Belgium is world famous for it’s chocolate, so while visiting the capitol city, Brussels, we knew that a chocolate tasting tour had to be part of our agenda. We went online, and the company, Get Your Guide, had a guided 2 hour Brussels Chocolate Tasting Tour available for about $26. It had good reviews, so we went ahead and booked it.
We had booked the afternoon tour, so met our guide and the rest of our group (about 15 or so), at 2 pm in Le Grand Place in the centre of Brussels. It was an easy walk for us to get there as the hotel we were staying at, The Dominican, was just a few streets away. The Dominican Hotel was very well positioned for all the sight seeing we were doing. Our first stop on the walking tour was surprisingly not actually a chocolate shop, but instead, a Waffle shop!
We were at the Manneken Pis Waffle shop where our guide explained that were are actually 2 types of Belgium waffles. The Liege waffle made with a thicker batter with sugar pearls inside and rounded at the edges. And then the Brussels waffle which is made with a more leavened batter, crispy on the outside but soft inside, and rectangle in shape. We all got to try our very own fresh Liege waffle which was delicious even plain as they served it to us.
In fact, it is mostly the tourists who smother the waffles with toppings. For Belgians, it is a traditional street food that is eaten either plain, or with minimum toppings, such as a little powdered sugar.
We continued walking to the Royal Galleries Saint-Hubert, a beautiful covered shopping gallery which first opened in 1847, and has a lovely curved glass ceiling. The gallery is lined with lots of lovely shops of all types, including 2 famous Belgium chocolate shops, Mary’s, and Neuhaus.
Neuhaus Chocolaterie was where our guide went to get our first sample of chocolate, that you know we were all dying to try! So that our group didn’t overcrowd the shops, our guide requested that we stayed outside while he went inside to get our samples and bring them out to us. We could go into the shops if we wanted to look, or make a purchase after trying the chocolate.
Unfortunately, just before our tour started, my husband found out he had to be on a work conference call during the tour! Not ideal at all for him to enjoy it while having to be on his mobile phone! So as not to disturb anyone, he followed along at the back of the tour. I kept an eye to make sure he didn’t get left behind, and brought him samples from each of our stops. So at the very least, he got to enjoy the chocolate.
Neuhaus Chocolaterie has been in business since 1857 and is where Jean Neuhaus invented the Belgium Praline. A Belgium Praline has a chocolate shell with a soft centre, and so it was only fitting that our guide brought us out some Praline to try. Very tasty, but I have to say, not my favourite out of all the chocolates we tried on the tour. And in my haste, I forgot to take a photo, but did get a photo of the lovely chocolate boxes on display in the window.
Our next stop, Chocolaterie Mary, was directly opposite from Neuhaus in the Gallery. It was started in 1919, is very refined and holds a Belgian Royal Warrant. The shop assistants were all wearing white high necked Victorian style blouses and the chocolates are beautifully displayed. Once again we all got to sample one of their chocolates, and there was time given for anyone who wished to make a purchase at any of the shops.
The tour took us on to visit 3 more Chocolate shops.
Corne Port Royal established in 1932 is known for it’s Manon Sucre, which is a type of Praline with walnuts in it. Here we were given a nice assortment to choose to sample from.
Next was Galler, established in 1976 and they hold a Belgium Royal Warrant, and lastly we finished the tour at Atelier Sainte Catherine, in the Sainte Catherine district of Brussels, for our last sample.
This was a nice tour to be able to learn some history of Belgium chocolate and get to try some different samples. I did feel like our guide talked just a little too much at some points. The tour ran way over 2 hours, but on the whole we enjoyed ourselves. Or at least I did, my husband’s phone call took up most of the tour! However, because of the tour we got to see even more of the Christmas Markets in the Sainte-Catherine district, where the tour finished. Our previous walking around hadn’t taken us to that area of the city, so that was a bonus.
Date of visit; 19th December 2019.