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“Rushed - uncomfortable - missed food order - tasteless overpriced beer living off hype”

The Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Being avid cyclists we have been to hundreds of cafes and sampled a fair few European beers - so based on reviews here we were really looking forward to visiting this particular part of Belgium.

We sat down - waiter rushed around tables and eventually arrived at ours - we placed multiple orders for coffee and (the local) almond & hop cake and fruit pie. Have to say, at this point the waiter made us feel like were were on a stopwatch.....ok.... can live with that once or twice if people or busy, but....

...only the coffee arrived and one portion of pie....we waited....and waited...nothing else arrived...so went to the shop counter buy a case of the 'famous' beer...

NOTE: Nothing has prices on it!!! (except for the cases of beer) - so you are at the end of the queue with a pile of stuff trying to find out how much it all costs. Ouch, 23euros for 6 bottles!!!! (cake, biscuits or chocolate prices!!! - ridiculous - beware!) ...30 euros for a bit of cake, 6 chocolates and 6 bottles of beer!!!!.....returned to the table....stunned!

...still no food???

Really disappointed - this feels like a commercial operation - no sense of reverence or history.

Maybe the saving grace was the 'unique' beer...Ok...we tried the beer on return. The '8' is 8 percent - BUT the 12 is NOT 12 percent - its 10 point something? - so a big marketing gimmick from the monks that doesn't seem completely up front and honest?

The taste test.... it tasted of very little. Its brown, very alcoholic - slightly sweet - but you can easily buy far better tasting beer in the supermarket from Adnams in the UK or simply visit a local micro brewery. It's like a bottle of Leffe Brun and a shot of vodka - but wth far less taste.

We thought the Belgians knew how to brew interesting beer. It could have easily been any old brown beer flavouring syrup with industrial alcohol added.

Got to be the lowlight of the year as far as cycling/cafe visits are concerned.

Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 7 reviews
"for sale"
in 5 reviews
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in 6 reviews
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"toasted sandwich"
in 3 reviews
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in 2 reviews
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in 3 reviews
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"isn t"
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Re-visited this hallowed establishment almost exactly three years to the day after my prior visit, this time with the same friend I went with last time plus two Uruguayan pals who were very excited to join.

The drive to the Abbey is enjoyable, and arrival at the café is a near-religious experience. We began with the blonde ale, then the 8, then the 12. The food is obviously secondary, as you need it to absorb the alcohol. I had forgotten how dreadful the croque monsieur is, so you're better off ordering bread and cheese and/or pâté. Might as well get it with accompanying salad for a few € extra. The special dessert of almond cake with hops was very good.

Recall you are at an Abbey cafe and not a Michelin-ranked restaurant. It's a simple place with nice friendly service, but bear in mind it is rather plain in keeping with traditions.

You are herewith reminded about the policy regarding purchasing six-beer boxes to take away: two per person MAXIMUM. So if you are four people you can buy eight six-beer boxes. As with my last visit they had only the blonde and 12 for sale; my friend says they only seldom have had the 8 for sale on his visits.

1  Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2018

What can I say..............Anyone who is a beer bore (like me lol) has heard of Westvleteren 12 so we detoured on the way to Ypres to buy a case.We arrive at about 13.30 so the beer from the Abbey had not that long been delivered and we managed to get some.Be warned tho.........Its first come,first served in the shop and I can tell you it goes VERY quick.You are also limited to 2 cases (12 bottles).There is a way to order crates of it and we will do that next time.It is a real effort to do this but it will be worth it.If you dont believe me just do some research on the net and find out how to order.There was a steady stream of cars picking up "preordered" crates in what I can only describe as a "beer drive thru" but be warned - you have to order!
After buying our 2 cases of fabled Westvleteren 12 at the shop we sat and had a glass on draught at the cafe.I got the 12 and my wife got a blonde one but she ended up trying mine,loving it and drinking most of it..............the rest is history lol.Also had a lovely toasted sandwich each which was delicious,reasonably priced and served by our helpful and friendly waiter.I have no hesitation to recommend the food and beer here and will certainly be popping in again.

2  Thank CambsAdamski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2018

We were lucky enough to be able to attend the afternoon prayer inside the abbey. This is not usually possible unless you know someone. On top of that, we were lucky enough to get through on their beer line and purchase two cases of the Westvleteren 12. If you are in the area it's definitely worth stopping by and trying a beer or two in the cafe across the street.

Thank SDEMT6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 November 2017

My daughter loves the beer made here, so when we are in Belgium we stop off, I love the cafe attached and so does my husband, he likes the beer ice cream, I love the cheese and pate, you have to get here early to buy the beer to take home, once it is gone that's it until the next day

1  Thank ElaineShaw62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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