Here are some opinions of our guests about their "Le Pachis experience", straight from the horse's mouth.
We had a memorable time at your beautiful home, Le Pachis. But the best part was surely meeting the two of you. Hans and I often think how difficult it is to meet people in Europe, given the lack of spontaneity and the rather formal ways of interacting. On that background, it was especially nice to meet both of you and spend some nice times together. Thanks again.
Sucheta Potnis, Goa, India. May 2004. You can find the Travel Diary of Sucheta at the bottom of the page or at her column at The Asianage .
"This is to say thanks for a great weekend. It must be so beautiful out there right now, with the color changes - the trees - and the sunny weather in between... I actually had a dream of the veranda... silly, I know, but it's so extremely peaceful in that room...just love it !!! "Jasmine Ebrahim South-Africa living in Belgium.
"Thank you very much for the house. We had a lovely weekend there." Celine Temple living in the Netherlands.
B&B TestimonialsFor a few years in the past, we did run a B&B at Le Pachis. Here are some testimonials of guests at that time.Finally, we also started a section of Travelogues., grouped per country of residence. Country sections are (alphabetically): Belgium, Canada, France, International, Israel, Netherlands, South-Africa, United Kingdom, USA.
"We would like to wholeheartedly recommend Le Pachis for those looking either for a relaxing few days in the Belgian countryside, or perhaps as a base to explore the most interesting historic towns and villages in easy driving distance. We discovered Le Pachis on the Internet and booked for a two night stay at the beginning of our European holiday. We enjoyed our stay so much that we came back for three more nights at the end of our vacation. Our enjoyment was in no small measure due to the genuine hospitality offered by Jenny & Paul. The French have a saying 'L'art de recevoir' - the art of receiving guests. This, our hosts possess in abundance! Anyone wishing further comment/recommendation is cordially invited to e-mail us." Lorna & Carl Raskin, Ontario, Canada.
"Wonderful. The ideal location for the explorer. We found Le Pachis to be located perfectly to be able to go to many places and not be overly tired by too much driving. We liked the openness of Paul & Jenny, and their enthusiasm to help in every way made our trip exceptional." Ree & Paul White, Chicago USA
"Le Pachis is a wonderful place in the middle of nature, where the hosts make you feel at home immediately. Recommended to anyone who loves nature, wants to unwind and enjoy!" Babette van Loon & Esther Van Soest, Almere, The Nertherlands.
"Perfect reception, delicious breakfast, good infrastructure, nice base for excursions and hiking. We had a feeling as if we came here for years. We came, we saw, we did, and we'll be back!" Erik Peters & Nathalie Van den Plas, Antwerpen, Belgium.
"We came here quite by chance, but were happily surprised with what we found, and really think this is a place to be recommended." Bob & Lori Verbist - Lagaert, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium.
"Two late summer mornings, the sun climbing slowly above the trees, some mist hangs over the valley, it is quiet, and than a fantastic breakfast on the terrace outside. A whole day of hiking in the woods, doze away in the sun on a soft bed of moss, and enjoy a cup of coffee in the garden at full moon. What more can you ask for." Chris De Weghe & Delly Rossignol, Denderleeuw, Belgium.
"This place is a living time capsule of 50 years past! Whilst Paul's web pages describe the facilities and the ambience well, no words can capture the silence and the early morning scents. We appreciated most the peace and quiet, and the friendliness. "Echoing the sound of silence", to quote Simon & Garfunkle" Anthony & Pam Bradburne, Kent, Great Britain.
"Very warm, like coming home to mom and dad! Peaceful and beautiful surroundings. We had everything we could possibly want. Paul & Jenny have a unique approach to their guests and made us feel at home as if we had been here a long time. We'll be back someday." Sue & Owen Keyes-Evans, Surrey, , Great Britain.
"Le Pachis is a great place to unwind. A perfect spot to explore the Ardennes. The reception is very welcoming and friendly: we were made to feel at home immediately, so we were able to relax and enjoy our stay. Comfortable and pleasant accommodation, very good facilities for guests. First class breakfasts - appreciated by the Brits! Beautiful tranquil surroundings - perfect for relaxing amongst nature. Very informative help regarding local area and places to visit. We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay, Paul and Jenny have been excellent hosts, we can't think of any complaints! I will certainly recommend Le Pachis to my friends. " Jeremy Greenwood & Parents, , Great Britain.
"Warm reception, excellent breakfast, fine infrastructure, peaceful setting and beautiful countryside. We appreciated most the quiet surroundings and the helpfulness and friendliness of Paul and Jenny - truly wonderful hosts; made us feel at home. We felt that we were staying with old friends." George & Chris Bentley, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA.
"What a lovely experience. Everything was perfect - the care, friendship, the genuine interest of my needs - excellent altogether. Not one thing needs to be changed. I felt like wings over me to help me anytime I needed it." Jeanne-Marie Bellucci, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, USA
"We appreciated the warmth and sincere interest of our hosts, the joyous enthusiasm of our hostess, the lovely views, and, off course, the best breakfast in Belgium!" Coe & Dee Wilkins, San Gabriel, California, USA
"Le Pachis is the best little secret in the Belgian Ardennes. A truly wonderful experience for any traveler looking for wonderful hospitality in a remarkably beautiful setting." When back in the US by e-mail: "Me and James had a fantastic time in Europe. Both of us wholeheartedly agree that Le Pachis was by far the best place we stayed at in our entire trip. We really enjoyed the Belgium countryside and your sincere hospitality." Rick Lao & James Wei, California, USA
"Very friendly reception. Excellent breakfasts - had to let our belts out a notch. Enjoyable house and grounds: pleasant, peaceful area away from hectic cities. Very knowledgeable about many things and helpful to us in planning part of our stay. We enjoyed the serene setting out in the country, the kindness and friendliness. One benefit of staying in a B&B is being able to meet and interact with locals." Gregory & Cathryn Haines, Michigan, USA.
"Very nice reception and great surroundings. The breakfasts were outstanding - the best of our trip! Thank you so much! We really enjoyed our "walk in the woods", and your swans. Your Internet homepage was very complete and informative." Bob & Shar Reinicke, California, USA
"We are the first American guests AND the first Internet guests. We liked everything. We really enjoyed your company and our stay here. Very rejuvenating. Perfect weekend. Thanks for bringing us the sun, the deer and the huge wild boar we saw!" Frankie Avalon & Townsend Wolfe, Florida, USA. Note: find out more about Frankie's holistic health services and herself on her "Healing Feats" web site!
"We liked the friendly reception, the rest, the peace, the breakfast, the cleanness, the excellent beds. Time was too short." Luc & Veerle De Clercq, Lede, Belgium.
"This is an ideal place to enjoy the quiet, nature and what it has to offer. We felt like knowing Paul & Jenny for years as good friends." Thierry & Linda Porte - Six, Rekkem, Belgium.
"We liked the cozy homey atmosphere, the contacts with other guests, nature, the rest, and the spontaneity of the hosts. The ideal spot to unwind, away, far away from all stress." Miet Nivelle & Luc Daneels, Brussels, Belgium.
"Friendly reception, homey character, excellent breakfasts (we'll try to do the same back home), nice views, peaceful, good assistance with trips. Nothing, rien de knots could be better." Ludwig, Marie-Paule & Joeri Rooseparck - Van Geert, Kalken, Belgium.
"5 stars: we liked EVERYTHING. After 43 years of roving, we find Le Pachis one of the best places we have ever seen." Gilbert & Eliane Vanrysselberghe - Staelens, Gent, Belgium.
"We must say our expectations were high, but the way we were pampered here cannot be described. Quality and helpfulness are no idle words here! The whole of the friendliness and helpfulness of Jenny & Paul, the clean rooms and excellent beds, the super English breakfast, the magnificent house with its extensive garden, restful surroundings, vistas and woods, gave us a certain feeling of 'grandeur', and make this place our favorite retreat to come to rest." Dirk & Jacqueline Provoost-Onderdonck, Oostduinkerke, Belguim.
"A little paradise in the heart of the Ardennes. Very good location to explore eastern Wallonia. Warm reception, good meals and nice surroundings. What we liked most was the smile and accessibility of the hostess." Bernard Luc, Nevers, France.
"Friendly and perfect reception. Hospitality is no idle word here. We never felt so good at home anywhere. Meals I always dreamt of. Splendid setting, and what a rest!" Marc Vermeire & Madeleine Van Lokeren, Zele, Belgium.
"Very nice honeymoon. We learned and saw a lot. Nice reception and social contact with Jenny and Paul. We couldn't imagine it to be better." Karien Van Uytvanck & Filip Rogiers, Lokeren, Belgium.
"We felt comfortable and at ease at every moment of our stay. It's a precious gift to be able to come to rest in this piece of nature. You feel at home: wonderful." Gaby Raemdonck & Antoine Christiaens, Zele, Belgium.
"We really felt at home. The calm setting and surrounding let us dream about life and the opportunities it can bring." Brigitte Philips & Luc Claeys, Zele, Belgium.
"We liked the family character and the warm direct contact with the hosts, as well as their help in planning our trips." Mr. & Ms De Donder, Zele, Belgium.
"We appreciated the rest, the silence and the surroundings. We found it very pleasing and comfortable." Mr & Ms Venneman - Van Lembergen, Zele, Belgium.
"We liked the homey and family character, and the interest of the hosts. A recommendation for everybody who appreciates restfulness, nature and humanity." Freddy Moorthamer, Kruibeke, leader of a group of ornithologists and mycologists, Belgium.
"Very friendly reception. Absolutely irreproachable." Mr & Ms Van De Moortel - Van Damme, Zele, Belgium.
"We appreciated everything, it was very pleasant, we felt really good. Thanks." Mr & Ms Van Damme - Berckmoes, Zele, Belgium.
"Nice garden and cozy corners with table and chairs. A paradise for kids. In one word: marvelous. Thank you very much!" Mr. & Ms De Clippeleir - De Clercq, Zele, Belgium.
"I liked the open-hearted and smooth reception and service. The surroundings and the house are also very nice. If there is somewhere something like Paradise, than Jenny and Paul have made a very good copy of it and called it Le Pachis." Oscar Hoeylaerts, Gent, Belgium.
"They live in a piece of heaven ... and let others share." Mr. & Ms De Bleser - Casier, Buggenhout, Belgium.
"Excellent reception, very good breakfast, beautiful surroundings. We have done so much walking & eating we can't think of anything special - except it was great!! We will be back." Catherine & Dominic (Ireland), Laurence (France) and Marko (Finland).
"Paul & Jenny's sincere help and advice made our trip better than anticipated. Wonderful reception, good meals, great infrastructure, beautiful surroundings." Ahmir Irit, wife and friends, Raanana, Israel
"All good things that nature and man has to offer are here united. We appreciated the time and attention devoted to us." Elly & Rinus Roose, Heinkenszand, The Nertherlands.
"We'll be back!" Koen Versmissen & Rebecca Gross, Utrecht, The Nertherlands.
Travel Diary, Sucheta Potnis, Goa, India. May 2004.
Belgium – the world of Le Pachis
After the days of sunshine, the weather system over Europe decides to show us we cannot take it for granted – the skies cloud over and the rains start. Driving from France into Belgium, the wipers of the car don't stop.
In Belgium, the house that we have rented is tucked away in the Ardennes area. Its a wooden house, inside outside, typical of the region with some charming Irish influences. There is a large fire place, a terrace and most importantly, a large conservatory with ceiling to floor glass overlooking the mountains outside.
There are several places of tourist importance nearby – castles, caves, churches and several reminders of the German offensives in the second World War.
The weather clears up enough to roam the village. When we walk past miles of meadows and paddocks with cow herds, they all gather close by. Large, black and white and extremely curious, they watch us as if we were some exotic species. Their curiosity is quite different as compared to the 'seen it all, done it all' expression that the Indian cows generally exhibit.
Bust the best part of Le Pachis, our home in Belgium are the owners, Paul and Jenny. Whenever they have 'guests' like us in the house, they shift to two caravans at one end of the garden, out of sight in order to give guests utmost privacy.
However, they have not banked on a bunch like ourselves, a lively group of Indians and Dutch, ever eager to meet new people. Believe it or not, the owners are researching a very interesting subject “what makes people happy' . So soon, we are insisting that they join us over (multiple) glasses of wine, and once, a sort of Indian meal which they were polite enough to say they liked.
So it came that we would be sitting in the cozy wooden living room with a log fire burning, aided noisily by pine cones collected during the walks. We had discovered the large hearted 3 litre bottles of red wines, perfect for larger (and thirsty) groups like us. Jenny has many questions on India – from the red spot that Indian women wear to how closely Mrs Indira Gandhi was related to M K Gandhi (yes, the Mahatma). The latter seems a very common and perhaps understandable misconception that many foreigners have. Paul our host, is not only knowledgeable about the Indian politics but is also keenly following the election results which more or less formed a background for the days.
The last evening, we are treated to a traditional Belgian meal by Jenny. She prepares Ghenste Waterzooi – please don't try and pronounce the name, which belies a simple but tasty dish. A preparation of large pieces of chicken, with mixed vegetables simmered in a creamy stock. The incredible taste came from chives, grown in the garden and the fresh cream added. I am sure, it isn't chic enough for our `Upper Crusts' but eaten with crusty brown bread at the large farm style dining table, it is one of the nicest meals we have had.
Outside, in the gathering dusk over the far away mountainside, the cows slowly make their way to the lower paddocks and the darkness settles in. Inside the wooden living room, the freshly lit fire spits cheerfully.
We leave the captivating, serene world of Le Pachis. In my heart is the hope that one day we return to refresh our contact with the owners, or that they come to India.
In the meantime, I also hope that they will overcome their feeling that the senior Mrs Gandhi was the daughter in law of the Father of the Nation.
Travel Diary, Ree & Paul White, Chicago, USA.
About B&B’s in general, and Le Pachis in particular I could go on for pages describing all the wonderful things about Paul and Jenny and their B&B, but I just want to help others plan their vacation by telling you how we did it.
We wanted to make a trip to Europe to show Ree where I was stationed while in the USAF (Bitburg, Germany), and combine this with seeing places like Trier (the oldest city in Germany), Brussels (extraordinary Grand Place), Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge), and the countryside of southern Belgium, the Ardennes. We decided to stay in 1 B&B for the whole trip because the beauty of this is not having to live out of a suitcase, not having to make reservations in each of the cities, and getting good instructions from your B&B hosts as to how to best reach the places that you want to see. New friends (Gregory and Cathryn Haines, MI USA, see also comments elsewhere) had already stayed at Le Pachis and encouraged us to use it as our central springboard. We checked their web site and decided to go there. Although our expectations where high because of our friend’s recommendation, they were even surpassed. The setting of Le Pachis is excellent, but above all it was indeed the ideal central springboard for the kind of trip we wanted to do. All of the places mentioned are easy day trips allowing return to our home point. Paul & Jenny also made other suggestions for visits that we could make, in line with our interests, such as Ghent, which has a lot of it’s medieval heritage still intact. So our bottom line message is this: B&B’s in general are a great way to explore a region, and Le Pachis is tops in this regard".