We stumbled upon the ‘t Huidevettershuis restaurant quite by chance during a day trip to Bruges. We were drawn by its charming setting along the canal and the appetising ‘menu of the day’ displayed on the chalkboard by the entrance which resembled a horse stable gate. It wasn’t until much later that we discovered a raft of overwhelmingly positive reviews of this restaurant on the internet to which we felt it only fair to add our praise – ‘t Huidevettershuis turned out to be a great find.
‘t Huidevettershuis (the Tanners’ Guild House in English) is, as the name suggests, a former tanner’s guild house located on the Huidenvettersplien (the Tanners’ Square), and dates back to 1450. Since it became a restaurant in 1985, ‘t Huidevettershuis has been serving traditional Flemish cuisine.
With its prime location and the historical character of both its interior and facade, we were surprised to find the restaurant nearly empty on an especially busy day in Bruges (groups had flocked to the town for Ascension Day, marked by the Procession of the Holy Blood taking place that afternoon). On the plus side we had our pick of tables and chose a corner setting by the window with a lovely view of the canal. This was also prime position for viewing the dishes being served at the adjacent table: glistening fish fillets accompanied by cones of golden belgian fries.
Our waiter was welcoming and friendly, and swiftly placed a mini chalkboard featuring the day’s specials on our table. After confirming what had been served to our fellow diners at the neighbouring table, we opted for the 3-course set menu featuring prawn croquettes to start and sole meunière for the main. The sole meunière was a definite highlight. Tender and flakey, the pan-fried fish fillets were cooked exquisitely in their brown butter sauce to crispy-edged perfection and topped with parsley and lemon. Served with its own cone of fries and paired with a bottle of crisp muscadet, the meal was extremely enjoyable.
A bowl of vanilla bean ice cream topped with a generous amont of hot chocolate sauce (a dame blanche, or “white lady”) finished off the meal just nicely. By now the restauant had started to fill up with diners. How lucky we were to have stumbled across this little gem in the heart of the historic cente of Bruges.
Huidenvettersplein 10, 8000 Brugge