Brussels Food Friends event

Last year five Brussels bloggers met each other for the first time at an event in Rotterdam. It was during the two hour car journey back that they planned to meet again, but a bit closer to home and invite other bloggers to meet and network with. Last weekend I went to their first Brussels Food Friends event. A sunny Spring day didn't keep 25 food loving bloggers away from an afternoon filled with yummy cakes and interesting talks.

We met up in the lounge area of The Hotel in the centre of Brussels. The black and gold interior design enchanted me immediately, what a stylish meeting place. A row of cakes in all rainbow colours was waiting for us, its first test audience. The Hotel has started last year with a special High Tea: drinking tea from beautiful Villeroy and Boch porcelain specially designed by illustrator Lovisa Burfitt, and eating scrumptious 'cube cakes' created by their in-house pastry chef Claudio Renzi. 
We were happy testers of the new range of 'cube cakes' that will be served soon at tea time in the hotel bar. I never say no to cake and it was impossible to pick a favourite, they are all so good! (I will be back to try the others too.)

How nice to meet so many new blogging faces. It is easy to mingle with people who have the same interests as you: eating, cooking and writing about it! I went home with a bunch of business cards and the promise to meet again really soon. And a goodie bag with the best goodies! 
I couldn't stop myself, even after all the cakes, from munching on the chocolates on the way home. Lots people side glancing when I opened the bag on the train! The chocolate by Laurent Gerbaud was finished by the time I got home but I managed to make a few easy recipes with the other goodies:

The jam in my goodie bag was a soft and sweet banana and organic navel oranges jam with dark chocolate and brown sugar. It tastes likes a deluxe chocolate spread and I thought of pancakes as soon as I tried a little spoon. Spread a thin layer on the crêpe, roll it and slice in small pieces. Little dessert bites always make me feel less guilty. 

Cheese by Gings artisan cheese
How good was that cheese! I am a cheese lover and goats cheese is one of my favourites. I already tried a little spoon (or two) the night before but on Sunday I jumped on my bike and drove to the best baker in town. Cheese this good deserves the best bread. I made a fresh tomato salsa for it and it was a perfect Sunday lunch.

Tomato Salsa
Cherry tomatoes
Spring onions
Fresh basil leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar

Chop the tomatoes in small cubes, thinly slice the spring onions and the fresh basil. Mix everything in a small bowl. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over it, give it a little dash of balsamic vinegar and a twist of black pepper. Cut a thick slice of your favourite bread, spread the cheese over it and a good spoonful of the salsa. Enjoy!

Speculoos by Dandoy
It is almost a sin to use the speculoos of Dandoy in a recipe because it is the best speculoos ever. But I did it anyway, in a very tasty duck's breast salad.

Smoked duck's breast
Cherry tomatoes
Make the vinaigrette with:
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 spoons of vegetable oil
1 spoon of raspberry vinaigrette
pepper and salt 

Make the salad with slices of smoked duck's breast, watercress, slices of pear and cubed cherry tomatoes. Pour over the mustard raspberry vinaigrette. Dress with the crumbled speculoos. The combination of sour vinaigrette, sweet speculoos, soft pear and savoury duck's breast is a taste explosion in your mouth!

The Hotel
Boulevard de Waterloo 38
1000 Brussels
T +32 2 504 11 11
Tea-Time with Lovisa is served in the Lobby Lounge of The Hotel
every day from 11:00 to 18:00

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