meals at La Calestienne

We don't present you menus at choice but assure meals for our guests.
Even when you slept your fill, you still can have breakfast with home-made marmelades, jelly and choco, home-made fruit-juice, and honey from the neighbours.

For lunch we serve a bread-meal completed with a salad, fruit and cookies; if you want to make a hike for the day, we pack these lunches as picnics.
In summertime you can also eat in the garden.

We don't present meals "à la carte", but serve plentiful and healthy suppers. Normally we change regularly from meat to fish and vegetarian meals.

some examples of our suppers:

carrot soup with ramsons chermoula
plaice marinated in garden herbs, with Greek pasta
Queen Victoria plumpie.

quiche with pies and smoked trout from  Cendron
ragout of wild boar with collard greens and mashed borage
gooseberry cake with raisins.

  Belle fleur double-, transparent blanche-, belle fleur simple-, golden delicious-, belle de Boscop- eand quatresse simple-apples,  Queen Victoria-plums and damsons, raspberry, amelanchier, red, white and blackcurrent, and gooseberry from our garden and orchard are made into marmelades, jellies, juices and deserts.  

drinks at La Calestienne

We present you an exquisite assortiment of local beers as Super des Fagnes from Mariembourg, the spelt beer Joseph and the buckwheat beer Sara from the Brasserie de Silenrieux. Aditionally you can taste and compare the Belgian trappist beers of Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Achel.

Concerning apéritifs you can try the Griotte de Biercée.The more we serve our home-made elderberry-blossom- and dandelionkirr, and you can close your evening with  a P'tit Peket, a Wallonian jenever, or a brandy of green celery, or the home-made damsons- or quinces on gin, ...

Tea and herb tea lovers can make their choice in our extensive tea collection which is regularly replenished: black tea, oolong and green tea, lapsang souchong, earl grey, South-African rooibos and bitter Argentinian maté; mint, sage, lime, camomile, ...


bourdaloue-pie with Queen Victoria-plums

One of the culinary specialties of La Calestienne is a combination of seventeenth’ century’s power of speech, pastry from the beginning-twentieth century and a local touch: bourdaloue with queen-Victoria-plums from the own garden.

In origin bourdaloue was the name of an almond pie with poached pears, following all the till now consulted sources “invented”  around 1900 by “a” Parisian maître-patissier. On the number 7 of the nowadays Rue Bourdaloue in the same city there is a pastry-shop with a show-window painted in pink color and Bourdaloue on the top. Here the famous almond-pies with pears are made. I have no idea if the managers have any idea of the link with other objects bearing the same name.

In fact Bourdaloue was the name of a seventeenth-century Jesuit Louis Bourdaloue, born 20th of august in Bourges, 155 miles south of Paris. In the untitled Nouveau Dictionaire Universel from Maurice Lechatre the man was called “le prédicateur du roi et le roi des prédicateurs” : the king’s (Louis XIV) preacher and the king of preachers. Bourdaloue named himself “Devin précurseur”, the divine pastor. While on Wikipedia is mentioned that Bourdaloue owned his notoriety AT the quality of his sermons, it is a fact of common knowledge that is was surely the length of his sermons that made him well-known. Nowadays you can read all his sermons, prayers, laudatory speeches, warnings, ideas and instructions on The paper-version of the “Oeuvres Completes” dates from 1846 and counts sixteen volumes, each counting more than 500 pages.
During his sermons, this man didn’t incorporate pauses; nevertheless some of his preaches are taking forty pages in the “Oeuvres Complètes”. Of course this had its consequences: just as today churches, even Jesuit churches, didn’t provide sanitary installations for no-clergymen. If I may believe what I read surely female auditors had problems with this lack of toilets. I never came about what the male auditors did. Was the public of Louis Bourdaloue composed exclusively of female admirers? To not miss a single word of this Jesuit’s allocutions women used a kind of urinals made of faïence or porcelain. In French, in the Nouveau Larousse Universel of 1948 these utensils were called “des petits urinoirs portatifs” or even more beautiful “des vases de nuit”. Elsewhere they were named “des élégants réceptacles”, women’s urinals or “bourdaloues”. They look like twentiest century “saucières” but with a round nozzle instead of a pointed one: look out in the kitchen! Of course these useful objects were only useful and affordable for members of the better class. Only women of this kind were able to spend enough time at church, were wearing long and wide dresses but no underwear yet, which made it easy to bend slightly straddle-legged over the commonly richly decorated bourdaloues.
These trinkets are mainly known from the 18° and 19° century. They were made all over Europe and also, for export, in China and Japan.


On May 13th of 1704, at the age of 71 years, Louis Bourdaloue passed away in Paris. A commemorative stone locks up his sepulture in the crypt of the Saint-Paul-et-Saint-Louis-church in the fourth arrondissement. He got also a statue on the Colbert-façade of the Cour Napoléon at the Louvre.

Sly people as Lucinda Lambton suggests these associations are just wishful-thinking as there are no such women’s urinals known from before 1710 while Louis Bourdaloue died in 1704.

Nice story?
At the toilets of La Calestienne you can study a lot more about this subject, among others in

Philip Van Kerrebroeck, 2009: Het kleinste kamertje: een historische, culturele en medische anthologie.
Lambton, Lucinda, 1983 : Chambers of delight.
Klauda, Manfred, s.d.: Geschichte und Geschichten vom Nachttopf.



"La Calestienne"
Rue Saint Roch, 111 B-5670 Nismes Belgium
GSM: +32/494.355.705.   E-mail:
IBAN BE66-86370490-1743     BIC
©Chris Vanbeveren 2021