A visit to a Michelin-starred restaurant is about experiencing and living. Do you have a unique proposal in mind, and would you like to make a culinary experience extra memorable? In Hof van Cleve, according to World Culinary Awards ‘Belgium’s Best Restaurant 2021’, Peter Goossens knows all about it. The star chef takes you on a culinary adventure full of love.
A portion of tears… of happiness!
“In my opinion, a starred restaurant is the perfect place to propose,” says Peter Goossens. A lot of couples have proven him right in the past: “Proposals regularly take place at the Hof van Cleve,” says Peter. “It is an intimate but very moving event where people sometimes shed a tear. Fortunately, they are always tears of joy,” he laughs. “To celebrate a yes, some people like to bring a bottle of champagne to the table.”
A successful proposal should of course be accompanied by a beautiful engagement ring. But how does this ring get to the bride-to-be in a discreet manner? “The engagement ring can be delivered to the Hof van Cleve either beforehand or on the evening of the proposal itself. The person who wants to propose then goes ‘to the toilet’ for example, and then secretly delivers us the ring. The chef of the kitchen or I will take care of it. To make sure everything runs smoothly, we work closely with the maître in the venue. Often a symbol or object is agreed upon in advance by which they can recognize the dish with the ring in it. In this way it is delivered to the right table,” Peter explains.
A hidden gem
Often the Hof van Cleve team looks for an original way to present the engagement ring. Peter outlines, “The ring is always incorporated into a dish in some way. For example, we hid the jewel under a dome or in a dessert before. Of course not just in a chocolate mousse – we make sure that the ring always stays clean! We sometimes get the craziest questions. For example, we once brought oysters to the table. The bride-to-be opened her oyster and… found a beautiful engagement ring! The surprise was enormous and the proposal successful”, Peter smiles.
Celebrating a civil wedding in Hof van Cleve
Even after the marriage proposal, the couple can visit the starred restaurant for one of their wedding events. “We often receive families who come here for an intimate meal; for example, a couple likes to come back to celebrate their love with their parents and siblings. We also regularly receive somewhat larger groups for civil weddings, who may or may not hire Hof van Cleve exclusively for their banquet. Everyone is more than welcome, and we like to spoil everyone. Everything is possible in the Hof van Cleve: pampering comes first! You can even make suggestions for the menu in advance, which we then quickly respond to. I myself am a big fan of dishes with caviar. For me, this festive product often completes a dish”, says Peter Goossens.