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[ Bar ]
Grand Place 44
phone: +32 (0)64 36 98 96
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Binche seems like a very quiet, almost dreary place to the uninitiated. However, once a year, in February the whole place comes alive for Carnival, which has been celebrated here since the Fourteenth Century. The Sunday before Shrove Tuesday, literally thousands turn out in traditional brightly decorated costumes and some eerie looking face masks. At its height it is non-stop, and was the origin of the English verb “to binge”, something I only recently found out from Webbie’s Guide when visiting here.
If you don’t believe any of this, or feel the need to comprehend just how large the celebrations are during Carnival, then have a look at the Photographs in the Taverne Chamade. After a short visit to the Du Côte De Chez Boule, and a meal at the Aux Inséparables, our party of 11 decided to do just that.
Taverne Chamade is located on the Grand Place near the Statue of a Gille (a Gille is a male born and raised in Binche and as such are the only ones allowed to dress up as such during Carnival). It is one of the better Cafés that borders the Grand Place, and can almost be classed as a full blown beer bar.
It has the usual classic appearance from outside, a single entrance symmetrically located between two large glass windows. Its beer credentials take a serious dent when you look at the neon Leffe and Stella Artois signs in the windows. But fear not, for the quantity of beers on offer is around the 50 mark, and the selection and range is very good.
Our party of 11 was a little pushed for time as we had to make our Train back to Charleroi for the some night-time drinking, but we managed a good 45 minutes in here, and 2 beers each. From the list I decided to continue my quest for some more of the rarer Binchoise beers. I managed to find two that I had not had before. The quite simply awful Rose des Remparts, a sickly sweet mix of raspberries and weak alcoholic soda, but thankfully I managed to share a 750ml bottle of the Binchoise Easter beer, the Flora Bière Des Printemps, a lovely Belgium Pale Ale brewed with honey which redeemed Binchoises reputation.
The interior is nothing special, but the layout makes for some entertainment. The bar has a curved front and is situated in the back right hand corner of the single room Taverne. To the immediate right when you enter are some tables & chairs set in large wicker booths whilst to the left there is a raised area that seems popular with couples. Some stand alone tables and chairs are to the left of the bar. All around the walls are photographs of Binche and its medieval Citadel including the very impressive 12th Century Ramparts, complete with its 27 stone built Towers, which surround most of Binche. In addition, many colorful photos of the aforementioned Carnival cover the walls also. Service was above average but the language problem was a little confusing at times, even though we had a linguist with us (who was probably partly pissed at this point to be fair to the wait staff).
Taverne Chamade certainly has the better beer selection on the Grand Place, and a nice range of Binchoise specials as well as a decent range of other Belgium favorites, but again, no decent lambics. Worth a visit if you are in Binche, especially for the Carnival.
Last Visit: Friday 9th April, 2004.
04-25-2004 23:58:06 |
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Chamade, La in Binche, Belgium