Lest you think this Gal Pal is all about the Bordeaux. Gals cannot live by Bordeaux alone…they must have some chocolate to go along with it. Sometimes I have to go to extremes to ensure that the chocoholic in me is satisfied. This past trip (January, 2011) I took the train with fellow chocolate connoisseur Elizabeth to Belgium to see the sights and to sample the chocolate. Who am I kidding, sampling did not satisfy this hardcore addict, I had to purchase some at nearly every shop in both Brussels and Bruges. Here are my picks for Paris and Belgium:
Carton – home to my favorite chocolate filled eclairs as well as some really super dark chocolate truffles wrapped in pretty black and gold boxes to bring home as gifts. (I’m pretty sure that I bought some to bring home, but I don’t recall any box making it off the plane!)
6 Rue Buci, Paris 75006
La Maison du Chocolat – one shop where ten different 100% Belgian chocolatiers sell their brands. The sales staff are very knowledgable on the history of chocolate and the differences between Belgian chocolate and other countries distinct uses of cocoa. You can sample anything in the cases and they sell gift boxes from each brand.
Galerie de la Reine 25, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium+32 2 514 28 50
Elisabeth – fun candy and chocolate shop with a fun name – Elizabeth love seeing her name (European spelling) on a confectioners shop. The window had a moving polar bear hugging and giving a kiss to a bag of chocolates – something I do every time too!
Rue au Beurre 43, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium+32 2 344 33 03
Chocoholic – the cheerful, colorful window was the most inviting of all the chocolate shops. Inside I found delicious nutty and fruity chocolate treats which are boxed in small quantities that make it easy to mix and match several to put together as a gift in their adorable lime green fabric shopping bags. The bags are pretty enough to be the wrapping for your gifts that make it home and are a green alternative to paper bags since you can reuse them once home.