Oddly Enough

Meals on wheels: Camper van dining beats lockdown rules in Belgium

TARCIENNE, Belgium (Reuters) - A Belgian restaurant has found a way to keep orders rolling in during lockdown - by serving its seafood to customers in camper vans.

People can rent a vehicle or bring their own, park up outside the “Matthias and Sea” restaurant and wait for masked staff to bring the food over from the kitchens.

COVID-19 restrictions have banned indoor dining. But restaurants can still do takeaways and serve food outside.

Owner Mattia Collu said he got the idea while delivering orders to people’s houses in and around his base in the southern village of Tarcienne.

“I saw a lot of nice camper vans. I thought it was silly that they had to eat at home when they could come to our parking lot. It would also avoid packaging,” Collu said.

Customers choose from a menu including lobsters, foie gras and champagne and place their orders by text message.

They can then tuck in at the back of their motorhome, an idea that is also being tried out by the Neumuenster cooking school in neighbouring Germany.

“It lets us breathe a bit and spend time with each other without the children so that’s really good,” one woman customer told Reuters.

Belgium is currently under lockdown until Dec. 13, but even as shops open gradually, restaurants are expected to stay closed until January.

Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Andrew Heavens