As a blogger, I still don’t understand what will make a reader comment an article or a publication. Some topics seem more attractive than others, and considering your audience, you may have a small idea of what will interest it. But to be honest, I’ve stopped searching for an explanation. If you want to comment something, sharing what kind of feeling it created in your mind – good or not that good – be aware than you will always be more than welcome. And if you don’t, I’ll take it as an agreement 😉
More seriously, having said that, it is always a pure pleasure to receive your private messages and requests. The latest one was about “made in Belgium” labelled gifts. As “the most wonderful time of the year” is coming, foreigners, expats, newcomers, students and so on experiencing the Brussels/Belgian way of life may want to offer a taste of our beautiful country to their friends and relatives. Beer and chocolate did you say? For sure! But is this it? I mean, our beers and chocolates are famous (and exquisite) but has Belgium nothing more to offer than this cliché? Certainly not. Seat back, relax and follow the guide.
Beers and chocolate
and then, O-VER! We are spoiled it that field. Amongst all the gorgeous chocolate houses we have, the key to my heart belongs to Pierre Marcolini, Jean-Philippe Darcis and Neuhaus. Trust me, you will thanks me later.
I am not very fond of beer but I have to say that a Westvleteren 12 will be without any doubt a great gift for any beer lover: twice elected best beer in the world, its low production makes it a rare beer and sought after.
Still in the food and beverage idea, traditional speculoos and other biscuits from Maison Dandoy is also a lovely introduction to our country delicatessen.
But my péché mignon remains Cuberdon. The recipe of this flamish traditional candy is one of the best-kept secret in Belgium. We may find it with all kinds of flavors but remember that nothing beats the original one with raspberry.
We tend to forget it, but Belgium is also quiet famous for another type of alcohol: peket! Peket means prickly and is declined in various flavours (cherry, banana, cinnamon…), have a look at what the Distillerie de Biercée has for you. Our Fêtes de Wallonie and Christmas Market wouldn’t be the same without it.
Delicate and solid and the same time, Belgium, and Bruges especially, has acquired a strong reputation in lace work. Forget about placemats and old-ladies hobby, lace is an important cultural heritage and each technic reflects a rich tradition.
Always in the same register, the Val St-Lambert crystal creations. I must admit they won’t necessarily match any interior design but they are one of a kind and keep on fascinating me. Our small country has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to some expertise and I must say I have a crush for the animals collection.
Belgium is also about bubbles…speech bubbles of comic strips! In store or online, plenty of belgian comic-strips are available in different languages – mostly in english.
Last but not least, take a look at Belgikïe https://www.facebook.com/belgikiecestlhistoired1belge and Belge une fois concept stores. Dig into typical belgian spirit and slang by supporting local artists and creators. Waar is da feestje, stoemelings, klet, non peut-être and many others belgian expressions won’t hold any more secrets for you.
Other suggestion? Great, the comment section is waiting for you!