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.
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