You might know that I'm a huge chocolate fan. I try to never buy any chocolate when I do groceries, though, as I know I'd eat it all in an instant. Although I'm not really overweight, I have to put in a lot of effort each day not to gain weight and so regular chocolate munching is out of the question for me.
When I travel independently, I try to keep my food simple, but what I really love are multiple-course meals and lots of desserts. So I obviously never say no to an assignment that involves food. When it's work, you just have to bite the bullet, right?
Or the chocolate, in this case, because Intercontinental Hotel Groups invited me to try out their Rewards program. They awarded me with 37,000 Reward Points that I could not only use to book a hotel room, but also to book things like a dinner and activities. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with them: a chocolate workshop and tour in Brussels, the capital of Belgium and of good chocolate stores.
I'd been eyeing this baby for a while and was super excited to try it out.
The chocolate tour
During the tour, our knowledgeable guide Chris took us to some of the best chocolate shops in Brussels while teaching us all about chocolate and the history of the places we were visiting. We got to taste some chocolate in every place, and in between the tasting Chris took us to some interesting spots in Brussels so that we learned something new about the city as well.
The chocolate workshop
We didn't only get to taste chocolate, we also good to make our own chocolate “cookies”. At the workshop, we all got a plate on which we could pour chocolate as well as a collection of ingredients to mingle the chocolate with. I made chocolate with coconut, almond, sesame seed and other things. Lots of chocolate was licked off fingers and spoons during the process, but that was exactly the point: you eat whatever you want and what's left, you get to take home with you.
When our chocolates were cooling down, we also got a demonstration on how to make pralines. The melted chocolate gets poured into a mold that's colder than the chocolate, making the chocolate stick to it. When we're sure the chocolate sticks, the mold gets turned around so that the excess of chocolate drips out. We now have little chocolate “bowls”. In goes the filling, in our case caramel, which is covered with chocolate again. The chocolate is scraped off and left to cool for a bit, after which the pralines are ready and can be “smashed” out of the mold, ready to be tasted!
I had a great time during the tour and the chocolate workshop. If you really want to learn how to make chocolate, this might not be for you as the chocolate was already ready and liquid so we could start using it, but if you just want to lick chocolate off of your fingers under the excuse that you're making chocolate, this chocolate workshop is perfect for you.
Where to stay in Brussels
How to get to Brussels
Fly to Brussels Airport and take the train straight to the city center, or simply take the train from another city to Brussels North, Central or Midi Station.
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>IHG Rewards paid for my tour and compensated me for this article. The decision to enjoy the tour and eat all of the chocolate was entirely mine.