In de Vrede
Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by portlandjeff:
4.05/5 rDev -3.1%
I made my first trip to In De Vrede this past week. My wife and I had to attend a wedding in Paris, and since poperinge is only about 2 hours away by train, and because I've been listening to the hype about the westvleteren beers for years; making the side trip was a no brainer.
To get to Poperinge, I took high speed rail from Paris to Lille, then two short trains, the first to Kortrijk, and the second to Poperinge, to get there. It should be noted that if you try to book tickets to poperinge from paris, it doesn't come up on the booking computers. Even in Lille, the closest they can get you is Kortrijk. Know the route you want to take, and expect to buy tickets for each leg of the trip as you go. We found that trains ran so often that it was easy, and there was never much of a wait.
Once in Poperinge, we checked in at our hotel, and then trekked out immediately to In De Vrede on foot.
It was a beautiful walk, and took about an hour. On the way out, we were surrounded by hop farms and beautiful belgian country side.
So now onto the cafe itself. The first thing I did was go to the store immediately to the left as you enter the front door. I had hoped to buy one of the gift packs to go that includes each of their beers and a chalice. NO DICE! We came on a busy warm early summer day, and they were completely sold out of all beer to-go. I should have made the reservation to pick up a case, but since I was backpacking everywhere, I didn't. No matter, I could still have all their beers on tap.
We sat outside, which was truly beautiful, and I believe we were lucky to have come on such a gorgeous day.
Service was a bit slow, but our server was very accommodating with speaking english, and taking the time to translate the food options on the menu to us.
The beers, of course, were fantastic. We also had a ham and cheese grilled sandwich, which was average, and a delicious hommelpaptart; a wedge of decadence, served with whipped cream and ice cream, served hot. Highly recommended!
While the store was out of bottles, I did go back and buy two chalices to take home as souvenirs. It seemed like the most popular selling item was the Westvleteren cheese, which I regret not trying. It was stinky and musty and looked delicious.
After we had out fill, we walked back to Poperinge, very content.
Overall, the visit was definitely worth it for the beer. Still, I found the overall experience at some of the other bars in the area way more satisfactory.
06-26-2009 14:52:44 | More by portlandjeff
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev +1.7%
When it comes down to it, a trip to Belgium isn't complete until you've had a taste of the forever-mythical-status Westvleteren beers. Part of the charm of achieving this is that there is really only one way to do it. To head deep into West Flanders, cross the Popenringe hop fields, through the barley fields and stop at one Sint-Sixtus Abbey is really a magical journey in itself. I don't know what was more memorable to me; Actually being vis-à-vis with “the” abbey that I, as a beer lover had seen so many times mentioned in literature and conversations or that just at a stone's throw a modest beer garden was sizzling with dozens of people casually enjoying their favourite Westie.
What I hope to convey with this short preambule, is that this isn't as simple as looking at prices and offerings in the pubs carte. It's hard to not let intangibles get to you. You're about to drink Westvleteren, in the Mecca-country of the beer world, within a proverbial arms-reach of immense golden grain fields. Yes, it is the only place officially serving Westvleteren. Yes, it is also remarkably cheap (especially if you're conditioned to expect a lot more, because you've paid too much attention to black-market prices over the years) and yes the food is actually quite decent. However, where this place excels is at giving you the authentic feeling that you're about to drink the best beer in the world, in the best most adequate possible setting.
07-26-2014 16:18:09 | More by endovelico
3.3/5 rDev -21.1%
Definitely worth a visit! If you want to try all three beers on offer this is the place to be.
All three brews are available on the menu although they are all served from the bottle. The rest of the menu is uninspired and comparable to most cafés in Belgium. I found the atmosphere to be non-existent.
The shop that makes up part of this establishment will sell 12, 8 and blonde when available in six packs. They also have glasses available in four packs.
Compared to visiting the other Trappist abbeys/establishments this one is a very dull experience outside of the beer itself.
07-03-2014 14:18:45 | More by byronic
In de Vrede in Westvleteren, Belgium
93 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.