This book is an ode to Belgium's traditional beer cafés, to their landlords and -ladies, and to the regular customers who have become part of the interior. It is also a plea to handle the café patrimony of Belgium with the greatest care. Because we have been taking these little cafés for granted for far too long and now, their existence has become fragile, despite the fact that they are an important part or our social and cultural heritage.
Regula Ysewijn is a Belgian culinary historian, writer, and photographer. She focuses on food and social history or Britain and the Low countries and consults for organisations such as the UK's National Trust, TV programmes and museums. Ysewijn is the author or six books among which: Pride and Pudding and Oats in the North, Wheat From the South which have received international acclaim. She is also a judge on the Flemish version or the Great British Bake Off.
For this book Regula visited 45 traditional cafés in Belgium. From the oldest café in the country (it opened in 1515) to the oldest Belgian café landlady, Juliette, who is 96. She visited cafés with beautiful Art Deco interiors, and cafés with the charm and warmth of a living room. In each of these establishments she talked to the landlords and -ladies and to the people who have become part or the soul of these cafés, and she managed to capture all of this in beautiful, touching photographs.