03 311 68 46 – kasteelhoevewestmalle@gmail.com

De Kasteelhoeve

Brasserie ● Bed & Breakfast

About De Kasteelhoeve

Three generations in the same building

Estate of the Duke of Burgundy

De Kasteelhoeve has a rich history dating back to the twelfth century when representatives of the Dukes of Brabant established a fortified farmhouse in Westmalle, near B&B and Brasserie De Kasteelhoeve. The first documented owner of this farm, along with its associated leasehold lands and buildings, was Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy and ruler of the Burgundian Netherlands. In 1449 he sold the estate, and in 1561, Evrard de Cottereau built the Westmalle Castle. Although the Westmalle Castle still stands today, none of the surrounding buildings from that time have survived.

Construction of a nineteenth-century farmstead

Around 1840, a new farmstead was built where B&B De Kasteelhoeve stands today. It is a long-façade farmhouse, where both the farmer’s residence and the stables were situated behind the same long façade. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the farmstead expanded with a granary, the building that now houses Brasserie De Kasteelhoeve. At that time, the farmstead’s history remained closely tied to that of the castle. Well into the twentieth century, the castle owners leased the farmstead and lands to local farmers who cultivated the agricultural land, hence the name “De Kasteelhoeve.”

p. 111 bovenaan
We can't put a year on this nostalgic photo, but no doubt the farmstead attached to the castle looked like this for decades in the 20th century. Photo via Victor Smits.

Entry of the great-grandparents: tenants Peer and Rozeke

In 1945, Petrus “Peer” Hillen and Rosalia “Rozeke” Willems took residence at the farmstead. They raised seven children together. Peer and Rozeke would be the last tenants because, after the passing of Rozeke and Peer (1979 and 1982), Baron Jacques van der Straten Waillet converted the farmhouse into a two-family home.

In the fall of 1983, Leen, the granddaughter of Peer Hillen, along with her husband Lode, moved in. The idea of opening a tavern in the adjoining barn gradually took root with Leen and Lode. In 1986, they presented their plans to Baron Michel, a brother of the now-deceased Baron Jacques. After a fruitful discussion, they received permission to transform the barn into a tavern. During the renovation, they preserved the farmstead’s original elements and typical character as much as possible.

On June 24, 1988, “De Kasteelhoeve” tavern opened, providing a familial atmosphere for patrons to enjoy food and drinks. Not long after, Lode and Leen purchased the farmstead from the baron. Over time, De Kasteelhoeve became a fixture in Westmalle: Leen and Lode’s cosy tavern, always welcoming. The menu and the establishment expanded: a conservatory, an event hall, a playground, and two spacious terraces were added.

Peer en vic
Peer Hillen (right), probably talking to Vic Smits (left)
Leen en Lode
Leen and Lode at the tap in their tavern. (© José Verryckt, 2018)
Sigrid en Michael
Sigrid and Michaël

Fourth generation at De Kasteelhoeve?

Starting in 2018, Leen and Lode enjoyed their retirement. They handed over the business to their son Michaël and daughter Sigrid. Sigrid is the hostess of De Kasteelhoeve and oversees daily operations. Michaël mainly works behind the scenes, contributing to the story of De Kasteelhoeve, significantly influencing the menu.

Under the guidance of Sigrid and Michaël, De Kasteelhoeve evolves into a full-fledged brasserie with a clear focus on classic Belgian cuisine. The warm, homely atmosphere that has prevailed since 1988 still lingers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sigrid and Michaël took advantage of the time to make plans. They decided to transform the event hall of De Kasteelhoeve into seven hotel rooms in B&B style. They thoroughly renovated the existing infrastructure, incorporating modern comforts such as air conditioning and built-in closets while preserving the original wooden support beams as the centrepiece of the sleek interior with pristine white walls. The result is impressive: a modern B&B with an authentic yet trendy ambience.

B&B De Kasteelhoeve opens on May 1, 2023, 78 years after Peer and Rozeke moved into the farmstead and 35 years after Leen & Lode opened the tavern. Onward to a 4th generation?

We warmly welcome you to Brasserie and B&B De Kasteelhoeve.

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