Belgium has long been home to some of the world’s greatest chocolate artisans, and one of my trips to Brussels proved such reputation true. Most foreign visitors flock to Godiva or one of the other maisons de chocolat on the Grand Place, but the locals buy their chocolate from the master chocolatier Pierre Marcolini.
One grey afternoon I stumbled upon it during my search through the Upper Town for somewhere to have lunch – and what a magnificent discovery it was! This lovely shop lives in building shaped much like a pie slice and lures you in by lining the window displays with innumerable cakes and chocolates. It even offers a few pastries and preserves.
The sheer number of choices available was enough to leave me wrought with indecision. But eventually, I opted for a box of pink champagne chocolate truffles for my mother, a box of various chocolates for friends, and one of these lovely red cakes for myself. It was rich, but perfect in size and tided me over until I found my way to the Orangerie for lunch.
It wasn’t until I was back in London and brought the box of chocolates with me to a Belgian friend’s dinner party that I realized how legendary Pierre Marcolini actually is. Their faces lit up as though I handed them something far more grand, like an original Gustav Klimt. The box was – as you might have guessed – empty by the end of the night, and I was praised incessantly for my taste fantastique. Money, I guess, is rarely ever wasted on good chocolate.
*Pierre Marcolini is located at 1 Rue de Minimes (Minimenstraat), Place du Grand Sablon, Brussels 1000.
**The photos of the displays are by the author. However, the photo of the Pierre Marcolini logo can be found on: http://popsop.ru/wp-content/uploads/nestle_pierre_marcolini.jpg