Many of you have become cherished family friends during my 32 years of working in Brussels on EU foreign policy issues with the UN, the EU, think tanks, NGOs and the private sector. We’ve had many joyful gatherings on my back terrace overlooking the magnificent 622-hectare Hallerbos national forest, particularly when it is carpeted in bluebell flowers! So you will not be surprised that Jaak has converted our home into a cosy Bed & Breakfast – Hallerbos B&B – for us to spend the rest of our lives sharing with you our passions for cooking, hospitality and all the unique experiences Halle, Pajottenland and the Zenne Valley have to offer.
We have literally thousands of wonderful memories of our times together here over the past 32 years with our 37-member De Cort family, our 27-member “Gite Group” of friends, our two daughters Alex and Celine’s scouts groups, Jaak’s football team and their families, my work colleagues and their families – for team retreats, Easter egg hunts, communions, spring walks through the hyacinth flowers, summer BBQs and pool parties, autumn forest walks, Halloween campfires, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, new years’ celebrations, birthdays, wedding parties, just chilling on the back terrace, etc., etc.
We’ve designed Hallerbos B&B especially for you – busy people in or visiting Brussels and dreaming of escaping in the blink of an eye to refresh your mind, body and spirit with mother nature, to connect with others and to have moments that take our breath away! So grab your partner, dog or friends and jump on the direct trains from Schuman, Luxembourg or Brussel Stations and in less than 30 minutes you’ll feel the same welcoming warmth and pampering you feel when you’re on holidays.
I was born and raised in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with my Cherokee grandmother who taught me to have the greatest respect for nature. And she was so right to say when I left for Belgium that “You can take the girl out of the forest, but you can’t take the forest out of the girl”! I fell in love with the Hallerbos Forest! And have been taking good care of it. As a result, I have been given the great honor of being able to name our home Hallerbos B&B by the Nature and Forestry Agency of the Flemish Government/Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos van de Vlaamse Overheid which manages the Hallerbos Forest. Part of our profits from the B&B will be donated to the agency’s, Tree Marten Plan/Plan Boommarter for the continued upkeep and expansion of the forest and neighbouring nature reserves.
This B&B has been made with love, brick by brick, board by board, by my husband, Jaak De Cort, his business partner and neighbour Patrick Van Roy. And I could not have done the interior without the invaluable advice of Manuelle Van den Brande of SHADE – House of Color. And many, many of our friends and family chipped in along the way. My heartfelt thanks goes to each and every one of you, with a special shout out for Alex and Celine De Cort, Scouts Sint-Rochus, Thierry Lemmens, Ali Seck and Nathan Felis, for making my dreams come true!
We are excited to share our passions for cooking, hospitality and all the unique experiences Hallerbos B&B, Pajottenland and the Zenne Valley have to offer!
So stop counting down the days and start counting down the hours to your next getaway!
All the best,
More Melissa’s Meanderings
Hallerbos B&B’s story began in the 1960s. This photo story takes you from the first stone and through the years we renovated Kleinheide 2 first into our home and then into a B&B. As we prepare to open our doors in November, Hallerbos B&B has really come full circle. Have a look, it will give you goosebumps!
The 622-hectare Hallerbos Forest is one of the seven most breathtaking forests in the world. It is famous for its fairytale valleys of purple-blue wild hyacinth carpets in the spring. But each season offers nature’s beauty and all year round you can let yourself be enchanted by the special atmosphere of the Hallerbos Forest.
Our B&B is for people dreaming of escaping in the blink of an eye to refresh mind, body and spirit with mother nature, to connect with others and to have moments that take our breath away! Feel the same welcoming warmth and pampering you feel when you're on holidays and discover all the unique experiences Halle and the great outdoors have to offer.