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No, we are not trying to convert you to the ubiquitous sprout, ahead of the Christmas rush. Remember they were in short supply last year and the nation panicked? This is Brussels, the city. The city with the under-served reputation for being dull. A bit like its cousin in the vegetable family. Something everybody knows about but would rather not bother with. This is a lot to do with Brussels new role as the seat of the EU where it seems lots of boring and irrelevant legislation gets passed.

When weekend breaks are suggested, nobody ever says "Brussels", they say Prague, or Amsterdam or Paris. But Brussels is only two hours on the Eurostar and has so much to offer. Why not give it a second chance? For one thing, they have chocolate. Lashings of it. For another, most of the recent BBC series "The White Queen" was filmed here, and fans will have a wonderful time piecing together favourite scenes from episodes on strolls around the city.

Then there is the art. Brussels has a stunning museum dedicated to Magritte. Not only are there over 200 works by the famous surrealist, the whole building itself is quite surreal. There are also lovely drawings and old film footage of the artist and his family larking about. Priceless. At the more formal Royal Museum (next door) you can see paintings by Breughel and Hieronymus Bosch. A most unusual and stimulating collection is that at the Museum of Instruments. Spread over 7 floors it features over 7,000 instruments, and there is a great café, right at the top.

But back to the chocolate; you are not going to visit Brussels and not indulge in chocolate, that would be a breach of international etiquette. (There's probably an EU ruling against it). The best shop is said to be Pierre Marcolini. You'll find this on Place du Grand Sablon, or by following the aromas. The chocolates are like jewels, and are available in every flavour conceivable. If you went now, and were very strong-willed, you could buy them for everyone on your Christmas list and make a lot of people very happy. Then again, you could eat them all in the hotel room because they are just too good to resist.

Talking of hotels; the Amigo, just off Grand Place is recommended. It's a Rocco Forte hotel, and as always, he has utilised the talents of his sister, the awesome Olga Polizzi, to bring exquisite finishing touches to all the rooms.

You won't need a hire car as Brussels is accessible on foot and lovely for wandering around. There are lots of little bars everywhere where you can take refreshment. The market in Grand Place sells lots of attractive trinkets and warming Gluhwein too. Brussels is so close, but its elegance, architecture and east going vibe are relatively unknown. Why not give Brussels a chance?

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