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Belgian Chocolate and Beer: A Vacation of Decadence in Brussels

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 18, 2007
Europe, land of tradition and history and culture and art and...

Are you asleep yet?

All that cultural stuff is nice for other tourists, but some of us travel to have FUN! If people want to look at buildings and paintings, that's great. But those of us hunting for an adventure of a different type check into Brussels hotels for a decadent trip through a fantasy land made of cocoa and hops.

There's always room for chocolate

Chocolate many have started in the New World, but the Europeans have raised it to fine art. Belgium in particular is a favorite destination of chocolate connoisseurs around the world.

Brussels hotels located near the Grand Palace give you the best access the chocolate shops. From the world-renowned Godiva to small mom-and-pop confectionery boutiques, there is a chocolate for every tourist palate and price range.

Belgians take their chocolate seriously. Many of the shops have been in the family for generations, secret recipes and all. The front desks of Brussels hotels are often good sources of information on hidden treasures, chocolate shops that the average tourist walks briskly past on the way to the larger establishments.

Recommendations from the staff of Brussels hotels are a good start, but you are the best judge of the right chocolate for you. This will require extensive taste testing, but I'm sure you're up to the task.

You'll need something to wash that down

This nation of ten million people boasts over one hundred separate breweries producing hundreds of brands of beer. This is not the typical convenience store six-pack. These are finely crafted beverages with centuries of tradition behind them. In Paris you drink wine, but its beer in Brussels. Hotels often have a dozen varieties in their bars for you to try.

Most Belgian beers are bottled rather than kegged, so draft beers are less common in Brussels hotels than you would find in America. Many of the bottles are corked like wine and aged for years to bring out their peak flavor. Belgians know beer, quaffing 40% more per capita than Americans.

Leave your beery preconceptions behind and try a Lambic style beer, double fermented for a champagne-like quality. Many Belgian beers have much higher alcohol content than American beers, so be careful around labels like Duvel (which means "devil") or Delerium Tremens (do I need to explain that one?). Tourists who sample these in the bars of Brussels hotels can stagger to their rooms without the need of a designated driver.

More culinary adventures await

Chocolate and beer, while two of life's necessities, aren't all Belgium has to offer. Staying at Brussels hotels offers easy access to a city of gastronomic adventure. Belgians are some of the most enthusiastic eaters on the continent, from fritjes (Belgian french fries) to shish-kebabs to mussels.

Open your mind and open your mouth. Brussels hotels open the door to a taste experience that will be the highlight of your European adventure.
About the Author
Author is a writer for EuroBookings.com, an online hotel
reservation company that offers deep discount rates on Brussels hotels
and thousands of popular discount
European hotels
.
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