Belgian smoking laws gone mad?

After the mammoth trip sourcing beer, we had a bit of time spare so we headed to a small cafe (that shall remain nameless) for a bite to eat.

Now, whereas I prefer to visit bars that are non smoking, some of them are not and that’s a fact of life. Some pubs in the UK get around their smoking ban by erecting shelters that often do little to keep cigarette smoke out of the bar area.

As I understand it, the law in Belgium now states that if you are a bar under a certain size then you can allow smoking. If you are over a certain size then you must have a separate area, but judging by some of these, the separate area just needs to be a different bit of the bar – there needs to be no partition or anything!

Anyway, when we arrived at the bar-that-is-unnamed, the menu on the wall had gone. I asked the lady if they did food, and she more or less said that they did it ‘on the side’ and we would have to eat it in a separate room otherwise if she was caught by the authorities, she would have to “pay an amount”!

We had our meal in the separate room, and it was still just as smoky as the main room…