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Dinner on a Lake!

Turning 30 is a cornerstone moment in your life! As it was my turn last week, I had been giving hints for a while on where I wanted to celebrate it. With ‘where’ I mean in which restaurant. Being a foodie, I did not want to spent this special moment with mediocre food :-). And did my not so subtle hints pay off? YES they did! I’m a lucky girl as I will by trying 3 different food experiences in the coming month. Already tried and tested: dinner on a lake. Second up: a private chef coming to our family house to cook for us and last but not least dinner at the 1 star Michelin restaurant La Cuchara. Turning 30 isn’t so bad after all 😉

The concept of Dinner on a Lake

On the day of my birthday my boyfriend treated me with a ‘dinner on a lake’. Dinner On a Lake is a small restaurant on a floating pontoon in the middle of a lake, surrounded by a forest and overlooked by the castle of Leeuwergem.

The organizers, Friends and Fools, of this pop-up restaurant are (according to themselves) always in search of unique and adventurous concepts for catering and tourism. About Dinner on a lake they say the following:

“never seen before lake experience”!

I was wondering if the quote would be justified.  So after making reservations and paying upfront, we gave it a try!  It was beautiful weather the days before my birthday, but on my birthday it was the typical rainy Belgian weather I was so afraid of. Still I enjoyed the lake experience although I believe it would have been 10 times better with sun and a more summer vibe.  Luckily they’ve provided blankets to beat the cold.

What to expect?

It’s quit a trip to get to Dinner on a Lake. Your GPS (without it is just impossible, except if you are a local) sends you to a ‘private’ ally.  At the end of lane with trees on both sides, the castle pops up in the back. Until that moment you still have no clue where the pontoon is. When coming closer to the castle, which is by the way still inhabited by a noble family, on the left side you can finally see a glimpse of the pontoon.

The ‘interior’

I am a big fan of bohemian inspired interiors (as you can also read about the rooftop La haut Viage).  It is pleasant to enter the pontoon with a cosy apero corner with rattan chairs (HK Living for instance).  They’ve optimized the pontoon to the fullest for instance with long tables to sit with your friends or meet new people. I also liked the fact that they’ve chosen to work with some Belgian partners for the decoration for instance DARK for the lighting and Serax for the tableware.

The food

Even more important, the food! Dinner On a Lake offers promising young chefs the opportunity to translate their vision into a culinary masterpiece. You can check out upfront who is your chef and what your menu will look like (which I didn’t do as I wanted at least to keep something as a surprise).  Which is also quite nice is they offer alternatives for vegetarians and non-alcholic drinks if you inform them upfront. 

We are never shy for some Gin Tonics, so for apero our choice was pretty straight forward, 2 Copperheads please. When seated, the amuse-bouche (literally 1 bite) followed soon: eel with watercress and fresh granny smith apple.   Our first course was Gamba with loads of sea salt and a variety of tomatoes. I was a little bit disappointed that it was only 1 gamba per person, while 2 should have been feasible for this budget. 

We were wondering if it would have been 1 glass of wine per dish, but the young and enthousiast waiters were very generous with the wine! As main course we had Catalan calf ribbon with 2 slides of courgette and one potato. The meat was soft delicious but certainly the best of the whole plate. I would have liked a bit more vegetables (but I am a sucker for vegies). As dessert we had ‘old fashioned’ strawberries wit frangipane bourbon. I was not really impressed and even didn’t make a picture.  

Conclusion

Was I pleased with the lake experience? YES! Was it as well due to my birthday? YES! Again some sun would have made the view and the experience even better. Due to the rain we were sitting more closely together compered to their normal setting, but that wasn’t an issue at all. Also due to the rain we got offered a complementary drink after our coffee, which was much appreciated.  In the end I had fun, enjoyed the food and the concept! But I would not go again as it is pricy for the food you are served. For a small budgettaire upgrade you can dine at 1 star Michelin restaurant.

Practicalities

Location

Kasteeldreef 1
9620 Zottegem
Oost-Vlaanderen
This is about one hour from Brussels airport.

Price

A four course dinner (they call the amuse appartenly a course :-)) will cost you 149 EUR, incl tax. Lunch on a lake will cost you a bit less, 120 EUR.

Reservation

Easy booking via their website.

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