Thursday, 9 January 2014

Bowlers, Birds and Well-Dressed Boys

A couple of weeks before Christmas, the d-i-l, d-i-l to be and I set off on our (now) annual Christmas Market trip. This year with two of us based in the North East and one in London the logistics proved to be the biggest challenge. We gave up on trying to find flights to Germany that suited and instead took the Eurostar to Brussels.

As you can see the trip started off in a very civilised fashion with champagne all round in St Pancras champagne bar! It's a tough life :)

Now, I don't know about you but when I think of Belgium I think of chocolate, and boy was Brussels chocolate heaven and not a little quirky too. (My apologies for the following photos if you have resolved to give up chocolate!)

Chccolate Bowler Hat

Chocolate bowler hat anyone?

No, well how about these penguins then?

A chocolate huddle

You can read about the inspiration for these penguins below

Of course a trip to Belgium wouldn't be complete without some Belgian Waffles too.


Do you get the impression that these trips are more about the food than the Market?? In this case you would be right, the Christmas Market itself wasn't a patch on the Dusseldorf Market that we visited last year, but the chocolate was not a bad compensation. At one stage whilst walking around the city we counted 6 chocolate shops within sight, bad for our waistlines and our wallets :)

Finally, a first visit to Brussels has to include the obligatory visit to see the Mannekin Pis statue.

Mannekin Pis

We were a bit surprised to find the statue dressed up for the day, but then discovered that he apparently has over 900 suits to choose from, many of which were donated by visiting dignitaries! The City Museum has an exhibition of 100 of the suits, but we were too busy savouring the delights of chocolate shops to visit the exhibition. There is even a calendar of the dates when he will be dressed here and although the original role of the statue was as a water fountain, there are times when the fountain spouts beer instead of water :) You can understand then how popular a figure he is !

Linking up to the first of 2014

Really Random


  1. Mmmmm chocolate. The market might have not been the best but it still sounds like a great trip.
    We found a stall selling all manner of work tools made from chocolate at one of the Christmas markets we visited this year. At first glance I couldn't understand why anyone would be seeling tools at a Christmas market (although given some of the markets I've seen it shouldn't surprise if they were) but when I looked more closely I couldn't believe my eyes. They really looked surprisingly real.

  2. The one time I was in Brussels the little statue was not in one of his outfits. Looks like he's wearing a track suit today :)

  3. Chocolate...mmm..... I've been pretty good this year so far. I even managed to stay away from the half price sales after Christmas. I'm trying very hard to loose some weight. It is NOT any fun and very little results so far. Sigh...

  4. Oh goodness, how much weight did you put on? I think I need to visit the statue, although a fireman is an odd choice for the Christmas run-up!

  5. Mmmmm, can I come with you next time?

  6. Somehow, my bag on Cheezies seems to pale in comparison to the wonderful chocolate and waffles! Great way to spend time and money!

  7. Belgian chocolate is the BEST!!! A water fountain that spurts beer... LOL

  8. How fun to ave an annual trip with your DIL and DIL to be!!looks like a fun trip!!

  9. Those penguins are amazing! Hope you're having/have had a great trip :)

  10. Champagne and chocolate - sounds like the perfect holiday!

  11. Sounds like you had a brilliant time slumming it with champagne and chocolate!

  12. The bowler hat just looks wrong, but I love that the statue has a suit! Will you be making him one now? ;o)

  13. Champagne, chocolate - penguins on top of it! and a fountain that changes clothes and spurts beer at times- now how bad of a day can that be! Wonderful post about your trip - always love to hear of your travels :)

  14. 'A useful indulgence'! I think that just about sums up the penguin chocolate and your trip overall! Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

  15. Sounds like a dream day! I love Belgian ice cream too, well the kind we can get in Australia. I've just joined Instagram this year and I'm following you. You are welcome to follow me back at sarahkrothe to see what I'm working on 😊


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