Discover Benelux, Issue 38, February 2017

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Enjoy the good life....

The history of De Havixhorst dates back to the Medieval Ages when peasants began settling on the high grounds along the banks of the Reest River on the border between Drenthe and Overijssel. At De Havixhorst you can spend the night in authentic style. The château has thirteen exclusive hotel rooms, and every one of them has its own unique character. Staying at De Havixhorst means spending a few days as a guest of the family. De Havixhorst also welcomes you for a regional dinner, cooked by the chef and his staff. Almost immediately you will understand how De Havixhorst quickly earned its reputation as one of the top Dutch restaurants. Groups ranging from two to 500 people can be accommodated at De Havixhorst. De Havixhorst offers stylish venues for both small and large groups. Expect a charming and authentic ambience with modern facilities. De Havixhorst has years of experience organising celebrations, presentations, events and meetings of all sizes.

★★★★ Schiphorsterweg 34-36 7966 AC De Schiphorst The Netherlands T: +31 (0)522 44 14 87

Discover Benelux  |  Contents

Contents FEBRUARY 2017



48 Baloji Since bursting onto the hip-hop scene almost two decades ago, the Belgian-Congolese musician Baloji has scooped a bevy of ‘Les Octaves de la Musique’ awards and performed all over the world. We caught up with the multi-talented musician and director to discuss music, movies and the marriage between his Belgian and Congolese identities.


We put the spotlight on the Benelux businesses that you really need to know about.


East of the Netherlands Special We present our highlights in the provinces of Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland, as well as zooming in on must-see cities such as Zwolle and Nijmegen.






Tom Lanoye Interview Discover Benelux spoke to renowned Flemish writer Tom Lanoye, whose bestseller Speechless has been adapted into a new film, due for release next month.


Benelux Beats We caught up with Sun Glitters, an electronic musical maestro from Luxembourg who has taken the world by storm.

A Taste of Belgium With their world-famous chocolates and beers, Belgium is undoubtedly a gourmet paradise. But, of course, there is much more to the country’s food and drink scene, as our mouthwatering special proves. Bon appétit!


Willemijn Verkaik Interview This month, Willemijn Verkaik is back in London performing the role of Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked. We caught up with the Dutch singer and actress to discuss green faces and green spaces.

Discover Ghent From world-class museums to excellent restaurants and stunning canal-side architecture, Ghent has it all. Get ready for an unforgettable city trip with our top picks.



Castles in Belgium & Luxembourg Belgium and neighbouring Luxembourg are home to some of Europe’s finest castles. Whether you are a history buff, art aficionado or a lover of fine food, our selection of captivating castles all offer visitors a unique experience.

Amsterdam Fashion Week Twice a year, the fashion pack head to Amsterdam as Dutch and Belgian designers showcase their latest collections. We present highlights from the Fall/Winter 2017 shows, which took place last month.


Company profiles, regulars and more

DON’T MISS 6 Fashion Picks | 10 Desirable Designs 78 Out & About | 85 Columns

North and South Holland Highlights From charming old villages to grand cities and postcard-worthy scenery, we present our highlights of this popular tourist region.

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  3

Discover Benelux  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux Issue 38, February 2017 Published 02.2017 ISSN 2054-7218 Published by Scan Group Print Liquid Graphic Ltd Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Anna Villeleger Assistant Editor Charlotte van Hek Copy-editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Contributors Bas van Duren Bettina Guirkinger Cathy van Klaveren Ella Put Frank Van Lieshout

Juliën L’Ortye Koen Guiking Lidija Liegis Matt Antoniak Michiel Stol Ndéla Faye Paula Hammond Sofie Couwenbergh Steve Flinders Stuart Forster Thessa Lageman Xandra Boersma Cover Photo Kristin-Lee Moolman Sales & Key Account Managers Mette Tonnessen Kirsten Schoon Katia Sfihi Micha Cornelisse Publisher: Scan Group 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom 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.

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It is time to wave goodbye to the winter blues and get into the Carnival spirit with our sizzling February issue. Temperatures may be continuing to plummet across the Benelux, but merrymakers are taking to the streets in their finest fancy dress to eat, drink and dance! One song that is sure to get you in the mood for Mardi Gras is our cover star Baloji’s latest track, Spoiler. An exultant blend of Congolese Rumba and hip-hop, this perfect party track features on the French-speaking rapper’s latest EP 64 bits & Malachite, and features a very cool video which he also directed. Having moved to Belgium from the city of Lubumbashi, Congo at an early age, Baloji was raised in French-speaking Wallonia and is currently based in Ghent. In the midst of working on his third solo album, we caught up with the 38-year-old cultural polymath, who told us about his journey reconnecting with the Congo and the marriage between his Belgian and Congolese identities. The topic of identity also came up in my interview with Flemish writer Tom Lanoye, who splits his time between his native Antwerp and Cape Town, South Africa. According to Lanoye, who is one of the most widely read authors in the Netherlands and Flanders, spending time away from his homeland actually makes him “a better European”. Having been an expat myself, I have to agree with this sentiment, although you do not necessarily need to travel so far to re-evaluate your way of life. It may not be as extreme as jetting off to another continent, but if you also feel you could benefit from taking some time away from wherever it is you call home, why not check out our inspiring spring travel guides. Whether you are seeking culture, adventure or pure relaxation, we share our favourite spots for a rejuvenating weekend away. Get that city break in the diary now!

Anna Villeleger, Editor

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks


Date night If you still need an excuse to ask out that special someone, February is the month to do it. Put on your finest gear, and go where the night brings you. Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? These romantic outfits will also work for a night out with friends. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK | PRESS PHOTOS

Pink gentleman

If you do not own one already, it is about time to add a pink shirt to your wardrobe. This funky staple item is ideal for wearing to the office or on a smart weekend or day out. €79.95

Night’s blaze

Trendy, romantic, businesslike…with the right blazer, you can create a wide variety of looks. Pair up this fancy yet casual number from PME Legend with some good jeans for an effortlessly elegant look, or combine with some suit trousers to go all out. €149.95 PME Legend via

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Formally fabulous

Formal shoes are incredibly versatile, if you know how to wear them. This pair from Floris van Bommel combines a classic allure with a funky animal print. €229.90

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks

Paint the town red

The colour of love, desire, and passion – there is no colour more suitable for date night. Whatever your style, a red dress will be your go-to outfit if you are in need of something special. Forget the little black dress; this February you will find your inner lady in red. €79.99 ESPRIT via

A girl’s best friend

Why are diamonds a girl’s best friend? Simple: diamonds, the most popular gemstone, are also the symbol for steadfast love. This wonderful ring from jeweller Lucardi is the perfect treat to yourself. €599.99

Impress yourself

Wearing beautiful lingerie is not so much about impressing someone else, but more about impressing yourself. This beautiful set from Hunkemöller adds a touch of secret sexiness to every outfit. Bra €29.95 Thong €14.99 Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  7

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Amsterdam Fashion Week

Said Mahrouf

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Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Amsterdam Fashion Week

Liselore Frowijn

Alexandra Frida



When it comes to fashion, Belgium and the Netherlands have both transcended their small size by continuing to bring exquisite talent and innovation to the table. From 26 - 29 January, designers from both countries showed their Fall/Winter 2017 collections at FashionWeek Amsterdam. FashionWeek Amsterdam has three main values: Connect, Grow and Celebrate. This season, the fashionable festival showcased an interesting combination of established names such as Edwin Oudshoorn and Spijkers & Spijkers with many emerging talents worth keeping an eye on.

Liselore Frowijn Liselore Frowijn graduated from ArtEZ in 2013, and since then things have gone quickly for the young designer. She has shown many times at FashionWeek and her work has gained international recog-

nition. Her pre-fall 2017 collection ‘The New Cluster’ takes us on a trip through utopian cities via ten different looks carrying a bold mix of colours and shapes. Frowijn’s collection was available immediately after her show thanks to ‘see now, buy now’, where a small collection of garments could be purchased by customers straight off the runway.

Dutch-Moroccan designer, who studied at both the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Pratt Institute in New York, is praised for his feminine and minimalistic designs. This was shown in his latest collection ‘Lines and Panels’. The use of asymmetrical shapes, shiny fabrics and flattering draperies resulted in a look of pure elegance and femininity.


Alexandra Frida

After their June 2015 graduation from ArtEZ, Tung Trinh and Tim Becx decided to combine their strengths to form TRINHBECX. Their show at the latest FashionWeek was a revival of the 1970s. The colour palette, consisting primarily of brown, yellow and light blue, combined with materials such as corduroy and patent leather to give the show a vintage allure.

Said Mahrouf

Alexandra Frida’s latest collection ‘Scheherazade’ was inspired by the fairytales of One Thousand and One Nights, with Arabian music being played during the show, and models wearing layered designs with mainly black, pink, gold and deep red hues. The beautiful gold-plated spectacles on display were a collaboration with Eye Wish Opticiens. The collection, which was 3D printed, should inspire glasses wearers to express their own style.

Said Mahrouf makes clothing that you want hanging in your closet. The Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  9

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Desirable Designs


A comfortable transition In the middle of the dark months, we often find ourselves in need of comfort. To make winter that little bit easier, we have selected the cosiest and most stylish designs from the Benelux for you. TEXT: ELLA PUT  |  PRESS PHOTOS


2. Keep warm

This beautiful knitted plaid is indispensable during the cold winter months. Available in four, dark autumn colours, this plaid can be used as an accessory for your couch and also as a warm blanket. €70

3. A third skin

1. A perfect accessory

With its elegant, neutral dark colours, this glass set is the perfect accessory for any room in the house. The creative yet functional design is representative of the wellknown and respected brand Pols Potten. €250



According to designer Hugo de Ruiter, furniture should feel like a third skin: it has to fit and, most of all, it has to suit you. The same goes for this exquisite divan, with its warm colours and very comfortable fabric. Price on request

5. Knotted chair

This knotted chair is a perfect blend of artwork and design, combining industrial techniques and handcraft. €3,630

4. 4. Cosy rug

This comfortable woollen rug is perfect for indoor and outdoor use. The perfect accessory for your home in the cold winter months! From €50 10  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017


Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands Highlights  |  Discover Drenthe, Overijssel & Gelderland

Photo: Gelderse streken


Discover Gelderland, Drenthe and Overijssel From Overijssel and Gelderland in the central eastern part of the country, up to Drenthe province in the northeast, this exceptional region of the Netherlands boasts magnificent scenery and a string of must-see cities such as Zwolle, Nijmegen and Deventer. Whether you are seeking culture, adventure, or history, the enchanting east offers it all. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

Ootmarsum. Photo: TBT/ Marketing Oost

Jungola Zoo. Photo: Marketing Drenthe

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Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands Highlights  |  Discover Drenthe, Overijssel & Gelderland

Grote Markt Nijmegen. Photo: NBTC

Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands Anchoring Gelderland is the vibrant city of Nijmegen, which boasts the accolade of being the oldest city in the Netherlands - it was granted Roman city rights in 98 BC. History buffs will not want to miss the upcoming Romeinenweek Nijmegen (29 April - 7 May), where you can learn all about the Roman period in the Netherlands. This attractive city may ooze history, but it is far from being stuck in the past. In fact, it is a trendy university town with a vibrant atmosphere and lively music scene - it is the place where the hugely successful Dutch band De Staat call home.

collection; not to mention an impressive range of works by Vincent van Gogh.

Delightful Drenthe This agricultural area of the Dutch mainland is home to some magnificent natural parks, picturesque villages and vast forests. Hugely popular with cyclists and horse riders, this peaceful corner of the Netherlands is a rural delight well worth

Cultural Gelderland Arnhem, Gelderland’s capital city, has a rich history and is famous as the site of the Allies’ daring yet unsuccessful ‘Operation Market Garden’ in 1944. Well worth a visit is the Airborne Museum Hartenstein in Oosterbeek, which is dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem. Another of the province’s unmissable museums is the Kröller-Müller Museum, which boasts a world-famous 19th and 20th century art 12  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Photo: Gijs Versteeg/ Marketing Drenthe

exploring. However, do not expect things to be so quiet in the city of Assen in June when Motul TT Assen takes place. The capital of Drenthe province is renowned for its motorcycle racing circuit TT Circuit Assen. Steeped in motorcycle racing history, fans of the sport call the Assen circuit ‘The Cathedral’. With its rapid changes in direction and excellent viewing points, it is easy to see why.

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands Highlights  |  Discover Drenthe, Overijssel & Gelderland

Overijssel, ‘Land across the IJssel’ The Overijssel province is famous for its beautiful lakes, polders and streams. Not to be missed is the tranquil village of Giethoorn, nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North’, where all the houses are on water. Overijssel is also home to historic cities including Zwolle, Kampen and Deventer, which were part of the Hanseatic League which dominated commercial activity in Northern Europe from the 13th-15th century. The benefits of their economic successes continue to shine through today. Take Deventer for example, with its elegant squares, fascinating museums and magnificent monuments, including the beautiful Gothic St. Lebuinus Church.

75-metre-high tower of the Basilica of Our Lady, which dominates the city’s skyline. Meanwhile, art aficionados will not want to miss the Museum de Fundatie, which boasts one location in Zwolle and another near the villages of Heino and Wijhe. From famous Dutch artists such as Mondrian and Van Gogh to international names including Chagall, the museum’s stunning collection is world class.

The old town, Zwolle. Photo: Marketing Oost

Cycling in Gelderland. Photo: Gelderse streken

Zwolle, a charming Hanseatic city Arguably the most charming of the Hanseatic towns is Zwolle, which also happens to be the capital of Overijssel province. Small but perfectly formed, this medieval hub boasts attractions such as the 600-year-old Sassenpoort gate and star-shaped city moat, the Gothic gem that is Sint-Michaëlkerk Church and the The De Kaaij cultural event in Nijmegen. Photo: Gelderse streken

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Next stop… Nijmegen and the Gelderland province From stunning countryside to world-class museums, not to mention bustling cities such as Arnhem and Apeldoorn, Gelderland has plenty to offer. Be sure not miss lively Nijmegen, which is the oldest city in the Netherlands and a fascinating cultural hub. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: GELDERSE STREKEN

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Music Meeting 3 - 5 June, Nijmegen Held annually on Pentecost weekend at the stunning Park Brakkenstein, this unmissable festival supports upcoming talent and showcases musical highlights from across the globe. World Street Painting Festival 5 - 9 July, Arnhem Now in its fourth edition, a host of international street painters will head to vibrant Arnhem to decorate the city. The paintings will be made from Wednesday till Friday. On Sunday, go and admire their creations! International Four Days Marches 18 - 21 July, Nijmegen Every year, tens of thousands of walkers from around the world head to Nijmegen to walk around the city and its magnificent wooded surroundings. This year will mark

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the prestigious four-day event’s 101st edition. Ballonfiësta Barneveld 16 -19 August, Barneveld With this year marking its 35th edition, Ballonfiësta Barneveld is ranked among the best hot-air balloon festivals in the Netherlands. Expect entertainment for young and old, as well as spectacular light shows. Sonsbeek Theater Avenue 17 - 20 August, Arnhem Enjoy performances ranging from music to comedy alongside fine food, drink and sunshine in the city’s most beautiful park. What better way to celebrate summer? Planning a city break in Nijmegen? Find places to stay from page 24. Seeking inspiration for your holiday in Gelderland? Visit

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Audrey, 1940-1950. Audrey Hepburn Family Photo Collection, © 2016.

Relive history, understand the present TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK

In September 1944, during the peak of the Second World War, Villa Hartenstein in Oosterbeek served as headquarters for the British legion who were battling the Nazis in the Battle of Arnhem. The significant legacy of this famous battle is remembered, honoured, and can be relived at the Airborne Museum. The peaceful surroundings of Villa Hartenstein make it hard to imagine its significance during those violent days in September 1944. At the same time, you feel that something historic happened here. The Airborne Museum lets you relive the Battle of Arnhem in many ways. Its collection comprises historical artefacts as well as written and audiovisual source material, while the underground Airborne Experience showcases the war in all its intensity. The fascinating exhibition Ego. Remember Me, is based on personal stories of English, Polish and German soldiers and civilians. “It shows who they were,” explains director Sarah Thurlings. “How did they react to the violent events in in September 1944, and how did it influence their lives?” Absolutely unique is the Victoria Cross on

display: a distinction posthumously given to soldier John Hollington ‘Jack’ Grayburn for his role in the battle. Motherly love. Ella and Audrey is the museum’s latest stunning exhibition, showing the life of actress and icon Audrey Hepburn when she was living in Arnhem. The exhibition was developed in close cooperation with the sons of Hepburn, with plenty of unseen material on display, including young photos, children’s drawings and personal items of Hepburn and her mother.

“The battle has resulted in many lifelong friendships between the allies and Dutch civilians, with veterans and their family even staying at civilian’s homes during their visits to Arnhem. The Battle of Arnhem carries a significant history – the Airborne Museum keeps that history alive.” For more information visit:

Curious to see where it all happened? The John Frost Bridge (named after the eponymous Commanding Officer) was a major setting for the fighting. “At the end of March, our new branch ‘Airborne at the Bridge’ will open on the river Rhine,” Thurlings enthuses. “From the perspective of three individuals, we highlight the story of the Battle of Arnhem.” John Frost’s original copper hunting horn has a proud place in the museum. Every year, people from all over the world travel to Arnhem to remember the battle. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  15

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Cosmic Surgery Patient by Alma Haser.

Work by Elke Lutgerink.

Rogan Brown, Outbreak, CODA Paper Art 2015. Photo: Angela Stouten

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Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Alma Haser’s Cosmic Surgery series.

CODA Museum puts on grand display with CODA Paper Art 2017 TEXT: EVA SCHAAP

Paper and cardboard are relatively simple and fairly cheap materials that reveal their endless possibilities when combined with traditional and modern techniques and an artist’s inspiration. These materials express power in a staggering, dynamic way but can also move in subtle ways. After a highly successful edition in 2015, CODA Museum Apeldoorn presents CODA Paper Art 2017, an exhibition that provides ample space – both literally and figuratively – for the installations, spatial works and jewellery of artists from the Netherlands and abroad whose work is centred around paper and cardboard.

Paper is a fantastic material that has inspired artists to create impressive works of art for centuries. The structure, texture, divergent traits and infinite possibilities of paper enchant and inspire. For instance, Australian artist Natasha Frisch uses tracing paper and tape to meticulously construct installations that approximate everyday objects. Designed specifically for one particular space, the fragile and impermanent nature of paper ensures that the installations are temporary constructions, existing only for the lifetime of the exhibition. Inspired by urban folklore, forgotten architecture and the natural world, her objects and installations aim to challenge our reading of the built environment

and interrogate the slippage between the real and the unreal. Dutch artist Kim Habers changes the two-dimensional character of paper into large, impressive sculptures that challenge gravity. The lines she cuts with ink and a knife seem to be moving from the paper while the paper itself seems to be moving in space. The patterns suggest an endless stream of thoughts, urban structures and tissue that is overgrown by various layers of paper structures. Habers’ installations are dreamlike worlds that invite the spectator to look with close attention and to discover the world she has invented. She is creating new work for CODA Paper Art 2017. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  17

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Work by Natasha Frisch.

Although a cum laude fashion academy graduate, Dutch artist Elke Lutgerink decided not to be confined by one specific subject or theme. With her remarkable and outstanding sense of materials and techniques she creates fairytale-like figures from catalogues, magazines and wrapping paper. Flora and fauna are her sources of inspiration, which she sometimes translates into more abstract versions. Some of these representations seem to be forest inhabitants or creatures flying from the wall. Thus, Lutgerink plays a magnificent game with the boundaries between fantasy and reality. In recent years, young and upcoming artist Alma Haser has been very successful with her series Cosmic Surgery in which she combines photography with the Japanese folding technique of Kusudama. She chooses her models for their specific features or striking appearance. After having photographed them, she folds dozens of these images into three-dimensional structures which she then places on the actual image. This creates alienating portraits that no longer resemble the person she photographed. Haser describes Cosmic Surgery as a medical procedure that can be used to change appearances or to even protect ourselves from prying eyes. One of the images is used for the international campaign of CODA Paper Art 2017. CODA Paper Art takes place from 5 June until 29 October inclusive. 18  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Work by Natasha Frisch.

Winterbird by Elke Lutgerink.

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Erin Turner, Tornado, custom-made for CODA Paper Art 2015 at CODA Museum Apeldoorn.

CODA Paper Art 2015. Photo: Angela Stouten

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Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Country residence/museum Jachthuis Sint Hubertus.


The Netherlands’ green treasure chamber TEXT AND PHOTOS: DE HOGE VELUWE NATIONAL PARK

De Hoge Veluwe National Park is unique in the world due to its combination of natural beauty and art. It is the ideal place to experience peace and quiet, see exceptional landscapes and wild animals, and take part in activities such as excursions, guided tours, workshops and events. The different landscapes of this awe-inspiring 5,400-hectare Park are continually changing. You will travel through woods, grassland, heathland and exotic shifting sands. De Hoge Veluwe National Park is the legacy of one of the most prominent couples in Dutch history: Anton and Helene KröllerMüller. In 1909, they began gradually buying plots of land, forming the current De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Their vision was to unite nature and art in the interests of the common good. Over 100 years later, we are still able to enjoy their legacy: a varied landscape and an enormous cultural collection that includes the Kröller-Müller Museum and the country house, Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. There are various ways of exploring the Park: on foot, on horseback, or on a bike. There are almost 40 kilometres of cycle paths and visitors are invited to use one of the 1,800 free White Bikes. These are 20  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

inextricably associated with the Park, and can be found at the various entrances and near the museums. A magnificent example of art and architecture can be found at Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. This is the former country residence of the founders of the Park, and is one of the most important buildings in the Netherlands; designed by the renowned Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage (18561934). While Berlage was usually commissioned to design buildings alone, in the case of the Jachthuis he also designed the interior and grounds. This makes the Jachthuis a so-called Gesamtkunstwerk, or universal artwork. Guided tours of the most important rooms in the Jachthuis are given daily. People who are curious about life underground go to Museonder; the first underground museum in the world. Museonder gives an astonishing view of everything that lives and used to live below the surface of the earth. Entrance to Museonder is included in the Park ticket. Located opposite the Visitors’ Centre, Parkrestaurant De Hoge Veluwe is open seven days a week and is the perfect place to relax. The restaurant is spacious,

but with a warm and inviting atmosphere, offering a wide selection of dishes.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION You can purchase a ticket for entrance to De Hoge Veluwe National Park, or a combined entrance for De Hoge Veluwe National Park and the Kröller-Müller Museum. Entrance De Hoge Veluwe National Park: Adults; €9,30 Children six – 12 years; €4,65 Children under five years; free Combined entrance Park and museum: Adults; €18,60 Children six - 12 years; €9,30 Children under five years; free Students €13,20 Car or motorbike €6,60 Parking outside the gate €3,30 Museum Jachthuis Sint Hubertus The Jachthuis can be admired in all its glory by joining a guided tour. Tickets are four euros for adults (excluding entry to the Park) and two euros for children aged six - 12 (excluding entry to Park). For more information, visit:

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

LEFT: Collage of work by Hans (Jean) Arp (1886-1966) © Kröller-Müller Museum, Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin, Private collection © Pictoright. RIGHT: Kröller-Müller Museum, presentation Bart van der Leck. BELOW RIGHT: Vincent van Gogh, Bridge at Arles (Pont de Langlois), 1888. BOTTOM RIGHT: Entrance to the Kröller-Müller Museum.


A treasure trove of De Stijl A visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum is an experience in itself; a voyage of discovery that begins at the entrance to Hoge Veluwe National Park. With masterpieces by Piet Mondriaan, Theo van Doesburg, Bart van der Leck and Gerrit Rietveld, the Kröller-Müller is one of the treasure troves of the De Stijl (The Style) art movement. You will also find outstanding works by Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. In the sculpture garden, one of the largest in Europe, you can enjoy both art and nature.

Upcoming exhibitions To mark the international theme year ‘Mondriaan to Dutch Design’, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of De Stijl, the Kröller-Müller Museum presents two special exhibitions: Arp: The Poetry of Forms and an exhibition on Bart van der Leck and Helene Kröller-Müller. Arp: The Poetry of Forms, 20 May - 17 September 2017 Arp: The Poetry of Forms shows the work of Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966) in all its facets: sculptures, reliefs and works on paper, poetry, writings and publications. The exhibition’s emphasis is on the con-

stant interaction between visual art and poetry in Arp’s oeuvre. It includes works from throughout his career, but focuses on the years 1920-1935 when he moved to pure abstraction. The Patron and the 'House Painter'. Helene Kröller-Müller and Bart van der Leck, 14 October 2017 - 2 April 2018 In autumn, the focus will be on the unique relationship between Bart van der Leck and Helene Kröller-Müller. Between 1912 and 1918, on the recommendation of her advisor Hendrik Bremmer, Helene provided Van der Leck an annual allowance and thus became his patron. The exhibition shows how the artist’s oeuvre evolved. This was sometimes driven by the arduous yet exciting relationship between the patron and her protégé, and sometimes by artistic interaction and Van der Leck’s discussion with his De Stijl colleagues.

regarded Van Gogh as one of the ‘great spirits of modern art’. With almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings, the Kröller-Müller Museum has the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world. For further information including opening times and entrance fees, please visit:

Vincent van Gogh’s second home Today, Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is one of the world’s most famous artists, but he received little recognition during his lifetime. At the start of the 20th century he was still only celebrated in small circles. Helene Kröller-Müller, founder of the museum, was among his admirers. She Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  21

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights

Sweet-tasting history in the Dutch Gelderland TEXT: SOFIE COUWENBERGH  |  PHOTOS: FLIPJE EN STREEKMUSEUM

In the centre of the Dutch Gelderland, visitors and locals alike learn all about the region’s history and sights at the Flipje en Streekmuseum Tiel. Through a combination of games, interactive exhibitions and community events, this regional museum offers a fun and educational trip down memory lane. Tiel is also known as the ‘Fruitstad aan de Waal’ (Fruit City by the Waal) and so it should not be a surprise that the local celebrity is a comic figure made out of a raspberry. Flipje was born in 1935 as the mascot of jam factory De Betuwe, which makes him one of the oldest marketing figures in Europe, second only to the Michelin Man. The factory closed its doors in the ‘90s, but its story - and that of Flipje - lives on in one of the museum’s main exhibitions. “Fruit has always played an important role in the economy and culture of the Gelderland,” says director of the museum, Alexandra van Steen. “The Romans 22  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

brought the cultivation of fruits to the region and today people can still enjoy a bike ride or walk along the many orchards.” The museum offers information about these routes, but its main focus is to connect people with the region’s past. Collections around silver, porcelain and metal highlight once important industries in Tiel and its surroundings, while the results of archeological excavations show a glimpse of what life used to be like in bygone times. “It’s crucial to us that all kids have access to culture and history,” says Van Steen, and the Flipje and Steekmuseum strives for that goal in two ways. It makes sure it is as accessible as possible for everyone by incorporating games and interactivity into its exhibitions and by organising community events linked to its collections, but also by encouraging children to discover more about the things that interest them. The latter is accomplished through the ‘Reizen door de Tijd’ (Travel through

Time) project it put together with Erfgoed Gelderland, the region’s heritage cell. This project offers kids the opportunity to choose historical lessons from an online library and save them in their personal digital portfolio. It also unites all the region’s history associations and aficionados, and offers classes both at schools and at the museum. Its focused collection, interactive exhibitions and central location in Tiel make the Flipje and Streekmuseum not just a great place to learn about the region, but an exciting one as well.

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Gelderland Highlights


With the Netherlands’ rich history, it is not surprising how many castles there are to be found, some of which belong to the unique collection of the Geldersch Landschap en Kasteelen (GLK). Its name, which translates to ‘Geldersch Landscapes and Castles’, derives from the province of Gelderland where the GLK manages several landscapes, manors and castles. Seven of them are open to public, and attracted more than 200,000 visitors last year. Time travel has yet to be invented, but if you want to experience life in medieval times, the castles and manors of GLK are the way to go. See how nobility lived in the Middle Ages by enjoying the architecture, the many items on display or the (multilingual) stories told through a guided tour or audio tour, a ’talking’ lantern at Castle Hernen, or an app for your phone. There is much to see, do, drink and eat - and everything is suitable for all ages. Kids can have a field day with full-day

programmes that are catered specifically to the little ones.

Go questing at Manor Verwolde or explore the wall walks of Castle Hernen.

There is much to choose from. The castles and manors span a wide range of time and host numerous activities; from the robust, well-preserved 14th century Castle Ammersoyen where actors enacted a weekend in the Middle Ages to an audience of 3,500 people, to Manor Zypendaal with its beautiful, ornate 18th century interior where weddings are held. The 14th century Castle Cannenburch is Gelderland’s answer to Hogwarts, bearing many hidden staircases and paintings that come to life.

Paying a visit to one of GLK’s castles, manors and landscapes is not only a fun activity: by contributing to the cause, you make the upkeep of the buildings and the estates surrounding them possible. Those landscapes are also a perfect fit for hiking and biking trips. Want to know more? The GLK has websites with German information at and in English at

Really want to unwind with landscapes in the vicinity? Pay a visit to the 17th century, richly decorated Castle Doorwerth, where you can enjoy a kitchen garden and an apiary. For truly beautiful pieces of architecture, check out Castle Rosendael with its stunning donjon, library and trick fountains in Rosendael’s beautiful park. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  23

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Nijmegen Highlights


If you are looking for a stylish, luxury stay in the heart of Nijmegen, look no further than twin hotels MANNA and Blue. Only four doors apart on fashionable Oranjesingel, luxury suite hotel MANNA and trendy twin sister Blue are two identities under one roof, offering modern comfort and design, a cosmopolitan vibe and personal hospitality. The twin hotels are the brainchild of husband and wife Sander Hendrix and Aïda Papilaja-Hendrix, who started MANNA in 2009 with the ambition to run an exclusive boutique hotel with an international outlook and excellent service. MANNA boasts ten large, individually designed hotel suites, some with a large balcony or roof terrace, and each of them with all the mod cons the seasoned hotel visitor could wish for. Guests, 24  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

locals and other visitors can meet at the hotel’s Global Food and Fish Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. “MANNA is the kind of boutique hotel you might expect in cities such as London, Paris or New York,” Sander explains. “But why not have such amenities in a beautiful, historic and thriving city like Nijmegen? We were convinced there was a market here.”

World Award MANNA proved an instant success and was rewarded with a sensational surprise win as Best European Hotel at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2013. But rather than a reason to rest on their laurels, to Sander and Aïda their ‘Hotel Oscar’ was an incentive to move on to their next big project: Blue. “Blue complements MANNA in a number of ways,” explains Sander, remarking on

the addition of private on-site parking and the introduction of 30 smaller, mid-priced rooms. “The most important feature has been perfecting our total concept – creating a hotel, restaurant, bar, lounge, home, garden and meeting place, all in one spot. A hybrid hub where guests can rest, work, dine, meet and mingle – in our informal restaurant Juliette’s Cosina or at the iconic Blue Bar.” This can be a place to celebrate, socialise, unwind or retreat. “It’s up to our guests what they want it to be. We will be there 24/7 to meet their every wish and make sure they feel at home. Because that’s what we’re all about!”

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Nijmegen Highlights


Between the scenic cities of Nijmegen and Arnhem, a new haven of comfort has arisen with the arrival of Hotel Van der Valk Nijmegen-Lent. This brand new hotel combines Van der Valk’s renowned hospitality with the allure of a four-star hotel. A stone’s throw away from the bustling city centres of Nijmegen and Arnhem, yet surrounded by a peaceful green landscape: Van der Valk Hotel Nijmegen-Lent rightfully prides itself on its unique location. Inside, things get even better. When entering, the ‘home away from home’ feeling immediately kicks in. “Van der Valk is a family hotel - that is something our guests feel,” begins marketing and communications manager Marijn Span. “The warmth and hospitality of our people and the fact that we are all so proud of

the hotel makes people feel at home.” The hotel counts 116 rooms, with something to suit all tastes. Guests are free to use the sauna and fitness facilities and enjoy free parking. Station Nijmegen-Lent is literally next door. With its 12 multifunctional meeting rooms, the hotel serves as the perfect setting for business events. “Our audience is a mix of business guests, tourists, and locals who pop in for drinks or dinner,” Span asserts. They can do this at the hotel-bar Lola’s Bar or in the restaurant, where the menu boasts Van der Valk’s staple dishes, upgraded with a modern twist; a perfect reflection of the hotel’s successful marriage of familiarity and novelty. The all-around stunning views overlooking Nijmegen’s skyline or the green fields towards Arnhem are the perfect finishing

touch to your stay: could you ask for a better sight when waking up?

Van der Valk Hotel Nijmegen-Lent is the most sustainable hotel in the Netherlands and is the proud owner of the BREEAM Certificate of Excellence and the Green Globe Certificate.

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Landgoed Het Roode Koper is a stylish hotel that is ideal for nature lovers, romanticists, culinary connoisseurs and families with children. Surrounded by

3000 hectares of woodlands and with a classic landscape garden, tennis court, heated outdoor swimming pool and ambient lounges with open fireplaces, this is an exceptional hotel for a relaxed stay with superior gastronomy provided by the Michelin star-rated restaurant. The estate’s crowning glory is a sunny private villa with an open fireplace in the living room, a kitchen with private chef, and a private sauna and private garden with woodland views.
















TELEFOON: 0577-40 73 93, ERMELO

W inc kel weg 17a, N uns peet 0341 - 25 05 60 www.noord-v el uws -mus

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Drenthe Highlights


Adventures in Drenthe Fans of the great outdoors will adore Drenthe, a perfect area for forest walks, cycling and horse riding. Meanwhile, in Assen, capital of the province, you will find the unmissable Drents Museum, showcasing the area’s archaeological gems. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: MARKETING DRENTHE/GIJS VERSTEEG

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: The Great Liao, Nomad dynasty from Inner Mongolia (907-1125) 23 April - 29 October, Drents Museum, Assen A major international archaeological exhibition showcasing the splendour of the Liao dynasty, whose mighty empire extended throughout what is currently known as Mongolia, as well as large areas of Russia and China in the 10th and 11th centuries. Holland International Blues Festival 9 - 10 June, Grolloo A two-day festival dedicated to blues music with performances from major international bands and artists in the village of Grolloo - often cited as the New Orleans of Europe!

Motul TT Assen 23 - 25 June, Assen Every year thousands of spectators head to Assen for the most prestigious event in Dutch motorsport. A huge favourite with riders, Assen is famed for its festive atmosphere. Drentse Fiets4Daagse 25 - 28 July, Province of Drenthe An annual four-day cycling event with starting points in Assen, Emmen, Meppel, Diever, Dalen, Norg, Westerbork and Hoogersmilde. Find out more about Drenthe via

RetroPop 10 June, Emmen An unmissable one-day music festival bringing together national and international bands from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  27

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Drenthe Highlights


Nestled within the picturesque green setting of the Drentsche Aa national landscape, the luxurious Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Erkelens has made pure, regional food alongside unmatched personal service the hallmark of their unique character. Set in the scenic Dutch town of Rolde, Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Erkelens is located on the line between city and nature. The beautiful landscapes of the Hondsrug, which was rightfully named UNESCO heritage, the Pieterpad and the Balloërveld form the peaceful and undiscovered surroundings of the hotel, with the historic towns of Assen and Groningen being vibrant neighbours. With only 25 rooms, Erkelens exudes charm in a way that only a small, characteristic boutique hotel can. All rooms are equipped with every possible comfort: from the extra-large beds made up with crisp white linen, to free Wi-Fi, to a classic yet modern interior. “At Erkelens, guests will still truly experience peace and quiet, 28  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

topped off with a unique type of luxury,” begins Agnes Holtjer-Erkelens. Together with her husband Jan Erkelens, she has been helming this hotel-restaurant for 25 years. The large wooden table in the cosy lobby is scattered with newspapers and invites for lively conversations between friends and family. “Or strangers,” Agnes enthuses. “Erkelens embodies a feeling of hospitality that makes everyone feel welcome.” The restaurant puts a strong focus on pure, seasonal products and is known for its wide variety of game. Both meat and vegetables are organic, mostly locally sourced and prepared by renowned chefs, resulting in honest dishes that have gained a reputation of excellence in the region. “Some guests first book a table at the restaurant, only to afterwards book a room in the hotel,” Agnes laughs. All employees are trained to become professional baristas, something that – combined with the delicious Fair Trade coffee and Dallacorte machine – results in the perfect cup of coffee.

Erkelens’ top standards are reflected by the overwhelmingly positive online reviews, with guests unanimously and continuously rating the hotel-restaurant as one of the best in the Netherlands. But no matter how good things are inside, do not forget to discover Erkelens’ surroundings. The Drentse Museum in Assen will please any art aficionado, while golf lovers can show their tricks on the extensive golf courses nearby. More interested in history? Drenthe’s famous dolmens are fascinating to see. Did you know that it was Van Gogh himself that called the main street in Rolde the ‘Champs-Élysées’ of the Northern Netherlands? For more information visit; and

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Drenthe Highlights


A centre of luxury and comfort, topped off with a renowned personal touch: the fourstar Van der Valk Hotel Assen has been the base of the beautiful Northern Netherlands for generations. Known as the ‘Utrecht of the North’, the town of Assen proudly bears this name thanks to its central location and vibrant atmosphere. Within 20 minutes you are in the city of Groningen, and a stone’s throw away lies Drenthe’s natural wonders, ready to be discovered. How better to discover Drenthe or Groningen than by starting and ending your journey at Van der Valk Hotel Assen? With its 189 luxurious rooms and suites, 18 conference rooms and impeccable amenities, a relaxing (or productive) weekend starts here. Over the past seven years, Van der Valk Hotel Assen has seen rigorous renovations, to keep up with its innovative and on-point reputation. “Our hotel always reflects our guests’

wishes: we grow along side of them,” begins general manager Rob van der Valk. Innovation that is also seen in the Green Key certificate and in-house environmental coordinator, who keeps a close eye on the hotel’s environmental goals. Some well-deserved relaxation after a hard day of shopping or hiking can be done in the atmospheric restaurant or the trendy hotel bar, which is as popular with business people looking for a laid-back space to work as with people on a night out. The restaurant serves Van der Valk’s classics alongside on-trend cuisine. Unique is the Live Cooking Restaurant, where a team of cooks and patissiers will make your food while you watch. Above anything else, it is the people at Van der Valk and their love for their profession that makes guests come back. “That is a Van der Valk thing,” Rob enthuses – “always going the extra mile!”

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Drenthe Highlights

Handpainted Clay Pipes.

Miniature first brewery, Heineken.


Starting out as a typical Dutch hand thrown pottery, it was in 1610 that Royal Goedewaagen began a centuries-long marriage of craftsmanship and innovation, with a passion for high-quality ceramics. Nowadays, the company is well known all over the world for its Gouda clay pipes, Blue Delft decorative earthenware, dinner services, miniatures, ceramic design, hand-painted tiles, and tile panels. Royal Goedewaagen’s story began over 400 years ago, in the city of Gouda. It was in that year Jacob Pietersz founded earthenware factory ‘The Star’, which produced household ceramics and industrial clay moulds. The family Goedewaagen founded their own pipe factory in 1779, in those days one of 270 Gouda pipe factories. “The famous Gouda clay pipes 30  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

were exported all over the world,” begins Yvonne Kooi, director of Royal Goedewaagen. “Everyone at that time smoked the clay pipe.” In 1853, Pieter Goedewaagen bought pottery factory ‘The Star’, taking with him years of experience and knowledge. Quickly, Royal Goedewaagen became the biggest pipe maker factory in the Netherlands and Europe. Production moved from Gouda to Nieuw-Buinen in Drenthe in 1963, where it continues to make history today. The story has continued ever since. In 1989 Royal Goedewaagen proudly opened the Ceramic Museum Goedewaagen, where visitors are given backstage access to discover the current and past times of the former pottery factory in Gou-

da and its predecessors. In 2013, Goedewaagen acquired Urnencentrum Nederland, the biggest supplier of handmade urns in the Netherlands. Another acquisition took place in 2016; the traditional tile manufacturer Albarello from Menaldum.

When tradition meets craftsmanship A lot has happened since 1610. Continuously extending and innovating its collection, Royal Goedewaagen currently makes Blue Delft in all its forms, from tableware to vases, to traditional anniversary plates and custom-made creations. All products are handcrafted, manufactured and hand-painted in a centuries-old manner. “Making ceramics requires an incredible amount of knowledge and experience,” Kooi says. “Each product will go through the hands of up to seven craftsmen and women before it is completed.”

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Drenthe Highlights

Using modern technologies goes hand in hand with Goedewaagen’s honouring of traditional craftsmanship. A breakthrough was the live 3D scanning of a real cow to replicate the very own ‘house cow’ of global dairy industry player Koepon Holding. “There were many cow specialists present at that process,” Kooi laughs. “But in the end, we managed to create a beautiful lifelike artwork of their best cow.” Besides the famous Blue Delft earthenware, Royal Goedewaagen is the proud maker of Gouds Plateel, high gloss finished stoneware combining industrial design and handcraftsmanship in Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Gouds Plateel collections are created in limited editions of 999 pieces and are mainly handpainted. Each piece is numbered, signed by the master painter and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Maker of memories Throughout the centuries, Royal Goedewaagen has been shifting its focus from retail to business-to-business, with the famous and beautifully detailed Blue Delft

Van Aartsen awards the UN Peace Palace miniature to Ban Ki-Moon.

miniatures serving as unique and loved business gifts. “A miniature can embody perfectly what a business stands for,” Kooi asserts. “Miniatures are the perfect way for businesses to tell a story to their customers. They create memories.” The first Blue Delft miniature of a historic building was made in 1932. Since then, more than 400 Blue Delft miniatures have been made for different customers worldwide. Renowned are Goedewaagen’s handpainted miniature KLM houses, given away by the Dutch airline since 1952. The miniatures, of which a couple of hundred thousand were manufactured each year, became world-famous, turning into real collector items. More memories were created in the form of the 86,000 houses that were made for Heineken, and which are currently travelling the world. One of Goedewaagen’s biggest clients is Holland America Line. Every time it dedicates a new ship, it commissions Royal Goedewaagen to create a unique piece for attendees, ranging from tiles, to plates, to vases.

The restoration of the Rijksmuseum’s tiles.

Holland Vases.

One of Goedewaagen’s most recent projects is a miniature replica of the 1913-founded Peace Palace in The Hague, one of the most important United Nations institutions outside New York. “All 300 hand-painted miniatures are numbered and were given to high officials around the world, including former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,” Kooi enthuses. “In that way, our miniatures are like business cards. We never really know where they might end up, but they say a lot about us.”

Passion makes perfect One can hardly think of a shape which cannot be crafted in the beauty of ceramics. “Ceramics have no limits,” Kooi smiles. “Our way of combining authentic craftsmanship with modern techniques creates endless possibilities in shaping, manufacturing and applying ceramics. The continuing factor? Each item is crafted expertly and with a love for the profession. Our people are pure craftsmen, with the love of ceramics running through their veins.”

Koepon Koe, first 3D-scanned cow.

Miniature of the NACO-house, City Renovation Amsterdam.

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  31

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Overijssel Highlights

The Sassenpoort gatehouse in Zwolle. Photo: Cloudshots


Exploring Overijssel and the city of Zwolle With peaceful lakes and verdant countryside, Overijssel is a province of breathtaking beauty, with cities such as Enschede, Kampen and Deventer to explore. Unmissable is the province’s capital city of Zwolle with its charming medieval centre, excellent restaurants and cultural hotspots galore. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: MARKETING OOST

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Bevrijdingsfestival Overijssel (BFO) 5 May, Park de Wezenlanden, Zwolle This annual festival takes place every Liberation Day in the city of Zwolle to celebrate freedom and the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945. Expect music and a whole host of other cultural activities.

Photo: Gijs Versteeg, Toerisme Rijssen-Holten

Photo: Gijs Versteeg, Toerisme Rijssen-Holten

Zwolle Unlimited 2 - 5 June, Zwolle For four days the city is bursting with music, storytelling, street theatre and fun children’s activities at this fabulous festival marking the start of summer. International Hanseatic Days 15 - 18 June, Kampen The city of Kampen is proud organiser of this major event in the Hanse region. Enjoy a host of concerts, theatre performances and special exhibitions against a beautiful backdrop.

32  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Deventer op Stelten 7 - 9 July, Deventer The ‘Op Stelten’ (‘on stilts’) festival welcomes performers from across the world to transform the historic town of Deventer into a giant open-air theatre. Hassailt 2017 27 - 30 July, Hasselt This unique maritime event takes place once every five years and recreates an ancient atmosphere by showcasing all kinds of historic ships with activities on and around the water. Deventer Boekenmarkt 6 August, Deventer From children’s literature to poetry and novels to comics, book lovers will not want to miss this huge literary market. Look out for music, art and exhibitions too. Discover more about Zwolle via:

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Overijssel Highlights

Rafael, Engel, 1500, Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia

Girolamo Savoldo, Portret van een edelman met een fluit, ca 1525, Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia

Must-see for lovers of Renaissance art TEXT: THESSA LAGEMAN  |  PHOTOS: RIJKSMUSEUM TWENTHE

Raphael, Giovanni Bellini, Moroni, Titian, Tintoretto… a collection of paintings by these extraordinary artists of the Italian Renaissance are now on display in Enschede. This student city in the east of the Netherlands in worth a visit anyway, because of the lovely shopping centre, the beautiful architecture and the welcoming cafés and restaurants. Rijksmuseum Twenthe borrowed the In the heart of the Renaissance exhibitionfrom the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo in Brescia. A total of 45 masterpieces of 16th-century Italian painting can be admired. “It’s an exceptional event. A real must-see for lovers of Italian and Renaissance art,” says the museum’s communication and marketing manager Karin Jongenelen. Alongside works by famous artists from Rome and Venice, there will be a wide range of less well-known pieces by masters from northern Italy. “Those painters had a different style from the rest of Italy,”

Jongenelen explains. “They painted in a more naturalistic way. The people in the portraits looked like they were in reality. “There was also a growing interest in painting landscapes and an influence from Dutch and German artists.” The museum expects many visitors, she says, because it is the first time that a group of Renaissance paintings from that region are being shown in the Netherlands.

some more highlights. There are a total of 36 rooms in this fascinating museum, which opened its doors in 1930. For example, the permanent exhibition about the Golden Age of the Twenthe region (1860-1960) is particularly interesting. Completely different, but certainly not less intriguing, are the works of the Rotterdam artist Silvia B. (1963), which you can see until 7 May.

Shortly after 1500, early experiments with classicism and realism by 15th-century sculptors and painters reached their culmination with the brilliant young painter Raphael. None of his works are in Dutch collections, but two of his paintings are part of this exhibition. One of them is a small panel with a striking half-length depiction of Christ giving the blessing, which he painted around 1505. Visitors can also make take part in a free audio tour or a guided tour. Tickets are only available online.

L. Lotto, Maria met Kind en J. de Doper en Catharina v. Alexandrië, 1522

Next to this exhibition, which is on display until 18 June, do not forget to check out Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  33

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Overijssel Highlights

Relaxed living amid beautiful countryside TEXT: CATHY VAN KLAVEREN  |  PHOTOS: RESORT BAD BOEKELO

In the midst of the verdant Dutch countryside, Resort Bad Boekelo is one of those rare hotels that manages to be both spacious and home-like at the same time. Almost a mini village, the resort offers countless spa and leisure facilities, where relaxing is a number one priority. The hotel dates back to around 1934 – although since then some changes have been made. Nowadays it is a modern, idyllic spot popular with Dutch, Belgian and German families seeking a break from their busy lives. As well as hotel rooms, Resort Bad Boekelo offers independent apartments which are popular with expats. “There are a lot of big companies in the area, so it’s quite normal for expats to come here,” explains general manager Bob de Waal. “Expats who stay here can also make use of every facility we offer for our hotel guests.” Resort Bad Boekelo has 66 apartments, fully equipped for everyone’s comfort.

The resort boasts 23 hectares of its own land, which can be used for company team-building experiences like quad biking or even herding sheep. Inside, there is lots of space for multipleday congresses and business meetings. After a day of meetings or walking in the forest, guests can enjoy a delicious meal in the hotel restaurant. The kitchen offers various international dishes, with a refined nod to local products from Twente. Resort Bad Boekelo also makes an ideal base for discovering nearby cities such as Enschede or Hengelo.

An unknown pearl When something is considered ‘un-Dutch’, you could say that it is too beautiful or too good for Dutch standards. This terminology is certainly suitable for Landgoed De Uitkijk and its surroundings. Being located on the fringe of the so-called Sallandse Heuvelrug, this estate is ideal for eating, sleeping, relaxing and even for marriages! As this made us quite curious, we decided to speak to Helen Kijftenbelt, who owns Landgoed De Uitkijk together with her husband. “This is such a special place,” she begins. “The Sallandse Heuvelrug is not only a national park, but it is also the largest dry heath area in Europe. Together with its large differences in altitude, meandering rivers and large forests, it does not even feel like you are Holland!” We could not agree more: Landgoed De Uitkijk is not just a beautiful estate, but it is also located in an almost surreal place. It is very close to the ‘Pieterpad’, the most famous, long-distance walking route in the Netherlands and when you walk out of the building, you 34  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017


walk straight into the forest. “It is an area that is quite unknown to a lot of people, with a lot of green and the longest mountain bike trail in the country,” adds Kijftenbelt. Are you done walking or biking? Just take your place on the terrace in front of the estate and order something from the wonderful menu, which changes every season and consists of the best local products. Even if you fancy a longer stay, Landgoed De Uitkijk is the place to be, as it houses 13 rooms and some of them offer a balcony. Can you even imagine the view you will have when you walk out of your room in the morning?

Start planning your trip at:

Discover Benelux  |  East of the Netherlands  |  Zwolle Highlights

A charming Dutch home in a renovated warehouse TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: KORT JAKJE

Tucked away in the oldest street of Zwolle, you will find the city’s most charming bed and breakfast. Kort Jakje is housed in a small former warehouse, where you will experience what it is like to live in a typical Dutch home. “After just a day, the neighbours will wave to you as if you live here,” smiles Kirsa Hofma, owner of Kort Jakje.

be called Kort (Short) Jakje. Kort Jakje also happens to be a nursery rhyme.” Staying at Kort Jakje will give you a unique, typical Dutch experience at a great location. “Whether you are here with your partner for a romantic weekend, or to enjoy Zwolle with your best friends, you will really feel at home - only in a different city,” concludes Hofma.

The warehouse is a narrow, characterful building. “There are three floors, with steep stairs. The kitchen is on the first, the living room on the second and the bedroom and bathroom are on the third.” Hofma does not live there herself, but a couple of houses down. “When you stay at Kort Jakje, you have the building all to yourself. You have complete privacy,” explains Hofma. The former warehouse is in the Kromme Jak, the city’s oldest street and located in the historic city centre. The building was named by the neighbours at the time of renovation. “Since the street is called Kromme (Curved) Jak, the neighbours thought this small building should


Discover Benelux  |  Interview  |  Willemijn Verkaik

36  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Discover Discover Benelux  Benelux |  | Interview  Interview  | |  Willemijn Igone deVerkaik Jongh


The joy of being Wicked This month, Dutch singer and actress Willemijn Verkaik is back in London performing a role she has made her own. For both her and her audience, the impact of Wicked goes far beyond a feel-good experience. TEXT: PAULA HAMMOND  |  PHOTO: WICKED UK

Elphaba is the green-skinned heroine of the musical Wicked, which tells an alternative version of events in the Land of Oz before the arrival of Dorothy. When Elphaba refuses to use her magic to help the Wizard imprison and subjugate the animals, she is condemned and labelled ‘the Wicked Witch of the West’. Glinda, ‘the Good witch’, becomes the smiling face of the Wizard’s tyrannical regime, and an angry mob sets off to kill her wicked counterpart. Along the way, there are songs to be sung, lovers and friends to be found, and surprising truths to be uncovered. In these troubling times, Wicked’s messages of standing up for what is right has never felt more relevant. “Be proud of who you are and also respect and accept the person opposite you. Those are the two messages that I think are really very important in the show and in life,” says Willemijn. “What is really great about Elphaba, is that she is so courageous and strong in standing up for what she believes in. She respects everyone but she’ll also stamp her fist on the table and say ‘listen to me, because this is really important’. That’s something I have learnt from her - and am still learning from her!” The show is currently celebrating its tenth year at London’s spectacular Apollo Victoria Theatre. Returning to help the Wicked family celebrate is a special experience. “I started the role in 2007 and it’s been an amazing journey, to have the chance to perform in all these different countries. I’m really so happy and grateful that I can be

here for the tenth anniversary. The powerful thing about Wicked is that the minute it enters your heart, it will never go away. That is true for the audience but also for the people who work back stage and in the show. It stays with you.” Willemijn is the only actress to have played Elphaba in three different languages. “The challenge is to make her as natural in German as she is in British or in American English. However, in the beginning, going from German into Dutch, my mother language, was really difficult, because I’d learnt the role in German. That was a very interesting experience! Now I’m back in London after two and a half years and I’m still reinventing her. Each time it’s a new experience.”

From green faces to green spaces This time, Willemijn is back in London for six months. Her musician husband is touring Holland. Do they ever see each other? “Well,” she laughs, “for the last six months I was doing concerts and freelance stuff and we were lucky that I could do that from Holland. So we got to spend lots of quality time together. It’s so special to be at home and with my man, that we never take it for granted. Now is a difficult time, as we probably won’t get to see each until the end of March/early April. That’s a long time but it’s something we’re used to dealing with. We’re always trying not to make it too dramatic. We’ll go on our journey, and we’ll speak to each other every day, and we’ll take it as it comes. That works really well.”

After the buzz of living in some of the world’s biggest cities, Willemijn craves a little peace at the end of a long day. “I love all the parks that London has, especially on a Sunday when we don’t have a show, I go out and watch squirrels. That’s always really lovely. I love the Southbank area, just to stroll about and have a coffee. I never really like to do a lot because this role is very demanding. Most of the time, nature relaxes me. If I can get to a forest, park or a beautiful lake, then I can really let everything go.” Home is never far from Willemijn’s thoughts. “I live in a little town near Utrecht. It’s very green and the only hill we have in Holland is there. There are lots of beautiful walks and we like to ride our bikes. I live, like, five minutes from the forest and it’s very quiet and peaceful, which is something that you really long for when you’re doing this job. The work is so stressful and demanding which is great - but once you have a few days off, it’s really good to come back to that little town where the birds are chirping and you can just see lots of green, and walk in the forest. It’s a lovely place to have as my base.” Right now, though, Willemijn’s is firmly focussed on a different type of green - and on the joy of being Wicked. Willemijn Verkaik is appearing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG. For information and tickets visit:

Issue Issue38  37  | |  February January 2017  |  37

Photo: Château de Bourglinster

Château de Chimay. Photo: Patricia Portetelle


Captivating castles in Belgium and Luxembourg With beautiful countryside, picturesque villages and regal châteaux, it is easy to feel like you are stepping inside a fairytale land when visiting Luxembourg and Belgium. Did you know the latter boasts more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world? Read on for our profiles on some of the most captivating castles these two countries have to offer. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

DO NOT MISS: Château de Chimay Located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, this magnificent castle has been owned by the Prince of Chimay and his ancestors for centuries. Château de Beloeil Another gem in Belgium’s Hainaut province is the Château de Beloeil, which has been the residence of the Belgian Princes de Ligne since the 14th century. Château de Bourglinster In the heart of Luxembourg you will find Château de Bourglinster, which is famed for its gastronomy as well as its history and architectural beauty.

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Château de Beloeil

Discover Benelux  |  Historical & Cultural Heritage  |  Castles in Belgium & Luxembourg

Prince Philippe and Princess Françoise.

Photo: Patricia Portetelle

A family castle where creativity flourishes TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN LAMBIOTTE

Home to one of the most beautiful theatres in Europe, Château de Chimay is a castle like no other. Throughout its tumultuous 1,000-year history, this splendid castle has been inhabited by the ancestors of the Princes of Chimay. Today it is the main residence of Prince Philippe, the 22nd prince of Chimay, and his wife Princess Françoise, who together continue to build on the castle’s reputation as a hub for the arts. “The theatre is what makes our castle exceptional,” beams Prince Philippe. The breathtaking venue was conceived in 1863 by renowned architects Cambon and Lefuel. Its elegant, Louis XV-style decor is inspired by the Château de Fontainebleau in France, another of Lefuel’s masterpieces. The theatre put Chimay on the musical map and welcomed artists from across the world. Now classified as a historical monument, the theatre continues to host concerts. “We really want to develop the music even more this year,” enthuses Prince Philippe. Concerts sell out quickly, with the theatre even offering a hotel pick-up service

to collect tourists staying in Brussels and transport them to and from shows.

an audiovisual spectacle brings to life the entire history of this fascinating site.

Château de Chimay is equally popular with art lovers, thanks to the temporary exhibitions organised at La Maison des Artistes. Prince Philippe and his wife also host artists in residence, with Princess Françoise - an ardent fan of contemporary art - eager to support talented creatives. There is also plenty for little ones at the castle, which is available as a venue for children’s birthday parties complete with games, dressing up and a ghost hunt. Meanwhile, every December the Prince and Princess welcome around 800 children from local primary schools in a fairytale-like atmosphere to receive a gift from Saint-Nicolas. Want to learn more about Château de Chimay? Visitors can experience its splendour via an innovative and multilingual iPad tour where different members of the Chimay family act as virtual tour guides and an animated character keeps the children entertained. Your tour will end in the refined setting of the theatre, where

Adult entrance to the Chateau de Chimay costs nine euros and includes a multimedia guide in French, Dutch, German and English. It is advisable to check the Chateau’s website for opening hours as these can sometimes vary in accordance with group bookings. Telephone: +32 (0) 60 21 45 31 Email: Website:

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  39

Discover Benelux  |  Historical & Cultural Heritage  |  Castles in Belgium & Luxembourg


The magnificent Château de Beloeil is located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. It is known as the ‘little Versailles of the North’; its gardens were designed by a student of André Le Nôtre, the French landscape architect and King Louis XIV’s gardener who designed the Versailles gardens. The Château has been the residence of the Belgian Princes de Ligne since the 14th century, and Michel, the 14th Prince de Ligne, continues to reside here. The current Château evolved from a mansion, to a fortress, and finally to a country house. It lies in an impressive 25-hectare park, which includes several beautiful lakes as well as sculptured gardens with geometric designs and symbols. His Highness the Prince de Ligne says he especially appreciates the “beauty, the peace and the quietness” to be found in Beloeil. The French-style gardens maintain their original design of 1664. They are ideal for hosting festivals, garden parties, sporting 40  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

events, firework displays or maiden helicopter flights. A key event is the amaryllis festival, from 15 to 23 April this year (open daily from 10am till 6pm). It takes place in collaboration with Keukenhof, one of the world’s largest flower gardens located in Holland. Flower producers deliver 10,000 stunning amaryllis, including intricate bouquets. Prizes are given for the most beautiful and original bouquets. In addition to the striking gardens, the Château houses a superb art collection, with paintings from the 15th to 19th century. It also has a library of 20,000 books. Beloeil’s richly furnished drawing rooms can also be hired out for events, with space for 100 people. The rooms encompass a library, conference room and chapel; conferences, gala dinners, receptions or theatrical performances can all be held in this unique setting. The most famous personality in the Château’s history is Prince Charles Joseph, born in 1735. The seventh Prince de

Ligne was a field marshal, a diplomat and a writer. He frequented the great European courts with Voltaire, Rousseau, Queen Marie Antoinette and Catherine II of Russia, with whom he was in permanent correspondence. The Château is open on weekends and Bank Holidays in April, May, June and September, from 1pm till 6pm. In July and August, it opens daily from 1pm till 6pm. Group guided tours are available in English, French, Dutch and German.

Discover Benelux  |  Historical & Cultural Heritage  |  Castles in Belgium & Luxembourg


Built in the 11th century, the Château de Bourglinster in Luxembourg is famous in the region for something more than its history and architectural beauty: its gastronomy. Led by the talented chef René Mathieu, visitors will find their visit highly enhanced by a well-deserved stop at the restaurants of the Château. Opened from Wednesday evening to Sunday for lunch and dinner, the Michelinstarred restaurant La Distillerie and La Brasserie Côté Cour have captivated the hearts of those who have crossed their door-steps and walked into their aweinspiring century-old setting. The chef, René Mathieu, is often described as a visionary, saying about his creative cooking that “it arises freely in me from the constant interweaving of the magic of aromas, my memories and my emotions in every passing moment”. A starred Michelin chef since 2012 and crowned chef of the year that same year for Luxembourg by Gault Millau, the restaurant and the brasserie provide their clients with an explosion of refined tastes with their original cuisine and ground-breaking combinations built around a base of vegetables and spices coming from the four corners of the world.

After countless heads of states on official visits to Luxembourg, you could very well be the next person to taste some the most delicate dishes to come out La Distillerie’s kitchen, classified as one of the 25 best restaurants in the world for its vegetarian and herbal cuisine. Collaborating with a trusted network of small producers from Luxembourg, all the products used to make the different dishes on the menu are fresh and vibrant with taste and colours. Dishes can be accompanied by one of the 400 wines from an exquisite selection in the castle’s cellar. Conscious of the beauty of the site, the castle is always open for hosting memorable events in its picturesque setting. Divided into three main spaces to host banquets and receptions, ‘Le Château’ can fit up to 600 guests standing for cocktail events, ‘La Salle de Chevaliers’ provides space for up to 120 seated guests for dinner or 200 standing up and ‘La Salle Renaissance’ can host between 15 to 60 guests for seated dinners. All in all, whether a gourmet pilgrim or a castle lover, the Château de Bourglinster will make you want to come back for more! Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  41

Discover Benelux  |  Ghent  |  An Unforgettable City Trip


Glorious Ghent With some of Belgium’s best museums, a wealth of excellent restaurants and stunning canalside architecture, Ghent is a city not to be missed. Big enough to feel bustling but compact enough for a cosy city break, this vibrant cultural hub is sure to seduce you. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: VISIT FLANDERS

42  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Ghent  |  An Unforgettable City Trip

This beautiful Flemish city is situated between Brussels and the coast, at an equal distance from Antwerp and the French border. Why not embrace the cycling tradition in Flanders by hiring a bike and exploring this medieval city on two wheels? There are many charming squares, with the famous Korenmarkt being a good starting point. As soon as the sun shines, locals flock here for coffee and a waffle al fresco. When visiting Ghent, you will not be able to miss the famous three-tower row, comprising Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, Saint Nicholas’ Church and the 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent, which is UNESCO listed. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  43

Discover Benelux  |  Ghent  |  An Unforgettable City Trip

Also worth a visit is the Gravensteen - a splendid castle originating from the Middle Ages, and St-Pieters abbey, which was the original centre around which Ghent grew. It now hosts internationally orientated exhibitions, and is currently showing War in short pants, which looks at the history of the First World War through the eyes of a child. Meanwhile, the magnificent MSK gallery showcases some of the greatest Belgian and Low Countries’ painters from the 14th to mid-20th centuries. Opening there this month and running until 7 May is the exhibition Eyewitness: Francisco Goya & Farideh Lashai, which links the social criticism of the Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746-1828) to the social commitment of the Iranian artist Farideh Lashai (19442013). After a busy day of culture, unwind with a visit to the enchanting Patershol district, a charming network of cobbled lanes where you will find a selection of friendly restaurants and bars. 44  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

DO NOT MISS: Here are just a few of the coming month’s cultural highlights. Restoration of The Ghent Altarpiece Various locations The Van Eyck brothers’ masterpiece, The Ghent Altarpiece, has been undergoing restoration since 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2019. The actual restoration is being carried out at the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), while two thirds of the original work are on display at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. Meanwhile, do not miss the exhibition dedicated to The Ghent Altarpiece at the Provincial centre for culture Caermersklooster. Hands on Design Until 5 March, Design museum Gent An exhibition showcasing design that is inspired and made thanks to traditional methods and craftsmanship. Take a step into the creatives’ workshops and design studios and learn how designers are finding new applications for centuries-old techniques.

City of Tomorrow: a glimpse of where we're going Until 7 May, STAM - Ghent City Museum Ghent is growing. What does this mean for the city? Artist Elly Van Eeghem has invited contributions from creatives, scientists, entrepreneurs and urban planners to create a multidisciplinary exhibition dedicated to the city’s future. Gent Smaakt City pavilion, 24 - 28 May Calling all foodies! Sample highlights from Flemish cuisine to French gastronomy as well as enjoying workshops and meeting local producers at the unique Gent Smaakt culinary event. Gent Jazz Festival 6 - 15 July, Bijlokesite Every year jazz artists from Belgium and abroad perform at this renowned festival. America’s Norah Jones is just one of the big names already confirmed on this year’s line-up.

Discover Benelux  |  Ghent  |  An Unforgettable City Trip

A healthy and conscious way of living TEXT: JULIËN L’ORTYE  |  PHOTOS: DELIVEROO

If you opened your Thai restaurant almost 20 years ago, you could consider yourself an early adopter – that is for sure. But how do you make sure that your guests keep returning, especially now that these restaurants seem to be sprouting up like mushrooms? In order to find the answer to this question, we had a chat with Thalika Meekhai, owner of De Orchidee (the Dutch for ‘the orchid’). This is one of the oldest Thai restaurants in Ghent. “All our products are freshly cut and prepared,” Thalika begins. “You won’t find any pre-cut vegetables on your plate, as everything is freshly purchased every single day. And be-

sides that, every meal that you order is stir-fried on the spot, without the loss of any vitamins or minerals!” Apart from all the chicken, pork, beef or shrimps, it is also possible to order vegetarian meals, as De Orchidee has some tofu dishes on the menu as well. Being in the game for almost 20 years, you have to keep reinventing yourself in order to keep your customers coming. That is why, as of this year, Thalika has teamed up with Deliveroo, a steadily growing delivery company. This enables customers to order Thalika’s menus from home as well. Or from the office, if they wish!

Every one of Deliveroo’s couriers in Belgium travels by bike, which fits in well with the healthy and conscious way of life that Thalika and the restaurant De Orchidee strive for. If you fancy a great stir-fried dish using the best, freshest, local products, all served with Thai hospitality, then De Orchidee is your go-to place. ‘Now Thai restaurant De Orchidee has teamed up with Deliveroo, you will never have to miss out on your favourite Asian spot in Ghent.’

Discover Benelux  |  Ghent  |  An Unforgettable City Trip


From household products to household name TEXT: JULIËN L’ORTYE  |  PHOTOS: PAKHUIS

What was once a store for household products now accommodates Brasserie Pakhuis, a household name in the city of Ghent, located just next to the famous Korenmarkt. Expect extraordinary hospitality together with great dishes, made from the best local products, and served under one truly wonderful roof. You know what they say: getting to the top is easy, but staying there is the hardest part. Taking this age-old wisdom into consideration, it is pretty impressive that Pakhuis is still going strong after 25 years of great service. Their secret? Perhaps their own products, such as the ‘Principale’ beer, a blonde tripel, that is also served at Brasserie Dock’s in Antwerp and La Quincaillerie in Brussels, establishments that are run by the same owners. They have also launched their own ‘poulet de Bresse’ and their own oysters. And if it 46  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

is up to Pakhuis, this range of own products will be extended in the coming years.

tecture contribute to a spectacular setting for your gourmet experience.

And why would they not? Never change a winning team, right? Because that is what Pakhuis is - an amazing, winning and welloiled team, with great personnel and a delicious menu. Whether you are a carnivore, a fish lover or a vegetarian, you will be given due attention at Pakhuis. The menu is full of a variety of high-quality products, and there is a dish to please (almost) every budget. For example, how do you fancy a lobster starter, lamb from Pakhuis’ own farm in France and profiteroles with chocolate and whipped cream for dessert?

On top of all this gastronomic goodness, Pakhuis was also included in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand, an indicator for ‘exceptional good food at moderate prices’. Do we need to say more? Well, a few years ago, when the late US musician Lou Reed spent three weeks in Ghent, Pakhuis was his favourite restaurant.

Once you enter the restaurant, it is hard not to be astonished by the interior. Thanks to an incredible renovation, the warehouse has been given a new lease of life. The high ceilings and elegant, spacious archi-



Watch the restorers of the ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ by the brothers Van Eyck live at work.

Museum of Fine Arts Ghent

Fernand Scribedreef 1 9000 Ghent Belgium

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Baloji

48  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Discover Discover Benelux Benelux  | Interview  |  Cover Interview |  Igone de |  Jongh Baloji


On the right track A singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, and director: Baloji’s skills are as varied as his music is eclectic. With influences ranging from punk to gospel, this artist cannot be put in a box. Since bursting onto the hip-hop scene almost two decades ago, the Belgian-Congolese musician has scooped a bevy of Octaves de la Musique awards and performed all over the world, clocking up fans including Damon Albarn and Jamie xx. As he prepares for the release of his third solo album, we caught up with the cultural polymath, who grew up in French-speaking Wallonia and now resides in Ghent. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: KRISTIN-LEE MOOLMAN

Having kicked off the year with a performance at the Netherlands’ famous Eurosonic festival, 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for Baloji, with an impending new album and upcoming shows across the continent. Since entering the music industry in his teens, the 38-yearold has already played at iconic events on both sides of the Atlantic – from the UK’s Glastonbury Festival to Coachella in the USA. He has also graced the stage at world-famous venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London, but it is a 2011 performance in New York that the musician cites as a career highlight. “One of the most incredible places to play was Central Park - it’s iconic! I remember my parents had some pictures of Diana Ross taken during her famous performance there singing in the rain. I thought of that while playing there,” the artist recalls.

Reconnecting with Congo He may be accustomed to playing big crowds and prestigious venues, but Baloji is equally at home with an intimate, lowkey gig, a trait that was reinforced thanks to working alongside musicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “I played in DRC with all these musicians who rehearse whether they have a show or not. I learned from them to play every concert like it’s your last, whatever happens. Even if there are 50 people or 5,000, it doesn’t matter - you just have to do the concert like you prepared it.”

Baloji moved to Belgium from the city of Lubumbashi, Congo, at an early age and grew up with his father’s family in the city of Liège in French-speaking Wallonia. Tracing his roots has always been an important element of his music. The artist’s first solo album, Hotel Impala (2008), was written for his mother back in DRC about the life he had led in the two decades they had been apart.

“I’m really proud of the album. It’s really exciting and it has surprised me. I didn’t expect myself to go as far as I have, which I think is interesting,” he enthuses.

“Reconnecting with Congo was not easy. I spent, like, 15 years without going to DRC. When you see Congo again for the first time it’s quite challenging because you are confronted with what you are,” he begins.

Musically, it would be impossible to place Baloji into one category. His oeuvre combines elements from hip-hop to rock, soul and gospel, not to mention traditional African styles and electronic music. His fascination with the latter of course has its roots in the Benelux.

“You still look like a stranger. It took me time to understand that even there, I’m going to be different just because I’m living in Europe. I have my European ‘body language’ - it’s not only about clothes or superficial things but it’s obvious the moment you talk that you come from Europe. Trying to blend in makes you fake; it’s when you accept to deal with the differences that you find your place.”

Verses with diversity Currently based in the city of Ghent in the Flemish Region of Belgium, Baloji is busy working on a new album set for release later this year. Named Avenue Kaniama, after a street name in Congo, the record will have a proper storyline and should be played from beginning to end.

What can we expect, content wise? “A lot of different things! Personal stuff, things about my identity in Congo and in Europe, Belgium specifically. My two identities are very central to my work.”

“I think in Belgium the most influential group is Soulwax, I love their aesthetic. They were one of the first bands to play electronic music live,” he smiles. One of Baloji’s favourite tracks to perform live is Karibu Ya Bintou from his 2010 album Kinshasa Succursale. “I love it because it’s punk. It’s very wild. There’s a video of the song online, it’s the first one I directed myself so it’s a special one for me.”

The right direction A director too? Just another of the many strings Baloji can add to his bow. The video for his latest single Spoiler, taken from the EP 64 bits & Malachite, is the Issue Issue38  37  | |  February January 2017  |  49

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Baloji

the gay community of Kinshasa in some clothes by Grace Wales Bonner from the start. We selected the setting and visual based on that look.”

Looking sharp He may have collaborated with Belgian accessories brand KOMONO on a sunglasses range, but the rapper has no plans to follow in Kanye West’s footsteps and launch his own fashion label. An area Baloji is keen to branch into however, is cinema. The creative is currently working on his own movie project. “I can’t say too much but the script is done,” he smiles. Acting is another avenue which interests him, although the current lack of diversity in the film industry is uninspiring. “In Belgium, there are barely any job opportunities for dark-skinned people, but I would love to do some acting. Actually, that’s maybe something to encourage me to be a director,” he adds.

Finding himself Growing up, Baloji’s idols were American rappers such as Jay Z and the Wu-Tang Clan. Aged just 15, he joined Belgium hip-hop group Starflam under the moniker MC Balo. Their 2001 album Survivant went platinum, giving Baloji a taste of success at a young age. An accomplished solo career in his twenties followed, with debut solo album Hotel Impala scoring him two prestigious Octaves de la Musique awards. “Something that everybody tells you is that you never have a second chance to make a first impression,” he muses. “I might say that I disagree with that. You can be better the second time around.”

most recent clip to showcase his directorial talents and features four generations of Congolese musicians on stage at the Kinshasa art school during a graduation ceremony. “I never trained to be a director, I just learned by doing it,” explains the rapper, who is always impeccably turned out. In 50  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

fact, getting behind the camera has made him more interested in fashion. “I don’t see myself as fashion designer, but I started working with a tailoring company for my first video. Textures and clothes can be part of the script and integrated completely in a project, like we did for the Unité & Litre video. We wanted to show

Ready for the release of his third solo album and nearing the end of his thirties, Baloji is feeling better than ever about his career. “When you’re 18, you’re just happy to have girls around you. People love [the music] because it’s fresh, but you’re not at your full potential. I know much more what I’m doing now than I used to,” admits the multi-talented star. Well, Baloji sure knows how to do many different things. Something tells us this next album is going to be worth waiting for.

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview |  Baloji

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  51

Photo: Femke Delbeke

A taste of Belgium Belgians are ‘bon vivants’. They like to eat and drink, and the range of national dishes they have to choose from leave all other Europeans green with envy. From street food like fries and waffles, to mouthwatering mussels and their world-renowned beer and chocolate: Belgium is an absolute foodie haven. Read on for our guide to some of the country’s most delicious food and drink companies, as well as an interview with Claudia Delbaere, co-author of the new book Bier & Chocolade. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: VISIT FLANDERS

Photo: Michaël Dehaspe

52  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium



Belgium is home to some of the most innovative and longstanding businesses in the food and drink industry. Read on for some mouthwatering business profiles. 1. Confidas Pure fruit, with just that bit of extra tastiness. Confidas has been making deliciously sweet Pâtes de Fruits since 1982. Read more on page 55



Chocolaterie Sweertvaegher


2. Chocolaterie Sweertvaegher Equivalent to the finest Belgian chocolates since 1933, Sweertvaegher’s pralines have been made for almost 80 years according to the same philosophy: tradition, craftsmanship, quality, freshness and respect for carefully chosen ingredients. Read more on page 56 3. No-Ble Elite Drink All the advantages of a vitalising drink, combined with all the benefits of superfruits açai,schisandra, and acerola. No-Ble Elite Drink guarantees a healthy booster. Read more on page 56

No-Ble Elite Drink


Group A. De Witte


Portion Pack Belgium


Brasserie des Carrières

4. Portion Pack Belgium Sometimes the small things in life can make the difference. It is this belief that encourages Portion Pack in Belgium to produce millions of tasty portions packs every day. Read more on page 57 5. Group A. De Witte Group A. De Witte imports and exports quality fruit and vegetables and has two excellent in-house brands which they can be proud of: Cibel and Cebon. Read more on page 58 6. Brasserie des Carrières The story of two visionary friends, who at the end of their studies took a motorbike trip around Belgium that ignited their love for brewing delicious beer of the highest quality. Read more on page 59 7. Brasserie d’Achouffe Beer lovers unite! The Brewery Achouffe, set at the heart of the verdant Belgian Ardennes, specialises in brewing quality special beers such as La Chouffe and Mc Chouffe. Read more on page 60

Brasserie d’Achouffe

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  53

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium

Photo: Femke Delbeke

Photo: Femke Delbeke


Beer and chocolate In Belgium, it is inevitable to combine two of the products the country is most famous for. Besides being typically Belgian, beer and chocolate have quite a few similarities when it comes to their taste: think bitter, fruity, sour, or burned. Both specialties have a very strong personal character, so it is essential to combine the right beer with the right chocolate when opting for both. Does that sound like a difficult task? Discover Benelux met up with Claudia Delbaere, a bio-engineer currently working at Cacaolab, a spin-off of Ghent University focussing on research and development of chocolate and confectionery products. Along with Prof. Koen Dewettinck, a professor at the Ghent University department of food safety and food quality, and beer connoisseur Geroen Vansteenbrugge, she recently published Bier & Chocolade. As the first book to exclusively combine Belgium’s famous culinary staples, it spoils readers with 40 mouthwatering combinations. Beer and chocolate! Tell us more… Bier & Chocolade is a book about the combined tasting of beer and chocolate. 54  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

There are many books about chocolate and many about beer, but this is the first one exclusively focussing on a combination of the two. After a short introduction and a brief history, we show the reader 40 combinations of beer and chocolate – after which we hope they will further explore this mouthwatering combination! Are beer and chocolate not an unusual combination? That is what I thought too! But there are actually a lot of similarities between the two and they go well together. A lot of flavours are found in both products. And with the right combination, whole new flavours can present themselves. It can be tough to find the right combinations though, that is where our book comes in. What characterises a good piece of chocolate? Good chocolate is smooth, shiny, and hard – it must make that snapping sound when you break it. Creating the perfect chocolate has everything to do with the process of preparation. For example, the right way of tempering ensures the correct types of crystals are created in the chocolate, which gives it that flawless finish.

Can you give away one mouthwatering combination from the book? The initiator of the book, Geroen Vansteenbrugge, regularly hosts evenings around beer and chocolate tastings. From those tastings, we know that one of the most beloved combinations is the Ambiorix beer and a milk chocolate praline in the shape of a skull, filled with caramel, white chocolate, and roasted pine nuts. Delicious! For more information on Bier & Chocolade, please visit

Photo: Ymke Vansteenbrugge

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium


The luxury of pure fruit, with just that bit of extra deliciousness: Confidas has been the only true producer of the famous Pâtes de Fruits in Belgium for almost 35 years.

Confidas’ Pâtes de Fruits is more than 50 per cent, between 60 and 70 per cent or up to 80 per cent of the total composition. This is reflected in the final colour of the Pâtes de Fruits.”

Would you like strawberry, lemon, orange, apricot, or blackcurrant? Do you prefer them in fruit shapes, blocks, eggs, bars, pastilles, bells, or hearts? It is in these (and more) flavours and forms that Confidas has produced the famous Pâtes de Fruits since 1982.

As well as being the market leader in Belgium, Confidas exports approximately 70 to 80 per cent of its produce: a universal success proving that Confidas knows like no other how to satisfy the taste of the international market. “Our innovative policy has made us a progressive player for quite some time,” Aelterman asserts. “We know our customers, know what they want, and have been providing new products to meet their demands for a long time.”

Pâtes de Fruits are composed of fruit pulp, sugar, and apple pectin, and are based on real fruit. The result is a completely natural, high-quality and tasteful product. The sweets do not contain any preservatives or colorants – so their bold colour and sweet taste are truly the products of pure fruit. “The strict, French legislation requires that all real Pâtes de Fruits should contain at least 50 per cent fruit after cooking them,” explains Luc Aelterman, director at Confidas. “Depending on the recipe, the percentage of fruit in

cus, alongside our flexibility and a product of the highest possible quality, is the reason that the Confidas products are loved by so many.” For more information, please visit:

Confidas’ innovative policy is embodied by the fact that their Pâtes de Fruits can be completely customised according to a customer’s wish. New recipes are often created on request, and in some cases customised forms are specially made. “I guess that is one of the reasons that Confidas has been loved for over 30 years,” Aelterman enthuses. “Our customer foIssue 38  |  February 2017  |  55

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium

Chocolate the way it is supposed to be TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PHOTOS: CHOCOLATERIE SWEERTVAEGHER

When you say chocolate, you say Belgium. Belgian chocolate is known to be the finest. So, if you are the one representing it on two worldwide stages, your chocolate has to be the best of the best. Would you like to have a taste? You can, at Chocolaterie Sweertvaegher. The secret? Keep it simple. Chocolaterie Sweertvaegher’s recipe has not changed since 1933. “That’s what people like about us, it’s the taste from their youth,” explains Sheila Vanden Heede, who works in the store together with owner Jan Verougstraete. They make each and every chocolate from the atelier located in their home. Chocolate in simple flavours - no added chilli or caramel; just the way chocolate is supposed to taste. “We use fresh products, no dyes, and make chocolate the way it’s been done for 84 years.” If you favour white chocolate though, you are at the wrong address. “I think we’re the

only chocolate shop in Belgium that doesn’t offer white chocolate. Simply because it’s not really chocolate. Cocoa should be the main ingredient.” Like the taste, the interior is still the same as well. “Empire style,” says Vanden Heede. “Our store at 17 Korte Steenstraat in Kortrijk is the original, but of course we have an establishment in Bruges as well - it’s the chocolate cap-

Deliciously healthy There are revitalising drinks, there are soft drinks, and then there is No-Ble Natural Elite Drink. This deliciously sparkling soft drink has rediscovered the art of energy by using pure and healthy superfruits – so you no longer have to feel guilty when popping open your soda. No-Ble Natural Elite Drink will raise your soft drink standards. Made from the superfruits açai and schisandra in combination with acerola, the red sparkle guarantees a double healthy booster which provides you at the same time with necessary antioxidants and vitamins. The drink does not contain any caffeine or taurine or any derivatives from these. Its production is BRC, IFS, and Halal certified. “We noticed that there was an increasing demand for a soft drink that was a healthy fruit drink on the one hand, while at the same time would give you a vitalising booster,” says sales and marketing director Donald De Groof. “More and more people are becoming aware of the 56  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

ital of Belgium. You can find it near the chocolate museum at 29 Philipstockstraat.” Fancy some retail therapy with a side of chocolate? The Antwerp branch of Chocolaterie Sweertvaegher, situated in the De Wilde Zee shopping district at 8 Groendalstraat, is the one for you. Better still, visit all three branches!


negative aspects of energy drinks, such as the infamous ‘rush and crush’.” With its classic yet trendy look, No-Ble Elite Drink’s can blends in perfectly with any fancy liquor table, and is the perfect buddy for cocktails. With the help of a reputed Belgian mixologist, No-Ble has launched a line of contemporary cocktails: A No-Ble Politan or No-Ble Mojito, anyone?

But No-Ble Elite Drink is just as loved amoung children, seniors, and people who normally do not like soft drinks. “Healthy, vitalising drinks are for anyone, at any time. Whether you are at a business event, on the road, or standing at a sunny festival: No-Ble Elite Drink is always a good idea.”

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium

It is the small things that make the difference TEXT: SOFIE COUWENBERGH  |  PHOTOS: ELITE PORTION PACK BELGIUM

We all know the delicious cookies we get when we order a hot drink in Belgium, the handy sugar sticks that hold just enough sweetness for one consumption and the little milk cups that allow us to make our favourite coffee in a hotel room. But did you know these all come from the same company, Elite Portion Pack Belgium? “Most people know us from the Belgian chocolates and biscuits you get when ordering a coffee, but we do so much more,” says Peter-Jan Lucas, the company’s commercial director in Benelux. Elite Portion Pack Belgium is part of the Portion Pack Europe group and the larger SüdZucker group. It is also a partner company of the well-known Tiense Suiker brand. “We offer professionals in the food service industry, such as coffee roasters, hotels, but also hospitals, a diverse range of por-

tion packs produced under the highest quality norms,” says Lucas, adding that it is the company’s goal to help create that perfect serving or breakfast moment. Because of their size, portion packs are used only once, by one person and in their entirety which makes them a hygienic solution that helps prevent food spilling for businesses like hotels, restaurants, hospital kitchens and air flight catering, who otherwise might have to throw away whole jars at the end of the day. They also make it easy to set and later clean up the table, as well as offering a wide variety in tastes and products. Lastly, portion packs support brand recognition thanks to their clear design. That goes for Elite Portion Pack’s own products, such as honey and chocolate, with a new range of dried fruits, nuts and snacks starting in 2017, as well as all the packaging the company develops for its

customers. “Packaging with customers’ own private label brand is our specialty,” Lucas proudly states. “Our expertise and specialised machine park ensure that we can make portion packs for any kind of business, in any quantity, with the desired label.” This flexibility leads to innovative products, such as a uniquely packaged Leonidas praline and a sealed off plastic spoon with a heart of honey - just the right amount for one cup of tea. Other well-known brands Elite Portion Pack Belgium packages and distributes for are Canderel, GuyLian and Delacre. It is the small things that create great moments, whether at the breakfast table or during your coffee break. Elite Portion Pack Belgium makes these moments count. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  57

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium

From one store to a multinational company TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: GROUP A. DE WITTE

If you have ever bought a clementine or a strawberry in Belgium, it would be almost impossible for it to not be imported, produced or delivered by Group A. De Witte. They make sure you only get the best fruits out there.

that just having more stores would not be enough,” elaborates Vermoere. So, in the late 1980s, he bought the first wholesale company. It marked the beginning of the Group A. De Witte. “From there on we grew in every step of the chain, from importing fruit, selling it via wholesale and in stores, exporting them and having our own transportation and packaging solutions.” Even though the group grew internationally, it still remained a family business, with Achiel’s son Jurgen entering and now leading the daily operations.

What started with a single vegetable store by Achiel De Witte some 40 years ago, has grown into an international group that imports fruit and vegetables from over 75 countries and exports them to more than 15 countries. The company’s headquarters are in Brussels, there are 24 branches throughout Belgium and the Netherlands and they have almost 600 employees.

Cibel and Cebon

“Fruit and vegetables have always been a part of the De Witte family,” explains Stijn Vermoere of Group A. De Witte. “So it was a natural step for Achiel to have a shop of his own. From there, the growth just came organically.” It was not just about having more stores for Achiel de Witte. “First there came more shops, but Achiel felt

The company is particularly proud of their own brand of high-quality oranges and clementines, called Cibel. “These are top-quality citrus fruits we import from Spain and South Africa. We import from those two countries, so that we can ensure a year-round availability of these great fruits,” says Vermoere. Cibel is one of the top-quality brands in Belgium.

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Throughout the years, quality has always been of the highest importance. That is why the group created Cebon, a quality mark to make sure only the best products are being sold. Vermoere: “The growers are specially chosen, and the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are being checked all the time.” If they do not match the standards, Group A. De Witte will not sell them. “Our people work day in and day out to make sure you get the best fruits and vegetables available.”

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium

The team. Photo: Adeline Delforge

A local handmade beer for an explosion of taste TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER  |  PHOTOS: ERIC CHRISTIAENS

This is the story of two visionary friends, who at the end of their studies took a motorbike trip around Belgium that ignited their love for brewing a beer of quality and taste. The result? A product that is 100 per cent handmade and 100 per cent local. The ‘Diôle’ is the name of this unique kind of beer, brainchild of Julien Slabbinck and François Amorison. Over the past four years, the duo has perfected their craft and created a beer that is made with natural regional products at their Brasserie des Carrières. From the hop growing on the grounds around the brewery, to the poplar trees of Hainaut used to manufacture the beer trays, everything is made and acquired locally. “We fell in love with this very noble profession and aimed to make a state-ofthe-art beer that is crafted locally and free of additives and preservatives. Today we have a selection of beers that range from

blonde to dark, with caramelised touches or fruity aromas, which can be enjoyed all year round.” Whether in a cosy bar or on a sunny terrace, the Diôle has something to please everyone. Elected ‘Best Beer of Wallonia’ in 2014, the original Diôle at 6.5 per cent is a concentration of lightness, malty aromas and has a pleasant sparkle in the mouth. Their dark beer, winner of the silver prize at the 2015 Belgian Beer challenge, is measurably bitter while retaining some sweet light caramel tastes. The duo also took joy in creating special limited editions for Carnival and Christmas, which were a great success.

Proud to collaborate with local artisans and farmers to provide them with their prime products, they treat their visitors with equal care as they do their product by organising ‘open-door day’ on Saturdays “where visitors can come and witness our brewing process and of course enjoy the final product!”. From 8am to 6pm, visitors can take part in the open doors and alternatively book visits for other days of the week. Cheers!

“We have also created the Diôle Rouge for the upcoming spring season - a red beer made by combining our brew with fresh grape juice or cherry juice.” Appreciated by both men and women, their selection of beers can be enjoyed in a variety of locations across Belgium, France, Holland and some as far as Italy and Norway. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  59

Discover Benelux  |  Food & drink  |  A Taste of Belgium


Born 35 years ago in a picturesque little village in the Belgian Ardennes, Brasserie d’Achouffe could not have predicted that their humble beginnings would see them create six types of beer, export their products to more than 40 countries and become an internationally recognised brand. Pierre Gobron and Chris Bauweraerts, the founders of Brasserie d’Achouffe, could not have imagined a more fairytale-like universe for their gnomes to come to life than the beauti-

ful, mountainous Ardennes and the magical atmosphere of the village of Achouffe. The creation of their signature beer, LA CHOUFFE has allowed the little mischievous creatures to travel all over Europe and beyond, taking with them this delectable drink. “It is refreshing, fruity, and has a little touch of coriander - the ingredient at the heart of it success,” says Sophie Massart, brand manager of Brasserie d’Achouffe. “Brewed with the best ingredients available locally and the know-how of our specialised brewers, our beer has consist-

ently won prizes at both national and international levels and we are proud to keep providing the highest quality product to our consumers.” On top of conquering the hearts and palates of beer lovers around the world, the gnomes at the Brasserie d’Achouffe continue to inspire their brewers for new recipes to please their fans and spread the magic. Find out more about the secret world of these impish beings by entering their world and finding out more about their unique story:

Discover Benelux  |  Holland  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Haarlem. Photo: Hans-Guldemond-Photography


As Dutch as it gets Holland is a name often used to describe the whole of the Netherlands, but in fact it is an area that covers just two provinces. Together, North Holland and South Holland form the most populated and touristic region in the Netherlands, and for a good reason. From beautiful old villages to grand cities and stunning scenery, it does not get more Dutch than this. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: NBTC & AMSTERDAM MARKETING

Keukenhof. Photo: Cris-Toala-Olivares

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  61

Discover Benelux  |  Holland  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Amsterdam. Photo: Cris-Toala-Olivares

Volendam. Photo: Koen-Smilde

North Holland: So much more than Amsterdam Read more from page 64 When visiting the Netherlands, you simply cannot miss North Holland. A holiday in this north-westerly province means finding yourself in a typical Dutch postcard, with the characteristic scenery the country is so famous for present everywhere you look. Everything typically Dutch is to be found here: photogenic waterways, countless windmills and, of course, Amsterdam. Some of the most beautiful cities and villages in the Netherlands lie on a short distance from the capital, and are very easily reachable via train, bus, or bike. Haarlem, with its ancient buildings, cobbled streets and pretty waterways, is one of the most picturesque destinations in the Netherlands. A bit further north, Den Helder occupies the northernmost point of the North Holland peninsula and is home to the country’s main naval base. Another spot with beautiful scenery is Medemblik, a charming village set on one of Europe’s largest inland lakes, the IJsselmeer.

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Do not forget to pay a visit to the famous cheese markets in Alkmaar and Edam, where the country’s most delicious export product has been sold for centuries. DO NOT MISS: The Zaanse Schans: A residential area where the 18th and 19th century is brought back to life. The Zaanse Schans is still a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, barns, workshops, and mills. You can stroll past the bakery museum, peek at the warehouse where clogs are made, or take a sailing trip over the winding waterways. Volendam: A wise man once sung that anyone who wants to see the real beauty of Holland should go to Volendam. This characteristic Dutch fishing village has preserved its character for six centuries, partly because of the tough vitality of the fishermen. The characteristic small houses which, together with the canals and the drawbridges, form the most picture-perfect spots that have not lost any of their romantic allure since the town was built.

Discover Benelux  |  Holland  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

The Hague.

South Holland: Land of art and beaches Read more from page 68 The province of South Holland is a haven for culture aficionados as well as those who love the seaside. The Hague, Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam boast art and history museums with world-class collections, while the beaches of Katwijk, Noordwijk or Scheveningen are popular summertime beach destinations. Just like in North Holland, the highlights of South Holland are just a stone’s throw away from each other, with the main cities all within half an hour’s reach. The cities of South Holland all very much have their own character. The Hague is known for its stately mansions and palaces, historic squares and of course the ‘Binnenhof’, where the government of the Netherlands is located. On the other hand, Rotterdam embodies a modern allure, and is known for its beautiful skyline and innovative architecture, as well as the largest port in Europe. Traditional South Holland scenery can be found at the world-famous mills of Kinderdijk, the Delft Blue pottery factory Royal Delft, and the Keukenhof in Lisse, with its surrounding flower fields.

Scheveningen. Photo: NBTC


Gouda. Photo: NBTC

Ouddorp: This family seaside resort, with its fine wide beaches, is known far outside the Netherlands. Ouddorp is rich in natural beauty and allows guests to spend the holidays in peace. Expect tranquil beaches, clear waters and luscious nature. Gouda Cheese Market: Gouda cheese is one of the best known and most eaten in the world, owing its name to the fact that is has been traded in the city of Gouda for centuries. To this day, the famous cheese is made in the traditional way in the polders around the town, where cows that provide their milk for the Gouda cheese can be found grazing in the green fields.

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  63

Discover Benelux  |  Holland Special  |  North Holland Highlights

Corrie ten Boom showing the entrance to the tiny hiding place – where six people hid for 47 hours before they were rescued.

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

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.

ble 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.

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 imagine what it must have been like to hide and live here. The museum tells the story of courageous peaceful resistance, incredi-

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

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.

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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”. Unable to visit the museum? Take the virtual tour on

Discover Benelux  |  Holland Special  |  North Holland Highlights


Have you always wanted to know what a seaside Napoleonic fort looked like? Or how a soldier spent his day? You can explore this and much more at Fort Kijkduin, in the beautiful village of Huisduinen. Fort Kijkduin hosts a military fort museum alongside an aquarium located in a maze of underground tunnels, all on the coast of the North Sea. The fort in its original form was built between 1811 and 1813 by hundreds of Spanish war prisoners, at the order of Napoleon himself. Kijkduin has been the backdrop for many important events in Dutch history, such as the battle of Kijkduin and the fort’s invasion by the English in 1799, still one of the biggest and bloodiest battles in Dutch history. “Fort Kijkduin has been utilised by many different military units,” explains director André Koning. “The fort was taken by the Germans in 1940, who used it as a training base for naval personnel and as

an observation post.” Sounds interesting? Fort Kijkduin allows you to dive into history and relive these events yourself. When you are done soaking in history, not to be missed is the fort’s wonderfully special aquarium, made up of 14 tanks, each with their own theme. Unlike other aquariums, in Fort Kijkduin you can not only look at the fish, but also touch them. Be sure to visit sperm whale ‘Chris de Potvis’, who washed ashore in 1997 and whose skeleton has been wonderfully preserved. Fort Kijkduin offers so much more: thanks to its perfect surroundings, the fort is the frequent setting for all kinds of festivities. “Our location is perfect for conferences, parties, and excursions,” Koning enthuses. “And our terrace might just have the most beautiful view in the Netherlands!”


Venture to the medieval town of Medemblik and discover a treasure trove of Dutch delicacies in bakery museum De Oude Bakkerij. Just an hour from Amsterdam, on the shores of the old Zuiderzee, Medemblik houses one of Europe’s most unique museums: De Oude Bakkerij. Set up in the 1980s by the parents of the current owner, Jacco Spil, the museum houses an exceptional collection of historical bakery objects. Dating back as far as the 16th and 17th centuries, they include the world’s largest collection of original cookie boards, which were used to make the famous Dutch speculaas biscuits. “Some of the speculaas boards were actually designed by the famous 18th century American naval hero John Paul Jones during a stay in Holland,” Jacco tells us with glee. But the museum’s most interesting objects date from the 19th and 20th centuries, when Holland enjoyed a wealth of small bakers, con-

fectioners and patissiers, developing and expanding the baker’s trade with the use of new machinery. Many of the techniques that were introduced in those days will be demonstrated in the Oude Bakkerij’s three studios. “Our master bakers and confectioners can show how intricate sugar icing techniques are used to make fondant figures, how ice cream, chocolate bonbons and typical Dutch delicacies such as marzipan and ‘gevulde koeken’ are made,” adds Jacco. “They can also tell you how the Dutch baking trade is intimately related to Dutch culture and the sugar and spices imported from the overseas Dutch colonies. They have an abundance of stories and anecdotes to share.” If you fancy trying your hand at some of the baking techniques yourself, you can always contact the museum to discuss the possibilities. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  65

Discover Benelux  |  Holland Special  |  North Holland Highlights


Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport only opened its doors a little more than a year ago, but the four-star hotel is already the number one hotel in the Hoofddorp area, according to reviews on TripAdvisor. “Many guests compliment the hotel’s pleasant casual atmosphere and outstanding service,” says general manager Floris Licht. The white building with the peculiar windows is an attractive design by Dutch architects Mulderblauw. The inside looks surprisingly light and fresh, with an abundance of wood and greenery. “The architect has paid a lot of attention to the lighting and furniture,” says Licht. “We felt it was important to create a homely atmosphere, a place where you can meet and work as well as relax. Our guests are 66  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

often pleasantly surprised when they step into our hotel.”

Easy to reach Many business and leisure guests choose to stay at this hotel because of its very convenient location. Within four minutes by train you go from Schiphol Airport to Hoofddorp Station and from there it is just a 200-metre walk to the hotel. Situated around the corner from the hotel is the upand-coming Park 20|20 and it takes just 20 minutes by train to get to downtown Amsterdam. You can choose a room in one of four categories – a Superior or Executive room, a Junior Suite or Superior Suite. The bathroom is spacious and features a bath or walk-in rain shower. In the rooms, free

Wi-Fi is available, as well as individual air conditioning, LCD TV and a small fridge. Another plus is the fact that the rooms are very well sound insulated and the comfortable beds have so-called ‘smart pillows’ and a duvet that is as warm as it is light. The hotel only opened its doors in December 2015. “This means everything is still brand new and of very good quality,” says the general manager. “Our guests love that the rooms are so tidy and clean. They often tell us that we offer excellent value for money.”

Informal setting In the Gourmet Bar restaurant, you can enjoy local and international cuisine. The dishes are made in the open kitchen with

Discover Benelux  |  Holland Special  |  North Holland Highlights

organic products from local farmers by chef Rogier Delfos and his team. You can choose from a variety of healthy meals and snacks, delicious smoothies and vegetarian dishes.

used in several of the restaurant’s meals and cocktails. “At the moment, we are looking to cooperate with a local brewer to hopefully create our own honeyflavoured beer as well,” says Licht.

“Our guests appreciate the casual setting here,” Floris Licht smiles. “Waiters walk around in jeans and sneakers for example.” He adds: “The prices are nicely affordable as well.” For example, you can enjoy a three-course menu for as little as 25 euros. Also good to know is that you can have your lunch or dinner here at any time of the day – ideal if you have just arrived from another time zone.

The hotel features 17 pleasant meeting rooms and 1,300 square metres of meeting space. The rooms all have plenty of natural light, a built-in beamer and screen and free Wi-Fi. During coffee breaks, traditional Dutch delicacies like ‘stroopwafels’ and special old Amsterdam cheese are served.

Honey and beer The hotel keeps three beehives in the garden in cooperation with a local professional beekeeper. At the moment, there are around 40,000 bees and their work can be observed via a webcam in the restaurant. The fresh honey they produce is

Wooden bikes Guests can also rent Dutch-designed bikes made of oak wood directly at the hotel. “When you cross the street and turn left you can already cycle amid the sheep,” enthuses Licht. “You can easily go to beautiful places nearby like the Westeinderplassen (lake), the forest Haarlemmermeerse Bos and the village of Vijfhuizen.

During spring, the hotel offers guests the possibility to board the Keukenhof Hotel Express, a bus shuttle to the famous Keukenhof, where you can admire the many colourful tulips and other flowers. If you would rather stay inside, a fitness centre is available in the hotel as well. Next to this, you can relax in the social corner while reading a book from the hotel’s small library or make use of the football table. Children can have all the fun they want in the small playhouse. If you decide to stay in the hotel, do not forget to download the hotel’s own Transit App, which tells you the fastest and easiest way to get to and from the hotel by public transport. The hotel also gives you the possibility to request an e-ticket for the train during the booking process, which enables you to get from the airport terminal to the hotel in less than ten minutes.

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  67

Discover Benelux  |  Holland Special  |  South Holland Highlights

TOP RIGHT: Escher’s wife Jetta in front of Atrani, May 1931. BELOW RIGHT: Detail from Metamorphose III, woodcut, 1939-1940 / 1967-1968, M.C. Escher, © The M.C. Escher Company BV, Baarn. BOTTOM RIGHT: Maurits Cornelis Escher in Patti, 27 April 1932

See the world through Escher’s eyes TEXT: THESSA LAGEMAN  |  PHOTOS: THE M.C. ESCHER COMPANY BV, BAARN

Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher took hundreds of photos during his life, but they have never been exhibited until now. Take a glimpse into Escher’s personal photo archive at Escher in Het Paleis in The Hague. “His photos give you a clear idea about the man behind the artist,” says curator Dunja Hak. M.C. Escher (1898-1972) made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and over 2,000 drawings and sketches during his lifetime. He is most famous for his wonderful, so-called impossible constructions and optical illusions, such as Climbing and Descending, which depicts rows of people perpetually ascending and descending a flight of stairs. Over 150 prints are on show housed in the former Winter Palace of Queen Mother Emma of the Netherlands in the centre of The Hague. Also for the first time, a huge selection of photos are being exhibited between 4 February and 14 May 2017 at 68  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Escher in het Paleis, next to the permanent exhibition dedicated to the artist in the exhibition Escher, close up. The artist used photography as a source of inspiration and as part of his preliminary studies. However, he considered his photos private and not really part of his art. After his death, his archive was only viewed by a select group of historians. “The interest in his photography is a relatively recent phenomenon and Escher turned out to be a really excellent photographer,” says Dunja Hak. Escher clearly experimented with things like perspective, light and dark and reflections, the curator continues. “He had a great eye for composition.” The exhibition consists of large digitalised photos and his original photo albums and agendas with his notes. His photos not only offer insight into his daily life, they also provide an unparalleled vision of his working methods as an artist.

“It offers an entirely new way of looking at his work,” says Hak enthusiastically. He often travelled during spring to Italy, Spain or France, and compiled snapshots in neatly ordered photo albums. Afterwards, in autumn and winter, he created his art works. For example, he took a photo of his wife Jetta with the Italian town Atrani on the coast in the background and later created the work Metamorphosis II and III based on this photo. This work, a seven-metre-long woodcut, displayed in a non-conventional way, is also the highlight of the permanent exhibition.

Discover Benelux  |  Holland Special  |  South Holland Highlights

A journey through history The stoker throws some more coals on the fire, while the train driver pulls the whistle: time to get on board! While you get on the rocking tram, you could almost forget you are not in the Netherlands in 1930. In fact, you are at the RTM Museum. The RTM Museum is a riding railroad museum, displaying steam and diesel locomotives, vehicles and freight wagons from transport company Rotterdamsche Tramweg Maatschappij (RTM), the renowned – and once the biggest – transporter on the islands of South Holland. RTM’s old steam train still rides across the Brouwersdam, giving passengers a historically fun experience and a great view across the Grevelingenmeer. “RTM was founded in 1878, originally to exploit a network of horse tram roads,” explains Sam de Haan, secretary at the RTM Museum. “The company had over 235 kilometres of tramway and owned several ferries and buses.


Besides passengers, RTM also transported agricultural products, livestock, and building materials, with some saying that RTM even invented the container in its current form!” he enthuses. Everything at the museum is authentic and was owned and used by RTM: from the three old stream trams dating back to 1898, to the nostalgia-drenched buses, to ‘Anna-Jacoba’, a charming ferry that use to transport passengers between the islands of South Holland. It was thanks to loyal volunteers that so many original pieces of RTM have been well maintained after it ceased to exist in 1966. The RTM Museum still runs on volunteers, who all share a passion for history, and for RTM. In September 2016, exactly 50 years after the museum’s opening, the RTM Museum received the Dutch Royal Medal: a symbol of the King’s appreciation and respect for the museum’s special merits.


Virtually possible If you think face-to-face meetings can be awful, keep away from virtual ones. I receive frequent reports from victims of international telcos who say that too often they are painful exercises in poor management, personal frustration, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Here are some protocols for better virtual communication that your company might usefully adopt, organised round the Four Ps of good business communication – Preparation, Purpose, Process and People. Preparation Before the meeting, someone needs to: - Inform participants of the time, date and call-in details. - Circulate an agenda, a list of participants (with their photos, for international project meetings) and a brief profile of the function and role in the meeting of each person. - Only invite the people who really need to attend. Purpose The chair must state the objectives of the meeting clearly and highlight common goals. Process (during the call): Chair - Start with a roll-call to check who is present, and ask people to identify themselves when they speak.


- Check volumes. - With large groups in one location, assign one representative to speak on behalf of all. - Establish ground rules for the use of the mute button, mobile phones, etc. - Assign someone to write on-screen notes to help avoid misunderstandings. - Check regularly for comprehension. - Summarise frequently. - Keep to the agenda. Participants - Use your voice effectively. - Direct your questions to named individuals. - Consider how much time you speak. (Native speakers tend to speak for too long.) - Try not to interrupt your colleagues unless you need clarification of a point. - When you agree with something, say so. - Be clear and explicit about your attitude and feelings. People Chair - Use the right communication style to influence and engage people. - Bring people in, especially the quieter ones. - Regulate turn-taking. - Encourage communication among all participants. Participants Listen effectively and observe the reactions of others.

Bad telcos waste time, energy and money. If the chair is not making these things happen, then participants need to get good practices adopted even if it means going against hierarchy. Anyone should feel empowered to intervene if it results in more engaged people and clearer decisions. Best wishes for better telcos in the future.

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

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  69

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Calendar


ship owners and other stakeholders from the shipping sector. ITAS (International Transfer Agency Summit) 28 February – 2 March Luxembourg City, Luxembourg It has been over 17 years since ITAS was born, and never has the industry had to react to so much change. Key stakeholders will gather to discuss essential regulation amongst other issues that are impacting and changing the fund distribution and operations landscape.

EU Shipping Week.

PACKZ Insights 9 February Rotterdam, the Netherlands Packed with genuine insights in packaging innovation and great networking possibilities, PACKZ Insights is the must-go event for all businesses and individuals with an interest in packaging, from brand owners to service providers. Hypotheken Event 14 – 15 February Utrecht, the Netherlands The Hypotheken Event is one of the biggest events in the mortgage industry. Every year, professionals from the field come together for the latest mortgage trends and developments. Friends of Search 16 February Amsterdam, the Netherlands Online marketers no longer have to head outside the Benelux to be updated on the 70  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

latest SEO and SEA trends. Friends of Search welcomes experts from countries such as the UK and the US, where developments are often faster to share their knowledge and experience. Fast Forward 23 - 24 February Amsterdam, the Netherlands FastForward is returning to the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam for two jam-packed days of music industry insight and tightknit networking opportunities. In 2016, this event welcomed over 140 delegates from 16 different countries. European Shipping Week 27 February – 3 March Brussels, Belgium The European Shipping Week focusses on all aspects of shipping. This renowned event is intended to be a platform where policy makers from the main EU institutions will meet and engage with European

Friends of Search.

Fast Forward. Photo: Amanda Rose Photography

Fast Forward. Photo: Amanda Rose Photography

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Discover Benelux  |  Conference centre of the month  |  Luxembourg

Photo: Olivimage


A key meeting place in the heart of Europe TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS  |  PHOTOS: LUXEMBOURG CONGRÈS

Situated in the business and financial district of the capital city, the European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL) managed by Luxembourg Congrès offers superb conferencing facilities. Its location on the Kirchberg Plateau is a major benefit: event organisers are adjacent to the European institutions, the city’s top hotels and several cultural offerings. Luxembourg Congrès offers a full-service package, with many added bonuses included in the price of venue rentals. These include Wi-Fi; the foyer adjacent to a rental room, which can be used for catering and exhibitions; an integrated audio service; microphones and translation 72  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

booths. Unlike many other venues, when a company hires the rooms managed by Luxembourg Congrès, all of the add-ons (audio visual apparatus; security; communications; and the equipment required by the translators) are included in the prices. Managing director Patrick Hoffnung explains that the venues offers great value for money, particularly during the low season (February, 10 July to 10 September, and December): “We work closely with nearby hoteliers to provide exceptional promotions during these periods.”

A space to suit everyone The ECCL hosts a huge variety of events throughout the year. It features multiple rooms perfectly laid out and equipped to

respond to the most diverse expectations and requirements. Events hosted include both national and international conferences, congresses, exhibitions, fashion shows, receptions, product launches and presentations, cocktail parties and dinners, meetings, banquets and seminars, amongst others. The ECCL is a brand new purpose-built facility. Its airy lobbies make it Luxembourg’s most outstanding conference centre. The venue has 40 briefing rooms for breakout sessions and business meetings, and a luminous and multifunctional foyer which is ideal for special events and celebrations, such as gala dinners, exhibitions or cocktail parties for up to 2,000 participants.

Discover Benelux  |  Conference centre of the month  |  Luxembourg

Luxembourg Congrès has three major conference rooms, one for up to 800 participants, another with 146 seats and an amphitheatre for 646 people. The amphitheatre, called the Hemicycle, formerly home to the European Parliament, is located just across the street. The elliptical-shaped room is elegantly decorated, with a magnificent ceiling light. An adjacent bar offers fantastic views across the city. This unique building is revered for its importance on the European stage and for its hemicyclic amphitheatre room. The Hemicycle has full technological equipment including screens, projectors, table microphones, Wi-Fi and translation booths. In addition to the plenary room, the foyer can also be hired for supporting facilities. Its size and décor make it a

delightful place to relax in between meetings, conferences or seminars.

Key events this year This year alone, the ECCL will host a vast array of major events. The ICMA, the International Capital Market Association, will hold one of the most internationally respected events for the global debt capital markets here from 3 to 5 May 2017. From 3 to 12 July, the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonies (an association of the parliaments of Francophone countries) will hold its annual event. September will see the Congrès hosting LCM, a threeday conference with 700 businesses and researchers on Life Cycle Management.

Location, location, location In addition to the first-rate facilities, one of the major pluses of the European Convention Center is its strategic location

in Luxembourg’s capital. The Kirchberg plateau houses many institutions of international importance, including the most important European institutions, as well as significant cultural attractions such as national concert hall the Philharmonie Luxembourg, and MUDAM, an impressive modern art museum opened in 2006. There are also many prime restaurants in the surrounding area. The Luxembourg Congrès is just seven kilometres away from the airport, and a ten-minute walk from the train station, which is well connected to other major cities including Paris, by the TGV. Situated at the heart of Europe, Luxembourg is an international business and finance centre, easily reached from anywhere on the continent. LUXEMBOURG CONGRÈS - 40 briefing rooms for 30 to 380 people each - Space to host up to 2,000 participants for galas, exhibitions or dinners - Three major conference rooms for 146 or 800 people

Photo: Luxembourg City Tourism Office

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  73

Discover Benelux  |  Spa of the month  |  Luxembourg

The perfect mind, body and soul detox for the winter TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER  |  PHOTOS: YOAKÉ

Located on the Boulevard de la Pétrusse in the heart of Luxembourg, this luxurious spa offers a unique combination of treatments that promote health and longevity. Enter this haven of peace and rejuvenation and leave with a much-needed feeling of wellbeing to get you through the winter months. At the heart of Yoaké, The Ultimate Spa is the holistic approach adopted by its founder and manager Odette Tonnaer. With a medical background and a deep care for achieving long-term health in a natural way for her customers, she emphasises the importance of supporting the body in its natural regeneration process. “What sets us apart is the fact that we pay close attention to the intelligence of the body in adapting to its environment and the demands of modern day life. This 74  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

is the reason why we have special detox sessions to help our clients handle the needs of their bodies in the winter season.” Some of the special detox treatments include the Body Scrub Ottoman, the Infrared Detoxification and the Ultimate Detox & Revive. The traditional Ottoman scrub helps your body to shred old cells, exposing a fresh and rejuvenated new layer of skin. This accelerator and preparatory treatment will leave your skin more supple, smoother, softer and well purified. As for the Infrared Detoxification, it triggers an effective and deep penetrating sweating process that releases more toxins than a standard sauna, boosting your body and getting rid of waste and grease. The treatment is followed by a natural cooling down of the body and a rehydration with

water and green tea served in the peaceful surroundings of The Ultimate Spa. Finally, the Ultimate Detox & Revive is the perfect pick-me-up when you are feeling sluggish or lethargic. This treatment combines sweet zesty pink grapefruit, fresh green rosemary and rich, woody juniper berry for a strengthening detoxifying effect. The outcome? Feeling invigorated and full of energy. To complement the treatment provided by The Ultimate Spa, its therapists direct their customers to hand-picked partners specialised in food intake and aromatherapies to complete the detox. This allows for a 360-degree mind-body-soul approach to sustainable wellbeing. So, wait no more and book your appointment towards long-term health!






informations et réser vations sur

Discover Benelux  |  Interview  |  Tom Lanoye

76  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Interview  |  Tom Lanoye


Finding the right words Applauded for his picturesque style of writing and unique use of language, Tom Lanoye is one of the most widely read authors in the Netherlands and Flanders. Also renowned as a poet, columnist and playwright, his works have been translated into more than ten languages. In 2009 he wrote Speechless, which was voted one of the most popular ‘new classics’ in Flemish literature and has been adapted into a film directed by Hilde Van Mieghem. With the movie set for release next month, we caught up with Lanoye, who divides his time between Antwerp and Cape Town. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTO: SOPHIE BASSOULS

Lanoye’s bestseller Speechless is a poignant memoir depicting the final years of the writer’s mother, a butcher’s wife and amateur actress. Last year saw the release of Paul Vincent’s English language translation of the autobiographical novel, a deeply personal work which the prolific writer feels immensely proud of. “The book is a monument to the wonderful character that is my mother. She was very eccentric. I write a lot of theatre and that’s thanks to her,” he begins. “Speechless tells the story of my mother being this wonderful actress and after her stroke losing the ability to speak. Seeing this happen to my mother was such a shock. That’s devastating for anybody with a loved one, but for a writer… you see the source of your mother tongue deteriorating.”

Facing fears Multilingual Lanoye has been impressing critics since the 1980s, with comparisons being made to the likes of Albert Camus, Paolo Pasolini and even Quentin Tarantino. When discussing his greatest fears, the 58-year-old explains that the thought of suffering a similar fate to his mother terrifies him. “You do not realise if you haven’t seen that happening to somebody, but to lose your language and the ability to understand is such a cruel thing. I’m a big fan of languages. To lose that ability, I’d rather die at the same moment. That’s what I’m really afraid of,” he admits. Lanoye credits his passion for theatre to his late mother, and is well known for

performing his own works in theatres. “Thanks to this mother of mine I have always been comfortable with my own texts on stage,” he smiles.

The world is a stage “As a writer, you don’t normally believe as an actor does. In the moment an actor knows that his art will die the moment the curtain has fallen, so he lives for that moment. A writer must have the pretension that he is writing for eternity. That’s why most writers don’t like the theatre because the theatre reminds them of the fact that some books will not live forever. I like to be on stage but in a way that is very ancient.”

gium. However, he also spends three months of the year in South Africa. “I used to think I couldn’t write outside of Belgium, but now I know that’s wrong. Everything just travels with you. I can write wherever,” he muses. “I can travel the world. South Africa and Cape Town are very special places, and I need Antwerp and Flanders. It’s like a Russian Doll and at the centre is Flanders and Europe. I need those three months in South Africa. It makes me a better European,” concludes the creative.

Going to see a play is one of Lanoye’s favourite ways to unwind, and he is keen to stress the importance of having hobbies outside of writing. Explaining he is “not the type of writer that needs to be unhappy to write”, the creative knows to make the most of life’s pleasures. “The difficulty with writing is that every now and then you forget to live. In order to be a good writer you have to live as well, which means food and friendships. Don’t miss out on them - never forget that you have a body,” he warns, adding that the tries to go to the gym a couple of times a week. “This is important when you sit a lot.”

Flanders forever Having been born in the city of Sint Niklaas in the Flemish province of East Flanders, Lanoye will always have his roots in BelIssue 38  |  February 2017  |  77

Carnival Maastricht.

Out & About With winter past its highpoint and spring not quite in sight, February seems like one of those in-between periods we just have to survive. Luckily the events featured in this calendar will make the month much more interesting! TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK

Affordable Art Fair Brussels. Photo: Pierre Raoult

78  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Calendar  |  February Events Guide

Haute Photographie Until 12 February Rotterdam, the Netherlands Haute Photographie is a new photography fair taking place at Art Week Rotterdam. It is centred around a group exhibition, featuring works by the grand masters of the history of photography and the youngest and most exciting talents working in the medium today.

Crane Hotel Faralda Month of February Amsterdam, the Netherlands Set in the trendy NDSM area, this beautiful high-end hotel is located in a converted crane. With stunning views over Amsterdam’s skyline and the River IJ, this eclectic hotel is one of a kind.

Royal Delft Month of February Delft, the Netherlands What would a visit to Delft be without visiting the home of the famous Delft Blue earthenware? Royal Delft gives you a unique glimpse into this piece of famous Dutch heritage.

Design Icons 11 – 12 February Amsterdam, the Netherlands The annual Design Icons event returns to Amsterdam’s Kromhouthal, inviting professional vintage and design traders from all over Europe to present their latest interior offerings.

Royal Delft.

Crane Hotel Faralda. Photo: Liu Kiki

Delft Blues Festival 17 – 19 February Delft, the Netherlands The Delft Blues Festival is Holland’s biggest indoor blues event, with more than 50 bands performing at dozens of cafés and restaurants throughout the city. It is a wonderful music festival against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Delft. Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  79

Discover Benelux  |  Calendar  |  February Events Guide

Wonderland Festival 18 February Amsterdam, the Netherlands The Wonderland Festival in Amsterdam serves a menu of rumbling house and techno beats, for all of those with a passion for dance music.

Anima Festival 24 February – 5 March Brussels, Belgium Anima 2017, the Brussels International Animation Festival, will be taking over Belgium for ten days to celebrate the world of animation. The event takes place at Flagey in Brussels and in and around different theatres in Flanders and Wallonia.

Carnival in the Netherlands 26 -28 February Southern Netherlands In the Netherlands, carnival is a holiday mainly celebrated in the south of the country. Limburg and Noord-Brabant are the predominantly Catholic provinces where most inhabitants celebrate Carnival: they wear colourful outfits, sing, dance, and drink. Wonderland Festival.

80  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

The Scheepvaartmuseum.

Discover Benelux  |  Calendar  |  February Events Guide

NEMO science museum.

The Royal Palace Amsterdam Month of February Amsterdam, the Netherlands The past and present collide at the stunning Royal Palace Amsterdam. The imposing 17th century building is certainly a sight to behold, and it is an important witness in the story of the Netherlands as a nation. Today it is still in use by the Dutch Royal Family. It is the only palace in the Netherland that is both in active use and open to the public, allowing visitors to literally walk in their footsteps.

Royal Palace Amsterdam.

NEMO Science Museum Month of February Amsterdam, the Netherlands ‘Next-day delivery!’ What does a promise like that require? A clever logistical process. Become a logistic expert in the exhibition The Machine and send parcels all Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  81

Discover Benelux  |  Calendar  |  February Events Guide

out the festival, alongside the screenings, audiences can meet the most important people in the industry.

Audrey and her mother Ella van Heemstra, 1930-1935. Photo: Audrey Hepburn Family Photo Collection © 2016

Motherly love. Ella & Audrey at the Airborne Museum Until 20 August Oosterbeek, the Netherlands This exhibition provides a unique sneak peak into the life of a young Audrey Hepburn, who lived in Arnhem during the Battle of Arnhem. Motherly love. Ella & Audrey was developed in close cooperation with the sons of Hepburn and shows unseen material, including young photos, children’s drawings and personal items of Hepburn and her mother.

around the world at NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam.

Animatsu; In This Corner Of The World.

Affordable Art Fair 16 February – 20 March Brussels, Belgium In the presence of more than 90 Belgian and international galleries, this event aims to make art accessible to everyone.

Het Scheepvaartmuseum – the National Maritime Museum Month of February Amsterdam, the Netherlands The Arsenal, built in 1656, is home to the Scheepvaartmuseum. Take the Voyage at Sea tour. Climb aboard an old ship. Hear the stories of captains and sailors. Experience the Golden Age in an up close and personal way. Join in now and feel history come alive.

Luxembourg City Film Festival 2 March – 12 March Luxembourg City, Luxembourg This festival is the platform for Luxembourg films, offering features and short films, documentaries and fiction. Through82  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

Design Icons.

Discover Benelux  |  Calendar  |  Festivals in Belgium

Belgium’s most beautiful bear parade TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: OFFICE DU TOURISME ANDENNE

Surrounded by verdant countryside, the charming city of Andenne in the Belgian province of Namur is renowned for playing host to countless festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Coming up next month is the famous Carnival of Bears, an annual extravaganza featuring a big bear parade, live music and more than two tonnes of confetti. The Carnival of Bears has taken place in Andenne since 1954. It is held every year on the fourth Sunday in Lent, which this year falls on 26 March. A major highlight is the dazzling procession, which begins at around 2pm and sees the streets lined with floats designed by local associations and carnival groups. Leading the way are the carnival’s giant teddy bear mascots Fonzy and Martin II. With music, entertainment and a great party atmosphere, carnival goers of all ages delight in the spectacle and partake in a friendly confetti battle. This joyous parade culminates in

Place des Tilleuls with a traditional throwing of teddy bears from the town hall balcony into the crowds below. This unique festival was launched in the 1950s by a pioneering group of local traders eager to create an exciting new event for their city, although its roots date back many centuries. In fact, the carnival founders were inspired by a medieval legend of a nine-year-old boy who succeeded in killing a bear that had been terrorising the city’s inhabitants. A fountain situated on the Rue d’Horseilles features an epitaph commemorating the incredible tale. The little boy is believed to have been the young Charles Martel, grandson of Saint Begga, who founded of the city of Andenne back in 692. Martel went on to become the eighth century ruler of the Franks, while the bear became an emblem for the city of Andenne. Keen to find out more? Embark on La Randonnée des Aguesses, an easy

seven-kilometre walk where you can discover more about the folklore behind the Carnival of Bears.

FESTIVITIES IN ANDENNE Carnival of Bears, 26 March Bear Rock Festival, 30 June Wallonia Festival, 22 - 24 September Festival of Cartoons, 11 - 12 November Christmas Market, 15 - 17 December To start planning your trip, visit:

Issue 38  |  February 2017  |  83

Discover Benelux  |  Calendar  |  Marathon in Luxembourg


The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of a host for a unique running event. Organised since 2006, the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg is one of the most exciting events of the year, with the city’s streets turning into a big festival filled with sports and music. Erich François, CEO and founder of the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg is delighted at the event’s success. “Luxembourg was the only European city to not have a marathon, so I knew I had to organise one, and I wanted to make it very special,” he says. During the ING Night Marathon, runners have the option to partake in a marathon, half marathon, team runs, a five-kilometre run, as well as a children’s run. “The marathon pulls in 15,000 runners each year, and tickets sell out quickly. We strongly believe in offering quality over quantity, and therefore limit attendee numbers to allow the best experience for our runners,” François explains. From the old town’s narrow streets and 84  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

alleyways, to the lively Place Guillaume II, the whole city gears up for the big event at dusk. But the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg is about more than just running. The event is organised during a long weekend, and the marathon coincides with other cultural events, such as the yearly Samba festival that brings over 500 musicians to perform in the heart of the city. The party atmosphere spills onto the streets and allows spectators to watch the runners speeding past, while enjoying music and good food. Adding to the individuality of the event is, of course, the fact that the race does not start until 7pm. The marathon route runs through the historic town centre with its steep sandstone rocks, the financial centre into small, picturesque villages, with handmade lanterns lighting the way in parts. “Despite its small size, Luxembourg is small and exquisite, with a pinch of extravagance,” says François. “Our aim is to forge links with the different parts of town, between sports and culture – and the more than 100 nationalities that live here.

The finish line is in the Luxexpo exhibition centre, where the celebrations continue late into the night,” François concludes.

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Column



Picasso is one of the cornerstones of modern art. Because of this great accolade, he has been scrutinised, talked about and exhibited over and over again. How can a new Picasso exhibition enlighten us in a way that the previous ten did not? Everyone knows everything there is to know about him, right? Well, perhaps not. Picasso. Sculptures at BOZAR, Brussels, refutes that idea. In this collection of over 80 sculptures, we see a new side to the legendary Spaniard. Sculpture was precious to Picasso; whereas painting was his livelihood, sculpture was more a labour of love. Therefore, the king of ingenuity was able to maintain a greater level of freedom than even painting allowed him. In Picasso. Sculptures you are taken through Picasso’s sculpture work chronologically, from his early experiments with clay and wood-carving in-

spired by Rodin and then Gauguin, through his first adventures with Cubist sculpture, and finally bronzes he was making towards the end of his life. Along the way there are some dubious pieces – expect appendages and general ugliness – but what remains evident is the sheer unstoppable creative force of a brilliant mind. The output is phenomenal in both number and variety, and you begin to think that even the bad pieces are just part of a wider picture. They are part of the larger personal journey that Picasso embarks upon with a medium that offered him so much, and which offers the viewer even more. Picasso. Sculptures is on show at BOZAR, Brussels until 5 March 2017. 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.


Brouwerslokaal Dutch Bargain IPA TEXT & PHOTO: STUART FORSTER

If you participated in Dry January and are looking forward to again holding a glass of beer in your hand, then this punchy brew should be approached with respectful caution. Alcohol constitutes a tenth of the liquid within this eye-catching bottle. Brouwerslokaal’s marketing team have done a great job of packaging this beer. The orange pattern on the long neck of the bottle stands out among others on the shelves. It is hard to resist studying the old-fashioned, tinted photograph of turban-wearing, sword-holding Indians standing in ceremonial dress that is wrapped around the bottle. Cleverly, the core of the label is designed as a franked stamp bearing the letters IPA. If you are a fan of India Pale Ale, you might expect a more pronounced hoppiness from this

beer. The foot of the label informs drinkers that this brew registers 45 International Bitterness Units, which is significantly lighter than many modern IPAs. Rather than an overtly hoppy aroma, Dutch Bargain IPA exhibits fruity tones, with hints of red berries. It is burnished copper in colour. Candy sugar features among the ingredients, contributing to a sweetish flavour. The beer has a heavy mouthfeel that gives way to a tangy, hoppy aftertaste. A three-man team drew on crowdfunding to establish the Brouwerslokaal microbrewery in a former school building in Groede, in the Dutch province of Zeeland. This is one of two brews they currently market. Thanks to its underlying sweetness, Dutch Bargain IPA pairs well with spicy curries and blue-veined cheese, such as Bleu de Graven.

Brewer: Brouwerslokaal Strength: Ten 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 38  |  February 2017  |  85

Discover Benelux  |  Music  |  Benelux Beats

VICTOR’S RECORD COLLECTION: My Bloody Valentine – Loveless Slowdive – Souvlaki The Cure – Disintegration Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children Bowery Electric – Beat Hood – The Cycle Of Days And Seasons


Musically discovering… Sun Glitters TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTO: SUN GLITTERS

Luxembourg: the land of scenic towns, sparkling wine, and Sun Glitters, a.k.a. the adventurous electronic project of musician Victor Ferreira. His dreamy tracks full of sun-drenched melodies and melancholic vocals have led to success far beyond the Grand Duchy. We caught up with this electronic magician from the Benelux. Can you tell us something about the music scene in Luxembourg? Just like the country itself, the music scene in Luxembourg is quite small. However, in recent years the music scene has seen a great expansion, both in size and diversity. There are organisations like Music LX and FOCUNA that support emerging artists. A few years ago, the electronic music scene was pretty much non-existent in Luxembourg – that is very different now! You worked on several other projects before: when did you start with Sun Glitters? 86  |  Issue 38  |  February 2017

I started to play the bass in 1996, and in 1998 I really kicked off with electronic music. Sun Glitters began in 2011. After working on my previous project for over 12 years, I wanted something different. I needed a new musical identity.

What or who are the biggest influences for your music? I could mention a never-ending list here! I listen a lot to Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, and Gold Panda, but I find my inspiration everywhere.

Your EP Another Day came out in 2016. Compared to previous albums, how is this one different? Another Day reflects the start of Sun Glitters a bit more; the sound, the way it was produced. Every album reflects my current mood, the life period I find myself in.

Do you prefer producing tracks in the studio or playing in front of a live audience? I like the fact that recording tracks is such a personal process; it is literally me translating my thoughts and feelings to music. But playing live means working with a specific atmosphere, which is also very special.

Your music is described as chillwave and post-dubstep. Is that how you would characterise your music? There are some elements of chillwave and post-dubstep in my music, but I do not think those are the right labels. I prefer to call it indietronica, as I am also a big indie rock fan and there are elements of that genre too. Or call it Glitterswave!

Are there any specific plans for the future? There are a lot of good things on the itinerary for 2017, but unfortunately, I cannot reveal them yet. So stay tuned!

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