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.
This small chocolate shop opened more than 40 years ago in Waterloo. It remains a traditional family business (with a branch in Brussels) offering a range of around 80 handmade chocolates made with fresh cream and butter. The shop also sells Easter eggs and baptismal sweets.
3) Sweertvaegher Chocolaterie
This chocolate shop lies in a quiet Kortrijk street near the Begijnhof. It was opened in 1946 by Robert Sweertvaegher, thirteen years after he founded his original chocolate shop in Ypres. This small chocolatier continues to use the very best dark chocolate to create unique handmade pralines.
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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Hidden Belgium takes you off the beaten track and sets out to prove that Belgium is in fact one of the most interesting states in Europe.
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