Saturday, February 17, 2018

Brussels: my favorite shops

We've been going to Brussels for day trips almost every year for the last 4 or 5 years. It is the perfect destination for a short day outside of The Netherlands and the instant feeling that you are on a holiday at a different country. From walking the city over and over again we have a few spots that we keep coming back to as well as some others that are new finds. So I thought I'd make a list of my favorite little shops in Brussels:

- Let's start with the most important thing, namely, chocolate! We found the quaintest little shop, with boxes reminiscent of the time of Marie Antoinette. The chocolate is still made in an artisanal way. You will find them right in front of Manneken Pis. It's called "Mary". My favorite is their dark chocolate infused in Earl Grey Tea, I think it's called a Windsor. (28b Rue du Lombard, 1000 Brussels)

-Another favorite is "The Grasshoper". This is a dream of a toyshop. It is a two-story beautiful building and you can find every type of toy for all ages: puzzles, play kitchens, wooden toys, scientific toys and so much more. They also have a small section on clothes, disguises and cutlery / water bottles / lunchboxes. (Grasmarkt 39-43, 1000 Brussels)

- My personal heaven though is "Le Wolf", a children-bookshop with a café and cultural center. It is the cutest place ever, you can even have tea at little red riding hood's kitchen. They have a jukebox or children illustrated stories . It is a little house, perfect for children, where an off voice narrates the story. I wrote a whole post on them in Serendipity  (a new space where I write in Spanish about children's books). You will find them right around the Grand Place 18/20 rue de la Violette, 1000 Brussels.

- Then, my most recent find: "Mofelito Paperito"a shop entirely dedicated to paper goods, cards and stationery, with a couple of books as well. They had cards, cardstock, papers, pencils. We got a fill-in calendar made of recycled poster material and I am still dreaming of an illustrated edition of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales that I saw and didn't get. (Spoormakersstraat - Rue des Eperonniers 19, 1000 Brussels)

-Last but not least, "Aux merveilleux de Fred". A merveilleux is basically a giant sandwich made of meringue, filled with whipped cream and topped in chocolate or other toppings (like crushed cherries, pistacchio nuts, etc). We first encountered a merveilleux in Lille, they are the boy's favorite. Now at least they make them in small bite sizes. (Grasmarkt Straat 7, 1000 Brussel, België)

-We also love to go to the shopping mall City 2 (Nieuwstraat 123, 1000 Brussel). They used to have a Mothercare, the only one in the continent,  but I am not quite sure it is still there. If so, you will find everything related to babies at good prices and great quality. There is also a FNAC. We always go and wander inside for fun, so many books, gadgets, a place where you can still listen to music. In the shopping streets around there are other shops I love Du pareil au même and Kickers.

Are there any shops that you like to visit when you travel?

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