Discover Benelux, Issue 40, April 2017

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I S S U E 4 0 | A P R I L 2 017





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ifiqu e n g a M s i L if e ou rg! in Luxem b

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Sixty Four0 Bar

Ha va na L ou nge

Vivez 4 expériences différentes dans l’Atrium.

Enjoy 4 differents experiences in the Atrium.

ORO E ARGENTO au coeur de la gastronomie italienne

ORO E ARGENTO at the heart of italian gastronomy

STÜBLI convivialité et authenticité dans un décor typique

STÜBLI conviviality and authenticity in a traditional atmosphere

HAVANA LOUNGE l’endroit idéal pour un moment de détente

HAVANA LOUNGE a unique environment

SIXTYFOUR° un bar à bonne température

SIXTYFOUR° a bar at ideal temperature

Discover Benelux  |  Contents

Contents APRIL 2017




Max Verstappen Belgian-born racing driver Max Verstappen is a once-in-a-generation talent. Aged 17, he made his debut at the Australian 2015 Grand Prix, earning the accolade of the youngest ever Formula One driver. Now 19 and proving to be stiff competition for the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen spoke to us about life in the fast lane.

THEMES 10 Made in Belgium From fashion to interiors, we present our picks of the most beautiful creations ‘made in Belgium’.


26 Best Museums in Belgium, Luxembourg and France Whether you are into prehistoric megaliths or fashion photography, there will be somewhere for you in our guide to Belgium, Luxembourg and France’s most unmissable cultural attractions.

40 North Holland Special In the mood for a spring break? We share our favourite addresses in the happening city of Haarlem, not to mention popular beach towns such as Zandvoort and Bloemendaal.

BUSINESS 72 Company profiles, regulars and more We look at the month ahead in Benelux business as well as showcasing some of the area’s leading firms.

FEATURES 60 A Century of De Stijl We take an in-depth look at the influential avant-garde movement that has been described as Holland’s most important contribution to 20th century culture.

78 Laura Tesoro Discover Benelux caught up with Antwerp-born songstress Laura Tesoro to talk about life after Eurovision and her recent foray into television presenting.

90 Benelux Beats We spoke to Dutch singer-songwriter Kim Janssen about his much-anticipated third album Cousins.

DON’T MISS 6 Fashion Picks | 8 Desirable Designs 85 Out & About | 89 Columns

62 South Holland Highlights


From world-class museums to stunning beaches, South Holland has it all. Check out our guide to the must-see city of Leiden, as well as seaside resorts Kijkduin, Noordwijk and Scheveningen.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  3

Discover Benelux  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux Issue 40, April 2017 Published 04.2017 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 Daan Appels Ella Put

Frank van Lieshout Heidi Kokborg Lidija Liegis Matt Antoniak Michiel Stol Myriam Gwynned Dijck Ndéla Faye Steve Flinders Stian Sangvig Stuart Forster Thessa Lageman Xandra Boersma Cover Photo David Clerihew 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.

4  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Welcome to April’s issue! The weather is getting warmer, the flower bulb fields are in bloom and there is plenty to feel optimistic about. For example, the big winner of last month’s Dutch elections was the GroenLinks party, led by the Netherlands’ youngest ever party leader, 30-year-old Jesse Klaver. After so much focus from the media on the rise of the far right in Europe, it was nice to read some news that created a feeling of hope and positivity. Talking of youthful promise, our cover star this month is Belgian-born racing wonder Max Verstappen. As fast as starts to a Formula One career go, none have been quicker than his: Verstappen rewrote the history books at the age of 17 when he made his debut as the youngest ever Formula One driver at Australia’s 2015 Grand Prix. I spoke to the 19-year-old, who races under the Dutch flag with Red Bull Racing, to talk about his unprecedented rise to success, and found him to be ambitious, charming and wise beyond his years. Another famous face from the Benelux to have achieved success at a young age is Laura Tesoro, who represented Belgium at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest at the tender age of 19. Head to page 78 to read our interview with the multi-talented star, who is now making a name for herself as a television presenter. In this issue we also have a special guide to Belgian design, so whether you are looking to overhaul your image or redecorate the house, there is plenty to inspire. And now that the days are getting longer, do not miss our jam-packed calendar showcasing April’s cultural highlights. I hope you will find the following pages brimming with ideas and inspiration for a happy and fulfilling month.

Anna Villeleger, Editor

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks


Oh, happy day! Those first rays of sunshine are the most welcome ones. When the sun is out, the flowers begin to bloom and people head outside. In April, nothing can stop you from throwing on happy, bright colours and stepping into spring. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PRESS PHOTOS

Flower power Springtime and florals is a combination that will never go out of style. From a subtle little sunflower, to an overgrown garden of tulips, a flower motif never hurts anyone. These shorts are made for early summer barbecues. Shorts €125 Jumper €125 Jacket €295

Here comes the sun Looking for a complete style update without breaking the bank? Sunglasses are the way to go. Once spring is well and truly here, it is time to add some slick and preferably colourful shades to your accessories collection. From €149 Ray-Ban via

The big short A pair of smart shorts will enhance every man’s spring style. Just remember to pair them with the right shoes. €12.50 6  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks

Yellow fever Yellow is the colour of spring, sun, and happiness. If you dress from head to toe in this vibrant set from Essentiel Antwerp, you will take the sunshine wherever you go. Top €175 Trousers €185 Shoes €295

Mint madness Sweet pastel colours are a classic spring staple, yet are timeless enough to be worn all year long. This cool scarf is the perfect accessory for spring evenings. €9.95

Pink lady A light jacket is the most important item for every seasonal transition. Wear this pink lady with a cute pastel-coloured dress for a flirty spring outfit, or pair with jeans and sneakers to create the perfect sporty look. €89.99 Airdate via Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  7

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Desirable Designs


April eye-catchers When you feel like your house needs a makeover, you might be inclined to replace everything at once. However, why not try to replace one piece of furniture with one of these eye-catching designs? They will give your living space a new look in no time. TEXT: ELLA PUT | PRESS PHOTOS


2. A designer’s web This extraordinary design is like nothing ever seen before. This Bertjan Pot design, called the Random Chair, is an indestructible and sustainable piece of furniture. €667


2. 3. Forever Sunday This chair is designed for those who like to slumber, whether on a sunny Sunday afternoon on the terrace, or on a cold rainy day next to the fireplace. With this comfortable fabric and soft padding, it can be a slumber Sunday every day. €999

1. Time flies With Label being one of the most sustainable Dutch brands on the market, it is no wonder that these cute clocks have been made using honestly obtained oak wood and can be given a new look by replacing the sustainable leather band. Each clock is unique and handmade. Price on request

4. Orange is the new black This A’dammer closet comes in many different shapes and colours. However, with the Dutch King’s Day coming up, orange might our favourite. €1125 Pastoe via webshop


5. 5. The big bloom boom

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The days are getting lighter and the flowers brighter. Bloom Holland has created flower pots that will help your flowers grow, while the pots turn into lamps as soon as it gets dark outside. Great for indoor and outdoor use, and available in various colours. €699

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Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Belgium Art & Design (BAD) 2017 Photo: David Barbe


Made in Belgium Small in size, grand in creativity. For centuries, Belgium has boasted a tradition of design, art and cultural heritage, something that is still honoured today through the country’s innovative and cutting-edge creative industry. In this special dedicated to Belgian creativity, we speak to design expert Siegrid Demyttenaere, as well as profiling some of the most exciting names in contemporary Belgian design. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK

Photo: Laetitia Bica

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Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Photo: Laetitia Bica

Belgium is Design From the world-renowned Art Nouveau movement that emerged in Brussels by the end of the 19th century, to the avant-garde interwar period, to Belgian modernist design, Belgium has long transcended its size when it comes to design. Wander around the streets of any Belgian city and you will spot a mix of famous interior design labels, exclusive fashion designers and interesting architecture. Alongside an abundance of museums displaying classical art, Belgium is home to a large amount of young galleries and museums where old and new merge. The impressive STAM Museum in Ghent, which once boasted an abbey, currently houses a new contemporary city museum filled with historical and modern art. The Art & Design Atomium Museum (ADAM) in Brussels is a treat for every design lover, with 2,000 pieces of art varying from everyday objects to artworks from 1960 to 2000. Are you more into fashion? Head to the MODE fashion museum

(MoMu) in Antwerp, for interesting insights into the famous Antwerp Six. Besides a platform for design, Belgium also serves as a breeding ground for future design talent – some of the best design schools in the world are based in Belgium. Both the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and the School of Arts in Ghent have produced globally recognised talents.

Photo: Sofie Coreynen

Belgium is Design is a joint label founded by organisations from the three different regions in Belgium (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia), promoting designers and enterprises and highlighting the unique characteristics of Belgium’s creative production. Belgium is Design is a joint collaboration of Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode, Flanders DC for Design and MAD Brussels. To honour and represent Belgian design in an international context, Belgium is Design has attended Milan Design Week since 2011, highlighting Belgian established and emerging design talents. Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  11

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Photo: DAMN° magazine & MOSCA partners

Q&A WITH SIEGRID DEMYTTENAERE In 2017, Belgium is Design will once again anchor down in Milan for its latest exhibition Belgitude. Discover Benelux spoke to Siegrid Demyttenaere, the exhibition curator and co-editor of independent design publication DAMN° magazine, about this special exhibition and the Belgian design landscape. Can you give a short introduction into Belgitude? Belgitude is the title of this year’s exhibition for Belgium is Design, the collective of organisations and institutions that support and promote Belgian design. This Belgian platform showcases Belgian design and will be hosted in the beautiful 17th century Palazzo Litta, within Linking Minds, A Matter of Perception – an event organised by DAMN° magazine and MOSCA Partners during the Milan Design Week . In line with the 2016 edition, Belgium is Design asked ten designers to select companies they wanted to collaborate with, to together create something special and engage in a dialogue. Belgitude focusses on the whole design 12  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

spectrum, including production design and interior design. What was DAMN°’s role in Belgitude? DAMN° holds a unique and objective position in the design landscape, so Belgium is Design worked closely with us on the selection and grouping of the participants. Also to reinforce the idea of reaching a broad audience, DAMN°’s network appealed to Belgium is Design. What is the importance of designers engaging in a dialogue with enterprises? This years’ theme is ‘Linking Minds', which perfectly emphasises the goal to create an exhibition that lends insight into the creative process between two or more persons. Through the collaborations, ideas grow from scratch through a mix of friendship, mutual trust and experience. And of course it is also about a wonderful final product as the result. Designers need companies to manufacture their work, just as much as companies need designers to provide them with

their professional design outlook. Passed editions have resulted in beautifully fruitful collaborations. Why has Belgium always been such a big player in design? I think that has something to do with the Belgian mentality. Belgians are hardworking people and hold an attitude of entrepreneurship, something that is reflected in our success in design. And, Belgium has an enormous pool of talent. Are there some current design trends to discover? I do not like the word trends: they are passé. There are certain styles that keep coming back and current designers seem to work from certain morals and values, but ‘trends’ in the old-fashioned sense of the word are gone. Every designer has access to any type of material and way of working, so they create pieces completely free of trends or restrictions.

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Photo: Layla Aerts

Belgium Art & Design (BAD) 2017 Photo: David Barbe

Photo: Laetitia Bica

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Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

U N I Q U E N A T U R A L C O M F O R T:

Revolutionary bodywear for men TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS  |  PHOTOS: SIZABLE

Sizable produces unique tailored bodywear for men, with underwear that offers a perfect fit, is invisible under clothing and absorbs sweat. Founded in 2015 by Belgian Kevin Verbesselt, the idea grew out of a gap Verbesselt spotted in the market. “It came about because of personal frustration. I was working as a consultant at the time – I was always in a suit and shirt, and under my shirt I would wear cotton T-shirts. However, cotton isn’t the most absorbable material.” The other issues Verbesselt had were that he could not find T-shirts that fitted properly to suit his body type. He always found tops to be too short to tuck in and visible under shirts. After 14  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

speaking to many people, Verbesselt discovered that others had the same issue – and he decided to create Sizable.

Ecological and absorbent Sizable makes undershirts, boxers and socks, with each item being made from 100 per cent natural fibres such as organic cotton and bamboo. The undershirts are made with Lyocell, a textile fibre originating from the eucalyptus plant which can absorb twice as much moisture as normal cotton, as well as being stronger and more durable after washing. The material is naturally sweat-wicking and offers a perfect, invisible fit under clothing. It is also extremely soft and pleasant against the skin, and has a luxurious appearance.

Lyocell is also eco-friendly and represents a milestone in the development of environmentally sustainable materials. It is a natural, man-made fibre created using nanotechnology, and is 100 per cent biodegradable. “There is hardly any loss in production because any waste generated from the production line is used to generate heat,” explains Verbesselt. This was one of the key reasons for choosing the fabric for Sizable products. Boxers and socks are made either from bamboo or organic cotton and come in a variety of colours. Bamboo is to cotton what cashmere is to wool: super soft and luxurious-feeling. It also boasts antibacterial qualities as bacteria does not live well

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

in it. For allergy-prone skin, bamboo fabric is perfect as it is anti-static, sits well next to the skin and is moisture-wicking. The fabric is warm but breathable and performs well in all temperatures.

Made to fit: undershirts, boxers and socks What makes Sizable revolutionary is that it offers a tailor-made solution for every man. “We understand that people come in different body shapes,” explains Verbesselt. His objective was to create the perfect fitting T-shirt for every man, and in 2015 he used a study by the University of Ghent which scanned more than 5,000 people. Based on the 3D body scan analysis study, he learned that the male body typically consists of five different morphologies, the most common being slim, average and athletic. So how does Sizable establish the perfect fit? It makes the process of ordering super simple: you just have to determine your physique and then your normal clothing size (S, M, L, XL, XXL). It uses a 3D body scan analysis to determine which of three body types someone is:

Jim (a slim physique with narrow shoulders, waist and hips), Joe (for those with broad shoulders; waist and hips are proportionally aligned) or Jack (an athletic torso with pronounced shoulders, a narrow waist and narrow hips). Customers can find out their body type on the website by selecting one of the physiques, or choosing the body type image closest to their own, and then entering their height and weight. This will determine their body type and the correct clothing size to take. The T-shirts come in three colours: white, sand and grey, and will soon be available in black.

leg. The casual boxers come in black, grey, aqua blue and white. The elegant model of boxers is distinguished by a stylish two-button finish. They come in grey, navy and white. The long-leg boxer model differs thanks to its slightly longer leg length, and comes in grey, navy and white. All of the boxers are made from 93 per cent organic cotton.

The sand-coloured undershirts are invisible even under a light-coloured shirt, and remain so, even with one or two buttons open, thanks to the V-neck shape. Being that little bit longer, the shirts remain perfectly in place under clothing. They continue to be the brand’s best seller, thanks to the superb quality of the material and the craftsmanship that has gone into the design.

From conception to creation

Sizable makes three different types of boxers, including casual, elegant and long

Sizable’s super-soft bamboo socks come in six smart colours and multiple sizes. They are suitable for all seasons thanks to the bamboo’s heat-regulating and antibacterial properties.

Headquartered in Brussels, Verbesselt and his business partner Laurent Droubaix are the driving forces behind Sizable, working closely with in-house designers and a sales team. Sizable’s ethos is that the entire brand, starting from the production of the products, to the materials they are made from, is ecologically friendly. “It’s really important to us that the products are made in Europe,” says Verbesselt. As of today, all of the undershirts, socks and boxer shorts are produced in Portugal.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  15

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

The production process and materials are also key considerations for Sizable. Where producing a regular cotton T-shirt uses around 2,000 litres of water, Lyocell T-shirts can be produced with much less, around 100 litres. At the moment, the team is currently focusing on developing a line of bodywear suitable for sports, including a sports boxer in a technical material. Both Verbesselt and Droubaix come from business backgrounds, having worked as consultants and in banking, so both are attuned to the requirements of suitable bodywear for under a suit.

Future directions Creator and founder Verbesselt will not give much away about his future plans, but it is clear that Sizable is a brand to watch, with a bright future ahead. Sizable is the first brand to offer invisible, madeto-fit and moisture-absorbing undershirts for the modern man. The company has redefined the 200-year-old measurement tables and is now ready to continue expanding the brand name and its clothing range, keeping comfort and style in mind. Presently Sizable is stocked in 15 stores across Belgium, with plans to expand to France, Luxembourg and the UK. All the products are available for purchase online via the website, and Sizable is also stocked online in a UK-based webstore. Product delivery is fast, with a promise that goods will arrive in 24 to 48 hours, and the website guarantees 100 per cent secure payments and mail support available seven days a week. Fact Box Features and benefits of Sizable undershirts: - Invisible sand colour - Low V-neck which will not show even when extra buttons are open - Light as a feather and moisture wicking, thanks to natural fibres Lyocell and bamboo - Tagless, lay-flat collar - Stays tucked in thanks to longer fit - Made-to-fit: designed for every body type

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Laurent Droubaix and Kevin Verbesselt

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Photo: Nisran Azouaghe

For the love of Belgian design TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT  |  PHOTOS: BOEM CONCEPT

They have only been in business some six months, but interior design concept store BOeM is already proving a runaway success in Belgium and beyond. From their showroom/shop on Antwerp’s trendy Kloosterstraat and online, Jen Weyts and his partner Dorien Van den Bosch sell adventurous, contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories by a new generation of talented Belgian designers. “We noticed that especially young designers are finding it very difficult to market and sell their products. They simply don’t have the time and means,” says founder and interior designer Jen Weyts. “So, we saw an opportunity to set up a professional platform for these young professionals to reach a wide audience in Belgium and abroad, with the appropriate web support, admin and sales services needed to operate such a business.”

Love for design As their name suggests – BOeM is short for Belgisch Ontwerp en Makelij, which

translates as ‘Belgian Design and Make’ – all BOeM’s products are made by Belgian designers, who need to meet strict criteria to join the platform. “We only partner up with original designers who work on a small scale and produce limited editions. Their products should reflect their craftsmanship and their love for materials and design,” says Weyts. Unlike most other shops, BOeM also aim to bridge the gap between designer and consumer. “We actually want to offer our customers more direct access to our designers and give them an opportunity to adapt designs to their individual needs, such as choice of materials or sizes. What we’ve noticed is that both parties really appreciate this more personal relationship. It transfers meaning and value to the product.”

isations,” Weyts explains. “And we work with a roster of builders who we trust to deliver the highest build quality. “For now, our bespoke services are limited to the Benelux, but as a label we are ambitious to put Belgian design on the world map. With so much talent waiting in the wings, I’m convinced it’s only a matter of time.” BOeM ship worldwide through

Bright future As well as interior design products, BOeM also offer complete bespoke interior and lighting design services for private properties, bars and restaurants. “We do the design ourselves, complete with 3D visualIssue 40  |  April 2017  |  17

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium


Nonchalant glamour, made in Belgium TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PHOTOS: K&J

Timeless, classy, effortlessly chic… these are just a few ways to describe Belgium clothing brand K&J, where quality is always the main focus. Each collection tells its own story. Let us tell you the one for this summer. But first, let us go back to the beginning. How did Kate and Jules, or K&J, originate? It all started in 2007 with Catherine Standaert, a couple of scarves and two belts. Armed with those few creations, Standaert went from store to store looking for sales – and it worked. People loved her quality fashion pieces and casual chic aesthetic. “Gradually I started to expand the collection. I have an eye for trends and materials. So, I design myself, but I also know my weaknesses. I work with great family production companies who help me with the technical aspects, their knowhow and experience are priceless,” she explains. K&J’s collection also includes items such as knitted and woven scarves and silk 18  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

kimonos. All the knitwear and woven scarves, plaids and ponchos are made in Belgium. The belts, silk scarves and kimonos are made in Italy. What have all the pieces got in common? “Quality,” asserts Standaert. “That is by far the most important factor for me. But also a fair price; especially when you see and feel the fabrics I work with.” The collections are designed for all sorts of women, not just one type. “It could be a mother/ daughter thing actually. My typical customer is aged between 25-50, a natural woman who knows quality when she sees it and loves a unique item.” Every collection Standaert creates is conceived with a theme in mind. This summer, it is the photographer Slim Aarons. “He photographed beautiful people in beautiful places from the 1960s to the ‘80s. I love that period, it was a freer time. You could do what you wanted, act the way you wanted – there was such fearlessness,” explains the designer, who

appreciates nonchalant glamour: “That’s what I based my current collection on.” So, is each K&J collection always inspired by a photographer? “No way, inspiration always comes from unexpected places. It could be anything,” adds Standaert. For example, next winter’s collection was inspired by the singer and poet Patti Smith. The K&J collection is available online and in 50 stores, located mostly in Europe.

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Stories like jewels Jewellery carries so much more than style: it can carry stories and memories, reflect personality and say things that sometimes cannot be said in words. It is this philosophy that makes every piece by Veronique Sneyaert tell a story of its own. From the refined gold-plated necklace carrying a starry pendant, to the thicker silver chain bracelet: although Veronique’s signature of subtlety is recognisable in each, no two ornaments are exactly the same. “They all tell a different story,” says Veronique Sneyaert. “Some tell happy ones, others are the memory of a lost loved one.” Veronique’s own jewellery story started when her daughter asked her to create a necklace with her handwritten initials. It was the overwhelmingly positive reactions that made Veronique start her own business. Before any design or creation begins, Veronique visualises how the piece should look together with her customer. This can be a challenging experience. “A recent customer wanted


a necklace with her late mother’s initials. To create as authentic a model as possible, I asked her to look for anything displaying her mother’s handwriting. An emotional thing to do, yet it made the necklace much more personal.” The details in Veronique’s jewellery are not just details: they make the design. Each piece is of the highest quality, has been custommade to provide a perfect fit, and is meant to last forever. “From the boy buying his first girlfriend something unique, to a mother honouring her lost child with a starry necklace: just like memories, jewellery should last.”


What started out as a young girl’s obsession for beautiful shoes has grown into the eco-friendly and beauty-driven fashion label Nathalie Verlinden. Made from sustainable and natural materials, her shoes only become more beautiful over time. Nathalie Verlinden’s shoes are not merely products. Once worn, they become an extension of their owner. They can best be described as timeless yet contemporary; made for active people who want to opt for style and comfort alike. “I design from an instinctive creative process, and inspiration is found everywhere,” Verlinden explains. “Recently I was inspired by the Bauhaus period in Berlin – something that you can now see in the kids’ summer collection.” The urge to create was always present. “As a girl, I wanted to make my own beautiful footwear, as my large feet were the cause of quite some frustrations,” she laughs. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp

and various creative detours such as interior design, Verlinden finally followed her passion for shoemaking. Nathalie Verlinden boasts a shoe and bag collection for the whole family: women, men, and children. Each collection reflects Verlinden’s longstanding love for nature and respect for man and the environment. Designs are made from eco-friendly materials such as wood, cotton, or leather, with the latter being ‘vegetally’ tanned in wooden barrels. Production takes place without any chemicals, so the shoes will even suit those with a chrome allergy. Materials are exclusively from Italy, where Verlinden works with traditional artisan shoemakers. “I design for a clientele that, very consciously, opts for quality,” Verlinden concludes. It is a diverse clientele: Verlinden’s shoes are just as loved by famous artists as the fashion-conscious girl buying her new favourite pair of shoes. Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  19

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Designed in Belgium, loved everywhere TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: FOUR ROSES

Belgian brand Four Roses seems to read the minds of all women. With their contemporary and beautifully fitted fashion, they have been meeting the fashion demands of women in Belgium and beyond for over a decade. Four Roses has been a solid fixture in ladies’ fashion for 12 years, priding itself on using high-quality materials, in-style designs, and clothes that are a fantastic fit. Since 2015, the Belgian brand has been helmed by Lien De Vroe and her husband Miguel Uytterhaegen. De Vroe is the designer and creative mind, while Uytterhaegen is business executive. Being an active businesswoman and mother, De Vroe knows the women she designs for like no other. “I have two children, a demanding job, and a social life,” she begins. “I know that although you sometimes lack the time to devote on it, your appearance matters to you. Four Roses honours the active woman, through comfortable clothing that always looks flattering.” 20  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Four Roses’ creations are available at over 150 point of sales all over Belgium, while there was a recent expansion to five stores in the Netherlands. Currently, the 2017 summer collection is adorning the shelves, boasting colourful dresses, happy designs and feminine fits that remind us of warmer sunny days – perfect for any summer wedding. “Which does not mean you should leave the dress in your closet later,” De Vroe laughs. “The collection can be worn anywhere, anytime, to suit any mood – depending on how you combine the outfit.” The Belgian label shines a bright light on high-quality fabrics and fair production. Fabrics are sourced all over Europe, while production takes place in Portugal and Belgium. “Being involved in the full process, from beginning to end, is essential,” De Vroe asserts. With designs suitable for women wearing sizes four – 18, Four Roses exudes diversity. Men have not been excluded – Bronson is Four Roses’ twin brother label. Just like its sister, Bronson dresses its clientele in high-quality clothing with contemporary design.

Although the 2017 summer collection is in full swing, De Vroe is already designing the summer collection for 2018. “Fashion is forward thinking. Often you are dealing with ten things at a time, yet there is no greater motivation than making clothes that make women feel good.”

Lien de Vroe

For more information, please visit:

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

A wall of happy storytelling TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK  |  PHOTOS: FAB5

Five years ago, when Inge Van den Broeck was looking for a whiteboard that was not a plain rectangle, she returned empty handed. Unhappy with the result, she set up Wonderwall, a brand of elegant and durable message boards with clean designs in various eye-catching colours. The magnetic white and blackboards give both stylish homes and professional environments a personal touch. “In an age of digital messaging, this is the warm analogue counterpart for a compliment, a photo, information or a work schedule,” says Van den Broeck. “They fit every story, in the style you want to create.” Van den Broeck wanted to go against the boring, square whiteboard cliché. Wonderwall boards brighten up children’s rooms, upgrade a waiting room, or add personality to an office. “I’ve always been very creative. I asked myself, what didn’t exist yet and what do I need? I couldn’t find any nice whiteboards for my three daughters, Renske, Zoë and Leonie-Imke, so I started to design them myself,” she adds. Initially, she created a collection of coloured magnet boards, but now Wonderwall also includes whiteboards and black-

boards (that are both magnetic), chopping boards and matching magnets in over 20 dynamic designs. Some of the most popular ones are the fox, speech bubble, bull, tree, cat and the cloud. “I would describe Wonderwall boards as well-thought-out shapes marked by passion for design, eye for detail and quality,” she says. “Wonderwall is trendy and timeless at the same time.” Van den Broeck is proud of the fact that every Wonderwall board is entirely made in Belgium, down to the recyclable packaging. “The designs are created in our studio in Kruishoutem, and then production is at a local company. There, the metal plates are cut and carefully powder coated. Each individual board is manually checked before it gets sent out. That way the quality is guaranteed,” she explains. The Wonderwall (magnetic) blackboards and whiteboards are available at over 50 stores in the Benelux or can be ordered from the webshop, which offers worldwide shipping.

Wonderwall: the next level Inge Van den Broeck recently started a new design label FAB5, which also covers Wonderwall. FAB5 will soon feature an inspiring interior product range made from materials such as leather and fabric. Continuing on from Wonderwall, the products will be distinctive, affordable and durable.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  21

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Charlotte Pringels


A signature style of pureness and elegance, always unique and with eye for craftsmanship: Charlotte Pringels is making waves and turning heads with her high-end prêt-à-porter ladies’ fashion. With an architect father, a mother fashioning children’s clothes and a grandmother working as a tailor, Charlotte Pringels’ youth was characterised by creativity. In 2007, she entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, from 22  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

which she gained a master’s degree in 2012. She founded her own label the same year she graduated. “I wanted to create a fashion label for strong women with character, who do not blindly follow trends,” she begins. “Women who have their own style and identity.”

a size four to 16. The highest quality materials, a good fit and drape are essential: “An item of clothing stands or falls with its material: that is the basis,” Pringels says. All patterns are made by Pringels herself, and every piece is fitted to a wide variety of body types.

The Belgian-based designer creates pieces unique in their simplicity, often made with natural materials and featuring classic elements. Her timeless designs are comfortable to wear and suit women from

Sustainability and durability form central themes in Pringels’ designs and many pieces are produced in Belgium. “I want my pieces to be worn season after season, which is the reason I deliberately do

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

not follow trends. Bigger chains often offer cheaper clothes that are outdated soon. You might pay a bit more for my designs, yet you get something unique, sustainable, and fair in return.” The SS17 collection is one of those rare types where you want every single piece hanging in your closet. Think minimalis-

tic tailoring combined with fringe details, stripes, checks, straight-cut tops, loose dresses and wide-flowing pants. It exudes elegance and femininity, yet has a rougher edge. The mint-coloured dress beautifully summarises the entire collection. It has a straight and simple cut to flatter any body type, while the fabric has an interesting waffle texture.

Pringels finds inspiration everywhere: “In my collections I always strive towards a certain form of beauty. I love to travel and discover new things, and find inspiration while discovering. I never have to look for it.”

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Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

The art of accessible design TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: PAPILIO

Design does not have to be expensive. This is the philosophy Papilio has at its heart. By creating unique handmade rugs, this Belgian-based B2B company is an innovator in exclusive affordable design. It is a story of success. Through the manufacturing of high-quality and exclusive yet affordable rugs, Papilio is living proof that design can belong to anyone. Papilio’s designer rugs are developed by in-house designers or acclaimed external guest designers, resulting in a wide collection of rugs. Upcycling forms a special chapter of the company’s success story. Alongside its core collections, Papilio is widely respected for its efforts regarding the recycling of raw materials. “A constant innovative approach is an essential quality of providing affordable design,” says Christophe Vervaeke, business unit manager at Papilio.“Using recycled materials is a perfect example of that out-of-the-box thinking.” Every rug requires highly skilled craftsmanship and is absolutely unique. Some rugs take up to six days to be made. All of Papilio’s rugs anticipate current lifestyle 24  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

trends and are grouped in market-adapted lifestyle collections. The 180 different materials and 375 rugs, all in different price ranges, make the collections accessible for every type of customer. For specific pieces, Papilio has been awarded international design awards, including the prestigious Red Dot Design Award and the Henry Van de Velde Label. Their innovative ‘canvas rug’ made from old army tents was included in the list of best innovations at DOMOTEX, the world’s leading trade fair for rugs and carpets. Besides an eye for affordable design, Papilio rightfully prides itself on having the environment and society at heart. A special collection of rugs is made by upcycling: the combination of upgrading and recycling. From old jeans to worn-out shoes, camel hair, candy packaging, or old newspapers: Papilio gives them a second life. Papilio’s designs are sold in 45 different countries, via top-ranked distributors worldwide, furniture store chains, and department stores – a list that is ever growing. Vervaeke: “The consumer is becoming more and more design conscious,” he

concludes. “Papilio proves that design, indeed, is for everyone.”

Papilio is a company from Belgotex International. Alongside being innovative about rugs, Papilio also innovates with their interactive point of sale, which provides dealers, through minimal space and investment, a maximum of design. Want to know more? Contact Papilio via For more information, please visit:



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  |  Culture  |  Best Museums

The House of European History in Brussels. Photo: Julie Guiches


Must-see museums The Benelux and its surrounding areas are a haven for art aficionados, history buffs and museum lovers. Whether you have a passion for prehistoric megaliths or fashion photography, our special guide presents the establishments you will not want to miss.

The Gallery of Time at Louvre-Lens. Photo © K. Sejima + R. Nishizawa / SANAA, Imrey Culbert, Catherine Mosbach Paysagiste, Studio. Adrien Gardère. Photo : Emmanuel Watteau

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Best Museums


The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Royal Museums of Art and History, Belgium

European Parliament, Belgium

Read more from page 29

Read more from page 30

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium comprises various museum entities located at different sites in Brussels: the Musée Old Masters Museum, the Musée Modern Museum, the Musée Wiertz Museum and the Musée Meunier Museum, the Musée Magritte Museum and the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum.

Comprising the Cinquantenaire Museum, the Musical Instruments Museum, Halle Gate and the Museums of the Far East, Brussels’ prestigious Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) transport visitors back in time and across the continents.

The Parlamentarium, the European Parliament visitor centre, is Europe’s largest parliamentary visitor centre and gives visitors an unparalleled insight into how the European Parliament works. Meanwhile, in May the brand new House of European history will open its doors, exploring the origins and evolution of Europe.

Musée gaumais de Virton, Belgium

Musée de la Photographie, Belgium

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Read more from page 33

This ‘Petit Louvre de la Gaume’ showcases the rich and colourful history of Belgium’s Lorraine region and has notable collections steeped in archaeology and fine arts, as well as tales, beliefs and customs.

The Museum of Photography in Charleroi is one of the most important photography museums in Europe, with a collection of 80,000 photographs – 800 of which are exhibited across 6,000 square metres.

Read more from page 34

Tourist centre for wool and fashion, Belgium

Maison des Mégalithes, Belgium

Louvre-Lens, France

Read more from page 35

Read more from page 36

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The Belgian village of Wéris is famed for its prehistoric megaliths comprising dolmens and menhirs. At La Maison des Mégalithes you can learn more about these primal masterpieces and the Neolithic community responsible for constructing them.

Situated just an hour and a half’s drive from Brussels, the magnificent Louvre-Lens is an annex of the world-famous Musée du Louvre. An absolute highlight is the Gallery of Time, a 3,000square-metre gallery presenting more than 200 masterpieces.

Housed inside a beautiful red brick 19th-century building, the tourism centre for wool and fashion traces Verviers’ colourful history over four centuries. During the 18th and 19th centuries, this Walloon city was the world capital of wool.

Read more from page 32

Tournai’s Museum of History and Decorative Arts, Belgium Tournai’s Museum of History and Decorative Arts houses a magnificent collection of the most beautiful porcelains of Tournai from the 18th and 19th centuries. Key pieces include the famous porcelain set Aux Oiseaux de Buffon, commissioned by the Duke of Orléans.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  27

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Best Museums


The Steichen Collections, Luxembourg

Musée Rural et Artisanal, Luxembourg

Aquatower Berdorf, Luxembourg

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Read more from page 39

The Steichen Collections of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg showcase the works and heritage of renowned Luxembourgish-American photographer and curator, Edward J. Steichen (1879 - 1973).

This fascinating museum showcases a range of restored and functional agricultural machines as well as providing information on plows, sowing and harvesting techniques.

Located in the Mullerthal region, the Aquatower Berdorf examines subjects such as where our drinking water comes from; how it can be protected; and where our ancestors got their drinking water from.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Here are just a few important exhibitions to add to your calendar: Jeanloup Sieff, Les années lumière Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi Until 7 May The Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium, offers a selection of the most emblematic photographs by Jeanloup Sieff (1933-2000), famed for his elegant and sensual works which featured regularly in the world’s most prestigious fashion magazines. Eleven Women Facing War Parlamentarium, Brussels Until 14 May Featuring powerful photographs and films by award-winning photographer and filmmaker Nick Danziger, this exhibition tells the story of women caught up in vicious conflicts in places such as Afghanistan, Colombia and Sierra Leone. The Le Nain Mystery Louvre-Lens, France Until 26 June Heading over to France? Do not miss this exhibition devoted to 17th-century French painters, Le Nain brothers. Works by the siblings Louis, Antoine and Mathieu Le Nain are hard to come by, making this rare retrospective all the more special.

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Read more from page 39

Rik Wouters, A Retrospective The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels - Until 2 July A retrospective of Belgian artist Rik Wouters, who was a prominent figure in Brabant’s Fauvism and died in 1916 at the age of 33. Organised in partnership with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, this exceptional expo closes a series of tribute events linked to the centenary of the artist’s death. Once upon a time: The golden age of enamelled pocket watches (1650-1850) The Cinquantenaire Museum, Brussels 17 May - 17 September As part of the Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) group, the Cinquantenaire Museum is one of the biggest museums in Belgium. RMAH has a vast collection of old clocks and watches, with their enamelled pocket watches from the 16th-19th centuries being an absolute highlight. Accompanying the impressive collection will be paper dresses made by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Contes du Monde Tourist Center of Wool and Fashion, Verviers Until mid October The Tourist Center of Wool and Fashion in Verviers, Belgium, is currently running an ambitious exhibition dedicated to the art storytelling entitled Contes du Monde (Tales from the world).

exhibition / 22 March – 26 June 2017

Le NaiN Mystery the

#expoLeNain Louis Le Nain, Allegory of Victory, c. 1635, Paris, musée du Louvre © RMN-GP (musée du Louvre) / Mathieu Rabeau

Rik Wouters, Contemplation bronze, 1911, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp © Lukas Art in Flanders vzw. Photo: Hugo Maertens

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

Rik Wouters, Reflections, oil on canvas, 1912, private collection. Photo: Olivier Bertrand




Bruegel: Unseen Masterpieces is a oneof-a-kind experience allowing members of the public to discover the greatest works by Flemish Renaissance master Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Showing at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, it showcases the world’s secondlargest collection of his works. The Bruegel trail has four parts to it: an immersive experience with different projections of Bruegel’s works; nine interactive stations telling the story and context behind different masterpieces; a room full of Bruegel’s paintings and drawings; and a virtual experience available through Google Cardboard, a virtual reality app giving viewers a 3D learning experience about Bruegel’s works. “This is Bruegel as you’ve never seen him before. This exceptional exhibition allows viewers to discover elements of his paintings that can’t be seen with the naked eye. The technology lets you see the works in ultra-high definition,” explains external communication and relations man-

ager Isabelle Bastaits. The unique project was launched by the Royal Museums with the Google Cultural Institute for the 450th anniversary of Bruegel’s death, in 2019. The other major exhibition, on until 2 July, is Rik Wouters: A Retrospective. Wouters was a key figure in Brabant’s Fauvist movement and is often associated with the likes of Ensor, Cézanne and Renoir. The exhibition includes prominent paintings, sculptures and drawings, many of which are on loan from private collections and have never before been seen by the public. This superb collection demonstrates Wouters’ dazzling talent, through his rich colour palette and the authenticity of his simple subjects. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium includes six outstanding museums located at different sites across Brussels: the Musée Old Masters Museum (works from the 15th to 18th centuries by the Flemish Primitives, along with works by Bosch, Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens and others); the Musée Modern Muse-

um (contemporary art from the late 18th century to the present day); the Musée Wiertz Museum (works of Belgian romantic painter and sculptor Antoine Wiertz) and the Musée Meunier Museum (works of Belgian artist Constantin Meunier), the Musée Magritte Museum (the world’s largest collection of his paintings and sculptures) and the new Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum (reflects the multitude of artistic disciplines between 1868 and 1914). Please consult the website for opening times and dates for each museum.

A close up of Bruegel’s The Fall of the Rebel Angels.

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Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

Salle Apamée.

Time travel through Brussels and beyond TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: ROYAL MUSEUMS OF ART AND HISTORY

Comprising the Cinquantenaire Museum, the Musical Instruments Museum, Halle Gate and the Museums of the Far East, Brussels’ prestigious Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) transport visitors back in time and across the continents. Get ready for a beautiful voyage of discovery. 2017 got off to a flying start for the Cinquantenaire Museum, with its Ukiyo-e exhibition attracting 70,000 visitors. The exhibition showcased the museum’s impressive collections of Japanese prints, which is known for being one of the finest in the world. “Our collection is known worldwide for its beautiful quality. The colours are very well preserved and we have some prints that are unique in the world,” begins museum director Alexandra De Poorter, who has been working at RMAH for more than 30 years. 30  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

“We don’t have the prints on display all the time, so people don’t often have the chance to see them. We were very proud to be able to show them off, but they cannot be shown for too long to protect them against the light.” The works, which depict Japanese courtesans, samurai, Mount Fuji and other iconic elements of Japanese culMusical Instruments Museum (MIM).

ture, have now been put back into storage, probably for another 25 or 30 years. The Cinquantenaire Museum is one of the biggest museums in Belgium, showcasing a plethora of artefacts dating from the prehistoric times, not to mention a vast collection of non-European art. “We deMusical Instruments Museum (MIM).

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

cided our exhibitions should be based on our own collection as it’s so rich and covers five continents,” explains De Poorter. “It allows people to get to know our heritage.”

Once upon a time Coming soon is the exhibition Once upon a time: The golden age of enamelled pocket watches (1650-1850), which will run from 17 May - 17 September. RMAH has a vast collection of old clocks and watches, with their enamelled pocket watches from the 16th to 19th centuries being an absolute highlight. Accompanying the collection will be paper dresses made by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. “On the watches you will find decorations such as people from the 17th and 18th century. The types of clothes found on the watches will be seen in real size and made from paper,” reveals De Poorter. “De Borchgrave’s works are real masterpieces. You have no idea that they are made from paper.” Also on the agenda for 2017/18 is an important exhibition on Oceania kicking off in October; the

museum boasts a large collection of relics from the region.

140 years of MIM Another hugely popular element of RMAH is the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM), which this year celebrates its 140th anniversary. The museum has one of the richest collections of musical instruments in the world and can be found near Place Royale. It is housed in the Old England building, which is one of the most stunning examples of art nouveau architecture in Brussels. MIM also hosts many different musical events every year, and on the eighth floor you will find a 200-seater concert hall, which can be hired for private concerts. Finally, do not miss Halle Gate, which is the remainder of Brussels’ second surrounding wall. Over 600 years old, the fairy tale neo-Gothic-style monument is a testament to the city’s medieval past and houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to medieval Brussels. Visitors can learn about elements of life in the Middle Ages and admire items from the past. Meanwhile, on the third floor there are annual temporary

exhibitions, often more orientated towards families and children. Starting on 22 November will be an exhibition showing doll houses from the museum’s archives. “We have some beautiful pieces from the start of the 20th century,” enthuses De Poorter.

Constantly evolving With such an impressive collection, it might be easy for RMAH to rest on its laurels, but this is far from the case. A team of archeologists regularly excavate in Brussels and throughout the world, and the museum is constantly thinking of ways to update and improve the visitor experience. The Museums of the Far East is currently closed for renovation, while later this year several rooms at the Cinquantenaire will be reopening with a new look. Worth looking out for there will be La Salle Wolfers, set to feature a restoration of an original art nouveau boutique. “There will be art nouveau pieces displayed inside the restoration. It’s going to be quite magnificent,” smiles De Poorter. To find out more about all four museums, please visit:

Robe 1765. Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel


Halle Gate.

Cinquantenaire Museum.

Salle Gothique, Halle Gate.

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Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

House of European History.

House of European History, exterior.

Parlamentarium, interactive display.

Discover Europe’s political heart TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS  |  PHOTOS: JULIE GUICHES

The Parlamentarium, the European Parliament visitor centre, is Europe’s largest parliamentary visitor centre. Fully operational in 24 languages, it offers an impressive array of interactive media tools to give visitors an unparalleled insight into how the European Parliament works. Opened in 2011, it has received over 1.5 million visitors from Belgium and across Europe. It offers interactive multimedia displays allowing visitors to get closer to politicians and to find out what the EU has done for each country. Visitors can, for example, enjoy a 360degree digital surround screen projecting the hemicycle, showing how decisions are taken by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It shows debates, votes being taken and the legislative process. It regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, such as an exhibition on women and war until 14 May 2017. For students aged 14-18, the Parlamentarium has a multimodal roleplaying game, allowing players to take on the roles of 32  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

MEPs and go through the steps to approve a new EU law. A 200-square-metre map of Europe with 90 interactive points guides viewers through ‘on the ground stories’. Moveable screens act as media guides, allowing visitors to travel to countries or regions of interest. This May, the brand new House of European history will open its doors. The museum, in the heart of Brussels, is housed in a striking building that combines Art Deco and contemporary architecture. Visitors will discover the origins and evolution of Europe, learning about both the continent’s diversity and history’s many interpretations. The permanent exhibition galleries offer a unique experience, immersing visitors in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries and allowing them to explore the development of European integration. Taja Vovk van Gaal, leader of the academic project team, says: “By learning about Europe’s place in the world, visitors will be encouraged to think critically about its past to become more engaged in its future and present day issues. The new museum aims to stimulate curiosity and

challenge visitors.” The content is suitable for audiences from school age and beyond, and the museum is supported by a strong online presence. Keep an eye out for the inspiring programme of events and learning. Both the Parlamentarium and the House of European History open daily from 9am6pm, apart from Mondays when they open from 1pm-6pm. Admission is free. Both close on 1 January, 1 May, 1 November, and 24, 25 and 31 December. brussels/house-of-european-history brussels/parlamentarium Parlamentarium. Photo: Pietro Naj-Oleari

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

Delve into the rich heritage of the Gaume region TEXT: NDÉLA FAYE  |  PHOTOS: MUSÉE GAUMAIS – B-VIRTON

The Musée gaumais was founded in a former monastery. This ‘Petit Louvre de la Gaume’ now showcases the rich and colourful history of Belgium’s Lorraine region, nestled between France and Luxembourg. The well-known museum has notable collections steeped in archaeology and fine arts, as well as tales, beliefs and customs.

The museum offers an adventure for the whole family as well. “There’s plenty to see even for children. They can wander into the gallery of tales and legends, or explore our puppet theatre and collection of old toys.” For visitors wanting to explore the area beyond the grounds of the museum, the picturesque landscape offers a perfect chance to sightsee the region.

“From the Montmédy citadel to the abbey of Orval, this is an ideal place for a family day trip, not far from Metz, Bastogne or Luxembourg. La Gaume is a charming region full of history, legends, monuments and art that won’t fail to pique our visitors’ interest,” Culot concludes.

Situated in the heart of the town of Virton, the Musée gaumais greets visitors with a warm atmosphere. Its monastery past is still present, with a golden monk Jacquemart striking a clock every hour. “The Musée gaumais has a number of unique treasures and ancient artefacts on display, such as the famous Roman bas-relief, Trevirian harvest. It’s a great place for visitors to immerse themselves into history and travel back in time,” explains Didier Culot, curator of the museum.

Storytelling through powerful images TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER  |  PHOTOS: MUSÉE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE

The Museum of Photography in Charleroi, centre of contemporary arts of the WalloniaBrussels federation, opened its doors to the public in 1987 in the old convent of Mont-sur-Marchienne. Today, it is one of the most important photography museums in Europe, with a collection of 80,000 photographs – 800 of which are exhibited across 6,000 square metres. Discovery. Wonder. Awe. These are what one experiences when seeing the stories portrayed by the skilful photography on display at the museum. A place of memory and life, gathering both Belgian and international works in a coherent timeline where the visitor learns about the history and evolution of photography through time in its many shapes and forms. The thematic arrangement of the museum’s collection varies between a specific artist’s work or around a certain topic. The temporary exhibitions bring to life contemporary

Les Chapelles. Photo: Jacques Vandenberg

creations, with a great deal of support being given to young talents. Eager to bring the wonder of photography to a younger audience and beyond, the museum cultivates partnerships with different educational institutions and groups, with the possibility to arrange group visits when requested. Wait no more and let yourself be surprised from Tuesday to Sunday 10-6pm by a photographic variety and complexity rarely found anywhere else.

Parc du Musée.

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Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium


Located in an outbuilding of the 18th century Saint-Martin Abbey, Tournai’s Museum of History and Decorative Arts houses a magnificent collection of the most beautiful porcelains of Tournai from the 18th and 19th centuries. Key pieces include the famous porcelain set Aux Oiseaux de Buffon, commissioned by the Duke of Orléans.

“The museum’s collections had to be entirely reconstituted after World War II,” explains director Thomas Bayet. The museum was bombed in May 1940 and the entire collection was destroyed. Tournai Porcelain is unique because of the aesthetic quality of its adornments (blue, pink or green birds and flowers; silver or gold line along the rim; seascapes). The museum’s col-

lection is particularly rich in collections from the beginning of Tournai’s porcelain production era. The museum is currently accessible only on request. Please contact Tournai Tourist Office, +32 (0)69 22 20 45. Admission is free for children under six.

On the first floor, you can admire the work of Tournai goldsmiths and tinsmiths, as well as an important collection of coins minted in Tournai from the 12th to the 17th century for the kings of France and Spain. A highlight encompasses two silver 18th century tureens, made by the two great silversmiths Marc Lefebvre and his son Jacques. Admire the rare silver-gilt interiors from 1787. These are not only decorative arts, but the vast collection of unique objects reflect the habits of a society and illustrate the economic and technological history of the region.


Housed inside a beautiful red brick 19th century building is the tourism centre for wool and fashion, which traces Verviers’ colourful history over four centuries. Visitors can plunge into the world of wool with interactive and immersive tours that are ideal for small children and adults alike. Verviers’ rich history and heritage is deeply rooted in textile production. “During the 18th and 19th centuries, Verviers was the world capital of wool. A British entrepreneur, William Cockerill, manufactured machinery that revolu-

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tionised the wool industry here and we retrace that story,” explains Michèle Corin, director of Aqualaine, the association managing infrastructure and tourism in Verviers. From a tailor’s atelier to a merchant’s office, visitors can immerse themselves into the world of wool and fashion, with reconstructed scenes of what the city would have looked like 300 years ago. The tour then takes visitors through the history of fashion, leading all the way up to modern times. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am until 5pm throughout the year, the tourism centre pools in visitors from all over the

world. Guided tours are included in the ticket price and tours are available in French, Dutch, German and English. The centre’s regular temporary exhibitions are also included in the ticket price, with Contes du Monde running until mid-October 2017. “The temporary exhibitions are well worth the visit. The three-dimensional aspect of the tour means there is plenty to do and see here,” Corin concludes.

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

Dolmens, Wéris.

Photo: P. Willems – FTLB

Menhirs, Wéris.


As well as being one of the most beautiful spots in Wallonia, the village of Wéris, close to Durbuy, is famed for its prehistoric megaliths comprising dolmens and menhirs built using the region’s trademark Puddingstone rock some 5,000 years ago. Want to learn more about these primal masterpieces and the Neolithic community responsible for constructing them? Head to La Maison des Mégalithes, a fascinating museum depicting the everyday lives of Neolithic farming communities. There is no better way to begin your megalithic adventure. La Maison des Mégalithes allows visitors to embark on a tour of the megalithic site at Wéris with a deeper understanding of the monuments and those who built them. Via various displays, multimedia screens, reconstructions and a 12minute film, the museum delves into the history of megaliths in Europe and Wallonia. It also portrays the lives of the

farmers and livestock breeders of the Neolithic age, and the locals who transported huge blocks of Puddingstone rock downhill to build the dolmens and menhirs.

and the Baltic Plain can be detected. In Wéris, it is believed farmers of the Neolithic age used the megalithic site as a calendar for working in their fields.

A tour of the Wéris megalithic site, which is about eight kilometres long, will transport you back to prehistoric times and is an absolute must for tourists and history buffs. Accessible through walking paths, an array of prehistoric constructions can be found on the Calestienne, a plateau stretching between the Famenne and the Ardennes.

As well as learning about the megaliths, you can also find out about hiking possibilities in the region’s beautiful countryside at La Maison des Mégalithes. Guided tours of the Wéris site are possible upon reservation, while there is a gift shop and cafeteria where you can taste Dolménius, an artisanal amber beer. What better accompaniment to this truly unique Belgian experience?

The menhirs are tall, upright stones erected either alone or in groups, while the dolmens are collective tombs, where the dead were buried between 3,000-2,800 BC. The dolmens of Wéris are the last two, which can still be seen in Belgium and owe their longevity to the durability of the Puddingstone. They are ‘gallery graves’ to be precise, and the influence of some monuments from the Paris Basin

La Maison des Mégalithes Address: Place Arsène Soreil 7, Wéris 6940, Belgium Telephone: +32 86 21 02 19 Website:

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Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  France

Gallery of Time. Photo © K. Sejima + R. Nishizawa / SANAA, Imrey Culbert, Catherine Mosbach Paysagiste, Studio. Adrien Gardère. Photo: Emmanuel Watteau

The Louvre, reinvented in Lens TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

Situated just an hour and a half’s drive from Brussels, the magnificent LouvreLens is a museum like no other. Since opening in 2012 at the heart of France’s former mining region, this annex of the world-famous Musée du Louvre offers a completely new visitor experience. “Louvre-Lens is much more than just the Louvre in a different place,” begins director Marie Lavandier. “It is the Louvre, done in a completely different way.” Built on the site of a former mining yard, approximately 200 kilometres north of Paris, Louvre-Lens displays objects from the Musée du Louvre’s collections. An absolute highlight is the Gallery of Time, described by Lavandier as “a kind of museum UFO”. This 3,000-squaremetre gallery presents more than 200 masterpieces, and is a world away from the compartmentalised halls of most museums. 36  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

From Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium BC, to mid-19th-century Europe, visitors can wander freely through different time periods, as well as admiring masterpieces by artists ranging from Sandro Botticelli to Joshua Reynolds. Part of the collection is renewed every year, and in 2017 visitors can discover 54 new masterpieces with a focus on Islamic art.

Meditation Particularly original at Louvre-Lens is a policy to provoke contemplation in visitors, whether they are complete novices or history buffs. The museum has a team of 15 ‘médiateurs’ who devise various workshops and animate the visitor experience. This involves everything from family games to impromptu ten-minute presentations of works, not to mention sensory visits for babies (nine months plus). Another example of innovation at LouvreLens is that its reserves and restoration

workshop are on display and accessible for visitors. “This is an extremely rare, unprecedented approach,” enthuses Lavandier. “Louvre-Lens is resolutely open and transparent. This is reflected in the building’s luminescent, glass architecture.”

Mirrors Temporary exhibitions at Louvre-Lens vary from those focussing on particular artists to those covering much broader themes. On display until 18 September is Mirrors, which showcases works from antiquity to the present day and presents work by artists including Rubens, Marcel Gromaire, François Morellet and Markus Raetz. “At first sight, the mirror seems to be a banal object. Yet, it can turn out to be quite fascinating, even complex. This exhibition is interested in the notion of reflection and considers the mirror in turn as a material, an instrument and a motif for artists,” explains Lavandier.

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  France

The Le Nain Mystery Meanwhile, running until 26 June, is The Le Nain Mystery. This is the first retrospective in almost 40 years devoted to 17th-century French painters, Le Nain brothers. Works by the siblings Louis, Antoine and Mathieu Le Nain are hard to come by. “Our exhibition brings together three quarters of their production, including several previously unseen paintings,” reveals Lavandier. “To me, Le Nain brothers are among the greatest French painters in history. Yet their work remains enigmatic in many respects and divides art historians as much as it excites them. This exhibition and the accompanying multimedia features allow visitors the chance to unravel some of the mystery.” After this major retrospective, Louvre-Lens will be presenting the first ever exhibition on the theme of music in antiquity. Visitors will be taken on a journey from Rome to Mesopotamia, via Greece and Egypt, to discover the omnipresence of music in ancient Mediterranean society. At the

heart of the exhibition, a live music space will host concerts, in addition to those that already take place throughout the year in the museum’s theatre.

Cultural discovery and gastronomic pleasure Louvre-Lens is home to a gourmet restaurant, L’Atelier de Marc Meurin, located in the circular glass pavilion overlooking the gardens designed by French landscape architect Catherine Mosbach. Chef Meurin is a Lens native and has a double Michelin star for his other restaurant, Le Château de Beaulieu, situated in nearby Busnes. At the museum restaurant, diners can enjoy inventive and sophisticated market cuisine, made using the finest local produce such as seafood from Boulognesur-mer and poultry from Licques.

An important role in regeneration After four years of existence, the LouvreLens has generated more than 600 jobs and 100 million euros of economic benefits in the area. Since the opening of Louvre-Lens and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Mining Basin being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012, the Pas-de-

Calais region has continued to reveal itself as an important tourist destination. Besides Louvre-Lens, the region is home to important cultural attractions including the Lewarde historic mining centre, La Piscine museum of art and industry in Roubaix and the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis. There are also some particularly poignant war sites just a stone’s throw from the museum, such as the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and Notre Dame de Lorette, the world’s largest French military cemetery. The success of Louvre-Lens goes to show the importance of culture in areas affected by industrial changes and social depravation. “Louvre-Lens is an opportunity for the people of Lens to benefit from cultural democratisation and, beyond that, the economic and social development of the region,” concludes Lavandier. “But it is also an opportunity for the Louvre to reinvent itself and present its wonderful collections in a different way.”

Louvre-Lens © K. Sejima + R. Nishizawa / SANAA, Imrey Culbert, Catherine Mosbach Paysagiste. Photo © Philippe Chancel

L’Atelier de Marc Meurin. Photo: Laurent Rose

Marie Lavandier. Photo: Gautier Deblonde

Le Mystère Le Nain. Photo © Laurent Lamacz / Ville de Lens

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  37

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Luxembourg

Family of Man, Château de Clervaux.

The Bitter Years, Waassertuerm+Pomhouse.

Iconic humanist photography from the 20th century TEXT: NDÉLA FAYE  |  PHOTOS: ROMAIN GIRTGEN

The Steichen Collections of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg showcase the works and heritage of photographer and curator, Edward J. Steichen (18791973). The two exhibitions, The Family of Man and The Bitter Years, displayed and preserved by the Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA), highlight Steichen’s remarkable achievements as curator and display the works of other notable photographers from the 20th century. The American artist of Luxembourgish descent is renowned for his remarkably long and successful career in photography. “As well as a distinguished photographer, Steichen was director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. He had an extremely diverse and successful career: he even tried his hand at film directing, for which he won an Academy Award in 1945,” says Anke Reitz, curator at The Steichen Collections at the CNA. In the 1950s and 1960s, Edward Steichen created two exhibitions, which forever marked the history of photography: The Family of Man and The Bitter Years. Having been displayed across the globe, the 38  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

exhibitions are permanently housed in Luxembourg. The two exhibitions highlight Steichen’s achievements as curator, showcasing the works of famous photographers. The Family of Man, shown permanently at Clervaux Castle, is part of the UNESCO’s Memory of the World list. “The Family of Man is a legendary photographic exhibition. It was created by Edward Steichen for the MoMA in 1955. It features the works of 273 photographers from 68 countries. The photos are assembled into a mosaic of the human condition and they honour Steichen’s courageous vision of humanity. The images are poignant and brave. Steichen wasn’t afraid to use provoking images: for example, picturing women voting at a time when not all women had the right to vote,” Reitz explains. The Bitter Years, on permanent display at the restored water tower Waassertuerm + Pomhouse in Dudelange, is a tribute to documentary photography. “The Bitter Years offers a snapshot into life in rural America during the Great Depression, with over 200 images from iconic photographers, such as Walker Evans, Dorothea

Lange, Arthur Rothstein and Russell Lee,” Reitz states. Both exhibitions are open from Wednesdays to Sundays, noon to 6pm; and audiovisual guides are available in French, English, German and Luxembourgish. “Visitors come from all over the world to see both collections. Steichen’s work truly resonates with people, and his legacy lives on,” Reitz concludes.

Edward Steichen, Self-Portrait with Camera, c.1917 © 2015 The Estate of Edward Steichen and Artists Rights Society, New York

Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Luxembourg

A museum of artisanal treasures TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS  |  PHOTOS: MUSEE RURAL ET ARTISANAL

The Rural and Artisanal Museum of Luxembourg showcases the abundant and varied country life of centuries gone by. This fascinating museum is set on a large farm from 1849, showcasing a range of restored and functional agricultural machines as well as providing information on plows, sowing and harvesting techniques. The house has been set up to demonstrate the art of old techniques, with numerous workshops providing an overview of the work of ancient craftsmen. A farmer’s garden showcases previously used vegetables, plants, spices and medicinal herbs. Percy Lallemang, the museum’s director, likens visiting to “entering a time machine”. “Older people relive their childhood, and younger generations explore aspects of daily life in the 19th and early 20th centuries,” he says. Adjacent is the Carriage Museum with 30 horse-drawn carriages including six from the Grand Ducal

court, and accessories including head gear, lanterns and travel utensils. Visitors explore carriage building and the evolution of horsedrawn vehicles. Another key attraction is the Museum of Ancient Metallurgy, with a replica blacksmith’s workshop and replications of findings from one of Europe’s largest medieval forges, discovered in Luxembourg. The museum has a wealth of objects dating from the Middle Ages, including axes and pans. If you have an occasion to celebrate, why not spend it in a historic milieu? A room for hire is located on the first floor of the Rural and Artisanal Museum. For 75 euros you get an atmospheric room that accommodates 60 people. On 20 and 21 May, all the museums offer free entry. Guided tours are available. Please consult the website for other opening dates, times and admission fees.

Dive into the fascinating world of water TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS

The Aquatower in Berdorf, Luxembourg, allows visitors to explore the exciting world of water. It examines subjects such as where our drinking water comes from, how it can be protected and where our ancestors got their drinking water from. Located in the Mullerthal region, otherwise known as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland, the tower was built in 2012. This water tower of discovery has a permanent exhibition about geology and water, located at a height of 32 metres. The exhibition includes interactive elements

Photo: Commune Berdorf

allowing visitors to learn about different aspects of water. “There’s also an observation platform at 50 metres,” explains Sandy Moulin, Aquatower’s manager. “The view is spectacular, looking onto the Berdorf Plateau, and you can discover interesting facts about the region.” When the weather permits, visitors can enjoy the picnic tables and aquatic games outside. Aquatower welcomes around 8,000 visitors annually. From April to June and September to October, it opens Tuesday to Sunday, 2pm - 6pm. In July and August, the tower opens daily from 10am – 6pm. In March and Novem-

Photo: Jos Nerancic

ber, the tower opens on weekends only from 2pm - 5pm. Aquatower is closed from December to February. One-hour guided group visits are available all year on demand. On every first Thursday from April to October, the tower opens till late: visitors can enjoy the sunset with a glass of ‘Crémant’ (Luxembourgish sparkling wine). Entry is 3.50 euros for adults and two euros for seven to 18-year-olds. The tower can be hired for private and corporate events. More information can be found on their website.

Photo: Lesung Berdorf

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  39

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Photo: Hans Guldemond


Home of Dutch icons The province of North Holland is the land of cheese, tulips, windmills, and picture-perfect villages. Besides the country’s capital, this water-surrounded region boasts beautiful beaches close to vibrant cities, and is an absolutely unmissable stop in your Dutch adventure. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: AMSTERDAM MARKETING AND NBTC

Keukenhof. Photo: Cris Toala Olivares

40  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Frans Hals Museum Haarlem. Photo: Hans Guldemond

Haarlem Read more from page 43 Contrary to popular belief, it is Haarlem, not Amsterdam, that is the capital of the province of North Holland. This remarkable city is steeped in history, with monuments dating back almost 800 years, such as the Sint-Bavokerk and the Amsterdamse Poort. Partly due to its proximity to Amsterdam, Haarlem is getting more and more popular with tourists and Dutch locals, the latter often finding the city a more peaceful and liveable place than Amsterdam. Yet Haarlem has always been popular. Since the Golden Age, national and international artists have been keen to capture its beauty and atmosphere. Frans Hals, one of the Netherlands’ most famous Dutch Masters,

is honoured at the Frans Hals Museum, which boasts a collection that has been built up since the 16th century. Another gem for art lovers is the modern and contemporary art museum De Hallen, which hosts exhibitions examining the latest developments in visual arts.

Haarlem. Photo: Cris Toala Olivares

Not planning on a weekend full of art history? Panic not, as Haarlem’s historic image goes hand in hand with an abundance of top restaurants, hip cafés, nightlife and great independent shops. Haarlem is often praised for having one of the most varied shopping areas in the Netherlands, offering exclusive design stores, trendy fashion shops, vintage boutiques and specialty food stores. Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  41

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Zandvoort and Bloemendaal Read more from page 50 It might not be the first thing you think about when visiting the Netherlands, but North Holland has some of the most happening beaches in Europe. Zandvoort and Bloemendaal are both enormously popular with tourists and locals alike, and offer a refreshing escape from the city. With its clean sandy beaches, cosy beach bars and great restaurants overlooking the sea, Zandvoort is one of the most popular beach destinations in the Netherlands. Having less of a party atmosphere than some of its nearby beach brothers, Zandvoort is a popular spot for families. It can take a while before you might dare to brave the cold North Sea water, but when the water gets a bit warmer in summer, Zandvoort is a swimmer’s paradise.

Zandvoort. Photo: Cris Toala Olivares

Bloemendaal is often described as Zandvoort’s trendier brother and the Netherlands’ answer to Ibiza, thanks to its many stylish beach bars. Located very close to Amsterdam, Bloemendaal often welcomes the somewhat younger crowds looking to escape the narrow-cobbled streets and have some beach fun. The many bars and clubs at Bloemendaal frequently serve up live bands, DJ nights and open-air parties that last until the early hours. Not in the mood for a party? A bit further away from Bloemendaal’s strip of bars, you will find remarkably quiet spots and beautiful, peaceful dunes.

Bloemendaal. Photo: NBTC

Zandvoort. Photo: NBTC

42  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights


Historically happening For centuries artists have been inspired by Haarlem, and it is not hard to see why. Located on the river Spaarne and proudly wearing the name of ‘Floral City’, this northern star is a beautiful fusion of historic streets, world-class museums, and a vibrant, young atmosphere. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: HAARLEM MARKETING

DO NOT MISS: A parade bursting with flowers 19 – 23 April The Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek is a celebration of spring, with a parade of floats decorated with an abundance of beautiful flowers. Liberation Pop Festival 5 May The oldest and biggest Liberation Day pop festival in the Netherlands, hosting a special music programme on several stages in and around Haarlem’s city park Haarlemmerhout. There is also a special children’s festival with fun activities. Haarlem Draait door organ festival 5 June In for something different? This festival is a celebration of barrel organ music. During

Haarlem Draait Door, music from about 25 barrel organs from the Netherlands and abroad can be enjoyed on the city’s scenic Grote Markt. The Houtfestival 18 June The Houtfestival is a contemporary and free open-air festival with a strong global component in its programme and four stages presenting international music and dance. The festival also boasts a food court with dishes from all corners of the world and interactive shows in the family tent. Koorbinniale 30 June – 9 July Festival with choirs from all over the world singing at special locations all over the city of Haarlem, for example in the charming characteristic ‘hofjes’ (courtyards with almshouses).

For more tips on the best events, visit Instagram: @visithaarlem Facebook: Haarlemmarketing Twitter: @CMHaarlem

Issue 39  |  March 2017  |  43

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights


Boutique hotel STAATS enchants. This intimate, newly opened city hotel combines a design setting with renowned hospitality, providing guests with a fullblown fairy tale-like experience. Hotel STAATS is a collaboration of hospitality professionals and design specialists. Helmed by Claudia van den Berg, the hotel is designed by Michel Ruijgrok from agency E.S.T.I.D.A, which specialises in hospitality design. “The idea to open a hotel initially came from him,” Van den Berg starts. “Ruijgrok designed STAAT’s adjacent restaurant De Ripper, and when this building went up for sale, we took our chance.” Van Den Berg brought years of hospitality experience at home and abroad to the hotel, ensuring guests want for nothing. The boutique hotel is located five minutes from the Grote Markt in Haarlem, and within 20 minutes you will find yourself on the Dam in Amsterdam. STAATS exudes a 44  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

feeling of charm with authentic details in a warm colour palette, combined with luxurious materials, design classics, collection items, art, and quirky objects. Each room is an explosion of different colours and carries a different theme: something they share is their atmospheric and unique interior, as well as their luxurious facilities. Each room has a royal flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, a spacious bathroom with a large shower, and a separate toilet. The comfortable beds will guarantee sweet dreams. The restaurant next door, De Ripper, has long earned its stripes in Haarlem and beyond. Alongside serving eclectic dishes to hotel guests and the locals of Haarlem, De Ripper also serves a societal cause: educating young people whom, for whatever reason, have not finished their schooling. “That is a wonderful, win-win situation,” Van den Berg asserts: “Our guests’ culinary wishes enable the students to further their education and future, while our

guests can enjoy De Ripper’s exquisite food. And because we are a hotel and not a regular restaurant, the students gain experience in the hotel industry as well.” Boutique hotel STAATS only counts 21 rooms, an amount that perfectly maintains the intimate feeling of the hotel. “Our personal touch is everything,” Van den Berg concludes. “A hotel is made to fit a certain set of expectations, but STAATS fits all other expectations as well.”

For more information, please visit:

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights


You take one vibrant atmosphere, a cuisine of excellence, completed by a working-learning environment, and you have found the recipe for both De Kloosterkeuken and De Ripper. These Haarlem-based restaurants have cherished two goals for decades: providing culinary education to the young, and serving the people of Haarlem delicious food. Restaurant De Kloosterkeuken lies in one of the oldest parts of Haarlem. Its hospitality seems embedded in the walls as people were using the location to cook for the pilgrims who were on their way to Santiago de Compostela in the 15th century. Fast forward 600 years and De Kloosterkeuken is known for its unique location and historical ambiance, serving a menu of French-oriented dishes immersed with Dutch influences. Further to the north, but still in the heart of Haarlem, restaurant De Ripper has been a culinary staple in the city for over

32 years. With salmon teriyaki alongside a variety of Spanish delicacies on the menu, De Ripper’s cuisine is eclectic, effortlessly combining delicacies from all over the world. Besides satisfying the palates of Haarlemmers, De Ripper is also the goto spot for guests from adjacent boutique hotel STAATS to eat, drink, and unwind. Both restaurant De Kloosterkeuken and De Ripper offer apprenticeships: they provide education to people between the ages of 16 and 27 who have, for whatever reason, not finished their regular schooling programme. “It is an incredible dynamic way of teaching,” Toine Klok, manager at Perspective Training Companies explains. “We train our students to become a chef or host. By combining a working and learning environment, they gain the valuable skills and knowledge to help them further their careers and future.” Theory and practice go hand in hand at the restaurants, with students learning while doing, and doing while learning. Chefs act as docents and craftsmen at the same time.

On top of their working leaning environment, something else De Kloosterkeuken and De Ripper share is their excellent rating on travel websites such as TripAdvisor. “People often do not know that we are training companies,” Klok asserts. “Our hospitality and quality are constant, and docents always ensure that any faults are solved correctly. It is the beauty of an educational company: the vibrant yet professional service and the natural way that faults are made and corrected, make people appreciate De Ripper even more.”

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  45

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights


A wise person once said that happiness is only real when shared. This is certainly true at El Pincho – a warm restaurant in the heart of Haarlem where happiness takes the form of the freshest Spanish tapas. From ‘costilla de Cerdo’ to ‘almejas a la marinera’, or ‘pimientos padrón’, El Pincho’s menu can come as a bit of a surprise to some. Madrid-born chef Emilio has hidden the best part of his Spanish roots into the menu, and that is something you taste. “If something is not fresh, it does not enter Emilio’s kitchen,” begins owner Paul van der Werff. “Spanish cuisine is known for its pure and honest dishes, made using fresh ingredients.” El Pincho serves tapas for every palate, from the smaller vegetarian plates to ‘rabo de toro’ (braised oxtail with pepper and onion). The Tapa del Día (Tapas of the Day) is truly a surprise: a weekly changing dish, depending on what chef Emilio is making that day. 46  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Alongside the menu, it is El Pincho’s atmosphere that immerses you in the warm south. The vivacious sounds, the bustling Mediterranean music and the colourful art on the wall quickly make you forget any daily worries. The art is created by in-house artist and interior stylist Priscilla Platt, who also gave the restaurant a complete revamp in January. The worst part of going out for dinner might be having to head home afterwards. Not at El Pincho: its very own B&B is located right above the restaurant, so it is just a short stroll away from a comfortable bed. Not yet tired? Fear not, as the B&B’s luxurious facilities provide you with plenty of opportunities to continue your night. Of course, you can always extend the evening by strolling through Haarlem. El Pincho is located on the city’s beautiful Riviervismarkt, which in summer is the backdrop for the restaurant’s own terrace. But above the tapas, art, and B&B, there is El Pincho’s hospitality. “Guests truly feel

at home with us: it is their night,” Van der Werff concludes. “We always say that our guests leave El Pincho dancing!”

For more information, please visit:

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights

Traditional afternoon tea with lots of love TEXT: HEIDI KOKBORG  |  PHOTOS: BIJ BABETTE

Afternoon tea is arguably the best-loved English tradition, and you do not even have to go to England to experience it. The tea room Bij Babette in Haarlem is renowned for its heavenly afternoon tea in true British style. Bij Babette was born four years ago when, after a long period of working in advertising, Sarah Hawkin decided it was time to follow her heart and passion for tea and baking. “I have always loved baking. In my old job, I would bake whenever I was stressed to help me wind down. But mostly, I love baking because it is my way of showing people love and making others happy,” explains the British owner of Bij Babette. Bij Babette offers one of the few traditional afternoon teas available in the Netherlands, and they are proving to be very popular. “We bake everything ourselves. We offer six different types of scones, and we blend our

own tea. There are also 60 different varieties of tea available, so there is a scone and type of tea that everyone will love,” says Hawkin. The owner’s love for tea goes back a long time, and she is still just as passionate about the drink. “There are more types of tea in the world than wine. Tea can help you with everything. Whether you want tea for better sleep, feeling healthier, relaxing, detoxing or anything else, there are so many benefits. It’s just wonderful,” she smiles. For more information, please visit:

‘Enjoy Thai food as if you are in Thailand’ TEXT: STIAN SANGVIG  |  PHOTOS: ERAWAN THAI RESTAURANT

“We import fresh Thai herbs and vegetables every week directly from Thailand in order to ensure authenticity,” explains Chinnawong, owner and general manager of Erawan Thai Restaurant in Haarlem. Following increasing demand from the city’s Thai community as well as growing awareness of Thai cuisine amongst locals and tourists, Chinnawong opened the restaurant in 1990. The choice of the name is no coincidence. It comes from the four-faced god, Phra Phrom – the bringer of good news – which finds its origin in Hinduism and represents a creator of culture. “Thus, we are as keen to promote Thai culture as Thai cuisine,” she summaries. Indeed, everything is done to ensure authenticity in their food. “Whilst some Asian restaurants in European cities ‘Europeanise’ their food by using only local vegetables, we import fresh

herbs and vegetables from Thailand once a week in order for our guests to enjoy Thai food as if they were in Thailand,” Chinnawong elaborates. A wide variety of dishes based on meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian substitutes is served. “We change the specialties every three months, in order to serve the best of what each season has to offer,” she continues. The restaurant has 85 seats and is able to provide takeaway options as well as catering for a minimum of 20 people. The future is looking bright for Erawan Thai Restaurant in Haarlem, which is west of Amsterdam. “As long as we continue to deliver the same high-quality food in the same friendly atmosphere, we know we are doing something right,” Chinnawong concludes. More information can be found on Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  47

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights

Carefree lunches at Hofje Zonder Zorgen TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN  |  PHOTOS: HOFJE ZONDER ZORGEN

A lovely springtime sun shines brightly on lunchroom Hofje Zonder Zorgen (meaning ‘Carefree Courtyard’), located on the southern edge of Haarlem’s centre and owned by Marja Jochemus and Petra Kloosterman. We are greeted by Jochemus, a talkative local who has traded in a career in the advertisement business for hospitality with the Hofje as her most recent endeavour. She excuses herself several times for talking too much, but it is fun to hear her speak with such passion about her work and their own establishment. She has every reason to: the Hofje Zonder Zorgen is set in a beautiful, historic 15th century building with a very welcoming feel. It is, of course, surrounded by courtyards. The menu, made almost entirely in-house, is bursting at the seams with organic soups, sandwiches, salads, pies and fresh juices. The place offers

an afternoon tea and if you have any kind of allergy, do not fret: there are more than enough options to choose from. “I’m a storyteller,” says Jochemus right off the bat. “Whether it’s about the local suppliers who deliver our coffee, tea or chocolate, or just a nice chat with our guests, we greatly value those personal experiences. We expect that from our waitresses as well and it’s always a challenge to fathom if a guest is up for a short talk or not. We have a multilingual team and to see them converse with tourists in their language is a joy to behold. Some of our staff submits ideas for our menu and, if approved, we name a sandwich after them, for example.” Jochemus’ and Kloosterman’s way of running the establishment pays off: it won several awards (such as TripAdvisor’s certificate of excellency) that are on display in the reception room. Jochemus: “It adds to the compliments we get from our guests. We can count on a

A little piece of Ireland in Haarlem TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: TIERNEY’S IRISH PUB

From an abundance of whiskeys to the Gaelic music, and from Guinness to the authentic atmosphere: Tierney’s has taken the best pieces of Ireland to the heart of Haarlem. Even its name exudes Ireland: the name Tierney comes from the Gaelic ‘O’ Tighearnaigh’, roughly translating to male descendant of Tighearnach, which means ‘lord’ or ‘master’. Tierney’s pub is owned by brothers Paul and PJ Tierney who, after many years of working in the bar trade in Ireland and abroad, anchored down in Haarlem. “The city of Haarlem and Tierney’s fit in well together,” says Paul. “Our clientele is a balanced mix of locals and expats, and it is not unusual for the place to be filled with families.” Tierney’s has eight draught beers on offer, including excellent Guinness and other Irish beers as well as Dutch and Belgian varieties, such as the local Haarlem-brewed Jopen beer. 48  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Splendid is the large, expanding whiskey collection, with more than 200 varieties, including blended whiskeys and single malts from all round the globe. Let Tierney’s pub food menu satisfy your hunger. “That is an Irish thing,” Paul adds. “Fairly priced pub food that is actually high quality.” Both Tierney brothers are keen sports fans and regularly show live rugby and Gaelic football, resulting in many happy Irish and local visitors. Irish music is also rightfully honoured, with a session of traditional Irish music being served up regularly. For those longing for an English-spoken pub quiz, Tierney’s organises one every Monday night. It is Tierney’s authentic and friendly ambiance that makes everyone feel at home. “The Irish are known for their swift and friendly bar service,” Paul concludes. “And, of course, you are served by true Irish people!”

formidable group of regulars who suggest our place to their friends and that keeps the ball rolling. They know that if there’s one thing we love to do here is to welcome people who are having a bad day and make them leave with a big smile on their face.” Carefree indeed. If you wish to make a reservation at Hofje Zonder Zorgen or would like to know more, visit their website at

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Haarlem Highlights


The Carlton Square proves that there certainly is a place like home. This four-star hotel is the perfect backdrop to meet, eat, drink and sleep amid a warm atmosphere in the middle of historic Haarlem. Waking up at the Carlton Square Haarlem means waking up in the historic city centre. The hotel counts 122 rooms, all carrying international style and every possible comfort. Haarlem’s best known attractions are a mere stone’s throw away, yet the best secretive spots are revealed by the team. “Many of our team are real Haarlemmers,” begins general manager Arwin Paulides. “They are the heart of this hotel; they make people feel at home.” The plentiful culinary and shopping packages offered in collaboration with the best local hot spots also demonstrate the Carlton’s significant local connection. Bar & Kitchen Zocher is where you will lose track of time. This meeting place, named

after Haarlem’s eponymous famous garden architect, hosts a cocktail bar, a restaurant and countless cosy and relaxing spots. There is buzz all day long, with the sounds of lively banter and the delicious scents of food and coffee wafting by, evoking the feeling of a welcoming living room. Helmed by Bastiaan Koenders, Zocher’s open kitchen-restaurant serves dishes from all over the world, but mainly works with products that are sourced closer to home. Dishes are free from any fuss, so that the quality of the beautiful ingredients speaks for itself. Whether you are in Haarlem for business, a beach weekend or a day of shopping, the Carlton Hotel will be your Haarlem home. “The Carlton serves as a base for everyone,” Paulides concludes. “It has to, it is at its best when as many people as possible can enjoy it.”

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Zandvoort and Bloemendaal Highlights

Strand, Zandvoort


Escaping the city The beaches of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal are so close to Amsterdam and Haarlem, yet a world apart. Whether you want to dance all night with warm sand between your toes, or go swimming and build sandcastles with the little ones: these Dutch beach resorts provide a perfect escape from the city. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: AMSTERDAM MARKETING AND NBTC

DO NOT MISS: Woest & Wild Beach Festival 14 April There is a reason Bloemendaal has been named as the Netherlands’ answer to Ibiza. Held at popular spot Beachclub Vroeger, this festival is one of the many parties in spring and summer where you can dance while soaking up some vitamin D. Historic Zandvoort Trophy 29 – 30 April Fans of classic cars and historic racing series will be thrilled by the Historic Zandvoort Trophy, which has been the opening of the classical car racing season for years. European Championship Sand Sculpture Festival 12 June – 1 November In 2017, Zandvoort at Sea will be the platform for Europe’s best sand sculpture magicians to show their creations. This year’s theme is ‘Dutch Masters’.

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Luminosity Beach Festival 22 – 25 June Bloemendaal will be all about trance music during this beach summer festival, with big international and emerging talents ensuring you dance the night away. Surfana Festival 22 – 25 June Imagine a festival in the middle of the dunes where it is all about surfing, music, dancing, and freedom. Sounds good? Good vibes guaranteed at the Surfana Festival, Bloemendaal.


Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Zandvoort Highlights

Caribbean sunshine food that makes you happy TEXT: HEIDI KOKBORG  |  PHOTOS: CHEF THOMAS

If you are visiting Zandvoort you cannot miss a visit to Chef Thomas. The restaurant serves homemade and mostly organic Caribbean and international food, in a warm Caribbean atmosphere. Here, the aim is for everyone to leave with a smile and feeling happy. Chef Thomas originates from Kingston Jamaica and met his Dutch wife Debby in Curaçao in 2010. Thomas’ parents use to run a ‘foodshop’ in the late 1980s, while Debby’s parents owned a beach restaurant for about 25 years. After graduating from food and nutrition school in Jamaica, Thomas worked all over the Caribbean. In the meantime, Debby completed a degree in management and economics, and has worked for several companies in the hospitality and entertainment industry. The perfect ‘Horeca’ couple got married and when their son was born they decided to move to Debby’s native Holland. It only took them about half a year to open their own restaurant ‘Chef Thomas Cafe & Catering’ in 2014, a place

where two different cultures and their love for hospitality blossom. “We were not planning to open a restaurant yet, but it was like we were walking into our dream, so we decided to just jump in and open Chef Thomas,” says Debby. “We have an open kitchen so when you walk into the restaurant it is like being in our living room.” Expect the ultimate taste explosion in your mouth - real food with all kinds of flavours and beautifully decorated. “It is like eating a plate of sunshine,” describes one guest. Because everything is freshly made, most of the dishes are gluten and dairy free. “We want everyone to leave smiling and happy – even grumpy people become happy after eating this good food,” smiles Chef Thomas. Last year TripAdvisor awarded the restaurant with a Certificate of Excellence; honouring restaurants that consistently receive great reviews on TripAdvisor. Chef Thomas will be moving this year to a new, soon-to-be-confirmed location.

For more information and reservations, please visit:, or follow Chef Thomas on Facebook or Instagram.

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

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Zandvoort Highlights

Delicious dishes at the boulevard TEXT: THESSA LAGEMAN  |  PHOTOS: ZIZO LOUNGE ZANDVOORT

Feel like having a modern type of sushi or some special Japanese wagyu beef? At the ZIZO Lounge you can enjoy these and other fresh quality dishes in a romantic setting. Why not also try one of the newly invented cocktails? This restaurant is located at the adjoining Palace hotel right at the boulevard, which is next to the beach in Zandvoort. During the winter, you can sit in the pleasant conservatory with large sliding windows offering the most beautiful view of the sea. The windows can be completely opened so you can sit on the terrace when the weather is good. Owner Robin de Graaf noticed her lounge is also a popular date venue. “Our location is indeed very romantic,” she says, explaining that because the restaurant is situated a little higher than the beach, the view towards the sea is even better here than on the beach. Convenient for visitors is the fact that you can park at the hotel and arriving by train is easy with the 52  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

railway station just across the street with a direct connection from Amsterdam (25 minutes).

them ourselves,” says De Graaf proudly. “I can also recommend our various gin and tonics.”

“We serve traditional sushi, but also a special, modern variety. Everything is of the highest quality,” De Graaf continues. “In June, we will have a new menu with various other dishes, like our special Japanese wagyu beef. This meat comes from cows that live on small farms in Japan. They enjoy a diet including beer and even receive massages from geishas. The result is an extremely delicious taste.”

The restaurant offers space for around 150 people. At the moment, the kitchen is being enlarged and the style and furniture of the lounge are being renewed to create an even more pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. De Graaf: “We are using a lot of wood details and natural colours.” The restaurant is open all year.

The Japanese chef makes sure only the best ingredients are used for the dishes. On a daily basis, the best suppliers bring the freshest and highest quality fish, vegetables and rice. The owner and her very motivated young team are very proud to receive so many excellent reviews. “People also appreciate that we offer excellent value for money.” Of course, you can also visit ZIZO Lounge for a nice drink, such as a cocktail. “We have invented most of

Your Shortcut to Benelux

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Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Bloemendaal Highlights

‘Green’ hospitality is the holy grail TEXT: DAAN APPELS  |  PHOTOS: ADAM VAN NOORT

For years, Bleecker has met the highest demand in terms of luxury, hospitality and service. The hotel and lunchroom offer a great environment for business people, families and lovebirds alike. Although Bleecker is located in the centre of Bloemendaal, the street is very quiet, just like the area that surrounds the village. Rent a bike and ride past the big and beautiful villas, or take a tour through forest and dunes to end up at one of Holland’s most stunning beaches. It is almost impossible to not like the food in the great restaurants that you can find inside and outside of Bloemendaal. Bloemendaal is located close to Amsterdam and Haarlem. A great chance for a nice day out, but also an ideal spot to invite and spoil business partners for an event. Many rooms are decorated in a sleek business design. Inside hotel Bleecker there is a conference room for up to 25 people, or you can make use of 54  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

an agreement Bleecker has with two other meeting rooms near the hotel. The staff of Bleecker is friendly, low profile and wants to help you with your every request. For the friendly Rikkert Pichel, manager of Bleecker’s lunchroom, hospitality is the holy grail: “In terms of hospitality, everything is possible. We offer customers a very loose and friendly atmosphere. The rules we follow are the requests of our guests.” Not only are the beautiful forests in the area green, but so is hotel Bleecker itself. Rain is saved in a special depot, cleaned and used in a later stage. The roof consists of solar panels. Bleecker is located on one of the planet’s most beautiful spots and wants to keep that planet as green and beautiful as possible. Their lunchroom Coffee and More, located inside the hotel, uses organic products for its salads, sandwiches, coffee

and smoothies. Bleecker cares in every sense about its organic footprint. “We are a very sustainable hotel and we are proud of it,” explains Pichel. “Inside and outside of Bloemendaal we see every day how beautiful our planet is, and we want to keep our planet that way.”

Discover Benelux  |  North Holland  |  Bloemendaal Highlights

Exclusive housing in a national monument TEXT: WARNER VAN DER VEGT  |  PHOTOS: CARRÉ VAN BLOEMENDAAL

Imagine living next to the dunes, in one of the Netherlands’ largest and most extraordinary national monuments. Park Brederode in Bloemendaal is set for the redevelopment of one of the most prestigious national monuments in the Netherlands. Soon, the park will be filled with 38 city villas and five spacious apartments.

19th-century grandeur combined with contemporary luxury This majestic 16,000-square-metre building is currently being redeveloped into 44 exclusive residences. Pleasure is guaranteed at this beautiful location, next to National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. It perfectly suits those looking to escape busy city life in favour of a green and exquisite environment. The residences behind the monumental facades are simply breathtaking. Spacious rooms, high ceilings and authentic elements ensure a unique appearance.

Picture yourself reading the newspaper as the morning light shines through the original 19th-century windows. Imagine enjoying a summer drink with friends in the garden overlooking the beautiful old tree on the centre square.

Crown jewel

The residences’ living areas vary from 160 to 500 square metres. Your residence can be planned and divided according to your own preferences. Tailor made, your residence will fit you like a custom-made suit.

Park Brederode’s crown jewel and eye catcher is without a doubt the former head office of the Provincial Hospital, which is now being developed into very fine residences.

Last building phase

The national monument is part of Park Brederode in Bloemendaal. This historical property has been in development for the past few years, while preserving the honoured atmosphere.

The last nine residences which go on sale mid 2017 are newly built in the style and atmosphere of the monument. These houses have a front, side and back garden or patio facing west. All residences are located on the side of the dunes, to the west of the former Provincial Hospital. The houses are adjacent to the private area around the monument and Park Brederode. Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  55

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Max Verstappen

Photo: Cesar Durione, Red Bull Content Pool

56  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

DiscoverDiscover Benelux Benelux |  Cover | Interview  Interview  | |  Max Igone Verstappen de Jongh


The new F1 superstar Breaking records seems to come easily to Formula One wunderkind Max Verstappen. The teenage racing driver rewrote the history books at the age of 17 when he made his debut as the youngest ever Formula One driver at Australia’s 2015 Grand Prix. One year later he broke another record; becoming the youngest driver to win a Formula One World Championship race at the Spanish Grand Prix in Montmeló. With the 2017 racing season now well underway, all eyes are on 19-year-old Verstappen, who consistently impresses with his risk-taking driving style and skillful recoveries. We caught up with the Belgian-born sportsman, who competes under the Dutch flag with Red Bull Racing to talk about his unprecedented rise to success. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

It seems trivial to ask Verstappen what attracted him to racing. After all, he is the son of Flemish karting champion Sophie Kumpen and Dutch racing driver Jos Verstappen. In fact, Verstappen senior travelled to the Suzuka Japanese Grand Prix to race for Tyrrell just ten days after his son was born and Verstappen junior was spotted at karting circuits before he could walk. “One of my first racing memories was in Malaysia. My dad was racing and I was there, running around in the paddock as well. I think I was like three years old or something,” he smiles.

Born to race Aged just four, Verstappen received his first kart and only a few years later he was driving his first kart races. In 2005, he became Belgian Champion in the Mini Category of the Belgian Karting Championships. It was around this time that the youngster became serious about following in his father’s footsteps. “I was always like, ‘wow, I’ll try to do the same [as dad]’,” recalls Verstappen.

Verstappen continues to look up to his Dutch father, who is always on hand to offer support and mentoring. “It’s great to have an example. He’s still helping me a lot as well. If I have any questions, if I need advice, I can always go to him,” he says. “Of course, he’s very proud of me, as I think any father would be.” Indeed; Verstappen has plenty to be pleased with. After just one season in single-seaters, Red Bull shocked the Formula One paddock by placing Verstappen with Italian Formula One racing team Toro Rosso in 2015. It was the first time someone so young had lined up on a Formula One grid. How did Verstappen cope with such responsibility aged only 17? “Everything has gone really fast in my life. At the end of day, I never really think about my age. For me, it doesn’t really matter,” he explains.

Record breaker His age may seem insignificant to him, but Verstappen has a place in the Guinness World Records 2017 Edition book thanks to his win at the Spanish Grand Prix in

Montmeló last May, where he became the youngest driver to win a Formula One World Championship race - aged just 18 years and 228 days. Commentators were astonished by Verstappen’s composed drive at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which was even more impressive given the fact that he had only recently made the switch from Toro Rosso to his current team Red Bull Racing. The Spain win was not only significant in terms of Verstappen’s age; it also represented the first time a driver racing under the Dutch flag had won at a Grand Prix and further contributed to his hero status in the Netherlands, where he was crowned 2016 Sportsman of the Year. “I’m very happy to represent my country,” enthuses Verstappen. “They are very passionate fans.” Having taken fifth place in last month’s Australian Grand Prix, the 2017 Formula One season has got off to a solid start for Verstappen. The season looks set to be an interesting one: following the recent retirement of Germany’s Nico Rosberg, it is the Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  57

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Max Verstappen

58  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview |  Max Verstappen

Far left: Driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer during the 2016 Formula One Grand Prix in Belgium. Photo: Charles Coates/Getty Images. Far right: At the Japan Formula One Grand Prix in 2016. Photo: Peter Fox/Getty Images. Bottom: Getty Images. Top left: On the track at the 2016 Formula One Grand Prix in Germany. Photo: Charles Coates/Getty Images. Top right: Signing autographs for fans during the 2016 Formula One Grand Prix in Italy. Photo: Dan Istitene/Getty Images.

first season since 1994 in which the reigning drivers’ champion is not competing.

Racing ahead So, could 2017 be Verstappen’s year? After all, in the last decade only two other drivers have had a similar impact at such an early stage of their career - Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Meanwhile, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has been vocal in his praise of Verstappen, and was quoted as calling him “lightyears ahead” of many of his Formula One rivals. Comparisons have even been made to the likes of late Formula One legend Ayrton Senna. So, is Verstappen feeling the pressure? “No, not really,” he admits. “I don’t look too far ahead. I think at the moment it’s too early to talk about that stuff. “I mean, as a driver you know what to do. You just think hard and focus on what you have to do - drive the car fast around the track. “You just have to focus on yourself and try to do the best possible job. And keep your feet on the ground, that’s important,” he concludes. With these final words, Verstappen proves that famous maturity also extends to off the track. Watch this space…

Verstappen’s life in the fast lane… 1997


Dutch racing driver Jos Verstappen and Flemish karting champion Sophie Kumpen welcome their first child into the world. Max Emilian Verstappen is born in the Belgian city of Hasselt on 30 September.

In Verstappen’s first year competing on an international level he scoops numerous new titles including WSK World Series, KF3 champion in his CRG-kart. 2013

2005 Aged seven, Verstappen drives his first kart races and becomes Belgian Champion in the Mini Category of the Belgian Karting Championships, organised by the Flemish Autosport Federation. 2006 Verstappen once again dominates the Mini Category of the Belgian Karting Championships and is crowned Belgian Champion for the second year in a row. 2007 Verstappen ends the year as a double Mini Max Champion, both in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The 15-year-old dominates both the manual (KZ) and the automatic (KF) transmission categories in world karting. 2014 Verstappen makes his debut in car racing and catches the eyes of several Formula One outfits. In August, the youngster announces he is joining the Red Bull Junior Team. 2015 Aged 17, Verstappen makes his Formula One race debut in Melbourne and becomes the youngest ever Formula One driver at the Australian Grand Prix. 2016

2008 Verstappen turns 11 during the 2008 season and is allowed to enter the Cadet category for the Belgian Karting Championship, which he goes on to win.

Verstappen becomes the youngest driver to win a Formula One World Championship race after claiming victory at the Spanish Grand Prix in Montmeló aged just 18 years and 228 days.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  59

Discover Benelux  |  Feature  |  De Stijl

Victory Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian

A century of De Stijl in the Netherlands TEXT: STUART FORSTER  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

In the autumn of 1917, Theo van Doesburg published the first edition of the magazine De Stijl, which initially had just 30 subscribers. Featuring articles on art, architecture and design, the journal strove for “the development of a new aesthetic sense”, lending its name to what would become the influential avant-garde movement that has been described as Holland’s most important contribution to 20th century culture. It could be argued that, beyond the borders of the Netherlands, the term De Stijl 60  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

does not conjure images into peoples’ minds with the same immediacy that mentioning the name of, say, Rembrandt or Van Gogh might. Yet there is little doubt that the colourful, abstract compositions of Piet Mondrian and Bart van der Leck are instantly recognisable and, subsequently, have inspired many artists and designers.

Positive change The De Stijl movement evolved at a time of intense social and political upheaval. As the first edition of De Stijl was going to print, the armies of European nations

faced each other on battlefields across the continent and socialist ideals were about to spark revolution in Russia. Nonetheless, many people were hopeful that the modern age would bring positive change to the world. Charged with optimism, members of De Stijl believed that art and design could help shape society and its morals. The architect H.P. Berlage voiced conviction that economic and spiritual change would be precursors to the development of a universal style that would mean “the development of a new society”. He believed

Discover Benelux  |  Feature  |  De Stijl

De Stijl could bring betterment through ‘gemeenshapskunst’ — a term that translates as ‘communal art’.

A revolutionary concept According to the vision of Berlage and other architects influenced by De Stijl, buildings with bright, airy rooms and façades with clean lines would be part of that society. Rooms with predominantly white walls and sizeable windows are now the norm in many parts of the world. Yet in 1917, when dark wooden furniture dominated interiors, the concept was revolutionary. Famously, Piet Mondrian’s Parisian white-walled studio drew a stream of admiring artists keen to view the upbeat workspace in which he painted. The Daal en Berg housing estate in The Hague is a legacy of De Stijl’s ideal of providing desirable, affordable housing that would collectively raise the standard of living among working people with families. Built between 1917 and 1921, from a design by Jan Wils, the estate stands as the only one completed according to the movement’s ideals during the first half of the 20th century. Consequently, Daal en Berg is today designated one of the Netherlands’ ‘Rijksmonument’ heritage sites. Vilmos Huszár, the Hungarian-born artist and designer, settled in the Netherlands

Piet Mondrian

in 1905 and designed the cover for De Stijl’s inaugural edition. In 1916, he met and began exchanging ideas with fellow founding members of the group in Laren, the village 25 kilometres south-east of Amsterdam that doubled as an artists’ colony.

A bright palette It was there that Bart van der Leck and Piet Mondrian started mutually influencing each other. Van der Leck had already adopted a bright palette, featuring primary colours. Bold blues, reds and yellows soon became a characteristic of Mondrian’s compositions. Over time, Van der Leck’s work became increasingly abstract, though he chose not employ the black lines between blocks of colour that typified so many of Mondrian’s works. Primary colours have subsequently become associated with many of De Stijl’s designs. In parallel to the abstract twodimensional artworks of Van der Leck and Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld’s angular furniture designs deconstructed traditional household objects to create applied art on three dimensions. Though his iconic Red Blue Chair dates from 1918, the colours were not added until 1923. Colour and paintings “have the power to ‘bring to life’ the planes that we, as archi-

Gerrit Rietveld.

tects, use to create emotion and to make them a vital part of the space”, wrote J. J.P. Oud. Like many members of De Stijl, Oud had a holistic vision of the relationship between art and design, believing, “paintings will offer architecture greater potential to appeal more intensely to the emotions, but in return architecture will create an atmosphere in which the mind will be receptive to such painting.”

Celebrating De Stijl In the years following the end of World War One, De Stijl was part of a vibrant intellectual landscape featuring avantgarde movements such as Dadaism and Futurism plus Constructivism and the Bauhaus. Inevitably, new members of De Stijl came and others left, in some cases due to ideological differences. The final issue of De Stijl was published in 1931, when Theo van Doesburg died. The abstract art movement that his publication fostered flourished during the 1930s and buildings designed according to its principles were constructed after peace returned to Europe in 1945. This year, as part of Mondrian to Dutch design. 100 years of De Stijl, museums and galleries across the Netherlands are hosting exhibitions and events celebrating the anniversary of this iconic movement. The Red and Blue Chair by Gerrit Rietveld.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  61

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Destination

At the beach in Scheveningen.


The beautiful south From world-class museums to stunning beaches, South Holland has all the ingredients for the perfect spring or summer break. Soak up some culture in bustling cities such as Leiden, The Hague or Delft, then head to popular seaside resorts such as Kijkduin, Noordwijk or Scheveningen to soak up the sun. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

Photo: Leiden Marketing

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Dunes, Noordwijk

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Destination

100 years of De Stijl Leiden is where Theo van Doesburg founded the magazine to which De Stijl owes its name back in 1917, making it the art movement’s birthplace. Here are just a few events celebrating 100 years of De Stijl: Raakvlakken (Interfaces) Hooglandse Kerkgracht, LUMC, Achmeagebouw, 18 May - 6 August A sculpture exhibition showcasing contemporary artists whose work reflects De Stijl. 100 Years After De Stijl The Pieterskerk, 2 June - 27 August A look at how today’s artists give substance to abstract art in a contemporary way. Leiden has an excellent live music scene. Photo: Leiden Marketing

Leiden: a cultural delight Read more from page 66 Unsurprisingly, for such an iconic university town, not to mention the birthplace of Dutch Master Rembrandt van Rijn, Leiden is brimming with history, culture and charm. The famous University was founded in 1575, attracting scholars from across Europe - Einstein was a regular professor. Culture and innovation continues to thrive in this picturesque city, with its 400-year-old stately canal houses, canals, bridges and excellent museums. After Amsterdam, Leiden is the city with the greatest number of bridges, canals

and moats, so why not find your bearings with a boat trip. After that, what could be better than a meander along the city’s narrow medieval cobblestoned streets, lined with charming shops and galleries? Culture vultures can take their pick from a whole host of establishments specialising in everything from ethnology to the history of medicine. Fans of Japanese art will adore the SieboldHuis, which organises exhibitions of modern Japanese and Dutch art, while the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities is an archeologist’s dream, boasting over 180,000 objects in its collection.

Maison d’Artiste Gerecht, 2 June - 27 August This exhibition presents a prototype of the Maison d’Artiste, a challenging design that was conceived by the founder of De Stijl Theo van Doesburg and architect Cor van Eesteren in 1923. For more information visit;

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Signature Festival Leiden 2 - 5 June A long weekend of various cultural events showcasing the best of the city’s arts scene. Culture festival Picknick 2, 9, 16, 23 July Sunday afternoons in July are all about music, theatre, workshops and more at the beautiful Van der Werfpark. SummerJazz Festival 26 August Expect national and international artists, rising stars and established names at one of the Netherlands’ leading festivals.

Photo: Leiden Marketing

Night of Art and Knowledge 16 September Visitors can enjoy theatre, music, lectures, experiments, dance, film and much more in various locations across the historic city centre.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  63

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Destination

Beach, Noordwijk.

DO NOT MISS: Food Soul Festival, Noordwijk 25 - 28 May The square around the lighthouse in Noordwijk is transformed into a huge outdoor restaurant. Enjoy good food accompanied by great soul music. Dunes, Noordwijk.

Noordwijk; a beach lover’s paradise

Kijkduin; a hidden gem

Read more on page 68 With its beautiful beach and an array of top restaurants and beach pavilions, it is easy to see why Noordwijk attracts thousands of visitors every year. But the beach is far from being the only attraction; there is a charming historical centre and numerous events and festivals taking place - especially in the summer. Also well worth a visit is Space Expo, Europe’s first permanent space exhibition.

Read more on page 69 The smaller and more peaceful seaside resort of Kijkduin is not to be missed. Enjoy a day at the beach or take a bike ride amid beautiful nature. The old lighthouse offers beautiful views, while there are some wonderful seafood restaurants and great boutiques. Do not forget to visit Fort Kijkduin, a fortress immersed in fascinating history and commissioned by Napoleon himself.

Kijkduin Beach.

North Sea Regatta, The Hague 26 May Every Whitsun weekend, sailors head to the coast for The Hague’s annual sailing festival. The Hague Bunker Day, Various locations 10 June On the annual ‘Bunkerdag’, the bunkers dotted along the Dutch coastline are opened to the general public. There will be bunker tours, walks and reenactments at various locations within the dunes at Scheveningen and Kijkduin. De Stijl architecture and interiors, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 10 June - 17 September The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague houses the largest Mondriaan collection in the world, not to mention an array of modern art masterpieces. This exhibition is dedicated to the architecture and interiors of the De Stijl movement. Beach Challenge, Kijkduin 17 June Calling all athletes! Kijkduin’s beach, sea and dunes are the main elements of The Hague-Kijkduin cross triathlon beach challenge course. Ready, set, go! Flag Day Scheveningen 17 June Attention foodies! Vlaggetjesdag (‘Flag Day’) heralds the arrival of the New Dutch herring. At the port of Scheveningen, you can enjoy delicious seafood and a festive atmosphere.

64  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Destination

Beach Walk.

Scheveningen; Holland’s most famous seaside resort Read more from page 69 Located just ten minutes from the city centre of The Hague, Scheveningen is famous for its wide sandy beach, refreshing sea air and lively boulevard. This postcard-perfect

seaside resort is also home to a beautiful pier, which was fully renovated and reopened in 2015. Meanwhile, art aficionados will not want to miss ‘Beelden aan Zee’ (Sculptures by the Sea), a stunning sculpture park surrounded by the beach and dunes. Founded in 1994 by the sculpture

collectors Theo and Lida Scholten, this unique museum shows contemporary international and national pieces of art. For a fun family day out, why not visit the SEA LIFE centre in Scheveningen, home to more than 150 different species of marine animals in over 45 aquariums.

Scheveningen Kurhaus.

Issue 39  |  March 2017  |  65

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  Leiden Highlights

A place to call home with style and character TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK  |  PHOTOS: ST.PIERRE

Just a glance at the front door of st.PIERRE reveals why this luxury short-stay apartment is in a league of its own in Leiden. The spacious apartment is stylishly decorated but also retains the authentic character of the 17th century building. With fresh flowers welcoming your arrival, owners Merijn Mulder and his mother do all they can to make guests feel fully at home. He says: “You have your own space with a separate front door. But if there is anything you need, I live next door and my mother is in the apartment above. This way we can offer services just like you’d expect from a concierge at a top hotel.” The split-level luxury apartment has a brand new, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, and a quiet patio at the back. It is decorated in a minimalist style featuring designer furniture and quirky details, such as a baby blue retro fridge.

The listed building from 1623 used to be at the heart of Leiden’s thriving wool industry. This street was where fullers washed their wool and turned it into felt. “You can still see remnants of this in the structure,” Mulder says and points out two arches. One of them would lead to the canal, and the other the cistern. “It’s quite a rare feature to still have.” st.PIERRE opened in November last year, and its name refers to Leiden’s patron Saint Peter. “My mother and I both have a background in the hotel industry. After redecorating the place over the summer, we now run it together,” he adds. Located in the centre of Leiden, st.PIERRE offers room for up to two guests and is just a short walk away from shops, conference centres and local amenities.

An unexpected journey TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: CORPUS

Do you know everything there is to know about the human body? You will after your visit to CORPUS. Here you will experience a unique 55-minute journey, learning all about the human body, how it works, and how to keep it healthy. The entrance to the CORPUS experience indicates that this is not your regular attraction. You enter via the knee, after which you will experience the human body in the most fascinating way. Think jumping on a human tongue, taking an ear-trip, or getting lost in a uterus. Your journey is guided by an audio tour that is available in eight languages. You leave via the brain. There is more. After your journey, you can take your time at ‘my CORPUS’, the interactive part of the experience, boasting fun games and tests. ‘my CORPUS’ focusses on healthy living – something that CORPUS has had at its heart for its nine-year existence. “A healthy life is essential to everyone, and knowledge is 66  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

essential to maintain that,” says Esther Nielen, marketing and communication executive at CORPUS. “After our visitors have finished their journey, they go home with a different outlook on their bodies.” The adjacent CORPUS Congress Centre is the attraction’s professional brother. This attractive venue can host small or large events, from trade fairs, to conferences, to intimate receptions. “The congress centre and the CORPUS experience reinforce each other,” Nielen explains. “For many companies – whether or not in the health sector – the issue of vitality and health is always of interest. What better way to explain this to your employees than with an actual journey through the human body?” CORPUS welcomes both adults and children (recommended from age eight, minimum age six). CORPUS ‘journey through the human body’ uses time slots, so book on time!

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  Leiden Highlights

T. rex royalty Make your way to Leiden’s Naturalis Museum of Natural History for a last chance to meet Europe’s best-preserved T. rex – before she goes on her world tour. She has been dubbed ‘Queen of the Cretaceous’ and ‘The Nightwatch of Natural History’, but for the people at Naturalis she is simply known as Trix. This five-tonne Queen of the Tyrant Lizards reached the respectable age of 30 years, which makes her the oldest T. rex on record. She is also considered one of the top three mostcomplete T. rex specimens ever found, with 80 per cent of her bone volume retrieved and in good condition. “All these stats are very impressive,” says Naturalis general manager Edwin van Huis. “But what’s even more impressive is how she’s caught the imagination of more than 230,000 visitors since she first came to Leiden six months ago.” At the museum’s historic Pesthuis, visitors can come eye to eye with Trix’s immense skull and 13-metre-long skeleton, learn about the

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scars which reveal her eventful life and engage in a range of activities to immerse themselves in the fascinating world she inhabited some 66 million years ago. “I think that’s the secret of her success,” says Edwin. “Trix takes children as well as adults back to prehistoric times, inspiring them to learn about our natural history. She is simply the most beautiful T. rex on earth.”

You can visit T. rex in Town at Naturalis until 5 June. Make sure you book online at to avoid disappointment. After her world tour, Trix is expected back in Leiden in 2019.

Photo: Mylene Siegers




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

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  Noordwijk Highlights



Welcome to luxury and hospitality anno 2017. Literally steps away from the scenic beach of Noordwijk, Hotel van Oranje has brought a beautiful holiday haven and top-quality professional facilities under one roof. Waking up merely a few metres away from the beach, overlooking stunning views, with a fresh breakfast awaiting you: that is Hotel van Oranje. Together with its adjacent brother Beach Hotel Noordwijk, it is part of the Hotels van Oranje Group, renowned for its service of excellence and quality. The hotels are located just 20 minutes from Schiphol Airport. Hotel van Oranje exudes charm and luxury, yet at the same time feels informal and familiar. This has everything to do with the staff, who make you feel like you are being welcomed back home. The facilities are endless. The wave swimming pool is the biggest of its kind in Europe, and naturally popular with the little ones. Enjoy a pampering day in the sauna and wellness centre, which offers a wide range of La 68  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

Prairie beauty treatments. Rather opt for a massage? From hot stone to sport massage – the choice is yours. The hotel shines a bright light on international corporate events and can host conferences for up to 1,000 people. “Our top-notch conference facilities reflect our status as renowned business hotel,” begins CEO Jaap Liethof. “Keeping up to date with the latest technology is essential. Five of our rooms boast enormous screens that allow usage of every type of multimedia.” Conference organisers and guests will enjoy the hotel’s flexibility: whether to do with culinary wishes or the latest IT-technology, Hotel van Oranje meets any demand. Instead of settling for one restaurant, Hotel van Oranje is home to five restaurants and six bars – which are shared with Beach Hotel Noordwijk. From typical Dutch dishes in Restaurant DUTCH!, to Asian inspired cuisine in Oriento, every culinary box is ticked. The trendy Beachclub O. is the cherry on top: a rare gem on

the Dutch coast, perfect for a lovely lunch or a fancy cocktail. The hotel rooms follow Van Oranje’s allure of comfort and beauty. All rooms and bathrooms have recently been modernised. Rooms come in five different types: from deluxe to the completely redesigned Executive Terrace Suites. The latter are the jewels and the pride of the Hotel van Oranje, serving up an abundance of ultimate luxury and richness. There truly is no better way to wake up.

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  Kijkduin & Scheveningen Highlights


Near the scenic beach of Kijkduin, hidden in a park with ancient trees, lies a culinary gem for the lovers of classic cuisine. Complemented by an extensive wine list, sunny terrace and hospitable ambiance, Taverne Meer en Bosch has made a passion for food and high-quality products its hallmark staple. Places such as Taverne Meer en Bosch have become a rare breed. This family restaurant honours times where guests dined for hours, talked for miles, and enjoyed personal attention alongside quality products. “People come to Taverne Meer en Bosch to ‘un-haste’, as we say in Dutch,” begins chef and owner Peter Simons. The seasonal menu boasts robust dishes that are equally elegant. Only the best products make it to your plate. Most ingredients are sourced in the Netherlands, such as asparagus from Limburg or goats cheese from a farm on

Ameland. “The Netherlands has beautiful products, but if something is higher quality elsewhere, we will source it there - the Irish still have the best beef,” Simons enthuses. It is not unusual for dishes to be prepared right at your table, like the Scottish salmon that is cut while you watch and you mouth waters. Wash down your dish with one of the beautiful wines on the impressive wine list – because good food deserves good wine. Taverne Meer en Bosch is a true family restaurant, owned by a family who have held a passion for food and hospitality for generations. Unique is the restaurant’s location: an old farm erected in the 17th century. Although mostly destroyed by a fire in 1966, the farm was luckily restored to its old charm, and has been doing what it does best since then: giving guests a warm culinary welcome.

‘There is no better way to enjoy life’ TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: DE KWARTEL

If you are seeking great organic food and wine accompanied by a view overlooking the beautiful Dutch coastline, the road will automatically lead you to Beach Pavilion de Kwartel at the Zuiderstrand beach in The Hague. This secluded beach pavilion not only has a full organic menu, but the pavilion itself is completely environmentally sustainable. “We are an official Green Key location: a company that preserves the environment without giving up comfort and quality,” explains Ed de Block, owner of De Kwartel. “This internation-

al quality mark is for companies in the leisure sector and shows that we take every step necessary to preserve our environment.” That is why there are solar panels on the roof, for instance, while wastage is kept to a minimum. Where possible, the menu at Beach Pavilion de Kwartel is organic. “We use local and organic products, grown at URBAN farmers. We don’t incorporate flavour enhancers. All our dishes are prepared on a Josper charcoal oven, which ensures perfectly cooked dishes and preserved flavours.” De Block is especially proud of the wine list at De Kwartel. “It consists of 150 differ-

ent bottled wines, while 20 types are available by the glass. Almost all of them are organic,” he explains. “With the beautiful sunset in the background, there is no better way to enjoy life.” The pavilion is also a perfect location for a celebration, wedding or a business event. “We can accommodate groups of up to 200 people. Just let us know what you want,” enthuses De Block. After all, who would not want to host an event at one of the most unique and ‘green’ spots on the Dutch coastline?

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  69

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  Scheveningen Highlights

Wake up with a stunning sea view TEXT: THESSA LAGEMAN  |  PHOTOS: CARLTON BEACH HOTEL

to TripAdvisor, the hotel is the first of the 24 hotels in Scheveningen, the beach area of The Hague. “Very good hotel on a perfect spot,” one guest wrote, and another: “The ambience in the hotel is so welcoming and the hotel is spotlessly clean.”

At the Carlton Beach Hotel, you can stay just a few steps from the beach. It is located right at the lively boulevard with many colourful beach cafés, shops and the lovely pier. On the other side of the hotel are the dunes, a quiet nature area that you can explore walking or by bike.

Sound of waves and seagulls

This luxury four-star hotel is a fun and friendly place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings. The rooms offer breathtaking views of the North Sea. It is also an inspiring location for training, meetings and conferences. Many guests choose to stay here because of the excellent location, explains Mireille Soemopawiro, the hotel’s happiness manager. “The sea view from your room is quite unique. Our hotel is right on the beach,” she says. It is therefore no surprise that, according

The Carlton Beach Hotel features 183 luxurious hotel rooms. You can choose between a Superior, Superior Dune view, Superior Sea view - for a truly splendid view of the beautiful North Sea - a Deluxe room or a large Family room. The rooms have comfortable furniture and are decorated cosily, with light, natural colours. All the modern comforts are present, such as large, comfortable beds and coffee and teamaking facilities. Mireille Soemopawiro: “You will have a good night’s sleep with the sound of waves and seagulls in the

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background and you wake up completely revived and inspired.” On your balcony, you can watch the serene dawn or the glorious sunset. At the Beach Brasserie, the ambiance is casual and the mood cheerful. The culinary team serves light, healthy and surprising dishes. They serve an extensive breakfast buffet with fresh waffles, fresh coffee and orange juice and a cook who prepares your egg on the spot. The Smuggler’s Bar & Grill is an informal, relaxed restaurant with a splendid view of the Scheveningen coastline. Delicious grilled meat and fish dishes are served here. “We use the best-quality and freshest ingredients from the surroundings,” adds the happiness manager. The Carlton Beachclub right on the beach is open from April until October, she continues. Delicious food is available

Discover Benelux  |  South Holland  |  Scheveningen Highlights

outside or inside the restaurant, whatever the weather dictates.

The pier There is much to discover in the direct surroundings of Carlton Beach. “Scheveningen is very vibrant,” says Mireille Soemopawiro. “Especially in summer when there are many festivals.” You can stroll around the boulevard, have a drink in one of the many beach cafés or walk over the pier. The refurbished upper deck offers a fantastic view of the North Sea and Scheveningen and you can also visit the food boulevard for some fresh French fries, a special beer or Dutch pancake. There is a large Ferris wheel and a zipline. If you are feeling brave, you can even go bungee jumping. The hotel also offers bike rental services. E-bikes and child seats are availa-

ble as well. Why not order a nice takeaway picnic basket for a lovely lunch in the dunes? For some great shopping in Scheveningen, you can head to the Frederik Hendriklaan or the Keizerstraat. Furthermore, unlike most other Dutch beach towns, Scheveningen is close to a city, with the centre of The Hague only five kilometres away.

Unforgettable After a lovely day on the beach, shopping or biking, it is wonderful to relax, refresh, and reinvigorate at the hotel spa. “Our wellness facilities include an indoor swimming pool, an indoor and outdoor sauna, an infrared sauna and a steam bath.” You can use the solarium or pick one of the relaxing massages. The Carlton Sports Health Centre offers a full-service fitness experience with aqua aerobics, aerobics and yoga classes too.

The hotel has excellent business facilities as well, Mireille Soemopawiro explains. “There is free Wi-Fi and seven meeting rooms with a sea view. It’s also the ideal location for parties and events.” Whether you are staying at Carlton Beach for a beach holiday, a seminar or perhaps a family weekend, when you return to everyday life, the hotel wants you to feel like “a new you”. “We like you to remember your stay at this North Sea resort as a wonderful, unforgettable experience.” The Carlton Beach Hotel has 80 on-site parking spaces. Both The Hague Central Station and the ‘Hollands Spoor’ train station are connected with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (duration: 30 minutes). A tram stop is opposite the hotel.

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  71

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Calendar


cuss the latest innovations and solutions within their field. IOT for Good Conference 26 April Brussels, Belgium The IOT (Internet of Things) for Good Conference aims to explore what the benefits of IOT are and how these new technologies can be used for sustainability. Numerous topics will be covered regarding energy savings, smart solutions, and sustainable energy use.

Photo: NBTC

Emerce Conversion 13 April Amsterdam, the Netherlands Emerce Conversion updates visitors in one day with everything there is to know about optimisation of conversion via digital channels, including new and relevant insights to improve results. TheNextWomen Startup Stories 13 April Amsterdam, the Netherlands TheNextWomen offers the unique possibility to participate in the free Startup Stories, with group sessions led by ambitious entrepreneurs. Participants get the opportunity to ask questions and gain advice from each other and experienced entrepreneurs. Open Tech Day 20 April Utrecht, the Netherlands This is a major open source conference within the Benelux and will bring together a unique blend of CTOs, IT architects 72  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

and managers, experts and developers. Expect presentations, tutorials, keynotes, and workshops, alongside many networking opportunities. Apéro Marketers - Customer Experience 25 April Luxembourg City, Luxembourg This event aims to bring together a targeted audience of marketing and communication managers in Luxembourg, to disPhoto: Open Tech Day

HACK BELGIUM 4 – 6 May Brussels, Belgium HACK BELGIUM has one single purpose: to help you reinvent your career, reimagine your business, and help build a better Belgium. Visitors will dive deeply in the trends and technologies that are relevant both to Belgium and their businesses.

Photo: Jaarbeurs Utrecht

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Top Belgian Coaching & Consulting

Developing talent together TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: ACT PARTNERS

When you have people working in your organisation, you want them to grow and achieve the best they can. This requires training and coaching. ACT Partners create customised coaching programmes to help you develop the talents of your staff and let your company grow.

or French. All of them have a psychology background and know how to work with people. As global affiliate for the Centre for Leadership Studies, we have a great product in leadership development. Next to these programmes we also offer interim management solutions, for cultural changes and innovation.”

“No one is the same and no company is the same. That is why we do not offer standard programmes,” explains managing director John van Hal. “With our clients, we create the most optimal programme. Sometimes that entails a two-day course, but we also have long-standing programmes in training and coaching with a lot of our clients.” Throughout the training, ACT Partners and their clients evaluate every step of the programme and optimises the courses if needed.

The programmes offered by ACT Partners focus on key elements to create successful companies, such as personal growth of the individual, creating strong team dynamics and preparing leaders of the future. “Talent development based on qualities is key to inspiring people to achieve their best, as well as stimulating their co-workers to reach that same level.”

ACT Partners is based in Antwerp, but they coach people and companies throughout Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Van Hal: “All our coaches and trainers are bilingual. They all speak English, and either Dutch and/

Among the clients of ACT Partners, you will find local companies and institutions like Antwerp police force, as well as multinationals such as Siemens, Engie, Brussels Airlines and Pfizer. “Because we don’t use standard programmes, instead creating customised ones especially for our clients, we can work with every type of organisation and easily adapt to their needs.” “With an open and honest relationship with our clients and customised training programmes, ACT Partners develops talent at companies, together with those companies. A leader nowadays is a coach and that is what we believe in.”

Van Hal: “We employ different proven methods, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Insights, for which we are certified to use. Based on those tools, we utilise renowned management training programmes to raise an awareness with the staff, try to break through old patterns and ancient company cultures and create an environment for growth and excellence.” Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  73

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Belgian Business Profile

Very delicate laser cutting brochure cover, commissioned by

Bart and Johan De Bie, CEO.

Printing with care, that is De Bie TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: DE BIE PRINTING

A family company at heart, yet continuously innovative; De Bie Printing is a market leader in high-end printing in Belgium for a reason. “Where others stop, we take it a few steps further,” says owner Bart De Bie. De Bie Printing is a high-end printing company with decades of tradition of a customer-centric approach, high-quality printing, and unique productions. In addition to traditional printed material, De Bie specialises in complex productions for high-end customers. Almost everything is produced in their own workshop in Duffel. Projects range from art books, to laser cuts, to booklet die cutting. If you can imagine it, De Bie can print it. De Bie Printing’s story starts in 1922, when great-grandfather Joseph De Bie founded Printing House De Bie. Bart De Bie and his brother Johan are fourth-generation owners of the business, which currently counts 49 dedicated craftsmen. “How have we reached 95 years? A constant added value, in everything we do. We 74  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

constantly use new and environmentally friendly techniques in order to meet our customers’ increasingly high demands.” It is an added value that is illustrated in the many innovative applications De Bie utilises, such as the Low Energy UVprinting press from Heidelberg. This press uses ultraviolet technology and results in a unique output, with colours that are extremely powerful. “And thus, perfect for the trickier realisations, such as art projects, automotive and fashion,” adds De Bie. Another example of De Bie’s tangible added value is presented in its laser-cutting service, which allows for fine punching of cardboard and paper in all possible forms. “In 2010, Stockmans Kalenders joined our group in Duffel as a market leader in business to business calendars. Stockmans also publishes a wide range of art books, finding its origin in the fascinating world of contemporary art.” De Bie Printing has earned its environmental stripes; from the bee hotel in the

front garden, to the 1,775 solar panels on the roof. “Previously, the printing sector had an image of being environmentally harmful. That is no longer true.” In 2016, De Bie Printing’s innovative and social philosophy earned recognition through the VOKA Ambassador Award; an annual award by the Belgian Chamber of Commerce. “While others in the printing industry have to deal with the difficulties arising from increasing digitalisation, we are ever expanding. We believe in the power of print, and therefore the future. A digital promotion, like an email or newsletter, gets lost in digital space – it is perishable. Print stays.”

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Column

How is your work-life balance? TEXT & PHOTO: STEVE FLINDERS

Yes, I know it is a horrible expression and yet the question is a critical one - one that we should all ask ourselves regularly. Say, once a week? This can help us make decisions about what we are missing out on. We also need to adopt a long-term perspective since we cannot always maintain a good balance in the short term. Above all, this is because of work. Sometimes we cannot control it – for example at the outset of our careers, or at times when we bear heavy professional responsibilities without enough support. We should, however, always have light at the end of the work tunnel, no matter how far off it might be. We should always aim for fundamental autonomy at work, as well as in our private lives. We should have a checklist to remind us of the areas that we may be neglecting by working too hard. The one I use in training and coaching looks like this:

- Work and career. The fulfilment that we derive from our lifelong professional development and achievement. - Money. We work for money but wasting it by neglecting the management of our personal finances is daft. - Family. Do not turn around one day to see that your children – and your partner too have grown up and away from you. - Health. Spending long periods of time sitting at desks and in planes inflicts serious longterm physical damage. Listen to your body. - Community. At some stage/s in our lives, we need to put back something of what we have taken out of the society that supports us. - Fun. Hobbies, friends, self-indulgence... do not forget to enjoy yourself. - Spirit. Hindus see life in four stages, which encourages them to embrace the world of the spirit more as they grow older. We might benefit from adopting a similar view.

A simple way to monitor all this is to keep a work-life diary and write down periodically a score out of ten indicating how well you are doing on each dimension and another score out of ten showing where you would like to be. If there is a large gap for any of them over time, then you know you need to take action to narrow it. Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

Your Partner in Anglo Dutch Business The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) is the only bilateral non-profit membership organisation solely dedicated to promoting Anglo-Dutch trade and investment. From our start in 1891, we helped thousands of companies and entrepreneurs expanding their business abroad. The Netherlands-British Chamber of Commerce, 125 years experience in Anglo-Dutch trade and investment promotion. Contact us now for: • Access to interesting network events • Participation in NBCC events and working groups • Exclusive access to our intranet membership area • Up to date economic information and market sector intelligence • Market research • Partner searches • Company formation • Virtual office services • Sales support NL Tel.: 070-205 5656 UK Tel.: 03333-440 779 Email: Or visit: Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  75

Discover Benelux  |  Hotel of the month  |  Netherlands



Located just a few minutes away from Schiphol Airport, Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol is the ultimate accommodation for business travellers and holidaymakers looking for a luxurious and comfortable home away from home. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, yet the perfect haven to relax and reload your body and mind, Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol enjoys the best of two worlds. Located in Hoofddorp, guests have the city of Amsterdam, the Flower Bulb region and the beach on their doorstep. The business area in Hoofddorp is a mere five minutes away, and is served by the hotel’s shuttle bus upon request. A Schiphol Airport shuttle bus goes every 40 minutes. “Our guests are a lively mix of business and leisure travellers,” begins Marilieke Elings, cluster director of sales and marketing. “Unlike many other hotels near airports, Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol is not remote from real life. We are surrounded by restaurants, nightlife, and places to do business.” Unique and happily welcomed by tourists is the ‘Ke76  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

ukenhof Express’, an initiative of Crowne Plaza and other hotels to provide easy and quick travel to North Holland’s famous flower region. The Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol counts 242 rooms, all sharing their large size and comfortable amenities. Every detail in the hotel is well thought out: from the many sockets never leaving guests without a charged laptop, to the large parking and to the rental bikes. The 13 modern conference rooms – located at perhaps the most accessible meeting location in the country – host up to 450 guests and are perfect for every corporate event. After an eventful day of Dutch sightseeing or productive meetings, the hotel’s restaurant and bar are perfect to sit back and relax. No surprise is the restaurant’s international à la carte menu, serving a wide variety of dishes from around the world. The club lounge is one of Crowne Plaza’s luxurious perks and perfectly reflects the hotel’s unmatched personal touch. Located on the top floor, the experience starts

with the stunning view over Schiphol Airport. Providing facilities such as a bar, a stylish seating area and personalised fridges, the club lounge truly serves as a second home for loyal Crowne Plaza Amsterdam guests visiting the Netherlands. “If we know our guests are arriving soon, we make sure to put their favourite cheese or favourite wine in the fridge,” Elings enthuses. “Many guests even have favourite rooms – to them, the Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol is their Dutch home.” hoofddorp/amsap/hoteldetail

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  |  Interview  |  Laura Tesoro

Photo: Selina De Maeyer

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Discover Benelux  |  Interview  |  Laura Tesoro


The Belgian of many talents Ahead of next month’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, we caught up with Belgian songstress Laura Tesoro, who represented her country last year with her Motown-influenced hit What’s The Pressure. As well as singing, the Antwerp-born star is making a name for herself as a presenter on shows such as Belgium’s Got Talent, not to mention taking part in the Flemish versions of animations including DreamWorks’ Trolls and Disney’s Moana. Sounds like a lot, right? Did we mention she is yet to turn 21? TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

You did so well to come in tenth place at Eurovision last year. Is it an experience you would like to repeat?

You’re such an accomplished performer, but do you still get stage fright before a big show?

It was an awesome experience! I liked how I grew during the whole experience. If we went back in time, would I say yes again? Yes, I would. But I wouldn’t do it twice because then I would experience it differently. I liked the experience as it was, and treasure the memory of it. It’s a oncein-a-lifetime thing.

I think my first time on stage with a big audience was the musical Annie when I was 11. When I’m on stage and singing I’m fine, but in auditions I’m really bad - so nervous. In the live show I have no problems, it’s what I love so I’m in my comfort zone. I hate auditioning, but sometimes I still have to prove myself.

You are famous for singing, dancing, acting and presenting. How is the latter going?

Having started your career at such a young age, you must have had to grow up quickly. Do you feel older than your years?

I don’t feel as though I’m an actor - I just like being myself on television. That’s why I like hosting so much because I can be myself. They gave me the chance to be the co-host of Belgium’s Got Talent. That’s pretty amazing. I love it also because it’s with Koen Wauters, who was my coach on The Voice van Vlaanderen (The Voice of Flanders). It’s really nice for me to do it with him. But music is still your true love? My main passion is performing. Last year I did Night of the Proms, which was amazing. I loved the whole crowd and being able to perform with a really big orchestra was so very different to what I do normally. Usually when I perform I’m just with my band of four people so it was very different, but really nice.

from the other people you work with. You keep on learning and discovering new things. It never stops!

Photo: VTM

A lot of people always tell me that. I don’t look old! Some people think I look 18, but people often tell me that they think I’m very grown up. I think that’s because I don’t spend that much time any more with people of my age. I have a lot of friends but most of them are older than me. I still have some friends my age, but not so much anymore. And, I don’t study any more. I’m just working and always surrounded by people that are older than me. I don’t mind - that’s why you kind of pick up things from them too and learn a lot from working with older people. So, what is the best piece of advice you have been given so far? I think that the most important lesson is that you can keep learning, especially

Photo: Eli Van de Weyer

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Patient, werk van Alma Haser uit de serie Cosmic Surgery | ontwerp: Sabrine Berendsen,

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Events

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Events

Alma Haser Custom Name.

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

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 chal-

lenge our reading of the built environment and interrogate the slippage between the real and the unreal.

and to discover the world she has invented. She is creating new work for CODA Paper Art 2017.

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

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 Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  81

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Events

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.

Datanaaiproject, detail.

Datanaaiproject, Vienna Romanée aan het werk, detail handen.

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Events

Gino Anthonisse photography by Lisandro Suriel model Noah @ menfolkmanagement

Issue 40  |  April 2017  |  83

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Events

Nuit des Choeurs Nuit des Choeurs is a one-of-a-kind event hosted annually in the ruins of the abbey of Villers-la-Ville, a charming municipality in Walloon-Brabant. The only choir festival in Belgium, this promenade concert offers two nights of entertainment, with six superb professional choirs singing throughout the evening. This year, the event takes place on 25 and 26 August. “This is the only time when the beautiful abbey opens at night and is lit up,” enthuses director Benoît Meurens. “The idea began in 2000 when I was asked to create an event in the abbey ruins using light and beautiful choral music.” Six different professional choirs perform four times throughout the evening. Each choir sings for 20 minutes at the same time, across different stages. At the end, all the singers (around 150) come together for a grand finale, with a fireworks display afterwards. “There’s a magic in it with thousands of spectators stopping to listen in awe. There isn’t a sound apart from the choirs singing,” says Meurens.


Over the two nights, around 25,000 people attend. The repertoire covers classical, Celtic, sacred and polyphonic music. Food and drinks are available across the site, including cheeses and specialty beers. Umbrellas are provided in case adverse weather strikes. Tickets start at 31 euros, going up to 141 euros for a VIP place; this includes access to a VIP buffet with an open bar serving champagne and other alcohols, as well as a private dining area.

SPRING PROMOTION “Spring is a time of plans and projects” Book your spring event at Hilton Brussels Grand Place, in the heart of historic Brussels, and benefit from 3 free value-adds of your choice: • 1 guaranteed room upgrade to a suite for keynote speaker • 1 complimentary room every 20 rooms booked • Complimentary welcome coffee or farewell drink • 1 complimentary seminar package every 20 packages • Double Event Bonus Hilton Honors Points

Contact us to start planning your event: +32-2-548-40-90 | HILTON BRUSSELS GRAND PLACE 3 Carrefour de l’Europe | 1000 Brussels | Belgium Offer available only at Hilton Brussels Grand Place and restricted for groups as of 25 delegates booking a meeting with or without rooms. Offer is subject to availability, the full offer terms and conditions will be confrmed in the hotel’s contract. Offer applies to new bookings only made between March 21st and June 21st, 2017 and taking place from March 21st to June 30th, 2017. The offer cannot be combined with any other promotions and/or special discounts. Blackout dates may apply.


Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Photo: Museum Schokland

Out & About April means the opening of festival season! Once the sun comes out and the winter jackets come off, the Benelux is full of sporting, musical and cultural events to get you in an active and festive mood. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK

Photo: Hofje Zonder Zorgen

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Rotterdam Marathon. Photo: Pim Ras

NN Rotterdam Marathon 8 – 9 April Rotterdam, the Netherlands Whether you experience the Rotterdam Marathon as a spectator or a participant, good vibes are guaranteed. The marathon always welcomes many top-level athletes.

Hotel & Brasserie Om de Noord Month of April Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands Located on the beautiful car-free island of Schiermonnikoog, this hotel combines simplicity with honesty: beautiful rooms, fresh food, and a hospitable ambiance.

Hofje Zonder Zorgen Month of April Haarlem, the Netherlands Situated right at the heart of the historic

Photo: Hotel Almenum

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city centre of Haarlem in a beautiful 15th century building, Hofje Zonder Zorgen serves carefully selected organic products. Think delicious coffee and tea, but also homemade pies, lunch and high tea.

Geldersch Landschap & Kasteelen 1 April – 31 October 2017 Gelderland, the Netherlands The province of Gelderland boasts a treasure of castles and manors. Seven Castles of the Geldersch Landschap & Kasteelen Foundation welcome visitors and take you back in time. Discover the life, architecture and art of yesteryear.

Het Friese museum dorp Month of April Allingawier, the Netherlands The most romantic and original open-air museum in Friesland tells its visitors the

Photo: Hotel Het Galjoen

adventurous tale of the old fisherman’s village of Allingawier.

Printemps Musical Until 21 April Luxembourg City, Luxembourg This jazz and world music festival features an innovative series of concerts and hosts, both prestigious international artists as well as new talents worth discovering. Concerts take place in various venues of the capital city. printemps-musical

Museum Schokland Month of April Schokland, the Netherlands Schokland is a unique natural and cultural monument that is symbolic of the traditional Dutch struggle against water. The museum provides indoor and outdoor ex-

Photo: Hotel & Brasserie Om de Noord

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Calendar

hibitions on geology, archaeology and history of the Noordoostpolder, Schokland and its inhabitants.

Groezrock 29 – 30 April Meerhout, Belgium Every last weekend of April, the small Belgian village of Meerhout experiences a small earthquake during the annual GROEZROCK fest. Expect the best punk, emo, ska, rock and grunge.

King’s Day 27 April The Netherlands This is the day that all of the Netherlands celebrates. From the biggest cities to the smallest towns, the entire country cele-

brates King’s Day with festivals, music, and street markets. Hotel Het Galjoen Month of April Dronten, the Netherlands Whether you are planning on visiting Amsterdam, Batavistad, Walibi Holland, or any of the other nearby attractions: Hotel Het Galjoen, located in the very centre of the Netherlands, is a great base to discover the country.

Hotel Almenum Month of April Harlingen, the Netherlands In the delightful old town centre of Harlingen you will find Hotel Almenum, offering cosy rooms in a beautifully renovated 17th-century warehouse. Along with the tranquil courtyard, Almenum provides Groezrock. Photo: Joris Bulckens

Brussels Short Film Festival 27 April to 7 May Brussels, Belgium Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the Brussels Short Film Festival offers a wide range of short films suited for a wide audience. Geldersch Landschap & Kasteelen. Photo: Rosendael Torenkamer

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Calendar

King’s Day. Photo: Cris Toala Olivares

the perfect backdrop for your holiday in Friesland.

Tulip Festival Until 14 May Amsterdam, the Netherlands The tulip is a beautiful Dutch icon. The Tulip Festival aims to bring back the tulip in the city streets of Amsterdam, and eventually wants to plant one tulip for each individual citizen of the city. Audrey and her mother Ella van Heemstra, 1930-1935. Photo: Audrey Hepburn Family Photo Collection © 2016

Het Friese museumdorp. Photo: Aldfaers Erf

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Motherly love. Ella & Audrey at the Airborne Museum Until 20 August 2017 Oosterbeek, The Netherlands This small yet much talked about exhibition provides a unique sneak peek in 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.

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Columns



Working in large, ambitious, intricate sculpture, Liverpudlian artist Tony Cragg has shown an unwavering and ceaseless interest in material for the past 40 years. Until September, the grand halls of MUDAM Luxembourg are filled with Cragg’s monolithic, amorphous creations made from plaster, stone and Kevlar (amongst a whole lot more besides). At the core of his practice is the firmly held belief that any material has the inherent ability to convey meaning, emotion and imagination – be it plastic rubbish that you disregard without thinking or precious metal, Cragg sees it as having a “bubble of information surrounding it”. Working from this mantra, Cragg combines initial sketched ideas with art historical traditions and the latest design technology to

create sculptural forms that sit somewhere between nature and industry. In this exhibition, the artworks range from early pieces made using found materials, to his latest works made using specialist design software. Although this may seem quite a jump in interest and materials, throughout Cragg’s oeuvre one can track a natural progression to where we are now. It is a healthy self-propagating practice, where one work will feed the next – meaning the artist has been able to explore countless materials and forms. Perhaps that is what is most impressive about Tony Cragg; his sculptures are wondrous and, at times, visually mind-boggling, yet it is his infallible ability to innovate and push the bound-


Photo: Charles Duprat

aries of what art can be that truly leaves you in awe. Tony Cragg at MUDAM Luxembourg runs until 3 September 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.


Amersfoorts Hoppen 1475 The recipe for this full-flavoured dark beer is based on brewing regulations dating from the late Middle Ages. It is brewed using three varieties of grain. A historic document of 1475 stipulated that malted oats should make up more than half of the mash, and that the rest should consist of malted barley and wheat. The regulations inspired the recently founded Amersfoort-based craft brewery, Rock City Beers, to recreate the heavy ale, which was once brewed with water from the River Eem, which flows through the city. The brewery is in Boldershof, close to the heart of a city that has retained its medieval gateway, the Koppelpoort, and within walking distance of the refurbished Mondrian House, the birthplace of the artist Piet Mondrian. Centuries ago the ale was transported in 130-litre barrels rather than the 33-centilitre

bottles that are sold today. The Bishop of Utrecht used to order 400 barrels a year for consumption at his court. Dark brown in colour and with a creamcoloured head, the aroma of the modern version of this brew is smoky with hints of fruit. Its taste has hints of forest fruits, smoke and chocolate. It measures 39 on the International Bitterness Units, which is not particularly hoppy, yet this brew leaves a lingering fruitybitter taste. If you like powerful beers, both in terms of flavour and strength, then Amersfoorts Hoppen 1475 is worth seeking out. The flavour cuts through the tanginess of mature cheese and spicy cuisine, making it a good accompaniment to Indonesian and Indian dishes. Brewer: Rock City Beers Strength: 8.5 per cent

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

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Discover Benelux | Music | Benelux Beats


Musically discovering… Kim Janssen TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTO: ISOLDE WOUDSTRA

Singer-songwriter Kim Janssen was born in the Netherlands but raised in Asia, spending most of his childhood in Bangkok and Phnom Penh and his teenage years in Kathmandu. Cousins is the adventurous musician’s muchanticipated third album, featuring glossy synths, huge orchestral arrangements, and inspiring collaborations. Discover Benelux spoke to the Utrecht-based troubadour. Congratulations on the new album! Can you tell us a bit more about Cousins? Thanks! Cousins is my first new project in three years. It was recorded over two years and several studios, including in New York and L.A. It features contributions from Marla Hansen (Sufjan Stevens, The National) and Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson (Sigur Rós) and was mixed by Chris Coady (Beach house, Future Islands) and mastered by Greg Calbi (Blood on the Tracks, Graceland). It was absolutely amazing to work with them. How is Cousins different to your previous works? I took quite a different direction with Cousins: it has a grander sound than 90  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

previous works, which were quieter and more folky. It even sounds orchestral at times, with a ten-strong band and glossy synths. You are going on tour after the release – do you prefer to be on stage, or in the studio? They are very different. I see the writing and recording as more of hard work, while performing is the actual harvesting of that work. Is there a particular show of yours that really stands out? My show at Eurosonic Noorderslag, last January. It was the first time I could present my new album to the world, after having been in the studio for so long – a great feeling! Do you have a certain ritual when you are performing? I do not have one specific ritual, but I do like to be rather quiet before I go on stage: organise my thoughts, or drink a beer. Just one, haha! When did you start making music? That started when I came back to the

Netherlands after having lived in Asia for many years. In high school, making music really became my goal, and when I was 16 I started to play guitar. I have been making music since then. Best recent musical discovery? It is not really a discovery, but Father John Misty, the drummer from the Fleet Foxes, never ceases to amaze me. What does the future hold? I have such a long list of collaborations I would love to make happen. To name one? Aaron Dessner - he has produced albums for artists such as The National and Lisa Hannigan. I think that one of the best things of our ever-shrinking world is the possibility to work with so many different people. KIM’S RECORD COLLECTION: Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell The National - Trouble Will Find Me Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat to Earth Angel Olsen - My Woman




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