I'm Kate and this is where I share and celebrate life's little pleasures. I am a career-loving mama, who loves to travel and is often in the kitchen. I'm married to my best friend Sam, and we are raising our little one, George, in London.

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8 Things to Eat and Drink in Brussels

8 Things to Eat and Drink in Brussels

For it’s small size and relative ‘little brother’ position in the European family, Belgium has done well to make it’s name synonymous with moules, frites, trappist beers and chocolate. And of course all of these must be sampled, preferably numerous times, during a trip anywhere in the country. Having spent some of my younger years living in Brussels however, I have a few more gastronomical delights to add to the list…

But, let's start with the obvious...

1) Fries, known as frites. These need no introduction. The best you’ll ever have (and arguably, in your life) can be found at Maison Antoine, Place Jourdain. It’s something of an institution. But - the way to eat fries in Belgium? With mayonnaise, bien sur!

2) Moules, Stoemp, Waterzooi. Ok, so I get this is cheating a bit by bundling these all together. Moules (mussels) need no introduction. The best variety is often a garlicky buttery concoction a la marinere is the version you’re after, which also throws in a dash of white wine and shallots. However if you visit in winter and you’re after a hearty taste of the countryside, look no further than Stoemp - a comforting mix of steaming mash and root vegetables topped with delicious pork sausages. Finally for the adventurer determined to cover all their foodie bases, the traditional, brothy Waterzooi isn’t to be missed. This Flanders stew often comes with fish, but chicken is my personal favourite and has become a popular option…

3)Gaufres. Dear waffles: You will always be second place on my podium of griddled goodness. Gaufres are warm, covered in a warm sugar syrup which dries perfectly into crunchy little morsels. Sold anywhere and everywhere in the colder months, these will fuel your city ramblings perfectly. My childhood kryptonite.

4) Anything speculoos. Speculoos is a traditional, spiced shortbread biscuit which crumbles delightfully in your mouth. With a slight burnt caramel taste, it can be found in many forms around the city. All varieties should be tried...personal favourites include chocolate dipped biscuits, tiramisu with speculoos, ice-cream and the spread. The spread is a gift from above and can be found in supermarkets across Europe. I’ve heard of a couple receiving 100 jars as a wedding gift, no jokes.

5)Anything ‘moka’. Belgians know how to combine coffee and chocolate like no other. I was hooked on this flavour as a little ‘un, and it’s not easy to get a kid to love the taste of coffee.

6) Delirium Beer. Now I’m better off leaving any beer-related recommendations to my better half, The Paddington Report. But no list on Brussels would be complete without one tip...Delirium Beer. Although I left Belgium still too young to enjoy beer, friends I left behind grew up with Delirium as a hallmark of their high-school heyday. 

7) Wittamer chocolates. Any hand-made chocolates in Belgium are bound to transport you to another world, but if you’re in the city for a quick break, you’ll be somewhat restricted to the big players...of course, fear not. Head to Sablon, avoiding Laduree despite it’s grandeur (that’s what you head to Paris for, darling) and walk right on into Wittamer chocolates. Pick your favourite, that’s all I can say. And save room for their patisserie too.

8) Supermarket haul. Ok, I know - a supermarket shopping list? I couldn’t leave my childhood favourites without a small mention...Carte D’Or Bouchon D’Or are divine, and are a much more affordable alternative to handmade chocolates if you have expectant gift recipients back home…

That's just about it....lastly, be sure to look in every window of an artisanal food producer - there are just too many little surprises like these meringue duckies to be missed! Happy eating.

With Love, Kate

5 Things to Eat and Drink in Portugal

5 Things to Eat and Drink in Portugal

Hola Portugal

Hola Portugal