The Best Bits of Brussels, December 2012
The Christmas Market really was magical, with everything from food to fuzzy winter woollies, candles to Ferris wheels, Jaegermeister-infused hot chocolate to ice-skating, there was something for everyone!!
The stands at the market were incredible!! Some had the most intricate fragile Christmas ornaments imaginable, whilst others sold a more hardy product- the UGG boot!! Australian sheep suffer the world over for a 21st century phenomenon!
Here a Reindeer keeps an eye over festive proceedings (his nodding head was a firm favourite among the market-goers!)
He overlooked the gaming area, which resembled 'the merries' we have at home. Of course, Brussels has the extra of a gigantic Ferris wheel...
Located behind this stand was a large ice rink, which included a miniature rink for toddlers. Here they had their own aids which looked like zimmer frames covered with animal facades. If I wasn't such a coward I would have braved the ice... But I knew I'd need one of those zimmer frames!!
The Christmas Market was especially magical at night!
Most importantly (from the Milis perspective!) was of course the food!
Strangely enough I didn't taste any Belgian chocolate, mostly because the most authentic stores and stand at the Christmas market were Leonidas which are available in Cork!! With that in mind I tried something a little more varied...
Belgian Waffles with Fresh Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce
Belgian Hot Chocolate
(minus the cream, boring I know!!)
FYI, ordering Hot Chocolate with cream in Brussels is Viennese Hot Chocolate or Chocolat Chaud avec Crème! :)
I found it interesting that the beverage was almost always served with a side of sugar- I found it too sweet if anything!!
Here was a little taster of Leonidas, which is amazing. If you haven't tried it yet, shame on you!!
For something a little different this ginger tea certainly hit the spot!!
I wonder why "Ginger Love" are not marketed in Ireland? Surely they would have a wide and loyal fanbase? ;)
Our resident ginger even got to take the mug home to Ireland! Such a sweet talker!!
The front of the European Parliament Building displays a poster for the Sakharov Prize, awarded by the European Parliament to frontline human rights defenders.
I had previously participated in a University debate on the selection of the Prize winner, so it was encouraging to see just how prestigious, widely known and important the Prize is.
As we are now in full festive swing, I'll leave you with an image of the alternative Christmas tree at Grand Place, Brussels. The tree was constructed from scaffolding and mesh, with green lights which glowed after dark. The conceptual project changes annually.
I'll be back soon with Christmassy recipes, and of course the final sUCCulent show of 2012, which will give you many ideas for Christmas gifts!!
Until then, stay sweet! x