restaurant review #224 – d’Afspanning is a traditional restaurant in Beernem, about 15 km outside of Bruges. “Afspanning” is an old Dutch word for a restaurant or sleeping place along a travel route, where travellers dismounted from their horses and could stall the carriages and animals.
We had been wanting to go to this restaurant for quite a while. When I inquired a couple of years ago whether they wanted to make a vegan menu, I received a negative response. But times change, and now they do make a vegan menu on request! Do make a reservation though and mention vegan specifically, preferably two days in advance.
This review is from a visit a couple of months ago, in December 2018.
We were warmly welcomed and could take a seat in the ‘voute’ room . I have no idea how ‘voute’ translates into English. It’s a room which is usually about 3 to 4 steps higher than the rest of the downstairs area, and was traditionally the bedroom in old houses. A cosy small room, with an open fire burning, but unfortunately also with several stuffed animal heads on the wall.
We were reassured about the vegan menu, and were served some crackers with tomato tapenade and olives. Followed by a small appetizer with granny smith apple and avocado and wakame (seaweed). A peculiar combination.
For the actual dinner, we moved to the veranda room at the back.
This was our 3 course menu (42,5€ pp):
- vegetable tempura with tomatosalsa and smoked pepper powder
- lacquered parsley root, spaghetti from pumpkin, lettuce heart with wheat grains
- springrolls with apple and raisin, peach sorbet and plump coulis
The food was nice, reasonably priced, although the tempurah was somewhat monotone and a too large portion of fried battered vegetables to serve as an entree.
The atmosphere was very enjoyable. Tables are placed reasonably apart, and dispite there being quite some patrons, it didn’t feel noisy or busy. It was nice to have the drinks in the voute room.
Do keep in mind that this is a traditional restaurant (not a vegan restaurant) and the confrontation with animal products can be hard. As also the stuffed deer heads on the wall in the voute room. Otherwise a very nicely renovated interior. Toilets were spotlessly clean and tidy.
All in all: we had a nice dinner, reasonably priced, and service was friendly.
Glad to have found another restaurant in the region where vegans are welcome!