Press Club Brussels Europe #WeLoveBrussels - Page 7

Chocolate! I am not talking here about the usual chocolate bars or other industrial cocoa products; rather, I am thinking of a top quality artisan chocolate. Some of the most famous chocolate-makers, whose stores any chocolate-lover should visit are Jean-Philippe Darcis, Pierre Marcolini, Laurent Gerbaud, Passion Chocolat. Since I am totally into dark chocolate, I recommend a flower-inspired Coquelicot (poppy seed) praline from Darcis and Biscuit Praline, dark chocolate from Passion Chocolat. Both shops are in Sablon area. Frites, waffles, beer! You cannot love a city if it doesn’t offer a good food. So, apart from chocolates Brussels is famous for frites, waffles and beers. Yes, there are a lot excellent Belgian dishes that you can try in the restaurants, but I always highlight the food icons of this city: excellent frites on every corner, colorful waffle stands and trucks, and amazing selection of craft beers in authentic pubs and local bars. Even for a strict wine drinker, Belgian beer culture is inviting. I strongly believe that not trying some great beers from both well-known producers and small breweries would be a mistake. Consequently, I often meet expats who became beer-aficionados after moving to the Belgian capital. Big city, small town. Coming originally from a small town and a rather small country, moving to Brussels was really a great step. Living in a big, global city offers endless possibilities and one can indulge in many social and cultural activities. Brussels can never get boring. Luckily, it also has a feel of a small town; for those who love walking, biking or using public transport, it is pretty easy to get by. Location – a real European hub. One of the great advantages of Brussels is its super-cool location. Visiting neighboring cities of Antwerp, Ghent or Bruges is easy. The city also has excellent train connections to all major European regions. But for those of us who live in Brussels it really feels good to know that we can hop on one of many daily trains any time and just visit Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or Maastricht for a day or a weekend. Brussels Canal Zone. What fascinates me the most about this area is its transformation and diversity. Canal Zone is still a home to some of the less advantaged social groups but major urban projects are changing it into one of the most dynamic areas of the city. Examples of post-industrial regeneration are everywhere and it is a place where visions for future renewal can be turned into reality. It is worth mentioning that a new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art - MIMA opened recently in this area and many other artistic projects are fostering open, dynamic, innovative and creative urban environment. All these developments will surely attract more creative people, businesses and capital to move into the canal district. It’s certainly an area to watch and a place to visit for anyone who is into urban trends. Comics and murals. If there is one thing, which makes Brussels interesting and unique, it is the presence of comics all around the city. It is incredibly amusing to walk in the city and encounter beautiful murals with famous characters such as Tintin, Spirou, Smurfs or Lucky Luke and the Daltons. These kinds of wall paintings create a pleasant atmosphere and a whole ‘Comic Strip Route’ with more than 50 murals has been created. It is important to understand that comics are important part of the Belgian culture. Brussels has many small shops and bookstores offering wide range of comic strips, engravings and lithographs, miniatures and other items for the passionate collectors. Anyone who is into comics should visit Comics Art Museum, not just because of the comics art but also because of the exceptional beauty of its Art Nouveau building, designed by Victor Horta. n 7