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People find it amusing when I say that one of the reasons why I love Brussels is that it’s so easy to leave it for a day and explore other beautiful destinations. A few weeks ago the weather was sunny and warm, so my partner in crime and I decided to escape from the city and head to the Belgian countryside. The plan was simple: a quick stop for drinks at the Château de la Poste where we spent a lovely weekend last summer, followed by lunch at Lemonnier restaurant and a stroll around Dinant. It turned out to be a great day trip that I would definitely recommend, the highlight of which was the fantastic meal we had at Lemonnier. 

Located in the beautiful Ardennes at the former hunting lodge of Baroness Lemonnier, the patron of the historic Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne, the Maison Lemonnier serves both as a hotel and restaurant. Run by the talented father-son duo of chefs Eric and Tristan Martin, the space is imposing yet feels welcoming and cosy which isn’t always the case at restaurants of this caliber. Trying to make the most of the weather, we took our seats on the terrace and enjoyed an aperitif before moving in the dining room. I could have spent the whole day there gazing at the pond which was full of blossomed water lilies, the little greenhouse in the back and Gatien Dardenne’s sculpture, an homage to the Ardennes horses. 

Our aperitif was really original, a great beginning to what proved to be an excellent meal: white wine, lemon verbena, lime zest and lemon mousse. I also loved the way the tables were set and especially the beautiful handmade ceramics of Coraly Sepulchre who works in a a studio just steps away from Maison Lemonnier. I am actually planning to attend a pottery class in the coming months as a fun activity and her creations were a major inspiration! As our dishes appeared one after the other, it was clear that the chefs have a real talent of marrying tradition with modernity. All ingredients are seasonal, sourced from local producers and combined to create classic dishes with a contemporary twist. I was also impressed by the wine we were served, also from small wine makers, which complimented perfectly each dish. 

If you’re planning a foodie escape in the Ardennes or simply looking to try a new restaurant with distinct character and spot on service, Lemonnier is a great spot. The food, atmosphere and surroundings are well worth the trip! 

Address: Rue Baronne Lemonnier, 82 5580 Lavaux-Ste-Anne, Belgium  
Telephone: +32 84 388883
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Sandy (@smarksthespots)