Les Duves - Bioul - Namur-region
Perfect hideaway in Bioul, a tiny hamlet approximately one hour from Brussels
Last January, I felt like taking a few days off and heading out to the countryside. I found the perfect hideaway – Les Duves – in Bioul, a tiny hamlet approximately one hour from Brussels.
Set in an old stone mill on the banks of a creek in the woods, the apartment is airy and modern, but never feels sterile. The contemporary furniture, its large kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms are well designed and filled with light. The photos on the Les Duves website are stunning.
Anne and Jean-Luc Laloux, the owners of Les Duves, live in the upper part of the house, but there is a lot of privacy since the apartment itself looks onto the creek and a wide lawn. There’s a fast Wi-Fi connection which is impressive given how far Bioul is from Namur and Dinant, the largest communities in the area.
Time to relax
What’s there to do in Bioul? Thankfully, not much. It’s a quiet wooded area with hills, rivers and creeks, manor houses, castles, and ancient abbeys that still make their own beer. During my stay, I took many long walks to abbeys and tiny villages. In the evenings I would sit in front of the fire with a good book and a glass of wine.
I spent an afternoon wandering around Namur, twenty minutes away by car. Namur is a walled city on the banks of the Meuse. It has a university, which explains the lively café scene. Apart from that, it’s small, intimate and chic (unlike Dinant).
During my stay in Bioul, I treated myself to a marvelous dinner at the one-star Michelin restaurant, L’Eau Vive, which is only ten minutes away by car from Les Duves. The owners are very nice and are planning to open a weekendhotel too (fall 2007), we cant wait!
When I heard that Anne and Jean-Luc were opening another B&B called La Classe, I went along with them one morning to see the workmen putting the finishing touches. I had only seen amazing photographs of the place, so I was intrigued. Anne and Jean-Luc specialize in architectural photography and have a remarkable talent for interior design, as I saw in Les Duves, so I knew this was going to be an absolute winner.
Unlike Les Duves, La Classe is designed to accommodate a large group. The building was constructed in 1863 and has been used as a schoolhouse. Anne and Jean-Luc renovated in a contemporary way that still respects the historical details of the building. There’s Wi-Fi, a small auditorium for presentations, and the classrooms have been converted into bedrooms.
Words cannot describe just how stunning the place is – just visit the website (www.laclasse.be). La Classe is perfect for large family gatherings, weddings, company retreats, meditation retreats, etc.
A place to keep in mind, for those days you want to get away from it all......
- Les Duves
- Rooms start at Euro 100,-
- Rue de Arbre, 36
- 5537 Bioul
- 0032 71 798157 0032 497 483072