De Watermolen Hotel and Restaurant in Kasterlee, is the perfect destination for a romantic culinary weekend getaway. Monika reviews this family-run gastronomic hotel in the Antwerp Province of Belgium.
I had the opportunity to visit De Watermolen, a wonderful family-run hotel and restaurant, last January. Some family-run restaurants pride themselves in hospitality, personal assistance, and trusted service. I can assure you; De Watermolen is one of those!
The hotel and restaurant is located in Kasterlee, a beautiful town in Antwerp province. The Kleine Nete River flows through town. The hotel has a mill turned by a waterwheel in the river, hence the name of the hotel De Watermolen, or The Watermill.
The property is nestled amidst the fields and close to the river. The setting is charming and has an air of understated sophistication and warmth, which helps you to get comfortable quickly.
We were warmly welcomed by the Biermans family who runs the restaurant and the hotel. The present owner, Toon Biermans, inherited the business from his parents and grandmother and has successfully transformed it into a classy property with great food, comfortable hotel rooms, and up to date conference rooms.
The reception area leads to a nice small bar which is decorated with a cozy ambience. The bar has a good wine list and a vast selection of liqueurs, spirits, and cocktails. The drinks are served with some wonderfully innovative nibbles providing a flavourful hint at the chef’s abilities.
The bar leads to the restaurant where the chef, Dirk Wittebrood, and his team work their magic. The dining area is small, so you need a reservation. Once you are there, be assured the food will be excellent as will the hospitality.
Diners can choose from a set course menu or ordering a la carte. We started with a lobster bisque, a soup, which was both creamy and flavourful at the same time. Then, I chose to indulge in some fresh sea bass from Zeeland, on the coast of the Netherlands. My other half asked for deer filets, both of which were cooked to perfection. We finished with the classic Belgian Dame Blanche which was the proper end to a luxurious meal.
The restaurant leads to a beautiful, tree-lined alley and this, in turn, leads to the building housing the hotel rooms. We were taken to a room upstairs. As the property is old, there is no elevator, but guests can always make use of the readily available valet service for help with luggage.
We were offered a comfortable room with a lovely terrace providing beautiful views to the fields and canals. The bed was comfortable, and the room had all the necessary amenities. The room could do with a little refurbishing, and the bathroom needs a ventilator. Small things aside, the stay was comfortable.
The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the classic setting of the hotel restaurant. We were served freshly baked bread, with cheese, cold cuts, fruits, and juices. Guests can ask for eggs of their choice, and there were plenty of cereals from which to choose.
Mind you; this wasn’t your ordinary, industrial buffet breakfast. It is one where each piece of bread or morsel of cheese is selected by the cheese master Michel Van Tricht with love, and his taste and care shines in every bite. The ornate cutlery and the attentive service added to the remarkable breakfast experience.
After a sumptuous breakfast, I took a tour of the property and realized they had a small library with a collection of food-related books. There is another nice seating area where guests can enjoy coffee over a little chit-chat with friends.
As the Kleine Nete River flows alongside De Watermolen, guests can always indulge in some kayaking. In fact, if you are planning a boat tour along the river, the hotel is a nice place to stop, stay, and enjoy the setting and the hospitality. I saw a kayak enthusiast despite the cold January weather. You can also spot fish in the river.
There is a nearby play area for kids as well, in case you are visiting with children.
The hotel also has a nice restaurant area in the open, for when the sun is shining. It is also an excellent place to organize a business lunch as it comes with state-of-the-art conference rooms.
We enjoyed our stay at De Watermolen. The rooms need a little bit of modernization, but the food at the restaurant is impeccable. The restaurant was even included in the Michelin Guide for Belgium.
If you are looking for a nice getaway from Brussels or Antwerp to spend a weekend with your family, De Watermolen is the ideal escape. You will enjoy the tranquil setting, the sumptuous food and the excellent hospitality at the Watermolen.
CheeseWeb would like to thank De Watermolen for hosting Monika’s stay. As always, all opinions remain those of our reviewers.