Healthy eating and fresh, local cuisine have become increasingly important to discerning travellers. With this in mind, Maestro Fulvio Pierangelini, Creative Director of Food for Rocco Forte Hotels, has partnered with best-selling Belgian author and ceramist Pascale Naessens to launch a delicious new healthy menu at Bar Amigo as part of the Rocco Forte Nourish programme. Designed to reflect the seasonal ingredients available in Belgium, the ‘feel good’ menu is flavoursome, fragrant and beautifully presented.
After feasting on Pascale’s new menu, why not continue your gastronomic journey at these delicious food markets in Brussels? Excellent spots for shopping and people watching, these colourful markets have plenty to offer, from traditional Belgian delicacies to organic produce and fresh flowers.
Parvis de Saint-Gilles
Parvis de Saint-Gilles is one of the oldest markets in Brussels. Located on the same picturesque cobblestone square in Saint-Gilles since the 1860s, the market is open six mornings a week from Tuesday to Sunday. It’s a culinary hotspot focusing on traditional produce from across Belgium, with traders here selling a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and meats, spices and delicatessen items. The square is also lined with cafés, where shoppers can enjoy a pick-me-up after perusing the stands.
Similar to Parvis de Saint-Gilles in terms of food offerings, Place Flagey is filled with stalls serving fresh produce and delicacies from across Belgium and Europe, with stalls dedicated to Greek cuisine, Italian pasta, and much more. The market takes place every morning except Mondays; weekends are particularly popular, when vendors put out tables and chairs where shoppers can relax and enjoy some food and even a glass of Champagne.
Place du Châtelain
Taking place in the upmarket neighbourhood of Châtelain every Wednesday, Place du Châtelain market offers a gourmet food-shopping experience. Local producers gather in the square to sell everything from fresh meat and fruit and vegetables, to olives, cheese and flowers. Unlike the other food markets in Brussels, Place du Châtelain is more of an afternoon affair. As the day draws to a close, the square floods with locals and expats, many coming straight from work to snack on oysters and enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine.
Place Sainte-Catherine takes place four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday, and is another of the longest-running markets in Brussels. Wednesday is devoted exclusively to organic produce, while markets on Thursday through Saturday showcase stalls offering a broader array of foods and flowers – the highlight of the market.
Place Van Meenen
One of the latest-closing markets in the city, Place Van Meenen is open every Monday from midday to 9pm. With a buzzing atmosphere and myriad stands offering flavours from across the globe, it’s a great place to sample international cuisine. Like Place du Châtelain, Place Van Meenen is a popular spot for Brussels residents to enjoy an after-work drink – to avoid the crowds, visit during the afternoon.
One for the early risers, Mabru is the wholesale market of Brussels. Known as the ‘Early Morning Market’, it’s where many chefs, caterers, grocers and retailers in Brussels shop before normal trading hours begin. While most of the dynamic market’s clientele are professionals looking to stock up on fresh, high-quality local and foreign produce, it’s also open to the public.
Marché du Midi
Taking place each Sunday, Marché du Midi is not only largest market in Brussels; it’s one of the biggest in Europe. A visit to this colourful market is an exciting and lively experience as hundreds of traders compete to showcase produce from all corners of the globe. The atmosphere buzzes as vendors hawk their latest wares, with everything from African delicacies to Belgian chocolates and plants up for grabs. While exploring the various stalls, make sure to stop off for a Moroccan pancake – a particular specialty at this market.
Discover fresh, healthy cuisine closer to home with the new Pascale Naessens for Rocco Forte Nourish menu, available at Bar Amigo.