While clearing out the tea shelf (yep, there is an entire shelf in my kitchen dedicated to tea), I came across a lot of forgotten loose leaf teas. Now that I’ve finished off the black tea version of the No.25 samplers I bought in Brussels, I needed something light but warming and when I came across this one, it fitted the bill perfectly. It’s a lovely black tea with Vanilla and I love this one fairly milky on a cold afternoon.
A malty Assam leaf tea refined with Bourbon vanilla pieces – the highest quality vanilla money can buy.
Vanilla lovers, this blend is for you. We recommend you try it with foamed milk and a piece of cane sugar.
One thing that immediately strikes you on wandering around Brussels city centre is the sheer number of chocolate shops. At times it seems as though every other shop is bursting at the seams with all manner of chocolate goods. As my trip was a surprise, I’d not done any research as to where to go, so I relied upon our Rough Guide to point us in the right direction, so here’s a little summary for any of you headed to Brussels in the future.
- Frederic Blondeel– Apparently the place for connoisseurs according to the rough guide.
- Galler– We didn’t stop off in a Galler stall, but apparently it’s the royal warrant holder and chocolatier to the king, however not often seen outside Belgium.
- Godiva– this chain seemed to have shops everywhere and very nearly tempted us. The marzipan looked amazing.
- Lèonidas– competitively priced but tend to be more sickly than more expensive counterparts
- Neuhaus– This chain has a much more modern look to it, and everything felt quite contemporary. I think Neuhaus might be available quite widely- we even saw this on sale in Amsterdam. Said to be considered the home of the praline.
- Pierre Marcolini– thought by many to be the worlds premier chocolatier- simple and wonderful. The shop felt like a designer boutique, with very helpful assistants. I even managed to have a little conversation in my stilted French! This was the one shop we caved at and bought a box to bring home- we’re saving them until we’re in the new house though.
- Wittamer– Although I’d never heard of it, this chocolatier is one of the most famous and still family run today
- Laurent Gerbaud-This didn’t appear on the list in our guide, but we stumbled across it on a walk as it was very close to our hotel. The hot chocolate was divine and with it we were able to choose a chocolate each from the counter to enjoy with it. They had a beautiful range of chocolate covered dried fruit- too many to choose from!
So, after 2 months of mystery surrounding my surprise trip away, I was whisked away on a train to London on Thursday morning. At this point, my destination was unknown but I was beginning to suspect that it may have involved a Eurostar journey given the direction in which we were headed.
As we hopped onto the Tube to St Pancras, my suspicions were confirmed, although it wasn’t until we’d settled down with a pre-train coffee that Chris whipped out The Rough Guide to Brussels and all was revealed. I’ve had a lovely 2 nights away, and discovered that Brussels is a beautiful city (and one you will no doubt be hearing more about over the coming days) but for now, here is a little taster of the EU capital.