I usually don’t spend much time wandering around the Grand Place, but a few months back I happened to be in the area and stumbled upon a new shop dedicated to food and drink from Wallonia.
Set up as part of a campaign to attract visitors to Wallonia, Spirit of Wallonia (or S.O.W. for short) is located in a renovated old building just around the corner from the Grand Place. It opened in July last year with the support of the Walloon region.
The shop sells crafts and local products from the southern region of Belgium, including well-known items like chocolate, speculoos, honey and beer, but also surprising ones like whiskey, saffron and cosmetics. The space is nicely designed with an attractive display of the various products for sale, many of which you can sample before buying. See the full list of what’s on offer here.
S.O.W. also organizes beer, wine and chocolate tastings, workshops on massepain and guided visits of the Grand Place area. Adjacent to the shop is a cultural space, which hosts concerts and photo exhibitions from time to time. This can also be booked for private events.
The most recent addition to the space is a restaurant on the lower level that serves lunch all week with recipes based around Wallonia products for around €25.
Even if you’re not a tourist, this shop is worth a visit, even if only to have a little taste of a good, artisanal Belgian chocolate.
25-27 Rue Marché-aux-Herbes, 1000 Brussels
Tel: 0497 737 297
Open Monday to Sunday, 11am-6pm
Images via Spirit ofWalloniaand City Plug.