A Longer Long Weekend in Gent
Posted by Sutty on 08/04/2004 05:34:36 PM
Greetings Babbling Boys and Girls!
Arrived home last night from a 5 night stay in wonderful Gent. Bit of a tourist trip this time, instead of a Belgian Beer Bash, as i went with Lynn (my partner) and her parents (their first visit).
So here goes with a little story of the visit and it's beery highlights.......
Thursday 29th July.
Journey begins on Lynn's birthday as we set off to London St. Pancras and then across to London Waterloo for the Eurostar to Brussels. We then travelled up to Gent to check into our hotel for the next 5 nights. The Hotel Trianon 2 (http://www.hoteltrianon.be) is only a short walk from Gent St. Pieters station and was Lynn's choisce because each room has a jaccuzi bath! A double room and breakfast per person equals to EUR 80.00 per night.
No time to waste as we head over to St. Pieters to catch the tram up to the Korenmarkt (Tram number 1, destination Evergem). Tonights birthday meal is in the Peking Chinese Restaurant in the Korenmarkt. We settled down to our 5 course banquet at EUR 29.00 per person which started with chinese vegetable soup. Next came the spare ribs followed by 6 main dishes of shredded pork, special chow mien, beef curry, sweet and sour prawns, sweet chilli duck and the 6th i just can't remember!!
Dessert was a choice of pineapple fritters, banana fritters or ice cream.... we all went for banana fritters! Then a coffee to end. All this washed down with a few Rodenbach's, we rolled out of the restaurant after about 2 and a half hours!!
We walked our dinner off with a short stroll round to Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant.... now we're really in Gent!
I had a De Cam Oude Kriek (bottled December 2002) followed by a De Cam Oude Lambiek (bottled March 2000).... splendid.
Friday 30th July.
A day around Gent today, visiting shops and strolling around showing Lynn's parents the sights such as the Gravensteen Castle, Sint Baarts Kathedraal. Also with today being friday, there is a market in the Vrijdagmarkt.
This evening we go to the Hopduval and find a nice corner outside in the beer garden, which we make our own for the next 4 hours!
From St. Pieters station, take Tram number 40, destination Moscou.
I started off with a Bink Blond from Kerkom to quench my thirst... it worked a treat, i love all the Bink range. So, next up was a Bink Bloesem. For dinner this evening i had Stoverij made with a Trappist beer (i forgot to enquire which one). Lynn had Mixed Brochette, pieces of steak, pork and chicken with peppers BBQ'd on a skewer. Lynn's Dad opted for the Scampi Brochette (but i would bet money that the 12 pieces of seafood on the skewer were actually King Prawns!) and her mum had an excellent steak.
All meals were cooked, served and presented to perfection with frites, potato kroketten and salad.
I accompanied my dinner with a Helleketelbier from Bie and then the last one for the evening was a Oude Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait, which turned out to be a plesant suprise as it was from the 2000 Brewing Season.... excellent!
Also available on the Beer Menu was Drie Fontienen/De Cam Millenium Gueuze (75cl) for EUR 15.50. I resisted the temptation... why, i cannot explain!
Saturday 31st July.
Off to Antwerpen on the train today for a visit to the Zoo (http://www.zooantwerpen.be). It's not difficult to find as it's right next door to Antwerpen Centraal station. We purchased a combined ticket for the Zoo and Aquatopia (http://www.aquatopia.be) which is over from the station, but still in Koningin Astridplein. Both are well worth the visit. Another combination ticket is the Zoo and the Diamomd Museum (http://www.diamantmuseum.be) and again, is in Koningin Astridplein. both combination tickets cost EUR 20.00
Back in Gent and it's on the tram to the Korenmarkt again. tonight we eat in Chez Leontine next door to Het Waterhuis (all part of the same place) and beers are brought in from one to the other by the waiters.
Tonight i had Rabbit cooked in a sauce of Chimay Red, onions and prunes with potato kroketten and salad.... total perfection!
Dinner was accompanied with a Bie Hellekapelle and then i followed with my 2 favourite honey beers... Dupont Biere de Miel Biologique and Saint Monon Biere au Miel. Both were excellent. We them walked round to the Dulle Griet and sat outside on the pavement in the Vrijdagmarkt. Here i had a Girardin Kriek and then finished with a Oude Boon Gueuze Mariage Parfait. i was pleased to find that the Girardin Kriek was more sour than usual.
Sunday 1st August.
A day at the seaside today. After catching a train to Oostende, we then joined the tram (destination Knokke) to De Haan. Now why would i choose this coastal location over all others? I wonder! After a walk around the beautiful Art Deco buildings of De Haan and a sit on the prommenade overlooking the beach it was time for a drink at none other than De Torre.
My thirst was quenched nicely by a Geants Saison Voisin and then followed by a Kwelchouffe (brewed by Achouffe for the Netherlands market, as i'm sure you know).
Lynn then found the cocktail list in the menu and decided to go for it! After photographs of the making process were taken for the cafe's website, Lynn was presented with a Mudslide, or as she put it, a alcoholic McDonalds thick shake!!
A photo of this is now on the website (http://www.detorre.be) and i can be seen pouring my own cocktail into a glass! A very traditional cocktail called Girardin Gueuze Ongefilterd (Black Label).... the best, naturally!
Back in Gent and this evenings meal was at the Witte Leeuw. The White Lion overlooks the river between the Grasbrug and the Vleeshuisbrug (brug= bridge) and has been a favourite of mine since i first ate Stoverij made with Chimay Blue and Bavik Petrus Oud Bruin there over 6 years ago. Having changed hands, gone down hill, closed down and now reopened, it is back to a reasonable standard but has plenty of room for improvement. It still sells the Bavik Brewery beers amongst others.
Didn't go for the Stoverij tonight as i was saving myself for the next day. Tonight i had a Hammetje (small leg of ham on the bone) roasted and served with a baked potato with garlic butter and a mountain of salad and some mustard mayo sauce for the Hammetje. To start my appetite i had a couple of Bavik Wittekerke's and then finished with a couple of Bavik Petrus Oud Bruin's, one of my favourite Flemish Reds (a close second to the original Rodenbach).
Monday 2nd August.
On the train to Brussels today for another attack on the shops and viewing the sites.
This was thirsty work indeed as it was very hot in the Capital, so it was of to the Mort Subite (3rd choice as the Poechenellekelder and the Toone were both closed) for some refreshment.
A sandwich of Jambon D'Ardennes was washed down with 2 glasses of Mort Subite Fond Gueuze/Gueuze Sur Lie (wish i had bottles of this in my collection at home). After more shopping, we headed back to Gent.
This evening it was back to the excellent Chez Leontine for more superb food. Tonight i had the Stoverij made with Westmalle Dubbel and Rodenbach, served wit a big pile of frites and salad.... fantastic! This evenings beers started with a Kerkom Bink Bruin then we moved next door into Het Waterhouse where i tried 2 beers that i hadn't had before. Regenboog t'Smisje Honing... far too sweet for me, still think the Saint Monon and the Dupont honey beers are the best, and then a Proef Slaapmutske Blond Zommerbier.... this was rather good, quite similar to a fruity IPA. Slaapmutske is a term for a nightcap, as this was my last beer it turned out to be quite apt.
Next day, Tuesday 3rd August was just spent buying chocolates and travelling back home. Home? SHAME!!!!!!
So, an excellent visit once again. The weather was fantastic with clear blue cloudless skies every day and temperatures around 27-28C daily! Lynn's parents are now converts and look forward to another visit.... great! even more excuses to go now.
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