Creaking wooden stairs, plush beds in hidden nooks, fresh flowers on the windowsill and the scent of home-made pie creeping its way up to your hiding spot. There’s no place like The Stamper to rediscover the joys of the simple life.
This rustic 17th-century farm has weathered many a storm and has been run by the same family since the 1880s. Originally it was the homestead of a neighboring castle, some engraved beams in the century-old barns still sturdily reminding us of that past. In the second World War, a shell pierced its way through the outer wall, right into the current owner’s grandmother’s bedroom. Good thing she was out in the field that day! If walls could speak, De Stamper’s would definitely have a tale or two to tell.
And so does its chatty owner Marc, to whom hospitality comes as a second nature. On top of exploiting the cattle farm, like his family has done for generations, he one day decided to cater to passers-by with cake and tea. One of the old sheep barns was turned into a little tearoom, one thing led to another and before he knew it, he ran a Bed & Breakfast and restaurant too. Marc’s notorious rhubarb pie recipe remained untouched, but the cosy attic rooms were decorated with curious finds and the old barn and bakehouse were turned into charming tiny houses. Guests are more than welcome to wander the grounds -where literally every corner invites you to read a book- and help themselves in the homey kitchen. On request and in weekends, Marc and his team host exuberant diners -which are especially popular with the local crowd on cold winter evenings.
The farm is located outside Damme, a small village on the outskirts of Bruges. Intrepid travelers can use it as a home base to explore the ancient city, covering the distance by bike, all the while enjoying the perks of laidback country life.
Last but certainly not least: Ours, the enormous farm dog, is always on hand to greet you with a huge bear hug, making the entire cosy cocoon experience even more adorable.