Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter Wonders Brussels

Brussels doesn't have a Christmas Market per se, but rather the Plaisirs d'Hiver (or the Winter Wonders). It's spread out in the area around St. Catherine, and comprises lots of stalls, a ferris wheel, ice-skating rink, ice sculptures and roundabouts. But in true Belgian style, they're not just roundabouts, but fantastic gothic, old-style carnival roundabouts with fantastic mechanised creatures and machines. It would make you wish to be a child again.

There was an ice bar located near St. Catherine's church - entry was €5 per person and this included two shots of liquor. The inside was maintained at a refreshing -15 Celsius and the shots were definitely needed to keep the cold at bay. I got several great shots from inside the ice bar, all drenched in a fantastic

Lots of stalls around the market were selling food-to-go. You could take your choice of waffles, crepes, burgers, bratwurst, mussels, oysters and seafood. We ourselves went for 6 oysters with glasses of white wine and gluhwein, which were fresh, plump and deliciously briny. Later, at the other end of the market, we found a stall selling mussels grilled with garlic and rosemary, so of course we had to go for some of these beauties as well.

We shopped with determination at the market so that we could bring home delicious edibles with us. Near the Bourse, we found a stall which was selling dried, smoked beef. €15 bought us enough of this truly tasty delicacy to take home to the parents for Christmas. Later, near St. Catherine, we bought smoked sausages from Le Fumet des Ardennes (, followed by some Mousse de Magret Fumée (smoked duck mousse) from Le Foie Gras Upignac. The last of our purchases was a truly spectacular spinach anad Emmenthal quiche from a local bakery - what a pity I didn't get their name as it was excellent - light and fluffy.

So there you have it, a very brief tour of the Brussels Winter Market. It was a beautiful and tasty day out and I'll raise a glass of gluhwein to doing it all again.

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