A celebratory Meal Out

This weekend I realised it has been exactly one month since the boyfriend left his home country to move over here and live with me! That deserves a celebration, wouldn’t you say?

The weather was absolutely stunning, so I decided to treat him to a meal in what was recently called one of the nicest restaurants to eat outside in Flanders, Belgium: De abdijmolen in Heverlee. It is a typical Belgian bistro, located in De abdij van ‘t park, a big park surrounding an abbey. The terrace overlooked the pond behind the old mil the restaurant was located in. It is so close to the city (Leuven), yet it was so peaceful. And we even had the best table on the deck! A quiet corner table with a magnificent view, in the lovely shade of a perfectly positioned old tree. And what better way to enjoy the fresh breeze blowing across the pond, the entertainment of playing ducks, and the glorious evening than to start with an aperitief. Wine for me, beer for my man.

The food was delicious. Nothing special, but truly very tasty. For starters, I let the boyfriend try some of my typically Belgian kaaskrokketjes, a thick cheese roux covered in breadcrumbs and deep-fried to your heart’s desire. It came with a small salad. Usually those salads are more for decoration. A green leaf of lettuce, maybe a slice of tomato. But this salad was something else. There was a little bit of coleslaw (which is incredibly hard to find in Belgium by the way) on the bottom of the plate, covered with french beans, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and some beetroot sprouts, topped off with a yoghurt dressing. Even the boyfriend liked it! He ordered carpaccio of Belgian beef, and it was a joy to eat.

For mains, I couldn’t help myself and went for the traditional vol-au-vent. It is, again, a roux (with chicken stock instead of cheese this time), with little meatballs, chicken, and mushrooms in it. Typically served on top of a little bun with some (again very tasty) salad and Belgian fries. I can’t really tell you more about it, a good vol-au-vent always hits the spot. And it did. The boyfriend ordered a pasta with chicken, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes. It was decorated with some fresh tomatoes as well, peas, and a creamy tomato sauce to top it off. He let me have a little try. I know what I’ll be going for next time.

The meals were really quite big, and definitely decently priced. So after our mains and our wine, we felt so full and sleepy, just a small espresso would be the perfect finish. It came with some sort of a tiny smoutebol filled with chocolate. The ideal bite for someone craving desert but simply incapable of eating anything more! And after all that heavenly food, we walked it all off in the beautiful park surrounding the restaurant. (Or at least, that’s what we told ourselves as we were wobbling around the ponds.)


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