Sunday 31 August 2008
Canal party in Gent
SUN! HEAT! Saturday was like no other day in Belgium this summer. It was actually a summer day. And we joined a few friends who’d rented a canal boat in Gent, enjoying a great cruise through the city and out into the lush and leafy suburbs, loaded with houses of the loaded -- the most amazing canal-side mansions...
And, of course, there was beer.
We started with Hoegaarden, the standaard summer refresher. Moving on, we had Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus, another perfect hot-weather drink. We finished off with Deus, celebrating our friend's birthday and the glorious weather with that most exceptional of beers.
Once we were dockside again, we walked into town for dinner at the restaurant in the old opera house. Lovely place and wonderful food: I will remember those scallops for a while.
I also sampled a new beer: Gentse tripel. It’s brewed by Van Steenberge, who also make the smooth Augustijn, the silly Piraat, the excellent Gulden Draak and the somewhat disappointing Bornem Dubbel
Gentse tripel seemed closest to Chimay tripel, though it’s not as grapefruit pithy. That’s quite a compliment for Gentse tripel, so another one on the plus side of the Van Steenberge tally sheet.
Between the beers and the scallops, well, obviously the diet took a holiday on Saturday. Just had to celebrate the weather though...