COVID-19 or not, Antwerpen Koekenstad is holding the Antwerp Chocolate Week and Antwerp Pateekes Week from 5 o 14 March. So now.
What are pateekes? It’s Antwerp dialect for pastries. You pronounce it like pâté in French and you add kes. Like ‘curse’ but shorter and without an r. So it’s pâté-cu(r)se.
Antwerp Chocolate Week
The Antwerp Chocolate Week is a tasting trail for everyone who loves chocolate. Because of COVID-19 and coronavirus countermeasures, you cannot eat your chocolates and pastries on site.
As usual you need the Chocolate Pass, which are sold at the Antwerp Tourism Office on the Grote Markt and in Antwerp-Central Railway Station. It’s 10 euros for ten coupons.
Antwerp Pateekes Week
The Antwerp Pateekes Week is similar to the Antwerp Chocolate Week, but then for pastries. You also need a pass, the Pateekes Pass, which costs 10 euros for ten coupons.
These passes are available at the Antwerp Tourism Office on the Grote Markt and in Antwerp-Central Railway Station.
Antwerpen Koekenstad Expo
There’s an exhibition on chocolate, pastry and cookie making, located in the Stadsfeestzaal.
This year’s highlighted biscuits are the Antwerp hand and the melocake or whippet.
I wanted to visit the exhibition at the opening, but no-one was there. Confusingly. The general page says opening hours are 10AM to 5PM, but the coronavirus countermeasures’ page says 12PM to 5PM.
Someone showed up at 10.20 AM but didn’t make hay to open the exhibition room. I couldn’t be bothered to wait longer.
The exhibition is to be be visited until 27 March. Opening hours unclear. Access is free if you have a Chocolate Pass or Pateekes Pass. The admission price without a pass is 5 euros. A sixpack of melocakes in included in the price.
You cannot book a time slot in advance, online. You have to show up and if necessary you can book a time slot late that day. How many people can be inside simultaneously. That is also unclear. It’s estimated you need 50 minutes to tour the exhibition. That seems a long time.
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