The castle, the wood, raisins
I guess it would take me a long time before returning there
Nice place to have a walk through the town and the wood
Hoeilaart wood is part of Forêt de Soignes. It's an impressive one where to walk in.
Walking, jogging, cycling, horse riding.
OR taking pictures to improve your picture skills. hahaha
OR study the wildlife. It offers that possibility too. I just heard that Forêt de Soignes is not the same according it is located in the Brabant wallon or in Vlaams Brabant. One of differences has to deal with mushrooms. Whilst, collecting mushrooms in fall is forbidden in Vlaams Brabant part of the Forêt de Soignes, it is allowed in the Brabant Wallon part. That would just contribute in substantially threatening the balance in underwoods...
So, if your dilemma would be "To pick mushroom or not to pick?", knowing that this Hoeilaart wood is in the Vlaams Brabant will help you resume it...
Rather small restaurant (10 tables) but that gives a quiet and warm ambience.
Food is excellentand prices are normal : 25-35 euro for a menu, a little more expensive for 'a la carte' diners. (50-60 euro)
The staff is not that profesional, but doing their best to get everything right. So not bad after all.
Favorite Dish: I guess everything is made with fresh ingredients, quality food and well prepared in the kitchen... so whatever you take it will be fine !
Uses to take place on each third week of september... This is the raisin festival in an area that is well-known for its raisin and some wine production...
I had Belgian champagne on NY Eve 2002- 2003. I finally remember of the brandname: Vranken ... surprised I was, though when I was told that it was produced in Belgium. To think, there should be some error there. There is this Champagne named VRANKEN that belongs to a Belgian businessman, Paul-François Vranken, the very one who bought Pomméry in 2002. Vranken also launched Charles Lafitte champagne in 1983, bought Heidsieck Monopole in 1996. AND he is based in Champagne area.. not in Belgium. So, when I was told that Vranken was a Velgian brand, that can be true but for sure, it is not produced here. Anyways, Vranken Monopole is now world number 2 in Champagne production.
The festival... It all starts on Friday evening with a classical music concert in a room of the gemeentehuis (townhall), big crowd. Then takes place the 'Nacht van de Jeugd' .
On Saturday and Sunday: music, concert, food stalls, drinks and animations for kids (in the garden of the townhall and elsewhere). Dance groups in the center of town. Also, "Kaastaartfestival" is on its way with possibility to try a slice of "Hoeilaartse kaastaart". All that in folk music, dances. Saturday evening, lightshow in front of the Quirini castle (the townhall, in fact :) The Druivenfestival ends with impressive fireworks.
During the festival: some exhibtions around the theme of raisins are held in the townhall.
I know that this is the time some inhabitants of this commune would like to run away. Too much noise, esp. if they live near the gemmentehuis. :)) Yes, druivenfestival :)
Check my pic!
This was one of nicest spots I saw to cycle in. Plus, from what I saw in the woods, cycling path is varied, with slope, some dirty roads but also plane surface... Quiet everything to please every sportsman ( woman). Me, no biking there but walking.
I would find a map of cycling path and handle it to you.. OK?
Equipment: Bike... since I don't know whether there is a place where to hire bikes there. I know there is a bike shop in town but don't know about hiring. Otherwise, for some hours, a week-end, a weekn you can always hire bikes at Provelo. Check website below.
Will look for the name of the club and report here... Anyways, while walking in the Hoeilaert woods (portion of Soignes firest), I saw horseriders wandering there two. Not far from the woods, a stable. I think it even edges a side of the woods.
Equipment: Patience, I would help you with that...
Look at the picture, that is enough reason to have some walk, rides in the woods.
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The town of Hoeilaart is edged by Hoeilaart woods. It has some cycling paths in it, that makes it safe for both cyclers and walkers/joggers.
For more pictures, check my travelogue.
Fondest memory: The mist whilst walking there.
It was not that sunny, but sticky hot. Still, we wanted to walk and I, make some pics. No clue, bring bottles of water and walk, or cycle or ride that hourse.
Hahah, you have to be me to not taking pictures of the fountain while having a nice camera and enough films for that.
What can I say, even if this visit was in my "VT-era", enjoying the walk was enough. And that was what I wanted to do. Relax, greenery, serenity, chatting, laughing...
But for sure, the town has a fountain in a small pond.
So, yes I forgot to take pictures of this fountain. Next time, guys?
I guess with the park with fountain, the serriste house(s) and the raisins, the municipality hall is one of Hoeillart's landmarks.
The town hall is in fact a castle. Hoeilaart commune (municipality) is reported to have bought it from the "de Laage de La Rocheterie” family in 1917. The current castle was built in 1858 after then owners had the old one torn down. Some gothic style according to architect Jozef Claes plans.
The castle is now the Municipality Hall. You can visit it but have to arrange the appointment.
Have a look at below travelogue to see some pics of it.
Fondest memory: The quaint municipality hall
The "wood" (le bois d'Hoeilaart)