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This route takes you through a beautiful rustic area along the Belgian border. Go past vast estates, alternated with shady forests and green fields. Discover the Gothic architecture in this stunning region. Get off your bike for a culinary treat of Kempen local produce and a wealthy selection of local beers and cheeses.
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An estate to feast on
If you are wondering what the pure outdoor life tastes like, you can sample it at Wellenseind Estate. You can do it figuratively by sniffing the fresh outdoor air and experiencing the unforgettable impressions of the countryside and literally by choosing some of the fresh snacks and small dishes compiled of products from the estate of from elsewhere in the region. It is pure enjoyment after a long, varied cycling trip.
Spartelvijver is an official Brabants Fietscafé; a Brabant Bicycle Café. In these bicycle cafés, cyclists are made to feel especially welcome! You can stop by for a delicious bite to eat or a refreshing drink, and make use of facilities such as a repair kit, bicycle pump and e-bike charging station. These bicycle cafés can be recognised by the hexagonal 'Brabants Fietscafé' sticker on the window.
Delicious ice cream at the Eight Blessed Ones
De Acht Zaligheden (The Eight Blessed Ones) is the name is for eight villages in the Kempen, the names of which used to end in ‘-sel’. These are Duizel, Eersel, Hulsel, Knegsel, Netersel, Reusel, Steensel and Wintelre. The eight villages have their nickname thanks to the Dutch military who were quartered here during the Belgian Revolution around 1830. They ridiculed the region as armzaligheid - meaning squalid - due to the poor sandy soil and poverty. That was scornfully changed to De Acht Zaligheden. This region now has beautiful countryside, which can be explored via the many walking and cycling paths. On the way you can sample plenty of artisan ice cream, for example in Reusel. Here, ice cream farmer, Fabor, makes farmer’s ice cream from fresh pasture milk from his own cows.
Port and piccalilli
Restaurant Crijns in Bladel is in an old farm and it breathes the hospitable Brabant atmosphere. After a cycling tour, find a spot in the private garden and enjoy a glass of wine with a snack platter or a tasty cup of coffee with homemade friandises in the peace and quiet. Crijns is known for their cheese: they are one of the best fromagers in the Netherlands. They also make their own blend of port and an exceptional piccalilli mustard.
‘We mainly serve classical dishes with a twist.’ - Chef Marc Crijns
The Ruurhoeve cheese farm is a family business where cheese has been made by traditional methods for the past four generations. Honest cheese starts with a good fertile ground for the feed and a lovely living environment for the cows and calves. At the Ruurhoeve, they live in an exceptional family herd and enjoy plenty of freedom. Every day, the fresh milk flows from the pasteuriser to the cheese vats, followed by the process that will finally provide the artisan cheese free of any artificial colour, fragrance and flavourings. All roughage for the cheese comes from their own land and they use traditional preparation and ripening methods. That makes the cheese from Ruurhoeve a recognised regional product and Brabant Local Product. Visitors can follow the process during a treasure hunt or guided tour and there are various cheese making workshops.
Weverij de Ploeg
Bergeijk, Municipality of Rietveld
Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by one of the gems of Dutch architecture. Rietveld designed several unique objects in Bergeijk. Gerrit Rietveld is considered to be one of the greatest architects from the past century. Weverij de Ploeg (weaving mill) in Bergeijk is his only industrial work. The building is an architectural delight of light, air and spaciousness. The former weaving mill was renovated under the management of the new owner BRUNS exhibition builders. It now houses a visitor centre that holds exhibitions. You can also follow the Rietveld walking route in Bergeijk.
Streekrestaurant De Hofkaemer
Local produce and honest dishes
Have yourself a culinary treat with the unique Streekproeverijtje (Local Tasting), Streekverwennerijtje (Local Pampering) or Shared Streekdining (Shared Local Dining). Here, they serve only Kempen produce that Chef Marnette van Asseldonk buys from 50 local producers all within in a 50 km radius of the Hofkaemer.
De Keizer food & drink
At De Keizer Restaurant, the menu is filled with (local) produce with an international tint. The dishes are served in the restaurant, the charming conservatory, the ambient garden room or on the veranda next to the crackling fire. De Keizer is a place where guests can walk in wearing their hiking boots to drink a cup of coffee with homemade cake or to enjoy tasting sessions. The dishes are prepared in the open-planned kitchen with a Josper charcoal-fired grill oven, which maintains the purity of the ingredients.
De Panberg Estate
Between the Cartierheide and the Kleine Beerze stream
Eersel, one of the most beautiful places in the Kempen, guarantees enjoyment. Nestled amidst the forest, the Cartierheide natural landscape and source of the Kleine Beerze stream, De Panberg Estate embraces natural history values. The estate is in one of the most beautiful hiking and cycling areas in the Netherlands. It is the place to enjoy the Brabant hospitality, local produce in the brasserie and the beauty of the countryside in authentic surroundings.