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Belgium Number of nights in Poperinge (or Watou)?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by foles, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. foles

    foles Savant (440) Australia Jan 28, 2007

    Looking for some beer travel advice. Wife and I will be in Belgium next month for 5 nights. I've been to Gent, Antwerp, Brussels, Mechelen in the past. I have never explored Brussels & surrounds properly beer-wise. So plan to spend some time there. I intially wanted to maximise Brussels as a base, but want to get to the Poperinge/Watou region and visit St Bernardus, Westvleteren, De Dolle, Van Ecke, etc. and restaurants/bars. So I think maybe a couple of nights based in Poperinge might be the way to go. From there we can get bikes, etc. My question is - is there enough to do from a beer and non-beer (but mainly beer) perspecitve to justify a 2 night stay in the West Flanders area without a car (but happy for some casual cycling)? Or is 1 night enough? Or should I make it a day trip from Brussels so I can get the benefit of a 5 night base there?

    Or is a Watou ('t Brouwershuis B&B) a better choice as a base (than Poperinge)? We don’t plan to have a car so I'm worried this might be a bit out of the way.

    At present:

    27/5 Arrive Brussels evening
    28/5 Brussels and surrounds. Public Holiday so Cantillon closed. Maybe Beersel for 3 Fontenien if open.
    29/5 Poperinge and surrounds
    30/5 Poperinge and surrounds
    31/5 Brussels and surrounds including Cantillon
    1/6 Morning Eurostar out of Brussels

    Advice welcome!


  2. I think two days will be more than enough Eamonn for your stay at Watou. There is not very much going on in Watou but with Westvleteren and Struise in the neighbourhood your days will be filled. Don't forget the abbey of Mont Cats which is just across the border in France. This is the view from the abbey of Monts cats: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6113/6286386037_0e4dfee162_o.jpg
  3. p1lsen

    p1lsen Zealot (90) Illinois Apr 4, 2008

    I found Brussels worth 1 night's stay, and Poperinge/Watou worth 2 nights stay when I went in the Fall (big cities are big cities - real bier culture is in the smaller towns). I personally would try to stay at the Brouwershuis van St. Benardus for one night if you want to have use of their bikes. There is even a belbus stop in front of the Brouwershuis (http://www.delijn.be/over/aanbod/be...aanderen.htm?ComponentId=854&SourcePageId=477).

    If you are not planning to stay at the Brouwershuis, I would email them (via their website) to ask if they are doing tours on the day that you are visting (in the off-season, they do it once a week only). Aside from the above breweries, the Abdij of St. Sixtus is within 45-60mins biking distance, where you can have Westvleteren bier, and is well worth the trip.

    Also, I recommend cycling during the daylight hours, as it will be difficult to get around (and for autmobiles to see you) at night time.

    PM me for specifics about anything.
  4. p1lsen

    p1lsen Zealot (90) Illinois Apr 4, 2008

  5. p1lsen

    p1lsen Zealot (90) Illinois Apr 4, 2008

    I would also suggest to switch a day in Brussel for a daytrip to Bruges, where there are plenty of great small pubs with historical significance
  6. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (1,000) Massachusetts Sep 11, 2002 Staff Member

    Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers only gives tours to individuals on Sundays at 2 pm, so it is unlikely you will want to visit during your days of this visit.

    If you are in the Westvleteren area, be sure to visit De Struise Brouwers, and make a stop at 't Molenhof (a pub with a windmill).
  7. morallybankrupt

    morallybankrupt Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2012

    I don't see how you'd be able to get around there without renting a car.
  8. foles

    foles Savant (440) Australia Jan 28, 2007

    Thanks guys - booked 2 nights at t'brouwershuis. Will get around on their bikes. A 10-20km bike ride isnt a big deal for us, we enjoy it. Don't want to drink and drive anyhow.
  9. Also some excellent French beer exploring to be done south of the border there. Brasserie Thiriez and the estaminets of Cassel, to make a couple of suggestions. I think each are about 10km from Watou.
  10. Dreupelkot

    Dreupelkot Initiate (0) Belgium Jan 29, 2011