Café "de Helleketel"

Café "de Helleketel"Café "de Helleketel"
Café "de Helleketel"Café "de Helleketel"
Bar, Beer-to-go

Vuileseulestraat 6
Watou, 8978

+32 57 38 80 35 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 4
Reviews by dirtylou:
Photo of dirtylou
3.57/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25

I have no idea how or why this is on BA, but thank god it is.

We biked in the dark from Brouwershuis St Bernardus, about 2km in the opposite direction of Watou. The bar is located at the intersection of 2 bustling farming roads - you likely wont see any cars, but do expect tractors and livestock to pass you by.

The place was absolutely dead, and not welcoming in the slightest. The front door was locked but we were waived around back. We may have moved quickly to execute our transaction due to these facts, but I really didn't see much in the way of beer. There was a small cooler with a variety of offerings, but nothing really special. I'm not complaining - the Duvel I consumed out front watching the dark sky over the Watou farmland was pretty special.

Off the beaten path is an understatement, but these types of experiences are pretty essential to really experiencing a country. We only stayed for one as the gratis fridges of Bernardus were calling, but nobody complained about the stop.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of HopBelT
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of portlandjeff
4.13/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3

I visited De Helleketel in June of 09, on a day trip out of Poperinge.

De Helleketel (the witches cauldron) is a small, isolated pub, west of town, surrounded by agricultural fields, just north and west of a nice swath of thick forest.

On the day we visited, it was hard to tell if they were open at first, but the top half of the green wooden door swung open, and we were welcomed inside by an older women.

The inside is full of antique witch stuff. When combined with the charming and very old design of the building, this was obviously a very unique and special place.

We joined a couple of locals (farmers?) and a younger couple with their two dogs in the main room. A small, fully stocked cooler in the back corner of the bar contained all of their offerings, including 3 beers brewed specifically for de helleketel by the Van Eecke brewery, as well as other local offerings. We tried each of the house beers, and enjoyed them all. They also sell bottles to go, which I grabbed a few of before we were off to our next destination.

The atmosphere here is key. Great building, neat theme, awesome location. The quality of the few beers I tried was very good, although when I opened one upon returning home, it was infected. The service was very charming, and we felt really welcome and appreciated. The selection is what it is. Much smaller than other bars in the area, but that's really not the point here. I didn't try food, but I bet it's home made with love.

I'd highly recommend this place to anyone traveling in the region. Sometimes it's not what you're drinking, it's where you're drinking it at, and with who. This place is an experience worth having for sure.

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Photo of spry
4.66/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This place is amazing. I read about it on a blog before going to Watou. It was hard to find though, we would have missed it if not for a wrong turn after searching for 20 minutes. It is basically in the middle of big meadows, you can see cows grazing out the window.

We got there in the early evening on a weekday and it was pretty quiet. A couple of people at the bar. The decor was really cool. Lot of odd artwork and beer paraphernalia. Felt very cozy and a local bar where you could go regularly. The waitress was very helpful even though she didn't speak English. They didn't have anything on tap but a nice collection in the fridge. Mostly from local breweries like St. Bernardus, De Bie and Van Eecke. We tried a couple of local beers, Hopus (a strong golden belgian) and De Zatte Bie (a dark belgian).

Hopus was served in a snifter-type glass but also came with a shot glass. We were instructed to take a sip of the beer and then a shot of the last 1/10th of the beer which tasted surprisingly sweet.

Later a couple walked in and guessed from our conversation that we were in the area for the beer. They gave us a map and directions to go to Noel Cuvellier (a great bottle shop, look it up) and another small bar owned by their friends.

Overall we had a wonderful experience and would highly recommend this place.

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Café "de Helleketel" in Watou, Belgium
Place rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 4 ratings