A posh beach picnic: culinary adventures and making new friends

Even when we’re not traveling we’re always looking for new and exciting experiences. So when we were asked to have a taste of what ‘Vrienden van de smaak‘ is all about, we didn’t have to think twice. Don’t really know how to translate ‘vrienden van de smaak’, I guess it would be something like ‘friends of the taste’, but anyway: this event is all about great foods and drinks, unique locations and making friends.

Just imagine: a beach at sunset, a mystic monastery, a romantic castle garden, deep mysterious caves or a blooming orchard. The beautiful setting is dominated by a long dinner-table. There’s a (famous) top-chef preparing the most gorgeous dishes, plenty of fine wines and strangers becoming new best friends.

The setting: the beach in De Panne
The setting: the beach in De Panne

The dinners take place during summer, and since the location is always on a special place with a different chef preparing the menu, every dinner is unique. This culinary event is the Belgian equivalent of ‘Outstanding in the Field‘ in the US and ‘Buitengewoon in het land‘ in Holland.

A new round of dinners has just started, and to give you an idea, here are some pictures from our experience of the event in De Panne, a small Belgian town by the sea. Our posh beach picnic came with a short guided tour through some of the historical areas of De Panne, a perfect start to a wonderful evening.

The setting was fantastic, the food great and the strangers became friends. A dinner to remember. (For the ‘Dutchies’: there’s a brand new cooking book ‘Met Vrienden van de Smaak aan tafel‘, filled with lovely pictures and adventurous recipes to try). 

Would you take part in a dinner like this? What’s the strangest/most unusual place you ever had dinner? Let us know!

  1. marghenick says:

    How cool is that from 1 to 10! Sounds worth making a trip for. When’s the next one? I would love to come!

  2. A very good idea. Interestingly, although I know that Belgium has a coast, I never quite pictured or imagined it. Not sure why. I also like the house Nina describes as her favorite. Good taste. šŸ™‚

  3. What an awesome idea for a beach picnic! It’s not everyday that you see a picnic like this and what awesome surroundings to sit down and enjoy your meal. That fisherman looks like a real character as well!

  4. Wow! I would most definitely take part in a dinner like this!! I just looked at the website for the American version (even though I live on the other side of the world). It seems rather pricey but totally worth it!
    My weirdest dinner? I don’t know… Never had an unusual one :/

  5. I love this, I have heard about the one in France before and we Brits love a street party (but only on a big occasion like a royal wedding). It looks fab – as does the aperol spritz! Personally I love a picnic even without the seating, always a good call travelling with cutlery, plates, glasses and a bottle opener as there are so many nice places to picnic and it won’t break the bank either!

  6. Christina says:

    Never heard of this dinner but it sounds like a great experience. The best unusual dinner I ever had was Thanksgiving in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Will never forget it. šŸ™‚

  7. Dave Cole says:

    So cool! How do you end up at one of these? Is there a waiting list? I would love to take part in these. Having an expertly prepared meal and some cocktails in a nice setting sounds about right to me.

    1. Hi Dave. No, there’s no waiting list, you just have to make a reservation through their website. But: they only organize these kind of dinners in Belgium (and US and Holland, these are different organizations but they offer the same thing).

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