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A Londoner returns to Gent (part two)

Posted by Jeremy Gray on 08/27/2003 07:11:19 AM

Saturday kicked off with a couple of coffees, including one at a Tim Webb listed bar called Prelude, which isn’t really that special but which has a reasonable list of beers. From here we went to Den Turk, a Bob bar where we planned to have lunch (plus some beers, of course). Here my plan to do all 11 Bob bars in one weekend fell apart, as we found they were on holidays till next week. What a bummer, I’m just going to have to come back to Gent to pick off this last café. Life is tough indeed!

After a pathetic ‘lasagne’ for lunch in some central café, we wandered down to Trappistenhuis to find it closed till 6pm. I think this is one of those cafes where there are changes to opening times quite regularly, so its best to check before you set off. Undeterred, we jumped on a very handy tram (number 21 and 22, going to St Pieters Station from round the corner from Trappistenhuis, both go this way), which drops you off just round the corner from Hop Duvel. Those with elephantine memories may recall that a couple of years ago we had experienced crap service at this bar (and we subsequently found out that we were not the only ones to have experienced this), but this time we got there early afternoon when it was empty, so we had no problems at all. Ter Doolen Blonde and a free Adrian Brouwer – a new beer from Roman, which was pretty good, dark brown, on draught – were sampled in lovely sunshine in the leafy garden, and we quickly got out while the going was good.

Wandering back to the centre of town we decided to check out De Tempelier – another Bob bar – which had an odd church pulpit theme. This place gave the impression that it was past its best and had become a bit worn and tatty – in need of some TLC, I think – but again there was a reasonable list of beers and I had a Stropken followed by a free Orval (thanks Bob). Dinner was in ‘t Marmeitje on Drabstraat near our hotel (Erasmus – excellent as ever – if you like beams stay at this hotel) where I had my obligatory stoofvlees. Later we quickly got on with our Bob business, going first to Hotsy Totsy, a fab little jazz bar just the other side of our hotel. This isn’t a beer bar at all, but they still had a list of about 30, and at least a dozen of these were excellent beers, so I was able to have Watou Tripel and a free Westmalle Tripel. Those thirsty sorts should note that this bar stays open most or all night – the waiter told me that they had finally closed at 7am that morning, so it’s a good option for a late night beer. We really liked this bar and will definitely go back.

From here it was off again to the Trappistenhuis, which this time was open, but strangely quiet. This was our second visit to Trappistenhuis, and again we rated it very highly indeed. It has a very, very good beer list with plenty of good choices, it is a cleverly designed bar with lots of breweriana, and overall it provides a very good ambience. Here I had my fist ever Chimay Doree, the monks’ beer, which I really enjoyed, followed by a free Chimay Tripel on draught. I’ve had this beer several times over the past few weeks, and this was by far the best that I’ve had – are they having problems keeping this beer consistent?

Anyway, from here it was back to the centre where we checked out Dulle Griet – sometimes notorious for gruff service, we again had no problems, were served pleasantly and efficiently, and we both wound up the evening with a Stille Nacht.

Wound up, that is, in relation to beer, for once more we detoured via ‘t Dreupelkot, where we sank a few jenevers as a night cap after a heavy but rewarding day.

Part three on its way……


A Londoner returns to Gent (part two) - Jeremy Gray, 08/27/03 07:11:19 AM

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