Small chocolate shops in Belgium
1) Chocolatier M
David Maenhout creates tiny chocolates in a workshop behind his shop in Knokke using the finest Belgian chocolate. He comes up with endless creative ideas for combining different flavours like gin and tonic, mango with balsamic vinegar, and lemon with coriander seeds. But not just any lemon. It has to be exclusive Calamansi lemon from South East Asia.
Philippe Defroidmont picked a remote spot deep in the Ardennes to establish his chocolate workshop. For more than 35 years, he has made unique chocolates in small batches using unexpected ingredients. You can watch the team at work through a large window and find out more about the business in a small family museum.
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3) V-Chocolatier by Sweertvaegher
The Sweertvaegher family opened their first chocolate shop in Ypres in 1933 and expanded to Kortrijk in 1946 and Bruges in 1950. Now rebranded V-chocolatier, they have relocated to a chic little store furnished with a vintage wooden counter that once stood in their Kortrijk store. Locals come here to buy handmade praline chocolates with chic names like Grenoble and Snobinette.
Patrick Mertens and Inge Lijnen recently opened a beautiful chocolate shop in a grand Hasselt town house. Mertens makes the chocolates in an open workshop where you can watch him stir in unusual flavours like juniper, summer fruits and smoke-dried Mexican pepper. You can sit in the romantic salon with a coffee and two handmade chocolates or pick up an elegant hand-wrapped box to take home.
5) Chocolaterie Ledoux
Located on the road from Ypres to Langemark, this is not the easiest place to find. Founded in the 1970s, it is now run by a young couple who make authentic chocolates in a workshop next to the shop. They specialise in seashells which they make by hand in special moulds. You can call in to watch them at work on Friday at 10.30 am and Saturday at 3 pm.
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