Thursday, November 11, 2021

A Food trail of Antwerp


Antwerp Railway Station

Seldom does one see such eclectic beauty on stepping out of the train at a railway station!  Antwerp Railway station ranks amongst the most beautiful railway stations in the world. 

A Cathedral like dome of Antwerp Railway Station
Owing to the vast dome right above the main waiting hall,  it is colloquially referred to as a 'railroad cathedral'. 

Cathedral of Our Lady
Before stepping out into the city, it would be worthwhile to spend a few minutes admiring the architectural beauty of this station. The huge 12000 square meters edifice has four levels of train tracks. The lavishly decorated station has a beautiful semi-circular glass panel also called 'the peacock trail'. 

The lovely interiors of the church
A galore of wonders await you in this city of  Peter Paul Rubens,whose memorable paintings adorn the Cathedral of our the city. A genius painter of the Renissance era, created masterpieces of Jesus's crucification 

The Old Town- Grote Markt

The trip to the city was to discover the gastronomic delights of sheer indulgence. The lively streets of the city just outside the station are specked with diamond shops and huge diamond centres. It will not be unusual to find traditionally dressed jews with locks of hair ' who are one of the best-known diamond merchants'. The city caters to the insatiable demand of more than 1800 diamonds dealers spanning across the world.

Delrey- An unforgettable cake shop

The first stop of the food trail was the famous ' Delrey'! Catering the delectable flavours for over 35 years, the passion for excellence can be experienced just as one sets foot into the place. 

The mouth watering temptations at Delrey
The thin crusts of 'Mille Feuille' wrapped chocolate cream, 'Marley' individual and a staggering range of the desserts, chocolates, tarts,pastries and cakes are mind-blowing. The experience of the very first place set the ball rolling a high note for more delights to follow. 

The Chocolate Line
A little further is 'The Chocolate Line' is an experience of taking the art of making chocolates to a new level. This place has a showroom of exhibits like replicas of huge stallions, toads, even human skulls created out of dark and white chocolate. 
Creation of horses in Chocolates at The Chocolate Line

There are selections of ' beans to bars' of chocolates from Guatemala, Jamaica, Ecuador, Venezuela and  the farthest places. The baffling ingenuity of the creators is enigmatic and leaves the onlooker in stupor.

Stadsfeestzaal- A shopping mal par excellence

Every nook and corner has some unique store or a chocolateria and more.  Stadsfeestzaal , shopping mall leaves the onlooker gawking at its beauty and grandeur. 

Gold Leaf ornaments  painted interiors of the mall

has an annual footfall of around 6.5 million visitors.The 19th century creation took 8 years to build at a cost of 800000 Belgian francs in that era.Its a glittering beacon in the heart of the city, with paintings of gold leaf ornaments.

Neuhaus- The Inventor of Belgian Pralines
The surprises await at every corner of the town with the tale of a would be doctor turned pharmacist called Neuhaus. The family opened its boutique in 1857. 
Pralines on display
Neuhaus came out with the idea to cover the medicines with a thin layer of chocolate that eventually led to the birth of pralines.The grandson of Neauhaus invented the modern day pralines with fillings that would leave you asking for more. They continue to invent to this dayand are still one of the most sought after pralines.
A baker paradise - Goossens( Not to miss the queue!!)

A little distance from her is 'Goossens' which you can never miss due to a perpetual line of customers awaiting their turns to buy one of the most delightful range of breads/. There eare fillings of nuts, fruits like cherries, mangoes , apples and even papaya that can create a storm in the taste buds. Never would you have come across such exciting variants of loaves. This place is a must visit!

Quetzal- The grand finale of hot chocolate

A grand finale of the Belgian chocolate hot is mandatory when in Antwerp. There is no dearth of places but' Quetzal' churns out one of the finest hot chocolates with all kinds of milk from normal, to cashew, oat milk with flavours of hazelnut,cinnamon,dark chocolate, and so many more that will leave you drooling! 

The food trail in Antwerp is memorable one and the possibilities of food exploration are endless. The spark for following this food trail was ignited by Paul Hollywood's episode on Antwerp in " City Bakes' and I am happy I could accomplish most of it! Soif you visit this lovely city do not forget these sinful indulgences

PS- The pictures are mine