It’s been over a year since our last culinary trip to Belgium / Netherlands and there are so many places left in our list of to-dos that we feel like we will never tick all the boxes!Anyway, 6 down during this short trip starting with the 3 star and long standing participant in the world’s best list, Hof Van Cleve . The restaurant is a converted old farmhouse in Flanders (a short drive away from Brugges and Ghent) and the chef/patron Peter Goossens has been working there since 1987. Unfortunately the commute from London took longer than estimated and we arrived a few minutes late for the longer tasting menu, missing 2-3 extra dishes. The food was really well executed and tasty, but was missing the wow factor. This is a classic 3 star restaurant, where consistency and quality are the given but where thrills (provided that someone has tried similar restaurants before) are not guaranteed.We spent the night in a 2 bedroom bed and breakfast in Moere. Spoor 62 is housed in an old railway station (that used to service the Pullman Express line that connected Paris to the Belgian seaside towns) and along with The Salt house in St.Ives that we’ve blogged for before (summer memories) it is the nicest B&B we’ve ever been too. If all B&Bs were like it, we would definitely prefer them from hotels.
Next day we had lunch at De Vitrine in Ghent, the more casual restaurant of Kobe Desramaults who owns In De Wulf, one of the highlights of our last trip (culinary trip:day3). The food didn’t fail to impress us, turning non luxurious ingredients to masterpieces, like in the case of probably the tastiest carrot dish we’ve ever had. We liked Ghent as a city, although Bruges (where we would spend the night) remains our favourite.
Hof Van Cleve: Beetroot, curry, combava
Hof Van Cleve: Scottish salmon with miso and eggplant
Hof Van Cleve: the first presentation of the scallop dish
Hof Van Cleve: Turbot with shellfish, artichoke, bouillabaisse
Hof Van Cleve: Mandarin with basil, salty lemon, sea buckthorn
Hof Van Cleve: Chocolate “fortina” 65% with pear, nougat and caramel
River Island fur coat
Isabel Marant boots
Italia Indepentent sunglasses
De Vitrine: crispy chicken skin, onion, honey
De Vitrine: Carrot “tagliatelle” with walnuts
De Vitrine: Pork, rocket, salsify