I discovered Frederic Blondeel Chocolate Factory & Shop through a friend during the Belgian corona semi-lockdown. Blondeel is a well-known ‘from bean to bar’ chocolatier and tea room in the center of Brussels. Blondeel comes from a family of 3 generations of Brussels coffee roasters (Santos coffee) and who adopted the roasting process to chocolate some 20 years ago. The factory, a bit further away, is where the magic happens…
Behind what looks like garage gates in the small commune of Koekelberg lies a great place if you feel the need for some tasty ice cream, coffee or REAL Belgian ‘pralines’. You walk up to the place via a private driveway and right next to a cute green lawn are some cosy rocking chairs and small tables. The ice cream and especially the ‘chocolate orange’ one is to die for.
‘Family business’ often means genuinely friendly staff, no exception here, we even got an apology from Frederic himself because the freezer was (according to him – we hadn’t noticed) too cold so our ice cream might not have had the perfect temperature. Each order is accompanied by a small cookie (an actual cookie, not the cardboard-tasting one you get at some places) or a brownie; cones are dipped in chocolate if you like, and coffee comes with a ‘praline’.
You can enjoy your order on the lawn or in the rocking chairs and just imagine being in a small country village (as opposed to the world’s second most multicultural city). A treat!