Mention Brussels, and most people would think about food. So of course, I couldn't just blog about the markets and museums, and leave this bit out right?
The Belgians are famous for their waffles. In Brussels, there are waffle stalls on every street, selling waffles with all sorts of toppings, from whipped cream and chocolate sauce, to strawberries and ice cream. Half the tourists you meet would be holding a waffle dripping with something sweet. Thus far, we've tried a few, with the most unique one being topped with a gummy in the shape of the Manneken Pis!
Then of course, there are the chocolates. Godiva, Cote d'Or, or Wittamer? You'll be spoilt for choice. Even the souvenir shops that stock postcards and stuff like Manneken Pis miniatures sell boxes of chocolates... and there's also the chocolate museum if you want to learn more about the history of chocolate (read the blog post here).
The hubby is a big fan of seafood, so he couldn't resist ordering "Fruits de Mer" at one of the restaurants that we ate in:
After having to poke at various slimy snail shells and eat their contents (I refused to share with him and ordered some salmon, so that I could share the food with Junior J), he vowed never to order the seafood platter again. However, he still couldn't resist having mussels (known as moules) almost everyday during our second visit there!
Moules are to be found on the menu for most restaurants serving seafood, and are commonly served with fries (called frites). We tried the ones at Chez Leon, which was supposedly famous for their mussels, but found that they weren't that fantastic. However, the nice thing about the place is that children under 12 eat for free, and their child's menu includes not just a main, but dessert as well!
|This pot came along with a plastic top hat for putting the shells in!|
So far, the best moules that we've tried are the ones at Le St Georges, which was near where we stayed. The ones in white wine are excellent, and those in curry had us slurping away!
One of the strangest things we've seen on the menu of many restaurants is Steak Tartare (or Steak Americain), which basically consists of raw minced beef. We've witnessed a waiter at a restaurant mincing slabs of beef using a machine in full view of the diners, and serving those. The hubby initially wanted to try it, but after his encounter with his plate of sea snails, decided that he would just stay safe and stick with mussels.
Finally, we particularly liked the food at Lola, which was located near the antiques market. In addition, their service was great, a welcome change from the grumpy waiters we encountered in most eateries in Brussels!
On both occasions, we stayed at the Ambriorix Bed and Breakfast. The hubby and I aren't too fond of hotels, and prefer the homeliness of B&Bs, and this one was charming:
One great plus point of the B&B was that it had a loft suite, which consisted of a room connecting to the attic:
|The lower level in the loft suite.|
This was perfect for us since Junior J could sleep upstairs, and still be in the same room as us. He loved the idea of sleeping in the attic, and it was good since he wouldn't disturb baby J when I was putting baby to bed. Another plus point was that there was loads of space in the room, something that is very rare in European hotels.
|The upper level (attic) of the suite.|
The boy was also very charmed by the rubber ducks that were displayed in the bathroom. He would choose which ones went into the bath with him! (The loft suite has a separate bathroom that is on the same floor, however, the guests in the two other rooms have to share a bathroom.)
Breakfast there was simple, but still pretty good fare:
All in all, it was a pleasant stay, which was why we booked the same place when we visited Brussels the second time. When we arrived during our recent visit, Junior J excitedly climbed the stairs to show his Ah Kong "his bed upstairs", which he was supposed to share with his grandpa!