Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

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I S S U E 30 | J U N E 2016









Discover Benelux | Contents

Contents JUNE 2016



COVER FEATURE 46 Caro Emerald Dutch singer Caro Emerald’s debut album spent 30 weeks at the top of the charts in the Netherlands, breaking a record set by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Currently working on her third album and primed for a summer of festival appearances, the ambitious star talks to us about touring, acting and her plans for global domination.


With its proximity to the Dutch capital, you might expect Haarlem to be upstaged by the metropolis of Amsterdam - but that is far from the case. Discover the highlights of this charming city.

62 Leiden Special This beautiful university city in the west of Holland is filled with canals, bridges and wonderful museums. We present all you will need for a perfect weekend break.

THEMES 9 Belgian Architecture and Design Highlights Creatives such as Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde famously put Belgian architecture on the map with their decadent art nouveau constructions. Here, we present the most inspiring architectural and design firms in


FEATURES 70 The cities of Brabant

Located in the south of the Netherlands, the province of Brabant is home to some of the country’s most exciting destinations - including historical Breda, arty Tilburg and Eindhoven, the epicentre of the Dutch design scene. Our in-depth guide will have you booking a city break right away.

Belgium today.

26 Top Dutch Breweries

Our guide to the most innovative breweries coming out of the Netherlands is guaranteed to quench your thirst for a new and exciting tipple.

32 Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

The month of June in Belgium and Luxembourg is bursting with cultural activities. Find out which festivals are not to be missed with our comprehensive guide.

Haarlem Special


Dutch Wellness and Beauty

Now that summer is here, we all want to look and feel our best. If you are in need of a little R&R, check out our guide to the best beauty and wellness brands in the Netherlands.

DON’T MISS 6 Fashion Picks | 8 Desirable Designs 92 Out & About | 97 Columns


Issue 30 | June 2016 | 3

Discover Benelux | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, Rejoice! June has arrived in Benelux, bringing us long sunny days, balmy nights and the perfect excuse for al fresco drinking. But before you hit the terraces for a pint of your usual beer, make sure you read our Dutch brewery guide - it’s bound to leave you thirsty for something new. Remember to thank us when you’re sipping on a delicious artisanal brew in the sunshine.

Print Liquid Graphic Ltd

Lidija Liegis Martin Pilkington Matt Antoniak Mette Hindkjær Madsen Michiel Stol Sofie Couwenbergh Stephanie Lovell Steve Flinders Stuart Forster Toyah Marondel Xandra Boersma

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Cover Photo Photographer: © Koen Hauser

Another of the summer’s delights is festival season. Whether you prefer hard rock or classical music, you’ll find the event for you in our comprehensive guide. One lady who’ll be keeping festival-goers on their dancing feet this summer is Dutch singer Caro Emerald. And who better to front our festival special? She already has a performance at the world-famous Glastonbury event under her belt, and will be headlining festivals across Europe in the coming months.

Creative Director Mads E. Peterson

Sales & Key Account Managers Mette Tonnessen Kirsten Schoon Katia Sfihi Micha Cornelisse Veerle Barten

I had the pleasure of chatting to the multi-platinum selling artist recently about her eagerly anticipated third album (its title is still a secret), James Bond singles and a possible progression into the world of acting. Can you see her as a Disney princess? We also discussed the current music scene in the Netherlands, head to page 46 to discover her musical recommendations.

Publisher: Scan Group 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom

Meanwhile, if you’re planning a weekend break, you’ll be spoilt for choice with our profiles on some of the most vibrant cities in the Netherlands - from historical Breda to hip Eindhoven, there’s plenty to inspire.

Discover Benelux Issue 30, June 2016 Published 06.2016 ISSN 2054-7218 Published by Scan Group

Editor Anna Villeleger Copy-editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Contributors Adam Jacot de Boinod Berthe van den Hurk Charlotte van Hek Ella Put Emmie Collinge Frank van Lieshout Koen Guiking

Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421 Email:

We are a media you can trust. The print circulation of Discover Benelux is audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), which is the UK body for media measurement.

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.

4 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Anna Villeleger, Editor

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Discover Benelux | Design | Fashion Picks


Summer night out There is nothing better than a warm summer night out. Here are a selection of glamorous outfits and accessories to ensure you are seen sipping on cocktails in style. TEXT: ELLA PUT | PRESS PHOTOS

1. Elegant sun protection What would a summer outfit be without a hat? It is the perfect fashionable protection to any sunburn and with this classic, yet edgy, design by Gioia Seghers, this hat will go with any outfit and to any beach party. €402

2. City chic When in doubt, always choose Diane. At least, that is what we should do when we have one of these wonderful Diane von Furstenberg creations in our wardrobe. Wearing the Belgian-born creative’s famous prints and elegant designs will make you feel like you are strolling along your own personal runway. €630

3. Poppy earrings Who says black was only for dark winter days? With its ingenious designs, the new collection of Belgian jewellery designer Christa Reniers perfectly accentuates the mysterious colour of black with sustainable 18-carat gold, making these poppy earrings the perfect accessory to any summer outfit. €1,050

5. Pretty in print 4. Twinning is winning Dutch brand Anecdote does matchy matchy with this top and skirt combo; a perfect mix between Scandinavian simplicity and Amsterdam coolness. This will be your saviour in any outfit crisis. Top €140 Skirt €150

Floaty floral dresses may be considered standard summer attire. Why not stand out from the crowd with a bold trousers and blouse combination? This Diane von Furstenberg outfit will take you to any occasion in style. Trousers: €340 Blouse: €362

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 7

Discover Benelux | Design | Desirable Designs


Keep it cool! Apart from January and February, all the other months carrying a ‘u’ in their name usually bring good weather to the Benelux. Survive the hot temperatures with these desirable designs. Keep it cool and carry on! TEXT: ELLA PUT | PRESS PHOTOS

2. Birdcage turned lamp


This birdcage is the perfect home decor accessory for indoor and outdoor use. The original and creative concept of turning a birdcage into a lamp will light up any table. Medium birdcage €12


1. The coolest way to drink water These cool and innovative bottles might seem like your typical water containers, but they offer much more. Available in joyful, bold colours and engraved with the Dutch word for tap water, ‘kraanwater’, these bottles prove that tap water is not only more sustainable then bottled water; it is also way healthier. €20

3. A beach in your garden


You do not have to go to the beach to get a summer vibe. This beach chair, designed by Dutch studio Weltevree, will turn your garden into your own personal beach in no time. €198

4. Swan, could you please hold my drink? Forget the traditional inflatable bed, this inflatable swimming swan is the perfect pool accessory. It is also multi-functional and can be used as a tray. €22



5. A bed house With the sun shining non-stop, it can be quite difficult to find shade. This little house, an accessory for children’s bedrooms, can also be used in the garden to protect little ones from the sun as they play. €395

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25 Sculp[IT] Architects Photo: ©Luc Roymans

20 b+


Belgium’s astounding architecture Take a stroll around any city in Belgium and you will be struck by the diversity of the buildings and monuments - there is no doubt this is a country with an astonishing design history. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

24 Schellen Architecten Photo: Milpas

Exemplifying the best of European design, the country’s cities offer an insight into the continent’s main design trends throughout the centuries. While you may immediately think of the decadent art nouveau constructions of famous Belgian architects such as Victor Horta, Paul Hankar and Henry van de Velde, these remarkable designs now stand alongside a host of exciting contemporary creations. From

12 ZAmpone Architectuur

the capital to the various cities and towns of Flanders and Wallonia, you will be taken on a journey comprising Romanesque churches, gothic cathedrals, grand renaissance mansions and baroque castles. But it is not just Belgium’s historical monuments you will marvel at, the country is home to an array of innovative design and architectural firms which are helping the

country make a name for itself as a major player in the international design scene. From skyscrapers to cutting-edge urban developments, discover much more than just the traditional Wallonian manors or Flemish farmhouses which adorn the front of the perfect Belgian postcard. Read on for our presentation of the most exciting architecture and design firms coming out of Belgium today. Issue 30 | June 2016 | 9

Wirtz International, creating ‘strong character gardens’ TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: WIRTZ INTERNATIONAL

The Jardin du Carrousel in the Louvre Museum, the garden at the University of Antwerp, Jubilee Park in London’s Canary Wharf and Dior’s runway. These are big names you have probably seen or heard about at least once. But did you know they originated in Belgium? They were designed by Wirtz International. These are just a small selection of the projects Martin Wirtz, his brother Peter and their team have in their portfolio. “We do lots of private gardens as well,” Wirtz explains. “That’s our core business, they’re secret treasures.” Though each garden is different and there’s no typical Wirtz garden, you will definitely always recognise them. “We love to work with big movements, making big gestures in small and large gardens. Gardens need to express a strong character.” 10 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Gardens are important these days, explains Wirtz: “In this world filled with stress it’s important to have as much public greenery as possible. I really think trees are the answer to a lot of problems we deal with in the 21st century.” There are many things to take into account when designing a garden, Wirtz explains: “What kind of garden is it, city park or private ground? What’s the climate? A garden in Northern Europe requires different kinds of plants to one in the South. Are there buildings surrounding the garden that need to be covered up? Does it need to be low maintenance or not? What type of soil is it? And most importantly: what does the client want?” One of those clients was Raf Simons, former creative director of fashion label Dior. The request? Create a garden

for his fashion show in Paris, one of the most talked about events in the industry. “It was an amazing experience! Stressful, but worth it. We had to find the exact right trees, nine hazelnuts and 6,000 buxus.” Not your everyday assignment. The results were amazing, and the international press agreed. “The moment we saw the models walking through our garden was super! Really intense.” But it is not just these high-end assignments that make Wirtz love his work. “Not at all. I always love looking for the perfect composition, to make every garden beautiful. It’s a stressful job. But in the end the creativity and positive responses we get from our clients make it worth it.”

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide


Three renowned Belgian architects have teamed up to take the next step in their careers. Under their new name UAU Collectiv, their mission is to wow the world. “UAU is how Romance language speakers often spell WOW,” Frederik Vaes explains. Vaes formed UAU Collectiv together with architects Massimo Pignanelli and Joris Diliën and with Michel Janssens as general manager. “To us, UAU is more than just a play on words though. UAU stands for ‘world of wonders’, the kind of wonder which is not just short-lived astonishment but an enduring fascination. It’s the kind of wonder we would like to inspire with our architecture. A positive vibe reflecting the optimism of the modernist era.” Each of the three architect partners had their own successful businesses before

they entered this new phase in their careers. Having worked across Belgium as well as abroad in cities such as London, New York and Berlin, their varied backgrounds range from public housing to high-end residential and large-scale retail projects. Yet what made them decide to bundle their talents was a shared view on the future role of architecture in these rapidly changing times. “We see architecture as a tool to restructure modern society. All our efforts need to be based on collaboration - amongst each other and with the whole of the wider creative economy.” The new collective’s 20 creators will take on a broad range of projects in public and private architecture, interior design and installations as well as master and city planning projects. “Where do people want to live, shop, spend their leisure time – these are the basic questions architects

need to address,” Vaes explains. “We firmly believe that the modern architect needs to concentrate on his central role in the design process, on being a creative force of innovation.” One of the collective’s reference projects is Vaes’ redesign of Berlin’s Bikinihaus, a dilapidated mall on Kurfürstendamm which was transformed into an attractive, modern shopping and leisure hub. “That design was based on our belief that we need to create buildings which are open to interpretation by the users, like a novel is interpreted by its readers,” Vaes continues. “Because no matter whether you’re building a house, a hotel or a shopping mall, if the basic design is good, the building will thrive.” Issue 30 | June 2016 | 11

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

Surprising architectural solutions TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: ZAMPONE ARCHITECTUUR

They like the locations of their designs to be as difficult as possible. Why? Because they like a challenge. And they can handle it, seeing as the architectural designs of ZAmpone are award winning. “We combine youthful enthusiasm with years of experience!” says architect and one of the three owners, Bart van Leeuw.

Any challenge is best completed when you give the ZAmpone as much freedom as possible. “Well, we do like it if our client tells us as specifically as possible what the goal is and what they want. But we like to have the freedom to interpret this our own way and surprise them.” The response ‘we never would have thought about this ourselves’ is one they get a lot.

The perfect combination, so it seems. ZAmpone – the first two letters are in capitals “because they’re the first and last letters of the alphabet and it looks good” – designs various kinds of buildings. From offices to private houses, schools, health centres and even a rugby club - you name it, they have designed it. So what is their specialty? “We don’t have one,” explains Van Leeuw. “We love a challenge, so we do every assignment with the same passion and enthusiasm.”

An example is when they designed the children’s daycare centre Nieuw Kinderland. “Before designing we spoke with our client to fully understand their goals and ambitions. And so we learned about the problems they were having, so that we could turn those into solutions. We really want to work together with our clients and include everyone involved.”

12 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Intensive and positive communication is key to how this architectural company

works. “We like to take that extra step. It has to be a constant process of collaboration between all the actors in a project. Which is why we keep updating them continuously throughout the process. We believe that architecture can become a lot better when the team is more important than the individuals.” Being on the same page with the client is the most important thing. They have the same goal after all, so they should be. “Each and every one of our designs is different, but they all have something in common: they offer a solution without resolving to superfluities. It’s about getting to the essence of things. That’s the identity of our company.”

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

Designing property that increases business value TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: TOM LEYMAN AND STL & C°

Commercial property is an important asset for small and medium-sized enterprises. Making alterations to offices or opening up a new shop in a different location has to make financial sense. Architect Tom Leyman understands this. He advises SMEs in East Flanders on their property portfolio and makes modern designs for them. Most of Leyman’s clients have been with him for many years. He has seen and helped them grow. A local baker, for instance, that started off with just one bakery, now owns a dozen shops in which he sells his products. Leyman advised on which properties or plots to buy and, when necessary, made plans to renovate the building or built an entirely new shop. In association with the client, he also included the construction of residential properties in some of the plans. These

“That is how it works with most of my clients in the private sector,” Tom Leyman explains. “I mainly work for family-owned small and medium-sized enterprises and it often starts with just the design of a warehouse, shop or office space. But with almost all of them I have also drafted longterm master plans for the maintenance of their property portfolio. We regularly have meetings to analyse their needs. For instance, extensions and alterations to existing property, structural design changes that are needed to comply with new regulations or possibilities to build residential property to let. And I have also designed some of the houses my clients live in.”

Flanders and he is up-to-date with policies and regulations. Furthermore, he deals with many tender and procurement processes. What helps is that he has extensive experience with designing public projects, such as schools and private health care projects. A recent project is the restoration of a monumental school building and old castle that are joined together. The in-between building will be taken down and replaced by a glass passage, which reinstates the unique features of the buildings, both listed as cultural heritage. Among other things, the buildings will both be renovated to comply with the latest regulations. “Since this project we have been involved in more projects to renovate and upgrade monuments,” Leyman says.

Leyman, who also employs four other architects, knows the property market in

residential apartments are now rented out, generating extra revenue for the client.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 13

Architects erase the dividing line between care and hospitality TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: LLOX

The first ‘care hotel’ of Flanders was opened last year. Hospital patients can book themselves in at this four-star hotel in Antwerp if they are released from hospital but do not feel strong enough to go home yet. This innovative crossover between a care centre and a hotel was designed by LLOX Architects from Belgium, in collaboration with EGM architects from the Netherlands.

care facilities. This is exactly the point, explains LLOX’s project architect Geert Bekaert. “The hotel caters for guests who need to recover from a hospital stay, but it is also open to the general public. Those who are recovering here don’t have the stigma of being a patient. They are just guests, like anyone else.”

by a physiotherapist can also be booked here if medically required. “The hotel has an A label for wheelchair accessibility,” Bekaert explains. “And the top floor, which includes two family suites for guests who want their loved ones around during their recovery period, even has an A+ label, the highest score possible.”

A+ for wheelchair accessibility

Hotel Drie Eiken was constructed right next to the Antwerp University Hospital, but it operates fully independently. When on its premises, ordinary visitors may not notice that this accommodation offers

What makes this hotel special is that it is incredibly wheelchair friendly, from the rooms to the fitness centre and from the restaurant to the in-house hairdresser. The wellness centre offers great facilities for those just coming to relax, but a massage

Obtaining the maximum score is a result of LLOX’s decades of experience in designing for the health care sector. The architects at this firm know how to combine smart designs with regulation compliance. For instance, the front door of every hotel room has exactly the

14 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

prescribed amount of space next to it for a wheelchair, the height of the toilets is in accordance with the requirements of standardisation agencies and the interior designers of LLOX cleverly developed wheelchair-friendly built-in cupboards, with the locker, the mini-bar and the shelves all in easy reach.

A ‘green’ cube On sustainability, Drie Eiken also scores exceptionally high. “The building is shaped as a cube, which makes it very compact and thus energy efficient,” architect Bekaert explains. “Only a round structure would be more compact than this, but that would be very costly to build.” If you reckon a cubic building is uninspiring, think again. This cube was not just placed on a flat surface in the middle of a grass field; it is partly constructed inside a hill. The partially submerged entrance hall is two storeys high, giving it a spacious feel and allowing ample daylight to come in. The hotel’s à la carte restaurant on the floor above it provides guests with a delightful view of the green surroundings. The view is equally good from the other floors. Because the whole building was basically moved one storey underground, even guests on the top floor of this sixstorey building have a pleasant view of the garden. Bekaert says: “Being in a pleasant surrounding is thought to speed up the recovery process. Scientists call it the ‘healing environment’. That is why the rooms all have very large windows,

starting from just above the ground; to give guests the best possible view, even when lying down in their beds.”

Designed to be flexible If the needs of its customers change, so can Drie Eiken. For instance, two double bedrooms could easily be converted into one family suite or vice versa. Apart from the outside walls and two load-bearing walls, everything inside the building can be rearranged. “And because the whole building was first constructed in 3D, using the Building Information Modelling system, making alterations should be hassle free, as the location of the electric wiring, drainage system or air supply shafts can easily be established.” Working in other sectors to improve care Drie Eiken is the first hotel LLOX has designed. The firm is specialised in the health care sector and mostly draws construction plans for hospitals, service flats and care homes. “We would like to do more hotels,” says Bekaert. “About 80 per cent of our portfolio consists of work for health institutions, the rest is done for other sectors. Collaborating in projects to develop hotels or offices enables us to learn about different techniques and different approaches to architecture that we might later be able to apply in the health care sector. On the other hand, we can teach firms working in other fields about designing for people with special needs.”

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 15

Private luxury project - South of France.

Bringing Tibet’s nomadic sail sculptures to our world TEXT: MICHIEL STOL | PHOTO: ROBERT DE WILDE

Human beings lived nomadically for centuries. In some parts of the world, like Tibet, the nomads still have their traditional way of life, moving to find the best places for their animals and families. They take coverage from the elements in beautiful surroundings under unique sails with brocade. This unique architecture inspires Amandus VanQuaille in his work today as an architect and founder of Nomad Concept. “I had the chance to travel to Tibet and Nepal during my college years,” says VanQuaille. “After college and an internship with Belgian landscape architect Jacques Wirtz, who designed the gardens at the Louvre and the Élyseé in Paris, I lived in Tibet for seven years where I studied and helped renovate Buddhist temples. I also lived and travelled with Tibetan nomads.” Life in Tibet is like it was in Europe back in medieval times, says VanQuaille. With their bastions, the nomads created their own architecture. Their sails woven from 16 | Issue 30 | June 2016

the wool of sheep and yaks formed all kinds of tents that blended with the surroundings, and were able to give shelter. “I wanted to bring that concept to the rest of the world. This is where the name comes from: Nomad Concept.”

Private, public and corporate projects Back in Belgium, VanQuaille started to design sail sculptures for events, like Pukkelpop and Rock Werchter. “Later we started to design for private clients and companies. We have designed sculptures for the headquarters of Microsoft, Price-

Phylosophus sail, a creation by VanQuaille - Tibet.

waterhouseCoopers and media company De Persgroep in Belgium. Our private clients are located all over the world, from Hollywood to Monaco.” The mix of private clients and companies makes it very challenging for VanQuaille. “A lot of companies want to create added value for their employees by providing them a nice, beautiful place under a sail sculpture in an open space. From that point of view, the creative process starts.” The landscape is usually the influential factor. VanQuaille: “The surroundings and the environment of the desired sail sculpture is what inspires me to create the perfect shapes. It has to be in synch with the landscape, connecting the indoors and the outdoors. The client’s wishes can make it a challenge sometimes, but we like that.” Nomad Concept has one main focus - top quality. All the materials used by Nomad Concept are the best in the market and have a very small carbon footprint. “We use 100 per cent PTFE (Teflon) textile, which can last from 30 to 50 years. The

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

Public project - Reconversion of an old convent Julianus - Tongeren (Belgium).

main advantage of PTFE is that it has a great economic and ecological value. It is like the nomads in Tibet: all the materials are used as economically as possible, with the environment always on our mind.”

Dragons and dreams Nomad Concept also designs sail sculptures for public spaces. They were asked to create a sculpture for the monastery of Tongeren, which was around the same time as The Lord of the Rings movies came out. “When I saw the scene with the dragons descending from the skies, attacking the people on the ground, I knew this was what I wanted to create at the monastery.” With a 40 by 40-metre free span, it is one of the biggest projects that VanQuaille has realised. “It turned out beautiful, with our own dragon descending and attacking the apple tree that is in the centre of the courtyard.” This project was awarded an International Design award in 2013. “I was also able to fulfil one of my dreams. Besides architecture, I have always been a huge fan of classical music – I have played the organ in church many times. So I always wanted to design a theatre or concert space, where people could play classical music. That opportunity came at Fort 4 in Mortsel, south of Antwerp,” VanQuaille tells. “We have created a cathedral-like sculpture in the courtyard,

where people can walk and listen to or play music. The sound there is so good that it is being used to record music. It really was a dream come true.” VanQuaille has many dreams for the future and the role of Nomad Concept. They started this year with their first ‘closed architecture-project’: creating sail sculptures as buildings with an insulated skin wrapped around wooden structures. “I think the time of old fashioned concrete and brick office buildings is over,” says VanQuaille. “Political or economic changes and opportunities will create

a need for mobile and flexible offices, factories and warehouses, some made of sails, fully insulated and ecologically friendly, and still sustainable. We have to think about our planet.” One thing that will never fade is VanQuaille’s passion for art and aesthetic values. “Emotion is everything. Without it, the world is bleak. If Nomad Concept keeps capturing the emotion of the landscapes in our designs, we will create the most beautiful sail sculptures ever made.”

Public project - Fort 4, reconversion of an old fortress - Mortsel (Belgium).

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 17

Photo: © Studio Farris Architects

Photo: Ilse Liekens

Photo: © Studio Farris Architects

Photo: Tim Van de Velde

Designing wisely in Antwerp and beyond TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE

With their award-winning design of the Park Tower, Antwerp-based Studio Farris Architects have continued to add impetus to the thriving city while carving out their own identity as a young studio. Prioritising outdoor spaces for all, ample bicycle parking, and a striking visual aesthetic, Park Tower embodies the lively nature and sustainable attitude of Antwerp and its residents. 18 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Designed as an update of classic highrises from days gone by, the awardwinning design by Studio Farris Architects stretches 78 metres over 20 floors to create 360 commodious housing units, while the ground floor is reserved for commercial use. The city’s objective, explains the lead architect behind the design, had been to rejuvenate the cityscape with uniformity and colour. Duly taking cues from this brief, Studio Farris’

design unites formal simplicity with rich materiality: “We wanted people to say ‘it’s a fresh tower – and a fresh way to start the morning’,” he continues. Its low-energy, high-sustainability approach has seen a buzz grow around the gleaming white tower, which is close to both the old town and the regenerated harbour area in the northern quarter of the city. To top it off, each apartment or studio

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

comes with its own private terrace – an essential feature in Farris’ eyes: “When you walk through a high-rise neighbourhood, you cannot see many human-scale elements in most of the buildings’ facades. For the most part, high-rise buildings are very introverted, due mostly to the necessity of protecting the inhabitants from excessive sunlight and high winds.” The solution, hit upon by the 12-strong team of architects alongside experts from Eindhoven’s Technical University, involved incorporating layered glass panels as both a design feature and a necessity to ensure minimal intrusion from the wind. “We wanted to have people outside, and that’s why we did this second skin,” continues Farris, “that’s why I encourage residents to go outside and use the terraces and make the tower come alive. Now, if you look at the tower in the summertime, it is fantastic because it’s being used and it is full of people.” Originally from the Sardinian city of Cagliari, Farris studied architecture in Venice before a brief foray into further academia in London. However, it was not long before he took the bold move to cut his teeth as an independent architect in the Low Countries in the early 2000s. Since founding Studio Farris Architects in 2008, the 12-strong team now constitute one of Belgium’s leading architecture studios, having realised a number of highprofile projects, including the acclaimed De Loketten, the Counter Room, at the Flemish Parliament in Brussels.

Photo: © Studio Farris Architects

As proof that Studio Farris can turn their hand to anything, the Counter Room project involved renovating the 1937 inaugurated interior of the Parliament’s aging shell to create a new ‘meeting room’, complete with café, shop and exhibition space. Working within a tightly defined area and aware of not forfeiting heritage, the winning design of Studio Farris Architects and designer Stefan Schöning brings a svelte but transparent approach to Flemish politics: “The duplex provides a new way of experiencing the building,” explain the team. “The upper floor, with an extra opening, creates new viewpoints for the visitors of De Loketten. From the street, interaction is being created with what happens inside, and curiosity of the outside world is aroused.” Not limited to public buildings, the firm take on a range of projects, from residential farmhouse conversions and stables (where expansive windows exploit natural light) to their current most notable project, the Antwerp Zoo. As a registered monument, their winning design demanded a careful approach to the site: “Architecture is not like art where you start from a white page; you always start with the client’s requirements and restrictions,” elucidates architect Giuseppe Farris from his light-flooded studio in central Antwerp. “When we begin a project, we start by analysing how we can improve the site or improve the way it’s used.” Tackling a similar issue, their winning design to renovate and extend the city

library in Bruges saw them discard standard brickwork in favour of eyecatching sheets of COR-TEN steel. With a priority to entice passers-by and render the library a welcoming and stimulating destination, Farris aimed to capture maximum daylight in all seasons by employing a trio of window designs as well as optimally positioning reading corners and the reception area. While Studio Farris does not explicitly adhere to one designated style – instead prioritising from project to project – the young team stringently believe that each plot of land comes with widely diverse needs, intricately linked cultures and materials. Belgium is currently the studio’s chief stomping ground, but they are an aspirational international team. And as their presence grows in the small country, it is clear that this Antwerp-based studio is helping to shift the nation’s direction towards outward-looking, inclusive architecture.

Photo: Koen Van Damme

Photo: © Studio Farris Architects

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 19

Building your dream home TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT | PHOTOS: B+

b+ is a family-run full service architectural, building and renovations firm operating in Belgium’s upmarket private residential sector. Working with an extensive team of architects, interior designers and building and construction specialists, the company can offer their customers a carefree building process, from application plan and first ideas through to the completion of their new dream home. “For more than 40 years, we’ve been helping our customers build their dream homes,” says commercial director Kristof Vandepoel. Kristof’s father Aimé Vandepoel, an engineer and architect by trade, started the company in 1973 to address a growing need for integrated architectural 20 | Issue 30 | June 2016

and building services in the private sector. The ‘b’ in the company’s name stands for Building, the ‘+’ expresses the added architectural and service value. “In those days, customers could either buy a turnkey house or hire an architectural firm and then take the designs to an independent builder,” Kristof explains. “There was very little in between.” According to Kristof, hiring an architect and subsequently having these plans carried out by a building company has a number of disadvantages. “Firstly, there are budget concerns,” he points out. “Often, the architect’s plans turn out to be a lot more expensive than envisaged. Secondly, builders, especially large developers active in volume house building, are often

not interested in discussing the finer points of architectural details. The client will have to put in a lot of time and effort to make sure everything is built and executed as originally planned and to the high standards desired. And thirdly, these days new energy solutions are so complicated that they need to be meticulously described in the architectural plans. There’s no more room for a bit of improvisation here.”

Total package With their creative, technical and building expertise, b+ can offer their customers a total package, guiding them from first ideas, sketches and plans through to planning permission, construction, detailing, energy layout, landscaping and interior design. “We have four architects

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

and three interior designers in our team,” Kristof explains, “as well as a large multifunctional building and construction team. They’re all dedicated to addressing our customers’ wants and needs. And of course, if clients want to bring their own architects to collaborate with b+’s building engineers, the company is more than happy to accommodate such an arrangement as well.” Over the years the company has designed and built an impressive portfolio of houses, ranging from classicist manor houses to ultramodern villas. “But the process is always the same,” says Kristof. “The interaction with the customer is of crucial importance. We don’t push our customers in any direction. Prior to choosing a particular style such as classic or modern, and prior to the first sketches, we carry out an extensive programme study.” Using mood boards with pictures but also samples of materials and textures, b+ talks over ideas, tries to get a feel for what suits the client, what their wishes are and what kind of materials they like. They find out about their life patterns, how the family is organised, how they spend their mornings, their afternoons and their evenings, how often they have dinner parties and how they use the garden. All these questions build up a detailed personal profile of the customer’s lifestyle. Only after having put together this profile, does b+ decide with the customer on the style of their home and how to integrate all their wishes into a harmonious design.

“These programme studies also include elements such as the desired aspect of the house and the amount of square metres,” says Kristof. “And at b+ we also integrate energy performance, time scale and budget monitoring from start to finish. Plus, to make for a carefree and transparent process, one of our project managers will be the single point of contact for our customers throughout the design and building phases.”

Renovations As well as building new homes, b+ also has extensive experience in the creation of loft spaces and renovation of period and modern homes, including complete farmhouse overhauls. “At some point, period homes will need an upgrade to modern safety, maintenance, energy and comfort standards,” Kristof explains. “But there really is an art to renovation. With the help of our preferred partners we can take on any of these projects, such as the installation of new heating equipment or breaking existing walls to create living kitchens or open the house up to the gardens. And we’ll always make sure that we retain the character and feel of the home as much as possible.” Naturally, this kind of work is always carried out in close consultation with the client. “After all, we’re in the business of creating a home for our clients. There are few experiences more personal or emotional.”

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 21

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

A top-class contemporary interior is attainable for everybody TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: LOFT 4C INTERIEURARCHITECTEN

Walk into the apartment of interior designers Filip Deslee and Keith Baert and you will immediately notice that every detail in this home is meticulously thought through. There is order, balance and harmony, but it is not inhospitable. On the contrary, it feels cosy. “That is what LOFT 4C is all about,” says the designer duo. “We don’t want to turn people’s interiors into showrooms, we want to help our clients to create a pleasant environment to live or work in.” ‘Minimal interiors, maximal experience’ is LOFT 4C’s slogan. Filip Deslee, a Belgian TV personality, is well known for his tight, clean, contemporary designs, while 22 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Keith Baert is specialised in adding that “personal twist”. Both designers had their own companies for many years, but since January 2016 they have been working together from their home at LOFT 4C, a stylish apartment in Antwerp’s trendiest area Het Zuid. Receiving all their clients at home has been a deliberate decision. “We invite them into our home and in return they open up their hearts to us. That is essential, because we are going to really work together in the period to come to design an interior that suits their lifestyle,” Deslee explains.

Interior design to match personality Sitting around the dining table or in the lounge of LOFT 4C, Deslee and Baert

have conversations with their clients about their design wishes; but it goes further than that. “We need to understand what clients want, but we also want to know how they behave when at home,” Deslee says. Hence, LOFT 4C clients can expect to get homework. They will have to make mood boards and fill in a questionnaire with questions like: If you come home with your groceries, do you instantly pack them away? “If you are the type of person that doesn’t immediately pack the groceries away, you shouldn’t want an open kitchen,” Deslee clarifies. Some clients want their entire home redecorated, others just come to LOFT 4C for advice about a new lounge set, or a new bedroom. “But even if people only

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

come for the bedroom, we will still talk about the rest of the house as well. Maybe the children are about to move out in a few years. What are they going to do with the extra space then? If we are going to redesign the bedroom now, it is good to already think about possible future changes.”

LOFT 4C’s ten commandments Designs by LOFT 4C have a very distinct signature; the result of a fixed set of rules. “We call it our ten commandments,” Deslee says with a smile. An important rule is to think like an architect, rather than a decorator. Creating that spectacular contemporary interior requires aligning windows, walls, furniture and ornaments along straight horizontal and vertical lines. It is all about balance and proportion, light and volume, lines and focal points. And every de-tail counts. Everything in the house has a well-chosen place and

the space that is left ‘unused’ is just as important as the space where the furniture goes. Creating space and light, that is what it is about.

Guidance through home makeover Getting a complete makeover can be quite hectic. But LOFT 4C customers are guided through the whole process, whether they are only changing their dining room area or redoing their whole house. “The changes that we propose, in collaboration with the client, can be pretty radical, including breaking away walls and reallocating areas. We need to prepare peo-ple for that.” Plans can be drawn up in 3D, for instance, giving customers the opportunity to take a virtual reality tour through their proposed home. LOFT 4C also selects furniture and decorative pieces for its customers and sends them examples, via the LOFT 4C

website. “There is no need to drive around the country looking for the right lamp or table. We do all that for you,” Deslee says. This also applies for LOFT 4C’s customers in Dubai, Israel, the United States and various European countries.

Designer living in LOFT 1D To experience what life in a designer home would feel like, one could also rent LOFT 1D for a night or two. This apartment, in the same complex, has no inside doors. Instead, all the walls can be turned in various angles, completely changing the space and the feel it has. “I designed this apartment 11 years ago, when I lived there myself. We are now renting it to LOFT 4C clients to experience living in one of our interiors, but it is also available to others via,” says Deslee. Issue 30 | June 2016 | 23

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

The art of creativity and energy-neutral building

Photo: Marc Sourbron


The buildings designed by architect Reginald Schellen look so modern and pure you might not directly associate them with energy efficiency. However, he had the environment in mind all along, which is why all these buildings need as little energy as possible. “Architects have a responsibility towards the environment.” That is quite a statement coming from Reginald Schellen, owner of architect company Schellen Architecten. “We need to do something to stop this earth from heating up,” he explains. “And we can contribute by building energy-neutral buildings.” The design of every building in the hands of Schellen is as energy neutral as possible. They work with the principle of the Trias Energeti-

ca, which means they waste as little energy as possible. The energy that is used is mostly sustainable and the fossil energy the buildings do use will be as efficient as possible. Therefore, elements like heat pumps and solar panels are used. “We do this with every kind of building we design. Whether it’s an office, apartment, villa, health facility or sports complex.” Sound complicated? “It is; we have to keep this principle in mind from the moment we first start the process. But that’s the challenge. You have to consider the surrounding context as well as the wishes of the client and of course how the design will look eventually. The more complex this is, the bigger the challenge. But that’s what makes it fun!”

Photo: Milpas

Photo: Hendrik Biegs

A passion for modernist architecture TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT | PHOTOS: ARCHITECTENWONING

Belgium has a rich tradition in modernist architectural design of private properties. It is the mission of Architectenwoning to preserve this heritage. Dynamic open spaces, generous natural light, clean lines, beautiful proportions, exquisite detailing and wonderful views – according to Frederic Rozier, it is not easy to overestimate

24 | Issue 30 | June 2016

the aesthetics of modern 20th-century architectural design. A renowned design and architecture expert in his native Belgium, Rozier teamed up with property expert Kristof Welleman some four years ago to set up a company specialised in advising buyers and sellers of architecturally designed private properties. Collaborating with a network of established estate agents, their services include valuation, negotiation and contracts, as well as advice on the quality and value of the architecture. “We specialise in properties from the modern era, between the 1920s and 1980s,” Rozier explains. “Belgium has a rich heritage in this era, ranging from art deco to brutalism. But too often I could see properties end up in the hands of new owners who radically overhauled their layout and appearance.” This is why Architectenwoning matches properties with buyers who are interested in maintaining the original design and detailing.

According to Rozier, this is also of crucial importance to the seller. “Owners simply don’t want to see the soul of their home destroyed.” So in that sense, Architectenwoning is more than just a commercial enterprise. “We have some 10,000 modernist properties in Belgium, all beautifully designed and built with quality materials and true craftsmanship. Preserving this heritage is our passion, it’s what keeps us going every day.”

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

The chameleon of architects TEXT: ELLA PUT


From the smallest house in Antwerp to the world’s largest glass doors, Antwerp-based architectural firm Sculp[IT] Architects is innovative, diverse and always up for a challenge. One could define architectural firm Sculp[IT] Architects as a creative chameleon within the world of Belgian design: they can adapt to any style and to any wish. It is something that makes them stand out from the crowd. “In a way we are just like a tailor,” coowner Pieter Peerlings of Sculp[IT] Architects explains. “We listen to our clients’ wishes, analyse them and from there on we make a custom design.” A design at Sculp[IT] Architects can mean almost anything and everything. In the past ten years Peerlings and his partner Silvia Mertens have created a wide range of architectural sites: from the smallest house in Antwerp to a

bath boat. A highlight of their latest collection has to be the world’s largest glass doors. The architectural firm also decorates offices and designs houses, showrooms and shops: “It is always nice to have that diversity within your profession, it keeps you innovative and also forces you to be creative with various budgets,” Mertens explains. Working with a wide range of clients, Sculp[IT] Architects always put their clients’ needs first: “Each project is unique, and so are the clients’ wishes.” Having been exhibited at one of Europe’s biggest modern art galleries - the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark - and also nominated for several highly regarded design prizes, including the Belgium Building Award, one thing is for sure: the future looks bright for this Belgian architectural chameleon!

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Photo: Bronckhorster Brewing Company

Photo: Uiltje Craft Beer


Raise a glass to the best Dutch breweries Fancy a beer but feeling tired of your usual generic pint? Our guide to the most innovative breweries coming out of the Netherlands is guaranteed to quench your thirst for something new and exciting. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER


Holland is well known for its beer brands, with tourists flocking to Amsterdam’s Heineken Experience visitor centre to learn about - and of course sample the eponymous pilsner. But there are a wealth of other beer brands on offer in the Netherlands, specially brewed and just waiting to be discovered. When you think of a Dutch beer, you will probably picture a pale lager; although the majority of breweries in the country have plenty more to offer and brew their own specials. Common favourites are wheat beers and dark, malty Bock-style beers. And although the word artisanal may have 26 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Photo: Kompaan

only become a buzz word in the drinking establishments of many European cities in recent years, the likes of Utrecht’s De Leckere brewery have been brewing 100 per cent organic beers for years.

just as booming thanks to brewery De Koperen Kat, whose Delftse Donderslag (‘Thunderclap’) was announced Best Dutch Autumn Bock Beer in October 2015.

Holland’s history with beer goes back a long way, with breweries cropping up across the country as long ago as the Middle Ages. While Amsterdam became a major brewing hub in the 15th century, other Dutch cities famed for their breweries include Haarlem, Gouda, Amersfoort and Delft. During medieval times, the latter had almost 200 breweries. Nowadays, the city’s beer industry can be considered

For connoisseurs eager to impress their friends with their hop know-how, many breweries offer their own pub-style tasting hall where you can learn to truly savour your pint. You will often be spoilt for choice with a range of craft beers on tap and bottled beers. Just make sure that you do not get too carried away specialty beers can often be unexpectedly strong!

Discover Benelux | Special | Top Dutch Breweries

Uiltje Bar in town.

Uiltje Bar beer taps.

Robert Uyleman, founder of Uiltje Beer.

Uiltje taproom.

Extraordinary craft beers with ‘copious amounts of hop’ TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: UILTJE CRAFT BEER

Robbert Uyleman must be one of the most creative, experimental, passionate and entrepreneurial beer brewers around. Every month he surprises fans of his beer brand, Het Uiltje, with a couple of new craft beers. Thus far, he has brewed all his remarkable blends in kettles at other breweries, but in July 2016 Het Uiltje will open its own production brewery in Haarlem. People can already visit the brewery and adjoining taproom, a short walk from Haarlem train station. “People are welcome to see us installing the tanks while they taste some of our beers,” Uyleman says. In the taproom, 12 draught taps and two cask ale systems have been installed. “Here people can taste our latest creations and have lunch. We serve American bagels, British pies, some dishes that are

prepared with beer and also plates with a variety of cheeses and sausages.” One can also visit the Uiltje Bar in Haarlem’s famous Zijlstraat, Het Uiltje’s very own bar in the heart of Haarlem with 30 craft beers on tap and more than 150 bottled beers. “We serve around ten to 12 of our own beers on draught, the other taps are filled by other international craft beer breweries. Over the years we have brewed lots of special editions that are exclusively sold in our bar.” In Uyleman’s case, it is no exaggeration to speak of ‘special editions’. He uses some pretty unorthodox brewing methods, like ripening beers in whisky barrels or adding unexpected ingredients to the process. The master brewer loves beers that contain “copious amounts of hop”, hence he

specialises in American-style India Pale Ales. An all time favourite – and multiple gold-medal winner in various beer competitions – is the Big Fat Double 5 IPA, available almost all year round. With eight per cent alcohol by volume it is pretty heavy, but Het Uiltje crafts much stronger beers. “We like to go extreme. We have beers with 15 or even 21 per cent alcohol. But we also brew lovely, light beers with just two or three per cent.” This small Dutch brewery is growing its market rapidly. “Our beers are exported all over Europe, Canada, America and Taiwan,” says Uyleman. A range of Uiltje beers is also sold at Hema, based in almost every city in the Netherlands, and in a growing number of liquor stores. Issue 30 | June 2016 | 27

Discover Benelux | Special | Top Dutch Breweries


When in the Netherlands, a trip to Utrecht is likely to be on your to-do list. There is much to discover in the vibrant city centre with its magnificent Dom Tower, but on a summer day it is also a great place to sit on a terrace and people watch. This, of course, is best enjoyed with a local beer. Utrecht’s beer is De Leckere. De Leckere brews ten premium beers; all of which are 100 per cent organic. Not because it suddenly became hip to exclusively use organic barleys, malts, hops and other ingredients; but because this small brewery has always done so, since it was founded in 1997; long before brewing beer and going organic was a trend. Four of De Leckere’s beers go down particularly well on a warm, sunny day while relaxing on the quay of Utrecht’s Oudegracht canal – or on the popular squares of Neude and Ledig Erf, or in one of Utrecht’s theatres or art-house 28 | Issue 30 | June 2016

cinemas. These include the wheat beer Witte Vrouwen, the blonde ale Gulden Craen, the seasonal Sonnen Borgh and the award-winning Pilsener.

place them on pellets, for distribution,” Den Daas explains with pride. “We load ten to 15 pellets per day.” In other words: 14,000 to 21,000 bottles of very “lecker” beer.

“It is quite unique that a small brewery like ours also brews a pilsner,” says Casper den Daas, one of merely ten employees at this brewery that supplies Utrecht and its surroundings with 6,000 hectolitres of beer per year. “Consumers are not willing to pay as much for a pilsner as for a craft beer, but the costs of making it are the same for us.” The large-scale brewers produce pilsners at much lower prices, hence most microbreweries avoid that market. Not De Leckere. It ventured into the world of pilsner – and with much success. At last year’s Brussels Beer Challenge, De Leckere Pilsener was awarded a Certificate of Excellence.

The charm of breweries like De Leckere is that most of the work is done manually. “We fill all casks by hand and we manually put the bottles into crates, fill them up and

De Leckere has been brewing wholly organic beer since 1997, long before it became a trend.

Discover Benelux | Special | Top Dutch Breweries

East meets west in this unique craft beer TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: IKI BEER

It is for sale in Asian restaurants all over Europe and looks every bit Oriental, but iKi beer is very much a Benelux product. The world’s first beer with green tea leaves was invented by two Dutch entrepreneurs and is nowadays produced in a Belgian brewery. “We use a European brewing process, to which we add Asian ingredients. It’s a unique fusion of east and west,” says Luit Mulder, director of iKi beer. A key ingredient is green tea, which has many health benefits attributed to it, and it is currently available in two distinctive flavours: ginger and yuzu, the latter being an Asian citrus fruit. These surprisingly flavoured drinks pleasantly tingle the palate like no other beer and their aftertaste is exceptionally mild, which is owed to the green tea. Since the two top fermented ales in their stylishly designed bottles were released, they have been very popular with Asian restaurants, including franchises like Wagamama and Hello

Sushi. iKi beer is now sold in over 20 countries; mostly in Europe and recently in Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore. “An iKi beer tastes good on any occasion, but it goes particularly well with Asian food. That is why we distribute most of our beer to Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants,” Mulder explains. Various hip beach pavilions and specialised supermarkets, like Marqt and Eko Plaza, also stock this green tea beer, which contains high levels of natural antioxidants.

iKi beer, the world’s first beer brewed with green tea leaves, comes in two unique flavours.

Relive Delft’s rich beer brewing history TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: DELFT CITY BREWERY DE KOPEREN KAT

In medieval times, Delft had almost 200 breweries. That industry had completely disappeared until Rolf Katte breathed new life into the city’s rich beer history and opened brewery De Koperen Kat in 2011. In this small brewery not far from the city centre, Katte now brews 12 beers “with the help of a professional brewer and a lot of volunteers”. De Koperen Kat produces merely 4,000 litres of beer per month and all bottles are labelled by hand, but the quality of the products is undisputed. Its Delftse Donderslag (‘Thunderclap’)

was announced Best Dutch Autumn Bock Beer in October 2015 by a jury of over 140 people, “the biggest independent beer jury in the world”. Katte: “This was the first time we entered that competition. It felt really good to have beaten all the big breweries and a confirmation that our beers must be not so bad.” All of De Koperen Kat’s drinks have a distinct character and are named accordingly. Its newest beer is De Parel van Delft (‘Pearl of Delft’), a reference to Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring; a world premiere was algae beer D-AL-G; Delft’s

royal history is honoured with D’Oostpoort, Princebier and Balthasar Tripel. Katte also named beers after both his daughters: Blonde Anouk and Lindebier Weizen. These and more flavoursome beers, from the bottle or as draughts, can be tasted at the brewery’s own pub-like tasting hall – also available for venue hire – and at around 20 cafés in Delft. Tours through the brewery can be booked. Below: Rolf Katte behind the bar.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 29

Discover Benelux | Special | Top Dutch Breweries


In a converted 16th-century farmhouse in the eastern Netherlands, Bronckhorster Brewing Company produces an impressive selection of balanced and flavour-rich craft beers, guaranteed to delight beer lovers and win over beer sceptics. “When I decided to open my own brewery, my goal was to make beers of all kinds of tastes and colours,” explains Steve Gammage, founder and owner of Bronckhorster Brewing Company. “We started out making just five regular beers and have since expanded to produce 15 different beers, ranging from a sweet and fruity 2.5 per cent pale ale to a 12 per cent barley wine.” All Bronckhorster beers are unfiltered, unpasteurised and made using natural ingredients. The robust Bronckhorster Nightporter, a British-style stout with espresso and dark chocolate notes, won gold in the Brussels Beer Challenge - one of the most prestigious

awards in the industry. The barrel-aged beers, which are left to condition between three to six months in whiskey, sherry and bourbon casks, are a treat for an adventurous palate. Currently available across the Netherlands and in parts of Belgium, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, Bronckhorster beers often feature at international beer festivals. Taste the beers at their source by visiting the brewery situated just outside Bronckhorst, the smallest town in the Netherlands and a short journey from Amsterdam. “We currently welcome around 5,000 tourists a year, and soon we’re going to build a large veranda so we can accommodate even more people,” says Gammage. “Of course, the best way to find out about our different beers is to come along and try them for yourself at one of our tasting sessions.”

The Bronckhorster Brewing Company owner with barrel-aged beer.

The Hague is best enjoyed with a Kompaan TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: KOMPAAN

Microbrewery Kompaan from The Hague was founded by two friends: Jasper Langbroek and Jeroen van Ditmarsch. All their beers have names that refer to different types of pals, buddies, companions, comrades; you get the idea. “Our bestseller is the Bondgenoot [ally]. That is a blond beer with lots of hops. With 5.2 per cent alcohol it is lighter than our other beers, which means you can drink more of it. That is probably why we sell it the most,” brewer Jasper Langbroek says with a smile. Each beer is aptly named after its characteristics. For instance, Bloedbroeder (blood brother) has a bit of red port running through its veins. “This stout with nine per cent alcohol is a reliable but temperamental fellow,” Langbroek proclaims. Handlanger (accomplice), on the other hand, is a dangerous chap. “It contains 8.2 per cent alcohol but doesn’t taste that way, which makes it easy to get carried away.” 30 | Issue 30 | June 2016

All of Kompaan’s brews, from the regulars to the special editions these craftsmen frequently come up with, are excellent. Over a hundred bars in The Hague stock Kompaan beer, but the best place to enjoy this brand is at the brewery. Kompaan’s beer bar, with 20 craft beers on tap and excellent slow-cook barbecue meals, is open from Thursday to Sunday.

The terrace is on the quay, so many customers dock their boats here. A festival with local musicians and many Dutch microbrewers is planned for 11 June. An international beer festival will take place at Kompaan on 20 and 21 August.

Flanders is a top-class golfing destination where there are 54 golf clubs who are happy to welcome you for a lovely round of golf or a challenging workout of your swing!

To book a tee time or plan your holiday, visit

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

When the summer of culture starts Diversity and pleasure: June’s cultural offerings in Wallonia and Brussels epitomise good times that evoke the holiday season, with opportunities to go out with friends or to enhance a business trip. TEXT: WALLONIA-BRUSSELS FÉDÉRATION – CULTURE

Join the festival-goers and discover attractive programmes of high quality in various areas. The long festival tradition in Belgium is sure to delight you; mainly with music, but also

with film, circus, opera and dance. These events are sure to liven up the first summer months of 2016.

Another event, Nuits du Court métrage (Nights of Short films), 24 June - 1 July, will present outdoor projections of the best international and Belgian short films.

Circus/Fairground Visueel festival Visuel, 25 June Festival Tchafornis, 2-3 July

Photo: Jean Poucet

32 | Issue 30 | June 2016

EXHIBITIONS Comic strip museum: Étienne Davodeau, 14 June - 27 November Centre of engraving and the printed image: Les Editions Tandem: De la gravure au livre, June BPS22: Marthe Wéry, 18 June - 4 September MAC’s: My body is a cage, 26 June - 25 September Wiels: Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck — Urban Now: City Life in Congo, June

FESTIVALS Music Rock/World/Pop Fête de la Musique, 17 - 21 June Verdur Rock, 25 June La Nuit africaine, 25 June Classical music Festival de Wallonie; Spring concerts festival of the Val-Dieu; Musical spring of Silly (throughout the month) Film The 2016 edition of the Brussels Film Festival, 17 - 24 June, has the theme ‘Du mélo au polar, tout le cinéma européen’ (‘From drama to crime, film in Europe’). It proposes a competition of new European feature films, with German director Volker Schlöndorff as the guest of honour.

Lakin Ogunbanwo The human condition Photo: LagosPhoto

WCC : Chemins croisés, June BOZAR and various locations in Brussels: Summer of photography, 17 June - 4 September

ON STAGE Opera Opéra Royal de Wallonie: La Bohème by Puccini, 17 - 26 June

Un homme à la mer

BELGIAN FILM RELEASES Un homme à la mer by Géraldine Doignon will be released 1 June. This is the second feature film by the young Belgian director, a follow-up to 2011’s De leur vivant. L’économie du couple by Joachim Lafosse will be released 8 June. This is the seventh feature film by the director, selected at the Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) in May 2016.

L’économie du couple Photo: F Maltese

Contemporary dance Marni & Théâtre Les Tanneurs: D festival 6, 31 May - 11 June Les Halles: Catherine Diverres Blowin’, 16 - 18 June Het land Nod FC Bergman, 23 - 25 June La Bohème Photo: Yossi Zwecker

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg


From wine connoisseurs to arts and crafts aficionados, the Crémant a Kultur festival has something for everyone. This year sees the 11th edition of the festival, with events taking place in the charming town of Remich in the south east of Luxembourg. It blends entertainment, carnival games, concerts, arts and culture - while producers of the local crémant sparkling wine add a touch of sparkle with their stands. “Why associate crémant with culture? Be-

cause crémant is the culture here!” laughs Carole Sitz, Remich’s tourist entertainment coordinator, explaining the festival’s name. The 2016 spectacular is scheduled to take place on 18 September and will run from 11am to 6pm. It is completely free and will be centred around the town’s main square, Place Dr F. Kons. There will be concerts all day, art exhibitions, craft stalls and a chance to taste the latest produce from local wine producers. Revellers can also expect all the usual carnival attractions for children and the young at heart.

“We have the little train for the children, while there’s plenty of fun for adults too!” enthuses Sitz, citing the high striker as a top attraction for big kids. Whether culture or carnival games are your bag, you will find something to please you among the animations and, according to Sitz, it is worth coming along just for the ambiance. “It’s such a fantastic opportunity for people to enjoy themselves, the atmosphere is incredible,” she beams. It also provides a chance for those visiting Luxembourg to see the locals let their hair down: “What is great about this festival is that it attracts both tourists and locals alike - everyone comes together to have fun.”

Classical music: East meets west in Wallonia TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

Classical musical events do not get much bigger than Festival de Wallonie. Comprising seven separate festivals across Belgium’s Francophone region, this mammoth celebration of live music launches its 46th edition on 10 June with an opening concert at the Église Saint-Nicolas in the Walloon city of Tournai. A huge variety of concerts will follow across the various festival locations (Hainaut, SaintHubert, Brussels, Namur, Stavelot, Liège and Brabant Walloon) right up until 16 October. “Each of the festivals have their own DNA,” explains Philippe Vandenbergh, head of communication for Festival de Wallonie. An overall theme presides over the festival each year; for 2016 the focus is on the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures. Vandenbergh explains that although the theme was conceived two years ago, it now feels particularly poignant: “We didn’t come up with this theme because of the attacks in Brussels. But we have decided to dedicate it

to the victims - not just of Brussels - but those affected by terrorism across the world.” This year’s festival comprises 150 different concerts and activities including masterclasses and workshops. Worth highlighting is the Refugees for Refugees show, inspired by Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis and featuring musicians from Middle Eastern countries including Syria and Afghanistan. “When you buy your ticket, you know you’re not just going to some banal concert,” asserts

Photo: Gilles Abegg

Photo: Julien Pohl

Vandenbergh, adding that the exceptional talent of all the festival musicians will blow audiences away. “This is music that’s alive,” he says. “The artists don’t need any special effects. No two performances will be the same. You never know exactly how the concert will sound until the night, you just know you’ll experience an exceptional moment.”

Photo: Jacques Verrees

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 33

Photo: Nadassfoto

Photo: Nadassfoto

Photo: Sabiono Parente

The biggest bash in Benelux TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON

When a party lasts for more than 600 years, you know it must be good. As summer heads into autumn, Luxembourg’s huge annual funfair and associated festivities draw visitors from all over Europe for 20 days. Experts argue about the origin of the event’s name; some say it is linked to the name of the original site, others that it is derived from a word meaning ‘barn’. But nobody doubts that the Schueberfouer is a wonderful tradition that remains an important part of Luxembourg’s history. “It started as a major trade and agricultural fair, and over the centuries metamorphosed into an entertainment event,” says Marc Weydert, head of Luxembourg 34 | Issue 30 | June 2016

City’s festivals and markets department: “But there are enough links with the medieval version to ensure that this is a continuation rooted in our heritage.”

Links with the past As was the case in the fair inaugurated by John the Blind, the contemporary Schueberfouer draws in participants from across Europe. For more than 400 years it was somewhere for people to sell livestock, or cloth, or pottery; now they come to set up their fairground rides and stalls for games. But the multitude of small booths selling trinkets and mementos, snacks and drinks, are concrete reminders of the itinerant traders who played the same role half a millennium ago.

“The food is another delicious reminder of times past here,” adds Weydert. “The most famous thing on the menu at the fair is probably the waffles, served with lashings of whipped cream and these days often with strawberries. People also love to

Photo: Ville de Luxembourg

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

sample the traditional ‘gebackene Fësch’ - baked fish; and ‘Gromperekichelcher’ – the potato pancakes which are a real Luxembourg speciality.” Fish, in medieval times, was a food associated with the festivities that took place on (meatless) saints’ days; and the apple sauce, into which locals love to dip their potato pancakes, nods to our ancestors’ love of mixing sweet and savoury.

Modern thrills Though parents may hope to instil their children with a feeling for the event’s history, the younger generation are more likely to be impressed by the fairground thrills. Ferris wheels have been a part of the funfair for more than a hundred years, but they are decidedly tame compared to some of the gargantuan feats of engineering that showmen from France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and even further afield will set up in the Glacis this year. “The names give a pretty good idea of the experience you’re in for,” says Weydert. “Last year, for example, they included Shake and Roll, The Tower, Haunted

Mansion, and Avenger – it may be best to try the food after the rides!” Some aspects of the fair would definitely not be recognised or understood by our medieval ancestors. In a world where connectivity is a must, the Glacis has free Wi-Fi, and there is an app for iOS and Android systems; and happily the sanitation has moved on enormously – there are plenty of toilets, including accessibility for people with reduced mobility, and drinking water fountains to slake the thirst.

HISTORY Founded by John the Blind, Count of Luxembourg, in 1340. Originally an agricultural fair that lasted eight days. Held around St Bartholomew’s Day. In the 18th century it shifted towards entertainment, and now lasts 20 days.

Every day of the event has its own theme, from the mayoral opening through to days devoted to charities or specific groups, to the climax at the end of nearly three weeks of fun, when the skies over Luxembourg City will be lit up by a massive fireworks display. The Schueberfouer is a permanent fixture in Luxembourg’s national calendar, and in the hearts of Luxembourg’s people – not to mention the tens of thousands who head to the fair from around the world.

Photo: Pierre Grandidier

Photo: Nadassfoto

THE SCHUEBERFOUER IN NUMBERS More than 40 fairground rides for young and old. Nearly 40 specially set up restaurants, snack-bars and drinks stalls. 20 sweets and candy sellers. More than 170 games, booths and stands. Around two million visitors per year.

SCHUEBERFOUER 2016 It is the 676th edition. 19 August to 7 September 2016 Open 11am to 1am except Fridays and Saturdays when it closes at 2am. At the Champ du Glacis in the heart of Luxembourg City.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 35

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg Swan Lake

Sinne Eeg

The Wall


With its very own festival train and an impressive international line-up, it is not just the exquisite outdoor setting which makes this performing arts festival stand out. Since its creation in 1953, Festival de Wiltz has welcomed some of the biggest names in music and drama to perform against the backdrop of a grand 16th century chateau. Every year, concertgoers flock to the small town of Wiltz in northern Luxembourg and its unique outdoor amphitheatre - complete with movable roof and castle views. “The setting is really very beautiful,” beams festival president Roland Kinnen. Running from 1 to 23 July, this year’s edition of the festival promises an eclectic lineup. Culture vultures can enjoy performances including Swan Lake danced by the Moscow city ballet and Verdi’s famous opera Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball), while musical theatre fans will delight in the Brno City Theatre’s rendition of the Broadway musical Chicago. Per36 | Issue 30 | June 2016

formed in English, it is one of the spectacles Kinnen is most looking forward to watching himself.


“We’ve had many Brno City Theatre productions here at the festival and they are always exceptional quality,” he enthuses. Another of his recommendations for this year is Pink Floyd’s The Wall, a musical based on the British band’s eponymous album and featuring singers from Luxembourg. “Although we want the festival to have an international feel, it’s also very important for us to have performers from this country where possible,” explains Kinnen. Other homegrown talent set to take to the stage includes the trio Reis-DemuthWiltgen who will form the first part of the La Nuit du Jazz show. Also performing that night will be Danish Jazz sensation Sinne Eeg and her quartet. After a night of entertainment, concertgoers do not even need to worry about transportation as a special train has been

arranged to take audiences to and from their concerts. The ‘festival train’ is available for all shows, however late they end, and covers the whole of Luxembourg one of the benefits of the country’s diminutive size. “You wouldn’t be able to do that in many places! In Luxembourg it’s possible!” smiles Kinnen.

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

Spa has the winning formula TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER | PHOTOS: SPA GRAND PRIX

For drivers and spectators alike, the Belgian Grand Prix is a Formula One favourite, attracting fans from across the world to witness world-class motor racing in an idyllic setting. Built in 1921, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Belgian province of Liège is home to one of the most popular races in the Formula One calendar. One of the main reasons for its prestige has to be the location. “Spa-Francorchamps really is an exceptional setting for watching a race. With forests surrounding the track, it’s an area of natural beauty,” explains Vanessa Maes, marketing manager for the Belgian Grand Prix. It is thanks to these natural stunning surroundings that the Belgian Grand Prix is up there with the most renowned Formula One events. “Monza, Monaco, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, those are the legendary circuits,” adds Maes. With such an upstanding reputation, you might expect the Belgian Grand Prix to

start resting on its laurels, but this is far from the case as it works hard to attract new types of spectators as well as the diehard Formula One fans. The event is very family orientated, and there is plenty to attract the younger generation. “This year there will be a dedicated zone for 17 to 27-year-olds with entertainment including DJ sets,” enthuses Maes. Another worthwhile initiative of the Belgian Grand Prix is allowing the disabled to benefit from a great viewing point and reduced ticket prices for themselves and their careers. This allows them to be situated at La Source corner alongside the Gold 7 grandstand. Consult the website for details.

pact on the area is enormous. People book hotel rooms everywhere from Liège to Brussels and even Aachen in Germany,” explains Maes. If you are planning to come along to this year’s Belgian Grand Prix, you should book a hotel room soon. The Belgian Formula One Grand Prix will run from 26-28 August 2016.

It is fair to say that the Belgian Grand Prix is worth making a trip for - 70 per cent of spectators come from other countries, with the Dutch, English and German among the majority of fans. Every year the region and its surroundings become saturated with F1 aficionados. “The imIssue 30 | June 2016 | 37

Luxembourg’s magical festival of light TEXT:LIDIJA LIEGIS | PHOTOS: LA NUIT DES LAMPIONS

The Festival of Lanterns takes place annually in the Luxembourg city of Wiltz. This year the festival starts at 4pm on 17 September in the Jardin de Wiltz. This beautiful festival of lights showcases hundreds of multicoloured lanterns made by people with disabilities, as well as children and elderly people from the local commune. Visitors of all ages come to get lost amongst the rainbow lanterns, the street theatre performances and innovative light installations in between the greenery. Each year different elements are added to the festival; it now also includes concerts and cinema screenings. Marc Scheer, the festival’s organiser, says: “There is a great atmosphere of discovery; people can walk around the site and find all kinds of interesting exhibits and installations.” The festival has grown to be a significant arts event with collaborations between Luxembourgish and international artists, such as French and German theatre 38 | Issue 30 | June 2016

companies. “There’s truly something for everyone, and the whole festival is a playground,” says Scheer. Scheer is clearly proud of the social aspect of this arts festival, and the fact that it brings together people from many walks of life and supports those who are less advantaged. One of the key draws of this festival is the site itself, a public park which is also a living artwork with sculpted plants and trees. The park contains sculptures and other works of art, and it is maintained by people with long-term disabilities, artists and landscapists. Another feature is the festival’s decidedly green policy and its ethos of saving resources where possible. It uses eco-electricity, LED bulbs, recyclable packaging, and all of the food sold is made from local and organic products. To reach the festival there are trains and coaches available from Luxembourg City and the Wiltz Region. The festival is jointly organised by COOPERATIONS, a socio-cultural non-profit organisation, as well as the City of Wiltz

and a private sponsor. COOPERATIONS aims to develop the potential of marginalised people, including those with disabilities or those who are in a precarious social situation. “These people help to maintain the park, and so it has an important history and energy about it,” explains Scheer. Tickets cost five euros per person and children under 12 go for free. The festival starts at 4pm and finishes at 2am. nuit-des-lampions

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belguim and Luxembourg

A one-of-a-kind arts festival TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS | VÉRONIQUE PIPERS

Les (rencontres) Inattendues takes place in Tournai in Belgium on 2, 3 and 4 September 2016. It is a unique festival with over 100 philosophers, musicians, singers and comedians staging 27 events, exclusive debates and concerts. Didier Platteau, the festival’s key organiser, explains: “The festival has three principal ingredients: music, philosophy and the unexpected.” The events take place in prestigious venues such as the city’s cathedral and the Museum of Fine Arts. The music ranges from baroque, to jazz and Arabic. “The programming can be complex as philosophers and musicians aren’t used to working together,” says Platteau, “but philosophers like to get away from the norm, so I never have a problem convincing them.”

The festival’s themes this year are utopias and relations with the east/west. On the opening night there will be a cine-concert with songs in English, Dutch and Portuguese and a film projected onto the cathedral. The second night will also see a major event with musicians who are refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The music will be accompanied by readings about war by Mathias Énard, winner of the 2015 Goncourt prize for French literature. The festival attracts a diverse crowd. The threeday festival tries to provide people with the means to understand the world through words, music and cinema. “Many of them are perhaps looking for deeper answers to some of life’s questions,” Platteau explains. Please check the website for a detailed programme.

Luxembourg’s finest blues festival TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS | PHOTOS: VLAAMS ARSENAAL

The Blues Express festival takes place on 9 July at 6pm in the commune of Differdange in Luxembourg. Now in its 13th successful year, the festival will showcase 40 international and local acts across 11 stages. The festival takes place on two sites, in Fondde-Gras and Lasauvage, both in the former mining town of Differdange. Headliners this year include American blues guitarist and singer Robben Ford; Swedish fourpiece rockers Blues Pills; Scottish blues band King King; and harmonica blues and rock star Rachelle Plas from France, amongst others. A

key new feature at this year’s festival is the Blues Bazar, where visitors can buy music from many different genres to expand their collections. For those seeking more culture, there are several exhibitions to visit in Lasauvage. These include Claude Piscitelli’s exhibition Blues Express 2015 in the Place de Saintignon, and a photography exhibition in the Salle des Pendus. Visitors can also stop at the Eugène Pesch Museum which recounts the history of miners. An ancient chateau showcases an exhibition about life in this mining town and the resistance movement during World War II.

In Fond-de-Gras there are many objects illustrating how people lived over the past century. Highlights are the famous Minièresbunn mining train and the steam train, dating from 1900. The steam train connects Pétange and Fondde-Gras and the Minièresbunn connects the two sites in Fond-de-Gras and Lasauvage. Entrance to Blues Express is free for all. For a detailed programme, please consult their websites.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 39

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg Photo: ©Paul Hampartsoumian

Photo: ©Paul Hampartsoumian

Breaking down barriers through hip-hop in Luxembourg TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS

Breakin’ Convention Luxembourg is the first festival of its kind in this region on 18 and 19 June at the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg. The festival was pioneered by playwright and dancer Jonzi D and first showcased at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. According to Manon Meier, from the Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Breakin’ Convention is “a superb event for the entire family; it shows all the different aspects of hip-hop culture: dance, music, rap and graffiti”. One of the aims of the festival, says Meier, is to “unite the best acts from across the world and mix them with local talent”. The festival includes artists from France, Brazil, Spain, the US, the UK, Belgium and Germany, as well as Luxembourgish acts. Breakin’ Convention starts at 5pm on both days and there will be DJs and music aplenty, as well as dance workshops, 40 | Issue 30 | June 2016

rap and hip-hop performances, and shows in the studio and main hall. Another highlight is the Freestyle Funk Forum, an open forum where the public can participate. “It’s not something you can watch calmly from your seat!” says Meier.

show’s line-up differs each evening. Full-price day tickets cost 25 euros, and eight euros for those aged 25 and under. Please consult the website for the full programme.

Meier encourages people to come to the festival on both days as the main

Photo: ©Belinda Lawley

Photo: ©Belinda Lawley

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

Ten days of non-stop festivities in Ghent TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: GHENT CITY COUNCIL

The Gentse Feesten, from 15 to 24 July, comprises ten days of non-stop festivities throughout the Belgian city of Ghent. There are 13 music stages, street theatre performances, poetry, circus acts, markets, parades, and more. And the entrance is free. Almost all locals take time off work to enjoy the Gentse Feesten and the event also draws over a million visitors to the city every year. “Most activities are in the open air and parties continue every day until 8am. By then, activities for the next day are already starting. It really goes on for 24 hours a day,” says Jeroen De Schuyteneer, director of Ghent’s city services. “This all happens without incidents, in a very pleasant mood.”

activities for children, poetry lovers, debate enthusiasts and theatre-goers. This will be the 173rd edition of this amazing tradition. “It started off as an initiative by business owners in Ghent, who thought their workers had too many public holidays. They decided to give them ten days of festivities instead. That plan has clearly failed. People now take the ten days of leave, plus the annual holidays they always used to take,” says De Schuyteneer.

It goes without saying that Gentse Feesten is the biggest event of the year for this city. Every square and park will be used to host more than 3,600 events, organised by over 300 cultural organisations. There are massive concerts attracting thousands of people, but also many


The most eye-catching stage at the Gentse Feesten is without a doubt Polé Polé. It is colourful and set in one of the most beautiful spots in the old inner city of Ghent. From 15 to 24 July, this is where festival-goers can experience a cheerful and energising African, Latin American and Caribbean party. Polé Polé, set along and partly on the Leie River, is actually a festival within a festival. It is

42 | Issue 30 | June 2016

a ten-day tropical party with live bands playing upbeat rhythms and melodies. “We only book bands that bring that summery party vibe,” says organiser Tim Van den Heuvel. “We are looking to create a holiday mood. Polé Polé is pure party music.” It was the mayor of Ghent himself who made sure Polé Polé was included in the Gentse Feesten. Polé Polé – Swahili for ‘take it easy’

– used to be a stand-alone summer party organised by the owner of several tropical bars in various Belgian cities. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine Gentse Feesten without the colourful, high-energy stage set on the Graslei and Korenlei; happy party people dancing on the pontoons in the Leie River; with a backdrop of the marvellous looking, centuries-old buildings in the centre of this lively Belgian city.

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

The only prison in the world you will not want to escape from TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: TIM TRONCKOE

Get ready for the ultimate hard rock and metal open-air experience. On 13 and 14 August, the Alcatraz prison will once again set up camp in Kortrijk at the centre of Flanders Fields, where loud guitars replace poppies. From its roots as a small one-day indoor hard rock and metal event, the Alcatraz Metal Festival (AMF) has grown into an amazing two-day metal experience with over 14,000 visitors from across Europe. While it is not the world’s biggest metal fest (and nor does it proclaim to be), AMF is the ideal escape for those who are yearning for cosiness and ambiance topped off with an excellent line-up. The Alcatraz prison area includes a 50-metre ‘Real Prison Stage’, with bands lining up one after the other, giving visitors (or, rather ‘inmates’) unspoilt views of each act. Unlike the original Alcatraz in the USA, just 30 minutes from San

Francisco, this Belgian version knows how to treat their inmates: the original water tower has been reinvented as a beer tower; the prison watchtowers now house an incredible light and pyro show with searchlights; and the main building has been transformed into the main stage. Instead of hunger, thirst and violent prison guards, Alcatraz prides itself on friendly hosts, a complete absence of violence and misbehaviour, as well as a mass of like-minded head bangers (‘inmates’) and visitors that want to party. Visitors? Yes, not exclusively for metal heads, the uninitiated, young and old, come in their throngs from across Europe, garnering Alcatraz an unrivalled sense of brother and sisterhood in the only prison in the world you will not want to escape from. Quality over quantity, AMF intentionally opts for a carefully selected bill of bands with enough breaks in between so that

every visitor can catch their breath. The cherry-picked line-up covers the whole range of subgenres in the hard rock and metal scene, with heavy guitar solos seamlessly combining with melodious and symphonic sounds. In previous editions, AMF showcased roaring names such as Marilyn Manson, Twisted Sister and Nightwish, with 2016 already looking sharp. While two more main acts are still to be announced, the line-up is already a who’s who of the scene: Within Temptation, Whitesnake, Soulfly, and Avantasia. With an on-site metal market, campsite, signing tent for meet-and-greets, practical shuttle buses as well as special VIP experience packages, the team behind AMF are even more committed to delivering the inmates an unforgettable weekend full of music and good vibes. @AlcatrazMusic Issue 30 | June 2016 | 43

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg


With the highest amount of music festivals per capita worldwide and a renowned reputation for beer, few will need another reason to travel to Belgium this summer. For those who do, there is Sjock festival. Celebrating its 41st birthday this year, Sjock is the oldest alternative festival in Belgium. “Sjock is rock ‘n’ roll in its broadest sense and for many the rock ’n’ roll highlight of the year,” enthuses organiser Hans Kersemans. “We serve punk, garage, rockabilly, country, and anything in between.” Flogging Molly, The Mavericks, Radio Birdman, Pokey LaFarge and Danko Jones are among the acts in a line-up of 40 bands expected to draw an attendance to match last year’s 10,000-strong crowd. Since last year, Sjock counts three stages: in addition to the Mainstage and the Titty Twister Tent (a Quentin Tarantino reference), a Newcomers Stage was set up to allow new bands a chance to show themselves to the public.

Currently located in the rural surroundings of Antwerp, the Gierle-based festival started off in the back garden of the local priest. “We still count as much on volunteers as we did back then,” says Kersemans, pointing out the 400 volunteers involved in Sjock. Besides the stages, Sjock hosts a campsite where people can rest from the rumbling for under a tenner per night, and a rock ‘n’ roll market area.

Photo: ArnyZona

As diverse as its music is Sjock’s crowd. “Last year we welcomed music lovers of 24 nationalities and all ages. Tattooed or tattoo-less, rockabillies, psychobillies, hillbillies – Sjock unites everyone with a love for rock ‘n’ roll!” Sjock Festival takes place on 8, 9, 10 July in Gierle.

The Mavericks

Big names and local talents at free festival in Genk TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: CITY OF GENK

Never before have so many illustrious, international acts been booked for Genk on Stage. Anastacia, De La Soul and KRS-One are just some of the headliners of this free festival in Genk on 24, 25 and 26 June. Many up and coming talents and famous Belgian and Dutch artists will also take to the stage. As in previous years, the 16th edition of Genk on Stage has a very varied line up. Performances by veteran rock groups such as Levellers from Britain and Zornik from Belgium will be alternated with shows of successful contestants of the TV show The Voice of Flanders and electronic dance music by Arbeid Adelt! and DAAN. “We always try to cater for a very broad audience,” says Tanith Van Damme, PR officer for the City of Genk. Every evening there is music on six stages simultaneously. Admirers of subdued rock and indie pop are likely to regularly head for the Fruit Stage, whereas lovers of urban music 44 | Issue 30 | June 2016

will undoubtedly pay many visits to the park to see performances from hip hop legend KRSOne, Dutch urban music sensations Typhoon and Ronnie Flex and Genk’s local rapper Fonzy Fons. All over the inner city local hospitality businesses will ensure that festivalgoers do not have to go hungry and thirsty. “So whether you come to enjoy the great music or wonderful festival ambiance, Genk on Stage is there for everyone,” Tanith concludes.

Above: Genk on stage from an artist’s perspective. This picture was taken by the popular Belgian singer Milow.

Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Caro Emerald

Photo: Š Koen Hauser

46 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Caro Emerald


The jewel in the crown Her debut album, Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, spent 30 weeks at the top of the charts in the Netherlands, breaking a record set by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. But success in Emerald’s native Holland was just the start. She has an MTV EMA Award to her name (Best Dutch/Belgian) and in 2014 performed at the iconic Glastonbury music festival. Now working on her eagerly anticipated third album and ready for a summer of live performances and festival appearances, she talks to us about touring, acting and her plans for global domination. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER | PHOTOS: KOEN HAUSER AND ANOEK VAN NUNEN

This summer looks set to be a busy one for Emerald, who will be delighting her army of UK fans with a string of festival appearances. For a singer with such a seductive jazz style and elegant appearance, you may expect her to be more at home in a Parisian cabaret, but performing in a field in the English countryside suits her down to the (probably muddy) ground. “I’m happy to perform in all types of places. I love the variety. Each type of performance has a challenge, it keeps me sharp,” she explains, adding that the very nature of sharing a bill with other artists appeals to her competitive side. “I like it when the audience doesn’t know you. You have to compete with other artists and win people over.”

A new line-up As one of the headline acts at this July’s Larmer Tree Festival in Salisbury, UK (fellow headliners include jazz artist Jamie Cullum and singer-songwriter Tom Odell), Emerald already has quite the spectacle lined up to ensure winning over the uninitiated. “I’ve got a new guy on decks, he does all this crazy stuff, all the beats from

laptops, electronic percussion with live triggers. There will also be live drums and live marimba - a blend of acoustic and electronics. It’s a very recognisable sound we’ve created,” she enthuses, explaining that all her band play at least three instruments as well as singing. They are all also “really good looking” she adds with a grin. Does she think looks are important? “It’s not a reason [to be in a band] but it’s nice if a musician is nice to watch. When a musician is an introvert and looks at the floor it doesn’t work, people need to be invited to look at you.”

Sounding exotic Festivalgoers will enjoy a mix of material from Emerald’s first two albums, “probably some covers” and her latest single Quicksand - a fun burst of electro pop from the constantly evolving artist. “There won’t be a lot of new material as it’s unfinished. Maybe. I’m working right now in the studio so it might be possible,” she muses. As for the eagerly anticipated third studio album, Emerald is keeping her cards close to her chest. “We have a working title but it’s a secret,” she confides. The songstress is well known for creating albums with a coherent story - ones which transport you to a different time and place. Her debut album, Deleted

Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, took listeners to vintage Hollywood with its jazz, tangos and old-school glamour, while 2013’s The Shocking Miss Emerald blended inspiration from Parisian cabarets with jazz and even modern hip-hop sounds. As for the concept of her third album, the singer is wary of committing herself to a particular genre, although a change in direction can be expected in the form of a lesser-known musical style - Exotica, which first became popular in the 1950s. “I’m always very careful as you never know, we do change our minds,” she says. “I’ve been very inspired by Exotica. It was popular when people started travelling to Africa, then they went home and tried to copy the sounds - people from the West copying African sounds.” Describing the style as “cool”, “atmospheric” and “having good vibes” with “crazy drums and jungle sounds”; her new album will no doubt be packed with floor fillers. Getting audiences on their feet is certainly something Emerald likes to do, although she still loves a ballad at the right time and place. “When I’m doing my own club tours it’s for my own audience so it’s easier and I can take more risks, performing ballads and more intimate material inside a theatre,” she explains, praising her British fans for Issue 30 | June 2016 | 47

Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Caro Emerald

their sensitivity and for being attuned to when it’s time for a change of pace at a show. “Fans in the UK are outgoing but polite at the same time. If they should be quiet, they are, they know how to respond. It works perfectly for getting the set straight,” she says.

International stardom Having successfully filled out London’s O2 Arena, Emerald’s sights are set high. When asked what is next for her, she laughs: “World domination for starters! That would be great!” Having performed to thousands at such a world-class super venue - the O2 has a capacity of 20,000 - does Emerald still gets stage fright? “Yes, I get that a lot. It can be quite… startling,” she admits. “Like, you’re frozen. It varies that I don’t have it, then sometimes it’s completely terrible like ‘oh my God, I can’t do it’. Even though I know I can do it, I’ve done it 1,000 times.” One of the singer’s greatest fears is forgetting the words to her songs, but she realises overthinking things is what she must avoid. Trusting in herself and losing herself in the music never fails her. “I’m afraid not to know my lyrics, sometimes it’s just three seconds before the song starts. But then if you don’t think it just comes out of your mouth. It’s actually better if you just try not to think. The music helps.” One thing on Emerald’s to-do list is an arena tour in her home country, which surprisingly has not happened yet. The singer is proud of the current musical climate in her native Netherlands.

Photo: © Koen Hauser

“There’s a very lively music scene at the moment, it’s interesting. There are more and more Dutch artists building international careers. It’s interesting to watch. There’s an indie band called The Indien. I love their sound, there are kind of retro vibes. It’s more alternative than my music but I love the singer and her sound,” she explains.

Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Caro Emerald

Photo: © Koen Hauser

Although she tries to never go away for too long, she laughs that she never misses the “terrible Dutch weather” and tries to see hitting the road as a “mini holiday”. “I have a great team. It’s all very luxurious. I don’t have to clean, I don’t have to do the grocery shopping. I have make-up artists…”

The big screen beckons As well as an arena tour in the Netherlands, another goal for Emerald is to record a James Bond single. When asked what she thought of The Writing’s on the Wall, Sam Smith’s accompaniment to 2015 Bond film Spectre, her response is very diplomatic. “I was more a fan of Adele’s [Skyfall]. I think Sam Smith is a great artist but…it doesn’t stick with you.” Speaking of the silver screen, will Emerald put herself in front of the camera rather than just recording soundtracks? “I get asked that a lot!” she admits, revealing that despite always dismissing the idea, it is now a career move she is coming around to. “I’ve always said no, I’m not an actor. I believe you should do what you’re good

Photo: © Anoek van Nunen

at. But I’m starting to change my mind. What I do is not so different from acting. Like at a photo shoot, someone said ‘You’re a great actor,’ and I thought, maybe I am? I’m just being me; it never feels like I’m acting. But I’m enhancing my emotions during my songs. Maybe that’s a lot of what acting is.”

Photo: © Koen Hauser

of Pop, playing royalty seems like a good next step.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES 17 June Hampton Court Palace Festival East Molesey, United Kingdom

One things for sure though, she wouldn’t ever want to be cast in a role just for her celebrity, and she’d have to truly believe in the director’s vision.

24 June

“It’s not so much about the part, it matters more who you’re working with,” she asserts. “I need to make sure I’m not doing something where I’m there just for my name.”

Love Supreme Festival

Initially Emerald says she would prefer to star in a biopic, as she’d like to play a “real character”. You can tell she’s still a singer at heart though, as on reflection she concludes a part that involved her vocal talents would be the best, and her inner ‘little girl’ surfaces when she concludes: “My dream role would be in an animated movie, where I could sing the theme song. I’d love to play a Disney princess!” Considering Emerald has already beaten records set by the King

14 July

Caprera Openluchttheater Bloemendaal, Netherlands 03 July Lewes, United Kingdom 08 July Summer Days Festival Clitheroe, United Kingdom

Larmer Tree Festival Salisbury, United Kingdom 16 July Colours Of Ostrava Ostrava, Czech Republic 27 August Strand Fesztival Zamardi, Hungary

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 49

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

Photo: ©KeesHageman


Hurrah for Haarlem Just a 15-minute train ride from Amsterdam, but very much a tourist destination in its own right, the city of Haarlem is brimming with historical sites, grand churches and world-class museums. TEXT ANNA VILLELEGER | PHOTOS: HAARLEM MARKETING

Photo: ©DashaElfring

Photo: Het Dolhuys

Photo: ©HansGuldemond

Photo: ©HansGuldemond

FIVE MUST-SEE SITES Grote Kerk van St Bavo This Gothic cathedral contains some magnificent examples of Renaissance art, while its impressive Müller organ was once played by Mozart. Town Hall Photo: ©HansGuldemond

With its proximity to the capital, you might expect Haarlem to be upstaged by the metropolis of Amsterdam - but that is far from the case. For the first half of the 17th century, Haarlem was one of Europe’s most affluent places, and its charming cobbled streets lined with elegant cafés and imposing architecture are a testament to this. The city centre is relatively compact, but there is more than enough to keep you entertained on a weekend break. One of the best ways to discover Haarlem is while cruising along the canals; so why not book a tour or even hire your own boat? It is also very affordable to hire bicycles in the city, and if you fancy exploring the

surrounding resorts there are some scenic routes for those on two wheels. The journey to the sandy beaches of Zandvoort is pleasant and makes a nice excursion. Culture vultures will probably want to extend their stay in Haarlem as it is home to some of the best museums in the Netherlands. From science to contemporary art, there is something to suit all tastes. And if it is history you are looking for, Haarlem is the Netherlands’ second biggest city in terms of listed monuments there are over 4,000 of them.

Situated in Grote Markt, the oldest part of the city, is the decorative medieval town hall complex. Laurens Coster Statue A tribute to celebrated Haarlemmer Laurens Coster, who some in the Netherlands claim invented the printing press before Johannes Gutenberg. Nieuwe Kerk This 17th century church features an ornate tower and was designed by Dutch Golden Age architect Jacob van Campen. Bakenesserkerk This attractive church, currently used as an exhibition space, shines bright in the Haarlem cityscape with its glowing white tower. Issue 30 | June 2016 | 51

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

Astonishing story of family that hid Jews during WWII TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: CORRIE TEN BOOM HOUSE FOUNDATION

The extraordinary story of the Ten Boom family, devoted Christians who offered shelter to Jews and others in need of protection during World War II, now lives in an impressive museum in Haarlem. By opening up their home to those hunted down by Germany’s Nazi regime, the Ten Booms knowingly put their own lives at risk. But they felt it as their duty to help “God’s chosen people” and those who were on their side. The Ten Boom House, where father Casper ten Boom and his daughters Betsie and Corrie helped to save dozens of lives during Nazi occupation, has been a museum since 1988. When inside this old building, guests can begin to 52 | Issue 30 | June 2016

imagine what it must have been like to hide and live here. The museum tells the story of courageous peaceful resistance, incredible selflessness and devotion, but also of the immense dangers that were looming outside. It vividly illustrates how the refugees and family members in the house prayed and sang together and how the Ten Booms, whose clock and watchmaking business was on the ground floor of the house, would use code language to converse with allies. They would, for instance, request a certain part for a watch that was just brought in, meaning they actually needed help to find shelter for yet another refugee.

come to their home saying he needed money to help a Jewish family. Corrie ten Boom fell into the trap, offered to help and asked the man to come back in the evening. German secret police then ransacked the house. This betrayal, as well as the miraculous escape from death of four men and two women whom Corrie ten Boom hid in a secret hiding place moments before she got arrested, have been well documented. Corrie ten Boom lived to tell the tale and her book The Hiding Place has been translated into over 60 languages. She has travelled the world to spread the message that “God will give us love and forgive our enemies”.

Despite all the safety precautions, the Ten Booms were eventually sold out to the Nazi regime by a Dutchman who had

Unable to visit the museum? Take the virtual tour on

Photo: ©TeylersMuseum

Photo: ©TeylersMuseum

Photo: De Ovalen Zaal

Where science and art meet TEXT: SOFIE COUWENBERGH

Founded in the spirit of the Enlightenment, the Teylers Museum is where science and art meet to provide a better understanding of the world. As the longest-running museum in the Netherlands, it lets visitors time travel through its collection of items that were once used as tools for study. “Here, you can actually feel the Enlightenment,” says director Marjan Scharloo. That feeling is strongest in the museum’s Oval Room where books, scientific instruments, art and fossils create a microcosmos that is literally ‘enlightened’, as all light shines through the large ceiling windows. This combination of diverse collections put together without interference of church, state or university made the Teylers Museum an instant hit when it opened in the late 18th century and still guarantees something interesting for everyone. Whereas most other museums specialised and focused during the 19th century,

the Teylers Museum held on to its core mission. “It’s a place where scientist and artists came together to study things and share the results with each other and the public,” says Scharloo. In that sense, it is still a museum in the classical sense of the even though there are no modern signs accompanying each object or touch screens to tell you more about what you see. Instead, the Teylers Museum takes you on a trip through time by showing the objects as they were historically collected from scientists and artists, thus guarding their authenticity. However, every visitor can get a free audio guide with over 23 hours of information so that they can choose which parts of the museum they wish to learn more about. This summer, visitors to the museum can get carried away by hot air balloons. The exhibition De Luchtballon (‘The Hot-Air Balloon’) connects the scientific study of air and gasses with the invention of the hotair balloon, the ‘balloon mania’ that took

Photo: ©TeylersMuseum

over Europe, the Graf Zeppelin’s roundthe-world flight, as well as the Hindenburg disaster though photos, historical objects and film. A highlight of the exhibition is the option to “fly above the Alps” with virtual reality glasses. Are you ready for take-off? Issue 30 | June 2016 | 53

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special


Already craving for your next holiday? Have a foretaste and travel to Indonesia, America or even the North Pole this summer with Wanderlust, the summer exhibition of the Frans Hals Museum and De Hallen in Haarlem. Wanderlust follows the trail of dozens of Dutch artists with wanderlust in the last 150 years, focusing on travel sketchbooks, photography, video art and installations. The rich harvest of work represents artists from Jan Sluyters, Leo Gestel and Marius Bauer, to contemporary artists like Joost Conijn, Rob Birza and Jennifer Tee. “Travel has always served as a means for inspiration,” director of the Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem Ann Demeester tells us. “In the 16th and 17th century artists would visit Italy, and in later ages Paris and London, as the culmination of their artistic education.” And as time changed, so did art. “19th and

20th century artists travelled further and with a broader point of view. Instead of admiring romantic landscapes and reviewing antiquity, artists found their inspiration in different customs, food, and people.” Another development that visitors can see for themselves at Wanderlust. “Works from the 19th century often consists of impressions made on the spot. Later works often involve artists creatively processing their travel impressions afterwards.” The results provide us with a startling view of the world beyond its known country borders. “Besides physical journeys, the travels that you make in your imagination are just as eye-opening.” Wanderlust in Dutch Art since 1850 at De Hallen Haarlem, and spin-off at Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands, runs from 28 May – 11 September

JCJ Vanderheyden, Everest – Chomolungma, 2007. Collectie Warmerdam-Boerland

Viviane Sassen, Toota (Zambia), 2005. Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem

Extraordinary minds through the ages TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: THIJS WOLZAK

Het Dolhuys, museum of the mind, celebrates people who function differently to most and who achieve amazing things despite the stigma surrounding them being anything but ordinary. Hans Looijen, director of Het Dolhuys, says: “Think about some of the great artists, like Vincent van Gogh. Back in his day he was considered weird and crazy and now we think of him as one of the most talented painters of all time.” Although the museum does not shy away from the negativity of psychiatric disorders. “Of course that’s there as well. We want to make the subject less taboo. And it works, visitors tell us. They’re happy this story is told and that’s nice to hear.” Established in a chapel in Haarlem that dates from 1319, Het Dolhuys is a story in itself. You can even explore one of the original Dolcellen during your visit, unique in Europe. People used to get locked up here when something was 54 | Issue 30 | June 2016

mentally wrong with them. But this museum is in no way scary. “No,” director Looijen says. “Which is why last year we removed the term psychiatry from the name and called it ‘museum of the mind’. We want to enlighten the positive side, not just the negative.” Recently, Het Dolhuys opened a special initiative in Amsterdam’s De Hermitage museum. “It’s called the Outsider Art Museum,” Looijen says with pride. And he should; none other than Queen Máxima opened it. “The collection features outsider artists that haven’t been to an art school. It’s amazing to show these talents to a broader audience.”

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

Photo: The Wolfhound

Photo: The Wolfhound

Photo: Robert van Spanje


With its high-quality food menu, irresistible drinks selection and incredible live music offerings, the Wolfhound Irish Bar & Kitchen has become the goto place for Haarlem locals who cannot get enough of the good ol’ Irish vibes. “The Irish pubs I used to work in abroad were nothing like the bars I would go to back home. They were basically a room where Irish and British people could watch sports,” recalls Philip Smith, who co-owns the Wolfhound together with his wife, Fay MacCorquodale-Smith. “I always knew that when I opened my own place, it wouldn’t be an Irish pub; it would be a real pub from Ireland, with an emphasis on music, conversation and good food.” When he and his wife finally fulfilled their dream, they chose a beautiful 17th-century building in the heart of Haarlem to house

their gastropub. “As soon as I saw the cellar, which still has the original stonework in place, I knew it would be perfect for live music,” says Smith. “It’s a very intimate venue with amazing acoustics. We’ve had acts ranging from local singer-songwriters to full-on rock bands.” No restaurant can survive in Haarlem – often called the culinary capital of the Netherlands – without a clear vision. “Because we’re music obsessed, we think of the food as music as well,” explains Smith. “Michelin-star cooking would be like classical music – beautiful, fantastic, inspirational – whereas my cooking is more like Bruce Springsteen and Christy Moore – honest, a little rough around the edges and straight from the heart.” From the burgers, which are hand-made using Black Angus beef, fresh parsley,

finely diced shallots and a touch of sage, to the honey and cola spare rib glaze that Smith has been perfecting for years, all the food is made in-house. As for drinks, you can sip on a trusty pint of Guinness or a Dutch draught beer. The Wolfhound is one of the few bars in the Netherlands to have Punk IPA by Brew Dog on tap and the only place in Haarlem serving beers by Galway Hooker, one of Ireland’s best microbreweries. “Young people love us because our food’s great, the music’s brilliant and we’ve got craft beer on draught, and it’s the kind of place that their parents can enjoy too,” says Smith. “While Haarlem has long had a vibrant food and drink scene, we’ve filled a niche by providing an everyday bar where everyone feels welcome.” Issue 30 | June 2016 | 55

Discovering Haarlem from what feels like your own home TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: CAROLA RIETDIJK

A most comfortable stay in a cosy home, that is what Shortstay Witte Heren in Haarlem offers its guests. Host Nicole van der Meulen understands what it takes to make anyone’s stay as pleasant as possible.

museums less than ten minutes away, the city is full of trendy restaurants, bars and it has wonderful shops. Did you know that Haarlem has been voted best shopping city in the Netherlands on several occasions?” If you were not excited yet to discover all the gems hidden in Haarlem, you will be after speaking to the owner of Shortstay Witte Heren. One conversation with her and you know that this is what she likes: helping guests to make the most out of their stay and experience Haarlem at its best.

Shortstay Witte Heren is named after the street it is situated in; a narrow, quiet one-way street in the middle of Haarlem. “Idyllic,” is how Van der Meulen describes it. That has to do with the two typical ‘Haarlemse hofjes’ (a group of cute, small houses around a well-kept communal garden) and the picturesque Lutheran church down the road.

At Shortstay Witte Heren, hospitality is key

“It feels like you are outside of the city, yet you are really right in the heart of it,” says Nicole. “The Grote Markt is a threeminute walk away, there are some great

Of course, all kinds of tourist information can be found inside the apartments, but the service does not end there. “Besides providing a unique atmosphere and privacy – each apartment has its own private

56 | Issue 30 | June 2016

entrance – we put in our best effort answering any practical question you may have, provide you with cycling routes to the beach, give you directions and share our inside secrets about Haarlem and all the nice places nearby,” says Van der Meulen.

A cosy home away from home Both apartments at 51 Witte Herenstraat – a studio for couples or business travellers and a two-bedroom apartment that sleeps four – emanate cosiness. Opening the front door of this neat house in its tranquil street feels like coming home. This welcoming mood is created by the carefully selected decor; white and wooden furniture, colourful comfy pillows on the sofa, feature walls and curtains in warm colours, framed pictures of Haarlem on the wall, a pot plant or some candles here and there. “I have travelled

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

a lot myself and I know how important the setting is to feel relaxed in a new, unknown place,” says a hospitable Van der Meulen. “The bed must be excellent, of course, but it really helps if it is also nicely set. It will make you feel that you have moved in and that your holiday can start straight away.” And that can be at any time of the day. “I use a self-checkin system. Guests will get the code of a box outside the apartment with the house keys in it. That works really well. Some visitors might want me to be there when they check in. If they specifically request that, then that is also fine.” Shortstay Witte Heren is a fantastic place to start getting to know Haarlem, with its rich cultural history, its impressive Frans Hals Museum and Teylers Museum and its lovely ‘hofjes’. Those fascinated with history might be interested to find out more about Kenau, the heroic Haarlem woman who fought against Spanish rule in the Eighty Years’ War; or about tulip mania, which also took centre stage in Haarlem. And even Hansje Brinker, who put his finger in the dike, has a link with this region. But modern-day Haarlem has much more to offer. It boasts creativity, hosts lots of live music events and food markets and it is a great place to shop. If you are not sure where to start exploring, just book a few nights at Shortstay Witte Heren and Nicole van der Meulen will get you on track.

More short stay opportunities coming soon Soon Shortstay Witte Heren will be expanding. Four apartments will be established in a recently purchased traditional canal mansion on the Nieuwegracht. These apartments are set to be ready from 1 August 2016. These apartments can also be rented out to expats who, besides their busy working life, also want to experience the joys of Haarlem and some of the wonderful places in the vicinity, such as the world famous Keukenhof in Lisse, some of the poshest beach clubs of Europe – merely 15 minutes away – and of course Amsterdam which is easily accessible by train within 15 minutes.

Shortstay Witte Heren consists of two cosy apartments in a quiet street in Haarlem's old city centre.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 57

Luxury apartments with stunning river views TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: SPAARNEDROOM

‘The Spaarne flows, the Spaarne flows, the Spaarne flows past’ sings one of Holland’s most famous singersongwriters Boudewijn de Groot. It is easy to be impressed by this river leisurely running through the beautiful inner city of Haarlem, with magnificent old buildings on either side. Opportunely, it is possible to stay in these century-old riverside mansions.

58 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Spaarnedroom offers four luxurious apartments in the heart of Haarlem. All of them are a stone’s throw away from the Grote Markt (Big Market), St. Bavo Church and the Teylers Museum. The first apartment Pieter Reijnders acquired – on number 42 Spaarne – overlooks the river; arguably the best possible view of Haarlem. “It is literally a dream view, hence I named it Spaarnedroom (Spaarne dream),” Pieter explains, but he recently renamed it De Witte Olyphant, after the historical name of the apartment building. “Before the houses were numbered, they were referred to by the signs outside. This was called ‘Daer d’witte olyphant uythangt’ (‘where the white elephant hangs out’),” Pieter clarifies. The onebedroom apartment is housed in a typical Dutch-stepped gable mansion and is laid out over one and a half floors. It does not get more authentic than this. The living

room has a beamed ceiling and big sashwindows on two sides, through which the river can be observed with its boats and bridges. With the windows open one can hear the buzz of the restaurant terraces underneath. This is when you know you are in the vibrant heart of the city.

Incredibly comfortable Auping beds Recently, Pieter opened two more apartments in the same street; both on the first floor of the building on number 48. This mansion was built in the 18th century and was renovated in the Jugendstil style around 1900. In those days the Algemene Noord Hollandse Maatschappij van Levensverzekering (a revered life insurance company) had its offices here, as can be distinguished by the tableau next to the front door that still depicts the company’s name. The beautiful wooden doors, grand staircase

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

and monumental ceilings are other reminders of its stately past. The big apartment has the same amazing view as De Witte Olyphant and has therefore inherited the name Spaarnedroom. Both the apartment and the studio on 48 Spaarne have a very stylish interior, incredibly comfortable Auping beds and mattresses, stunning bathrooms, top of the bill electronics and fully fitted kitchens. “If the apartment and the studio are rented together, up to 12 people can stay there,” says Pieter.

Stay in the street where Kenau lived Across the river, at less than 200 metres walking distance, Pieter owns another luxurious apartment. It is in the Spaarnwouderstraat, “the street where the famous Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer used to live”, Pieter adds. Kenau is a historical female figure, who is said to have played a crucial role in defending Haarlem against an invasion by the Spanish army during the Eighty Years’ War between the Catholic King Philip II of Spain and the Protestant Dutch independence fighters. Legend has it that Kenau mobilised the women of Haarlem to stand on the city walls and throw burning tar on the Spanish soldiers to fend them off. “In those days, shipbuilders, ironsmiths and wagon makers lived in this street,” Pieter tells. “Now it is an upcoming, creative area with independent shops, arts galleries and restaurants.”

Loft apartment with private garage The luxury apartment, with a stunning loft under a glass roof, has been constructed inside the shell of a former factory. It is another dream apartment worthy of the name Spaarnedroom; beautifully laid out with a high-standard kitchen and bathroom, comfortable seats and sofas, electrically adjustable beds and ample space to sleep up to six guests. It is located in a district completely surrounded by water and made up of many narrow streets; very much the heart of Haarlem, but very quiet. And what makes this apartment really stand out is that it has its own garage. Obviously you will not need the car to go anywhere in Haarlem, as all of the city’s highlights are within walking distance, but for those wanting to explore the nearby beach, bulb flower area, national park Zuid-Kennemerland or Amsterdam, the free parking at the apartment is a big bonus. All apartments have fully equipped kitchens, but they look barely used. And why would they? Haarlem is full of great restaurants. “The Spaarne alone has over 20 good restaurants. The ones I always recommend are Wijn & Ko and Ratatouille. The latter has a Michelin star. I also have a deal with a local lunchroom where guests can have breakfast for ten euros, either inside, on the river quay or delivered to the apartment.”

The elegant and luxurious Spaarnedroom apartments in Haarlem have been constructed inside characteristic, century-old buildings.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 59

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

Proper Italian food on historic Dutch market square TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: RESTAURANT APPLAUSE

Every week a batch of fresh ingredients, imported from Italy, are delivered at Restaurant Applause on the Grote Markt in Haarlem. “Tomatoes from Sicily taste so much better than the ones you buy in the Dutch supermarkets,” says the restaurant’s owner and chef Arjen Nieuwenhuis. Restaurant Applause, open from Wednesday to Sunday, specialises in southern Italian food. “This means that the dishes are simple and made with few ingredients, but that the quality of those ingredients has to be excellent,” Nieuwenhuis explains. He therefore sources all his products from Italian suppliers. “Occasionally, when I run out of stock, I have to buy some vegetables from local shops, but I do what I can to avoid that.”

How serious is he about getting the best ingredients? In the past year he made two trips to Italy to find new suppliers of culatello ham and truffles. Nieuwenhuis, who has been running this restaurant for over 20 years, aims to make all his antipasti and pasta taste the way they do in Italy. Applause’s interior has many Italian features; seen from the outside, however, it cannot get any more Dutch. Situated in a row of restaurants with outside eating areas, guests have a view of the Grote Markt with its St. Bavo church, grand city hall and the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster, inventor of the printing press. Restaurant Applause on Haarlem’s Grote Markt serves genuine Italian food and beverages.

Roast chicken and rock ‘n’ roll TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: ROAST CHICKEN BAR

In a former garage, two young entrepreneurs started the biggest restaurant in Haarlem: Roast Chicken Bar. Basically, it serves roast chicken and beer and is hugely popular.

60 | Issue 30 | June 2016

“We serve simple, good food. But we also offer our customers an experience,” says Michael Kras, one of the founders of Roast Chicken Bar on the Turfmarkt in Haarlem. Every Sunday, for example, there is live music. Sunday Roast, it is called. And although the restaurant/bar has only been open since December 2015, it has already had well-known musicians performing, like Speelman & Speelman and Michael Prins. How do they manage this? “Singer Marjet van den Brand does the programming. She knows quite a lot of people in the industry,” Kras explains.

The Roast Chicken Bar – which is called The Egg Store during the day, when it serves wholesome breakfast and lunch, with lots of egg of course – seats up to 150 people inside and another hundred customers on the terrace, overlooking the Turfmarkt and the Spaarne river. It is based on concepts Kras and his business partner Bas Lammersen discovered on their travels to New York and London. It looks like an American diner, serves local beers, homemade lemonade and good portions of food – “either half a chicken or a whole chicken, depending on how hungry you are” – and has rock ‘n’ roll music playing in the background. Or, as the owners put it: “It’s about hot chicks, booze and bloody good music.”

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Haarlem City Special

You only eat soup in winter? No way! TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: DE SOEPKANTINE

It sounds perfect: a cold winter’s day, you just had a walk outside and are now warming up indoors with a cup of hot soup. At De Soepkantine – freely translated as ‘the soup cafeteria’ – they do not believe this to be the only dream scenario. Here, they serve soup all year long.

kinds of salads available and there are more coming soon. And if you are just looking for a small treat, there are pies, organic juices and coffee. “We try to use gluten-free and organic ingredients as much as possible, in our soups as well,” De Rooy says. De Soepkantine opened three years ago and the success is obvious. “People are so enthusiastic, that’s really great. Of course we do best when it’s cold out, but we really try to emphasise that soup is tasty in summer as well.” Oh, and we have a small scoop for you as well - pretty soon De Soepkantine is coming to Amsterdam!

And why should they not? We eat warm food all year long, so why not soup? “We even have specific summer soups,” Maarten de Rooy says. Together with his partner Rene Aarsman, he runs this cute little place in Haarlem. This summer they are serving a Mulligatawny soup with sweet potato, mango and curry. “We have five soups on the menu, three of them differ every week: one with chicken, one with another kind of meat and one vegan. The Indian Lentil Soup is always available, since that has been the most popular since the beginning.” Not really a soup kind of person? No problem! Currently there are also three different 2_0_Biz_Het_Noordeinde_ad_halfpage_Layout 1 28/08/2015 18:09 Page 1

Luxury shopping in the royal shopping district in the historic city center of The Hague.

Fashion / restaurants / galleries / lifestyle & design / and more...


Leiden gives you the very best of Holland This beautiful university city in the West of Holland is filled with 400-year-old stately canal houses, canals, bridges and wonderful museums. Here, Mincke Pijpers from Leiden Marketing helps guide us through a perfect weekend in the city. TEXT: METTE HINDKJÆR MADSEN | PHOTOS: LEIDEN MARKETING

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special Everything that makes the Netherlands famous can be found in and around Leiden. The flower fields, sandy beaches and dunes stretching as far as the eye can see, sheep and cheese farms, the Keukenhof, windmills and sailing at the Kagerplassen. “Leiden is a friendly city. Enough foreign people live in Leiden so tourists won’t stand out. You can feel at ease among the Dutch. You will find that everyone speaks English. Some Dutch language, like ‘dank u wel’ (thank you very much) is appreciated with a laugh and if you remark the atmosphere is ‘gezellig’ (a Dutch word that can’t be translated, but means something in between relaxed, cosy and sociable) you will definitely be the king of the day,” explains Mincke Pijpers, senior brand marketer of Leiden Marketing. The city can be reached easily and quickly by train from Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. Schiphol Airport is only one train stop away from Leiden – it is just 15 fast minutes past the tulip fields before you arrive mid centre, and almost everything you need for a pleasant stay is within walking distance. The beach is located to the west of Leiden at a mere ten kilometres, 15 minutes by car or bus and 30 minutes by bike. Katwijk and Noordwijk provide 17.5 kilometres of sandy beach, a great place for a sunny day with great biking and hiking routes through the dunes. To the east of Leiden, you will find the lush green meadows, lakes and villages of the Groene Hart (Green Heart) of the Netherlands. Here you can find windmills, dykes, Dutch cows and lovely hiking and biking paths. A special route will take you along the road that the Geuzen (Calvinist Dutch rebels) took in 1574 to evict the Spanish troops and liberate the city of Leiden.

Stroll around 400 years of history 30,000 students give Leiden a special atmosphere, comparable with other iconic university cities such as Bologna, Cambridge, Oxford and Salamanca. The famous University, founded in 1575, attracted scholars from all over Europe. In the liberal climate, religious refugees were welcomed and the broadcloth industry flourished. With so much history to tell, it is no coincidence that up to 13 museums are found in Leiden.

“If you realise that the history of Leiden dates back to even before the 10th century A.D. you can imagine that the city itself is a museum alone,” says Pijpers. She suggests you visit the almshouses and the remains of the flourishing Golden Age textile industry. You should also take a walk in Rembrandt’s footsteps, journeying from the house he was born to the places where he received his first artistic education. You can also climb an 18th century corn mill and enjoy views over the city, or discover the history of the Pilgrim Fathers in Leiden.

Plenty of activities for everyone Every Saturday and Wednesday the Leiden Market can be found alongside the Nieuwe Rijn, the Botermarkt and the Vismarkt, right in the city centre next to the City Hall. This is the place to buy your Dutch cheese, or vacuumpacked Dutch herring. On both sides of the water you will find a wide range of interesting shops. From here you can stroll through the narrow medieval cobblestoned streets. From one side you will be led towards the Pieterskerk area, where there is an array of small specialist shops. Walking towards the Burcht and the Hooglandse Kerk on the other side of the Nieuwe Rijn, you will find antique shops and galleries. Less picturesque, but offering everything you could want, is Leiden’s main shopping street Haarlemmerstraat. While shopping you will pass along many restaurants and cafés offering everything from French cuisine, Dutch pancakes and Asian dishes to Spanish tapas and Italian pasta. Pijpers adds a tip: “Snacks are offered to go with your drinks at ‘borrel’-time, in the late afternoon and if the weather is fine, restaurants and cafés create outdoor terraces on boat decks.” As you would expect of a truly Dutch city, you can explore Leiden not only by foot but also by pedal. You can take a nice bike tour along special and hidden shops, surprising spots and the best places to enjoy a bite or a drink. By taking a boat you can get a fantastic view of Leiden. “It’s an absolute must-do on a hot day when parking at the beaches is hard. Going around in a boat is definitely one of my favourites,” ends Pijpers. Your fantastic trip to Leiden is only a train or plane ticket away! Issue 30 | June 2016 | 63

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special


Discover a Japanese treasure trove in historic Leiden. Behind its 18th century façade, the monumental SieboldHuis houses a unique collection of Japanese artefacts and natural objects. “Around 25,000 in total, 1,000 of which are on permanent display,” director Kris Schiermeier points out. “We’re the only museum in the world solely dedicated to Japanese culture outside of Japan itself.” The collection Kris and her team are entrusted with ranges from original prints and maps to extinct animals, and from models of Japanese buildings to a 19th century toothbrush and denture. “It covers almost all aspects of Japanese culture and nature.” The museum’s collection was created by Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold, a German physician working in Japan who was commissioned by the Dutch King Willem I to acquire

as many artefacts as he could. “Japan was seen as an important future trading partner in the Orient,” Kris explains. “The aim was to spread knowledge about Japan and promote Dutch-Japanese trade relations.” The SieboldHuis is where Von Siebold lived and put his Japanese artefacts on display from as early as 1831. The current museum combines Von Siebold’s historical collection with alternating exhibitions of modern Japanese culture, including art, design, photography, cuisine and popular culture. “This year we mark the 150th anniversary of Von Siebold’s death with a host of activities,” Kris smiles with enthusiasm. “And we have a special exhibition coming up in June, Too Pretty to Throw Away, on the art of Japanese packaging design. So plenty of reasons to come and pay us a visit.”


There is not much that complements the traditional Dutch landscape more than its iconic windmills. But what do mills look like from the inside and how do they work? Molenmuseum De Valk in Leiden enables visitors to take a look inside this world-famous attraction. Molen De Valk (The Falcon) is a tower mill dating back to 1743. All of its seven floors are open to the public. “Visitors are often surprised when they see how much is going on in De Valk,” says director Hennie van der Lelie. The top three floors are where the milling activities took place; the rest of the mill hosts an exhibition space and the living area. The mill is the only one in the Netherlands still showing the original 19th-century interior of the miller and his family. “Everything looks exactly the same as the day the last owner passed away in 1964.” De Valk officially became a museum in 1966, but has been an attraction for much longer; 64 | Issue 30 | June 2016

the oldest guestbook records date back to 1930. “The mill luckily survived the war, although all its wooden ornaments were ripped off in the infamous hunger winter of 1944, and used for firewood.”

When you have explored inside the mill, do not forget to go all the way up. Molen De Valk is 29 metres high and visitors can enjoy a fantastic view over the old town of Leiden.

Fortunately, De Valk was completely restored and is now celebrating its 50-year anniversary. In these years, De Valk has served as student accommodation, has started to host guided tours in four European languages, and currently welcomes approximately 30,000 visitors a year.

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special Yu Chou - on the right - with one of the chefs of De Kleine Wereld.

The chefs at De Kleine Wereld do not just look for recipes online; they are trained by the owner, who travels to different countries to learn the finesses of local cooking.

Be surprised by a variety of flavours TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: RESTAURANT DE KLEINE WERELD

For those fascinated by the world’s natural and cultural diversity, Leiden is a great destination. It houses Museum Volkenkunde (Ethnology) and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The gastronomically curious will also enjoy diversity at Restaurant De Kleine Wereld (The Small World), which serves food from all over the world. “Our aim is to make it taste exactly the way it tastes if you eat it in the countries where the dishes are from,” restaurant owner Yu Chou says. Whether it is a Dutch broodje kroket or uitsmijter you are after, a Korean bibimbap or a Chinese ajam pangang; De Kleine Wereld has it all on its lunch menu. At supper time, the choices are even greater. There are Chinese soups, Thai curries, Korean rice dishes, Argentinean grill specials and French and Italian desserts. “Admittedly, the Asian kitchen is

over represented in our restaurant, but that is because we only venture into cuisines we really understand,” Chou, a Dutchman with Chinese roots, says. “Over the years I have also gone to other countries to receive training in cooking many other local cuisines. I have been to China, Vietnam and Thailand, where I have worked with some of the best chefs, including the man who cooked for the former President of China. But I have also had training in Europe. Unilever Food Solutions, for instance, has helped me to refine our breads and desserts. And the Brazilian rodizio we serve is prepared exactly the way I learned it in Brazil.” What makes it more amazing is that guests do not have to choose which dish they want to try. De Kleine Wereld offers ‘all you can eat’ – including unlimited soft drinks,

beer, wine, coffee and tea – for 28.50 euros per person. Chou explains: “We want to introduce our guests to many different flavours and pleasantly surprise them with superior cooking and quality beverages. We serve a French house wine, Belgian beer and delicious organic tea.” De Kleine Wereld is open every day of the year and is located opposite Leiden Central Station. Issue 30 | June 2016 | 65

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special

Perfectly grilled steaks and authentic Dutch vegetables TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: P.P. DE MEIJER

At Steakhouse Terroir in Leiden they know what it takes to grill a rib eye or tournedos to perfection. “When you heat meat it gets tense. To get a supertender piece of meat, it is important to give it time to rest on a separate part of the grill,” chef Merlijn van der Krogt explains. To achieve that exceptional piece of succulent meat, the owners of Steakhouse Terroir had their grill custom made. “We financed it through crowdfunding, which in turn resulted in more clients from all over the country, many of whom have become loyal customers,” says co-owner Justus Brasem. But do not be mistaken; Steakhouse Terroir is not just about meat. “We believe that the vegetables are just as important as the meat. We use a lot of authentic 66 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Dutch vegetables and people seem to really appreciate that,” Brasem says. The restaurant’s philosophy is to find and enhance the original flavours of all products used. “The origin of a product determines its flavour. Just as the taste of wine is influenced by the climate and soil conditions of the region in which the grapes are cultivated, so do these circumstances affect the qualities of meat and vegetables.” Hence the name Terroir, which means the environmental factors that shape the properties of crops. Brasem and Van der Krogt, who both had extensive experience in the hospitality business before opening up their steakhouse in a former slaughterhouse in the north of Leiden, believe that simplicity is the key to bringing out the best in food and wine. “Our dishes are

pretty straightforward. If you order a bone marrow and onion, or chicory with ham and cheese, you will get just that; nothing more, nothing less. The ingredients are matched in such a way that the flavours enhance one another,” adds Brasem. Transparency about the origin of the ingredients and the composition of the dishes gives customers full control of what they want to eat and how much they are willing to spend, Brasem explains. For that same reason, all the meat can be ordered per 100 grams. “Not everyone who comes to a steakhouse wants a big piece of meat,” he says. “Plus, we embrace the idea of ‘shared dining’. We encourage people to order a variety of dishes per table and share them amongst each other,”

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special

Love for Italy expressed through food TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: OSTERIA VICTOR RUSSO

Introducing real Italian food to the inhabitants and visitors of Leiden; that is what drives Victor Russo, namesake of this authentic eatery. “I want to show people my life, my culture; the authentic Italian kitchen. That’s the only way I can introduce others to my beloved country,” he says. Every three to four weeks, Russo travels to another part of Italy for inspiration and to buy ingredients he uses in Osteria Victor Russo. “Every region, every village in Italy has its own way of preparing food. Often the cooking methods have stayed more or less the same for centuries. This truly traditional food is what I want people to taste. Not spaghetti Bolognese and pizza.” To show the vast variety Italian cuisine has to offer, Osteria Victor Russo changes its entire menu every two to three weeks. Russo runs the osteria (Italian for ‘inn’) with a team of passion-

ate Italian food lovers. “Together we choose a new region every other week, we approach the producers of traditional food products in that region, taste whatever they can supply to us at that moment and then we start cooking.” New recipes are shared all the time via Victor Russo’s website and the authentic Italian prod-

ucts required to make the dishes – plus 300 wines all available in the restaurant – are sold in the osteria on Vrouwensteeg 16 as well as via the website. “It is all part of our taste communications,” a passionate Russo explains.


Homely comforts in the heart of historic Leiden. When the monumental house on Steenschuur 11 came up for sale, Sharleen de Boer immediately saw its potential. Born and raised in Leiden, the owner of Steenhof Suites had found for some time that the historic city centre offered little in the way of small-scale luxury accommodation. And the 15th century house had not only been beautifully restored, it was also ideally located. Tucked between lively Breestraat and elegant Rapenburg, the house overlooks Steenschuur Canal and the peaceful Van der Werfpark. “The whole of central Leiden is within walking distance, this really was a find,” she says. “I realised this was my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a unique boutique hotel.” Opened in February this year, Steenhof Suites has been a success from the start. Sharleen and her team have created four spacious luxury suites which beautifully blend the house’s exposed oak beams, floors and other historic features with modern, luxury comforts.

Its light and airy rooms all have a seating area with a large flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, luxury beds and a walk-in rain shower. But to Sharleen the most important feature is the homely atmosphere she and her team have managed to create. “Guests are free to walk around the house, make use of the large living kitchen or share a bottle of wine in our medieval wine cellar,” she explains. “Our philosophy is to make our guests feel relaxed and at home - and it’s great to see when they do. It’s what makes us tick.”

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Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special

Only the best fruit deserves to be gelato TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: GELATERIA MAXIM’S

Why go for an ordinary ice cream when you can have a handcrafted Italian gelato made with only pure ingredients? Gelateria Maxim’s on Leiden’s Nieuwe Rijn takes pride in offering over 30 flavours of freshly prepared ice cream. It is open almost all year round. In summer, the fruit sorbets are particularly popular. “Our ice cream flavours change with the seasons,” says gelato craftsman Luuc Koldenhof. He does not mean the Dutch seasons. “The longer fruit ripens on the tree, the fuller the flavour. That is why we import all our fruit. We do not use fruits that have been picked halfripe, transported to the Netherlands and then ripened off in cool rooms.” The same applies for the milk he uses: “A real gelato needs to be prepared with full cream milk that contains

at least 3.5 per cent fat. In the Netherlands full cream milk contains, by law, 3.1 per cent fat. That is why we get our milk from Germany.” On a hot summer day, people literally line up along Leiden’s Nieuwe Rijn canal for a rich, flavoursome ice cream at Gelateria Maxim’s. Even on colder, rainier days – they do happen in the Netherlands – the shop on 32 Nieuwe Rijn can get pretty busy. The ice creams are a treat for the taste buds on any occasion. Plus the gelateria, a short walk from the city hall and Fort Leiden, offers an assortment of illy coffees, delicious nougats and cakes from small Italian producers, and its own cantuccinis (almond biscottis). “Produced in a local bakery, using our recipe,” adds Koldenhof.

Inspirational setting for meetings in Leiden TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: HET RODE HUIS

Being in the middle of the Randstad, a short drive away from the four biggest cities in the Netherlands, Leiden is a desired location to organise meetings. A great place to invite business partners or clients is Het Rode Huis. This majestic monumental mansion with its creative interior and overlooking the magnificent Rapenburg canal is an inspiring setting for brainstorms and workshops. Do not expect a red building when looking for Het Rode Huis. “Red is the colour of the heart,” says Els Wolters, owner of the venue. “It is located in the heart of Leiden, with the university and its botanical garden around the corner. The heart also stands for passion. In Het Rode Huis, built in 1608, my partner and I combine everything we are passionate about. We offer a beautiful meeting room, which is perfect for creative gatherings. Whether for sales training, personal coaching sessions, arts classes or cooking workshops in the garden; we do what we can to help clients create the setting they want,” Wolters explains. “We also provide various training sessions ourselves.” 68 | Issue 30 | June 2016

The spacious meeting room is on the first floor of Het Rode Huis, providing a marvellous view of the canal. On the second and third floor, Het Rode Huis offers a bed and breakfast, with luxurious bedrooms that look just as fabulous and inspirational as the meeting room.

To participants of a group session that want to remain in a creative mood throughout their stay, Wolters says: “Follow your heart and come to Het Rode Huis on Rapenburg 75.”

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special

Environmentally responsible and luxury sleepover TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: GOLDEN TULIP LEIDEN CENTRE

There are many Golden Tulip hotels all over the world, but that does not mean that once you have been to one, you have been to all of them. On the contrary, each has its own special look and feel. Like the one in Leiden centre with its “international standards” and “local flavours”. “Our services are high level and we work with local parties a lot,” director Dennis Tuin explains. “We’re preferred partner of the Leiden International Film Festival for example. And have you heard about the T. rex coming to Leiden?” This year the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex will be on display in the city’s Naturalis museum. Golden Tulip is the official hotel partner. This mean two very special T. rex hotel rooms, for example. The hotel is located right across the station on the edge of Leiden’s centre. You can pick

three or four-star luxury in the same building by simply turning left or right. “We have the Golden Tulip and the Tulip Inn, both have the same reception and entrance but the first has four stars and the second three,” says Tuin. The Golden Tulip was recently renovated and, as Tuin says, has the “newest rooms in Leiden”. And there is also the golden Green Key certification. “That means we do everything we can to save the environment.” If you are in the area, be sure to visit Restaurant Rubens, the French-oriented restaurant which is part of the hotel. “We cook everything ourselves. No scissors to cut open packages of ingredients here,” Tuin laughs. No wonder you can find many non-hotel guests dining here too.


Issue 28 | June 2016 | 69

Photo: NBTC

Photo: NBTC

Exploring the cities of Brabant Located in the south of the Netherlands, the province of Brabant is home to some of the country’s most exciting cities - including historical Breda, arty Tilburg and Eindhoven, the epicentre of the Dutch design scene. Read our guides to decide which one you will put on your city guide to-do list - or why not just visit all three? TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER | PHOTOS: EINDHOVEN MARKETING AND NBTC

Photo: Nick Bookelaar

Discover Benelux | Tourism | The Cities of Brabant

Eindhoven, the City of Light (Read more on pages 73-76) Despite its modern appearance, the lively city of Eindhoven is steeped in history and has been one of the Netherlands’ key industrial centres for centuries. The city earned its moniker ‘Lichtstad’ (City of Light) in the 19th century thanks to its numerous matchstick factories, while the strong presence of Dutch electronics brand Philips consolidated the nickname - the firm began as a lightbulb manufacturing company in Eindhoven back in 1891. The city continues to be at the epicentre of the international technological and industrial design scene today, and is home to the globally esteemed Design Academy. Every October, creatives flock to the city for Dutch Design Week, confirming the city’s status as a centre for innovation. Design aficionados will delight in Eindhoven’s modern architectural masterpieces, hip boutiques and vibrant contemporary art scene. Start your city break in Eindhoven with a visit to Eindhoven Brandstore, a tourist information centre with a difference. As well as providing all the information you will need to discover Eindhoven and the surrounding area, the Brandstore is also home to CoffeeLab UC, where the baristas rustle up an array of innovative coffees. What better way is there to spend your weekend?

Photo: Nick Bookelaar

Photo: Nick Bookelaar

Here are some top tips on what to see and do in the city from Eindhoven Marketing’s Mechteld van Wezel: MEANDER IN DE BERGEN The unusually narrow streets of De Bergen were once part of Eindhoven’s medieval city centre. Head here for lively pubs and restaurants, arty boutiques, antique stores and bookshops. SHOP TILL YOU DROP Eindhoven is a shopper’s paradise. In the main shopping area - Demer, Rechtestraat, Market Square and 18 Septemberplein – you will find all the big brands such as Mango, Zara, H&M and Bershka. Shopping malls such as Piazza Eindhoven and Heuvel Galerie are not to be missed.

Photo: Nick Bookelaar

A COOL CONCEPT Fashionistas and fans of sustainable design will appreciate Eindhoven’s unique selection of concept stores. Be sure to visit the Strijp-S area; it is full of design stores such as Yksi, MLY and the Urban Shopper shopping mecca. Here are some more must-visit addresses: YOU ARE HERE, Kleine Berg 32a, Deense Kroon, Willemstraat 17, Vielgut, Hooghuisstraat 29, Start planning your trip now: Issue 30 | June 2016 | 71

Discover Benelux | Tourism | The Cities of Brabant

The historic city of Breda (Read more on pages 77-79) History buffs will adore the countless museums and important monuments to be discovered in this charming city. Named after the confluence of the two rivers which flow through it, Breda has been a fortified city throughout history and is home to a wealth of

medieval buildings which are still intact. There is an important cultural scene, while the large student population keeps things lively - the city’s bars, restaurants and outdoor terraces are always bustling. Many visitors choose to explore Breda on the water, with tours setting off from the harbour.

If you are feeling adventurous, it is also possible to hire your own small motor boat or canoe in the summer months. And if you find yourself suffering from museum fatigue, an excellent day trip is the Mastbos forest, which dates back to the 16th century. Situated just outside the city centre, this is a beautiful spot for a lakeside walk or bike ride. Find out more about Breda:

HISTORICAL SITES Grote Kerk (Great Church) - this is an impressive example of the Brabant style of Gothic Architecture. Photo: NBTC

Photo: NBTC

Breda Castle - Dating back to the 16th century, admire one of the first examples of Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands. Begijnhof - At the heart of the historical city centre, this complex offers an insight into the world of Breda’s Beguine population. Discover a permanent collection of relics and a peaceful herb garden.

Photo: NBTC

Photo: NBTC

Here are some of Tilburg’s museums not to be missed: Natuurmuseum Brabant - a natural history museum ideal for all the family Nederlands Textielmuseum - housed in a restored factory, this provides a fascinating exploration of the Dutch textile industry De Pont Museum of Modern Art Located in a former wool mill, art lovers will devour this museum’s vast collection of works by national and international names such as Bill Viola and Anish Kapoor. tilburg/ Photo: NBTC

72 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Cultural Tilburg (Read more on page 80) Towering above this delightful city is the Westpoint Tower, which stands at 141.6 metres. Designed by Margriet Eugelink, this impressive modernist construction was the highest residential building in the Netherlands at the time of its completion in 2004; although this accolade has since been surpassed. There are an array of modern architectural delights to be explored in Tilburg, contrasting with this historical city’s traditional villas and factory houses - the city became for its wool and textiles during the early 20th century. This relatively undiscovered gem of a city is also home to a large cultural scene, hosting a range of festivals and boasting a diverse selection of museums and galleries.

Discover Benelux | Brabant | Eindhoven Highlights

Photo: Marcel de Buck

Photo: Mals Media

Photo: Marcel de Buck

Photo: Peter Cox

Photo: Peter Cox

Discover artists that will be famous TEXT: KOEN GUIKING

The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Looking back, it has had a good hand in buying artwork from artists who later became world famous. In other words, this is a place to discover the future big names in art; and it is accessible for everybody, including people with disabilities. The Van Abbemuseum has been sourcing, purchasing and exhibiting modern art since it first opened its doors in 1936. Obviously the art that was bought in the early years is not contemporary anymore, but much of it is now highly recognised. The museum exhibits work from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondriaan, Karel Appel, Marlene Dumas and Marc Chagall. “In a sense the museum is a treasure chamber,” says the museum’s marketing man-

ager, Ilse Cornelis. “It has been successful in acquiring art in the early stages of wellknown artist’s careers. But the museum also keeps buying art from much lesser known, talented artists. In that way we are a laboratory too,” says Cornelis.

Britain So Great. She, a black painter, depicts her self-portrait on wallpaper that was designed to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 50 years of reign, a period often seen as great British history, but also a time of colonisation and slavery.

A big selection of artworks, both from the “treasure chamber” and from the “laboratory”, are exhibited in the Van Abbemuseum. Currently, part of the museum is dedicated to art that originated from alternative cultures in the 1980s. There is, for instance, a piece on display by Rob Scholte and Sandra Derks, squatters in the 1980s, called Rom 87.

Van Abbemuseum is not just progressive in the art it sources and displays. It is also ahead of its time in giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy contemporary art. Blind people, for instance, can touch originals and replicas of various sculptures to shape an image of the work. Those unable to come to the museum can book a robot. No kidding. Guests log in via their computer at home, navigate through the museum, see the art via its camera, and can even speak with other visitors via the robot.

And the exhibition also features ‘Black Art’, such as a thought-provoking painting by the British artist Sonia Boyce called Lay Back, Keep Quiet and Think of What Made Issue 30 | June 2016 | 73

Discover Benelux | Brabant | Eindhoven Highlights

The world’s greatest musicians want to perform in Eindhoven TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: BRAM SAEYS AND VINCENT VAN DEN HOOGEN

Eindhoven’s concert hall reflects the city’s identity, which is characterised by technology, light and design. To all of this, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven adds the unique acoustics of its halls, for which it is internationally renowned. The world’s best musicians come here to perform and record their albums. “We are the only international concert hall in the south of the Netherlands. Audiences from throughout the region, including Flanders, come to Muziekgebouw Eindhoven for the world’s greatest orchestras and finest soloists,” says the venue’s managing director Wim Vringer. He mentions a few ensembles that will perform at this beautifully designed concert hall next season: The London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. “And some worldclass solo artists too,” Vringer continues. 74 | Issue 30 | June 2016

“Like violinist Janine Jansen and pianist Murray Perahia.” Because of its world-class acoustics, various classical musicians have also recorded their albums in Muziekgebouw Eindhoven. This summer, Sony Music Entertainment has booked the concert hall to record a CD with harpist Lavinia Meijer. “We have also recently had the piano playing twins Lucas and Arthur Jussen recording here,” says an enthusiastic Vringer.

Naked Song Festival on 25 June But it is not just classical musicians who recognise the excellent sound of Muziekgebouw Eindhoven. Jazz musicians like Gregory Porter and Ibrahim Maalouf have also performed here. “We are proud to have been hosting the So What’s Next Jazz Festival for a number of years, in collaboration with North Sea Jazz,” Vringer says. Many pop concerts

are also programmed at this venue. Singer-songwriters Bob Dylan and Joe Jackson are among the artists that have performed in the past months. “In fact, the singer-songwriter Naked Song Festival is to take place on 25 June,” Vringer points out. It is an evening with international artists like Lucinda Williams from the US, Luka Bloom from Ireland, Alex Vargas from Denmark and Benelux’s very own Douwe Bob, Emma Bale and Iris Penning. At the concert hall in Eindhoven, they know that different music genres attract different crowds and require different atmospheres. Therefore, not only in the concert hall, but also in the public spaces an ingenious lighting system was installed. What else would you expect from a stateof-the-art concert hall rooted in the city of light and technology?

Discover Benelux | Brabant | Eindhoven Highlights


Step out of Eindhoven Central Station and you will not have to go far to experience the conviviality this part of the Netherlands is famous for. Here, Bar-Restaurant De Vrienden on Stationsplein will welcome you with open arms. De Vrienden translates as ‘Friends’, and although it is not a coffee bar like the one made famous in the eponymous US comedy series, the place certainly does have a similar friendly and sociable atmosphere. “We’d like people

from all walks of life to feel welcome here,” says its warm 22-year-old owner Kelly Swinkels. With her team, headed by manager Monique Lelieveld, she aims to give all customers the personal care and attention they deserve. “Everyone is welcome, whether they are young or old, locals or visitors from outside the city, whether they want to come in for a drink and a chat, sit down for a quiet business lunch or bring a party to celebrate over dinner.” Fresh menu The varied menu at De Vrienden has been devised and perfected by head chef Beau Notenboom and his team. Whatever the guests fancy, they can rest assure that everything has been prepared with daily fresh meats, fish and vegetables. “We strive to give each and every dish the same attention to detail that we put into everything we do for our customers,” Kelly adds. “We work as a team. Everything

we do is geared towards recognising what our customers require and creating an atmosphere in which they can relax and feel at ease. If they’re happy, we’re happy.”

The entrance to the sky TEXT: ELLA PUT


The modern, new and promising Tulip Inn Hotel Eindhoven Airport can be found right by the terminal at Eindhoven airport. In 2015, the hotel was voted the best in NorthWest Europe. It is the perfect place to start a day of travelling, or the ideal location to relax after a day up in the air. The Tulip Inn Hotel Eindhoven Airport, which opened three years ago, is still a hidden treasure for many. Situated overlooking the airport in Eindhoven, the hotel’s bar and restaurant offers a

great view of the terminal: “It’s the perfect place to enjoy an early breakfast or a midnight snack and see all the travellers pass through,” explains Anjo Alders, general manager of the hotel. But most of all, the hotel is a perfect place to enjoy a good night’s sleep after a long day of flying or if you have a long day of travelling ahead of you. Alders describes it as “a very relaxed way to start or end your vacation or business trip”. With soundproofed windows, comfortable beds and friendly staff, the 120 rooms will offer you everything you need at an affordable price,

ranging between 70 and 100 euros. This is exceptional for an airport hotel. Furthermore, the hotel offers a good morning breakfast which costs just 7.50 euros for early birds. The modern, industrial design of the hotel merges perfectly with the environment of Eindhoven, which is known for being a hub of industry and the trendy city of lights. And just like the city of Eindhoven, this modern and hip hotel is ready for you and the future.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 75

Discover Benelux | Brabant | Eindhoven Highlights

A wonderful city hotel, in an extraordinary Dutch city TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: PARK PLAZA

Who would not love to stay at a modern, four-star hotel with great facilities, an inviting interior and warm and friendly service with a genuine smile. This is exactly what PPHE Hotel Group provides in countries all over Europe. Established in 1989, PPHE Hotel Group started with the acquisition of the Park Plaza hotel in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In all these years the company has grown and is now across the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Hungary and Croatia. The 38 hotels offer more than 8,300 rooms, and five more hotels are currently under construction, including one in London, England and one in Nuremberg, Germany. These developments are expected to add over almost 1,100 new rooms by the end of 2016 and an additional 500 rooms by the end of 2019.

Surrounded by a vibrant city The fabulous city hotel Park Plaza in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, offers the ideal setting to enjoy this extraordinary 76 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Dutch city and all that it offers. Veronique van Bree, hotel manager of Park Plaza in Eindhoven: “Eindhoven is known worldwide for several events such as the Dutch Design Week every October, or the famous light festival each November. Besides the big events, it is a very special city where there is always lots to see and do.” The hotel is easily accessible and Eindhoven also has a popular airport with great transportation facilities.

A beautiful hotel For those who decide not to go out into the city, the hotel offers a swimming pool, sauna and a gym. The hotel has 104 beautiful rooms, four conference rooms and a luxurious boardroom, all with the latest systems and excellent internet connections. Each morning there is an energising breakfast served at the hotel’s dedicated breakfast restaurant. For dinner there are three on-site restaurants, for distinguished fine dining and fresh and authentic Asian cuisine. The dining outlets at Park Plaza Eindhoven are ideal for both meetings with business associates and casual meals with friends. The E!Lite

lounge is a must at night, where all your favourite drinks and snacks are served in a beautiful and tastefully decorated setting. “Our key element is the friendly but professional staff who know all our regular customers and provide anything they need, with a warm and genuine smile,” Van Bree concludes.

Discover Benelux | Brabant | Breda Highlights


What do beer; history and folk music have in common? They are all proudly presented in the Bierreclame Museum in Breda, where it is always nostalgic o’ clock and history is effortlessly combined with enjoying a beer. Located near the centre of Breda, the Bierreclame Museum holds the largest collection of beer advertisements in the Netherlands, hosting several floors full of enamel signs and posters of old beer ads, derived from the years 1900 to 1960. “The museum is actually a hobby which got a bit out of control,” owner Jan Hemmer says. “After years of collecting, displaying everything was the next logical step.” The museum was officially opened in 1990. Besides signs there are brewery machines, neon lights, glasses and mats on display. The signs and graphics are often well thought out designs, created by well-known artists and made in different styles such as art deco, art nouveau and 1950s.

Music is inextricably linked to the museum. “Even the musical museum collection is bursting with history: from the old pianola and the jukebox to the electric accordion.” Every summer the beer garden opens its doors, and a folk band plays every month. “The museum breathes nostalgia, which is perfectly accompanied by folk music as its topics traditionally have to do with beer.” When you are done looking, start tasting. After reading and hearing about beer, you can

enjoy one yourself at the museum’s pub, which serves over 90 types of beers. “We have two types of guests: museum visitors and people who come in to enjoy a beer. Although museum visitors automatically get thirsty when they’re done exploring!”

Culinary hotspot with a true Belgium allure TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: RESTAURANT MIRABELLE

A castle-like building with a beautiful garden to match; restaurant Mirabelle in the Dutch city of Breda has been a hotspot for over 60 years. The fabulous location, pleasant ambiance and perfect service make it a favourite for many. For a wedding, romantic dinner or business lunch, restaurant Mirabelle has the perfect, idyllic location. It is only half an hour away from Rotterdam and Antwerp, but obviously the location and beautiful setting is not all they offer. “Mirabelle offers gastronomic, Burgundian cuisine,” says Jonne de Kok, banqueting manager at restaurant Mirabelle. “The menu is full of Cote d’Azur, Southern French, Italian and Belgian dishes.” As soon as the weather becomes nice, the outside terrace gets pleasantly busy. The southern location of the sheltered terrace ensures the perfect spot at lunchtime, coffee time, or even after dinner. A beautiful view of the well-

known garden is visible from both the terrace as well as inside the restaurant. Restaurant Mirabelle is an ideal venue for meetings, celebrations, parties and special events. For some more privacy, there are also two private boardrooms available and the garden room and the blue room, which are partially closed. When seeking somewhere for private meetings, lunches and dinners, this is the place to come. The possibilities are endless, and a high level of quality is always provided. Another key element of restaurant Mirabelle has to be its friendly and highly professional ser-

vice. The staff are knowledgeable, warm and very welcoming. De Kok: “For us it is very important to know our customers well, we always try to find out and remember what they like.”

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Discover Benelux | Brabant | Breda Highlights


Housed in an impressive building with a rich cultural history, Breda’s Museum of the Image can be found in the heart of Breda’s old town, just a short distance from Breda Centraal Station. Visitors with an enquiring mind will appreciate this fascinating museum, which is dedicated to visual culture. We are all surrounded by images on a daily basis. But what do we do with images and what do images do to us? If that is something you have ever asked yourself, then Breda’s Museum of the Image (MOTI) is the place for you - it continually poses that very question. The establishment’s permanent collection and intriguing exhibitions explore the evolution of visual 78 | Issue 30 | June 2016

culture on local, national and international levels. Previously known as the Graphic Design Museum, this must-visit attraction adopted the name MOTI (Museum of the Image) in 2011. This name change highlighted a move in focus from graphic design and towards visual culture. As a place where artists and image makers meet, the museum’s goal is to help people of all ages to understand and appreciate this cultural phenomenon.

A cultural centre with a rich history Despite MOTI’s impressive modern exterior, it is actually located on the site of one of the oldest buildings in Breda. Known as De Beyerd and first mentioned as a guest house in archives dating back to

1246, the site was used to care for pilgrims and the like. By the 16th century, the guest house was also catering for the poor and mentally ill, as well as victims of the plague, and by the 17th century it served as accommodation for old men. A few centuries later - in 1955 to be precise - came another change; it was then that the town purchased the building and transformed it into a cultural centre. It went on to be a hugely successful centre for visual art, welcoming artists, photographers and graphic designers to showcase their work. It was not until the 1990s that the transformation of the original De Beyerd museum into the Graphic Design Museum began. Celebrated Dutch architect Hans van Heeswijk conceived a new

Discover Benelux | Brabant | Breda Highlights

design which combined the original building with a new section and six large and luminous exhibition rooms.

A place which inspires With a collection comprising everything from posters and magazines to advertisements, packaging and album covers, you will begin to see Holland’s history through new eyes at MOTI. But a visit here will not just allow you to discover the history of Dutch graphic design; a visit to MOTI will allow you to consider how we all see and treat art nowadays and how we will in the future. Questions to consider include: where do we rank internet art? How does online media hype affect our lives? Without a doubt, this unique museum is one which triggers curiosity and encourages creativity. It is not just for people looking for wall hangings, it offers genuinely inspirational content. Exhibitions are very interactive and aimed at children as well as adults. On the main level, you will find plenty of hands-on exhibits to teach you about perception and the psychology of visual experiences.

Must-see exhibitions As part of the nationwide Hieronymus Bosch 500 theme year, running until 31 December, MOTI is currently presenting the New Delights exhibition. The unique

imagery created by Bosch has inspired artists for centuries, influencing the likes of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Salvador Dalí and Jörg Immendorff. This exhibition centres on Bosch’s world famous painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Visitors to exhibitions at MOTI will receive excellent free literature (available in English) to accompany their experience. Entry to Museum of the Image is ten euros. Visitors can also enjoy the MOTI museum shop and the MOTI café.

Another unmissable exhibition is Van Gogh Mini’s. Running until 21 August, this exhibition explores the visual appeal of esteemed Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh and his iconic oeuvre. It sees 80 contemporary Dutch artists analyse, augment, commentate or reinterpret his works. Each artist was asked to create their own personal response to one of Van Gogh’s works by producing a miniature version, in the shape of a diorama. How does Van Gogh’s artistic legacy influence today’s image makers? This remarkable and diverse group of 80 artists answers that question with this exhibition.

Persijn Broersen & Margrit Luk†cs, After Eden, 2016, MOTI Museum, Nieuwe Lusten by Wouter Stelwagen.

MOTI also offers a remarkable museum experience with MOTI V.R. (a museum in virtual reality). Using special 3D glasses and Oculus Rift technology, the museum is able to share its knowledge of visual culture with audiences throughout the world. MOTI V.R. can be experienced at the Welcome to the Imagesphere exhibition and at festivals and events throughout the Netherlands.

Zaaloverzicht by Wouter Stelwagen.

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Discover Benelux | Brabant | Tilburg Highlights

A little piece of Spain in Tilburg TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: BODEGA LA GUITARRA

When a restaurant is opened by the mayor of the town, it must be something special. And it is. Bodega la Guitarra is a Spanish restaurant in the centre of Tilburg that Spaniards from nearby and beyond label “authentic Spanish”. Restaurant la Guitarra has been located in Tilburg for a few years, but recently changed its concept and moved to the city centre. On the groundfloor a wide selection of pinchos and Spanish wines, cavas and gin tonics can be enjoyed. “You can see and pick your own selection of freshly made pinchos,” co-owner Servaas Dankers explains. “There’s also a small shop where you can purchase products. Later this year there will be a webshop as well.” There is a story behind to how Dankers became co-owner of the restaurant. He and his Spanish wife were customers of the – also Spanish – couple that owned and still co-own the place. “They did this with another couple

who stopped last year. I invested in the new location and together we changed the place to what it is now,” he says. There is a fun place for pinchos downstairs and an à la carte restaurant upstairs; both have an outdoor terrace. People come to enjoy dishes like paella, secreto Iberico, specially prepared cod fish and pata negra. Products are imported from Spain as much as possible. “We have 11 pallets arriving again tomorrow,” Dankers says. “Because we import it directly, even our best offerings have an attractive price.” Need more convincing? Check out the virtual tour on their website.

Your Partner in Anglo Dutch Business The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) is the only bilateral non-profit membership organisation solely dedicated to promoting Anglo-Dutch trade and investment. From our start in 1891, we helped thousands of companies and entrepreneurs expanding their business abroad. The Netherlands-British Chamber of Commerce, 125 years experience in Anglo-Dutch trade and investment promotion. Contact us now for: • Access to interesting network events • Participation in NBCC events and working groups • Exclusive access to our intranet membership area • Up to date economic information and market sector intelligence • Market research • Partner searches • Company formation • Virtual office services • Sales support NL Tel.: 070-205 5656 UK Tel.: 03333-440 779 Email: Or visit:

The hannah coaching centre

Beautiful mind, beautiful body Now that summer’s here we all want to look and feel our best. If you are in need of a little R&R, put your feet up and enjoy our guide to the best beauty and wellness brands in the Netherlands.



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Discover Benelux | Guide | Dutch Wellness and Beauty


While floating has been around for over two decades, it has only recently become a treatment that is accessible to more just the lucky few. In the Netherlands, FloatCenter plays a big role in making this happen. “We want to make the benefits of floating available for everyone,” says CEO Rob Koene. And research has shown that floating, the act of letting your body float on 30 centimetres of special salted water, has many benefits for both physical and mental health. It reduces stress, blood pressure and heart rate; improves blood circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins which make you feel good. This means that floating can be used to address and remedy a wide range of health problems, from burn-out to sleep issues, back pain, addictions and sport injuries. However, floating is not a ‘one size fits all’ treatment. That is why FloatCenter 82 | Issue 30 | June 2016

offers individual guidance for each of its clients. “A stressed-out business man, a carpenter with back pain and a tennis player with a sports injury can all benefit from floating,” says Koene, “but they’ll all have a different experience.” When visiting FloatCenter for the first time you will be asked about the reasons for your visit and will get a personalised floating session, after which the effects of that sessions will be explained. “That’s the idea behind FloatCenter: we offer floating in the best possible way and make sure everybody learns to use it correctly so that they receive optimum benefits from it,” says Koene. That means that not only the guidance needs to be top notch, but the quality of the float rooms as well. FloatCenter uses the world-renowned Ocean FloatRooms that can be used both in wellness and in medical environments. Because of the size of the rooms, the non-skid floors, the

use of special Epsom salts and the highest quality of water, everyone can enjoy them. That all-inclusive approach to floating is also why FloatCenter focuses on expanding not only in the Netherlands, but also internationally to Belgium, the UK and the US through franchising. So the next time you feel like it is all getting a bit too much, check if there is a FloatCenter near you and give floating a try.






informations et réser vations sur

Natural beauty that will last a lifetime TEXT: ELLA PUT | PHOTOS: HANNAH

Ladies (and gentlemen), it is time to give our skin the attention and love it deserves. After all, the skin is the body’s largest and fastest-growing organ and it is a perfect reflection of how we nurture our bodies. Enhance your inner and outer beauty with hannah Xperience and the effective, affordable and sustainable hannah products? It all started with an ambitious lady and her innovative vision. Hannie Hakze was a woman like no other. As a trained and professional skincare specialist, she had seen men and women using skincare products not suited to their needs. She also noticed that many beauty treatments 84 | Issue 30 | June 2016

were not effective. A visit to a beauty salon was mainly seen as a moment of relaxation, but what about taking care of your biggest organ, the skin? Unfortunately, that seemed to be forgotten.

With Hakze’s experience and keen vision she decided to turn the ‘cannots’ of the beauty industry into ‘cans’, and put her dreams into plan. In 1979, she created her own unique skincare concept: the hannah Xperience, a connective tissue massage with an efficient step-by-step skincare programme focusing on effective and sustainable improvement of the skin. Or, as Hakze repeatedly said herself: “It is not about what you do to your skin, but how you do it.” “It was Hannie’s life mission to teach people how to take good care of their skin,” director of hannah and long-time friend of Hannie, Monica van Ee explains. “With her progressive approach to beauty

Discover Benelux | Guide | Dutch Wellness and Beauty

treatments she has created a unique and 100 per cent Dutch concept, resulting in the hannah Xperience.” The hannah Xperience starts with a short intake in which one of the hannah-trained skin coaches tells you about the condition of your skin, as well as discussing your living conditions and health to adjust the skin treatment to your personal wishes and needs. What follows is a quick check on the skin and a wonderful, very efficient connective tissue massage. During the massage blood circulation is stimulated, which is a great way to remove waste products from the body and let the body create oxygen. It is an exercise for the skin, and you will see results in the first 24 hours following the treatment. Like all revolutionary ideas, Hakze’s approach was not an overnight success story. “A firm massage for your skin wasn’t seen as a relaxing beauty treatment back in the day,” Van Ee explains. Hard work, persistence and, most importantly, an effective skincare approach turned the hannah Xperience into one of the best

skin treatments in the Benelux. Hakze repeatedly preached: “Give your skin a chance.” A quote which also became the title of the book she wrote on her skincare philosophy. Hakze’s clients quickly noticed miraculous differences, and results that lasted. For example, acne was cured and did not come back. Wrinkles and scars disappeared. Van Ee: “Some clients didn’t even see the need to wear make-up because their natural skin was at its best thanks to the hannah skincare approach. If something like that happens, we know we have succeeded in our mission. We don’t want to turn women into something else, we want them to take good care of the skin just the way it is. After all, true beauty comes from the inside.” The hard work and ground-breaking heritage of Hakze, who sadly passed away in 2006, is still being kept alive today by a devoted and passionate team. Along with the pioneering hannah Xperience and Hakze’s supervision the team has created skincare products and a coaching centre in the picturesque town of Voorthuizen where hannah skin

Hannie Hakze, creator of the hannah Xperience

coaches from all over the Netherlands are being trained after a very careful and strict selection. Van Ee: “Before we start with training our skin coaches, we want them to get to know hannah and our team. So that they will get a feeling for the brand.” The new hannah skin coaches have to learn that the hannah Xperience is not just a massage, it is a therapy for the skin and for the client. “Only in that way we can stay true to our heritage as well as developing the brand,” Van Ee says. With 37 years of experience within the skincare field, the brand has stayed true to its Dutch legacy. Beauty treatments can be experienced throughout the Netherlands and all the products are still being produced on Dutch soil. Van Ee: “Hannie wanted recognition for her work and to be one of the top skincare brands in the Netherlands. I think she is very happy watching over us from a cloud in heaven. Her dream came true.”

Monica van Ee, director of hannah

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Discover Benelux | Guide | Dutch Wellness and Beauty

Doctor Marguerite van Randwijck

A dazzling expression and smooth skin in just a few minutes TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: DOCTORS AT SOAP

Bags under the eyes, saggy eyelids or wrinkles around the mouth can give a person a permanently droopy look, even when they feel perfectly fit. DOCTORS AT SOAP – which has clinics in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven – is specialised in rejuvenating people’s faces, in a subtle manner: The NO TRACE FACE®.

DOCTORS AT SOAP they call it the ‘NO TRACE FACE’. “With our NO TRACE FACE® technique we apply Botox or hyaluronic acid fillers in such a way that there is no trace you have had any treatment. You’ll obtain a complete natural result, creating the best version of you. The NO TRACE FACE will enhance your unique features,” says doctor Marguerite van Randwijck.

DOCTORS AT SOAP are in-store clinics at the SOAP TREATMENT STORES, high-quality venues for beauty treatments and products. This makes superior medical cosmetic procedures easily accessible.

All specialists at DOCTORS AT SOAP have studied medicine, are registered medics and many of them have worked as general practitioners before joining the clinic. They approach the profession as can be expected of scientifically schooled doctors. “We only use trusted products that have safely been used for decades, on millions of people,” says Van Randwijck. At the intake, a client’s lifestyle and history with cosmetic procedures are discussed and the dosage for the

The medics at DOCTORS AT SOAP do not use invasive techniques or change people’s entire appearance. They stick to procedures and products with a proven track record of reducing lines in the face or clearing uneven spots on the skin. At 86 | Issue 30 | June 2016

treatment is determined. “We rather use too little than too much,” Van Randwijck stipulates. “At the routine check, two weeks after the procedure, we can always add a little extra, at no additional cost.” A new technique used by DOCTORS AT SOAP is Plexr. “Plexr has scientifically proven to be effective and it is a very accurate manner to treat skin tissue. It can be used to reduce saggy eyelids, but also to treat acne or pigment spots,” Van Randwijck explains. Most cosmetic treatments have a temporary effect and should be repeated every six months or so. In addition, DOCTORS AT SOAP offers a few small plastic surgery procedures. For this, it collaborates with plastic surgeon Esther Mesters of COSMEDIC.


Experience Scheveningen in luxury Bilderberg Europa Hotel One of the best spots for a business conference or beach holiday in the Benelux is Scheveningen, The Hague. A wonderful place to stay is the completely refurbished Bilderberg Europa Hotel,“exactly 198 steps from the beach”. TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: BILDERBERG EUROPA HOTEL

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Discover Benelux | Hotel of the Month | Netherlands

Those who have stayed at the hotel before will be familiar with the excellent service from the attentive staff when they come back to stay at the Europa Hotel, but there is not much else they will recognise. The renowned hotel, established in 1960, has been given a complete new look and feel in past months. “The rooms, all with a private balcony, were upgraded last year, but this is all brand new,” says Diana Bartels, the hotel’s general manager, standing in SALT Coastal Bistro & Bar. The decor and menu of this exquisite restaurant have been inspired by its magnificent location: a stone’s throw away from the sea. Hints of distinctive salts are used in many of the mouth-watering dishes. To allow guests to taste and share a variety of delicious creations of chef de cuisine Michel van Dijk, all starters and main meals can be ordered in three quantities: tasting, normal and sharing. After a relaxing dinner, why not order a cocktail and some bites at the bar and enjoy the sunset from the terrace?

As can be expected of a four-star hotel, Bilderberg Europa Hotel’s facilities are excellent. The wellness centre features a swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and sun beds; there is a fitness centre and the rooms include all amenities one needs for a truly comfortable, luxurious stay. The hotel’s conference centre has been completely redecorated too. “The entrance hall – the Europa Boulevard – and the light wall in our biggest conference room can now be lit up in 2,000 different colours, to colour any event,” says Bartels. A Philips light system has also been installed to create a pleasant atmosphere throughout the conference centre and on the entire ground floor of the hotel.

excellent for jogging and cycling – and right on the lively boulevard of Scheveningen.

But as impressive as the facilities may be, what really makes this fabulous hotel stand out is that staff always go the extra mile to “provide the best possible guest experience”, as Bartels calls it, and its location, of course. It is just minutes away from Den Haag city centre, a short walk from the astonishing Meijendel dunes – Issue 30 | June 2016 | 89

Discover Benelux | Restaurant of the Month | Netherlands

A taste of Anglo-India on the Dutch coast TEXT: STEPHANIE LOVELL | PHOTOS: SUNAND RESTAURANT

Colourful, cosy and always welcoming, Sunand Anglo-Indian Restaurant serves authentic Indian cuisine; lovingly prepared to ensure the perfect balance of flavours and spices. Growing up in Essex, near London, Manjit Kharpal has fond memories of learning to cook Indian food with her mother. At an early age, she came to appreciate all the different tastes and flavours, and quickly learned how to create the right balance of spices. When she moved to the seaside town of Noordwijk in the Netherlands, she spotted a gap in the market for Indian cuisine and seized the opportunity to fulfil her dream of opening her own restaurant. Named after Kharpal’s two sons Sundeep and Anand, Sunand Restaurant attracts locals and visitors with its wide array of tasty dishes from North and South India. Alongside the everpopular curries, the tandoori specialities are

highly recommended. The tandoori mixed grill allows you to savour tender pieces of chicken, fish and lamb that have been marinated in yoghurt with herbs and roasted in an authentic clay oven. Vegetarians will find plenty to choose from on the menu: after noticing a lack of meatfree options in other restaurants around town, Kharpal decided to expand the selection of vegetable dishes at Sunand. “Our dishes range from very mild to spicy hot. One of our creamy kormas would serve as a great introduction to Indian cuisine for those who have never tried it before,” says Kharpal. “If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the menu, we’re often happy to make dishes to request. We have a very experienced chef who prepares everything from scratch, mixing all the herbs for the seasonings together himself to give every dish its own special flavour.”

I do it my way I have a brilliant coach. Just fixing the date of the next session gets me thinking about the issue I want to address next. The day before we talk, she sends me a preparation form in which I write down how I’m feeling right now, how I want to use the session, and what I’ve achieved since the last one, so I also have an incentive to respect my previous commitments. If I haven’t, I know she’s going to ask me – in the nicest possible way – why not. It’s almost a truism that defining the problem is half the solution and so by the time I’ve written down my chosen topic, I’ve already started thinking about some answers. In my latest session with her, I wanted to identify personal and professional challenges for myself for the next six months. By the time we actually started talking, I already had a game plan sketched out – one that hadn’t existed 24 hours before – and so during the session itself, my coach encouraged me to flesh out the details of this, to be clear that my objectives were SMART 90 | Issue 30 | June 2016


(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound), and to investigate some of the obstacles that might stop me achieving them. She also challenged me over one or two of the questionable assumptions I was making about my goals. I like to think that the fact that I had got quite a long way before even talking to her suggests that I am moving towards self-coaching, which is my eventual goal. But I know I still need her: committing out loud to another human being continues to be more effective for me than committing to myself for now. A capacity to fool myself about how realistic my targets are means that I still need my coach to help me deal with the obstacles which could stop me achieving them. What my coach does, through perceptive listening, questioning and challenging, is not to give me answers but to hold up a mirror so I can find the answers for myself. After

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, now based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

more than a decade of coaching and being coached, I am more than ever convinced of the transformative power of coaching for individuals, teams, organisations and communities. If you haven’t tried it yourself yet, please do. It really could change your life.

Discover Benelux | Business | Calendar

Business Calendar TEXT: ELLA PUT | PHOTOS: NBTC

EPSA 2016 23-25 June Brussels, Belgium EPSA’s annual conference is a general political science conference showing the latest results on cutting-edge research within the fields of political science. This year’s conference will take place in the ultra-modern SQUARE building, just a short stroll away from all the historical landmarks.

E-Health Week 2016 8 – 10 June Amsterdam, the Netherlands eHealth policies are changing. Until now most policies have been placed on institution and IT systems. Today the focus is shifting and is being placed on eHealth users. This year’s educational programme will focus on empowering people, but also on social innovation and the transitioning position of healthcare.

Wharton Global Forum 22 – 24 June Amsterdam, the Netherlands During the Wharton Global Forum held in Amsterdam, visitors can learn more about how to create economic growth in the long run. Leaders within the field of economics will present their ideas on how to create good economic conditions for a sustainable future.

The Digital Future of B2B 2016 28 June Eindhoven, the Netherlands Have you ever wondered how your website and online activities can contribute to your enterprise? During this day you can learn more about how to achieve the best for yourself and your enterprise by following guest lectures about online marketing and business blogging in the place that is known to be the ‘smartest square kilometre in the Netherlands’, the high-tech campus in Eindhoven.

Luxembourg for finance: Renminbi 15 June Luxembourg city, Luxembourg The euro, the dollar and the pound all are very important currencies when it comes to the international trading market. But what about the Renminbi (RMB), the Chinese currency? The Luxembourg Renminbi Forum has gathered high-level speakers and industry practitioners to discuss the internationalisation of the RMB in the context of China’s ongoing financial reform. Issue 30 | June 2016 | 91

Photo: ŠNBTC

Out & About June is one of the best months to enjoy a good festival in the Benelux, such as Pinkpop with its incredible line-up including music legends Sir Paul McCartney and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. For foodies, June is the best month to try delicious Dutch herring. What are you waiting for? TEXT: ELLA PUT

Barbarrosa Beach Club

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Photo: MOTI

Deep Down Photography 2 June – 2 July Differdange, Luxembourg Discover the magical and unknown underwater world of the Low Countries through the eyes of photographers Steve Carmentran and Jean-François ‘Jojo’ Leblond in this extraordinary exhibition.

Nuit du Sport 2016 4 June Wiltz, Luxembourg What would a warm summer month be without a good sports event? A range of sports events will be organised throughout the whole of Luxembourg on this night. There will be something for every-

one: a little bit of basketball, a little bit of cycling and probably a little bit of muscle ache the next morning.

Too Pretty to Throw Away: Packaging design from Japan Japanmuseum SieboldHuis 10 June – 28 August Leiden, the Netherlands Of course we throw away an old milk carton that we do not need anymore. But what if this packaging was decorated in an exquisite Japanese style? Find out more about the history of Japanese packaging design at this extraordinary and colourful exhibition.

Oerol Festival 10 – 19 June Terschelling, the Netherlands This includes theatre performances on the beach, street theatre and stand-up comedy in the hollows of the dunes. The wellknown Oerol Festival takes over the entire island of Terschelling and turns it into one big cultural experience.

Pinkpop 10 – 12 June Landgraaf, the Netherlands The 2016 edition of the biggest open-air festival in Europe and one of the continent’s oldest and biggest festivals promises to be one of the best yet. Headliners Issue 30 | June 2016 | 93

Discover Benelux | Culture | Calendar

include Sir Paul McCartney, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rammstein.

school graduates from Breda have given their view on modern society and its extremes such as silence, chaos, inner beauty and outer beauty.

festival Graspop. With prominent headliners such as Volbeat and Iron Maiden, the festival promises to be a spectacular event for metal fans and curious visitors.

Fashion Show Antwerp Academy 10 – 11 June Antwerp, Belgium Known as the fashion capital of Belgium, the prestigious Antwerp Fashion Academy promises to deliver some of the biggest upcoming creative talents in the country at their annual Fashion Show.

Spectrum van Spanning, Breda’s Museum 15 June - 10 July Breda, the Netherlands See the world trough the eyes of a teenager. In this unique project the Museum of Breda is collaborating with the Cultuurwinkel Breda and several high schools in the Breda region to promote upcoming talent. By creating several art pieces high Photo: ©NBTC

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Brussels Film Festival 17 – 24 June Brussels, Belgium European cinema stands for cultural diversity, which is exactly what the Brussels Film Festival offers. With a diverse open-air pro-gramme showcasing movies such as Kidnapping Mr. Heineken and Un Homme Idéal, this film festival honours its love for European cinema and shows its devotion to the continent’s rising filmmakers.

Graspop 17 – 19 June Dessel, Belgium One of the best-known festivals in Belgium is the annual three-day heavy metal

Photo: ©TeylersMuseum

Discover Benelux | Culture | Calendar

Flag Day 18 June Scheveningen, the Netherlands Try delicious Dutch herring and enjoy one of the biggest festivities in The Hague on Flag Day or, as the Dutch call it, ‘vlaggetjesdag’. On this day the Dutch celebrate the new herring catch of the year along with many street performances in the spa town of Scheveningen.

Photo: ©NBTC

Symposium Van Gogh Mini’s, Museum of the Image 25 June 2016 Breda, the Netherlands Hear curator Cornel Bierens, among others, discuss the Museum of the Image’s exhibition Van Gogh Mini’s. Running until 21 August, this exhibition explores the visual appeal of esteemed Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh and his iconic oeuvre. It sees 80 contemporary Dutch artists analyse, augment, commentate or reinterpret his works.

Photo: ©Japan Museum

The air balloon – Teylers Museum Until 28 August Haarlem, the Netherlands A clear sky full of air balloons in the month of June is a magnificent sight. So why not find out more about these objects at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem? Their exhibition showcases a rare and costly selection of international balloon collections. The museum also lets its visitors experience a balloon flight with a virtual reality game

Barbarossa Legends PRESENTS: Sasha and Dimitri 2 July Scheveningen, the Netherlands Not only are the cool DJs playing at this event, the annual event is mak-ing quite a name for itself too. Dance the night away at a magical party with a spectacular view over the beach while enjoying Sasha and Dimi-tri’s tunes. What better way to spend a summer night out?

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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S na cks

Me al s


Pap ers



Discover Benelux | Culture | Lifestyle Columns



Happy accidents Ah, Bob Ross – the man who, armed with a near-endless supply of quips and sayings, inspired millions to pick up a paintbrush and dabble. His pleasant patter and encouragement were a source of inspiration to those who lacked the confidence to paint. Now, over 20 years after his death, Bob’s methods have found their way into the sphere of contemporary art. Young British painter Neil Raitt utilises Ross’ methodical wet-on-wet technique to create vast, beautiful and disorientating canvases. In his paintings you will find all the Bob Ross favourites – the waterfall, the snow-capped peaks, and of course the cabin in the woods. Through his endless repetition of these motifs, Raitt manages to challenge and deconstruct figurative representation. His paintings seem to have an almost magic eye-like

hypnotic quality, where the panoramic spatial aspects of traditional landscape painting are flattened and distorted. Despite using the same imagery, Ross and Raitt’s works are drastically different in aesthetic and concept. Whereas the well-intentioned Bob wanted to make painting accessible to the masses, Raitt is much more concerned with the role of painting in the present day. I for one find that attitude refreshing. It is good and healthy that there are artists like Raitt who challenge painting’s role within art. Each time they do, it is proved to be a relevant medium and one that, through constant exploration and development, always will be. Neil Raitt is on show at Mon Chéri, Brussels from 9 June to 23 July. Right: Emerald Waters (Esmund), 2016. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 140 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi Gallery



Matt Antoniak is a visual artist and writer living and working in Newcastle, UK. He works mainly in painting and drawing and is a founding member of the art collective M I L K.


Lindemans Kriek How does a cherry-flavoured beer with pink head sound? Some ale aficionados might turn their noses at the idea of a beer whose chief characteristic is fruitiness rather than hoppiness, but don’t judge too soon. Lindemans Kriek proves a balanced brew and was rated by Michael Jackson, the renowned beer expert, as one of the world’s top five beers. This beer is brewed in Vlezenbeek, less than ten kilometres from the heart of Brussels. The label’s font and framing is a subtle nod to the architectural heritage of Belgium’s capital. Yet the foundation of the family-run Lindemans Brewery dates back to 1822, long before any art nouveau structures were built. Natural, airborne yeast triggers the fermentation process of Lambic beers brewed in the vicinity of the Belgian cap-

ital. A dark Lambic ale that has matured for a year in oak casks forms the backbone of Lindemans Kriek. Kriek itself is a long-established style of beer whose name is derived from a Flemish term for a type of cherry that grows around Brussels. Since the 1970s, Lindemans have added an unsweetened cherry filtrate to their Lambic beer, fermenting and macerating the blend for three days before pasteurising the batch. The result is a dark red beer distributed in bottles sealed with both a cork and cap. When served at the optimal temperature (two to three degrees Celsius) the result is a poppy, yet by no means sweet, beer with the aroma of fresh, ripe cherries. It’s light, refreshing and ideal for summer garden parties. Brewer: Lindemans Strength: 3.5 per cent

Stuart Forster was twice named Journalist of the Year at the 2015 and 2016 Holland Press Awards. Five generations of his family have been actively involved in the brewing industry.

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 97

Discover Benelux | Culture | Lifestyle


Lost in translation This month sees the start of a new series aiming to enlighten and amuse. Here, writer Adam Jacot de Boinod breaks down some language barriers to help you on your colloquial journey in the Benelux, beginning with false friends and some common idioms involving animals. TEXT AND PHOTOS: ADAM JACOT DE BOINOD

False friends and imagined animals Faux Amis Those who learn other languages than their own will sometimes come across words which mean very different things from what they do in ours. Linguistic experts call these words ‘false cognates’ or faux amis (literally ‘false friends’). Below are some of the more beguiling from both the French language and Dutch. FRENCH incoherent inconsistent chariot a trolley prune a plum pourpre crimson groin a snout veste a jacket

It is interesting how often animals occur in offering a contrast to the human condition: Here are some examples… DUTCH zweet peentjes sweating like a pig (literally, sweating carrots) van een kale kip kan je geen veren plukken you can’t pluck feathers from a bald hen (you can’t get blood out of a stone) veel varkens maken de spoeling dun many pigs make the slops sparse (too many cooks spoil the broth) met een kanon op een mug schieten to shoot a mosquito with a cannon (to take a sledgehammer to crack a nut) het regent pijpenstelen it’s raining pipe stems (it’s raining cats and dogs)

agenda a notebook, diary gland an acorn FRENCH DUTCH baker a nurse blubber mud glad smooth drift passion angel a sting grind gravel rust rest, tranquility bang afraid bladder a blister twist a quarrel burgerstand middle classes roof robbery

98 | Issue 30 | June 2016

faire une queue de poisson to overtake and cut in close in front of a car (literally, to do a fishtail) avoir le cafard to be down in the dumps (literally, to have the cockroach) avaler les couleuvres to swallow grass snakes (endure humiliation) chassez le naturel, il revient au gallop chase away the natural and it returns at a gallop (a leopard cannot change its spots) mouton enragé a maddened sheep (said of an angry person who is usually calm avoir un velodrome a mouches to be bald (lit. to have a velodrome for flies)

Adam Jacot de Boinod worked for Stephen Fry on the first series of BBC programme QI. He is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books.

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