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Heaven in a Bottle

Heaven in a Bottle

BY GNAGB . 10 Nov, 2021

Trappist monks know a thing or two about beer, having supervised breweries from within the walls of their Belgian monasteries, for some centuries. Trappist monks in Belgium survive financially by brewing and selling ale so good that a huge local and international market has been created. However, Trappist monks live an austere existence and only brew what is needed to survive financially.

While visitors to Belgium will have no trouble locating monastery beer, finding a monastery guest house is a little more challenging. However, in the very beautiful city of Ghent, a 30 minute train ride from Brussels, the Carmelite monastery of Het Rustpunt (Klooster Het Rustpunt), at Burgstraat 116, is open to overnight guests.

The monastery is also a Carmelite novitiate and is situated in spacious grounds, close to the centre of the town. Individual visitors , couples and small groups are welcome to stay overnight. The guest rooms have been completely renovated, and all rooms have a private bathroom with toiletries provided and free Wi-Fi (no TV). Breakfast is available. If you are planning to visit Ghent you might like to check it out

The tourist hub of Bruges is located on the same train line from Brussels, as Ghent, and is half an hour further on. An historic Augustinian religious complex, the English Convent, lies hidden away in spectacular tree-lined grounds at Carmersstraat 83. The convent was founded in the 1600s, for Augustinian Canonesses fleeing convents in England during Henry VIII's purge. The English Convent became a safe haven for other Catholics and religious communities. Tourists are welcome to visit and the sisters don’t mind showing people around, but as there are only a few nuns remaining, the guest house has closed.

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