It doesn’t matter for how long you are going to stay in Brussels, in all likelihood, you will be interested in purchasing some souvenirs for your friends, relatives and co-workers. Of course, once you think about the most signature items produced in Belgium, it is highly probable, that you will come with the idea of getting some chocolates and beer. Yet, Belgium has many other unique goods which will be perfect as a present for your loved one. You might find some of them quite unexpected which will also make your gifts a kind of a surprise.
If a person, for whom you would like to purchase a souvenir in Brussels, enjoy smoking cigars, you should definitely pay your attention to the Nicarao brand.
Although the Cuban cigars are regarded worldwide as the best product of this kind, tobacco of the highest quality is also grown in Nicaragua. What is more, the Nicaragua leaves are of a more favourable price. One of the most remarkable brands using the Nicaragua tobacco is Nicarao. The production of its cigars takes place in South America, yet it has an enormous connection with Belgium since the inventor of this exclusive blend was made by Didier Houvenaghel. He was a Belgian tobacco agronomist working in Cuba and spending years researching the quality of various species of tobacco. The result of his studies was the invention of the Nicarao brand which is regarded one of the best type of cigars of non-Cuban origin.
You can find the Nicarao cigars in many special shops in Brussels. one of the places we can recommend to you for purchasing these cigars as well as other items related to smoking such as cigar cutters, lighters or pipes is Le Roi du Cigare. Here, a package of ten Nicarao Minutos costs 47 euros which is the same for an entire carton of cigarettes in this shop. Yet, the Nicarao cigars are almost twice cheaper than the Cuban cigars, however, their quality is exceptionally high. In this shop, Cubans are also available in a great variety of types.
Even if you are not going to buy anything, it is still worth to visit Le Roi du Cigare which is located in a building featured by gorgeous architecture. By the way, this place is located under the following address: 25, Rue Royale 1000, Bruxelles which is very close to the Central Station of Brussels.
Belgian lace products
You might not be aware of the fact that Belgium used to be one of the major centres of the lace trade, especially when lace was regarded as one of the most precious materials affordable only by royalty and clergymen. With time, separate styles of lace clothes evolved in each country and gradually, the expensive material became a commodity.
Although today the greatest fraction of the world lace production is located in China, but there is still a small group of workers in Belgium who are maintaining the tradition of creating handmade lace goods. Since making lace items in such a way is highly time-consuming requiring approximately 85 hours for making a small piece of lace embroidery, these products are not so cheap. Yet, this makes them really exclusive.
Currently, there are around a thousand of lacemakers in Belgium all of whom are women after fifty years of age. If you want to find items created by one of the oldest families passing the traditional method of making lace embroidery, you should visit the Galerie de la Reine and exactly, Manufacture Belge de Dentelles. Here you can find many local Belgian styles.
One of the items especially loved by tourists is a lace hand fan. At Manufacture Belge de Dentelles they are presented in two colour versions, white and black. The prices for small ones are starting from 50 euros, whereas bigger ones can coast around 75 euros. Here, you can also purchase factory-produced hand fans, but you will definitely notice a large difference in the quality between these hand fans and the hand-made ones.
In case you are ready to give somewhat more for the souvenirs from Belgium, one of the items you should bear in mind is Belgian glassware which is available in different stores including Val Saint Lambert which is also located in Galerie du Roi.
The glassware produced in Belgium which is assuredly worth your attention comes from a small village Val Saint Lambert. This place has been one of the major centres of production of handmade ornaments created of crystal since the eighteenth century. Although during the last decades the company was going through some economical issues, it was purchased by a wine family in 2008. They managed to restore the brand up to that extent that Val Saint Lambert was producing its glassware even for Herman von Rompuy who is was the European Council president. In addition to it, the company is a major King’s Albert II supplier of glassware.
Currently, the fame of the Val Saint Lambert has spread around the world and you can find the bowls, vases and other glassware items of the interior decoration in more than forty countries. Still, the products you can get in Brussels were created with a view to preserving the Belgian traditions.