Belgium > Westvleteren
Fin (538) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | June 23, 2009
54 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 12/20
Have been here a couple of times now and both via pleasant cycle rides through the West Flanders countryside form Ypres (Ieper) a couple of years ago and most recently 10-06-09 from Kemmel. The cafe I once amusingly heard descibed by a fellow UK rater as being like a Ski Chalet, he was right, ironic that then that it is in such a flat area. It’s rather clinical and lacking in atmosphere unfortunately but the beers are what you’re here for and at prices ranging between 3-4 Euro’s as I recall quite reasonable for such top class beverages. It’s worth popping by here just to try the beers but then nip off to a proper beer cafe somewhere after for a real Belgian Cafe and beer experience.
mabel (211) Toronto, Ontario | March 22, 2009
72 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
The abbey bells were ringing when we arrived here late on a Sunday night last March. A huge building, IDV has a big airy modern cottage flow with a book shop in the corner (that offered us free bottle caps when we purchased some glassware) and the bar running through the middle side and what seems like hundreds of tables. Nearly full to capacity of locals, they seemed to be staring at our notebooks and gleeful faces -- that is, until they turned murderous when our neighbours started SMOKING. Service was friendly but very busy. We shared a cheese platter and the three beers they have, bottled of course. The beer truly is amazing here, it’s a shame we couldn’t stay longer.
Bontus (17) Flanders, Belgium | March 16, 2009
62 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 13/20
Ambiance: Lots of beertourists, not very special. Possibility to write in the guestbook and stuff. Service is rather quick and friendly. Selection is not very wide but as you come for the Westies there is no complaining here. The food is good, try the icecream with Westy on a hot summer day!
Overall worth visiting, but not that special after all.
Gualthiero (6) Antwerp, Belgium | February 1, 2009
56 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 5/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 15/20
Two kinds of people: local elderly and beerhunters. Nothing really special, but there’s only one real season to go there: to taste all West-Vleteren varieties at once. No other reason required, wouldn’t you agree.
Marsiblursi (10) Göteborg, Sweden | January 11, 2009
70 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 5/10 VALUE 10/10 OVERALL 12/20
Small but nice beer selection and very crowded with one million German tourists.
BeerBelcher (134) Columbus, Ohio | October 24, 2008
72 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 10/10 OVERALL 12/20
It is very difficult to separate my perceptions of the In de Vrede café from the great beers I had there and the nice sunny day on the patio during which I enjoyed them. I had a terrific visit here, although the place itself was not what I expected.
The Garmin Nuvi led us down some country roads to the abbey after our visit to Ieper. The café sits directly in front of the abbey, and was far larger, newer, more modern, and more secular than I expected. I thought it would be a small hole-in-the-wall filled with foreign beer-geeks, like myself. Instead, it was a huge dining room/gift shop with lots of outdoor patio seating, attended to by a staff of young servers in logoed polo shirts and jeans.
Clientele was mostly local folks. I visited on a Sunday, and the place was packed with a post-church crowd. Families, older people, and a lot of couples (Europeans make out a lot in public).
We sat outside (it was a beautiful day). All 3 Westvleteren beers on the menu with some food. I had a croque monsieur made with abbey produced ham and cheese, and my ham was pretty gristly – it was far from the best croque I had in Belgium. But the service was quick, the beers spectacular, and the sky was sunny.
They had a delicious bar snack of pickles and pearl onions. The only disappointment was that they didn’t sell beer-to-go on weekends. A terrific spot.
NoiZe (77) Amersfoort, Netherlands | August 28, 2008
68 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 4/10 VALUE 5/10 OVERALL 13/20
Nice place to visit after picking up the Westvleteren brew. Nice priced Westvleteren at the bar. Food is simple, but not that special.
gary07734 (25) , England | June 13, 2008
88 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 20/20
This place is pretty much a Mecca of beer and it does pretty much what is expected. It is difficult to find down many winding country roads but this makes it more fun to visit. The surroundings are pleasant, we visited on a lovely sunny day and sat out in the patio soaking up the sun and watching the countryside.
Selection is limited to only 3 beers, all three Westvleterens so who’s complaining!
The food is simple but fresh, reasonably priced and high quality. We tried the croque monsieur with cheese and ham made in the abbey which was a nice touch.
3fourths (1268) Boulder, Colorado | June 4, 2008| Updated January 22, 2013
70 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 14/20
Read my thoughts on In de Vrede at http://mjames.hoppress.com/2009/03/10/one-day-in-belgium/
chriso (368) London, England | April 29, 2008| Updated May 4, 2008
66 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 13/20
If you’re expecting an atmospheric shrine to beer in comtemplative monastic surroundings, forget it. This is a big modern barn of a place with the ambiance of a cafeteria and crowds of visitors. But you’re only here for one thing and getting the three Westy beers fresh from the brewery is pretty much all you need (although we had to wait a fair while for service - admittedly we were a group of 30 plus so perhaps a bit daunting for the serving staff). Except, of course, the ability to buy some beers to take away. Sadly, the gift pack with two blondes, one 8 and one 12, and a glass is about all you’ll get these days. Still, not bad for 14 euro. But be prepared for a lengthy queue for that at busy times. Cheese and other nibblesd available but we had just had lunch so didn’t eat.
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