Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

Page 68

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.”