Brussels - chocolate factories

Feb 16th, 2005, 09:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 64
Brussels - chocolate factories

This may seem silly, or uncultured to some, but has anyone visited a chocolate factory in Brussels?

Any recommendations on which is worth a visit?

Thanks.
Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 10:55 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 64
Sorry to have to reply to my own message, but can anyone tell me how to move this under the topic for Begium?

...maybe I'll get some replies...or maybe it really is a silly idea...
Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 10:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
I don't think there're really multiple forums -- that's one confusing aspect of Fodors.

There're some Brussels experts here. Maybe they'll be able to reply.

Do you know which factories you may want to visit? Just asking out of curiosity -- know nothing about the topic.
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 10:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 187
I don't know how it is done in Brussels, and frankly I am not much of an industrial chocolate connaisseur, but for finer chocolates, I just ask the chocolatier if I can visit his atelier, which is usually in the back or downstairs.
Phread is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 11:24 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34,818
Check the food channel, program 40.00 a day...Rachael Ray just did a program on Brussels (a repeat) but she mentions some of the better chocolate shops and did a tour of one, and it may be on the web site. She was suggesting the smaller independent shops rather than the bigger companies. So you might check it out.
crefloors is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 11:25 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 64
111op-
I faintly remember last year seeing something on Food Network about a chocolate tour around Brussels. I've searched their site, but a segment from "$40 a day".

A search on google brought me to :
http://www.visitbelgium.com/chocol.htm

...where they mention several different chocolate factories, and arranging tours.

I was just interested in seeing if anyone had insight.
Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 11:32 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 64
Just reazlied I'm not writing in complete thoughts - that's what I get for trying to work and research at the same time.

Meant to say, on Food network found a segment under "$40 a day", but didn't see much useful info for chocolate factories/shops, so I would appreciate info.



Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 11:33 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Interesting. I'm glad I asked -- not because of the chocolate factories, but that your link gives some famous chocolate shops in the various Belgian cities. I'm going to try to research them to see which ones I should put on my list (I'll be there this weekend).

So thanks for the link.

I'm sure someone here can answer your question re the factories.
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 11:59 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 517
I ditto that, thanks for that great link!
rapunzll is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 12:23 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 64
111op-
Since you're there this weekend, please respond when you get back if you visit any. I don't go until March.

Thanks!
Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 12:29 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Hi Fly, I won't be visiting any chocolate factories. My time is actually quite tight, and I'm planning to visit mainly art museums.

But I'll be visiting some chocolate stores -- definitely planning to visit Pierre Marcolini and Wittamer and I'll look through the list to see what else I'd like to visit.

By the way, Cologne has a chocolate factory if you find yourself there. It comes up frequently on a list of tourist attractions (but I've not been either).
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 12:45 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 64
thanks, 111. That's what I meant. I'm just looking for a variety of things to do while there. I always end up doing the planning, while my friends and/or sister expect me to produce results once we arrive.
Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 12:52 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Ha.

Well, I think that you can safely put Pierre Marcolini on your list. I've visited the store in Paris and I like it. Wittamer should be close by. There're three Wittamer stores as far as I can see based on the addresses though I've not been. (These stores are all located in the Sablons). I visited Mary's on a previous trip and I think that that can be skipped. In my view it's not competitive.

I took a quick look at your list and there's a La Maison du Chocolat branch in Brussels also. If you've not had their chocolates and are not planning to visit Paris, definitely give that a try too. It's a great place.

I've never visited Godiva or Neuhaus or Leonidas in Europe -- I'd rather try something not as easily available in the States.

I've also visited Del Rey in Antwerp, which is not bad. It's near the train station. But I think that Marcolini is better.

Don't know the rest of the names on that web page but I'll try to do some research.
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:10 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Fly_Widget:

Here's another list. Or at least a review of some of the stores:

http://starchefs.com/chocolate_lover...ne/index.shtml

Manon in Brussels gets a very special nod from this person: "In my opinion, these are some of the best chocolates I have ever tasted anywhere, at any time."

I've never heard of it. Maybe someone else knows?

111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:12 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Manon has a website:

http://www.chocolatiermanon.com/

"Our chocolates are considered by experts as the best in Belgium and maybe worldwide.

We were awarded the first prize at different Fancy Food Shows: New York in 1982 and 1993, Chicago in 1988, Atlanta in 1989 and Brussels in 1995."

I'm growing more curious (and hungry) by the minute.
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Another link (from Rough Guides):

http://travel.roughguides.com/spotli...potlightID=359

You might be interested in this, Fly_Widget:

Take a tour

As if all this weren’t enough, some chocolatier actually offer tours of their factories where you can see chocolate being set into moulds and decorated by the chocolate artists. Two of the most tantalizing tours are those offered by Le Chocolatier Manon (Rue Tilmont 64; tel 02 425 2632) and Chocolaterie Duval (Rue des Chardons 19; tel 02 242 9466). Gluttony is encouraged.
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:24 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
More reviews:

http://edp.org/chocguid.htm

In particular,

http://edp.org/chocolat.htm#LaMaisonDuChocolatArtisanal

Interesting -- La Maison du Chocolat Artisanal seems to have nothing to do with the Paris chain: "La Maison du Chocolat Artisanal is a superb shop with assortments of fine chocolates from several chocolatiers."

He also wrote, "I was not satisfied at Pierre Marcolini."

A bit surprised by that actually. But granted, when I tried these for a second time I also didn't think of them as highly. I'm going to try them again though. And their shopping bags have great snob appeal.

Should be enough reading for now.

111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:40 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
The Wittamer stores each sell something different (they are right next to each other). One specializes in chocolates and candies, one in pastries (absolutely superb, the best in Brussels IMHO) and little savouries (sandwiches mostly) and there's also a cafe.
I don't know of any chocolate factory tours offhand--I've never done one. There is (or was) a chocolate museum on the Grand'Place which gives you all kinds of info on the history and making of chocolate. It also has one of those yummy chocolate fountains--when you enter, they hand you a butter cookie and you dip it into the fountain. Or anyway, that's what they did when we were there a few years ago.
The Pierre Marcolini store in the plaza by the Conrad used to have a chocolate fountain too, but they discontinued it.
BTilke is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:51 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Do you know Manon, BT? Reading about it has made me very curious.
111op is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 02:14 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 517
You guys are killin' me!

It's a good thing I'll be doing a lot of walking on my trip!

;-)
rapunzll is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:32 AM.