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Pierre Marcolini: My Brussels


Star chocolatier Pierre Marcolini, best known for his sumptuous praline creations, shows Paulina Szmydke around his favourite Brussels venues

Paulina Szmydke ,

Where were you born?
Charleroi.

Where do you live?
Brussels, Quartier Louise.

What’s best about your neighbourhood?
There is a multicultural aspect about it: on the right I go down avenue Louise with its luxury boutiques and when I turn left I find myself in the middle of Matongé with its cultural mix.

If money was no object where would you live?
I would stay in Brussels. I love this town. It’s the capital of Europe, but we’ve managed to keep an extraordinary quality of life here.

Which is your favourite Brussels store?
Crossword on avenue Louise.

Where do you go for a drink with friends?
L'Archiduc on rue Antoine Dansaert.

Any recommendations for Belgian dishes to try?
Three: le stoemp [mashed potato with vegetables], which is not exactly light, but excellent; la bouchée à la reine [vol-au-vents], a grand classic; and le waterzooi à la Gantoise [fish stew].

Which places sum up Brussels for you?
I prefer to choose an image: La Tour de Bruxelles en Automne by photographer Eric de Ville.

Where do you take out-of-town friends?
We usually pass by three places: place Brugmann in Uccle, then the essential place du Sablon and we finish with rue de Flandre and place Sainte Catherine.

Which do you think is the best museum in Belgium?
For now, without hesitation: Musée Magritte.

Which Belgian person do you most admire?
Comic book artist François Schuiten.

Any advice for visitors?
Be a gourmand.

What can’t you live without?
Chocolate.

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