Gent March 2005 - Part 2
Posted by Thom Aikman on 04/05/2005 02:34:57 PM
We had a coffee outside in the sunshine at Galgenhuisje, before the walk down to the Hop Duvel. Although, we had planned to visit De Tempelier on our return, we decided after a quick check the night before, that it was not worth a visit. It looked really rundown and the glass framed pictures outside were all smashed. We arrived outside De Hopduvel after a good hike and after wandering around in a vain attempt to find anywhere that could sell us a digital camera battery and/or charger. Now this would have been our third visit to the Hopduvel, but the last thing we expected was that it would be closed at 1pm on a Sunday. Our lunch plans were now out of kilter.
Undaunted, we decided to revisit TW and get a lunch choice and another bar and then a reasonable round trip back to the centre. We decided on A Capella and De Brouwzaele. These turned out to both be excellent choices.
The A Capella is a superb venue, adding to our foodie experience so far over the weekend. This place had a nice luxury without the higher prices of the centre. All beers are from Dranken Geers and on our visit Dikke Mathile was on draught as well as a number of other Strubbe beers. The beer list was over 70 and the food was excellent and the service friendly and efficient. This is a venue where all people are catered for; from the formal through to the relaxed mood in the garden, or just wishing a drink.
We chose the lamb steaks and fish soup, followed by some nice desserts. This is a definite re-visit.
As we walked out into the weak sunshine towards De Brouwzaele, we spotted a couple of TW bars (De Foo and Business), which were both shut. We walked passed the mass excavations on St Pieters Square and across the canal to Ter Platen. On the road to the left, scaffolding covered several buildings. After this walk, please don’t be shut. Thankfully, the bar was on the junction of the road and was open, although quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Loved the design and décor and the copper brewing kettle lid of the circular bar. I tried to order the Boskeun, as it was a week before Easter, but was told it was a seasonal beer. Hey, what could be more seasonal. Not available. Undeterred, we enjoyed a Witkap Stimulo and Triple Karmaliet on draught and a Gouden Carolus Classic to finish and prepared for the walk back towards town. A good list of over 100 interesting beers and nice bar.
We headed back to hotel to rest and recharge.
Our final Bob H tick was to be the ever excellent Trappistenhuis. Busy, friendly and efficient on a Sunday night. I finally enjoyed this years’s Boskeun (after ZBF) and a free Orval as Paulette enjoyed her first Chimay Doree. We now left the Bob H book for the trip. Completed 9 out of 11 Gent bars (8 on this trip)
As we were in the area and hungry, we paid a second visit to the Deus Brasserie, as we were not in the mood for much more walking today. We enjoyed some shrimp croquettes and lamb cutlets, washed down with an Oud Beersel geueze and another Braven Apostel Donker. We have really enjoyed this bar.
The last stop of the day was the Hotsy Totsy jazz club. We hoped that it would be quieter than on the previous visit, so we could enjoy the music as well as the beers. We waited for the tram to take us up to Korenmarkt and then walk across St Michael’s Bridge.
We spent a couple of hours there and had a very enjoyable time. We are not great jazz fans and the range of material seemed more 30s musical than jazz, but there was enough to enjoy as we relaxed at the end of a long day. Although not as busy as the previous night, there was a steady turn over of customers. Neither a great beer list or even a list, but a menu on the wall behind the bar. We found ourselves ending the evening with a Watou Triple, Rochefort 8 and 10.
Monday was spent just relaxing and spending some quality time in the sunshine of the Vrigdagmarkt; the first real day of sunshine of the weekend. The Eden was a nice place to enjoy some simple salads and lasagne after the foodier excesses before.
Our final stop in Gent was a nice session in the quiet of Het Waterhuis, with the staff listening to the new Beck album. We shared the house House Beer, Gandavum Dry Hopping from De Proef, and Ambiorix and the beer of the month, Capucine Blond (Brouwerij Liefmans).
For the second time in a month, I managed to forget the closing time of Cantillon and failed to get some more supplies. I decided to visit Au Labourer, near the Eurostar stations, as we had some spare time. I had got it in my head that they sold Cantillon but no amount of asking or persuading could convince the waiter, so I settled for the Timmermans Lambic, which the waiter thought I wanted all along. The old farming paintings on the wall must have been something in their heyday and the bar still has a reasonable choice for a basic bar.
Back to London and then back to work for 2 days and then off to Scotland for Easter.
Thom Aikman 05.04.2005
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