Discover Benelux, Issue 41, May 2017

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Discover Benelux  |  Contents

Contents MAY 2017




COVER FEATURE 36 Wouter Hamel 2017 is a landmark year for Dutch singersongwriter Wouter Hamel, who shot to fame in 2005 as the winner of the Dutch Jazz Vocal Competition and has gone on to become one of the biggest names on the international jazz scene. On the eve of his 40th birthday, we caught up with Hamel to get the lowdown on new album AMAURY and find out why he is in such a happy place.

THEMES 10 The Hague Highlights We share some of our favourite addresses in The Hague. As the third-largest city in the Netherlands, this bustling destination boasts everything from regal mansions and beautiful parks to some of the country’s best beaches.

18 Unmissable Festivals in the Netherlands Whatever your tastes, get ready for a fabulous festival season with our special guide covering some of the most exciting festivals and arts events in the Netherlands.

40 Rotterdam Special With futuristic architecture, world-class art and vibrant nightlife, it is no surprise that Rotterdam is known as ‘Manhattan on the Maas’. Find out where to eat, sleep and drink in this must-see city.

52 Education Guide Whether you are looking to find the perfect day nursery, or are in the process of selecting the next stage of higher education, we bring you a selection of some of the best educational establishments in Belgium and Luxembourg.

FEATURES 48 The incredible legacy of Georges Simenon Following a new adaptation of his work hitting television screens in the UK, Discover Benelux explores the oeuvre of prolific Belgian writer Georges Simenon, best known as the creator of fictional detective Jules Maigret.

64 Brussels’ bustling art scene Last month saw the art world descend on the Belgian capital for a string of important art fairs. We bring you the lowdown on Poppositions, Independent and Art Brussels from the heart of Europe’s creative scene.

82 Benelux Beats We spoke to Utrecht-based singer, journalist and writer Aafke Romeijn, whose latest EP Versplintering op Rechts (Shattering on the Right) was released in March.

DON’T MISS 6 Fashion Picks | 8 Desirable Designs 76 Out & About | 81 Columns


Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  3

Discover Benelux  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux Issue 41, May 2017 Published 05.2017 ISSN 2054-7218 Published by Scan Group Print Liquid Graphic Ltd Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Anna Villeleger Copy-editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Contributors Bas van Duren Cathy van Klaveren Charlotte van Hek Daan Appels Demelza Stadhouders Ella Put Frank van Lieshout

Juliën L’Ortye Lidija Liegis Martin Pilkington Matt Antoniak Myriam Gwynned Dijck Ndéla Faye Paula Hammond Steve Flinders Stuart Forster Cover Photo Sanja Marusic 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:

Welcome to our May issue. Festival season is now in full swing and the Benelux is buzzing with an array of cultural events. Whatever your artistic preferences, our guide to the best festivals in the Netherlands is sure to inspire. Head to page 18 and take your pick from hip-hop, theatre and much more. Who better to front this month’s magazine than festival pro Wouter Hamel? The musician, who shot to fame in 2005 after winning the Dutch Jazz Vocal Competition, is currently delighting his Asian fans with performances in Japan and South Korea before heading back to the Netherlands next month for shows including the JazzBoZ festival in Bergen op Zoom. The singer-songwriter happens to be turning 40 this month, and spoke to me honestly about his feelings on the eve of such a landmark birthday. It was wonderful to listen to someone with such a happy and positive attitude – hopefully after reading the interview on page 36 you will feel as motivated as I was by his zeal for life. From one storyteller to another: this month we also look back on prolific Belgian author Georges Simenon, best known as the creator of fictional detective Jules Maigret, as well as speaking to Dutch singer, journalist and writer Aafke Romeijn in our regular Benelux Beats feature. Elsewhere in the magazine, we explore Brussels’ bustling art scene with a report from the recent art fair season where events such as Poppositions, Independent and Art Brussels are helping to cement the Belgian capital’s place at the heart of the European art world. We also bring you a guide to the best schools in Belgium and Luxembourg, not to mention tourism specials focusing on Rotterdam and The Hague. Perhaps a city break is in order? After all, there are some bank holiday weekends coming up. Meanwhile, why not grab an early summer ice cream and make the most of the Benelux in bloom. Have a great month!

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

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

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Anna Villeleger, Editor

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Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks


Earning your stripes Stripes are the perfect example of a fashion trend that will never go out of style. From the classic Breton to a rainbow of colours: stripes are our most-trusted fashion staple. Get inspired on how to earn your stripes this spring. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PRESS PHOTOS

Details matter Afraid to over-stripe it? It is all in the details. Take these colourful socks as an opportunity to evoke a keen sense of style. Just remember to roll up those trousers to give your socks the attention they deserve. €89.99

Ahoy, sailor! An all-time classic: the white and navy-striped T-shirt is chic, casual and trendy at the same time. This slightly longer sleeved top can be worn with jeans, shorts, white trousers, sneakers, loafers, slippers – you get the picture. €49.00 6  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

Stripe it up Step up your summer jacket game with this striped beauty from Dutch brand G-Star Raw. The light-weight material makes this jacket perfect for spring and summer. €119.95

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks

Splendid stripes Mark our words: A long, ribbed dress will be your to-go outfit for spring and summer. Besides the fact that it requires no effort to look stylish when wearing it, this dress can be combined with anything: a denim jacket, quickly thrown over your bikini, or with heels on a night out. €69.99

Beautiful basic Dutch label G-Star Raw has long been known for its efforts in innovative production and sustainable fashion. This classic striped T-shirt is made from 100 per cent biological cotton. Its noticeable print will give your look just the amount of spice it needs.

From €39.95

Chasing rainbows Long gone are the days when you had to choose between black and white or navy and white stripes. This rainbow-coloured wallet allows you to carry your cash in style. €115 Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  7

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Desirable Designs


Mix and match in May May brings the best of both spring and summer: flowers are blossoming and temperatures are rising. With this in mind, this month’s desirable designs range from minimalistic to abstract and from bohemian to monotone. Just like the season, we chose to mix and match in May. TEXT: ELLA PUT | PRESS PHOTOS


2. Fascinating façade The smart design with its 64 laser-cut squares grasps your attention from the moment you set eyes on it. When you look closely, you will discover a variety of forms such as circles and triangles. €985


2. 3. Social simplicity This minimalistic design is a great example of a simple design with a smart function: at this table everyone is able to socialise. A beautiful round table where lots of dinner parties can be held. €2,595

4. Dazzling Danskina As a pioneer of innovative manufacturing techniques, Dutch rug company Danskina has always distinguished itself with contemporary designed rugs. With its simple yet bright design, this hand-woven Argali rug made by designer Hella Jongerius will add style to any space or room. Price on request

5. The best storage solution

1. Flying lights This innovative design creates the illusion of lights floating through the sky. A wonderful addition to any garden party on a magical midsummer night. Especially designed for outdoor use. Price on request 8  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017



Awarded with an Elle Design Award, The Libri Shelf might be the best storage solution for a globetrotter. The portable shelf can be designed and mixed in several ways: as a book self, room divider or side table. Available in black and white. Price on request





Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination


A state-of-the-art city The Hague is a shining example of the perfect mix between regal and robust. The seaside city breathes an ambiance of culture, shopping and nightlife, boasting world-class museums alongside innovative exhibitions and regal squares in the midst of artistic neighbourhoods. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: DEN HAAG MARKETING & NBTC

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Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

A cosmopolitan city by the sea The Hague is a city with many faces. On the one hand, it exudes a regal and political allure, while on the other hand the city is a bustling hub of culture, nightlife and trendy and multicultural areas. Add its proximity to the beach to that list, and you may have found the most diverse city in the Netherlands. Most will think about the palaces of the Dutch Royal family and the city’s famous political landmarks such as the Binnenhof or the Peace Palace when mentioning The Hague. Yet the city has so much more to offer: the abundance of boutiques, art galleries, museums, restaurants, cafés and nightlife venues make The Hague a home to everyone, from the seasoned clubber to the curious art aficionado. Districts such as Schilderswijk (a cultural melting pot) and Zeeheldenkwartier (the ‘Venetian’ part of The Hague) beautifully contrast with the Archipelbuurt (a static 19th Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  11

Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Scheveningen. Photo: Jurjen Drenth

Lange Voorhout. Photo: Piet Gispen

Photo: Maurice Haak & Jenny Audring, Text und Bild

century district) and Statenkwartier (full of monumental villas), making the city one big maze of interesting architecture and places to discover. Had enough of the city crowds? The nearby beaches of Kijkduin and Scheveningen provide the ideal backdrop for a relaxing beach walk.

100 De Stijl, Van Mondriaan tot Dutch Design The Hague has long enjoyed a reputation of being a cultural treasure trove, offering a wealth of impressive art. In 2017, it will be exactly 100 years ago that the famous art movement De Stijl was founded by artist and architect Theo van Doesburg, counting legendary artists such as Piet Mondriaan, Gerrit Rietveld (after which the renowned academy of fine arts and design in Amsterdam is named) and Bart van der Leck as its representatives. With a great deal of abstraction and the use of 12  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

just a few primary colours, the movement brought an artistic revolution and radically put an end to the romantic artistic approach at that time. To honour the movement’s anniversary, the whole city of The Hague will be involved in countless activities revolving around the influential art movement and its most precious son. “Besides being a city by the sea, The Hague is also the city of Piet Mondriaan,” explains Wendy Yu-Tjemmes from Den Haag Marketing. “The Hague is traditionally known to be a breeding ground for innovative design and art. De Stijl is such an important part of the city’s character. Its signature is to be found not only in artworks at museums, but also in architecture and spatial planning.” The Gemeentemuseum, which boasts the largest De Stijl and Mondrian collection in the world, is one of the ma-

Hotel New Babylon. Photo: Maurice Haak & Jenny Audring, Text und Bild

jor highlights during the year-long celebration. For the anniversary, the museum is presenting three exclusive exhibitions about the movement. From 3 June until 24 September, visitors have the once-ina-lifetime opportunity to explore the life and work of Mondriaan through a display of an astounding 300 of his works. Still on until 21 May is the exhibition about Mondriaan and Bart van der Leck and, from 10 June, the exhibition Architecture and Interiors. The desire for Style will focus on the movement’s significant influence on design and architecture. “De Stijl greatly determined the look and feel of The Hague,” Yu-Tjemmes continues. “Its members shaped modernisation through the greatest possible simplicity and abstraction.” From 19 to 28 May, Festival Designkwartier organises an exhibition about De Stijl at gallery Quartair:

Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

a group of contemporary designers and artists bring an oath to the movement by adding a whole new layer to Mondriaan’s ideas via their own creations. The Mondriaan mania continues outside of museums and galleries. Buildings all over The Hague are decorated with the famous patterns and lines in the primary colours of yellow, blue and red. Organiser of city tours Gilde Den Haag allows people to take a unique ‘architecture walk’ through the city, shining a bright light De Stijl’s influence on The Hague’s architecture. Residential community Papaverhof, designed by architect Jan Wils in 1921, is one of the hallmarks of the tour, which also shines a completely different light on parking garages, residential houses and office buildings.


Scheveningen. Photo: Jurjen Drenth

Sea Life Scheveningen: The famous sea aquarium presents the very first underwater Mondriaan experience in the world, with yellow and black cichlids swimming in an aquarium carrying Mondriaan’s famous primary colours. Spoon of Art – Mondriaan’s Maal: Mondriaan was known for his peculiar eating habits, something you can experience yourself during the Stijl-ish pop-up dinners during Festival Designkwartier. 19 – 20 May Don’t be afraid of Red, Yellow & Blue: The Atrium City Hall will display artworks from her collection that have links with Mondriaan and De Stijl. 8 May – 19 May The Hague Central Station: Like many other buildings in the city, the Central Station will be transformed into the famous Mondrian colours.

The largest painting in The Netherlands; Panorama Mesdag. Photo: Panorama Mesdag

Photo: Layla Aerts

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Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination


An international allure and high-quality food, topped off with a classy atmosphere and superb service: this is the recipe for Millers in The Hague. Reflected in the delicious cocktails (there are over 60 available) - Millers knows how to perfectly mix just the right ingredients into something wonderful. Millers boasts two locations in The Hague. Millers Den Haag is located in the city’s historic central square the Plein, while Millers Beach provides the perfect city escape at Zuiderstrand beach near Kijkduin. Opening its doors in 2010, Millers Den Haag is one of the first places in the Netherlands to provide a complete day and night experience, welcoming guests from morning to the (very) late hours and serving everything from bar bites to multiple course meals. “When we launched Millers Den Haag, we immediately earned our stripes as a full-service concept,” begins marketing manager Shannon Terlouw. “We literally meet every demand of our guests.” Millers Den Haag consists of three adjacent buildings that host a restaurant, a wine bar, a club and a heated terrace. 14  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

Cocktail Kitchen is Millers’ latest success. This cocktail bar has earned a prominent place in the restaurant and serves up an exotic cocktail menu alongside a menu comprising Asian dishes. At night, Millers Den Haag is transformed into a full-blown club complete with an LED-lit dance floor and famous DJs setting foot in the club every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Guests include a vibrant mix of locals and expats. “The Hague’s international character and Millers’ open atmosphere perfectly complement each other,” Terlouw enthuses. At a quieter location, right at the beach and far away from the tourist crowds, Millers Beach has somehow managed to bring the ultimate holiday feeling to The Hague. Just like its brother location in the city, Millers Beach provides a full day and night experience, and is the ideal spot for locals to have lunch, a quick drink, or a full-blown dinner. The menu boasts Italian-inspired dishes, and guests can choose from an abundance of ‘aperitivos’ such as Scroppino or 6PM Spritz. To fully complete the holiday feeling,

Millers Beach offers the opportunity to hire your very own barbecue and create the ultimate summer experience. From meeting rooms to private dining rooms, both locations offer countless possibilities for business events and festivities. Millers Beach offers the ultimate way to get married: the most beautiful location at sea, with the best food awaiting you – all with your toes in the sand.

Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

The Hague’s historic living room TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: BODEGA DE POSTHOORN

Bodega De Posthoorn is the equivalent of that typical Hague grandeur and authentic hospitality experience. This renowned Indonesian-Dutch restaurant and café carries a unique rich history and has long been a central spot where artists, journalists, politicians, businessmen, tourists and expats come together. It is where Dutch cabinets have arisen and fallen, major political decisions have been made, and Queen Wilhelmina herself has sat down for a drink: Bodega De Posthoorn. Opening its doors in 1932, founder Jan Knijnenburg created a central spot where artists, writers, painters and politicians could meet, talk and drink – something that has not changed since then. “Our old prime minister Lubbers said it perfectly: Bodega De Posthoorn is one of the pillars of The Hague,” begins chef and owner Michael Meeuwisse. Due to the war, the café had to change its location in 1946 to the beautiful Lange Voorhout. It has lost nothing of its allure since then.

Reflecting The Hague’s significant Indonesian community (the city has long hosted the largest Indonesian community in the Netherlands), Bodega De Posthoorn serves up a menu of traditional Indonesian-Dutch dishes. Meeuwisse’s grandmother, whose family-owned various Indonesian restaurants, long-held sway at De Posthoorn and made the homemade satay and typical Dutch ‘kroketten’ equally famous with her authentic recipes. The restaurant’s heated terrace invites for long afternoons and evenings among likeminded people. Honouring the city’s longstanding tradition of art, culture, and music, Bodega De Posthoorn frequently hosts art expositions or poetry nights. The famous live music sessions on Saturdays and Sundays are popular with a diverse crowd who meet to start (or end) the evening. Here, you may notice that time has stood still in the best possible way - Bodega De Posthoorn has remained special by never changing.

A tavern of Turkish tradition If you are looking for an authentic Turkish experience, look no further than the neighbourhood ‘meyhane’: a tavern where conversation takes centre stage and people eat, drink, debate and embrace. Restaurant Meyhane is the first one to take this important hallmark of Turkish culture to the Netherlands. Meyhane literally means ‘drinking house’ in old Turkish, yet is traditionally closely linked to eating and socialising. This is something that restaurant Meyhane in The Hague epitomises perfectly: through dishes via authentic recipes, Turkish wines and above all an ambiance of authenticity, this is the place where a true Turk and everyone else feels at home. The restaurant opened its doors early this year. Being of Turkish origin herself, owner Muus missed a spot in the Netherlands that offered high-quality Turkish cuisine and hospitality. “Many people do not know how incredibly rich Turkish cuisine is,” she starts. “Turks inte-

Queen Wilhelmina taking a stroll.


grate both Greek and Mediterranean influences in their food.” Guests wine and dine against a beautiful traditional backdrop. The mezzes are the heart of the ever-changing seasonal menu: Turkish tapas such as fish roe or feta cheese and melon that are meant to be shared, preferably over a glass of raki. The wine list consists exclusively out of Turkish wines. Already longing for Turkish delicacies in the morning? Meyhane recently started serving Turkish breakfasts. In true Turkish style, restaurant Meyhane runs warm for nights full of music, dancing and

liveliness, something that all comes together in the monthly live music nights. Visited by Turks and Dutch alike, these evenings embody everything Meyhane stands for: Turkish hospitality, good food, and meeting old friends while making new ones.

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  15

Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Raffles honours Indonesia’s food tradition TEXT: DAAN APPELS  |  PHOTOS: JORIS LUGTIGHEID

In the year of its 24th anniversary, The Raffles takes you centuries back to the great gastronomic history of Indonesia and the whole of the Indonesian archipelago. This restaurant in The Hague provides the best food and herbs, accompanied by Wine with a capital ‘W’. The Raffles is an established name in the region of The Hague. The parents of owner Frank Deuning were born on Java, the island that many see as the herb Valhalla of the planet. He is proud of his Indonesian roots; the inte-

rior of the restaurant is almost a copy of the interior of his grandparents’ home on Java. The walls are filled with pictures typical of Java from before the Second World War. But most of all, he is honouring the great food tradition of ‘his’ Indonesia. Thai chef Vichai Boonyuen has been working at The Raffles since its opening, and over the years has been the passionate architect of many great dishes. Deuning himself is the in-house wine expert. With his wines from all around the world, he has participated in many Wine World Cups and won several national trophies in food

and wine competitions. He was once named ‘Dutch wine expert of the year’. “Indonesia was, in the colonial era, one of the first countries that came in touch with South African wines that the settlers had brought with them. Therefore, I have been brought up with good wine and I know how it can contribute to the great food of Vichai.” The Raffles kitchen is open Tuesday until Saturday from 5.30pm - 10pm. For more information, check (also in English).

An endless choice of culinary quality TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: DE GOUDEN WOK ZUIDERPARK

De Gouden Wok Zuiderpark in The Hague has taken the meaning of unlimited enjoyment to the next level. This Asian fusion restaurant serves up an all-you-can-eat buffet from various cuisines, providing something to suit all tastes. From Japanese sushi to crispy fresh wok dishes, and from carpaccio to grill courses: De Gouden Wok Zuiderpark has it all under one roof. The extensive buffet allows guests to enjoy dinner in their very own way, with literally something for everyone. Recently the restaurant enhanced its buffet with choices outside of the Asian atmosphere by adding pizza, French patisseries, a seafood buffet and a chocolate fountain. Although the line of choice seems endless, it is still the quality that makes De Gouden Wok Zuiderpark unique. Food is prepared while you wait, with fresh, high-quality ingredients being the hallmarks. “Besides a fair price and endless choices, we constantly change our buffet to 16  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

meet the wide variety of palates of our guests in the best way,” says owner Cheng Kuo. The restaurant hosts two separate spaces: the smaller seating room is the perfect décor for any business lunch or event. Rather than being charged for each dish, the bill depends on the amount of time spent in the restaurant, and is set immediately when entering the restaurant. “That way, people do not have to worry about anything anymore, and can just enjoy what they came for: a lovely evening of eating, drinking, and conversation.”

Celebrating your birthday? You eat for free at De Gouden Work Zuiderpark!

Discover Benelux  |  The Hague  |  The Ultimate Spring & Summer Destination

Southern French vibes in brand new restaurant Palmette TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN  |  PHOTOS: ROBIN DE GOEDE

Restaurant Palmette in The Hague opened just last March. The name of this brandnew eatery comes from the French word for ‘palm leaf’. This is no coincidence: co-owners Rick Alberts, Dylan Verwer and Sander van Raamsdonk modelled the establishment on Saint Tropez, not only with its breezy interior, but with a menu that can be classified as ‘modern French’. To start a new business is no easy feat, but Alberts and Verwer are no strangers to the hospitality business in The Hague. Together they run the well-known Bar Bistro De Twee Heeren just a stone’s throw away from the Central Station. Now there is Palmette two streets away from the Bistro. The restaurant sports a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu and has overtly French tones. Enjoy dishes such as bisque d’homard, steak tartare, oysters and pan-fried coquilles. “We started Palmette out of love for modern French cuisine,” explains Alberts. “It’s rich

and leaves enough room to give an international twist. Then there’s the reason that we feel we can create a high-end restaurant while still keeping the prices manageable. Our chef’s surprise menu is going for 29.50 euros if you choose three courses, 34.50 euros for four and 39.50 euros for five. We want our guests to leave wondering how it’s possible to eat so many good things for that kind of money.” Palmette’s secret? According to Alberts it is all about the staff: “With Bas Kokshoorn as our chef and Louis Verlaan as sous-chef, we have some seasoned veterans in our kitchen who can create the most amazing dishes. Then

there’s sommelier Pieter Dijkhuizen, a true wine freak that’ll have the chefs taste some wine and ask them to come up with something that complements the wine.”


Calling all travellers who are on a budget but still want to get the best deal! The Hague Teleport Hotel might be exactly what you are looking for. At an affordable price, this hotel offers modern furnished studios and maisonettes with many nice extras, including a free guided bike tour. “Every morning we organise guided bike tours,” says Maikel Hemminga, general manager of The Hague Teleport Hotel. “If you rent a bike with us, a free guided two-hour journey is included!” But if you like to stay in, you will surely enjoy the extras of the spacious rooms. “They each have a kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee machine and a kettle. The latest technologies are available, such as QI chargers and free Netflix and Smart TV.” The studios are suitable for business travellers, couples, and friends, while the maisonettes are great for families. Each floor has its own theme and if you are staying on the seventh,

eighth or ninth floor, you will enjoy a fantastic view of The Hague. The hotel is located in a quieter area of the city. “Therefore our rooms are less expensive than in the city centre, and there is enough parking space.” The sights are easily accessible, also via bike. “It takes only 20 minutes to cycle to Scheveningen beach.” While you are at The Hague Teleport Hotel, be sure to try the fresh, homemade meals at their restaurant. Those who are travelling from afar or are short on time will appreciate the op-

Fantastic view of the city from the modern rooms.

tion to check in online. “Either way, our staff are always happy to help,” assures Hemminga.

The trendy bar and restaurant with authentic Italian cuisine.

A unique, modern hotel in the lively city The Hague.

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  17

Lowlands Festival,


A summer of cultural highlights The sun is shining and festival season is in the air. From theatre and performing arts to hip-hop and rock via design and dance, we present our guide to some of the best festivals and events taking place in the Netherlands this spring and summer. Grab your diary and start pencilling them in now! TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

Lowlands Festival.

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Discover Benelux  |  The Netherlands  |  Unmissable Festivals and Events

Where festivals flourish In the Netherlands, you will find festivals celebrating everything from tulips to seafood and a whole lot more in between. Due to the country’s reputation for producing superstar DJs, there are of course numerous world-renowned dance music festivals, but you can also expect celebrations of world music, classical and jazz to name a few. The Dutch capital plays host to in excess of 300 festivals every year, but that is not where it ends: from north to south and from east to west the country is home to some of the world’s most unique and lively events. Whether you are a foodie, an art lover or a cinephile, an array of festivities await.

A festive legacy The Dutch city of Landgraaf is home to one of the oldest music festivals in the world: Pinkpop. Running since 1970, this pop and rock event is traditionally held during Pentecost and will this year welcome international stars including Kings of Leon, Green Day and Justin Bieber.

Another perennial on the festival calendar is Rotterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival, which began in 1976. Despite always attracting a large crowd, this internationally renowned celebration of new and established names has not lost its informal and friendly atmosphere. This year’s edition will run from 7 - 9 July. The Netherlands is also a master of the multi-discipline event and the Holland Festival is a perfect example of this. A showcase for international performing arts, which has been running since 1947, displays innovation in realms including film, dance, music, opera and theatre. Performances are held at traditional venues as well as public spaces.

edition will run from 28 July - 6 August. Another highlight in the capital is Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival), which takes place every August. The classical music extravaganza sees performances at stunning locations around Amsterdam’s historic canal belt. Meanwhile, in Rotterdam you will find one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands focusing on diversity. Attracting more than 900,000 visitors from all over Europe, Rotterdam Unlimited is a five-day fiesta combining music, dance, theatre, storytelling and more. This year’s programme will be held from 25 - 29 July - get ready for a big party!

Something for everyone Amsterdam Gay Pride is one of the best, and is the world’s only floating Gay Pride. Every year an array of fabulously decorated boats cruise the canals. You can also expect street parties, open-air performances and many more events. The 2017 Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  19

Discover Benelux  |  The Netherlands  |  Unmissable Festivals and Events

North Sea Jazz, Rotterdam.


We asked NBTC Holland Marketing for their festival picks for Spring/Summer 2017: Tong Tong Festival, The Hague 25 May – 6 June The world’s biggest Eurasian Festival. An annual festival that showcases food, culture and music with live cooking demonstrations, lectures and activities for all ages. International Chamber Music Festival, Utrecht 28 June – 2 July The orchestral performances take place in historic and architecturally diverse locations across the city. The festival gathers the world’s top classical musicians performing familiar and new works. Port of Rotterdam North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam 7 - 9 July A must for music lovers! Rotterdam’s worldfamous jazz festival is where you can hear styles such as New Orleans jazz, swing, bop, free jazz and avant-garde jazz, and where you can also listen to blues, funk, soul, R&B, hip-hop and Latin. The 2017 line-up currently

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includes: Jamiroquai, Norah Jones, Jamie Lidell and The Royal Pharaohs, Steve Winwood, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, George Benson, Mavis Staples and Laura Mvula. Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival, The Hague 11-19 August An annual festival showcasing the best firework display teams from across the world. Free fireworks display over the sea at Scheveningen. Each display has the same budget and brief and must last 11-13 minutes. The displays take place over four evenings during the two weekends of the festival period. A real spectacle! World Living Statues Festival, Arnhem 30 September The art of standing still! Competitors from across the world gather annually in Arnhem to show off their living statue skills. Over 200 acts and street theatre performances draw in huge crowds. A work can consist of multiple participants but the aim of each act is to achieve high drama without motion. To find out more visit

North Sea Jazz, Rotterdam.

Chamber music festival.

Discover Benelux  |  The Netherlands  |  Unmissable Festivals and Events

FESTIVAL FAVOURITES Read our guide to some of the best upcoming festivals in the Netherlands… Kiwanuka, Moderat, the XX and rock legend Iggy Pop. Read more from page 24

Decibel Outdoor Festival Weekend of 19 August, Hilvarenbeek With over 200 artists, 15 areas and 70,000 expected visitors, Decibel outdoor is nothing less than a haven for the harder styles of dance music. Read more from page 34

Decibel Outdoor Festival.

Festival Designkwartier 19 - 21 May, The Hague This free event fuses exhibitions, activities, presentations and shops into a haven of inspiring and innovative design. Read more from page 32

WOO HAH! 30 June - 1 July, Tilburg Set in the urban playground of Tilburg, WOO HAH! unites hip-hop aficionados from all corners of the world. Read more from page 22

festival blends Caribbean and eclectic music with an exuberant atmosphere. Read more from page 33

Wonderfeel 21 - 23 July, Schaep en Burgh estate This classical music festival takes place at the beautiful Schaep en Burgh estate in the Netherlands and includes a varied line-up with six different stages. Read more from page 33

Haringrock 14 - 15 July, Katwijk aan Zee This classic rock haven is the longest running festival on the Dutch coast and has become an absolute staple in the field of rock music. Read more from page 26

Theaterfestival Boulevard 3 - 13 August, ‘s-Hertogenbosch Every year in August, people from all over Europe and abroad gather in the historic Dutch city of ’s-Hertogenbosch as the Boulevard Theatre Festival takes over its streets, squares, parks and buildings. Read more from page 35

Robeco SummerNights 1 July - 31 August, Amsterdam Every year, the stunning Concertgebouw in Amsterdam presents two months of summer concerts with something for everyone - from classical to jazz, and from pop to film scores. Read more from page 28

Loveland Festival 12 August, Amsterdam Taking place in the gorgeous surroundings of Sloterpark, Amsterdam’s Loveland Festival welcomes international stars and the freshest names from the dance music scene. Read more from page 31

Zsa Zsa Su! 9 July, Amsterdam Zsa Zsa Su! brings the heat of the Caribbean’s sunny shores to the Netherlands. This popular

Lowlands 18 - 20 August, Biddinghuizen Headliners at the 2017 edition of this iconic festival include Mumford and Sons, Flume, Michael

Dream Village 1 - 3 September, Breda Founded in 2010, this unparalleled event unites sounds from across the dance music spectrum for a musical experience like no other. Read more from page 30

Empeiria 2 September, Baarn A one-day classical music festival with a stunning setting right in front of the former royal Soestdijk Palace. Read more from page 29

3 Oever Festival 15 - 17 September, De Gelderse Poort Taking place next to the German border in the Dutch province of Gelderland, this annual festival celebrates the region for both its natural and cultural value. Read more from page 35 Festival Designkwartier.

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Back for its fourth edition, hip-hop festival WOO HAH! will return with two days filled with international top acts, local talent, and everything hip-hop, R&B, and electronic. Set in the urban playground of Tilburg, WOO HAH! unites hip-hop aficionados from all corners of the world. The ‘Atlanta of the Netherlands’: this is how Tilburg has been described since WOO HAH! anchored in the NoordBrabant city. The urban festival has been making high waves in its short life, linking world-renowned artists, significant award 22  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

nominations and an ever-growing amount of visitors to its name. For the first time since its 2014 birth, WOO HAH! will be stretched over two days and a larger territory, creating scope for more stages, a more diverse line-up and thus a greater variety of music lovers. “Hip-hop definitely remains the focus, but the stretch to two days and a larger festival territory has allowed us to broaden our musical spectrum,” begins festival director Ruud Lemmen. “R&B and electronic music also have a prominent place in the 2017 edition.” The festival’s growing fan base

seems directly linked to the Netherlands’ progressive hip-hop landscape, something that for approximately six years has taken an enormous leap forward. “Hip-hop used to be a niche market, but now it is almost becoming mainstream,” Lemmen continues. “The Netherlands keeps producing world-class hip-hop, and lovers of the genre seem to take every opportunity to come together and celebrate the music.” The line-up boasts an impressive list of world-famous artists: think Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Nas, Post Malone, Princess Nokia, and many more. Artists will be

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spread over four stages: two large main stages, a smaller one, and one mainly welcoming DJs. WOO HAH! puts extra focus on artists from Noord-Brabant, and emerging artists will perform on the same stage as established acts. “Many festivals book the lesser-known acts on the same stage, often a smaller and less central one,” says Lemmen. “We do the opposite: upcoming artists play an essential role in the musical community. They literally are the future and deserve to be heard by many.” WOO HAH! takes place at the Spoorzone (Railzone) in Tilburg, a collection of former railway buildings setting an ideal urban stage for a powerful two-day party. To add to its special location, the festival boasts a skating area, which during the day will be the décor for skating artists, as well as serving as a playground for those with skating skills. WOO HAH! expects to welcome 15,000 visitors to its 2017 edition, and is hereby the biggest festival of its kind in the Benelux. Alongside a large part of Benelux hiphop fans, visitors will travel to Tilburg from all corners of the world, including far-out

corners such as Australia and Canada. “Why is that? Our line-up is the first reason: it is very rare that artists of this caliber perform in the Netherlands, let alone all together in a period of just two days,” Lemmen says. “Also, and perhaps just as importantly, WOO HAH! is above all a celebration of hip-hop, reuniting everyone sharing a passion for the genre. That many people who share one important passion

DO NOT MISS NAS Nasty Nas and Nas Escobar, both these names belong to the legendary lyrical rapper Nas. In 1994, he dropped the epic album Illmatic. Throughout the years, Nas has featured with big names such as Busta Rhymes, The Game, 2Pac and Jay Z. TRAVIS SCOTT Jacques Webster Jr., better known as Travis Scott, began producing and releasing beats at the age of 16. Not even ten years later he has grown to be one of the biggest rappers in the world. 2017 is the second time he will be performing at WOO HAH!

and attitude: that is something powerful. It even applies to us as organisers - we are all huge fans just like the people who buy the tickets.” WOO HAH! takes place on 30 June and 1 July. A campsite is located next to the festival.

RAE SREMMURD Rae Sremmurd is a hip-hop duo consisting of the brothers Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee. Their name (which is ‘Ear Drummers’ spelled backwards) is a reference to EarDrummers Entertainment, the label of producer Mike WiLL Made-It. The brothers made a lasting impression with hits like No Type, This Could Be Us and Black Beatles. BRYSON TILLER If an artist is getting early approval from both Timbaland and Drake, you know you are up for something good. This is exactly the case with Bryson Tiller, who made a big impact with his debut album T R A P S O U L.

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Do not be fooled by the name, its renown extends far beyond its geographical namesake. Drop the name of the three-day Biddinghuizen festival and one will see eyes full of recognition and hear memories of first-time concerts, life-long friendships and all-night campsite adventures. For its 2017 edition, Lowlands has secured headline after headline: Mumford and Sons, Flume, Michael Kiwanuka, Moderat, the XX and rock legend Iggy Pop to name a mere few. Discover Benelux spoke to festival director Eric van Eerdenburg about how it all began, Lowlands as a matchmaker, and the new generations of so-called ‘Lowlanders’. It is an unwritten rule in the Netherlands: unless you have been an inhabitant of A 24  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, or simply Lowlands, you can hardly call yourself a true festival-goer. The event honours a long tradition of pulling in the biggest names of the moment yet has stayed unique by providing a stage to the headliners of tomorrow and shining a bright light on cultural programming. This year, Lowlands celebrates adulthood with its 25th birthday, proving it has grown up but at the same time has lost nothing of the youthful enthusiasm since its first edition.

Making headliners For a birthday treat, Lowlands 2017 places epic electronic music producers alongside the newest hip-hop sensations and biggest indie rock bands. With Alt-J next to Cypress Hill, Elbow alongside Skepta and Ty Segall besides Nothing

But Thieves, Lowlands will once more live up to expectations. “The beauty of Lowlands is that it serves everyone with an open music mind, with something to suit all tastes,” Van Eerdenburg starts. “Like the public, our line-up is always developing and shifting focus. Constantly staying on top is essential. Take the recent fusion of electronic music and hip-hop: that is something Lowlands blends into its programme a great deal.” Does Van Eerdenburg still have dreams when it comes to booking headliners? “I might, but there are still some names to be announced, so that is something I will keep to myself,” he laughs. About a quarter of the weekend comprises everything culture besides music: think street theatre, cinema, cabaret, yoga, bal-

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let, poetry readings, and more. The 2016 edition welcomed athlete and ‘Lord of the Rings’ Yuri van Gelder, who was invited to give the gymnastic rings performance that he was unable to finish at the Olympics Games due to disqualification. Nothing less than historical was last year’s performance of renowned Dutch comedian Hans Teeuwen, who seemingly effortlessly managed to make a chock-full main stage burst with laughter.

Ever eclectic Lowlands was born in 1993, and has had a rather eventful life since then. While the first edition united some 8,000 music lovers, the 2017 festival is expected to host about 55,000. Welcoming everyone from 18 - 80, Lowlands has long been known to embody an accessible and alternative atmosphere. The typical Lowlands visitor is curious and has an open attitude towards new music. “Lowlanders are as eclectic as the festival’s line-up. After our first edition, we

saw the audience growing up alongside the festival, resulting in a slightly older public. Nowadays, the average age seems to have dropped again, a development that has everything to do with the recent swift to electronic and hip-hop.” The acts at Lowlands perform on ten stages famously known as the NATO phonic alphabet such as Bravo, India and X-Ray. Main-stage Alpha (which is big enough to fit a football pitch), can only host around 35,000 people – much less than the total visitor capacity – but overcrowding of one stage has never been a problem. “People will always spread out and find the smaller stages as well – it is the nature of the festival.”

Match made in Lowlands Paradise Lowlands Festival is known for exclusively selling weekend tickets. While concerts start on Friday, the campsite opens up on Thursday afternoon. It is not un-

common for familiar guests to have a favourite campsite spot, with many groups of visitors setting up camp alongside friends made during earlier years. There are loyal visitors who have been coming to Lowlands for more than a decade. “The refusal to sell one-day tickets might be a disappointment to some, yet creates an enormous sense of unity,” Van Eerdenburg concludes. “Its three-day duration is one of the things that contribute to that typical Lowlands feeling: you arrive on Thursday evening and leave on Monday morning. Everything in between – the concerts, sizzling romances, musical discoveries, dancing in rain and sunshine – you fully experience with everybody else.” A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise takes place from 18 to 20 August For more info, the full line-up and tickets, visit

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Every year, Haringrock has the people of Katwijk (and far beyond) trembling with excitement. This classic rock haven is the longest running festival on the Dutch coast and has become an absolute staple in the field of rock music. This year, in addition to taking you back to the golden days of rock, the two-day event will offer a lively platform for Katwijk’s entrepreneurs and cultural heritage. Celebrating its 31st birthday this year, Haringrock has long been providing a musical platform for both international artists and local bands. The festival was first organised in 1986, and has been living a rich life those 31 years. What start26  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

ed out as an initiative of local musicians has grown into a festival that is renowned in the Netherlands and abroad. After several years being held indoors, Haringrock returned to its original location at the stunning beach of Katwijk in 2013. Alongside promoting Katwijk’s music scene, Haringrock shines a bright light on the town’s fishing culture and entrepreneurial landscape. The festival has always marked the closure of the Katwijk Fishery days, an atmospheric festival honouring one of the most important traditional and cultural staples of Katwijk, that unfortunately saw its final edition in 2016. “When it was announced that the Fishery Days would cease to exist, our

volunteers got behind the event like one man,” begins initiator of Haringrock Ton Frissen. “This year, Haringrock will take on the organisation of the Vrijmarkt, an event with the same focus as the Fishery days, yet bigger. That way, Katwijk will maintain an important part of its identity.” The Vrijmarkt expects to welcome close to 25,000 visitors. On the same day as the Vrijmarkt, Haringrock will also organise the ‘Ondernemersplein’ (Entrepreneursquare), a chic and effective platform for businesses and entrepreneurs from Katwijk to meet and exchange products and ideas. “The Ondernemersplein is the perfect way for entrepreneurs and companies from

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Katwijk to put themselves on the map,” Frissen enthuses. Haringrock offers a platform to famous international acts as well as emerging local musicians. “Our aim is to give local artists a stage,” says Frissen. “The big names pull in the crowds so we can simultaneously show how much Katwijk has to offer in terms of music. And it is great for emerging bands to be able to play alongside such big names.” The 2017 line-up includes headliners Dilana Smith and Barry Hay and the Flying V Formation, the latter being the famous front man of legendary Dutch rock band The Golden Earring. Presentation is in the hands of Dutch TV presenter Dennis Weening. Beautiful fireworks in the colours of Haringrock’s famous black-and-red staple logo traditionally close the festival. Every edition, Haringrock supports a local charity through publicity and the collection of funds. The 2017 festival will put a spotlight on Campagneteam Huntington,

a foundation supporting fundamental scientific research on Huntington’s disease. Last year, Haringrock welcomed over 12,000 visitors, a number that is expected to grow this year. The festival is free of admission, and runs completely on volunteers and sponsors. Charging visitors has


never been – and will never be – an option. Frissen: “The beauty of Haringrock is that it is for everyone. I still see people that came to Haringrock in the 1980s!” For more information, please visit

Dilana Smith: South African-born rock star Dilana Smith has enjoyed success all over the world: from her home country to Europe. Hits such as Wonderfool, Breakfast in Central Park, and Do You now have made the Dutch public fall in love with her too. She will rock the stage together with local musicians.

Barry Hay’s Flying V Formation: Four years ago, the former front man of famous Dutch band the Golden Earring decided it was time for a new project. To add even more rock ‘n roll, he teamed up with four young musicians, and the result is Barry Hay’s Flying V Formation. Hay will also play some golden classic songs by the Golden Earring with his new project.

Rootsriders: Reggae lovers unite: this Dutch-Caribbean band has been making waves for ten years with their Tribute 2 Bob Marley show. Successful both in the Netherlands and globally, they are considered to be one of the best Bob Marley cover bands in the world.

Refill: Refill rocks off the roof! This band comprises five musical friends who share a passion for classic hard rock. The 2010-founded band plays both old and new classics, so prepare to use your vocal cords! You can find the complete programme on the website.

Ton Frissen. Photo: Paulien van de Loo

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Janine Jansen. Photo: © Marco Borggreve

Henrik Schwarz. Photo: © Ben Wolf

Arthur & Lucas Jussen. Photo: © Eduardus Lee


Every year the stunning Concertgebouw in Amsterdam presents two months of summer concerts with something for everyone - from classical to jazz, and from pop to film scores. Over the past 28 years, Robeco SummerNights has gained a worldrenowned reputation for its pioneering programme and the ability to introduce new audiences to classical and jazz. Robeco SummerNights offers a range of well-known classical works by world-class orchestras and soloists as well as a variety of other genres and concepts. By inviting electronic music producers alongside classical violinists and even introducing yoga into their programme, the Concertgebouw has transformed the months of July and August into one long eclectic festival with everything from ground-breaking classical improvisation to pulsating pop. The stage for Robeco SummerNights was set in the 1980s with ten classical music concerts, which were received with broad 28  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

acclaim. “Back in the ‘80s, it was a trend for all theatres and concerts halls to close during the summer,” explains Saskia Roggeveen from the Concertgebouw. “Since the first edition in 1988, our approach with Robeco has always been to create an accessible programme of high-quality performances for a broad public.” The summer of 2017 will kick off on 1 July with pianists and brothers Lucas & Arthur Jussen alongside the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Later on in summer will be German electronic music producer Henrik Schwarz, jazz singers Madeline Bell and Patti Austin, violinist Janine Jansen, opera singer Renée Fleming, and many more. In total, the programme includes no less than 86 concerts. Do not miss the performances carrying the theme of ‘Sleep’ on the weekend of 14 July, when the regular seating plan will be scrapped in favour of 250 camp beds. On the stage, composer Max Richter (well-

known for his score for the film Arrival) will bring an overnight performance of his magical eight-hour work SLEEP which the listener is supposed to sleep, dream, or listen through on their beds in the main hall.

DO NOT MISS Branford Marsalis Quartet & Kurt Elling: 21 July A night with two of the greatest jazz musicians of our time. Brainpower & Re:Freshed: 28 July One of the Netherlands’ favourite rappers teams up with Rotterdam’s 16-piece collective of young musicians to celebrate diversity. Ray Chen: 2 August The Australian violin legend in one of the most popular pieces of all time: Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Aurora Orchestra: 4 August The Dutch debut of the Aurora Orchestra includes a Beethoven symphony played by heart (without sheet music), with an introduction by the conductor in English.

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A unique classical music experience TEXT: JULIËN L’ORTYE  |  PHOTOS: PAUL BERGEN

When it comes to classical music, the opinion tends to be that this specific genre belongs to the older generation. It often has a dull image, maybe even boring. André de Raaff, CEO of a Dutch music publishing company, felt the strong desire to change that. He came up with Empeiria, a one-day classical music festival that is about more than just the music. De Raaff: “Every time we went to a classical concert, we always felt that there was very little attention for the decoration. At Empeiria, it is about the whole experience.” And where better to host this music than a palace? As of its first edition last year, Empeiria takes place right in front of the former royal Soestdijk Palace, which is located just above Utrecht. Imagine this palace being completely video mapped, with huge screens on both sides of the stage and various other visuals. “We believe that it is really important for the festival to have great visual charisma, which is actually something that we only see at pop

concerts,” explains De Raaff. “That is why we are so happy that we are able to host this festival at the palace.”

bottle of wine at one of the catering tents, get something to eat, take your place and enjoy the music, while you pour another drink.” Sounds pretty good, if you ask us.

Of course, hosting a music festival is about more than just the setting. The organisation is very aware of that, as they managed to get the highly celebrated pianist Ludovico Einaudi to play at their first edition. This year, Chinese virtuoso Lang Lang is a standout name on the festival line-up. Only 34 years old, Lang Lang is considered one of the best pianists in the world, but that is not the only reason why he is such a great name for this festival. “He is open minded and has a very grand way of playing that fits our target audience perfectly, I believe. “What we do at Empeiria – inviting six or even seven soloists that have their own time on stage in one evening – is very rare in the world of classical music,” De Raaff continues. “Visiting Empeiria should give you a summer evening feeling. Grab a

Empeiria Location: Paleis Soestdijk – Amsterdamsestraatweg 1 – 3744 AA Baarn Line-up: Lang Lang (piano), Noa Wildschut (violin), Remy van Kesteren (harp), Carel Kraayenhof (bandoneon), Marcel Veenendaal (singer of DI-RECT) Website and ticket information:

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‘Be unique and stay unique’; this is the ethos behind dance festival Dream Village. Founded in 2010, this unparalleled event unites sounds from across the dance music spectrum for a musical experience like no other. Organised by Eye4Dance, the team also behind events including Daylight Festival, Ploegendienst and Winterland Breda, Dream Village features ten stages and a line-up of more than 200 artists over three days. There is literally something for everyone: whether your taste ranges from underground to mainstream, hardstyle to hardcore or techno to urban. Expect some big names on the Lipstick stage: this year The Partysquad, Dannic and Broederliefde are just a couple of the headliners. One of the key things that makes Dream Village stand out is its setting. The event moved from its original location in Oosterhout to the current Breda space in 2016, with the entire site being transformed 30  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

into a real ‘Dream Village’. ‘Down Town’ is the festival’s beating heart and will this year feature an official pop-up restaurant. There is also the cosy Dream Café, while the Dream Cinema is perfect for chillout time. Gamers will appreciate the Game Hall, while there is even the chance to glam up at the Make Up & Hairdressers shop. Met the love of your life during the festival? The Wedding Chapel awaits! If Dream Village sounds like a perfect weekend of escapism, it is because it has been designed that way. “Dream Village is distinguished by creativity, it is not just about the stages but for the overall experience,” explains Eye4Dance owner Arno van der Star. “The visitor comes from the entrance into the Dream Village atmosphere, a village where you no longer think of the daily routine.” Last year, Dream Village expanded to two days, while this year it will run from 1 - 3 September. As Van der Star explains: the

growth was inevitable. “Our first edition attracted 1,750 visitors. By 2016 that had risen to 18,000 with more and more visitors coming from outside the region and abroad.” The festival may be naturally expanding, but growth has never been the main goal. Of course, the festival’s expansion every year creates new things that will be a great success, but this truly original event will always stay true to its roots. “Be unique and stay unique,” grins Van der Star. For tickets and further information on Dream Village 2017 visit

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Set amid the enchanting Sloterplas lake and forest, Amsterdam’s premier festival is sure to bewitch you with a delicious line-up and some deeply felt love. Ever since its inception in 1995, Loveland Festival has been a highlight on the international party calendar. Mixing timeless values with a modern vibe, the festival presents a wide variety of techno, house, minimal and techhouse acts on six stages. “From the very beginning, Loveland has been about sharing our passion for music and to spread the love between people,” says Loveland founder and director Marnix Bal. “Loveland is more than just a catchy name, you see. It encapsulates our philosophy to connect the audience through music and dance.”

ranges from people who’ve been with us from the very start to young dance lovers who are completely new to the festival. They all come to experience great dance music, fantastic sound quality and an infectious vibe of originality, creativity and wonder.” It is a vibe that is in no small measure helped by the enchanting backdrop of the Sloterplas site, with its lake, fields and woods. When they moved here 12 years ago, Marnix and his team knew right away that they had found the perfect spot. “It’s in Amsterdam, it’s easy to reach by car, bike or public transport, and at the same time it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” he

explains. Festival-goers can roam vast stretches of the area’s fields and forest, relax near the waterside, go for a swim or boat around the lake. They can even unleash their inner creative selves and have a go at painting the Loveland logo. “And don’t be surprised to spot some fairies among the trees either,” Marnix smiles. “It’s a magical place, you know!” Loveland is held on 12 August 2017. You can see the full line-up on In May, Loveland will be able to announce a unique and exciting new collaboration. Watch the website and social media for more news.

This year’s festival features up-andcoming talents such as Reinier Zonneveld and Ferro, as well as top acts including Adam Beyer, Pan-Pot, Joris Voorn, The Martinez Brothers, Solomun, Tale of Us and more. “It’s a varied line-up which attracts a wide audience,” says Marnix. “It Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  31

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Photo: Johan Nieuwenhuize

Photo: Claudy Jongstra


The Designkwartier Festival (Design Quarter Festival) transforms the lively Zeeheldenkwartier (Sea Heroes Quarters) in The Hague into a playground for leading Dutch designers and emerging talent from 19 to 21 May. This free event fuses exhibitions, activities, presentations and shops into a haven of inspiring and innovative design. During the three-day festival, a route takes you to some 50 different locations, with pop-up stores, design shops, art galleries, workshops and places like residential houses and indoor gardens surprising you behind every corner. Be amazed by innovative objects alongside wonderful everyday design, and hear the stories behind the design from the makers. The festival’s programme is one long list of highlights. To honour the 100-year anniversary of famous art movement De Stijl and its member Piet Mondriaan, an exhibition has been created where contemporary designers bring a tribute to the movement. Others not to miss are the furniture creations from design label VRIENDEN, which can be admired in a very different 32  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

setting than your regular showroom. The pop-up store We Love Textiles shows the endless line of possibilities of experimenting with textiles through a collection of which many pieces have been at the Textielmuseum. Always wanted to take a sneak peek into the most beautiful house in The Hague? Now you can: Mary Hessing, founder of magazine WOTH, is opening up her beautiful design residence to the public, allowing people to gaze at (and purchase) design products. The festival was founded by Mei-Lan Tjoa, Susanne Kennedy and Edwin Pelser, the latter owning the eponymous design shop in The Hague. “Our city has so much to offer on the design front,” Pelser starts. “Together with the municipality of The Hague and several other cultural funds, we created a fantastic platform to introduce design to everyone who wants to meet it.” Held at the Zeeheldenkwartier, a district known for its genuine vibe and popularity among the artistic community, the festival prides itself on its small-scale atmosphere, allowing designers to truly interact with their audience. Something that is taken quite literally during the

‘design-quarter’: 15 minutes in which designers take to the streets and stand on a beer crate, telling the people about their work via a megaphone. “The vibe at the Designkwartier is unparalleled,” Pelser concludes. “You only see happy faces, and the whole area flourishes.”

Always been curious about Mondriaan’s peculiar eating habits? Two De Stijl-inspired pop-up dinners will be organised at topsecret locations. Register at Ground plans of the festival are on sale for three euros at Café Cortenaer and mobile selling points.

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Caribbean heat at Zsa Zsa Su! TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: ZSA ZSA SU!

Zsa Zsa Su! brings the heat of the Caribbean’s sunny shores to the Netherlands. This popular festival is winning more and more Dutch (and global) hearts with their nights full of Caribbean and eclectic music, passionate dancing and an exuberant atmosphere – providing so much more than a night out. “Five years ago, the majority of parties focussed on house music, something not everyone loves,” says Rewish Harnam, CEO of Zsa Zsa Su!. “We then decided to launch a Surinam party, to bring together people with a passion for this music.” After several successful editions, Zsa Zsa Su! spread its focus to the whole spectrum of Caribbean music, thereby widening its fan base to everyone with a love for the genre. Zsa Zsa Su! uniquely welcomes live acts to the stage, providing a platform for both emerging and renowned artists like Kenny B,

Broederliefde, Jayh, and many more. Zsa Zsa Su! hosts parties throughout the whole country, such as the famous AFAS Live (formerly HMH) and Ziggo Dome. Every event has been sold out: the last party in Ziggo Dome welcomed 14,000 people. On 9 July, Zsa Zsa Su! will hold its first outdoor festival, set at the beautiful Stadspodium Amsterdam. The festival counts two stages: one for large acts, the other one for live bands playing everything Caribbean: from Latin, to Salsa, to Merengue. Renowned names such as Ronnie Flex, Jairzinho, SFB, Jayh, Kalibwoy, Freddy Moreira, F1rstman, I Am Aisha and Rishi Romero have already been announced, and much more is yet to come. “Although many previous editions did not announce the full line-up,” Harnam concludes. “People come for Zsa Zsa Su! and the bustling, unique atmosphere.”

A unique way of experiencing classical music TEXT: JULIËN L’ORTYE  |  PHOTOS: FOKKE SCHUT

Leading Dutch newspaper NRC named Wonderfeel Festival ‘unique in the world’, while another described the relatively new festival as ‘the Lowlands of classical music’. Not bad, especially considering that the festival had its first edition less than three years ago. We decided to speak to director Georges Mutsaerts to learn about the success of his festival. “As a new festival, we have learned from all the pop music festivals that are out there, offering a total experience, including good food and drinks. That works for classical music as well,” says Mutsaerts. As they have already managed to sell out all their early bird tickets, it seems that they are doing a pretty good job. Not that we would expect otherwise, with a location that is as beautiful as theirs. Wonderfeel Festival takes place in the natural area of Schaep and Burgh, with 25 hectares of mesmerising nature,

full of lanes with beeches and oaks and located in the shadow of Amsterdam. It is an ideal location for what Mutsaerts likes to call ‘de-stressing’, which is an important part of the festival experience. “When you visit a classical music concert in the city, you will probably arrive quite stressed and when you walk out of the venue, into the hustle and bustle of the city, you are stressed again. Enjoying classical music within the serenity of this location is something that appears to work out well for our audience.” With six different stages, there is something for everyone. “You will be surprised when you walk over to the stages - which are all special tents with great acoustics. There is always another great artist to enjoy.” The line-up is impressively varied: whether it is a typical, classical music piece, chamber music, symphonic repertoire or even a radio drama, Wonderfeel Festival has it all. Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  33

Discover Benelux  |  The Netherlands  |  Unmissable Festivals and Events



What started out as a small-scale night festival with three stages has grown into the Netherlands’ biggest and most progressive player in the area of hardstyle, hardcore, crossbreed, freestyle, and everything in between. With over 200 artists, 15 areas and 70,000 expected visitors, Decibel outdoor is nothing less than a haven for the harder styles. You say hardstyle, you think Decibel. Since its first edition in 2002, the festival has attracted lovers of the harder musical styles from all corners of the world with their ever-progressive programming and innovative concepts. Decibel outdoor covers absolutely every corner of the harder styles: from millennium hardcore to old school, and from hardstyle classics to uptempo. This year, the festival will consist of six so-called districts: The Mainstage, The Lake, The Forest, The Road, The Beach and The Weekend. The six districts together host 15 stages, all of which embody a different concept from Decibel’s organiser b2s: think Loudness, 34  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

Hardcore4life, back2school, Euphoria and the popular Pussy lounge. All stages have their own area at the festival and exude a unique different atmosphere. For partygoers for whom one day of partying is not enough, Decibel outdoor – the Weekend is the solution. Instead of limiting the raving to Saturday, a weekend ticket provides access to the Friday kickoff party, Saturday nightparty and Sunday closing party in addition to the festival. “The smaller capacity of Decibel outdoor – the Weekend does add something special to the vibe,” explains Cassandra Panayotopoulos from b2s. “One big group of die-hards partying together for three days – that creates an amazing atmosphere.”

more subgenres of the harder styles developed, something that also resulted in more stages at Decibel.” Decibel outdoor is known to sell-out every single edition. “It is hard to give a specific reason for that - it is a combination of the right factors that make the vibe at Decibel an unparalleled one. Everyone visits with the same goal: to party with friends and have a good time. I remember the rainy edition of 2015: it was pouring, yet everyone was going crazy anyway. That is the beauty of this scene.” Decibel outdoor takes place in the weekend of 19 August. For tickets and the full line-up, check out:

The hardstyle scene originated in the Netherlands, and the country still links the biggest names and the best festivals in the harder styles genre to its name. “Decibel has really grown up together with the harder styles scene,” Panayotopoulos continues. “Along the way, more and

Discover Benelux  |  The Netherlands  |  Unmissable Festivals and Events

Three is 3 Oever Festival’s magic number TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN  |  PHOTOS: 3 OEVER FESTIVAL

Next to the German border in the Dutch province of Gelderland lies ‘De Gelderse Poort’ (‘The Gate of Gelderland’), a natural landmark where three waterbodies meet: the Rhine, the Waal and the Pannerden Canal. As with many Dutch waterways, all three have riverbanks and that is the namesake of 3 Oever Festival (‘oever’ is the Dutch word for ‘riverbank’). The festival celebrates the region for both its natural and cultural value and takes place, naturally, in the third weekend of September.

theatre groups and Carnival, Rhineland style. Thirdly, we want to motivate our youngsters to pick up an instrument or partake in any group, because those who are in such groups aren’t getting any younger.” The festival is one where making connections and de-stressing is important. “We love to bring different people together to create something beautiful,” adds Beunk. From a poet in one of the workshops on the ‘open workshop’ route, to a bike ride culminating with a musical performance on one

of the three ferryboats, to three different music groups performing all at once on the three riverbanks; you can experience it all comfortably at 3 Oever Festival. You can even enjoy authentic funfairs. “We’re exactly between the Randstad area and The Ruhr, so we can cater to German tourists and in time English too. There are enough camp sites, hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area.”

“We started 3 Oever Festival with three goals,” explains Servaas Beunk. “There’s the beauty of the region itself that we want to share with the rest of the world. It’s a harmony of nature at work, but with riverbanks, dykes and water meadows. There’s the rich folklore of our area which used to be part of Germany and as a Catholic region has its share of orchestras,

‘s-Hertogenbosch Boulevard Head to historic ‘s-Hertogenbosch this summer for a refreshing mix of dance, music and theatre at the Boulevard Theatre Festival. Every year in August, people from all over Europe and abroad gather in the historic Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch as the Boulevard Theatre Festival takes over its streets, squares, parks and buildings. At the Festival Centre, overlooked by the magnificent 14th century Cathedral Church of St. John, and in many other locations across the medieval city, the audience can revel in an 11-day celebration of dance, music, theatre and visual arts.

Photo: JeanPhilipse

“We are a festival full of adventure and innovation,” says managing director Viktorien van Hulst. “We’re known for staging dynamic, physical and intuitive theatre, which invites the audience to open up and go with the flow. Here in the south, we’re not as cerebral as people in other parts of the country. Also, almost half of our festival artists hail from nearby Belgian cities such as Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges – they reinforce this southern sensuality that characterises the festival.” Since taking over in 2014, Van Hulst has managed to attract a roster of celebrated artists, including Rimini Protokoll, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui,

Transparant. Photo: Karin Jonkers


Warme Winkel and Akram Khan. The line-up in 2017 promises to be just as impressive, with some 90 productions including a living installation by Dutch director Dries Verhoeven, inventive modern theatre from Rotterdam-based Wunderbaum, African dance from the Faso Danse Theatre and an engaging performance from the young Hungarian theatre director Kornél Mundruczó. “I’m really looking forward to our 2017 edition,” says Van Hulst. “We’ll be announcing our line-up this June, so check the website and come along. I bet you’ll love it!”

Photo: JeanPhilipse

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  35

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Wouter Hamel

36  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview |  Wouter Hamel


A star is reborn With a string of critically acclaimed albums to his name and an army of fans across the globe, it is no wonder jazz star Wouter Hamel is feeling pretty good about turning 40. Following a month of gigs in the Netherlands performing his latest album AMAURY, the singer-songwriter is ready to hit Japan and South Korea, where he will once again play Seoul Jazz Festival before returning home for shows including June’s JazzBoZ festival in Bergen op Zoom. But this Spring will not all be about work for Hamel: a huge party to celebrate ‘the big 4-0’ is on the agenda, too. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: SANJA MARUSIC

Since he shot to fame in 2005 after winning the Dutch Jazz Vocal Competition, Hamel has won the hearts of pop and jazz fans alike with his catchy self-written songs that are often deeply personal. Now, on the eve of his next significant birthday, and looking back over more than a decade in the industry, the artist admits to feeling a sudden sense of freedom.

40 and fearless “2017 feels like a pinnacle year in a lot of ways,” he begins. “40 for me is a big thing, but not in a negative way. A lot of people are like; ‘Oh, the big 4-0 is coming up’, but I’m actually welcoming it. I’m very happy to be turning 40. “I’ve stopped being hard on myself and rediscovered life. It’s about coming to terms with yourself and owning who you are. There’s a lot of judgement in our society - you’re either too old, too young, too fat, too skinny…Finally I don’t care anymore! “It sounds so cheesy, but that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned - to really be myself: a proud gay man from Amsterdam and not afraid to show himself.”

The prince of pop Hamel almost named his latest record 40 in honour of this milestone year, but decided it might be ‘bad luck’ to use the title before his actual birthday on 19 May. Instead, he went for the French name AMAURY, which means ‘ruler’ or ‘prince’. “There’s an alter ego kind of thing going on,” laughs Hamel. “Well, it’s just a name that I thought of when I was in a personal process… I guess my alter ego name, so I decided to go with that. Also, it’s just my favourite song on the album.” Hamel wrote the first track for AMAURY during a trip alone to Tokyo, where he read shocking reports of gay refugees from the Middle East facing abuse in Dutch camps. “I was all alone in the big city. I read that terrible news and it was hard being so far from home. I started to write the song Keep Watch, which I finished with a Dutch colleague of mine. That kind of sparked the album, I guess.”

lyrics often coming to him when he least expects it. The musical side is easier to control: although his oeuvre is rooted in jazz, Hamel admits coming up with a melody can still be quite mathematical. “My job as a lyricist is much harder than trying to come up with melodies,” he explains. “Jazz seems very free to people and it is - but it’s still mathematical. You know, there are lots of rules. “Although I’m obsessed by chords and melodies, the storytelling is the thing that compels me the most. The way words come up is the most magical thing.” Highlighting the visceral nature of his work, the songwriter admits that sometimes it is only with the benefit of hindsight that he can properly grasp his own lyrics. “Sometimes I don’t even understand my own message…then it’s like; ‘Ah! That’s what I’ve been feeling all year’. The penny drops!”

Pure poetry

Worldwide success

A true wordsmith, Hamel finds the writing element of his work very intuitive, with

Touring is a big part of the musician’s life and Hamel has performed across the Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  37

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Wouter Hamel

globe. Does he have a favourite place to take to the stage? “It’s difficult to decide,” he muses, admitting that his legions of fans in South Korea are hard to top. “Everything happened so fast there, like a dream come true. It’s not about how big the venue is, but knowing that the music is really appreciated - just having a whole stadium of people singing your songs.”

“But I really feel like I’ve got nothing to worry about. I’ve got some experience, that feels good,” he grins. “I’ve got this!” Hamel used not to feel so comfortable under the gaze of the audience, or with the media attention that success brings, but focusing on the music and remembering the reason why he pursued a career in the limelight always helps.

In a good place

“I remember watching Bette Davis in an old interview on YouTube from the 1970s. She said it shouldn’t be about limousines or red carpets or adoring fans, it should be about the actual work. You have to do interviews, you have to have people looking at you all the time,” explains Hamel.

“Of course, you always have some tension in your body. I believe you even look different before a show: your eyes are a little bit more wide open because you know what’s going to come.

“I learned that lesson a couple of years ago but now it’s really sunk in. I focus on my work. I’m really comfortable with this and I hope to hold on to that self-security.”

Having suffered from stage fright in the past, Hamel admits that after 17 years in the game he no longer worries ahead of a big show.

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A happy soul With five successful albums under his belt and a newfound inner peace, where does Hamel see himself in the next ten years? “I used to be so afraid of that question. It makes me really happy that I’m not anymore,” he replies. “I just want to be happy. That’s all it’s about.” Of course, Hamel still has ambition and drive - he mentions a desire to write a musical, as well as the dream of living in Brazil for a couple of years and recording a Portuguese album. “But, actually, for the first time I really realise what I have already and how special that is,” smiles the star. “I’m really living life to the fullest and if I’m doing the same thing in ten years, that’s gonna be fine.”

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview |  Wouter Hamel

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  39

Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break

Erasmusbrug. Photo: Iris van den Broek


City of the future It is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and in 2016 was named by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top cities for travellers. With its futuristic architecture, vibrant arts scene and superb nightlife, it is easy to see why. In our city special, we show why you should be rushing to Rotterdam. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: ROTTERDAM PARTNERS

The Markthal. Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode

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Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break

Relaxing in the park near the Euromast. Photo: Claire Droppert

Rotterdam’s reinvention

Dutch gables in historical Delfshaven. Photo: Daniele Varlonga

After the destruction of World War Two, this dynamic city decided to break with the past and opt for a new, modern aesthetic with sparkling skyscrapers and numerous innovative architectural projects. Highlights include the towering Maastoren (165 metres high) and the Rotterdam Cube Houses, which were designed by Piet Blom in 1984. Rotated 45 degrees, the homes near the Blaak and the Oude Haven were created as a kind of village within the city.

Go with the flow As a famous port city, Rotterdam’s links to the North Sea are unbreakable. The Maas River flows right through the city, and many of the main attractions are related to water. Well worth a visit is the SS Rotterdam, known as the city’s ‘Grande Dame’. It is the biggest passenger ship ever built on Dutch soil and the former flagship of the Holland America Line. Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  41

Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break

Office buildings and homes at Wijnhaven canal. Photo: Iris van den Broek

You can now spend the night in the hotel there, take a tour or enjoy a drink in the bar. Another must-see is the Euromast tower (185 metres high), from which there are spectacular views. On a clear day you can even see Antwerp, which is 80 kilometres away.

World-class museums Unmissable in Rotterdam is The Kunsthal, which was designed by the architect Rem Koolhaas and boasts a surface area of 3,300 square metres comprising seven exhibition spaces, an auditorium and café. Since opening its doors in 1992, the museum has become an icon of modern architecture, not to mention earning a reputation as one of the best places to see experimental art, photography and design expos in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is known for having one of the world’s greatest art collections and is home to more than 140,000 works. You will find everything from old and modern art including works by Rubens, Frans Hals and Magritte. There is also an adjacent sculpture park to be admired. 42  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

Laurenskerk and Markthal. Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode

Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break

Photo: Vincent van Dordrecht

Photo: Iris van den Broek

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: ETNOMANIE 20 May - 3 September, The Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek has selected a selection of ethno-historical photographs from the Nederlands Fotomuseum’s World Collection. Alongside designer Mary Pelders Vos these images have been digitally styled to pick out details that may have otherwise been ignored. The results are displayed as life-size images on canvas, transforming the museum into an ‘Etnomaniac’ fashion magazine. Rotterdam Rooftop Days 9 - 11 June, Various cultural sites in Rotterdam June is Rotterdam Architecture Month and one of the highlights is Rotterdam Rooftop Days in which over 40 of the city’s rooftops are briefly opened to the public for events ranging from intimate concerts to silent discos and movie nights - all with spectacular views as the backdrop. Roffa Mon Amour 19 - 30 July, Hofplein Every summer the hugely popular Roffa Mon Amour event transforms former train station Hofplein into a film festival honouring rising cinematic talent. Over 12 days viewers can enjoy a selection of the best films from upcoming directors across the world.

Rotterdam Unlimited 25 - 29 July, Various city centre locations Celebrating the city’s cosmopolitan diversity, Rotterdam Unlimited is a five-day festival combining music, dance, theatre, storytelling and much more. As one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands focusing on diversity, Rotterdam Unlimited attracts more than 900,000 visitors from all over Europe.

Photo: Layla Aerts

Robert Mapplethorpe, een perfectionist Until 27 August, The Kunsthal A large-scale retrospective of the life and work of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), one of the 20th century’s most influential artists and photographers. Comprising portraits, nudes and still life images, as well as rare letter and notes, the exhibition offers an insight into the artist’s methods and highlights his experimental side in addition to his technical perfection. World Port Days 1 - 3 September, Port of Rotterdam The 40th edition of the World Port Days will be held in September. Every year during the event Rotterdam celebrates its port, highlighting the bond between the port and the town. Visitors can take a glimpse into areas of the port which are usually off limits to the public. Start planning your trip now at

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  43

Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break


Upon entering restaurant Savage, a large tree instantly catches the eye as it stands tall between the tables. Savage offers a piece of the wild in the heart of Rotterdam, as guests are reconnected to nature through culinary creations. Sommelier Xander Rodrigues, who owns and runs Savage together with his wife Natalia, explains that nature is at the heart of their philosophy. Guests are brought closer to the natural world while enjoying a spectacular multi-course meal. “Today, we are practically forced to eat out of a package or a sachet. Our society is chained to the supermarkets and food has become nearly unrecognisable,” he says. “We want to turn this around and reconnect people to nature.” This is expressed in every aspect of the business, from sourcing products to food presentation and the restaurant’s 44  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

ambiance. Rodrigues and his team personally know all their farmers and growers, and work closely with them. “We watched the pigs grow up, so we know they had a good life. Farmer Jeffrey Korsmit only rears Hungarian pigs that produce stunning Mangalica meat, which is like the Wagyu of pork.” Korsmit has a beautiful farm and is currently expanding to different kinds of animals.

buckthorn dish, which is served with the whole plant next to it, and some of their goat meat dishes are presented on the goat’s bones. “We don’t do this to confront people. We want our ingredients to be recognisable so we serve them that way, for example by using tree trunks, pieces of moss or surrounding a meat dish with bunches of hay that the animals would live on,” he says.

Rodrigues proudly explains that in the Savage kitchen they always order whole animals and nothing goes to waste. “This is out of respect for the products and simultaneously pushes us to be more creative. Head chef James Maros, together with sous chefs Thomas Pagé and Rijk Jutten, make the most delicious creations while literally using everything ‘nose to tail’.”

Savage, which only opened last September, serves guests a set menu of five, seven or nine courses. This can be paired with a choice of two wine selections, a beer pairing or guests can opt for Savage’s special, self-created alcohol-free drinks range. The restaurant is also open for lunches with creative bites and has an inviting outdoor seating area.

Elements of the wilderness are also brought to the table: take their sea

Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break

Mixing business with leisure See the pictures, read the reviews and check the awards: Pincoffs is where you want to stay when you next visit Rotterdam. Imagine returning to your hotel after an exhausting day and the person at reception kindly fixes you a meal. Imagine going up to your suite, taking a soak in your freestanding Victorian bath, then enjoying a refreshing coffee from your Illy machine and sitting back in your Philippe Starck chair overlooking Rotterdam’s Maas river and the magnificent Erasmus bridge. Are you dreaming? Well, not if you have checked in at Pincoffs.


Named after the wealthy Rotterdam businessman who commissioned the monumental former Customs building on the Maas, Pincoffs has a choice of 17 rooms and suites, providing an imaginative mix of 19th century grandeur, modern design and high-end luxuries. “But most importantly we create a warm, relaxed atmosphere with genuine personal attention for our guests,” says owner Karen Hamerlynck. Karen started Pincoffs in 2008 with her husband Edwin van der Meijde. The idea was to marry the intimate, romantic feel of the best leisure hotels with superb business facilities. “We

were both working as journalists at the time,” she says. “And we both grew tired of staying in these sterile, run-of-the-mill hotels that had all the mod cons but no atmosphere.” When the opportunity came along to start their own boutique hotel, they did not have to think twice. “Maybe it was a bit of a gamble, but it’s really paid off. We’ve had nothing but praise and prizes. We’ve even been accepted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame. Plus, we have lots of guests who keep coming back. And that is the best compliment you can get.”

castlefest 3-6 Augustus 2017 Kasteel Keukenhof, Lisse


Discover Benelux  |  Rotterdam  |  The Perfect Spring & Summer Break

Your coffee ready at seven TEXT: CATHY VAN KLAVEREN  |  PHOTOS: CAFFÈ BOOON

It has become such an important part of our daily routine: grabbing a cup of coffee and a small bite to eat before work, being served by a familiar and friendly face. At Caffè Booon in Rotterdam, they have this coffee culture down to an art. It is a bar, but it is also a bakery. Actually, this place is a little bit of everything. Its terrace is one of few places in town that sits in the sun all day long. Heating will keep you warm in colder weather. “One of the things that prompted me to start Booon was when I noticed other bars opened at about 9am or 10am. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I just missed having a bar to go to first thing in the morning,” explains owner Betty Willemsen. It is Willemsen, who is originally from Italy, and her no-nonsense approach that gives Booon its signature. Initially she came to Rotterdam for her studies but fate has kept her here. In time, she acquired the city’s famous mentality: ‘don’t talk the talk, but walk the walk’.

“This means we give everyone a fair chance if they show us they want to work here. I don’t judge people by their name or where they come from.” Hence, a variety of nationalities work at this great little place. Booon serves a good cup of coffee, is open every day of the week and starts off with freshly baked bread. “It’s a tiny place, but a good menu and a nice atmosphere invites people to come back.”

A hotel built like a terminal, next to a terminal TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN  |  PHOTOS: WORLDHOTEL WINGS

With a bustling city like Rotterdam, it is hardly a miracle that Rotterdam The Hague Airport has seen its share of increased traffic over the past few years. To tap into that potential, hotel director Berry Gerretsen started Worldhotel Wings back in 2014 and it could not be much closer to the airport’s terminal, even if it wanted to be. With 132 rooms and ten studios and apartments, Worldhotel Wings, located right next to the terminal of Rotterdam The Hague Airport, is the most obvious choice for frequent travellers looking for a place to stay. The apartments can be rented for a longer period of time, with a minimum of one month. Director Berry Gerretsen notices many pilots in the hotel, but also businessmen who travel frequently between the Netherlands and the UK. But it is not just the name, clientele or location that connects Worldhotel Wings to air 46  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

travel; the hotel’s exterior has been built to resemble an airport terminal. From the hotel, you have an amazing view of Rotterdam’s skyline. The hotel also offers many facilities: an international restaurant, an event hall, meeting rooms and board rooms and a sports bar. The studios and apartments are fully equipped, thus perfect to live in. “I know somebody who actually does,” smiles Gerretsen. The hotel is a logical step for Gerretsen who has been in the hospitality business for many years and started to work in a hotel’s kitchen doing the dishes. “I’ve worked for both the more accessible Van der Valk chain and the high-class Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht, which was awarded ‘Hotel Of The Year’ in 2011 by Gault Millau. I see Worldhotel Wings as a sum of both divided by two: a hotel with a high state of service, but still accessible.”

Karel Doormanstraat 334, 3012 GP Rotterdam

Discover Benelux  |  Literature  |  Maigret

John Simenon. Photo: Penguin Classics

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Discover Benelux  |  Literature  |  Maigret

M A K I N G M A I G R E T:

The incredible legacy of Georges Simenon John Simenon always knew that his father was famous, but it was not until he began to manage his estate that he started to appreciate the scale of the Belgian author’s heritage. TEXT: PAULA HAMMOND

John’s father, Georges Simenon, was one of the most prolific authors of the 20th century. Writing well over 400 books, 75 were dedicated to the adventures of the taciturn commissioner of Paris’ Brigade Criminelle, Jules Maigret. Born to a French-speaking father and a Dutch-speaking mother, Simenon grew up in the bustling, free-spirited city of Liège. The young journalist left his hometown at the age of 19 for Paris but echoes of Liège are ever-present in his work. Even his most famous creation, Detective Maigret, remains “recognisably” Belgian-French. John recently spoke as a guest at the British Film Institute’s Radio Times Television Festival, where ITV’s Maigret’s Night at the Crossroads, starring Rowan Atkinson, featured in the opening night gala. Simenon himself described having a physical vision of the character of Maigret while drinking in a bar. As the day wore on, he gave his vision a pipe, bowler hat, and a heavy, velvet-collared overcoat until the imperturbable detective was finally fully formed. However, as John explains, “that story is a little bit of a short-hand. Creating Maigret took several years. Not just one drink at the bar – there were more drinks than that! In my father’s own

mind, it took quite a while for Maigret to start to have a shape, a form. First, a physical shape, then a mental shape and my father discovered a lot about Maigret as he wrote the novels. In fact, that’s a little bit like what’s happening in the films we are doing with Rowan”.

Iconic Atkinson is the 35th actor to play the iconic detective, although to fans he may seem an odd choice. Atkinson: “In the books, you get these descriptions where Maigret’s large frame fills the doorway and I’m never going to fill a doorway! I’ve got some height but I certainly haven’t got enough width. There’s that kind of stocky, rugby-playing thing conveyed quite often in the books that I don’t have.”

I’m very grateful to Rowan for showing us what lies deeper inside.”

Purposeful storylines Georges Simenon believed that detective fiction should be read in one sitting. His Maigret novels are short and sparse. “They are very evocative but written with few words,” says John. Translating Simenon’s fiction – written at break-neck speed – into a 90-minute, slow-burn Maigret Sets A Trap. Photo: Penguin Classics

What Rowan does have, according to John, is something much more important. “In the later Maigret stories, my father didn’t care that much about his physical attributes. He doesn’t even mention them. What was really important was what Maigret stands for – his way of looking at justice. Maigret is a listener. He doesn’t seek to judge, he seeks to understand. One of the things that was very dear to me was to make sure that we showed the humanity that is in Maigret. In the books, he can come across as a very strong, monolithic person so Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  49

Discover Benelux  |  Literature  |  Maigret

Scenes from the television adaptation Maigret: Night At The Crossroads.

drama was always going to be a challenge. Fortunately, the production’s nostalgic 1950s setting and gorgeous cinematography wonderfully complement Simenon’s purposeful storylines. “Night at the Crossroads was written in 1931, so we not only had to add some meat, but make sure that it translated into the 1950s setting,” explains John. The modern world added its own difficulties. “Paris is an extremely expensive place to shoot and now we have the addition of heightened security situations… So we shot very few scenes in Paris.” Instead, the production headed to Budapest, which still has much of that oldworld charm. “I was a kid in Paris in the 1950s,” John comments, “and people still think of Paris today as looking as it did then. It doesn’t. But Budapest still looks very much like that. Although our French viewers know it’s not Paris, they don’t feel put off. That was a big concern.”

Keeping the spirit alive John started his working life as a film producer, but took over managing his father’s legacy 25 years ago. What may 50  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

surprise some, though, is that he has not actually read all of the Maigret books. “No,” he laughs, “I must confess, I haven’t. I’m still in the process. I mean, I’ve read about 50, so I’ve got another 25 to go plus the short stories. That takes a lot of time and sometimes I have to re-read them because my memory is getting a little bit fuzzy as time goes by!” John is not interested in becoming a walking re-

pository of his father’s work. “I’m not the protector of anything. On the contrary, what I try to do is open the doors rather than close them while making sure that the essential aspects of a particular work are respected.” The important ‘job’ is keeping Georges’ spirit alive and it is this task that has brought John even closer to the father who was – and remains – a vital force in his life.



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  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide



Building the future today In the following pages, we bring you a selection of some of the best educational establishments in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Education is about far more than just supplying knowledge: a good school provides the groundwork for our future happiness and success, and the benefits of studying in Belgium and Luxembourg are numerous. One of the main advantages is that they both are multilingual countries.

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In Luxembourg, German, French and Luxembourgish is used in schools, while languages such as Portuguese and English are becoming increasingly important. Meanwhile, in Belgium, the country’s distinct federal regions have their own education systems.

Whether you are looking to find the perfect day nursery for your child, or are in the process of selecting the next stage of education, this month’s special guide is well worth a read. Here, we profile an array of establishments in the Benelux that will provide the necessary foundations for a prosperous future.

Discover Benelux  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide

TOP SCHOOLS GUIDE BBI School of International Hospitality & Tourism Business Read more from page 54 With campuses in Wiltz (Luxembourg) and Brussels (Belgium), BBI is an elite provider of higher education in the fields of global hospitality and tourism business. The school’s alumni can be found in senior positions in major hotels and hotel brands across the globe.

BEPS International School Read more from page 56 BEPS International School in Brussels provides a global curriculum promoting international mindedness for children aged two and a half to 12. Adhering to the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), the school offers pupils a clear process of learning and specific goals for each subject.

Crèches de Belgique Read more from page 57 Since 2005, Crèches de Belgique has welcomed children of all nationalities, aged from three months to three years. Caring for nearly 500 children each day, the private day nursery believes in engaging children through fun activities and educational play.

St George’s International School Luxembourg Read more from page 58 With 750 students representing over 50 nationalities, St George’s International School in Luxembourg provides worldclass English language education to children aged three to 18 in a welcoming and vibrant environment.

Brussels International Catholic School Read more from page 58 Children are encouraged to fulfil their unique potential to a maximum at Brussels International Catholic School (BICS). With a caring environment, the school offers a wholly bilingual English and French curriculum for pupils aged two and a half to 18. Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  53

Discover Benelux  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide

Photo: Anefore & Studio 101

Masters of the hospitality world TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON  |  PHOTOS: BBI

BBI’s alumni can be found in senior positions in major hotels and hotel brands across the globe. Over the last quarter of a century, the global hospitality and tourism business has evolved regarding managerial professionalism. Given the industry employs an estimated nine per cent of the world’s population and continues to attract major investment, that evolution is perhaps not surprising. Students at the Luxembourg and Belgian campuses of BBI, an elite provider of higher education in this field, study to play their part in the continuing development of the sector. “The hospitality industry has moved on from mom-and-pop hotels and tour 54  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

operators to a far more professional approach,” explains Hans de Meyer, director of marketing and business development at BBI’s Luxembourg base. “When you look at how big brands like Marriott and Accor continue expanding, you realise they need highly trained and competent managers with the proven skills and industry-relevant capacities to achieve what owners and investors want. Teaching those skills is what we do at BBI.”

A family atmosphere A significant factor differentiating BBI from many other university-level providers of training in the sector is its size: “We’re a small school by choice and for a reason,” continues de Meyer. “It allows

us to retain a personal approach to students. Every teacher knows every student by name, even those they don’t teach, which creates something akin to a family atmosphere. Having close student-tutor relationships means we can coach and mentor them to meet specific needs and develop their individual skill sets.” The school draws its diploma, bachelors and masters degree students from all over the world, with more than 30 different nationalities represented currently in the student body. All teaching is in English, the world’s business language, but the mindset is decidedly international: “It’s important to have a diverse mix of students from different parts of the world as in their future careers they’ll work with colleagues

Discover Benelux  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide

and clients from many backgrounds and cultures,” says de Meyer.

Internships across the globe Every academic year students undertake mandatory 12-week internships, supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission which promotes student and teacher exchanges. “The majority go to brands like the Ritz Carlton, Marriott, and so on,” says de Meyer: “Naturally, some prefer working in their home territories, while others opt for sunny spots or seek out different cultures, so recent destinations include Spain, France and Italy, but also Iceland and Hong Kong.” The ability to adapt and develop is seen as key to the future success of students, and their contribution to the success of their employers: “The clientele for travel and tourism is becoming increasingly demanding – they want their specific and changing needs to be met, so managers have to understand that. Once business hotels everywhere were the same, today it’s about finding niches and daring to be different to capture and satisfy new types of customers.”

Unsurprisingly, a major part of that changing dynamic is harnessing social media, but that is only one of many technological elements of studies at BBI. Examples include using an industry-standard property management software package throughout their courses; and part of their final-year assessment being an online management simulation game to hone analytical and strategic skills.

Cooperation at home and internationally Another aspect of BBI’s international outlook is its links with other academic institutions: “We offer a joint programme with two partner universities,” de Meyer explains. “Euroaula – the University of Girona in Spain, and the University of Savonia in Kuopio, Finland, so students can gain degrees from both BBI and one of those partners.” While BBI itself is small by design, it is developing the Wiltz campus with other higher education providers to broaden the expertise in other relevant specialties available to its students. For example, UBI teaches bachelors and masters degrees

Photo: Anefore & Studio 101

in business administration, BSI teaches business sciences at Ph.D level, the language training of INLINGUA already operates at the site and, in the near future, DTMD that teaches digital technologies in medicine and dentistry. “We want our students to have the best of both worlds here so when they graduate they can build careers for themselves worldwide,” de Meyer concludes. Founded in 1990 Campuses in Wiltz (Luxembourg) and Brussels (Belgium) Current student body: 140 students in BA & MA programmes across the two campuses 25 faculty members with academic and professional backgrounds in the industry Students from more than 30 different countries Qualifications accredited by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research Students undertake 12-week international internships every year of their studies

Photo: Anefore & Studio 101

Photo: Anefore & Studio 101

Photo: Eric De Oliveira

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  55

Discover Benelux  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide

A truly international primary school TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: BEPS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

BEPS International School in Brussels offers a global curriculum promoting international mindedness for children aged two and a half to 12. The school’s global community is a closeknit one, with the family atmosphere enhanced by its unique setting: BEPS was founded in a beautiful house on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt in 1972. Over the past five years, renovation works have updated the building and playground, but the original interior elements and layout maintain the warmth of the family home it once was. “It’s a stunning building and very particular to us,” begins director Pascale Hertay. “Children feel at home right away.” A passionate advocate of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), Hertay arrived at the school in January 2014. “I could talk about IPC all day long,” laughs the Belgian-born head, who has lived in places such as The Hague and the Middle East and brings extensive experience from the international school sector. 56  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, offering a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for each subject. It promotes international mindedness and personal learning. “IPC is a fantastic curriculum and such an important part of our school’s DNA,” enthuses Hertay, explaining that the benefits go way beyond academic achievement. “At the end of a lesson we don’t just ask the children what they learned academically. There is also a focus on qualities which will serve them in later life such as resilience, respectfulness and adaptability.” The IPC curriculum was developed in relation to important factors including the demands of today’s world and research into how the brain works. It is fundamental that the individual learning styles of pupils are taken into account. Currently there are 200 pupils from more than 45 nationalities at BEPS. The school

is always looking for new ways to support pupils’ learning and has its finger on the pulse of the latest research. “Every year we implement up-to-date research to ensure the best possible learning experience for students - whatever their level is when they arrive.” At BEPS all cultures are celebrated, with the school recognising the importance of a child’s native language. “Research shows the use of the mother tongue is important when developing a second language. The mother tongue acts as scaffolding until the child attains an academic level of English,” reveals the head. The ‘international mindedness’ cultivated at BEPS is reflected in its staff, who come from English-speaking countries ranging from Ireland to Canada. The diversity of staff mirrors the multicultural classroom at BEPS. “We truly are an international community,” smiles Hertay.

Discover Benelux  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide

A place of fun learning for little ones TEXT: NDÉLA FAYE  |  PHOTOS: CRÈCHES DE BELGIQUE

Since 2005, Crèches de Belgique has welcomed children of all nationalities, aged from three months to three years. Caring for nearly 500 children each day, the private day nursery believes in engaging children through fun activities and educational play. Children are at a crucial time of their development during early childhood, and Crèches de Belgique believes in educational play through teaching. Crèches de Belgique has over ten years’ experience in the early childhood sector, and consists of 17 crèches in and around

De vrienden van Dory - Antwerpen.

the Brussels area. “Despite being part of a big group, our crèches each have a strong sense of identity and maintain a close relationship with families and each individual child. Our staff are highly qualified – many in the medico-social fields – and our crèches have the highest standards of hygiene, safety, pedagogy and training,” says Chantal Van Hoey, managing director of Crèches de Belgique. The day nurseries offer bilingual teaching in French and Dutch. Activities at the crèche range from themed weeks according to seasonal festivals, arts and crafts to language lessons in English, as well as intergenerational

Aux amis de Némo - Etterbeek.

activities. “We are involved in an intergenerational project, in which our day nursery staff and children visit retirement homes, which has been a very successful scheme,” Van Hoey explains. “Each child’s wellbeing – both physical and emotional – is of utmost importance to us. The children are surrounded and supported throughout their time with us by a team of professionals who listen to the needs of each individual child, as well as the expectations of their parents,” Van Hoey concludes.

Au chat perché - Schaerbeek.

Discover Benelux  |  Education  |  Top Schools Guide


St George’s International School in Luxembourg provides a world-class English language education to children aged three to 18. With 750 students representing over 50 nationalities, St George’s International School in Luxembourg provides each child with the tools to achieve their full potential in a welcoming and vibrant international community. St George’s primary school students follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), a comprehensive, creative curriculum, adapted to Luxembourg. “For example, we explore Luxembourg and its local regions in our history and geography classes,” explains Dr. Christian Barkei, the school’s principal. Secondary students are offered a wide variety of stimulating subjects at IGCSE and A level. “Our curriculum lets students choose areas they are most passionate about and in which they can excel. We carefully help students tailor their university

applications to suit their abilities and interests – but we also want students to be ambitious. Many of our students have been accepted to some of the top-ranking universities in the UK, Europe and Asia,” Dr. Barkei states. In addition, the school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities, is engaged with the local community, and actively encourage students to pursue their interests, join national sports clubs and participate in international competitions. “St George’s rich diversity provides a unique and exciting learning environment for every child. We nurture strong values in our students, based on mutual understanding, col-

laboration and respect – and these values are emphasised throughout our lessons,” Dr. Barkei concludes.


Brussels International Catholic School (BICS) is an international school with a difference: it offers a wholly bilingual English and French curriculum for pupils aged two and a half to 18. Headmaster Canon William Hudson believes BICS stands out thanks to its duallanguage education, Christian values and caring environment. Children are encouraged to fulfil their unique potential to a maximum. Pupils typically focus on reading and writing in French in the last year of the Pre-Primary section (ages five to six), whilst continuing with spoken English. Those who complete the primary school will be bilingual by the end of the sixth year. Teaching is split equally between English and French, allowing for immersion in both languages. Specialist teachers support children with limited English or French. In September 2017, BICS will open a new primary school building, allowing it to accept an additional 100 pupils. 58  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

The secondary school offers the International GCSE and A-level curriculum. BICS is recognised as a test centre of the University of Cambridge International Examinations, and a full member of the European Council of International Schools. Classes average a maximum of 25 students, but are usually smaller, particularly at secondary level with around five to 15 pupils per class at A level. A wide range of courses are available, including modern languages, science, humanities and classics. BICS’s fees are competitive, ranging from 7,000 euros to 10,000 euros per year. The

school has a ‘garderie’ service to assist working parents, and is conveniently located near the European institutions. It has an extensive range of extracurricular activities: sports, music, cultural interests and academic subjects.

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam  |  Hospitality Profile



Mouthwatering local and seasonal foods, exquisite suites and a fine range of gins and tonics for sophisticated palates: the accessible Conservatorium Hotel in the centre of Amsterdam offers all the luxury you need when on a day trip to the Dutch capital. Housed in the former music academy, Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam, the Conservatorium Hotel still reminisces of its rich musical history. “There’s live music events, hallway walls are covered in pictures of famed musicians and our praised gin and tonic bar is called Tunes,” explains renowned chef Schilo van Coevorden. This luxurious hotel opened in 2011 and has become an established urban resort, where locals and tourists mingle. According to Van Coevorden’s philosophy, the Dutch should be more proud of 60  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

their foods. “Dutch mussels, herring and asparagus for instance are delicious.” In his restaurant, Taiko, he combines local vegetables with ingredients from Asia, like Wagyu meat from Japanese beef.

The restaurant also excels in vegetable dishes and sashimi. At the Tunes bar you can enjoy delicious gin and tonics. “We serve countless

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam  |  Hospitality Profile

kinds of gin,” says Van Coevorden. You can also enjoy creative and exotic cocktails and food pairings. But let us not forget the hotel rooms themselves. The rooftop suites have a loft-like feeling, with breathtaking views and include a sitting area, a work space area and state-of-the-art in-room entertainment. And while every room in the hotel has its own appeal, the signature suites are simply extraordinary thanks to their unique aesthetic and character derived from the building’s original features. Van Coevorden: “The I Love Amsterdam suite for instance is equipped with a rooftop terrace, providing a 360-degree view over Amsterdam: an exclusive experience that’s found nowhere else.” Furthermore the hotel houses a luxury holistic spa, exclusive shops and Art Months where a selection of artists exhibit their work exclusively in the hotel. And the best thing: all services are accessible for day guests. Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  61

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam  |  Culinary Profile


The pinnacle of hip dining TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE  |  PHOTOS: MOMO

Standing proudly at the pinnacle of Amsterdam’s hip dining scene is MOMO Restaurant, Bar & Kitchen. Set up in 2008 by the trendsetting cool hunter Yossi Eliyahoo, it quickly redefined the Dutch capital’s approach to dining. By day it is the place for drinking your coffee or working at your laptop, planning a prosperous start-up, chatting with clients or resting your legs from shopping. At the crossroads of nature and contemporary cool, MOMO, located next to Park Hotel Amsterdam, is within spitting distance of Vondelpark and PC Hooftstraat, Amsterdam’s answer to Bond Street. The name, Japanese for fresh, blossom and peaches, was chosen by Eliyahoo after much deliberation. For him, Asian cuisine is the most sophisticated cuisine to exist. “Health, taste, exoticism and simplicity define it.” MOMO is open from late morning through until late, with a lunch, dinner menu and late night cocktail bar, as well as the chef’s weekly specials. The food emerging from the open kitchen is made for sharing. Diners are encouraged to 62  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

order lots of small plates, each one more distinctive and tasty than the last. Eliyahoo is particularly fond of the “really special” foie-gras sushi rolls and says the pan-Asian cuisine is perfectly complemented by the cocktail menu, especially designed by award-winning mixologists. A hand-picked team, each specialists in their own field, including designers and chefs, bring Eliyahoo’s vision to fruition. Evenings pass by in a whirl of delightful cocktails as socialising, networking and casual chitchat abound with live DJs every night providing the backdrop. Yossi Eliyahoo came to Amsterdam in 2008 after an overwhelmingly successful restaurant venture in the UK and approached the Dutch project with ambition and excitement. His aim was to create something that “perfectly complemented the city”, promising “cosmopolitan, highend Asian cuisine with a 360-degree bar experience.” The concept of the open kitchen and fresh design, he explains, was novel in Amsterdam. Since MOMO’s success, he has established further trendy Amsterdam eateries,

each with their own distinctive character and clientele such as Izakaya Asian Kitchen & Bar and The Butcher Burger bar. All restaurants attract celebrities and trendy locals alike. “Glamorous and elegant, as well as being fresh and upcoming”, is Eliyahoo’s description. With guests including the likes of Rihanna, Drake and Jade Jagger, it is undeniable that MOMO has certainly become something of an Amsterdam institution.

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  |  Belgium  |  Art Fair Guide

Installation view of David Zwirner booth. Photo: Independent

Brussels bustles with brilliant art TEXT: MATT ANTONIAK

I had never been to an art fair before yesterday morning. A mere 36 hours later, I have been to three. Brussels is the gift that keeps on giving and, over a spring weekend, Poppositions, Independent and Art Brussels opened their doors once again. I hot-footed it around all three, keen to see what a fair was all about.

in Molenbeek could have been seen as a move away from this stance, moving instead into bigger, more corporate waters. Happily, this was not the case, and with its mantra of ‘Don’t agonise, organise’ Poppositions pulled together some fine artist-run projects alongside a public event programme that tackled the poignant issues that exist for smaller projects.

First on the tour was Poppositions, and I will admit to having a hint of apprehension as I approached the ING Art Center where the fair was situated this year. In previous iterations, Poppositions has positioned itself as the younger, rougher-aroundthe-edges sibling to Independent and Art Brussels. The move to ING from LaVallée

Choosing to do away with the traditional partition walls, exhibitors were instead curated within the pre-existing architecture of ING. This was certainly unique, but the effectiveness of this was up for debate. It seemed a little more muddled than the group show idea that seemed to be the goal. Individual works were still able to

64  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

stand out like little gems – and the stand from Dienstgebäude, Zurich was one of the highlights. Yoan Mudry’s delicate black-and-white drawings were a pithy and witty social commentary and perfectly befitting of the fair.

A treasure trove A brief stroll across town sat Independent - a different kettle of fish entirely. Situated again this year in the impressive Vanderborght building in the heart of Brussels, 70 plus galleries exhibited over six floors, and each was a treasure trove of fantastic art. Surprisingly, it was Rirkrit Tiravanija’s initially underwhelming-looking piece with Tommy Simoens that drew the biggest crowd. Tiravanija is one of the foremost

Discover Benelux  |  Belgium  |  Art Fair Guide

proponents of relational aesthetics, and for this work he employed a very smartly dressed young man to serve visitors crushed ice with a little bowl of matcha tea that they were then encouraged to pour over the ice and eat with a spoon. As you might imagine, Tiravanija and his art often divide opinion, but if all relational aesthetics is as delicious as this, then I will forever sing its praises.

Simply beautiful Having seen all the booths, and at the end of my trudge up to the fifth floor, I was tired and hungry. I had even begun to contemplate buying something if it would mean I got to sit down on a chair for a while. But all good art quickly takes a hold of you, makes you want to never leave it, and return to it again and again. It was the Tim Van Laere booth that did just that, and I hauled my aching body back for another look. I have long been an admirer of the Antwerp-based gallery and its roster of artists, but had never been fortunate

Nika Neelova installation at Vigo Gallery booth. Photo: Independent

enough to visit before. But another sign of good art is that it does not disappoint but indeed offers you more in real life than from the computer screen, and the Van Laere booth did this in abundance. Kati Heck’s drawings are more nuanced and funny, Jonathan Meese’s paintings subtler, and Rinus van de Velde’s drawings are simply beautiful.

A piquant of humour My final stop on my whirlwind tour was Art Brussels – the long-running Belgian fair set in the gargantuan Tours & Taxis building. This year, the revamped fair had chosen to split itself into three parts – Discovery (for the younger galleries), Prime, and Rediscovery (for under-recognised artists). In Prime and the Belfius Art Collection, the fair was littered with big art fair names, but it was in the Discovery section, and the New York-based gallery The Hole that impressed me more than any other. Eric Yahnker used to be a cartoonist for South Park. That influence can

still be seen, and his highly realised pastel drawings are laugh-out-loud funny and full to burst with political remarks and satire. It provided a perfect piquant of humour and irreverence against the rest of the fair.

The heart of the European art world Leaving Art Brussels, I was left to reflect on my trip and my feelings towards art fairs. It is of course incredibly hard to escape the monetary aspect of an art fair – that is why they exist of course. However, if you can put this somewhere to the back of your mind, you will find an art fair an incredibly exciting place to be. The sheer amount of quality works means you will never be unsatisfied, as you perhaps might be with the odd exhibition. These were three fairs of the utmost quality, covering the very new, the up-and-coming and the established. The end result? Well, if it was ever in doubt, then the combined effort of these fairs have cemented Brussels’ place at the heart of the European art world, and long may that continue.

Installation view of Gladstone Gallery booth. Photo: Independent

Image courtesy of Sorry We’re Closed.

Photo: Matt Antoniak

Photo: Matt Antoniak

Ben Sledsens, Tiger in the Jungle (Homage to Henri Rousseau), 2016. Photo:Tim Van Laere Gallery

Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  65

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Calendar


Thought For Food Global Summit 26 – 27 May Amsterdam, the Netherlands TFF brings together unconventional thinkers and doers from all disciplines and parts of the globe, who are dedicated to developing breakthrough solutions to one of the biggest questions facing our future: how do we feed over nine billion people by 2050?

Emerce- Digital Marketing Live! Photo: Peter Boer

IFN Forum Europe 9 – 10 May Luxembourg City, Luxembourg The IFN Forum Europe, organised by the REDmoney events, covers the area of Islamic finance in Europe and represents the growing Islamic finance markets across the continent. The Solar Future NL 18 May Baarn, The Netherlands This is a large networking event and inspirational platform for market leaders in solar energy. Over 200 top-level executives such as project developers, financiers, investors, and contractors will attend. European Business Summit annual meeting 22 – 23 May Brussels, Belgium The EBS annual event is one of the most far-reaching and influential debating and networking platforms in Europe. EBS gives business representatives the opportunity to engage in a dialogue where they 66  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

can demonstrate that their business can play a key part in the solutions needed in today’s sociopolitical context. Computation and Big Data in Transport 22- 24 May Brussels, Belgium This conference, organised by the International Center For Numerical Methods In Engineering, will cover areas like computational technology, storing of information and the decreasing costs of computer hardware. Brussels. Photo: Visit Flanders

Emerce: Digital Marketing Live! 1 June Amsterdam, the Netherlands One of the biggest event in the Benelux in the field of online advertising and marketing. Expect an abundance of activities such as lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and network opportunities. Instead of the regular stands, there will be round tables, allowing visitors to truly engage with each other.

Photo: European Business Summit

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Column

Are you authentic? Or should you try faking it? TEXT & PHOTO: STEVE FLINDERS

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) has a new set of leadership values. There are five of them: Authenticity, Vision, Ownership, Achievement and Collaboration. This is a big improvement on the 13 leadership dimensions that one major international food company used to have. I never once met an HR manager there who could name all of them in one go, although I guess this is fair enough as I can never remember the names of all of the Seven Dwarfs. So ILM passes one of the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) tests. It’s short; but is it simple? I understand that ‘Ownership’ nowadays is about taking responsibility and not your possessions. I assume that ‘Achievement’ is about getting things done. But what about ‘Authenticity’? I do not know whether I am authentic or not because I am not sure what it means. In any case, I am not sure I want to be authentic. The latest ILM magazine is not much help. It quotes Charles Hampden-Turner’s definition

of authenticity as being “what lies between people”. I will leave you to ponder that. Neena Dhaun in ILM Communications says she is authentic because she acts with integrity, builds trust and is open and honest. This does not fit the Oxford Dictionaries’ definition of ‘authentic’ which is “of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine” – nothing to do with values here. I guess the ILM is talking about being genuine but this does not convince me at all. Not only is ‘Authenticity’ lacking in transparency, but it also ignores a basic fact about becoming a leader: that when we lack the experience, knowledge, confidence or competence to do a job, we fake it. By this I mean that we pretend we know what we are doing. With determination we slowly master the sense of being an imposter and we learn from each new challenge successfully met. ‘Authenticity’ does not cover this at all and I do not think the ILM’s other values do either. Research done by Amy Cuddy and colleagues at Harvard validates my claim. In her

great TED talk on body posture, she tells us “you can make it if you can fake it” and “fake it until you become it”. So, I suggest that faking it gives us a more useful focus than authenticity. It certainly provides a new take on what George Burns said about sincerity: “If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” 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:

Discover Benelux  |  Senior Life  |  Luxembourg

All you need for a revitalising break TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: HOTEL BEL-AIR

With its idyllic setting surrounded by the beautiful countryside of ‘Little Switzerland’, Hotel Bel-Air in Echternach is the perfect get-away destination. Now, thanks to a recently launched package specifically for senior citizens, older guests can enjoy an all-inclusive stay complete with additional reassurances such as a night warden and personal alarm. Where better to indulge in some rest and relaxation? Elderly guests considering a temporary stay in a nursing home may like to consider Hotel Bel-Air’s new senior citizens package as a relaxing alternative. Perhaps you have an operation planned and are looking for somewhere to convalesce, or would simply like to enjoy a restful break in a secure and caring environment? “You can enjoy full-board accommodation and excellent care in beautiful surroundings,” explains Stéphanie Hein from the support and care network Päiperléck’s management team. Hein’s father Robert is director of the four-star Hotel Bel-Air, which offers 38 beautiful rooms decorated in a contemporary or country style. 68  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

The hotel is surrounded by a four-hectare park, while Luxembourg’s oldest city Echternach is only a short walk away. There, you will find an array of cultural attractions including a museum of prehistory and the remains of a large Roman villa. Highlights of Hotel Bel-Air include its impressive wellness centre complete with spring water pool, sauna, herbal steam baths and sensory shower. Meanwhile, gourmets will not be disappointed with the choice of three excellent restaurants where you can enjoy Luxembourgish specialties and modern French-influenced cuisine. “Whether you want to get away for a few days or stay for weeks or months, we offer everything you need for an enjoyable and restful break,” enthuses Hein.

‘Seniors Package’ In partnership with the Päiperléck support and care network, Hotel Bel-Air in Echternach offers its ‘Seniors Package’ which includes the following: A single or double room (type: Chambre Confort) with night warden and personal alarm. - Breakfast, three-course lunch, afternoon snack, two-course dinner. - Television - Water, tea and coffee included at your table - Room cleaned daily - Use of hotel swimming pool and wellness centre * Please note that there is a supplement for massages and balneotherapy, as well as for any personal laundry - Until 31 May 2017 there is a special price of 100 euros per day for one person, with the second person paying 70 euros per day - From 1 June 2017 the price will be 125 euros per day for one person, with the second person paying 70 euros per day Two-week tariff: 1,680 euros One-month tariff: 3,450 euros For further information please contact Isabelle Hein. Telephone: (+352) 26 65 86 686 Email:

Discover Benelux  |  Hotel of the Month  |  The Netherlands



City Resort exudes relaxation in the absolute broadest sense of the word. With Leiden’s Central Station almost literally on its doorstep, this haven of comfort has brought the joy of sleeping, eating and drinking, wellness, and sports all under one roof.

to 800 people. “Besides weekend trippers, City Resort serves as a perfect base for the business guest,” begins general manager Stoffel Verjaal. “Everything you need is right under one roof. And how better to end a long day of meetings than with a relaxing sauna trip before you head to bed?”

Consider yourself warned: once you step foot into a City Resort (formerly Fitland Hotel), you may not want to leave. This full-service location hosts a hotel, two restaurants, a splendid sauna and wellness centre, a full-service sports centre, and countless corporate facilities.

Restaurant Twelve takes full advantage of City Resort’s top location. Located on the 12th and top floor, Twelve boasts an à la carte menu with season-bound, accessible dishes. The restaurant can be exclusively hired and is ideal for meetings and business events. Ten stories down, guests will find The Second Level, a trendy bar and restaurant specialising in roast-grill dishes.

Opened in 2013, City Resort hotel counts 117 rooms, all offering every possible comfort. Think flat-screen TVs, rain showers, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms are located on the 11th and 12th floors, resulting in stunning views all around. City Resort puts a big focus on its excellent corporate facilities, and provides meeting rooms that can host up

The Vitae Wellness Resort, located on the 12th floor, is the heart of the hotel and absolutely stunning. It hosts several saunas, a hammam, herbal baths, and a beauty centre. “Instead of merely serving hotel visitors, our wellness clientele mainly

consists of external guests,” says Corine Nijtmans, manager at Vitae Wellness Resort. “We are everything but your standard hotel wellness centre.” Beautiful views are guaranteed: Vitae’s large swimming pool looks over the whole city of Leiden, while you can see all the way to the dunes from the panoramic sauna. Another way to blow off steam is at Fitland, the hotel’s sports centre, offering real fitness and group lessons with live instructors. Like the wellness centre, Fitland is a fully independent facility, strongly focussing on external guests and totally debunking the myth that hotels and modern sports centres do not mix. From the wonderful wellness centre (which is open until 11pm), to its proximity to Leiden’s best sights, to the endless flexible corporate facilities: City Resort in Leiden is the escape you sorely deserve. Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  69

Discover Benelux  |  Cultural Attraction of the Month  |  The Netherlands


Relive history at Neeltje Jans TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: NEELTJE JANS

With more than half of the Netherlands lying under sea level, the Dutch are known for their eternal struggle with water. The Delta Works in Zeeland were built to prevent reoccurrence of the 1953 flood disaster, which left the country shocked and partly in ruins. Deltapark Neeltje Jans is the worldfamous symbol of this struggle and has already attracted nearly ten million people with its fascinating combination of nature, culture, and technique. On the night of 31 January 1953, an enormous storm took place and the North Sea raged against the province of Zeeland, wiping out part of the Netherlands. At Neeltje Jans you can dive into the history of this infamous disaster – and relive it. Deltapark Neeltje Jans is located at the foot of the largest storm surge barrier in the world. In an innovative, accessible and lively way, you are told the story behind this immense structure, which was con70  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

structed after 1953 to keep the people of the Netherlands forever safe. Exhibitions, films and a visit to the storm surge barrier itself will give you an impression of the stupendous power of water. New is the Delta Experience, a complete reconstruction of the disastrous night in 1953. People come to view the storm surge barrier from as far away as America. But Neeltje Jans is more. Neeltje Jans is a full day of enjoyment, offering an abundance of family-fun activities involving the wonderful world of water, sea animals, and stunning nature. Animal lovers will love the seal show or the possibility to swim with sea lions - who do not shy away from kissing! The daredevils among us can take it one step further and swim with sharks. More sea animals can be admired at the fantastic aquarium or at Whale World. Not afraid to get your feet wet? Neeltje Jans knows that water is an inexhaustible source of

pleasure. The Waterpark ensures hours of water fun. The newly opened water playground is a feast for the little ones, while the exciting landslide invites the older ones to rush down as fast as they can. Neeltje Jans’ impressive boat tour is the ideal opportunity to sit back and relax. This one-hour trip lets you meet the unique nature of the Oosterschelde in a relaxing way. You might even spot some seals and harbour porpoises… For more information, please visit

Discover Benelux  |  Foodie Hotspot and Restaurant of the Month  |  The Netherlands


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

The sun shines on lunchroom Hofje Zonder Zorgen (‘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 a career in advertising for hospitality. She has every reason to speak passionately about Hofje Zonder Zorgen, which is set in a beautiful 15th century building surrounded by courtyards. The menu, made almost entirely in-house, is bursting with organic soups, sandwiches, salads, pies and fresh juices. Afternoon tea is available and there are numerous options for those with allergies. “I’m a storyteller,” says Jochemus. “Whether it’s about the local suppliers who deliver our coffee, tea or chocolate, or just a chat with guests, we value personal experiences and ex-

pect that from our multilingual team too. Some of our staff submits ideas for our menu. If approved, we name a sandwich after them.” There are several awards (such as TripAdvisor’s certificate of excellency) on display. Jochemus: “It adds to the compliments we get from our guests. We count on a great group of regulars who suggest our place to their friends. That keeps the ball rolling. We love welcoming people who are having a bad day and making them leave with a big smile.”

R E S TA U R A N T O F T H E M O N T H , T H E N E T H E R L A N D S


For 36 years, the people of Haarlem have known where to go for a night of authentic Greek goodness. Family restaurant Delphi has taken the art of Greek cooking to the Netherlands, spoiling guests with a menu full of authentic dishes and an unparalleled ambiance. Restaurant Delphi is helmed by Sophia Loli, her brother Stavros and her parents Sevasti and Spyridon, the latter moving from Epirus to the Netherlands in 1983 and luckily bringing one of the best parts of Greece with them. “Good food is an incredibly important part of the social Greek culture,” says Sophia. “My parents learned the art of cooking from their parents, and I learned it from them. Greek people love their food, and that is something you can really taste.” The menu is one long line of culinary highlights prepared via authentic family recipes, with

traditional oven dishes alongside fresh vegetable dishes and seafood. “Many think Greek cuisine uses a lot of meat, but although we can certainly appreciate high-quality meat dishes, Delphi also introduces people to the other side of the Greek cuisine, which includes lots of vegetables, fish, and fresh herbs.” Products such as feta, olive oil and herbs are sourced from Greece, as is the complete wine-list. Greece is traditionally known as a country where many families have their own vineyard. Restaurant Delphi offers possibilities for groups or companies to host their own Greek night. Sophia and her parents frequently organise Greek live music nights, which have become a popular staple in Haarlem. On those nights, with an Ouzo in your hand and traditional food on your plate, you will actually find yourself in Greece. Issue 41  |  May 2017  |  71



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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 41  |  May 2017  |  73

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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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Gino Anthonisse photography by Lisandro Suriel model Noah @ menfolkmanagement

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Castle Cannenburch. Photo: Geldersch Landschap & Kastelen

Out & About May might be our all-time favourite month. With the promise of the whole summer still in front of you and an ever-growing festival calendar, the opportunities to get out and celebrate seem endless. TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK

Photo: Hofje Zonder Zorgen

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Calendar Zee-eterij De Viskêête Month of May Yerseke, the Netherlands This charming restaurant and fish counter is an absolute dream for seafood lovers, serving everything from eel to fresh salads, and from beautiful oysters to dorado or lobsters alongside the most stunning views over the waters of National Park De Oosterschelde.

Chef Thomas Month of May Zandvoort, the Netherlands If you are visiting Zandvoort, you cannot miss Chef Thomas. The restaurant serves homemade and mostly organic Caribbean and international food in a warm Caribbean atmosphere.

Hotel & Brasserie Om de Noord Month of May 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.

Naturalis Month of May Leiden, the Netherlands 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.

Hofje Zonder Zorgen Month of May Haarlem, the Netherlands Situated right in the heart of the historic city centre of Haarlem, in a beautiful 15th century

Photo: Hotel & Brasserie Om de Noord

Art Nouveau in Brussels. Photo: Visit Flanders & Milo Profi

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building, Hofje Zonder Zorgen serves carefully selected organic products. Think delicious coffee and tea, but also homemade pies, lunch and high tea.

Photo: Hotel Het Galjoen

Photo: Hotel Almenum

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Rollende Keukens 24 – 28 May Amsterdam, the Netherlands From gastronomic deli carts to eccentric pizza wagons, and from peculiar barbecue campers to wheeled culinary queens: gourmets should know the way to this food festival.

Apollo Hotel Almere City Centre Month of May Almere, the Netherlands The central location and its modern, stylish allure make Apollo Hotel the perfect place to stay when visiting the vibrant city of Almere.

Oerrock 25 – 27 May Ureterp, the Netherlands What started off as a joke by 11 friends, has grown into a national renowned rock festival.

This year’s line-up lists big names such as Barry Hay, The Kik, and BZB.

Het Friese museum dorp Month of May Allingawier, the Netherlands The most romantic and original open-air museum in Friesland tells its visitors the adventurous tale of the old fisherman’s village of Allingawier.

Museum Schokland Month of May Schokland, the Netherlands Schokland is an unique natural and cultural monument that is symbolic of the traditional Dutch struggle against water. The museum provides indoor and outdoor exhibitions about geology, archaeology and history of the Noordoostpolder, Schokland and its inhabitants.

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Calendar Hotel Het Galjoen Month of May Dronten, the Netherlands Whether you are planning on visiting Amsterdam, Batavi Stad, 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.

Extrema Outdoor Belgium 2-4 June Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium Extrema was one of the first events to truly focus on dance music and made high waves in the Netherlands, followed by a launch in Belgium in 2011. Expect a weekend of the best house, tech-house and techno.

Hotel Almenum Month of May 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 the perfect backdrop for your holiday in Friesland.

Zee-eterij De Viskêête.

Chef Thomas.

Carlton Beach Hotel.

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Museum Schokland.


Geldersch Landschap & Kasteelen 1 April – 29 October 2017 Gelderland, the Netherlands The Veluwe in the Netherlands counts about 700 grave hills. The unique stories that are told by the archeological finds are brought together in an exhibition at the Castle Cannenburch, thanks to a collaboration between the National Museum of Antiquities and the municipality of Epe.

Victor Horta’s Centre for Fine Arts Until 31 August Brussels, Belgium Together with Henry Van de Velde, Belgian architect Victor Horta is considered to be the most important representatives of the Art Nouveau movement in Belgium. In this exhibition, you will become familiar with his perspective on Brussels.

Het Friese museumdorp. Photo: Aldfaers Erf

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Carlton Beach Hotel Month of May Scheveningen, the Netherlands 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.

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Columns


The joy of making


In Brussels, at the top of Rue de la Régence/ Regentschapsstraat, a stone’s throw from the Palace of Justice, behind an unassuming entrance, you will find a little collection of art galleries. On the ground floor of this cluster you will find the gallery Sorry We’re Closed, and inside you will find the madcap world of Eric Croes. Eschewing the restrictions of a highly conceptual practice, Croes delights in the sheer joy of making. Thrusting himself into his work with the enthusiasm of the amateur, and a do-it-yourself attitude, Croes’ ceramics are a magical, naïve trip through his wandering mind. For this particular exhibition, Abécédaire – To My Old Friends, Croes has given himself one simple rule from which to make work: the alphabet. He started by writing each letter on a page of a sketchbook, and then noted down his favourite words beginning with each letter. From here, he created the three-dimensional ceramics.

The results are beguiling. There are totem poles of snowmen and wine bottles, while gargoyles swim in kirsch and ketchup. Body parts are juxtaposed against musical instruments; an ankle supports a gorilla, and a tooth turns into a table. Fun is in abundance in this show. You can tell that this has been enjoyable for Croes to construct, and that feeling is infectious. You leave wanting to make and play yourself; to fool


around with clay, to splash paint around. All art can make you think, but not all art can have that effect on you. A brilliant show on view at Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels until May 20. 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.


Dark Roast This stout is a smooth, easily drinkable craft beer with a distinct but by no means overpowering coffee flavour. It won the Netherlands gold medal at the World Beer Awards of 2016, in the flavoured stout and porter category. Brewed in Utrecht by the vandeStreek Bier microbrewery, whose output is now widely available in specialist beer stores, Dark Roast has none of the heaviness of well-known Irish stouts. This recipe, which features Magnum hops and coffee roasted at Utrecht’s Het Koffielab, was developed in 2010 when Ronald and Sander van de Streek were still experimenting with brewing at home. Over the next couple of years, they raised capital by crowdfunding via presales of their beers, which were released

onto the market in May 2013. Over the past four years they have made stellar progress, picking up a total of three golds at last year’s World Beer Awards. Black in colour, Dark Roast is an aromatic beer. Liquorice undertones add depth to the rich scent of coffee. It feels velvety on the tongue and is surprisingly fruity. If you are used to stouts with a bitter aftertaste, be prepared for the pleasant, sweet finish of this brew. It is a well-balanced beer with sufficient flavour and character to savour and enjoy. Yet it slips down easily. If it was not for the prodigious strength of Dark Roast, there is every chance it could be a quirky session drink. This is one of the few beers that pairs well with a slice of traditional Dutch apple pie.

Brewer: vandeStreek Bier Strength: Eight 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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Musically discovering… Aafke Romeijn TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTO: AAFKE ROMEIJN

Aafke Romeijn is singer, journalist and writer. Three passions that she seems to have effortlessly intertwined: Romeijn’s music reflects her inspiration sourced from daily life as well as hot political issues. Her latest EP Versplintering op Rechts (Shattering on the Right) was released in March, and serves up more of Romeijn’s unique sound. More than enough reason for Discover Benelux to catch up with the Utrecht-based musician. Congrats on the new EP! You chose an interesting title… Thanks! The title, aimed at our current political landscape, shows what I love about the Dutch language; imagery. Our language hosts so many interesting expressions that perfectly lend themselves for my music. I have sung in English too, but express myself more freely and easily in Dutch. How is Versplintering op Rechts different from your earlier work? With every new project, I want to try out something different; a new sound, playing 82  |  Issue 41  |  May 2017

different musical instruments. That way I keep developing myself. You are a journalist too. Do you find the inspiration for your music and writing in the same place? Inspiration is everywhere: from little things happening in my everyday life, to societal issues that wind me up. I am interested in so many different things: science, television series, music, and so on. I basically want to express what I am thinking or feeling: sometimes that is via text, sometimes via music. Why did you start making music? I come from a musical family: both my parents are musicians. I went to the Conservatory to play harp. After finding out that classical was not really for me, I founded a band with some girls from school and that got the ball rolling. Best recent musical discovery? Childish Gambino, originally a stand-up comedian. His music is absolutely unique.

Is there a particular show of yours that really stands out? Eurosonic Noorderslag: we rehearsed like crazy for that show, and it went so well! The release show for my third album, where everyone specifically came to see me play, was pretty amazing too. What does the future hold? First I am going on tour with Sef (a Dutch pop artist and rapper). Since we made a song together a while ago, we have been working together every now and then. And of course, continuing to make music!

AAFKE’S RECORD COLLECTION: Britney Spears – Glory Moderat – III Jay Z – Magna Carta... Holy Grail Nada Surf – High/Low Cloud Nothing – Attack on Memory