As we travel, L and I are always on the hunt for unique places to stay if at all possible. We look for places with some character and charm, instead of the usual chain hotels and so far have stayed in some really pretty (and romantic) B&B’s and have experienced living like the locals in some neat Airbnb apartments. As a new feature on One Trip at a Time I’d like to start sharing some of these with you to help you with your trip planning. Today I’m going to start with one of our absolute favourites… B&B De Potyze in Ypres, Belgium.
When we stayed: March 2014 and March 2015 | Rate: 75 €/ night for two people | Website: B&B De Potyze
B&B De Potyze is a beautiful farmhouse that is located in the former garden of a castle that was used as an observation point by the British in World War I. It is now the home of Paul and Mimi who are the most welcoming couple you could ever meet. The website for B&B De Potyze says they welcome you “in a pool of peace” and I can’t think of a better way to describe their lovely home and gardens. So peaceful and serene. So wonderful we absolutely couldn’t wait to return this year when we visited Ypres again.
The Things We Loved
We love everything about Paul and Mimi’s place and can’t recommend it enough. From the moment we arrived when we were greeted by Paul who helped us in with our bags and then invited us to relax for a little bit and have a cup of tea, coffee, or beer and enjoy some chocolates. Last year when we arrived we were pressed for time because we were trying to make the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate in time, but this year we planned to arrive earlier so we could sit down and enjoy a chat with this warm and friendly couple. They really do make you feel right at home. And if you go, please give yourself time so Paul can tell you about the history of the house and the grounds. It is a really great story.
Everything is very well maintained and you can tell they take great pride in their home, gardens, and the two rooms they have for guests. The rooms have everything you’ll need for your stay- lots of room to put your luggage, nice fluffy towels (that I noticed were dried out in the Belgium sunshine on the clothesline – love this!), a bathrobe for after your shower or a late night trip to the toilet (as it is outside the room), shampoo, soap, hair dryer, and some bottles of water by the beds.
As a guest you also have access to a little sitting area that is just outside the room that has an assortment of teas, coffee, and chocolates for a little late night snack.
And the breakfast! In the evening Paul asked for our request so we chose omelets and they were delicious! In addition to that they had the table set with cereal, yogurt, fruit, bread, meats and cheese (local cheese too- Passchendaele cheese is very tasty), some pastries, fresh juice, and then coffee or tea if you would like it. I wanted a little of everything! It all looked delicious. Thanks to Paul and Mimi’s generosity and thoughtfulness we were able to have a pastry for a little mid-morning snack because they have bags available so you can take a treat with you for the road.
The Things We Didn’t Love
Honestly there isn’t anything we didn’t love. B&B De Potyze is so welcoming, comfortable, quiet, and peaceful I would recommend it (and have) to all my friends, family, and colleagues and it would be our first choice for a place to stay if we’re ever in that area of Belgium again.
Just a few kilometers outside of Ypres in the very picturesque countryside – just look at the views in the photos below. Both photos were taken just after getting up in the morning (one in 2014 and one this year) and were a wonderful way to start the day.
It is a quick and easy drive to the centre of Ypres and to many WWI sites if you are in the area to visit them like we were. There are even a couple of Commonwealth cemeteries just a few minutes walk away.
Odds & Ends
They only accept cash for payment so please don’t forget to stop at a cash machine before visiting.
Both rooms are equipped with two single beds but don’t let that deter you if you’re traveling as a couple. They very easily slide together for the night to make one big cozy bed. And the comforters (they must be filled with down) are comfy and warm.
One room (the one we stayed in both times) has a shower and sink in the room and the toilet is down the hall a few steps. Their other guest room has its own full bathroom just across the hall from it, so each room has private facilities.
I encourage you to visit their website for a little more about the history of the house and packages they offer, visit TripAdvisor to see what others have to say about their stay (everyone loved it), and to see more photos, especially from the summer when their gardens are in bloom.