Inn Keeper

In the past, estaminets (small cafés) abounded in towns, villages and hamlets. They were places to meet, relax, talk and of course to have fun. For a long time, they were the exclusive reserve of men. The inn-keeper wears the traditional innkeeper's cotton cap and a long apron. He serves lager or dark beer, drawn from the barrel. Today, he specialises in the beers distributed by the thirty or so breweries in Western Hainaut, a region that stretches from Comines-Warneton to Enghien, and from the Pays des Collines, with Ellezelles, to Bernissart and its iguanodons. The language used is Picard, with the “potieaux d'cabaret” (bar flies or inn regulars) who, after hanging their caps on the “brochetier” (coat rack), “faire guinse” (drink) and sometimes become “soyeux” (boring, annoying).