The measure has been introduced for a month, but – who knows – may be with us for longer. All this has concentrated people’s minds and in fact it is not entirely true that you can’t dine out. There is a loophole for people with a few readies set aside. People staying at a hotel or even a B&B can dine at this establishment in style if they so wish.
Hotels and B&Bs are allowed to serve meals as long as the diners have booked accommodation too! Some hoteliers have decided to make hay while the sun shines and are offering special packages that include accommodation and a hearty meal with or without alcohol!
Dining out at your hotel is not without its pitfalls though. Only four people can be seated at a table and if you wish to consume alcoholic beverages, these must be ordered before 8PM. On the first night of the new rules an hotelier in the Hasselt area was even fined for flouting this stipulation.
Most business hotels and hotel chains quizzed by VRT News in Flemish Brabant have scaled down their catering: seminars and meetings are off the menu. Other establishments are looking at how they can best organise matters.
In Halle hotel-restaurant Les Eleveurs will open its restaurant if you book for the night. The proprietor, Amanda De Brouwer, has already received email enquiries.
Jasmina Loots of Hotel Pluimpapaver in Rillaar (Aarschot) says “It’s stated in the royal decree: hotels can serve breakfast and dinner to their customers: we have customers this week, but we’d like to attract more custom soon.”
“Having to spend the night here, is not a punishment. You’re staying in the magnificent landscape of the Hageland area. It’s ideal for cycling and rambling. I would see it as an extra present. I cook using regional and seasonal ingredients. We serve dinner at 7PM to make sure you can order beer and wine. It’s not allowed after 8PM, but the days when everybody ordered brandy with their coffee after their meal are largely behind us anyway”.