14 oktober 2017

YENN b&b changes strategy - temporary housing for visiting scholars

After my husband suddenly died end of May 2017, I changed strategy of this house.
No more busy bed & breakfast.
I chose for a life on a slower pace.
The rooms are available for longer term for visiting scholars, exchange students, other guest in need of temporary housing.
See also here for more information.
I'm finding a new balance.
I'll tell you all about my new plans if and when I'm up and running.

18 november 2016

accommodation in Leuven area - Rock Werchter 2017

Dear festival visitor,

YENN has no availability during Werchter festival in 2017.

I have collected here some links to help you out.

For Leuven city centre you can check with my colleagues http://www.leuven.be/en/tourism/staying/.

You can look a bit further afield and explore the area around Leuven.

More information can be found on http://www.toerismevlaamsbrabant.be/en/staying-over-in-flemish-brabant/index.jsp#1 where you select the Region Hageland or you choose for a municipality close to Leuven.

More about the area around Leuven and the municipalities here

You can search the database of "Logeren in Vlaanderen Vakantieland" (= holidays in Flanders - vacationing country) www.logereninvlaanderenvakantieland.be where you choose Hageland region or the province of Vlaams Brabant.

You'll find here "vakantiewoningen" (= self catering accommodation), campeerterreinen (camping sites), gastenkamers (b&b) and hotels.

There is also the Rock Village on site of course, quality accommodation on the venue itself - more on this here http://www.rockvillage.be/home-en.

Try to find a location with bus or train connections to Leuven railway station, where all festival busses arrive. More information on http://www.rockwerchter.be/en/practical-info

You can also bring (or rent) a bike and go on your bike to the festival location.

Let us know if this information has been useful to you or if we can add anything practical for future visitors.

Good luck !

... and maybe for a city trip for Leuven book with YENN b&b ?

Feel free to follow us on www.facebook.com/YENNLeuven, check us out on Tripadvisor and visit www.yenn.be of course.

Information about the festival on http://www.rockwerchter.be/nl

17 november 2016

YENN b&b gift vouchers available - share Leuven with your friends and family

This gift voucher is an ideal present for friends or family if you want to share your love for Leuven with them.

For all kinds of occasions you're looking for a present: for Christmas or New Year, for this birthday or that jubilee, Valentine, Motherday or just for fun and by way of introducing your friends to a place you've visited before ...

YENN has developed a voucher you can buy and present to others as a gift: give a little Leuven and share your enthousiasm for this nice place.

This YENN b&b voucher is available from 125 euro onwards for 1 night, 2 adults sharing a room.
It includes:
- 1 night, 2 adults sharing a room
- our elaborate and healthy breakfast (like you enjoyed it before or if not - more on this below) 
- free city map and lots of information on "things to do" in Leuven
- free wifi internet for 2 tools
- VAT (6%)
- local tourism taxes
- free bottled water in the room
- free coffee and tea making facilities in the room (and some instant soup in the cold season ;0))
- upon request: free parking space for your car

Families with children are very welcome at YENN.
We hold loads of LEGO ready, there is a basket of comics (Stripverhalen) available and lots of soft toys for the small ones.
Children under 3 years old stay free (baby cot available upon request) and for children up to 12 years old there is an extra cost of 10 euros if they share their parents room.  Special rates available in case you're booking more than 1 room for extended family visits.

Our breakfast is elaborate and healthy, with a focus on local products (cheeses, ham, apple juice from a local fruit farm) and certified organic products (yoghurts, bread, fruit, breakfast cereal, etc...).
Add to this home made bread, cakes, and other goodies like waffles or pancakes and you wont leave us with an empty stomach !

These vouchers are available the whole year round and are valid for 1 year.  You can pay with bank transfer or with credit card authorisation.  They will be sent to your address by regular mail.

You can find us on TripAdvisor or other social media and check out our website for more information on our rooms.

We love Leuven, Leuven loves you, and there is more Leuven to discover ...

2 oktober 2016

Vegan ? Vegan it will be - banana & lemon cake and its variations

This basic recipe is a simple cake in a rectangular tin (or loaf tin) lined with baking paper

If you use this recipe, please let us know the result.
Post a message on www.facebook.com/YENNLeuven or post us a photograph of the result.
If you like us on facebook we'll keep you informed of new developments, recipes, etc...

250 gr flower
2 tsp baking powder
150 gr sugar
75 ml vegetable oil (I use rapeseed oil or corn oil, sunflower oil gives an aroma I'm not too fond of)
2 bananas
125 ml soy milk
zest of 2 lemons (bio ! regular non organic lemons have too much crap on the outside)
juice of (almost) 2 lemons to mix in the soy milk
a bit of lemon juice to finish the cake after baking

- preheat oven to 180°C
- peel en crush the bananas or mix them
- grate the lemons
- squeeze the juice of the 2 lemons into 2 separate cups
- mix the soy milk with the juice of 1 lemon until it curdles.  You know it has curdled when the fat in the milk seems to have separated in small blobs so that when you pour the milk it is chunky.  This is essential as this is what makes the cake rise and give it fluffy texture.
- Add the oil, sugar, lemon zest and crushed bananas into a large bowl and mix well
- sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well (not too much)
- pour the mixture into a tin lined with baking paper
- put into the oven and bake for 40 or 50 minutes, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin.
- drizzle the second portion of lemon juice over the baked cake, use a small food brush if needed (add a Tsp of sugar if you want the finishing more sweet)
- slice the cake into bite size peaces and enjoy

You can easily slice this cake into  portions and freeze for later use.

1) preparation: slice an additional lemon in thin slices, put this in a pan with some sugar and a bit of water and let it boil softly until the water is gone (lemon slice confit)). Take care this doesn't burn.
After pouring the dough into the baking tin, you can decorate the cake with the slices of lemon confit.
2) you can use tangerines, small blood oranges or other citrus fruit for this.
3) pour the dough in small paper muffin cups for individual portions
- baking time should be watched an might be shorter as with a large baking tin.

This recipe was inspired by the vegan drizzle cake on https://heavenlyveganbaking.wordpress.com

28 juli 2016

YENN b&b welcomes exchange students and visiting scholars from all over the world

want to go local ?
want to hear all the inns and outs of this bustling university town ?
want to stay in a house with history and current day comfort ?

Contact us for more details:
- tells us all about your plans for your visit and studies/research at the University of Leuven
- let us know if you travel alone or with partner/family
- ask us for references in case we can't accommodate you for whatever reason


16 februari 2015

YENN b&b licenced by the Flanders Tourism Board - a bit of our history

YENN b&b is playing in a "superior league": in the past we were licenced as Comfort category for b&b's (with categories Basic, Comfort and Luxe) and since February 2015 our licence is upgraded to the  LUXE category.
A big THANK YOU for this to the inspection division of the Flanders Tourism Board ;0))

Some more history or YENN b&b.

In 1996 my husband bought me this book in the Oxfam bookshop in Oxford : "how to start your own holiday accommodation" ...
ever since 1994 we house exchanged for our family summer vacation ...
Running my own b&b seemed a challenge for me ... I would do that after my retirement.
In 1997 we started living here in this beautiful large town house (we = myself, the husband & 2 sons, small kids at that time) at Tiensevest where we rented out 4 rooms to students - a common situation for the university town of Leuven.
In 2003 mom (= me) became 40, with the prospect of having the office job till her 65th and realized that if and when she was to realise her b&b, she'd better get started ! 
A dream is a plan with a deadline: before my 50th I should be up & running - husband agreed, children OK'd and so I started ...
- for myself professionally (can I, may I, do I want to do this ?) 
  I was still in an interesting fulltime job and I had never been self employed before ...
  I never worked in hotel & restaurant business either.
- but also from a pragmatic point-of-view: 
  I visited the very first b&b fair in Brussels,
  took courses at Syntra (Hotelmanagement, 2 years - still grateful for the inspiring teachers!),
  I invited the prevention officer of the Leuven Fire Brigade for advice and
  I had a meeting at Leuven Tourism office (I still remember my first contacts with Nancy Brouwers). 
By then it was early 2008.
Plans were taking form:
- interior architect was set to work,
- our students were told they could not rent anymore after the summer, etc... 
In July the students went out, building contractors came in,
until December 2008 ... 
Beginning of 2009 started slow - reculer pour mieux sauter !
If only for the international economic recession and the hotel and travel crisis.
Leuven Hotel managers were in despair. 
What did I do ? 
But, the point of no return was there.
By Summer 2009 YENN b&b was licenced by the City of Leuven.
Our Fire prevention plan was OK'd and the Tourism office of Leuven started promoting YENN b&b.
However, there were new rules and regulations worked out on a higher level -
Flanders' Tourism Board was developing a new set of rules and regulations for b&b to live by ... YENN still had time to get the files ready.
Finally, November 2011, all papers & stamps collected and and sent to Brussels -
the deadline was very near now. 
But yes:
Right now YENN b&b is licenced by Flanders' Tourism Board as a b&b with Luxury label, corresponding to 4 stars hotel services.
And YES, I'm still happy I dived in, planned this dream, and took the chances: hospitality is a nice sector to work in, for business or for leisure visitors, it's a real asset to be able to offer travellers a home away from their home.

4 maart 2014

RAVAGE - Legacy of the Great War in Leuven

The City of Leuven suffered from the start.  The historic city centre was burned down already early on  in August 1914.

The burning of the University Library and "le Sac de Louvain" are remembered in many historica books on the Great War.
More informatie on
http://www.ravage1914.be/en and on http://www.martyrcities.be

YENN b&b is located in a town house reconstructed after this Great War.

Witness thereof are the remembrance stones in the facade.

There are many facade stones like this in Leuven, very many.
Look for them when walking around in streets and on squares and you'll get an idea of the RAVAGE and chaos in that part of history.

The origings of our house date back to the end of the 1880's, when these boulevards were developed after bulding the Leuven Railway Station.
The boulevards were grand avenues, with stylish modern houses where the grand families of Leuven enjoyed modern architecture and amenities like tapwater and gas lighting, and lived in healthy large rooms with high ceilings and large windows.

This area was burned and bombed right from the start in August 1914 because of its location: pressed between the railway Station (critical for logistics and local opposition) and the University Library (where Nazi leaders thought the local intelligentsia was in hiding).

I checked the archives and found the original drawings for reconstruction in the post-War era.

Courageous people.
With a positive attitude en full of courage reconstruction began and rebuilding plans were filed for approval at the city offices.

Approval for reconstruction was given on 30th June 1920.   

Watching these drawings in detail, you'll see what corrections were expected, where the architects made changes, and what finally was approved.

At that time in the post-Great War era people didn't realise what was yet to come in 20 years time.

There are so many areas in the world where people still experience RAVAGE and chaos every day.
Let us consider this focus on the historical era in Leuven with respectful memory of  every person past or present finding courage to start all over again and again.

How come we can not forget this long Great War ?  Some academic approach is available here:

3 januari 2014

Diversity at YENN b&b in Leuven - some visitors' statistics from 2013

In 2013 there were
- visitors from 22 different countries
- travelling from 4 continents (Africa was not represented in 2013)
- 30 % of Belgian travellers, 70 % of foreign visitors
- 35 % of Dutch language speakers (visitors from Belgium & The Netherlands)
- 62 % of European visitors, and only a small number intercontinental travellers
- within Europe 85 % travelled from West-European countries and only 15 % from the former Eastern European countries
We had visitors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, Hungary, Ireland, India, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovania, Spain, the UK, the US, South-Korea and Sweden (alfabetical order).

2014 has started nicely with a check in from a visitor from India ;0))

Why do travellers visit Leuven and stay at YENN b&b ?
65 % are work related visits
30 % are leisure travellers
5 % are conference related visits

Length of stay:
52 % stay for 1 night only
43 % stay between 2 to 5 consecutive nights
5 % stay more than 5 consecutive nights

Single travellers of in company of others ?
58 % are single travellers
32 % are couples
10 % are travelling with family or friends (groups from 3 to 6 persons)

24 december 2013

YENN was the first b&b to join the "regional products & producers' association" Straffe Streek - and we're still happy to support them

When YENN b&b started out in Spring 2009, there was this global ecological Conference in Copenhagen and I started thinking about my own ecological footprint and our USP.
- should I go for Fair trade products ?
- should I go for organic products ?
- how can I manage this small hospitality business with the best possible sustainable approach ?

That's when I approached & joined Straffe Streek Vlaams-Brabant:  a non-profit organisation supporting the marketing and branding of our own farm products, locally produced specialties, breads, chocolates, beers, coffees etc...

Apparently my request to join set a trend ... after YENN, so many other b&b's, restaurants, hotels joined in and Straffe Streek has been a succes.

I hope you enjoy this all at http://www.straffestreek.be/information.php and feel free to ask more about regional products when staying at YENN b&b.

Here you can read an article published in Flanders Today on the best of the Flanders provinces

To return to my initial questions about how to profile YENN in its own way AND limit my ecological footprint at the same time, I decided to go for a mixture of
- regional and local products
- bio-organic products
- fair trade products
added with home made breads & bakeries for the breakfast table.
I added to this my definite choice for green and sustainable cleaning products for maintenance of the rooms and linen.

We've had enthousiastic responses to this from our visitors.  Ask more about this when you visit.

23 november 2013

Ask for our surprise breakfast basket in your room - spend a nice weekend in Leuven

Breakfast in bed ?  Breakfast in your room ?
Let YENN b&b treat you and treat your loved ones as well.

For a small surcharge you can enjoy our elaborate breakfast in your room.  Ideal for a slow start on a weekend in Leuven.

Follow us on www.facebook.com/YENNLeuven for more information.