Re: Where to go in Namur
Posted by on 07/27/2002 04:02:09 AM
The following are the main entries for Namur in my guide, which is downloadable, along with location map, from www.whitebeertravels.com/downloads.html. Note that included is Le Bouffon du Roi which has by far the biggest beer selection in the city. As a present to all Babblers, the pass word to download the guide free of charge is bouffon
Le Chapitre. 4, rue du Séminaire, ( 081 26 04 90
As can be seen in the photo in the White Beer Travels Guide, the Chapter [House] is fittingly in the shadow of the Cathédrale St. Aubain. It cannot be missed when approaching from the Cathedral's square, Place Saint Aubain. Initially it appears to have open shutters at the windows, as per the photo, but these turn out to be an excellent trompe l'œil (deceiver of the eye). As can be seen, a restaurant with a different name, L'Entrepôt, is above Le Chapitre. It appears to be only accessible from inside Le Chapitre. L'Entrepôt is open on Friday and Saturday, in the evening.
Le Chapitre is an outstanding Speciality Beer Bar that I first went inside and partook of a beer, in October, 2001. Based on this visit, I have a feeling that it was actually open, when I first tried to visit it in May, 2001, when I thought it was shut, at a time that it should have been open, but I did not persevere, even though I thought there was a member of staff inside; there were no customers. The problem was that the most obvious entrance door on the side to the place is permanently locked. There is an easily missed notice on it, which states that one should use the next door, the latter not seeming to be associated with the place, but using it gets one inside.
The beers available are listed on a blackboard. It is a small, but select list. There are three draught beers: La Chouffe and Lindemans Peach Beer, Pécheresse, both at €2.23; and St. Bernardus ? at €2.35. I counted twenty nine bottle beers on the board. It is a list that clearly changes, since in his guide, Stephen d'Arcy gives prices for a fair number of beers, which were not listed on the night of my visit. Significantly, there were no beers from La Caracole, a brewery which has its origins in the city. The full list on the night of my visit was as follows: Boon Geuze, Kriek and Framboise, all at €3.72 (37.5cl); Lindemans Kriek/Faro/Cassis at €1.98/1.98/2.11; Duchesse de Bourgogne and Caves, both at €2.35; Van Eecke's Blanche de Watou (Watou's Witbier) at €1.74, and their Abt at €2.97; Witkap Stimulo/Dubbel at €2.73/2.97; Ellezelloise's Quintine Blonde/Quintine Ambrée/Hercule at €2.97/3.22/3.47; Huyghe's Floris Miel, St. Adriaans from Leuven's brewpub Domus, Tripel Karmeliet, Rochefortoise Ambrée, Binchoise's Rose des Remparts, Hapkin, Silly's La Divine, Westmalle Tripel, Achouffe's Vieille Salme, and a Cistercian beer, Val Dieu Triple, all at €2.97; Scotch de Silly at €2.35; Orval at €2.73; and Rochefort 8o/10o at €2.73/3.22.
There are twelve single malts, co owners Dennis Fourneyron and Laurent Mathieu being great fans. They are clearly very proud of their selection, since a notice declares "Rien n'égale notre Whisky" (There is nothing to match our Whisky). Red and White wine are €1.74 by the glass.
Food includes: Chevres Chauds (Hot Goat's Cheese) at €8.18; Frisées aux Lardons (Curly Lettuce and Diced Bacon), Salade de Gésiers et Foies Volailles (Chicken Gizzards and Liver Salad), Assiette de Charcuterie Italienne Tomate Mozzarella (Italian Cooked Meat Slices with Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese), all at €7.19 and Croque Ardennaise (Croque Monsieur, Ardennes Style) at €4.46. Note that these were blackboard items, so the choice could be different on your visit. This type of food is available between Noon and 7pm on Monday to Thursday, between Noon and 10pm on Friday, and between 6pm and 10pm on Saturday. At all times that the bar itself is open, some simple snacks are also available: Portion Fromage (Cheese) at €3.72; Saucisson (Dry Sausage) at €2.73; Mixte (Cheese and Dry Sausage) at €4.21; Pistaches and Biscuits Chinois, both at €2.35; and Olives at €3.72.
The building in which the bar and upstairs restaurant are housed is quite old; both have a nice lived in feel to them. The bar has the trademark brewery plaques on the bare brick walls of a quality Speciality Beer bar. Stephen D'Arcy told Dennis that he felt that it had the soul of the old L’Éblouissant. He replied that this place and its owner Alain Mossiat were his inspiration. In the bar, one or both of the owners, sporting brewers' aprons, tend to sit with customers at their tables.
From Monday to Friday, Le Chapitre is open from Noon until 2pm, and from 3.30pm until "around" (alentours) Midnight. On Saturday it opens from 5pm until around Midnight. It is not open on Sundays and is typically shut from around the middle of July until the middle of August.
The next entry, Brasserie Henry/Henry's Bar, which is close by, has less restrictive eating times. Its food is excellent and there are some interesting beers.
Brasserie Henry/Henry's Bar. 3, Place Saint Aubain, tel 081 22 02 04
This restaurant and bar is just South of the Cathedral, in its square. It gets rave reviews in most guide books, hence my visit in October, 2001; it has a "menu for less than €21.07" symbol in the 2001 edition of Michelin. Note that the Brasserie Henry part of this place is a restaurant not a brewery (Brasserie being the French for brewery as well as a Brasserie style restaurant). Henry's Bar is a really smart, large bar, with a beautifully arranged array of glasses behind it, that one can sit at and just have a drink. It is directly within the restaurant, in full view from it. One can also drink without eating at certain tables, even at traditional meal times. One is served by waiters who really look the part, in their waistcoats, bow ties and white aprons.
The place has an outstanding façade, and inside it is particularly elegant. It is a rare example for the area of a building in the Napoléon III (1808 1873) style. There are marble pillars and tables, a lovely ceiling and a classy conservatory. The paintings on the walls include works by Vincent Visette. On the garden side, note the two characters below the Belgian Coat of Arms, who represent the Meuse and Sambre rivers. The place is a véritable Namur institution, an absolute don't miss.
On my visit, I was only anticipating a minimal number of beers and expected these to be typical of brasseries in French, which have their origins in the Alsace and thus offer dishes which emanate from this region, such as Sauerkraut ("Sour (Acidic) Cabbage", Choucroute in French, a dish piled with much ham and sausages) washed down with good Alsatian wines, but, unfortunately only extremely moderate Alsatian beers, such as, for me, the undrinkable Kronenbourg. However, some interesting beers are available in this particular Brasserie. There are five on draught, including Blanche de Bruges at €1.49, and twenty six in bottle. These include: La Gauloise Blonde and Ambrée, both at €2.35; La Gauloise Brune and the Namur brewed Strawberry beer, La Wépionnaise (see next entry), both at €2.97; Rochefort 8o and Bush 12o, both at €2.78; Orval at €3.22; and Duvel at €2.73.
The House Wines (Les Vins de Maison) in the usual three colours are €1.86/3.47/6.46/9.68 for a glass/25cl/50cl/bottle. On the main menu, the only other wine is Tokay Pinot Gris d'Alsace at €3.72 for a glass. There is also a separate wine menu.
The food choice was more varied than in a typical [Alsatian] Brasserie and there were a number of vegetarian options. The starters include Potage de Jour (Soup of the Day) at €2.97; and Soupe de Poisson (Fish Soup) at €5.70. In "Les Grands Classiques Brasserie" section of the menu, the dishes include: Les Petits Os Grillés (Spare Ribs), Sauce Ribbs at €10.16; L'Andouillettes Grillées "Chedeville", Pommes au Lard (Grilled Chitterling Sausages with Potatoes containing Bacon) at €10.78; Le Jambonneau Grillé, Moutarde ou Béarnaise (Pork Knuckle with Mustard or Béarnaise Sauce) at €13.39; Le Véritable Waterzooi de Poulet à la Gantoise (Real Ghent Chicken Stew) at €13.78; Le Cassoulet fait dans La Maison (Dordogne Stew Made on the Premises) at €14.25; and La Choucroute "Brasserie Henry", at €14.25.
In "Les Poissons" (Fish) section dishes include: Le Gros Dos de Cabillaud, Sauce Mousseline (Large Back of Cod) at €14.38. Meat dishes ("Les Viandes") include: Le Tartare de Boeuf (Uncooked Minced Beef) at €9.79; La Côte de Veau au Noilly Prat (Veal Chops cooked in a Dry Vermouth) at €14.38; and Le Magret de Canard aux Fruits Rouge (Duck cooked with Red Fruits) at €14.75.
I had the cod dish on my visit; it was marvellous, totally historic; it was prepared using extremely good quality, fresh fish. Other dishes noted included Spag Bol at €6.82 and Lasagne de Légumes (Vegetables) for €9.79. There was a two course lunchtime menu at €7.93, a Plat du Jour (Dish of the Day) at €7.19 and a three course Menu Végétarien du Mois (Month) for €9.79;
According to the Michelin Guide it is open every day until midnight, and is shut for the second half of July. It probably opens around breakfast time.
Le Bouffon du Roi. 60, rue de Bruxelles, tel 081 23 00 44
"The King's Jester" (Court Jester) opened in 1996. With the demise of the great L’Éblouissant, this place happens to have by far the biggest selection of Speciality Beers in Namur, although, in mid 2001, it was not in Tim Webb's or Stephen D'Arcy's Guides or any other English language guide that I know of. I discovered it whilst surfing the Internet and duly paid it a visit in May, 2001. It turned out to be an excellent place.
It is extremely narrow on entry. It opens up at the bottom beyond the bar, this dark room having original art work on the wall and, for some reason, a large "Pharmacie" sign. The Art, in fact, is regularly changed, since exhibitions are organised here by "Clair Obscur", a non profit making organisation. On my visit, nude etchings were to the fore. There are also some interesting old photographs of Namur that permanently adorn the walls. There is a stone floor. The staff are young and very friendly.
There is a "BSB" diploma in the window. BSB stands for L'Office Belge du Service de la Bière (Belgian Agency for Beer Dispensing), something which is roughly akin to the English "Cask Mark".
The only regular draught beer of interest is the ubiquitous Hoegaarden at €1.49. There is a draught beer of the month at a very attractive price, for example, on my visit, it was Super des Fagnes (8%), at €1.12 for Le Galopin (25cl). This is a common beer in a number of bars in Namur. At one time it was solely brewed by Du Bocq, in Purnode, and I believe that the bulk of it still is (see my separate notes on Du Bocq), but some is now possibly brewed by the Brasserie des Fagnes, a brewpub in Mariembourg, near Couvin and Chimay, in the Wallonian province of Hainaut. For further information, see their excellent Web site, which is in both French and English: www.brasseriedesfagnes.be.
The Bouffon du Roi's list of over seventy bottled beer is in three parts. The first has small bottles (33cl or 25cl) of beers that are common in a lot of places in Namur: the usual classics, such as Trappists and Duvel. The second group contains more interesting, small bottles for which a brief description is given. The third lot are 75cl bottles, again with descriptions. Most of the beers in the latter two parts are artisanal beers, both Wallonia and Flanders being well covered. Quite a number of the beers from Flanders, like the house beer, have French names. For such beers, I have put a ("V") after their names, this standing for Vlaanderen.
Small bottles in the first part of the list include: Hoegaarden Spéciale (in season) for 1.61BF (25cl); Rodenbach at €75 (25cl); Rochefort 8o and Duvel at €2.60; Du Bocq's La Gauloise Blonde and Ambrée at €2.73; and Rochefort 10o, St. Bernardus "Sixtus 12o", Westmalle Tripel, Orval, Kwak, and Hoegaarden's Fruit Défendu, all at €2.85.
Small bottles in the descriptive, second part of the list include: Hoegaerdse DAS at €1.61 (25cl); Timmermans Faro at €2.35; Super des Fagnes, Verhaeghe's Queue de Charrue (V) (5.4%), Huyghe's La Poiluchette Brune (V) (7%, 25cl), Silly's Double Enghien Blonde (7.5%) and Timmermans Bourgogne des Flandres (V) (6.5%), all at €2.48; Caulier's La Vieille Bon Secours (8%), Lefèbvre's Barb?r (8%) and Abbaye de Bonne Espérance, Haacht's Charles Quint (V) (7%), Silly's La Divine (9.5%), Huyghe's La Bière du Corsaire Rouge (V) (7%), La Guillotine (V) (9%, it is relabelled Delirium Tremens) and Delirium Nocturnum (9%), Van Eecke's Kapittel Prior (9%), Van Honsebrouck's Bière du Château (V) (Kasteelbier) (11%), Mibrana's Jamboise de Bister (6%), Slaghmuylder's Witkap Stimulo (6%), Bosteel's Tripel Karmeliet (8%), La Dominus (possibly a Dutch beer from Koningshoeven, Dominus Double Brune (6.5%)), Van Steenberge's Gulden Draak (11%), and Brasserie de Bouillon's La Médiévale (6%), all at €2.85; and Ellezelloise's Quintine (8.5%) at €3.10.
The 75cl bottles are all €6.45, a selection of three of which can be had for €17.35. They include: Abbaye des Rocs' La Montagnarde (9%) and Abbaye des Rocs (9%), Van Honsebrouck's Brigand (9%), La Caracole Ambrée (7.2%), Achouffe's La Chouffe (8%), Dupont's Moinette Blonde (8.5%), Cantillon's Gueuze (5%), Friart's (brewed by Du Bocq) St. Feuillien Blonde (8%), Vapeur's Cochonne (9.5%) and En Folie (8%), and Abbaye de Gembloux (8%). The latter beer has been brewed since 1980 by students in the Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, which is actually based in the former Benedictine Gembloux Abbey, a few miles to the North West of Namur (2, Passage des Déportés, 5030 Gembloux, tel 081 62 21 11, Web site www.fsagx.ac.be).
In 1999 Le Bouffon du Roi introduced its own beer, La Bouffonne (8.5%). Unfortunately, it is, for me, a cloying disappointment. No information as to its origin is given on the bottle. According to OBP, the nearest Belgian equivalent to CAMRA, it is brewed by Huyghe, near Ghent, in East Flanders and is thus not Wallonian as its name would want one to believe; it is probably an etiquette beer another beer of Huyghe's, but with a different label since this brewery is just about as bad as fellow East Flanders brewer Van Steenberge (Bios) when it comes to this practice, something that is deplored by OBP.
I was charged only €2.35 for a 33cl bottle of this, although the menu card declares it to be €2.60. A similar discount happened with other beers sampled, so I assume a happy hour was on at the time of my visit, although none was advertised (I visited around 6pm on a Sunday). Note that, according to the menu card, entry is free when there is live music on, but that there is a surcharge of €0.25 per "consommation".
Further information, including some beers not listed on the menu card, such as La Gesvoise (5.5%) a wheat beer, probably brewed by Du Bocq for "Central Brasserie" in Ciney (32, rue E. Dinot, tel 083 22 01 51) and Haacht's Monseigneur Grand Cru (V) (8%), can be found on the place's Web site: http://users.skynet.be/bouffon (the latter may at some stage be replaced by www.bouffon.com, the URL quoted on the menu card).
An outstanding bottled beer tried here was one that was on a blackboard, rather than the menu card. This was a strawberry beer, La Wépionnaise (6.5%), which was €2.85 (less €0.25) in a 33cl bottle. The beer itself tasted very fresh and there was no doubt that it was made of fresh fruit; it did not have the jam taste of many lambic based strawberry beers. Like Bateman's absolutely superb Strawberry Fields of a few years back, I suspect that cold wort was filtered through whole strawberries prior to fermentation, rather than the fruit or its juice being added to the mash at high temperature. Earlier in the day I had passed through nearby Wépion, Belgium's Strawberry town, which has, would you believe, a Strawberry Museum (Musée de la Fraise et du Terroir Wépionnais, 1037, Chaussée de Dinant, tel 081 46 20 07, open every day except Monday between 3pm and 6pm, from Easter until All Saints' Day (the 1st of November)). Punnets were duly purchased from one of the many roadside/riverside stalls. Clearly it was the height of the season, which could also explain the fresh nature of the beer and its appearance only on a blackboard.
On the strawberry beer's label, the only company info is "La Wépionnaise Sprl B 5000 Namur tel 081 22 55 94". A beer of this name was listed in the "Nieuwe Bieren" (New Beers) section of the July 1998 edition of OBP’s magazine "Den Bierproever". This stated that it was brewed by Mibrana in Namur for the Novotel hotel, as did the reproduction of the label. The bottle I drank in Le Bouffon du Roi, in May, 2001, did not have this information, but the label was similar, so it is probably also brewed by Mibrana (see the entry for Les Artisans Brasseurs next).
Wine from Burgundy is €1.74 a glass, and €3.10/5.95/8.68 for 25cl/50cl/a bottle. There are also three other French wines available in half bottles for between €4.96 and €6.20. Laurent Perrier Champagne is €43.38 a bottle. There are excellent Belgian fruit wines at €1.98 a glass, and €3.47/6.57/9.67 for 25cl/50cl/a bottle. Flavours available are "Pom Oran Amer" (presumably Apple and Bitter Orange), Pomme Cerise (Apple Cherry), Rhubarbe and Groseille Rouge (Redcurrant). Alain Mossiat (formerly of L’Éblouissant) was always trying to persuade me to take a group of Beer Hunters to the source of these fruit wines, Vin du Gorli, who are located in Profondeville, a few miles South (upstream) of Namur, just beyond the strawberry place Wépion, en route to Dinant (38, Chaussée de Namur, tel 081 41 16 16), but I have not yet got round to it. There is a selection of whiskies, including malts and other spirits. The most expensive malts are €4.96 for a 5cl measure, but six different ones can be had for €24.79. Finally, there is a selection of speciality teas and coffees.
Not counting crisps, biscuits and portions of cheese, food is limited to Croque Monsieurs in the range €2.35 to €2.97 there are ten sorts and sandwiches in the range €1.98 to €2.23, these coming with three slices of "Pain Gris" (Grey Bread).
Books on beer are available for reading whilst in the place. Monthly live music is organised (jazz, blues, rock, world music, Irish), see below.
It is open from Monday to Friday from 8am until 1am and on Saturday and Sunday from 6pm until 1am.
Next door (although it has the same street number and telephone number), see the photo above, is a small shop in the same ownership, "Night & Day". This sells miscellaneous provisions and toiletries. The beer range is very limited, the usual fizz, but also La Bouffonne. Note that its Web site (www.night-shop.com) lists other Night & Days, including ones in Louvain la Neuve, Dinant and Belgrade, these last two places both being in the Province of Namur! It also provides information on bars in Wallonia that are not in its ownership. Also detailed are events taking place, some of which it organises and useful information, such as, for example, that a La Caracole beer will be available on draught at Le Bouffon du Roi in such and such a month.
Close by, on the other side of the road is an atmospheric students' bar, Le Petit Bitu II, 51, rue de Bruxelles, tel 081 23 18 44 (Web site www.petitbitu.net). Round the corner from this, en route to the Place St. Aubain (for the don't miss Brasserie Henry/Henry's Bar and Le Chapitre), Le Monde à L'Envers (World Upside Down), 26, rue Lelièvre, tel 081 23 02 46, looks to be an extremely interesting place, unfortunately sporting a Maes sign.
Les Artisans Brasseurs. 2, Place de la Station, tel 081 23 16 94
From its address this is clearly near the station or gare, the railway station. Its official name is Brasserie Mibrana (Mibrana Brewery, MIcro BRasserie de NAmur), but Les Artisans Brasseurs, the Artisanal Brewers, is what appears on the rather tatty canopy on the outside, which is in complete contrast to the smart interior. Attractive brew vessels are to be seen immediately on entering, leaving no doubt that this is a brewpub.
Prices for the draught house beers (May, 2001) are as follows: Marlagne Blanche (5.2%) and Blonde (5.5%) are €1.61; Aldegonde Ambrée (7.2%), Spéciale Brune (7.5%) and Cuvée Blonde (7.5%) are respectively €2.11/2.11/2.35; Les Spécialités such as Pêche Abricot (Peach Apricot) and Moutarde (Mustard) are €2.60; and the Seasonal beers (Saisonnières) Saint Valentin (9%), Printemps, Wallonie (9%) and Noël (9%) are all €2.60.
There are usually six different beers available on draught. A good way to sample a variety of the beers available is to order one of the Discovery Palettes, Palettes Découvertes. These consist of a number of 20cl Galopins delivered on a palette. (In my dictionary a Galopin is a street urchin or scamp, but that is what they call such glasses in here!) Three, four, five, six glass palettes are respectively €3.59/5.21/6.57/7.68.
There are some bottled beers, all bottle conditioned, of their own, including a Blonde, La Namuroise (7%) and a mustard beer, Jamboise de Bister (6%). This is made for a renowned mustard company, La Moutarderie Bister, which is situated in Jambes (1, Rue de Francquen 1, 5100 Namur, tel 081 30 03 06), which is essentially a suburb of Namur just across the River Meuse, hence the beer's name. Further information on the beer can be obtained from this company's Web site, www.bister.com. Note that historically Jambes, on the other side of the river Meuse to the main part of the present city, belonged to the Prince Bishops of Liège, and thus the main part of Namur developed around the Sambre river, which, as stated before, joins the Meuse in Namur. Hence, Namur is often referred to as a city of the Sambre, rather than the much bigger Meuse.
Pecket is €1.98. Another interesting spirit available is one made by distilling a French Bière de Garde, Wolfberger's Fleur de Bière (Web site www.wolfberger.fr), at €5.33.
In the food line there are main meals, including a special, which are often cooked in beer, although on the May, 2001 visit, the special was an excellent Cuisse de Lapin aux Pruneaux (Rabbit "Thighs" with Prunes). Snacks include a garnished Croque Monsieur (a form of toasted cheese and ham sandwich), at €2.35 and a Baguette with 4 Fromages (Cheeses) for €2.48.
Credit cards are not accepted for orders under €24.79.
From Monday to Thursday, it is open from 10am until 7pm and from 10am until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. It is not open on Sundays or on national holidays. From 6pm on the first and the third Sunday of each month it hosts a meeting of a Namur gay organisation, Tandem. Hot food is available everyday from 11.30am until 3pm and from 7pm until 11pm at weekends.
Le Métropole. 1, rue Emile Cuvelier (very near the Place d'Armes), tel 081 23 05 65
Leaving Place d'Armes at the Bourse end (its North East corner) one very quickly comes to another nice square, the Place du Théâtre, which houses the Théâtre Royal (its Web site, www.theatredenamur.be, gives details of the Operas and other performances staged here). En route, practically in the Place d'Armes, is this "Café Restaurant", which can be seen in the photo on the left, with the Theatre in the background. The Brasserie du Bocq’s La Gauloise sign outside promises some good beers. Indeed it was recommended by the brewery for inclusion in John Woods and Keith Rigley's "The Beers of Wallonia". This was the brewery's only recommendation for Namur and one of only four they gave in total.
It is a very nice place. It has a wooden bar and is carpeted throughout. Windows on two sides give it a pleasant light, feel. There are stone pillars on either side of the entrance. My October, 2001 visit was on a Wednesday lunchtime. It very quickly completely filled up with locals, such that at 12.40, people were standing waiting for tables to come free, when other places close by had only a handful of people in them.
There are six draught beers: the basic Pils, supplied by Diekirch, who brew in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is €1.25/1.36/2.35 for 25/33/50cl; Diekirch Grand Cru (an Ambrée) is €1.75; Du Bocq's Triple Moine, which is the same as St Benoît Triple and Deugniet, is €1.90; Blanche (Wheat Beer) (En Saison) is €1.75; St. Louis Kriek (En Saison) is €1.85; and Spéciale Métro (Brune) is €1.50. I could not find any information on the latter beer using the Internet's best search engine, www.google.com; it is not in Diekirch's product range according to the brewery's Web site, www.diekirch.com (www.diekirch.lu is the site for the historic town of Diekirch). Both these sites have English pages.
Bottled beers include: Diekirch Grand Cru at €2; Orval and Duvel at €2.50; Rochefort 8o/10o at €2.50/3.50; Abbaye de la Ramée Blonde and Ambrée, both at €2.50; Rodenbach at €1.75; La Gauloise Ambrée and Brune, both at €2.25, which are served in the cooling tower shaped, handled glass; and Maredsous 8o/10o at €2.75/3. The Abbaye de la Ramée beers are brewed by Brunehaut, in Brunehaut, which is South of Tournai, very close to the French Border. The beers are produced for La Ferme de l'Abbaye de la Ramée, which was the farm of a former Cistercian monastery. It is near Namur, see the map on its Web site, www.ramee.be, which has English pages. It is a very smart place where conferences, weddings, etc are held.
The house wines are €1.85/3.75/6.70/10.40 for a glass/25cl/50cl/bottle. Interesting bottles include a Pinot Noir d'Alsace Réserve Particulière Jean Geiler for €22.50. Liqueurs include: a Marc de Gewürztraminer (made by distilling the liquid from the second pressing of grapes used to produce Gewürztraminer wine) for €4.50; and Eau de Villée (see the entries for L’Assiette Namuroise and Côté Terroirs) for €4.
There is a blackboard "Suggestion de la Semaine" (Dish of the Week) and a "Plat du Jour" (Dish of the Day). On my visit, these were respectively: Rognons à la Manière de l'Ancienne (Kidneys cooked in the old style way) for €11.16; and Cochon de Lait, Choux Fleurs, Pommes aux Herbes (Suckling Pig with Cauliflower and Herbed Potatoes) for €7.19. Practically everyone who came in chose one of these two dishes, my wife pronouncing the latter to be excellent. I had the Boulettes Sauce Tomate from the permanent menu for €8.70. These Meat Balls proved to be excellent; they were made from a lightly coloured meat, that was probably pork, and came with English style Chips, albeit pre prepared ones. Other snacks and dishes on the menu card included: Croque Monsieur at €4.60; Omelette Nature (including Frites and Crudités (Salad)) for €4.70; Toast au Thon (Tuna) for €4.95; Steak Nature for €11.20; and Spag Bol at €6.20.
It was noted that the top class coffee was supplied by Cafés Delahaut (21, rue de l'Ange, tel 081 22 11 58). This proved to be a splendid shop for the purchase of ground coffee and beans and other coffee related items. Seeking it out it led to the discovery of a truly excellent chocolate and tea place on the opposite corner from it, Galler, which I have put in the restaurant section of this guide, as one can, not only buy chocolate and tea to take away, but one can eat there very well in its restaurant/tea room. Also in the restaurant section is an unusual Restaurant/Café, a few doors down from Le Métropole, at 9, rue Emile Cuvelier, which is also opposite the Théâtre Royal: Au Petit Théâtre, which will appeal to those who like Oriental food as well as those who like a good beer.
Le Métropole is open every day except Sunday from 8.30am until 9pm. There is no food on Mondays or on Tuesday evenings.
Le Collège. 16, rue du Collège, tel 081 23 09 95
This trendy bar with an attractive wooden exterior, displays a BSB diploma in the window. A related declaration states that it serves its low fermented beers at 3oC and its top fermented beers at 12oC, apart from the two "Scottish" beers listed below, which it serves at 11oC. I have not got round to visiting it yet, but some Beer Hunters that I brought to the city in October, 2001, made repeated visits during their stay, having found the place to be excellent, with particularly friendly staff, who were most interested in knowing why they were in the place.
Bottles include: Orval, Westmalle Tripel, Gauloise ? and Duvel at €2.48; Rochefort 8o and 10o for €2.48/2.97; Hoegaerdse DAS at €1.49; Campbell's Christmas at €2.35; and Gordon's Scotch at €2.60 These are May, 2001 prices.
It is opposite the very large Église St. Loup (*), a church that is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Belgium. It is also close to the Musée Félicien Rops that is covered later (it is full of erotic etchings).
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