Welcome to Food with Varinder, Leuven

 

We didn’t find Parijsstraat 38 because we weren’t looking to open a second restaurant, Parijsstraat 38 found us! Here was the most beautiful, listed building from the 1590’s that had sat empty for 20 years, in a prime location. Owned by a wonderful landlord who lives above us instead of being owned by a brewery.

Interestingly, although twice as large as our La Hulpe restaurant, it has a very similar interior including a kitchen under a glass ceiling. This glass ceiling joins the building everyone sees at the front to a newer building – 1700’s – at the back. This new section is beautiful inside. Original wood panelling and baroque, if a little faded, ceiling paintings. Ask us to show you the room when you visit. 

In addition to seating at the front, we also have a beautiful terrace – again ask us to show you. We’re not sure yet whether to keep it as a private dining room, a display room of our favourite things or an afternoon tea room.

So we simply had to take the plunge. It wasn’t a painless process. Again, ask us when you see us…

Parijsstraat 38 – a brief history,

 

In the 15th century, the Lusthof, then known as the Coevoet, was part of a larger complex, adjacent to the brewery Blaesbalck and the Saint Eligius Chapel. The Coevoet, featuring a large open room and a winter residence, connected to a detached kitchen. By the 16th century, the Coevoet transformed with a new stone facade and roof, eventually splitting into two houses, Lusthof and Olijfboom, each gaining distinct features such as Gothic fireplaces and separate living quarters.

From 1675 to 1771, the Lusthof housed wealthy citizens and clergy. Notably, Guillelmus Culens, a lawyer, renovated the Lusthof in the 1760s, adding a Louis XV style door frame, stucco ceilings, and lavish interiors. The rear house received rococo style ceilings and gold leather wall coverings, creating an opulent living space. Over the centuries, adaptations continued, including the addition of modern amenities and conversion of the connecting corridor into a stairwell to enhance vertical circulation.

Surviving the Great Fire of Leuven during World War I, the Lusthof stands as the oldest preserved house in the city. While other medieval structures either perished in the fire or lost their authenticity through renovations, the Lusthof remained largely intact. Post-World War II, the building fell into disrepair until it was protected as a monument in 2001. Following a thorough restoration and its transformation into a restaurant, the Lusthof’s historical significance is preserved for future generations.

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday 12:00 to 15:00
  • Thursday 12:00 to 15:00
  • Friday 12:00 to 15:00
  • Saturday 12:00 to 15:00

No reservation needed for the time being.

However, if you are a larger group or would like to book a private event, daytime or evening, in Leuven, please get in touch.

 

Location

Smack in the pedestrianised city centre

Parijsstraat 38

3000 Leuven

Belgium