Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well, me, actually. You might not think of it to look at my somewhat obvious belly, but I’m not a huge chocolate lover. The occasional bit of Cadbury Snack is all I require to keep my chocolate levels up.
But I know that I’m in the minority on this, and there’s an abiding fascination with the decadent chocolates of Europe. If there’s one country whose name is synonymous with chocolate – it’s those talented Belgian folk.
So, while I work hard on improving my guide to Australian slang and documenting the mammoth US trip I just finished, here’s Jo with a piece on getting up close and personal with the chocolate making process in Bruges, Belgium.
Bruges for Chocolate Lovers
There’s no better way to gorge on your favourite treat than by visiting Europe’s chocolate hub, Bruges in Belgium. Not only are there 40 chocolatiers sprinkled throughout this small city, it’s also chock-a-block with activities dedicated to chocolate, so there’s no excuse not to spoil yourself. We’ve rounded up a list of the top must-see destinations for sweet-toothed travelers to Bruges.
Based in Katelijnestraat in the heart of the city centre, Sukerbuyc, or ‘Sugarbelly’, is a family-owned business that is famous throughout Bruges for its handmade sweets. The shop also has a café on site, which serves a piece of chocolate with every warm drink. Rumour has it the secret behind its success is down to a special family recipe that’s been handed down for generations. Whatever the ingredient is, it’s definitely working as today the shop is one of the most celebrated artisan chocolatiers in town for locals and visitors alike.
You can learn about the history of the cocoa bean at Bruge’s own chocolate museum, Choco-Story. Located in an old wine tavern dating back to the 15th century, the museum doesn’t just tell you the historical and geographical facts about chocolate, but you’ll also learn the health benefits too while mingling with some of the world’s most coveted chocolate experts. There’s also a two-hour workshop available where visitors can make their own pralines while sipping on a complementary glass of wine, as well as a child-friendly ones as well. Entry costs 7 Euros for adults and 4 for children with workshops ranging between 10 and 40 Euros including entry to the museum.
The Chocolate Line
Established in 1992, The Chocolate Line is famous for its outlandish contributions to the confectionery world. With bizarre flavours like garlic confit in olive oil with Mexican coffee, chilli con carne and even guacamole, there’s never a dull moment (or flavour) in this shop, as chef Dominique Persoone’s cutting edge chocolate often borders on art. Situated in the heart of Bruge’s bustling Simon Stevin Square, people come from miles to view and sample the avant-garde creations, so be sure to stop by for some true eye candy.
This guest poster clearly thinks Belgium is where it’s at when it comes to chocolate, but what say you? Where’s your favourite place to indulge your sweet tooth?
Or if you’ve been to Bruges, has she made any glaring omissions in listing her chocolate destinations?