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December 21, 2014

Brussels Day 2 (Pt 2)


When I left you yesterday, we had just finished up our tour at Jardin de Mont des Arts. Still feeling full from our chocolate-filled morning, we decided to forgo lunch and do some more walking to check out the Christmas market at Place Sainte-Catherine.

I had seen this Christmas market rated here as one of the best in Europe and, on the surface, I can see why it would impress with it's sprawling streets of chalets, giant carousels, illuminated ferris wheel, light show, ice skating rink - the works. However, I found it was lacking a lot of the back-to-basics, crafty charm that I have come to love of the markets around Europe [Prague, in particular, is wonderful] and felt a bit commercialised which is a shame. There were some really lovely independent crafters to be found, however, if you looked past the ones with the blaring gaudy music and enticing you with flashing lights.


While the general feel of the market was a bit of a let down, the selection of foods being cooked in front of you was incredible - possibly the benefit of a larger market? There was salmon being smoked on an open wood fire;


Chestnuts roasting and peanuts caramelising;


And, our mutual favourite of the lot, La Croziflette; a winter warmer of buckwheat pasta or crozets, ham, bacon and Reblochon cheese. 


Though it was now approaching dinnertime, we still weren't feeling particularly hungry (La Croziflette didn't help!) so, wiled away a few hours in a pub, sampling some of the more random Belgian beers. Eventually we felt ready for our final meal in Brussels and 
wound our way across to Amadeus, a bit of a cult favourite in the city that specialises in ribs and, bizarrely, Irish coffees. 


Of course we asked for two racks of their finest which were whizzed out from the open kitchen tout-de-suite. If there was ever any doubt, the frequent bursts of flames proved just how seriously these folks take their ribs! Oh and that baked potato in that "special sauce"? Mindblowingly good. 


Oh, and did I mention that the ribs are all-you-can eat? When you're done, feel free to stick your hand up and another rack will appear in front of you though I don't know how anyone could eat more than one!


We finished with Irish coffees (they were excellent, in fairness) before mosying back to the hotel to pack and get ready to fly home the next day. If I wasn't coming home to Christmas, I feel like I would have been a lot sadder leaving Brussels behind! 



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