A weekend in Meetjesland
By now you all know I'm a real city person. But, every now and then it is a real delight to go back to nature to unwind, far from the city hustle. I recently discovered a region called 'Meetjesland' in the North of Ghent which is just right for that. Beautiful fields and large forests make it the most relaxing getaway. And since this land is surprisingly flat, it is perfect to be explored by bike!
Stay at Eremyten Hof | Achterstege 9, 9940 Evergem
A weekend in Meetjesland is all about authentic charm, and that's also what characterizes B&B Eremyten Hof. The history of the place goes back centuries in time and its name is a reference to the monks that used to live there. The garden is real fairy tale material and a fine example of the English landscape style. As the owner takes you to your cozy room, he'll tell you all about his passion for history and collectibles, a fitting introduction for your rural experience.
Biking the Wippelgemroute (or part of it)
Meetjesland has published a cycling book that contains 4 routes of which I would like to suggest taking the Wippelgemroute (the cycling book can be downloaded here and is available at Eremyten Hof). This route will take you through amazing pieces of nature and alongside fields populated by various cows. It starts right at your B&B, at point 44 and forms a loop of about 60 km. If, like me, you spend most of your weekends sipping cocktails instead of going to the gym, you'll probably want to consider taking the shorter route of about 30 km (at point 30 head towards 34 instead of 23). Trust me, it is already a major workout! During your journey, make sure to put the following highlights on your bucketlist: Kasteel van Wippelgem (around point 41), Waterspaarbekken Kluizen (33) and Den Bevenden Hazelaar (17).
Practical information: The digital version of the route is available here. Your path is composed of following numbers: 44 - 45 - 41 - 40 - 33 - 27 - 17 - 78 - 11 - 24 - 30 - 34 - 37 - 44.
Lunch at Salon Sauvage | Kramershoek 6, 9940 Evergem
Right next to the Castle of Wippelgem, you'll find the oh-so-inspiring Salon Sauvage where I suggest you stop for lunch. This gorgeous eatery is held by two sisters with creative backgrounds and as a result the interior is a dream come true. Vintage furniture, velvet details, stuffed animals... It is the kind of place I want to move into instantly! But that's not all of course. The menu is certain to please everyone, whether in the mood for something small like croquettes or something a little more consistent like pasta.
Dinner at Volle Maan | Kapellestraat 2, 9940 Evergem
Once you're done with cycling the Wippelgemroute, I suggest a little rest and a change of clothes before heading out to dinner. At Volle Maan, you're guaranteed to have a lovely evening thanks to the cozy atmosphere, the friendly staff and the culinary experience. All their dishes, whether fish, meat or vegetarian, look yummy and their red house wine is memorable. You can have an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert for €48,00 per person and they have an interesting offer of gin & tonics. Since Volle Maan is just a stone's throw away from your B&B, I say you indulge yourself!
Sundays start with a good breakfast! At Eremyten Hof it is served in the coach house where you'll be surrounded by tapestries of The Beatles, a local heritage the owner is particularly proud of. This is also a great moment to enjoy the romantic garden where a group of gooses declared domicile.
Either you do a second day of cycling to discover the part of the Wippelgemroute you left out the day before, or you explore the area by car (castle towns Vinderhoute, Lovendegem, Merendree & Hansbeke). If you're up for a hike, the Oude Kalevallei between Merendree and Vinderhoute is definitely worth it (there are two routes of 7 and 8 km).
Lunch at Fou du Goût | Kasteeldreef 63, 9920 Lovendegem
For lunch I would stop in Lovendegem to discover the tasteful Fou du Goût. I experienced it as your typical Sunday restaurant, meaning the crowd is a little older and dressed in their finest clothes. Still the atmosphere isn't snob, on the contrary! In the bright space, you'll be served classic dishes such as filet pur or sole meunière, but they can also make something vegetarian for you.