Brussels, Queen of taste
The capital of Belgium has over 1,500 restaurants (Belgium's Gourmet Cuisine and Gastronomy), each of which is living proof that the city has the best food in Europe: exquisite mussels, meat and fish, waffles and, of course, the best beer and chocolate () in the world!
Day 1: Saturday
A treat for your taste-buds at the Sablon!
Drop off your bags at your hotel and then head straight for the first gastronomic treats of the weekend in the district around the (Place du Grand Sablon (BRUXELLES)). There are plenty of treats there for your other senses as well as your taste-buds!
Place du Grand Sablon (BRUXELLES), the chocolatiers' kingdom
Popular with the city’s well-heeled residents and proud of its aristocratic past, it’s no surprise that you can find some of the best chocolatiers in Belgium and Europe in the square today, including Neuhaus, Wittamer, Pierre Marcolini, and Godiva. Together with a wide range of cafés and restaurants, your taste-buds will be spoiled. To recover, you can enjoy browsing in the many unusual shops and galleries dedicated to antiques, jewellery, interior design and collectables (Weekly Sablon Antiques Market (BRUXELLES)) … or enjoy the views of the historic city centre, including the splendid steeple of Brussels Town Hall (BRUXELLES), which dominates the superb The Grand-Place in Brussels (BRUXELLES).
Brewers in the Grand'Place!
Cocteau called it “the most beautiful theatre in the world”. At number 10 The Grand-Place in Brussels (BRUXELLES) you will find the Museum of Belgian Brewers (BRUXELLES), with its displays of brewing machinery from the eighteenth century to the present day’s high technology. A sample glass or two in the bar will reveal why the city’s inhabitants love their beer!
A sparkling and tasty woodcock
Continuing on a beery theme by visiting a Brussels institution, LA BECASSE (BRUXELLES) (“The Woodcock”)! They serve Faro and Gueuze, two of the unusual traditional beers made in Brussels. Order some Belgian cheese to help them down!
Tasty vaudeville in the gallery
If, by now your stomach’s rumbling, head for the ROYAL SAINT-HUBERT GALLERIES (BRUXELLES) and the “Café du Vaudeville”, one of the most atmospheric places in the city. Although the inside is elegantly decorated, we suggest a table on the terrace, from where you can admire the delights and class of the galleries. The menu includes the best Belgian specialities: shrimp croquettes, carbonnade of beef or sausages with stoemp. Don’t forget that other local speciality, waffles, for dessert. The galleries were built in 1846 in a style inspired by the Italian Renaissance and under their splendid glass roofs you will find many famous fashion boutiques and arty shops. Most people cannot resist a visit to Neuhaus’ chocolate shop, with its tempting displays. It was on this very spot that Jean Neuhaus first sold his famous pralines in 1912.
Cocoa and chocolate on the Grand'Place
If you like cocoa and chocolate you’re in luck, because Brussels has a museum devoted to them! Located on the Grand’Place, the Chocolate and Cocoa Museum (BRUXELLES) ) is the place to go to find out more about these delights, including their Aztec origins and their arrival in Europe, as well as a chance to make your own pralines and, of course, to taste them!
The new art of beer
Let’s return to beer with a visit to one of the most iconic cafés in Brussels: A La Mort Subite (BRUXELLES). Its unique ambiance and Art Nouveau decor () will take you back 100 years… and will inspire you to try some new brands of Belgian beer. Did you know that Jacques Brel used to come here for a drink a lot when he lived in Brussels?
Saint Catherine, patron saint of innovative restaurants
A thirteenth-century church which looks delightfully run-down and whose stone facades have become blackened, and which has the last open-air urinal in the city on one of its walls, (SAINTE-CATHERINE 'S CHURCH (BRUXELLES)), now finds itself surrounded by restaurants whose chefs have a reputation for inventive new dishes, all around the former SAINTE-CATHERINE SQUARE - FISH MARKET (BRUXELLES) ! Among the restaurants is “Le Fourneau” with its huge bar-counter running all around the room, where diners sit and watch their meals being prepared in the kitchen in the centre of the room. Wherever you eat, you will be delighted by the culinary creations of our many chefs!
Day 2: Sunday
For your second and last day in Brussels we have put together a programme of gastronomic delights against the ever-present background of Belgian beer and traditional Brussels cuisine!
Cantillon, an old-fashioned brewery
A visit to the Cantillon brewery is like travelling back in time to learn about the history of brewing in Brussels, because this is the only brewery in the city to have retained its nineteenth-century machinery and brewing process, which produces one of the most strongly-flavoured multiple-fermentation beers, which you get to sample at the end of the visit!
Châtelain and St. Boniface on the menu
To say farewell to the capital of Belgium, you will swing between excellence...and excellence! First stop is the St Boniface district that you can travel to by metro. Its restaurants are popular among Brussels gastronomes and its Modernist and Art Nouveau buildings blend together brilliantly. For lunch, we suggest you head to “La Quincaillerie” near the Place du Châtelain, a restaurant serving succulent fish and meat in the unusual setting of an old-fashioned ironmonger’s shop!
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (BRUXELLES)
Welcome to one of the most luxurious and famous hotels in Brussels! Located a stone’s throw from the Grand’Place, you will be enchanted! Especially by the hotel’s “Sea Grill” restaurant, which has been awarded two stars by the prestigious Michelin guide, and where you can enjoy the best of Belgian fish and seafood.
Silken Berlaymont Brussels (BRUXELLES)
Located at the heart of the European district, the hotel’s 214 guest rooms all have high-speed WiFi internet access, mini-bars and 24-hour room service.