À l'Ange Gardien
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 12
Reviews by belgianjunkie:
3.78/5 rDev -7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$
A l'Ange Gardien is the small pub/restaurant maybe 300 feet away from Abbey d'Orval. Nice little building on the left as you're driving directly towards the entrance of the Abbey. Not a lot of parking, all spaces are along that same road but during tours of the abbey, they fill up quickly.
It's a very rustic place with the same monastic feel of when it was first built. There's a spacious selection of tables inside the place, and a large patio, where we chose to do our eating and drinking. The view of the abbey further down the road is very impressive.
The beer selection is minute, obviously, as they only serve two beers: the Orval we all know and love, and Petit Orval, which is the 3.5 ABV version consumed as "the monks' brew". The food is alright- we stuck with the Orval cheese which is very good- similar to a mild gouda and excellent with celery salt and a Petit Orval. The tartine fromage was unimpressive, as it was only slices of untoasted bread with a thin slice of Orval cheese on top, though there's enough to fill you up for hours.
The abbey is the reason to drive all the way out here- it's an awe-inspiring and impressive sight, and the tour (and incredible selection of Orval glassware) are WELL worth the trip. You do work up an appetite and quite a thirst touring the place, and for this, l'Ange Gardien is the perfect way to end the daytrip, with a couple of glasses of Petit Orval and a serving of cheese. After all, this is the only place on the planet you can drink Petit Orval!
The tour was enhanced greatly by my grandfather-in-law who took us there; he lived in the abbey's guest quarters for months back when he helped his father create, raise, and attach the Mary and Jesus statue on the front of their church.
08-13-2005 16:33:29 | More by belgianjunkie
More User Reviews:
3.21/5 rDev -21.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Auberge de l'Ange De Gardien was our first stop on a day of driving through southern Belgium and was a great way to start.
We were fortunate enough to have clear skies and shining sun while we wandered through the monastery and were then able to sit down and enjoy an Orval and try Petit Orval (which was actually better than expected).
Auberge de l'Ange De Gardien is extremely modern and clean cut which is in stark contrast to the monastery. The service was very good and we shared some cheese made using Orval beer which was just OK.
A must when in southern Belgium but not really a venue that you would need to return to.
11-12-2013 12:25:32 | More by clintbrimson
4.75/5 rDev +16.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $
This is located right by the abbey. It is so close that you can sit with your beer and food and look right at the abbey the entire time.
They offer their Orval Petite here, which makes me wish they sold this beer as well. It is like 3.5% abv, and tastes like Orval with a more watery, refreshing taste.
Their food is some serious stuff. A decent selection, but not overwhelming. I got a potato-cheese-beer dish that KILLED it. The Orval cheese is the best of the Trappist cheeses, and yes, I have had them all.
My wife got an omelet that was the entire size of the LARGE plate it came served on. Also with Orval cheese, with tomatoes and onions. I had a few bites and yes, the omelet was epic.
I love Orval and I love this place. Great value and great atmosphere. I have been here twice, and both times it was basically empty. Servers are very nice and this place is kept very clean.
02-03-2011 13:15:02 | More by jeffaz02t
3.88/5 rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Looking at the high rating of this place I'd have to say part of it has to do with atmosphere. While I'll agree it was an incredible experience to sit here at an outdoor table sipping Orval and watching the sun light up the abbey in the evening sky, if you really look around the place is nothing that special. There I said it, hate me if you must. The Pubs/Inns at Chimay, Westy, La Trappe were better kept, cleaner and nicer but like I said, this was a great experience.
I started with the Petite because well, why not, when else was I going to get it. I sat there drinking it and looking at the abbey down the road just glowing in the sun that was starting to get low in the sky. Table and menu were sticky from a days worth of meals but service was decent and beer of course was excellent. We ordered a cheese plate and more Orval and had a great time reflecting on the wonderful afternoon exploring the grounds of the old abbey. Truly one of the highlights of the trip and a very memorial one. The cheese plate was all we had besides the beer but the cheese was awesome as was the bread that accompanied it.
This is an incredible place to sit and have one of the best beers in the world while enjoying the wonderful scenery. If you have a chance please do, it's unforgettable.
12-11-2009 02:56:36 | More by dstc
4.15/5 rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
We had dinner and some drinks at this place after taking a tour of the Abbey of Orval. The place is just a few hundred feet from the entrance of the abbey and with ample outdoor seating, you can enjoy a view of the abbey as you enjoy an Orval.
We started with Orval and a cheese plate of three varities all made by the Abbey. Both the cheese and beer were incredibly good. The Auberge actually has a decent sized menu but we all went with omelettes made with local Ardennes ham and the Orval cheese. Suffice to say, it was probably the best omelette I've ever had.
The service was good and as far as selection goes, the place obviously had Orval, but also the weaker version the monks consume called Petit Orval, served in a cool glass that is identical to the normal Orval glass but has the lettering in green not blue. The glasses and beer are available for purchase at the Auberge as well.
07-30-2009 20:12:21 | More by bernardus
4.75/5 rDev +16.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I've been there during my honey moon. Just after the visit of the abbey (I even had a sip of the water of the mythical fountain) we (me and my wife) took shelter from the rain in the Auberge de l'Ange Gardien. Reminding of a review of this place on BA, we choose the Petit Orval and I took the chicken cooked in their way. Well, let me say it was one of my best lunch (and days) of my whole life. The chicken was so good, and the beer, the place, the atmosphere, with the rain outside, all was so special that I'm looking for coming back again in october 2008 (just before the Oktoberfest).
Orval is a magic place, just like their beer and just like my wife.
07-17-2008 13:47:25 | More by Voss
4.38/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5 | $
I love this place. Love it, love it, love it.
Had lunch there after touring the Abbey. The atmosphere is everything you expect of rural Belgium, and everything you dream Abbey touring will be like. Warm and cozy, with a large brick fireplace, long wooden tables, great service and wonderful food. You have to get the house specialty which is sort of a thick ham & potato soup cooked & served with Orval beer. Be sure also to try the abbey-only version of Orval, only served there. Not as good as the commercial version, sadly, but an experience to be had nowhere else. The staff is nice, the price is right, and the food and beer are wonderful. I want to go back just writing this. If you're in the area, GO!
01-31-2008 03:52:38 | More by roblowther
4.08/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
My wife and I visited here the other day while taking a trip to the Abbaye for the afternoon. We arrived at the perfect time for lunch and when we arrive, the place was fairly full with a few large groups and some couples and 3's eating and drinking. The café is very rustic inside with little wooden tables with wooden stools and a nice wooden fireplace in the corner.
We each took a look at the menu and quickly ordered a Orval 3,5 (Petite Orval) in took a look through the menu for lunch. The menu is pretty long with a handful of sandwiches, cheese and meat plates and a great sounding cheese, bread thing that looked all melted in a gratin but it was out when I tried to order it. My wife had a tartine which was Orval cheese on bread, not heated. I had a croque monseiur (grilled ham and cheese). Both were very good but mine was the best of the 2 we both agreed.
While enjoying our food I ordered up a regular Orval to sip on for awhile. Although I enjoyed both of the beers, the standard Orval was my favorite. The petite was an enjoyable beer to try though. It seemed to be served at a slightly warmer temp and had a bit more active head as there was a little rush over the top of the bottle.
The fact that you can have a beer and lunch a few hundred yards from the abbaye is really cool and this is the perfect place to do it. I can't wait to go back in the summer or spring when I think you can sit outside.
01-13-2008 13:54:49 | More by ggaughan
4/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited for lunch on 12 Sept 2006.
Having just completed a thorough tour of the Brasserie d'Orval, our large group of 27 made the short walk down Rue d'Orval to the lunch awaiting at the pretty restaurant (and former inn) Auberge de l'Ange Gardien.Though it was a beautiful late summer day, we sadly were relegated to the indoor dining hall due to our numbers (at least the windows faced up the road toward the lovely abbey...). We dined at long tables in a comfortable, albeit loud, room. Our raucous voices echoing off the low ceiling, brick walls and red tiled floors probably made the few lingering patrons not with our group wish they'd chosen to sit elsewhere. One woman left her table muttering to her companion, index fingers firmly plugging her ears. Little did she know a tour group of Canadians, roughly twice our group's size, would arrive less than an hour later...
Soon after being seated, our affable servers presented each of us with an 'apertif' bottle of Orval along with the classic serving glass. Deliciously hopped and spicy, those beautifully poured beers went down quickly; the decibel level rose a few more notches.
When lunch arrived, the room quieted considerably as all attention focused on the plates full of sliced hams, pates, cheeses and mixed greens. Wonderfully presented and delicious, the food was a highlight of our visit. Paired with our meal were bottles of the unlabeled Petite Orval. A lower alcohol 'table beer' version of the 'regular' ale brewed primarily for consumption by the brothers, the beer is nonetheless decently hopped, dry & flavorful.
Both beers we had were fresh and delicious. They were, however, the only beers available, hence the low marks for 'Selection'. Regardless, l'Ange Gardien was a wonderful place to hang out and enjoy an extended lunch. A recommended stop, especially when also touring the abbey. Just avoid the large and noisy tour groups (unless you're part of one...).
09-22-2006 23:55:08 | More by msubulldog25
3.53/5 rDev -13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2 | food: 4
Just steps away from the Orval abbey, l'auberge de l'ange gardien is the "official" Beer outlet for Orval. Breweriana can be found everywhere, but it's subdued enough to not give the place a tacky, Disneyland-like feel. You fell like you're in the abbey itself, eating with the monks. There is also a big terrasse outside.
This the only place outside the abbey where you can get petite Orval, which is basically Orval watered down to 3.5%, served in the glass with the green inscriptions. As the designated driver I opted for this one, and was a bit dissapointed, the hoppiness was pretty much gone. But besides that and regular Orval, that's all the selection they have. I didn't see any indication for aged Orvals or anything. And it was pointless to ask the waiter, because he had trouble understanding our order, even though we spoke the same damn language. "Trois Orval, une petite Orval" He came back twice because he didn't understand. And it took forever to get served. It was difficult for him to understand our food order as well. We ordered the mixed plate, with cheeze, Ardennes ham, patés and awesome bread. Very good.
The bar also sells official Orval gear, like glasses and cheeze, and were at the same price as at the abbey's giftshop, in case you stop buy when it's closed. Worth a stop when you visit the ruins.
09-23-2004 23:51:02 | More by Goldorak
À l'Ange Gardien in Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium
91 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.