It’s possible: a thirsty student who doesn’t want beer. For those students, your critic is spending this evening in a wine bar. Ladies who like a glass of wine with the girls? This one is for you.

Wijnbar Eigendom 5

So it was off to Witte de Withstraat, home to Het Eigendom. Apparently it’s a bar which must be so ‘warm’ that ‘people immediately feel at home’. At least that’s how Het Eigendom describes itself. Another object of pride: the wine menu. The bar offers 135 different types of wine. The most expensive bottle is around 500 euros. Your critic blanches and reads on.

But ordering is a concern for later. First we need to get in, and that’s not easy. Just over the threshold, we become stranded in front of a human wall. The staff don’t bother to show us to a free spot. Is that disinterest, understaffing or pure professional ignorance? We philosophise while trying to push past all the over thirties.

Because that’s who the punters are: people in their thirties, forties and even fifties are here in their droves. Perching on a stool at a table, sitting at the bar or standing drinking in individual groups. That changes around midnight. Then mainly forty-year-olds – married, children, whatever – suddenly see their opportunity to attach themselves to anything blond. And they do so with gusto, with some bills topping hundreds of euros.

You’ve guessed correctly: your critic soon had to lend out his ladies. However, that did allow your esteemed critic to have a good look at the place. The dimmed light is nice and the walls covered with wine cases are absolutely stunning. It is also remarkable how fast the bar staff operate. A refill is completed within seconds, often without even looking. The action is so fast that you might well wonder whether they are picking up the right bottle each time.

Anyway, these are only irrelevant worries. More notable is the complete lack of student atmosphere. Well not completely: missing items on the bill meant that the evening was still cheap. A hot forty year old couldn’t match that.

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