There is nothing more comforting than a rich hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, especially when you are lucky enough to be in the chocolate capital of the world, where they know a thing or two about good chocolate. Even a take-away hot chocolate from any Belgian chocolate house, served in a simple paper cup, can make for an extremely satisfying sweet winter warmer.
But a visit to Wittamer turns a hot chocolate into an experience in itself. Located in the Place du Grand Sablon, we entered the Wittamer tea room and were greeted by framed portraits of the Belgian royal family along the walls (Wittamer is famously a favourite of the Belgian royals, and is a Certified Royal Warrant Holder of Belgium). Inside we were seated in a beautiful room, next to a fireplace with an ornate gold-framed mirror. There was even a regal touch to the window frames, with gold cherubs adorning the handles.
The hot chocolate arrived at the table looking just as decadent as the surroundings. Served with a small pot of chantilly cream, a delicate sable (butter biscuit), and a plate of Wittamer praline chocolates, this was the prettiest-looking hot chocolate I’ve ever been served. And it all tasted just as good as it looked. It was the perfect hot chocolate with the perfect accompaniments, enjoyed in a lovely setting overlooking the beautiful Sablon square.
You couldn’t miss this place even if you tried. It’s the pink coloured building in the middle of the Sablon. And through its windows is the sight of rows and rows of hand made chocolates and desserts. This is Wittamer, one of Brussels’ finest chocolatiers.
After a quick peek inside the main boutique, we entered through a discrete side entrance leading to the upstairs tea room. Once inside I was greeted by more pink – from the pink walls to the pink paper placemats. I took a seat at a table by the window framed by a frilly curtain and pushed my masculine pride aside so that I could focus on the reason I was here: to taste the famous Wittamer hot chocolate.
When my hot chocolate arrived at the table, I was able to overlook the dainty presentation thanks to the man-sized serving of whipped cream that came with it. I heaped the whole lot onto the top of my cup and took a sip. It was good!! It was full of chocolate flavour and wasn’t too sweet at all. I stuck my spoon in to stir in the cream and was impressed when a thick layer of chocolate stuck to the spoon – a sign of a good quality hot chocolate.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I popped a chocolate praline into my mouth. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. It was excellent. And although I may still have quite a few more to try before I can be entirely sure, I think I can safely say that this is some of the best chocolate in town.
La Maison Wittamer
6-12-13 Place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Brussels