This week has been a bit different as all three boys have been away at camp. They are members of a youth group and the week long (ten days for the oldest) summer camp is how they end the season.

So Eve and I delivered the twins to a field last Sunday (Macsen, being older, was part of the group that cycled there the previous Thursday).

Duvel at the Kamp

This left us wondering what to do with ourselves now that we were suddenly kids-free for a week. On Monday, we stayed in but on Tuesday we went out for sushi.

Leffe at Koji Sushi

We have been here before with the boys and, while they enjoyed the presentation they struggled a bit with the food and we haven’t taken them back. So this week seemed a good time for another visit.

I like sushi and the Koji sushi restaurant does a fantastic meal for two delivered, spectacularly, on a boat.

On Wednesday we went out again, this time to Volt, a restaurant we have been to multiple times.

Tripel Karmeliet at Volt

Volt is a reliably good restaurant and probably the only place locally that has a range of international foods on the menu.

The thing about Belgium is that, while the local food is very good, there isn’t much interest in anything beyond the borders. Which is odd given the extent to which Belgian food is a result of the country being stuck between France and Germany.

And so to Thursday when we decided to try something different and went to Het Atrium.

St. Bernadus at Het Atrium

The outdoor seating here is really nice and, while the menu is largely the usual Belgian fare they did have one addition — the Atrium Burger. I would never have believed that I could rave about a burger, but this was absolutely fantastic. It’s a sizable chunk of meat, along with a generous serving of bacon, an egg, and other stuff and it really was exceptional.

I will definitely go back for this again.

On Friday it rained and we went back to Volt.

Chimay Blauw at Volt

Today is the last day of camp and we are about to go and collect the twins. And then I shall have to make peace with my credit card.

Tripel Karmeliet

Tripel Karmeliet I haven’t talked about beer on these pages for quite some time. However, De Met is now serving guest beers so this may change. Right now the guest beer that they have is Tripel Karmeliet from Bosteels Brewery.

As the name suggests, it’s an abbey tripel and in this case the Tripel part of the name not only refers to the in-bottle refermentation but also to the fact that the beer is brewed with three kinds of grain: wheat, oats and barley. And it’s lovely.

I’m not normally a huge fan of tripels, but this is one that I would quite happily go back to. It’s clear and has a huge creamy head and tastes light, fruity and refreshing.

I’m ready for the summer now.

Irish Coffee

So after the beer, we went on for dinner. And when you’re in a French restaurant in Antwerp, what better way to round off the meal than with an authentic Irish coffee.

The blue flash in front of the chef is the flame…

Irish coffee being made

And it was watching him pour the cream that convinced us to give it a go…

Irish coffee being made

The McCarthy Principle

Pete McCarthy’s first book, McCarthy’s Bar, is premised on the principle that you should never pass up the opportunity of having a drink in a bar that shares your name.

So when we saw this place, dinner was decided.

Restaurant Paul

And guess what Belgian beer they served in this French restaurant…

The MenuLeffe - one of Belgiums better beers

I have to say, the food here was really, really good. If you ever find yourself in Place Dauphine I would strongly recommend you give it a try.