoury and spicy so we opted for a Thai Restaurant which the BF had gone to earlier. I think Thai food has to be my favourite international meal apart from Nigerian food which is my home countryso I don't thin it counts as international per say.