Annual Christmas Luncheons & Holiday Boutique at Ridgefield’s Keeler Tavern

On of the most popular holiday traditions in Connecticut is the Annual Christmas Luncheons and Holiday Boutique at the historic Keeler Tavern Museum located on Main Street in the heart of Ridgefield Connecticut. This year’s luncheon and boutique are scheduled for Tuesday, December 7th through Saturday, December 11th.

The highlight of this event is the lavish lunch that will be served in the festively decorated Garden House that overlooks the sunken garden. There will be two seatings each day the first at 11:30 AM and the second at 1:00 PM. To make your reservation please call the Museum Office at 203-438-5485 from Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, or download a reservation form by going to the events page on the museum web site http://www. keelertavernmuseum.org.

Prepaid reservations are $23 per person. This event is a major fund raiser that helps support the Keeler Tavern Museum and has become a seasonal pleasure for many.

The Holiday Boutique will be open each day from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM and Sunday, December 12 from 1:00-4:00 PM. A wide variety of seasonal ornaments, gift items and crafts will be on display in the Cass Gilbert Dining Room in the Museum building. Gifts for family, friends and some especially to please you are there to purchase.

Belgique Opens Second Store in New Canaan, CT

Belgique Patisserie & Chocolatier, best known for its delicious handmade Belgian chocolates, has opened a second location and is changing its name to Belgique Chocolatier to reflect a new primary focus on chocolate.

The new store opened on September 16 and is located at 88 Elm Street in the middle of downtown New Canaan. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays. The Gilissens have taken great pains to make the façade look as much like the Kent store as possible, with the familiar yellow clapboards, rounded red awning, and Belgian cobblestone front.

Connecticut Magazine has named Belgique chocolates as the best in the state 3 years in a row (2008, 2009, 2010). Belgique also had the prestige of providing its chocolates to royalty such as Queen Elizabeth II at a state dinner in Washington, DC in 2007, and over the years Belgique has been featured in such notable publications as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Chocolatier Magazine, and Conde Nast Traveler Magazine. Its authentic Belgian hot chocolate was named as “one of the best 7 hot chocolates in the world” by Vivre Catalog in 2004.

Before opening Belgique in the year 2000, Chef Gilissen served as Executive Chef & Manager at The Residence of The Netherlands Ambassador to the U.S. in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he worked in Washington as Sous Chef for the British Ambassador to the U.S. Gilissen’s job was to prepare all meals, receptions, teas, etc. for these Ambassadors, their families and up to 1,000 guests. Working for embassies gave him the opportunity to cook for such notables as Queen Elizabeth II, President George H.W. Bush, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Hussein of Jordan, and violinist Isaac Stern. His particular passion for chocolates began during his time in Washington, D.C. He received his culinary education at Belgium’s École Hôtelière de Libramont after four years of study emphasizing gourmet cooking, restaurant/hotel management, pastries and wine. While in Belgium, Gilissen worked at Michelin 2-star hotel/restaurant Le Moulin Hideux in Noirefontaine, Belgium and Auberge de Lavacherie in Lavacherie, Belgium.

Belgique Chocolatier is located at 1 Bridge Street in Kent (860) 927-3681. The phone number for the New Canaan store is (203) 801-0538.