After a whirlwind first day of chocolate shop touring, I was able to nap, have a relaxing meal at a small bar/cafe called Au Soleil, which I highly recommend for both its drink selection and cozy and hip atmosphere. Not to mention its nifty wall art:
After my leisurely dinner (which was a “wrap” – there were only about 5 items on the food menu, with no descriptions – however I was extremely lucky and the wrap turned out to be delicious) and a glass of framboise, I meandered back to my hotel, through the whimsically lit and lively musical streets of a Brussels’ Sunday evening. I slept extremely well, and woke up the next morning, refreshed and ready to take on the next lap of the tour, starting with:
Stop #5: Pierre Marcolini.
When you walk in to Pierre Marcolini, the very first thing you see is a giant disco ball. That was all it took – I knew I was going to love it here.
I began strolling around – this place was no joke. The chocolate was clearly high-end. The theme was modern, yet not stuffy – the staff mirrored that as well. I was asked if I needed help multiple times, in french of course. I scoped out the two counters and various wall displays, and realized this was going to be a tough decision.
As if it wasn’t hard enough already, I noticed in the back of the store what appeared to be a staircase…and sure enough, there was a second floor, beckoning me to come and get lost in a whole other chocolate dreamscape.
I followed the pointing hand, as if it had taken over my mind and my will, and went up the stairs to the second floor. I was not sorry.
I was lost in a dream, only I wasn’t dreaming. But if i were to dream up a chocolate shop, Pierre Marcolini would be it. Still in a haze, I wandered back down the stairs, with empty hands. I had no idea what to get. I wandered over near the counter, when a very handsome young man asked me if needed help. I was instantly brought back down to earth and said, “yes!” even though I still wasn’t sure what I wanted. I quickly turned, and grabbed a package of spiced chocolates that I had my eye on, not wanting him to move on to the next customer (and because they really did look amazing).
.I decided that I’d also get a few macarons, so I followed my new crush over to the other counter, where he packaged up three macarons I selected to eat later. As I paid for my goods, he began chatting with me in english, noticing first that I was left-handed (just like him, and what seemed to be the majority of people in Brussels, oddly) and asking me where I was from, etc. As he handed me my receipt and bag of earthly delights, he winked. I kid you not – I know what I saw. Practically skipping with glee out the door, I turned back one last time to get a look at the chocolate shop that would become my favorite of the tour, and my favorite Belgian dreamboat. Sigh.
As for the chocolate – it was excellent, as expected. It made it hard to eat plain old American chocolate ever again. Of course I still eat it, but with each bite, I feel a pang of longing for that fine Belgian….chocolate. I was going to say chocolate.
Next up, rather appropriately: Stop #6: Passion Chocolat – love is in the air…