Walking the old city streets of Bruges with the sun shining on your brow, you just can’t help but notice the beauty of the city, it puts a sparkle in your eye and a smile to your lips… but then your 4th sense is taken over.. the smell of chocolate is in the air. Dark and yet sweet, rich and delicate, creamy and mouthwatering. It entices memories of ﬁrst tastes and ﬁrst kisses, setting your mouth alight with expectation. You follow the scent over cobbled paths and past exquisite churches until ﬁnally you step inside one of Bruges’ ﬁnest chocolatiers ….
This wonderful chocolate shop opened its doors more than half a century ago, and has been a staple on the chocolate route of Bruges since then. Sweertvaegher’s appeal comes in two forms, exquisite ﬂavours and unrivalled presentation. The shop front lulls you in with promises of ﬁne jewellery, it is after all modelled after a ﬁne jewellers, but as you ﬁnd out looks can be deceiving, as instead of jewellery, you are faced with the most incredible morsels of deep creamy chocolate.
This decadent ruse is played through to the interior too where wooden cabinets contain whipped cream bourbons, chocolate trufﬂes and the most exquisite pralines.
The Old Chocolate House
The Old Chocolate House more than lives up to its name, with wonderful chocolate and a façade that could quite easily belong to another era. The old moniker is played throughout with a traditional “sweet shop” feel to the interiors. The scents combined with the charm of the decor bring about a certain kind of nostalgia – like childhood. Not yours or mine, but that of our Gradparents’. Alongside delicious chocolate, you’ll ﬁnd things like marzipan, honey, gingerbread and biscuits.
Pierre Marcolini is a name any chocolate connoisseur will have uttered on more than one occasion. The self professed taste designer is well known in Belgium and the world for pushing boundaries, blending aromas and creating what are to many of his fans, truly unparalleled taste sensations. You’ll ﬁnd delicately created pralines, trufﬂes and macaroons on the shelfs of this haute choclaterie. Once you walk inside you’ll come face to face with glass counters ﬁlled with the most jewel-like assortment of chocolates you’re ever likely to encounter.
Everything is impeccably well presented and the tastes on offer are a delicious blend of unique, modern creations and traditional flavours. If you’re searching for a gift for a loved one, perhaps an anniversary or just because, then there are few names in the chocolate world that set passions alight like Pierre Marconi does.
This is one of favourites for taste. It’s built into a 400-year-old house just a street away from Market Square, which sets the scene for a chocolate tasting just perfectly. From cherry liqueurs to walnut, ever ﬂavour on offer is well considered and delicious. The taste is smooth and the chocolate melts in the mouth like the most fragile of creams, creating a truly decadent experience.
Dumon is a small family business of just 6 employees but it’s Stefan Dumon who crafts each incredible chocolate morsel by hand, resulting in the freshest and must luxurious chocolate in Bruges. Of course, chocolate is ingrained in the culture here in Bruges and you’ll ﬁnd every type and ﬂavour is available. We recommend the older, smaller family businesses – as many of the larger names indulge in a little too much mass production for our tastes, which often results in ﬂatter ﬂavours and more mundane creations. But stepping into a chocolatier like Dumon or Sweertvaegher, has always and will always remain a unique experience. The subtle intricacies of hand made pralines and trufﬂes set the heart alight, and the scents… ah the scents are enough to whisk us up into the air to carry us off to chocolate heaven. If you’d prefer a more visual guide to chocolatiers in Bruges then take a look at our Chocolate board over on Pinterest, which we’ll continue to update as we discover more wonderful chocolate.