Out and about in the Ardennes: dining on all sides

Well known to the Ardennes and Northerners, the town of Dinant is one of the jewels of the Meuse, a river that crosses all the French and Belgian Ardennes and flows into the North Sea in the Netherlands. Built in the 12th century, the Walloon city has become one of Belgium’s must-sees, provided you are looking for nature, elevation, old stones and authenticity.

But Dinant is not only a fortified city over 700 years old, a landing stage on the Meuse, a hillside citadel and a mecca for memorial tourism. It is also the Lesse, its kayaks, its farms, its breathtaking viewpoints and castles.

And to take the city from behind, who better than Nicolas Herman. This lover of the area where he took up residence 22 years ago, is a perfect sales rep. And it has nothing to do with the fact that he led an academy of the first group of large Belgian distribution before changing his activity. No. It is rather linked to the fact that he was, for years, a lover of extreme sports. And that he now lives on the heights, which allows him to take a step back.

“Dinant is the most beautiful city in the world for the variety of its landscapes. On a course of twenty kilometers, I can show you two castles and superb points. And the goal is to make tourists aware of how lucky they are to be here”, smiles this lover of thrills. Two and a half years ago, he launched Trot-e-fun, an all-terrain electric scooter activity that takes place in his company. An original way to get around without suffering too much and to cover around thirty kilometers in two hours, without rushing.

“I love what I do, even though I always see the same things. Because visitors are always different and I adapt to them”, replies Nicolas, to a question about possible weariness. It must be said that, in our case, the ride was breathtaking.

Between two descents through the hiking trails, we discover the Rochers de Freyr, which has become one of the best climbing spots in the Benelux. Breathtaking. We also see fields as far as the eye can see, animals, then another point of view, that of the Aiguilles de Chaleux. There are also castles, like that of Walzin. A superb 10th century building built on the side of a rock, overlooking the Lesse, a waterway popular with sports enthusiasts which is currently suffering the throes of drought.

La Couque, a Dinant institution

The Jacobs House, founded in 1860 by Jean-Baptiste Jacobs, is both the oldest business in Dinant, and also the most emblematic. It is the oldest manufacturer of couque, a sweet, or candy, but by no means a biscuit, typical of the city.

The legend la couque was written in the 15th century, with the siege by the army of Charles the Bold. ” It is a mixture of honey and flour. A dead paste that can be kept for several months and which must not be chewed, otherwise you will break a tooth », warns Christel Jacobs, saleswoman for ten years.

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Out and about in the Ardennes: dining on all sides

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