This is a very, very long overdue post on Brussels. I meant to blog about this ages ago, but never got around to sorting through the many photos (probably too many) I took.
Brussels is a great place for a quick weekend getaway, especially if you live around London. The Eurostar is not only convenient, but also cheap! They do £49 return tickets, which is brilliant. And as an added plus, St Pancras International is only 10 minutes away. 🙂
We spent a night in Brugge before heading back to Brussels, and it was quite a trek from the train station to our hotel! We mistakenly thought it was only a ten minute walk… but it took about half an hour. Uphill. :S We were completely exhausted when we got to the hotel (Sofitel Louise), but things were beginning to look good as the hotel lobby was small, but beautiful. I never thought purple would work on sofas…
There was also a nice outdoor garden, which also doubled as the hotel bar (I believe).
And the room. And the wonderfully comfortable bed. I reallyreallyreally wanted to transport that bed back to London. 😛 It was a great stay at Sofitel Louise, and I would happily stay there again. (In case you’re wondering, a standard room only costs about £100, which is very reasonable for a five starred hotel.)
We then went to Place du Grand Sablon, where I headed straight for Pierre Marcolini, which I’ve blogged about previously. The next stop after that was Grand’Place. It is similar to the Grote Market in Brugge, minus the cobblestone roads and horses.
A very cool dog in Grand’Place. Don’t you just love his sunglasses? 😛
Manneken Pis is only a short walk from Grand’Place. It’s a bronze statue/fountain of a young boy having a wee. There are many legends surrounding this famous attraction, which you can read about here. I also read that the boy is often dressed in various costumes, and I was quite dissapointed that he was clothes-less when I was there. It would have been so cute!
Many chocolate shops produce colourful Manneken Pis chocolates, which I found amusing. I toyed around with the idea of getting some for my colleagues, but later decided against bringing potentially controversial chocolates to the ward.
And what would Brussels be without the chocolate?
Chocolate drinks from Godiva, both hot and cold. I thought the hot one was great as it wasn’t too sweet, and was very rich. Still not as good as the hot chocolate in Venice though, in my opinion.
Chocolates from Pierre Marcolini and Valrhona. We felt that the ones from Pierre Marcolini were better though, both in terms of flavour and texture.
Chocolate chip bread from Paul. This was actually really good, and the bittersweet chocolate chips provided a nice contrast in texture to the warm bread. Something I hope to recreate in the future! 🙂
We stuffed ourselves silly with food (and chocolates) whilst in Brussels, but there were a few places that stood out – Pierre Marcolini, Le Pain Quotidien and Les Brassins. Which is why I chose to blog about these three places seperately, as I felt they deserved a post of their own.
Brussels also has many parks, most of which we didn’t have time to visit. The one we did go to was very small, but was nice, peaceful and a great place to relax. In fact, we spent an hour or so there, just enjoying the beautiful view.
I can’t remember the name of the park, but it’s the one directly opposite this building…
All in all, Brussels is a great place to visit. I’ve been there twice, and I’m pretty sure that there will be a third. After all, I still need to try Pierre Marcolini’s other creations! 😀