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By admin | July 5 2007
Don’t miss out on the wealth of attractions and adventures in Brussels
Undoubtedly Brussels’s most famous landmark, often dubbed the most beautiful square in Europe, the Grand Place is the city’s proud cultural and historical heart.
White spirals rocket skyward out of the gothic town hall that shadows baroque and Louis XIV guildhalls. This astonishing combination of architectural styles has not only earned the Grand Place status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also provides the perfect backdrop to some of Brussels’s most extravagant events. Come here in August, for example, and you find the whole square covered in flowers during the Tapis De Fleurs.
Chocolate in Belgium, like wine in France and pasta in Italy, is one of those cultural stereotypes that is taken very seriously.
Brussels is packed with chocolatiers, but there is one, above all, that will change your outlook on chocolate forever: Pierre Marcolini. Every year he travels the world in a tireless search for the finest cocoa beans and then blends them to create over a hundred varieties of chocolate, some that are as delicate as vintage wines. Visit his flagship store of the same name on Place du Grand Sablon and sample pralines made with Earl Grey tea or “summer chocolates” blended with passion fruit, mango and yuzu.
With a reputation for chocolate, beer, chips and waffles, it should not come as a surprise that Belgians value their food very highly.
However, a recent gastronomic revival has seen Brussels accumulate enough Michelin stars to rival Paris or London. Since becoming the political heart of Europe, Brussels has not only adopted culinary skills from its neighbors, but also renewed Belgium’s own rich rural tradition; ensuring national delicacies are not left off the menu. Restaurants everywhere are revamping stereotypical dishes, cleaning markets out of fresh produce and inventing award-winning menus on a daily basis. Restaurateurs have become national heroes and foodies from all over Europe are beginning to notice their successes, so check our “Where to Dine” section to beat them to it and reserve a table at some of Brussels’s finest eateries.