Where Chocolate and Champagne Collide: Alex & Alex (Brussels)
“If chocolate is the answer, the question is irrelevant.”
What could be better than delighting in a sinfully good piece of artisanal Belgian chocolate? I’ll tell you what’s better: when you pair that piece (or let’s get real: pieces) of chocolate with a glass (or multiple glasses) of champagne that slides smoothly down your throat.
Trust me, there is little better than that.
Located in the heart of the Sablon – Brussels’ delectable “chocolate corridor” – is a small gourmet boutique that brings the two together. One part wine bar and one part chocolate shop, Alex & Alex is the sweet, sweet, creation of Charles-Eric Vilain, Kristina T’Seyen and chocolate master Frederic Blondeel. The boutique, located close to the cacao powerhouses of Pierre Marcolini, Godiva and Neuhaus, holds its own by serving heavenly handmade confections that go beautifully with a glass of champagne.
Said to have of some the best chocolate in the city, Alex & Alex has plenty on offer be it packaged bars to take away or single pieces to indulge in on the spot. There are marzipan hearts and chocolate covered wedges of lemon and orange. There’s the ‘Carpe Diem’ delight (a coffee ganache) and a dark cube of chocolate laced with cardamom. There’s white truffles, dark truffles and champagne truffles to boot. There’s pretty much every kind of lip-smacking flavour you can think of; all of them so lovely to look at that you’ll have a hard time sinking your teeth into one.
When it comes to champagne Alex & Alex sell only a handful of labels that include R. Blin et Fils and André Bergère. Each bottle you encounter has been carefully chosen based on the house’s commitment to quality and the ability of the bubbly to play off the chocolate or enhance (is that even possible?) your cacao experience even more.
The things I enjoy most about Alex & Alex is that it’s less busy than the upmarket joints located across the street (mind you I adore Pierre Marcolini and think it’s worth stopping in to grab a box of their macarons or 85% Madagascar dark), the environment is always inviting, it’s more of a café than a chocolate shop so you can get a cup of coffee or tea if you don’t care for bubbles, and I always find something unique that I sure as hell would not have found at one of the more mainstream chocolatiers. Another big selling point is that Frederic Blondeel has several dairy-free and intolerant-friendly options so you don’t have to look on with envy as your friends snap up several pralines to pamper themselves with.
With all of that said,
if when you do hit up the Sablon make sure to rock up to Alex & Alex. Not only can you get delectable delights every day of the week, but they stay open late on Thursday and Friday for the after-work crowd. Go in. Grab a glass. Select some chocolates.
Eat. Savour. Drink. Be merry.
Because there’s never enough time NOT to celebrate.
Alex & Alex
Tel: +32 476 61 23 45