Discover Benelux, Issue 55, July 2018

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I S S U E 5 5 | J U LY 2 018









Your Shortcut to Benelux

S n a cks

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Discover Benelux  |  Contents

Contents JULY 2018





In our guide to East Flanders, we give tips on

Jorik Hendrickx

what to do in beautiful Ghent and the ‘City of

We chat to the talented figure-skating champi-

Art’ Oudenaarde, as well as cycling routes and

on Jorik Hendrickx, who shares his experience

breweries worth visiting in the region.

with recovering from injuries and social isolation, and explains how he has found balance


in life thanks to a plan B.



18 10

ness, as well as profiling the companies you need to know about.

Belgium has fries, beer and chocolate, but there is so much more to discover. For instance,


mouth-watering pastries, velvety ice-cream,



ised by the utilisation of natural colours and textured fibres from rare Drenthe Heath sheep,

Waterlooplein and bustling Rembrandtplein,

and they invite people to consider and enter

we present our favourite addresses in the very

debate about agricultural production methods.

heart of the Dutch capital.


Spotlight on Amsterdam Zuid & West Amsterdam-West is a vibrant melting pot brimming with culture whilst, with its grand manor

Claudy Jongstra The works by Claudy Jongstra are character-

Amsterdam City Centre Special From the iconic canal district to bohemian


Company profiles, regulars and more We look at the month ahead in Benelux busi-

(Hand)Made in Belgium

and delicious elderflower liqueur.

Discover East Flanders

6 77

Fashion Picks  |  8 Desirable Designs Out & About  | 90 Columns

houses, fine restaurants and designer boutiques,


Amsterdam-Zuid has long been one of the capital’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  3

Discover Benelux  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux Issue 55, July 2018 Published 07.2018 ISSN 2054-7218 Published by Scan Group Print Liquid Graphic Ltd Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Malin Norman Copy-editor Karl Batterbee Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia

Matt Antoniak Michiel Stol Simon Willmore Steve Finders Stuart Forster Xandra Boersma Cover Photo RIPA-PHOTO.COM Sales & Key Account Managers Mette Tonnessen Katia Sfihi Micha Cornelisse Petra Foster 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:

Contributors Berthe van den Hurk Eddi Fiegel Ella Put Frank van Lieshout Lorenza Bacino

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

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

4  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

In this issue of Discover Benelux, we chat to a true Olympian! The talented Belgian figure-skater Jorik Hendrickx shares with us some of the challenges he has been facing in his career, such as recovering from injuries and battling with social isolation. And he explains how he has managed to turn things around, and actually become even better; by working out a plan B. We can all get inspired by his story and tips for finding balance in life. Inspiration is also plentiful in our two packed Amsterdam specials; one for the vibrant city centre and one for the serene south and the wild west. Plus, the stories about handmade delicacies in our theme about Belgian flavours will get those tastebuds tingling for sure. Why not follow the advice of the wise Jorik and try something new, perhaps a new museum or exhibition, a cycling route you have yet to discover, or treat yourself to a whole new, tasty summer indulgence? Also, our guide to East Flanders has plenty for the curious to discover and for the foodies to taste. For instance, we give tips for beer lovers who want to explore the area including a visit to the world-famous Liefmans Brewery in Oudenaarde with the legendary first female brewmaster in Belgium, Rosa Merckx. Another female brewer who is brewing up a storm is Annick De Splenter, who founded Gruut Brewery in the heart of Ghent. Read more about them, and other stories, in the inspiring July issue! Malin Norman, Editor

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks


Dreaming of denim Denim is a trend all year round, but, in summer, it really flourishes. Whether it is denim jeans, jackets or skirts, or more than one item at once, even - denim is the way to go this summer. TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PRESS PHOTOS

Cold nights No matter how hot it is during the day, it is never a bad idea to carry around a jacket for when it gets colder in the evening. Especially a denim jacket like this beauty. € 139

Proud as a peacock Seeing a peacock strut around with its feathers out makes no one question the saying ‘proud as a peacock’. Be your very own peacock with these trainers on your feet. € 116,99

Dress up! Denim does not have to be casual per se. Combine this blouse with a pencil skirt and you will be ready for either that important meeting or a fancy dinner. € 100 6  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks

For fancy occasions Just like in women’s fashion, men can also wear a denim looking shirt on fancy occasions. Pair this one with a neat pair of trousers and you will steal the show for sure. € 119,95

All-time favorite There is no better summer attire than a denim blouse. You can count on this item to be on trend every year. So what are you waiting for? € 69,95

Casual Friday Casual, yet not too casual. This is the look that this pair of trainers will do for you. The suede fabric gives them a luxurious feel, while at the same time guaranteeing absolute comfort. € 159,90 Nubikk via Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  7

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Desirable Designs


Colourful summer Nothing brightens up a room like a bouquet of flowers. It is not always easy to care for them, but luckily, there are plenty of creative ways to add flowers to your interior. Even if you do not have green fingers. TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PRESS PHOTOS

5. A relaxing cup of tea Did you know that it is apparently better for you to drink tea instead of cold water if you wish to cool down when it is hot outside? No encouragement needed, when you have this cute little pot ready. € 3,50



1. Let the light shine bright Even in summer, those long nights require an extra bit of lighting at some point. Lighten up any room or outdoor area with this porcelain, flower-shaped candle holder. € 4,99

3. 3. Crazy vase How to cheer up a boring corner in your room? With flowers in crazy vases of course. Whether the flowers are real or artificial, these vases will make them pop. Side table: € 36,40 Vase: € 7,99

2. 2. Cheers! Whatever you might be drinking, it always feels like it tastes better from a well designed, eye-catching glass. Like this pink one engraved with small flowers. € 0,99 8  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018


5. Custom coziness A flower print will add an instant summer vibe to your couch or chair. And when it takes the form of a luxurious cushion, you get to enjoy the combination of style and comfort, fashion and function. € 39

Commune de Boussu

Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium


Belgian flavours Belgium has fries, beer and chocolate, but there is so much more to discover. For instance, mouth-watering pastries, velvety ice-cream, and delicious elderflower liqueur. TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: VISIT FLANDERS

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Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

Handmade in Belgium Famous for its high level of traditional skills, Belgium is bursting at the seams with passionate creators who are involved on a daily basis with crafting materials into unique pieces. Through the Handmade in Belgium label, UNIZO recognises the producers of genuine, traditional quality products and places modern, traditional craftsmen and women in the spotlight. The organisation also aims to develop a broader platform, raise awareness and encourage young people to embark on trade-related training. In these times of digitalisation, handicraft is a popular topic in media with a ‘do it your-

self’ trend and the comeback of all things handmade. Many consumers search for authentic products and are fascinated with how a particular handicraft or technique is mastered. The skills of crafters and how they work with their hands, the instruments of their souls, intrigue us. And handmade products carry the fragrances of wood, leather or textiles – made with passion and skill. Enjoy the discovery.

For more information about the Handmade in Belgium label, go to

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Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium



We asked Visit Flanders for their top five foodie tips: Cuberdons The cuberdon is a typical sweet from East Flanders made by Confiserie Geldhof. The cuberdon has to be eaten fresh, otherwise the shell becomes too crispy. RoomeR The elderflower-flavoured drink from Ghent is ideal as an aperitif, cocktail or even as an accompaniment for dessert. RoomeR is 100% natural Belgian craftsmanship. Waterzooi Waterzooi is a classic stew from Flanders made of fish, chicken or vegetables with

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herbs, eggs, cream and butter, and usually served as a soup with a baguette to sop up the liquid. ‘t Dreupelkot This small jenever pub in the heart of Ghent has more than 200 kinds of Belgian jenever, a number of which are homemade, like the world-famous vanilla version. Groot Vleeshuis The former butcher’s hall in Ghent offers a wide variety of East Flemish regional products, and the restaurant serves traditional dishes freshly made with local products.

For more culinary tips, take a look at

Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

W E S H O W C A S E T H E B E L G I A N B R A N D S Y O U N E E D T O K N O W A B O U T. Corbello & Callistino Melissa Ruberecht is one of the few female coffee roasters in Belgium and founder of Callistino Coffee Roasters in Brasschaat. Read more on page 14 Cremerie François Ever since 1928, Cremerie François has been famous for its ice cream, which still wins awards on a regular basis. Read more on page 16 De Kazerij De Kazerij’s cheese, Flandrien, has recently been crowned the best cheese in the world during the World Cheese Awards. Read more on page 17 Bakkerij Van Hoorick Belgium Bakery van Hoorick is a true family business where bread and pastries are made with love and a lot of knowledge. Read more on page 18 RoomeR Whilst the flavour of the sweet elderflower aperitif RoomeR is unique, the story behind it is just as special. Read more on page 18

Corbello & Callistino

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Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium


Coffee. For many people it is the way to get their day started. But it is so much more than just an energiser. “A perfect cup of espresso can really make your day,” says Melissa Ruberecht, one of the few female roasters in Belgium and founder of Callistino Coffee Roasters in Brasschaat. Ruberecht has always been inspired by Italy; its culture, its products and its cuisine. No wonder she started a company called Corbello, to import all these amazing products 23 years ago, including espresso machines. “You have to keep in mind that in that time coffee, and more specifically espresso, wasn’t as big as it 14  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

is today, especially here in Belgium. The right coffee beans to create the best espresso didn’t really exist,” she explains. That has changed of course; there are many different local coffee roasts now. But surrounding countries are a bit further ahead when it come to the coffee culture. “To be honest, I am a bit jealous of the Dutch coffee culture,” she confesses. “They really value coffee, not just as a starter for the day but also as part of dinner. And it has to be good. Here in Belgium, we tend to take coffee more for granted.” So, in 2005, Ruberecht decided to roast her own coffee beans. “I just wanted peo-

ple to enjoy real Italian espresso, bought a roaster and started roasting the beans here in the shop. I went back to school to become a master roaster, to be able to offer the best quality beans in the country.” And so Callistino Coffee Roasters was born. It now sells 14 different kinds of coffee: four melanges and ten original roasts, each with its own roasting profile. “The beans are slow roasted and the roaster is air cooled, which keeps the aromas better preserved. As for the rest of the process? That is of course my little secret,” Ruberecht smiles. Callistino Coffee Roasters has been awarded with the Handmade In Belgium award.

Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

Coffee is personal But what makes an espresso perfect? “It’s something very personal and depends on all kinds of factors,” Ruberecht begins. “There are some ground rules though, like making sure that the beans are fresh, and not kept in a cupboard for several months. A preheated cup is important, as is making sure that the espresso has a perfect crema layer. But the rest, like how big or small the espresso is and what kind of roast to use, is up to you. Personally, I favour small espressos of 40 millilitres.” The roaster is in-store, so anyone curious about the roasting process is more than welcome to visit the Callistino Coffee Roasters shop in Brasschaat, just north of Antwerp. “Here, we roast on a regu-

lar basis, as we are not just roasting for ourselves. Our coffee and espressos are enjoyed in offices and small coffee bars around the country,” Ruberecht elaborates. “Instead of using vending machines, our corporate clients want their staff to enjoy their day at the office. A good cup of coffee definitely helps.” In the store, there is also a small bar, where customers can taste the coffees Callistino Coffee Roasters has to offer. Ruberecht: “This way, we can help you find what you want. We can also advise you on what type of espresso machine fits you, semi or fully automatic machines.” Ruberecht wants to make Belgium a great coffee country. “This is why we

have launched a range of coffee for Nespresso machines. There are seven different flavours, or colours, in biodegradable cups.” The whole process is also in-store, so when you visit you not only can watch how the coffee is made, but also the entire filling line. Making people drink great espresso made with honest products and perfectly roasted coffee beans is what it is all about for Callistino Coffee Roasters. “I made my hobby into a job: spreading my love for Italian espresso all over Belgium and beyond.”


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  15

Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

Ice cream to fall in love with TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK  |  PHOTOS: CREMERIE FRANÇOIS

‘Made with love’ may sound quirky and clichéd, but there is no other way to describe the ice cream at Cremerie François in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. Ever since 1928, the shop has been famous for its ice cream, which still wins awards on a regular basis. The founder, François, started with just two flavours; mocha and vanilla. At the time, the shop had four tables and was located a few doors away from their current location. Nowadays, it holds space for 180 people, including an outdoor terrace. The number of customers and distributors has increased over the last 90 years, but the true legacy lives on. The current owners Christophe Penneman and Lies Van de Casserie still use François’ original recipe and they carefully develop the business, choosing quality over quantity. “We have up to nine flavours available each day,” says Van de Casserie. “There are a few regular ones such as vanilla, mocha, chocolate and pistachio. The 16  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

rest depend on the season, quality of the ingredients and the daily inspiration of Christophe. We have a limited menu to protect the quality of our products.” The ice cream is freshly made every day and all ingredients are carefully selected, many from local sources. Eggs, butter or any additives are never an option for them and coulis and sauces are homemade as well. They pasteurise the raw milk themselves too. This is how Cremerie François controls the processes from start to end product, and maintains its pure and high-quality products. The dedication and attention of the couple is unrivalled. Everything they do is for the love of their ice cream and the satisfaction of their customers. Penneman’s parents, who are the previous owners of the ice cream shop, are still often present and willing to help or give advice. Van de Casserie: “The best part of our job is that most people are excited because they can enjoy ice cream. We are surrounded by happy people every day.”

The kitchen and the cake workshop are equipped with windows so customers can see the inner workings of the ice cream making. For those who want to learn more about the secrets of Cremerie François, guided tours for businesses, classes, groups, etc. are available by appointment.


Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

Extraordinary, prize-winning cheese TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PHOTOS: DE KAZERIJ

Like Gouda cheese, yet much smoother. This is the result of manual production and a respect for ripening time. A combination that has brought De Kazerij its award-winning cheese; Flandrien. From stirring the curd to pressing the cheese and placing it in a brine bath for four days; everything at De Kazerij is done manually. No machinery is necessary. “On the contrary,” owner Jan Desmet explains, “everything that contributes to the taste and texture of the cheese, we do by hand. We don’t want to risk anything by leaving it up to machines.”

“After number nine we were pretty much sure that we had found the perfect one, but to be sure, we kept on trying.” That number nine turned into Flandrien, a name Desmet came up with during a bike ride. “Flandrien is actually a cyclist with character and perseverance. Just like our cheese is one with character.” Confirmation of finding the right recipe was handed to De Kazerij a year later, when Flandrien was crowned the best cheese in the world during the World Cheese Awards. It is not just the manual way of producing

that makes this an award-winning cheese. It also has to do with respect for the ripening time. “We never rush. Our mature cheese ripens for six months, that’s more than a regular mature Gouda. The old version of Flandrien ripens for 12 and the Grand Cru 18 months. This gives the cheese a truly unique taste. We’re slow cheesemakers. You can even go so far as to say Flandrien is ‘slow cheese’.” Web:

Desmet knows his cheese; he grew up with it. His grandfather had a wholesale firm in cheese, which his father and Desmet eventually took over. It was not until 2011 that Desmet started his own cheese factory, however, with cheese produced under the watchful eye of a dairy technologist. “We started experimenting as we wanted a Gouda cheese with an extraordinary taste, the Belgium variant, so to speak.” No less than 45 experiments were done, good for 15 different kinds of cheese. Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  17

Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

The best of bread Belgium Bakery van Hoorick is a true family business where bread and pastries are made with love and a lot of knowledge. Yet, it also could well serve as a bright look into the future. With its delicious classic pastries - some filled with the famous Belgium chocolate - and tasty, crispy bread made from scratch, Bakery van Hoorick offers up the perfect mix of craftsmanship and experience. “Our strength lies in the fact that we work with only the best of ingredients. Our aim is to make each pastry a delicious and goodlooking treasure,” co-owner Jade Strobbe explains. Known for its long heritage, the bakery was originally founded in 1855 before it was passed on to the family, who has been running the bakery for eight generations. And with time comes knowledge and, of course, craftsmanship. “You could buy bread in the supermarket. But you could also get bread at a bakery, which is crispy, delicious and made with love. This makes a big difference, we differentiate ourselves with this,” Strobbe explains.


Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Antwerp, customers with a sweet tooth or a love for bread can find the cute little bakery in the town of Melsele. The mouth-watering pastries in the shop’s window, the authentic history and their way of working creates a unique atmosphere in the bakery situated in the Belgium countryside. Furthermore, the bakery is run by Strobbe and her partner Thomas, alongside a team of passionate bakers. “We have a clear vision for the future, we would like to reunite different kinds of craftsmanship under one roof. For example, working with a butcher, so we can offer healthy lunches where even the smallest details are made with the greatest love for the profession. Reuniting craftsmanship, that’s our goal.”


Unparalleled taste: every flower is a wish TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK  |  PHOTOS: ROOMER

Neither a wine nor a liqueur, what is it then? “An aperitif made with elderflower,” says Jeroen Michels, owner and co-founder of RoomeR. But RoomeR is actually much more than just that. RoomeR is slightly sweet with an explosion of elderflower, followed by a hint of muscat grape and a pleasant acidity, and the vermouth tones deliver a dry yet full aftertaste. Whilst the flavour of RoomeR is unique, the story behind it is just as special. It all started when Michels was 15 years old. He liked chemistry and started experimenting with his brother in their grandmother’s basement. The brothers incorporated granny Maria’s family recipe for elderflower lemonade in their chemical experiments, and eventually invented RoomeR. “It’s a hobby that got out of hand,” Michels laughs.

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The business took off and these days, RoomeR’s recognition goes far beyond its hometown Ghent - not only for its distinguished flavour, but also for the conscious production. The handmade products are proof of true craftsmanship from start to finish; the elderflowers are grown in a sustainable way, there are no preservatives, flavourings or colour agents added in the production process, and they use eco-friendly packaging and transport. “Our entire bottling process is manual,” explains Michels. “Each bottle contains around 65 elderflowers and they are added by hand, using tweezers.” In addition to its eco focus, RoomeR also often works with special needs students and social workshops. Michels: “We consciously choose sustainable ways of doing business. Overall we emphasise quality, not only in the product itself but in everything surrounding the production process.”


Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination


Summer in the city Never is Amsterdam more alive than in the summer. With its cobbled streets and scenic canals bathing in sunshine, the centre of the Dutch capital is the perfect setting to lose yourself in a maze of cafés and restaurants, world-class museums and peaceful parks. TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

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Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

Beurs van Berlage.

Dam, Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein area The areas around the Dam Square and Nieuwmarkt are the oldest parts of the city, dating back to the 13th century. Nowadays known as the Damrak, the proximity to the port made this spot popular with seamen, merchants, scholars and regents in the Golden Age as they got together and discussed their adventures overseas. Fast forward 400 years, and the area has lost none of its liveliness. While this part of Amsterdam used to be mainly known for its (in)famous Red Light District (De Wallen), many streets have undergone major transformations and are now home to some of the country’s most prestigious hotels and restaurants. Although Dam Square is often overshadowed by some of the more scenic places, it hosts famous and unmissable sites such as the Royal Palace, De Nieuwe Kerk and the National Monument. A mere stone’s throw away and located in the heart of Chinatown lies Nieuwmarkt. Once an open canal, Nieuwmarkt’s location just inside the old city gate made it a desirable spot for merchants and tradesmen. Nowadays the square is a vibrant marketplace with coffee shops, a daily market, restaurants, and loads of quirky shops.

Keen to do some bargain shopping? Leave behind the chain shops and crowds at the Kalverstraat near Dam Square and head to Waterlooplein. You are guaranteed to find some hidden treasures at this square, which holds the largest daily flea market in the city. Unlike Dam Square, Waterlooplein still draws lots of locals, and stepping into any café in the area will immerse you in a true Amsterdam vibe.

its numerous outdoor cafés and street performers is renowned for its nightlife, as is Leidseplein with its famous nightclubs and the iconic city theatre (Stadsschouwburg). When the Dutch football club AFC Ajax have a big win they can often be seen on the theatre’s steps to celebrate and enjoy the applause of their supporters.

Where better to start when exploring Amsterdam than Dam Square? With its stunning classical facade, the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) dominates. Originally built as the town hall, it is used for various royal events but remains open to the public most of the year. You can learn all about the square’s dramatic history at Amsterdam Museum (Kalverstraat 92). The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) is also located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace. Despite its name, the church was actually built in the 15th century, and is no longer used as a church but rather as an exhibition space. Another not-to-be-missed square is Rembrandtplein, particularly if you want to witness, or partake in, some serious partying. This vibrant square with

Rembrandt House, Amsterdam.

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  21

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

Gay Pride Amsterdam.

Gay Pride Amsterdam.

Gay Pride Amsterdam.

Gay Pride Amsterdam.

Amstel, Rembrandtplein and Canal District area Rembrandtplein is a majorly popular square and considered to be one of the centres of Amsterdam’s extensive nightlife, with busy cafés, clubs and the renowned Tuschinski theatre nearby. Although the locals often skip the Rembrandtplein for the less crowded spots, the square is an unmissable stop when visiting Amsterdam. Fun fact: originally being a dairy market place, Rembrandtplein was known as the Botermarkt (Butter Market) until the establishment of Rembrandt’s statue in 1876. For those who cannot get enough of Amsterdam’s scenic waterways, the river Amstel flows just minutes away from Rembrandtplein. With its stunning boulevard full of elegant cafés, restaurants and exquisite theatres such as Carré, walking along the Amstel on a warm summer evening is the epitome of enjoyment. Need a breather from the busy city streets? Somewhat east of the Rembrandtplein 22  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

lies the Plantage neighbourhood. Often dubbed as Amsterdam’s most green central area due to the spacious parks, wonderful boulevards and waterside terraces, it is the ideal spot to seek more peaceful grounds. Do not miss city zoo Artis, the Portuguese Synagogue and Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. The Canal District is everything people expect of Amsterdam: a watery wonderland of iconic canals. Being a remnant of the Dutch Golden Age, the pictureperfect canals have always been of great historical and cultural value, originally created for transport of residents, water management and defence. The city has over 100 kilometres of canals, the main three being Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht. Besides guided canal tours, there are many companies that rent out private boats. So take your picnic basket, cold drinks and sunscreen, and enjoy Amsterdam in the best way possible – from the water.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Julidans 2-15 July There are more than 300 festivals held in Amsterdam every year, so there truly is something to suit all tastes. Julidans is a festival for international contemporary dance which takes places annually at various venues in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Gay Pride 28 July - 5 August Celebrate Dutch tolerance and diversity at Gay Pride Amsterdam: a huge celebration of devotion towards equality for the gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex communities. The Human Rights concert takes place every year at Dam Square. Dam tot Damloop 22-23 September This major event gathers thousands of runners and some top world athletes taking on either the ten or five English miles. They will be encouraged by some 250,000 spectators.

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

DO NOT MISS: Rembrandt House Museum At the height of his career, renowned Dutch Golden Age artist Rembrandt van Rijn lived in this house located just off Waterlooplein. Currently it holds a museum dedicated to both Rembrandt’s life and his work.

Mozes & Aäronkerk Located on Amsterdam’s Waterlooplein, the Mozes en Aäronkerk (Moses and Aaron Church) has an incredibly rich history. The current church was consecrated in 1841, built next door to the site of a long-standing secret Catholic church. Definitely worth a visit!

Rembrandt Square, Amsterdam.

Beurs van Berlage This impressive building houses Amsterdam’s stock exchange and is widely considered the Netherlands’ most important example of 20th century architecture. Opened in 1903, it gets its name from renowned Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage who was responsible for the design.

Jazz at the Plantage Summertime and jazz is always a superb combination. During the whole summer, the Hermitage Amsterdam and the Jewish Cultural Quarter organise weekly jazz concerts in the Hermitage courtyard and in the Orangerie of the Hortus gardens.

Cafe ‘ The Stork‘, Amsterdam.


I amsterdam City Card: enjoy free unlimited transport, free entry to Amsterdam’s best museums and attractions, and great discounts. Also usable for trips to neighbouring towns around Amsterdam. Prices depend on the length of your stay – choose from a 24, 48, 72 or 96–hour card.

Beurs van Berlage.

Start planning your trip to Amsterdam now, at

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Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination


Have you always wanted to be an inventor? Touch everything in a museum with your hands? Or even better: discover and invent in a museum? Then NEMO is the place to be. At the new exhibition, you can discover the world of machines in the coolest museum of the Benelux. Situated not far from the bustling city centre of Amsterdam, is the museum of NEMO, which is a striking building in itself. Rising high above the skyline of Amsterdam, the enormous sea-coloured building houses an incredible world of science. Visitors of all ages can immerse themselves in laboratories, scientific workshops and fun experiments whilst learning more about science and technology. Rather than just providing its visitors with information, NEMO stimulates their curiosity by letting everyone participate in challenging and fun workshops and quirky experiments. “We want to encourage our visitors to ask themselves questions about 24  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

technology, and not just give them information. We want them to join us in the process,” Jasper Ongkiehong of the NEMO’s marketing and communication department explains. To make science and technology interesting for everyone, the museum offers a diverse, wide range of permanent and interactive collections on topics varying from water to puberty, lightning and many things in between. At NEMO you can do almost everything: become a professor or cycle into the universe. From 7 July until 2 September, visitors can experience NEMO’s brand new workshops and exhibition at the Family Maker Space, where they can discover the power of machines. Find out more about the power of a pulley, design a grabber or discover how a machine can make drawings. In the middle of the Family Maker Space, one gigantic installation will be exhibited, and, of course, visitors are allowed to touch everything.

Last but not least, NEMO is also home to the highest city square in Amsterdam. Situated on the rooftop of the beautiful building is the open-air exhibition Energetica, alongside a large terrace and restaurant. The exhibition shares information about wind, sun and sustainable energy. And, learning whilst doing, do not forget to take a moment to take in the mesmerising view over the Dutch capital. The rooftop is open until 21.00 each night this summer with a live music night on Thursday.



AMSTERDAM | MAX EUWEPLEIN 57-61 | +31 20 5237625 ©2018 Hard Rock International (USA), Inc. All rights reserved.


Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

See the world in colour When visiting Amsterdam this summer, take the opportunity to check out vibrant colour photography from before 1918, now showing at the Allard Pierson Museum. The Allard Pierson Museum is the archaeology museum of the University of Amsterdam. Here, in the heart of the city centre, ancient civilisations of ancient Egypt, the Near East, the Greek World, Etruria and the Roman Empire come to life. This summer, visitors have the opportunity to check out the vibrant exhibition The World in Colour: Colour Photography before 1918. According to museum director Wim Hupperetz, “photography is very appealing to people, and this is a mix of a cultural and historical collection in collaboration with a network of museums, highlighting early colour photography.” When colour photography became available, French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn hired photographers to capture the world in colour pictures. His project Les Archives de la Planète, started in 1908, was born from an idea of mutual respect and world peace that is in

stark contrast to the horrors of World War I that began a few years later. “Kahn was ahead of his time and quite idealistic,” says Hupperetz, and continues: “his archive is still very much current and raises questions that we also need to discuss in our times, such as cultural diversity. Not many people know that colour photography existed this early on and for many visitors, the exhibition will be an eye-opener.” As of June, the Allard Pierson Museum exhibits a selection of Kahn’s treasures. Also on view are colour photos by Sergey ProkudinGorsky from Russia and Dutch photographers such as Bernard Eilers and Jacob Olie, Jr. This Alphonse Burdet. Photo: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam


is the first exhibition in the Netherlands displaying these historical, colourful and often poignant pictures from a hundred years ago. The World in Colour: Colour Photography before 1918 is open until January 2019. Opening hours: Tue–Fri 10 am–5 pm Sat–Sun 1–5 pm


Stéphane Passet, 1913. Photo: Collection Archives de la Planète - Musée Albert-Kahn/ Département des Hauts-de-Seine

An oasis of peace and tranquillity in central Amsterdam TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTOS: GOLDEN TEMPLE

Just a stone’s throw from the hubbub of central Rembrandtplein lies one of Amsterdam’s oldest vegetarian and vegan restaurants. With its 30-year history, Golden Temple named after the Sikh temple in Amritsar, North India - prides itself on promoting unity of body and mind, not just through its dishes, but also through meditation and yoga lessons that are on offer in the space above the dining area. All dishes are vegetarian and there is a generous selection of vegan options. Some new additions to the menu include a vegetarian tikka masala served with vegetables and tofu, Japanese vegetable skewers, some new pizza ideas and a couple of Mexican dishes. All the old favourites are still on offer too. As for drinks, there is a wide selection of Indian, Japanese and Dutch beers as well as organic Spanish and French wines. 26  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

Do not forget to cast your eyes over the colourful wall art. Amsterdam artist Marileen Arbouw spent two years painstakingly decorating the interior, with free-flowing ideas and much patience. Golden Temple can seat about 65-70 guests on two levels in a super relaxing atmosphere. For example, you will find comfy Arabic-style sofas on the upper-floor lounge area. The owners are very open to your per-

sonal preferences too. On Fridays, there is live music, and be sure to check the website for yoga and meditation classes. Opening hours: 5pm-10pm every night


Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

A corner of Turkish deliciousness TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTO: RESTAURANT ALI OCAKBAŞI

When talking about Turkish food, most people will think about a kebab after a night out. But the Turkish cuisine has so much more to offer, which is what restaurant Ali Ocakbaşi wants to show. “You will taste the rich culture in our food,” promises Orhan Demir, chef at Ali Ocakbaşi in Amsterdam. The rich, unique and luscious Anatolian cuisine culture, which has existed for thousands of years, still manifests itself in different flavours throughout every corner of modern Turkey. “It’s all about high-quality meat dishes prepared by hand with typical Turkish herbs and spices, that give our food its unparalleled taste,” Demir continues. “That’s why we don’t order anything pre-prepared. I prepare all the dishes myself, so I know that our guests will get the best.” Ali Ocakbaşi (in front of the grill) opened its doors in Amsterdam in 2015, on the corner of the Herengracht and the Utrechtsestraat, just a stone’s throw

away from the famous Rembrandt Square. “This is one of four restaurants. We have two in Istanbul, one in London and this one. We place our restaurants at high-end locations, so that people understand what we stand for: high quality,” explains Demir. And the quality is well recognised. Holland’s most famous food and restaurant critic, the late Johannes van Dam, awarded Demir with 9.5/10 points for his quality food. “I will keep on working to uphold the honour that Mr. Van Dam gave to me.” Most guests that come for the first time are pleasantly surprised about the richness of the Anatolian cuisine. “When you dine at a grill restaurant, most of the time you will only be served meat. Not in our establishment. Vegetables like paprika and onions are a big part of the cuisine. As well as bread. You can’t eat Turkish dishes without bread,” proclaims Demir. That is why he always serves it with his speciality: shashliks, prepared with his homemade sauce.

“Our goal is to represent the genuine Anatolian cuisine outside of Turkey as perfectly as we can with delicacies mostly from the heart of Anatolia. Our Amsterdam restaurant serves as the ultimate proof of our dedication,” Demir explains. “This location is our perfect corner of Turkish deliciousness,” he smiles.


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  27

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

Contemporary bistro-style dining TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: KAAGMAN & KORTEKAAS

Kaagman & Kortekaas is a hotspot on the Amsterdam food scene. It is well-deserved too, as this bistro-style venue is popular for its tasty food combinations and fabulous wines. The restaurant is named after its owners Giel Kaagman and Bram Kortekaas, who met in the midst of their culinary careers: Giel as a chef, Bram as a maître d’and sommelier. With an education in classic French dining, Giel prepares traditional dishes with a modern twist, while Bram makes sure only the best wines find their way to the restaurant. Opened in 2015, it quickly became a success with great reviews and is still going strong. The menu is inspired by the contemporary bistros in Paris and based on what is currently in season and available in the local market, often combining new and interesting flavours. “Our guests are often surprised,” admits Kortekaas. “For instance, we serve

Dutch lobster with Dutch rabbit, a combination that works really well. We try to make food more accessible, not to shock guests but rather give them a great fine-dining experience they might not have expected, and in a casual setting.” Chef Kaagman explains that the menu changes every week. “We still have the same concept and ideas for our restaurant, but it’s important that our menu develops and incorporates seasonal and sustainable produce. Every week, we have six new courses, often combining meat and shellfish and in harmony with our beautiful wines.” The successful duo is still exploring and developing their business bit by bit - for example, adding more wines to its list and offering interesting food and wine pairings. Last winter, Kaagman & Kortekaas expanded its venue and now also offers private dining at the back, with a separate kitchen and bar as well as staff, serving up to 34 people.


Amsterdam’s cosy, Moulin Rouge-style restaurant and club


With its sumptuous red velvet and dark wood interior, entering Burlesque feels like a different time and place. Reminiscent of Paris in the 1930s, its style is cosy and welcoming. “Everyone comments on the warmth of the place and its luxurious décor,” says Bert Nijhof, founder and owner. “We’ve been open six months and I’m happy to say that our clientele is a real mixture – both tourists and locals come here to enjoy a touch of glamour and lots of fun. This street used to be Amsterdam’s main gay area,

28  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

but I’d say now it’s a perfect mix and everyone enjoys the extensive club and bar scene.” During the week, Burlesque serves up a delicious tapas-style menu made for sharing, and mouth-watering cocktails. Gin is definitely their thing and the wine list is extensive. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is the added bonus of a burlesque show ‘with a twist’, explains Bert. Janey Jacké, one of Holland’s most famous drag queens, dons her sequins and feather boa for a show-stopping performance together with Burlesque’s talented professional dancers. A

special show-menu is available to complement the evening’s entertainment, and the performance takes place between courses. Expect a star-quality night of sensual overload. For a night to remember, full of fizz, fun, entertainment and delicious food, Burlesque can seat up to 70 guests and the space can be rented for private parties too. An intimate terrace area overlooks the bustling street below. Web:

The stylish American Hotel, situated on Leidse Square, is maybe one of the most known luxury hotels in Amsterdam. Just like the iconic Café Americain, which is famous for it’s art deco interior. The tasteful hotel rooms have been designed to assure you a perfect stay. The 175 rooms are divided into Classic rooms, Deluxe rooms and Junior Suites. Café Americain combines historic allure with 21st-century standards. High quality, accessible style and a large dose of personality. Amsterdam-sourced products on the all-day menu are supplemented with fine Dutch ingredients. We are looking forward to welcome you soon! Leidsekade 97 | 1017 PN Amsterdam | | +31 (0)20 556 3000

Discover Benelux  |  Amsterdam City Centre  |  The Ultimate Summer Destination

Start your night out at Holland Casino TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: HOLLAND CASINO

Located in the heart of Amsterdam and close to Leidseplein, several museums and the beautiful canals, Holland Casino Amsterdam City Centre is the perfect place to start an exciting night out. Holland Casino has 14 venues throughout the Netherlands, with Amsterdam City Centre being the flagship casino. What used to be an old prison has been refurbished and now houses a superb casino with a complete gaming range including, for instance, table games such as black jack, American roulette, punto banco and poker, as well as slot machines. The big hit is bingo at the restyled Low Limit Area , with an exciting bingo experience every Friday and Saturday evening starting from 9pm. But this is a far cry from the traditional bingo club or community centre event. “It’s a new way of playing Bingo,” says marketing coordinator Judith Meijer. “This is a more modern – and more fun – version: Bingo 2.0. It’s fast paced and we also have a live in-house DJ and fabulous cocktails in the bar.” 30  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

At the casino, guests can really experience the thrill of the game with great music and entertainment – all to set you up for a night out on the town. And Holland Casino Amsterdam City Centre is the only place in the city centre with the possibility for late-night dining in its stylish restaurant The Brasserie, which serves delicious meals until 2am.

And, of course, the casino has a guest-centric approach and its enthusiastic staff makes everyone feel welcome to try the exciting games - experienced players as well as newbies. Opening hours: Every day 12.00pm - 03.00am

Visitors of a Holland Casino establishment, regardless of whether they take part in playing or not, are subject to the house rules for casinos. Age limit: Visitors aged 18 years or older are very welcome. On presentation of a valid proof of identity, you may buy an admission pass at the reception (€5). Dress code: An evening at the casino is a unique experience with an outstanding atmosphere. The dress code at all Holland Casino branches is stylish and well-groomed.


Hotel Monastère Maastricht Hotel Monastère Maastricht is housed in a listed monastery with classic 14th-century elements. This four-star trendy boutique hotel is situated in the charming city centre. Experience a mix of modern interior design and rich history in the 52 hotel rooms. Enjoy our delicious French cuisine at Café Louis. Book your stay in this unique hotel! Boschstraat 69 & 71, Maastricht

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Jorik Hendrickx

32  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Jorik Hendrickx


Finding balance in life Belgian figure-skating champion Jorik Hendrickx is well experienced despite his young age. The talented athlete has been competing internationally for many years, including two Winter Olympics. Here, he talks to us about facing challenges such as recovering from injuries and beating social isolation, and the importance of having a plan B. TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: RIPA-PHOTO.COM

Having competed on an international level for nine years, Jorik Hendrickx is one of the most experienced in figure skating. He is a multiple Belgian national champion, has placed in the top ten at four European Championships, and represented Belgium at the Winter Olympics both in Sochi 2014 and earlier this year in PyeongChang. Clearly, this is an ambitious and talented athlete.

transpired to my personal life. But sometimes that ambition can take the pleasure away. It’s good to progress but you have to allow yourself to be happy as well, to get energy from other things in life and not pull yourself down.”

Everything has a price

Born in 1992 in Arendonk with two older brothers who played hockey, Jorik wanted to follow suit and join them at the local ice-hockey rink. He took figure skating classes at the Nieuw Olympia Turnhout club when he was five years old, in order to learn the basics of ice skating, and loved the sport so much that he ended up staying. From the age of ten, he was trained by Carine Herrygers, who is still his coach today.

As Jorik implies, ambition and dedication can have a high price. Like many other athletes who are training hard and competing internationally, he has had some major setbacks due to injuries. “The sport is healthy overall but, on such a high level, it takes a lot of training which adds pressure on the body — for instance, when jumping and landing hard on the ice. Some of the younger skaters do crazy things on the ice, really technically advanced, but they often get injured. People come and go very fast in this sport.”

Not surprisingly, Jorik describes himself as a perfectionist. “Good just isn’t good enough,” he says, and continues: “I’m always trying to improve, and that has also

To help recover and build strength, Jorik started working with a personal coach some years ago to make him stronger off the ice also. “It’s important to listen to your

body. You want to push through the pain but sometimes it’s better to step back and listen. The balance between training hard and recovering is important.” Many athletes also have a particular lifestyle, often facing long periods of social isolation. “Training and competing like this requires focus. When everything is going well, I tend to enter a certain zone and don’t feel alone. But when things are not going so well, it becomes harder. After knee surgery, I doubted if I would ever be able to compete on the same level again. I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to – and I didn’t know how to ask for help,” he admits. “It was a dark period in my life, filled with uncertainty. I had no future ready for myself, no plan B.”

Creating a plan B To overcome this isolation from the outside world and take back some control in his life, Jorik decided to do a degree in sports marketing at Johan Cruijff, a university for high performance athletes in Tilburg. “This is where I found the balIssue 55  |  July 2018  |  33

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Jorik Hendrickx

ance between figure skating and life,” he says. “And that actually made me climb higher in international competitions and world ranking.” “The sport has taught me a lot about my personal life,” Jorkik elaborates. “If I have to quit figure skating now, I’m more ready. I have a university degree and I have my own apartment. For me, it has become important to have that stable base.” Also, Jorik’s social bonds are stronger; “Family and friends are crucial. You know, it’s not that bad to ask someone for help.” Earlier this year, Jorik also talked openly about coming out as gay. “I’m very comfortable talking about this now and I can see how sharing my story can have an impact and inspire others who might be struggling.” Loena, Jorik’s younger sister, is also a talented figure skater and they went to 34  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang together. “It was a dream come true,” smiles Jorik. “We have both been injured a few times but we have been able to help each other get through the hard times, as a team. It’s an incredible feeling and adds another dimension to be at the Winter Olympics with your sister. It still gives me goosebumps.” So what is next on the agenda for this sportsman? “I have achieved a lot of goals in my sports career so far,” he says. “I have won several international medals, competed at the European and World Championships, and been to the Winter Olympics twice. Next, my main focus is on improving my results at the European Championships in January and make it to the podium.” But evidently still grounded, Jorik admits; “I still want to skate, but I’m also ready for the future.”

Jorik’s top tips for a more balanced lifestyle: - Set both short- and long-term goals for yourself. - Try new things and approach them with a positive mindset. - Talk to your family and friends. It is important to ask others for help.

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  35

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid & Amsterdam West

Terrace Jacob van Lennepkade. Photo: Koen Smilde Photography-Rechtenvrij


The wild west and the stylish south The capital’s most delightfully diverse districts. Whilst Amsterdam-West is a vibrant melting pot brimming with cultural delights, Amsterdam-Zuid is stylish yet serene. Read on for our guide to the Dutch capital’s most desirable and diverse districts. TEXT: MALIN NORMAN Vondelpark Amsterdam. Photo: NBTC

36  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid & Amsterdam West

Koninginneweg. Photo: Koen Smilde Photography-Rechtenvrij

Go West: Crammed with culture Comprising Oud-West, Nieuw-West, Westerpark, Bos en Lommer and De Baarsjes, the western districts of the Dutch capital are bursting with diversity and cultural gems. Bordered by verdant Vondelpark and the picturesque Singelgracht canal, the Oud-West neighbourhood is home to an array of hip hotspots, with the trendy De Hallen Amsterdam cultural centre being one of the most popular. Housed in a former tram depot, De Hallen is now home to a boutique hotel, an array of independent retailers, a food hall and an arthouse cinema complex. Further west you will find the creative districts of Bos en Lommer and De Baarsjes, which are becoming hipper by the day. With plenty of green space, a vibrant arts scene and a young multicultural crowd, these areas are well worth exploring.

Another area on the up is Nieuw-West, which comprises the former districts Geuzenveld-Slotermeer, Osdorp and Slotervaart. This large and verdant neighbourhood is home to parks such as Sloterpark. Why not escape the heat in the city centre and relax by Lake Sloterplas? Also on your Amsterdam-West to-do list needs to be the Westergasfabriek, a former gasworks that has been completely renovated in recent years and now hosts a cinema and theatre as well as various creative businesses, cafés and restaurants. The Westergasfabriek can be found in the magnificent Westerpark, a haven of greenery within the eponymous Westerpark neighbourhood. Just east of Westerpark are the Westelijke Eilanden (Western Islands), a pretty group of man-made islands that were built in the 17th century and have a village-like atmosphere.

Vondelpark Amsterdam. Photo: NBTC

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  37

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid & Amsterdam West

Speelpark Ceintuurbaan Basketball. Photo: Koen Smilde Photography-Rechtenvrij

The stylish and serene south Located next to Vondelpark, the Netherlands’ most famous park, and just below the cultural haven of Museumplein, Amsterdam Zuid has long been the Dutch capital’s most desirable address. With Oud-Zuid’s grand manor houses, treelined boulevards and designer boutiques, it is easy to see why. The city’s south is also home to charming neighbourhoods such as Schinkelbuurt with its pretty waterside cafés and restaurants, not to mention the super stylish De Pijp district. Attracting culture vultures and fashionistas alike, chic Oud-Zuid has earned a reputation as the capital’s poshest neighbourhood. Situated between De Pijp and Amsterdam West, Oud-Zuid is home to sophisticated shopping streets such as P.C. 38  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

Hooftstraat, Jacob Obrechtstraat, Cornelis Schuytstraat and Beethovenstraat. Worth checking out is Willemspark, one of Amsterdam’s most expensive neighbourhoods and arguably one of the loveliest. As you meander down the peaceful, birchlined streets, admire the quintessentially Dutch century-old town houses with their peaked gables and elegant balconies. For fans of urban cityscapes, Amsterdam’s flourishing business centre, Zuidas, is worth a look. To the south of the city centre and close to Schiphol Airport, it is home to some of the world’s best-known companies from the financial, legal and business services sector. Meanwhile, more and more retail outlets and leisure activities are popping up.

Popular with students as well as young creatives and families, the De Pijp neighbourhood is famed for its diversity with more than 150 different nationalities residing here. The area was built up towards the end of the 19th century and, as its name suggests, the picturesque narrow streets can be described as rather pipe-like. The neighbourhood is centred around Albert Cuypmarkt, the country’s iconic outdoor market which dates back to the early 20th century and is home to around 300 stalls. From flowers to clothes and from international delicacies to traditional Dutch raw herring, you will find just about everything here. After a spot of shopping, head to the intersecting streets for some people watching and lunch at one of the many lively restaurants and cafés.

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid & Amsterdam West

DO NOT MISS: Museum Het Schip A museum based in one of the most expressionist apartment blocks in Amsterdam, located at the Spaarndammerplantsoen. Het Schip explores the Amsterdam School style of architecture in its social, political and artistic context. The apartment blocks are designed by Michel de Klerk. Neighbour Food Market Every third Sunday of the month, this market in the Wester-gasfabriek gathers the most delicious food from all over the world. Some stalls also sell vintage clothing, but make sure you get there early for the best finds!

building located on the banks between the Houthavens and the IJ river. The interesting design by MVRDV architects counts 17 different colours and styles of cladding. Ketelhuis Cinema Celebrity alert! This comfortable cinema shows the best art house films, including Dutch youth cinema and documentaries. Its café is a popular hangout for Dutch actresses and actors. Also an excellent choice if you just want to have a drink. TOP TIP: I Amsterdam City Card: enjoy free unlimited transport, free entry to Amsterdam’s best museums and attractions, and great discounts. Also usable for trips to neighbouring towns around Amsterdam.

Silodam A definite highlight for architecture aficionados, the Silodam is a modern residential

Start planning your trip to Amsterdam now, at

Villa at the Vondelpark. Photo: Koen Smilde Photography-Rechtenvrij

Albert Cuyp Market. Photo: Koen Smilde Photography-Rechtenvrij

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  39

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid Highlights

Amsterdam’s (not so) hidden gems TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK  |  PHOTOS: UNLIMITEDLABEL

After a few of hours wandering around the city centre or visiting one of the great museums the city has to offer, it is time to take a break and catch your breath. One of the most famous parks in the Netherlands is the Vondelpark. A charming and lively park in the middle of Amsterdam and perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. The beautiful nature and the relaxed atmosphere offer joy for everyone. Kitchen & Bar Vondelpark3 is the perfect place to eat or drink while still enjoying the lovely surroundings of the park. Vondelpark3 is in an astonishing building located in the Vondel CS, which was built in 1874. The surroundings of the park and the building itself make the restaurant a bucket list item, but they also have a mouthwatering menu. Whether breakfast, 40  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

lunch or dinner, the chefs offer fresh and honest food daily. There are also vegan and gluten-free options. Making reservations is easy via their website and you can make a reservation for the outside terrace, even for dinner. And when the weather conditions are not optimal, inside is a spacious and comfortable setting in which to enjoy a bite and a refreshment. For those who are in search of a real city escape, Strandzuid is the best option. A city beach that offers an entirely different world in the middle of Amsterdam. At Strandzuid you can sunbathe on a beach bed, have special drinks at the terrace or enjoy great food with your friends. As they follow the principle of surf, turf and earth (fish, meat and vegetables) there is great food for anyone. Strandzuid is particularly popular among locals as a city escape. Strandzuid is lo-

cated near convention centre RAI, surrounded by hotels and only a 15-minute drive from the city centre. During the hot summer months, Strandzuid has several events planned; remarkable parties, after work drinks and the famous beer parties. The summer is only just beginning at Strandzuid. Both venues have excellent facilities to host events such as meetings, company parties, group dinners, etc. The unique environments, fantastic food and drinks and very professional staff makes them everything you need for an unforgettable event. Above all though, everyone and anyone can enjoy these locations, as they are a wonderful way to escape the daily bustle of the city of Amsterdam. Web:

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid Highlights

Authentic Persian cuisine and culture TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: MAAIKE CAPPON

Recent addition to Amsterdam’s food scene, Restaurant Rozengeur, is popular for its original atmosphere and authentic Persian cuisine, inspired by the spices and wines in Shiraz. Restaurant Rozengeur has just celebrated its first anniversary. From day one, it has been a fantastic success and has received plenty of positive reviews already. “People love it,” smiles Zahra Azadmanesh, who owns the restaurant together with her husband Mehdi. The menu is inspired by food from the couple’s birthplace Shiraz in Iran. Azadmanesh serves the customers herself and takes the time to explain the menu to them. “From all the different types of dishes in Iran, we choose the top ten and serve to our customers. The courses are authentic, with pure and fresh ingredients. Our base is always rice and we add lamb, beef or chicken, plus

different vegetables and herbs, and we have vegetarian and vegan options too.” Traditionally, Persian cuisine includes spices such as turmeric, paprika, dill, saffron, sumac and cardamom in starter and main courses, and rose water in desserts. The influence from Shiraz can be seen in the use of eggplant and lime, for instance, as well as the delicious Syrah wines which are made from grapes originating in the region.

it already has many fans in Amsterdam. “We have customers from everywhere, many come from the Netherlands or abroad and we love to tell them about our culture if they ask. But our restaurant and food is also loved by Persians – a great compliment.” As expressed by just one of many satisfied customers on TripAdvisor; “this is hands down the best meal I have had, from the food to the service.”

Well-deserved, Rozengeur is praised for its high quality, friendly service and affordable prices. Customers get a complimentary soup and two different starters with homemade bread, something that is new for many and comes as a positive surprise. The presentation is also important for the owners, and so all dishes are served on high-quality designer plates. According to Azadmanesh, Persian cuisine might not be so well-known yet, but


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  41

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid Highlights

Truffles in Amsterdam via top Italian cuisine TEXT: EDDI FIEGEL  |  PHOTOS: SCOTTADITO

Like all great cities, Amsterdam is a melting pot and home to some of the best food from around the world, not least top-notch Italian cuisine. Restaurant Scottadito, next to the Vondelpark on the Amstelveenseweg in south Amsterdam, has developed a reputation for some of the best contemporary Italian dishes outside Italy, all served up in an elegant, wood-panelled, dining room, with friendly service at amazingly affordable prices. Since the restaurant first opened in 2010, foodies and Italians alike have been flocking there for star dishes - such as the truffle risotto, made with specially imported truffles from Acqualagna in Southern Italy’s Marche region, famous for its truffles. Another house speciality is the lobster pasta, in which the live lobster is brought to your table before cooking, and, as with all the restaurant’s dishes, the pasta is freshly made, using the finest ingredients.

“We always import our truffles, flour, rice, homemade sausages, cheeses, cured meats and vegetables, as well as wine from Italy,” says restaurant manager Rozeta Karaj. “Everything else comes from a select group of certified local distributors who we work with.” Other favourite dishes include the superb pizzas and pasta, such as the homemade ravioli or lasagna, made with the freshest seafood or the most seasonal, sustainable meat. Plus, the restaurant offers up some unmissable homemade desserts, such as the tantalising tiramisu. “We are all Italian here at Restaurant Scottadito,” Karaj continues, “and we love using our knowledge and passion for Italian cuisine to create dishes that people really enjoy.” Restaurant Scottadito is open from Monday to Saturday from 3pm till 10pm during the week, and until 10.30pm at the weekend. Web:

An explosion of flavours at De Kersentuin TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: RESTAURANT DE KERSENTUIN

Restaurant De Kersentuin, in beautiful OudZuid in Amsterdam, has been renowned for its culinary highlights for decades “We are now bringing the menu to a higher level, in part by creating lighter dishes,” says Patrick Kessler, chef at De Kersentuin. Since becoming the chef last year, Kessler and his team have been creating new signature dishes. “We wanted to offer somewhat lighter dishes, with less heavy sauces and more side dressings,” he explains. Creating a signature dish is not something you do in a day. “Throughout the season, we experiment with an idea - for instance, one based around prawns. Once we feel it has become what we want, it will be added to the à la carte menu.” One of the new entries on the menu that Kessler has created is a dish with white asparagus, oysters and vadouvan. “The oysters bring out the salinity. It’s a true explosion of flavours.” 42  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

Restaurant De Kersentuin is about high-quality dining in a casual setting. Guests have a view of the kitchen when they are enjoying the cuisine. “People like to see us at work. There is a window between the kitchen and the restaurant, so there is no disturbance. Often people come to see us afterwards, to thank the team and give us a thumbs-up. We really appreciate that,” Kessler smiles.


Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam Zuid and West Highlights

International food in a cosy setting TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTOS: MAAS BAR & KITCHEN

MAAS is a conveniently located bar/kitchen that serves great street food, freshlymade each day. Close to Amsterdam RAI conference centre and the Akura hotel, it is handy for tourists, business travellers and locals to find. Just outside of the town centre, there is easy parking access too. “MAAS prides itself on always using fresh ingredients,” says founder and owner, Dennis Wouterse. “Our chef cooks from scratch every day, and we only use the best and freshest products. Ours is an international kitchen, including Japanese street food, salads, tacos, classic fish and chips, as well as healthy sandwiches. The ribeye steak comes highly recommended.” Guilty pleasures can be satisfied at MAAS where the dessert menu varies each week. Look out for the brownies and cheesecakes which are to die for. The interior décor at MAAS is industrial chic with a twist. Comfy leather sofas, smart wood-

en tables, shiny emerald-green tiles on the walls and a touch of classic marble. The ambience is cosy, and some evenings you can enjoy live music too. An outside terrace can accommodate up to 40 people and, inside, there are about 60 places to sit. The bar itself serves a generous array of internationally inspired cocktails, as well as classic whisky, gin, bourbon and rum. For an intimate evening tête-a-tête, or for larger groups, MAAS has the atmosphere you are looking for. Maasstraat, 18, 1078 HK Amsterdam, The Netherlands Tel.: +31 20 337 5687 / +31 6 24249742 Opening times: Weekdays: 12h-24h / Weekends: 12h-2h


A hundred wines at your disposal TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK  |  PHOTOS: BOUSOU PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter if you are a connoisseur or novice in the world of wine, at Rayleigh & Ramsay in Amsterdam, discovering wines is an exciting adventure for everyone. Many restaurants and bars offer a limited number of wines by the glass, and the more exclusive wines only by the bottle. And even with the help of a sommelier, finding a wine that you like can be challenging. Bar and restaurant Rayleigh & Ramsay in Amsterdam solves this issue. High-tech wine dispensers offer the opportunity to taste wines that are not usually available by the glass. Here, customers can try a hundred different wines. Owner Jan Keyenberg explains the concept; “We have created six flavour profiles, which help customers to choose amongst the wines. They are useful for novices as well as for wine connoisseurs.” The wines are available by the glass, half a glass and even per sip.

Rayleigh & Ramsay certainly has delicious wines on offer, but also great food, with a range of tasty courses on the menu. Keyenberg also assures potential guests that everyone and anyone can enjoy a visit to the bar and restaurant, whether in the mood for wine or something else. “Sometimes you just want a beer, a coffee or a soft drink, and that’s fine as well. Everyone is welcome.” With two locations in Amsterdam, take the opportunity to discover your next favourite wine at Rayleigh & Ramsay. Rayleigh & Ramsay Overtoom Zocherstraat 2 1054 LX Amsterdam Rayleigh & Ramsay Van Wou Van Woustraat 97 1074 AG Amsterdam


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  43

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam West Highlights

Waterside dining with a twist TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: PONT 13

Moored in the former Wood Harbour of Amsterdam, Pont 13 combines an unbeatable location with a robust yet laidback charm and stunning food, proving that all good things in life can be best enjoyed from the water. When entering Pont 13, one cannot do much more than simply take it all in: the huge windows, the industrial metal, the scent of delicious food. The restaurant is located in a former ferry (pont) anno 1927, that once transported passengers over the IJ river, and everything about Pont 13 still breathes the romantic post-industrial vibe of this unique piece of heritage. An absolute showpiece of the room is the old diesel tank. “When we welcome our guests, the tank is often the first thing they want to see up close,” enthuses Onno Zwart, owner of Pont 13. However, Pont 13’s food is definitely not upstaged by its view or interior. The large authentic charcoal grill enhances the feel-

ing of sturdy excellence, perfectly preparing this season’s delicacies such as fresh fish or mouthwatering grilled meat. Besides an extensive wine menu, a great focus lies on specialty beers. “We call them our superb specialty beers, each with their own ingredients, taste, and heritage,” says Zwart. Whether you just want to have coffee, enjoy lunch or dinner, or hold a private event such as a wedding or business outing: anything is possible at Pont 13. And don’t forget you can also visit by boat. But no matter why you are visiting, the ever-relaxed atmosphere will always welcome you – accompanied by the most unique setting possible.

DID YOU KNOW? Pont 13 consists of more than 200,000 kilogrammes of steel. Pont 13 still has its original wooden floor. Pont 13 has crossed the IJ for 50 years.

Historic dinner with a view You see it from afar: the striking red and white structure towers 22 metres above the IJ river, building your expectations for an adventure. REM Eiland is an extraordinary restaurant in every way, from the breathtaking views to its fascinating history. Our adventure starts when we climb the steep metal stairs and reach the platform. Our reward is a beautiful 360-degree panoramic view over Amsterdam and a restaurant unlike anything we have seen before. The dining rooms are located on wraparound platforms, with an ex-helipad all around. When stepping into the restaurant, the black and white photos on the walls already provide a glimpse into history. “REM Eiland was built in the 1960s as a pirate television tower, set up by clever entrepreneurs to avoid the Netherlands’ restrictions on the broadcasting of commercial shows,” explains Onno Zwart, owner of REM Eiland. “However, the tower was shut down by the government after 44  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018


just a couple of months, and then served as a monitoring post.” Luckily for everyone, the island was transformed into a restaurant, helmed by Zwart since 2 years. In an industrial setting, REM serves French-European dishes for lunch and dinner. A brand new menu created by chef Arne Meijer awaits: fresh seafood, highquality meat, all topped off with excellent wines. Due to its fantastic location, REM Eiland is a favourite spot for small meetings and presentations held in their multifunctional space ‘Studio REM’. In the summer the rooftop bar is the best place for drinks. The combination of great food and an unique location make REM Eiland a memorable adventure, made even more special by the turbulent history. “REM’s history is the cherry on the cake. We make sure no one leaves without knowing our fantastic story!” Web:


Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam West Highlights

West Amsterdam’s favourite Italian place to eat TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTOS: FIKO

Located in the trendy Oud-West neighbourhood of Amsterdam, FIKO is a super stylish Italian eatery where guests can enjoy an experience that is 100 per cent Italian. This neighbourhood is brimming with cool cafes and bars, and FIKO has a modern twist to all of its recipes, served to the highest of standards with the freshest ingredients. “Architects from Puglia have injected a hint of Milanese cool in the elegant black and gold décor: a reflection of a fresh and modern Italy,” explains Adriano Favia, brand designer and CEO of Mama Food. “In fact, FIKO is a play on the Italian word ‘fico’, meaning cool, but the food is the real deal,” says Favia. “We put a modern spin on traditional Italian food without losing its authenticity.” Guests might even meet a Dutch or international celebrity whilst dining. Top Dutch DJ Martin Garrix is a regular who has cemented his loyalty by signing one of the walls inside.

“Lewis Hamilton came in twice this week,” says Adriano. “We’ve been open just a year, but word has really got around. All our staff and chefs are Italian and our food is imported on a weekly basis, fresh from Italy and mostly from Puglia, where I’m from. I strongly recommend our burrata, our pasta with truffles, and our meat and fish choices are really special. Our menu offers a wide range of choices to please everyone. We pride ourselves on great attention to detail from the moment you step into the restaurant. Our clients are our special guests. Oh, and we have the best pizzaiolo in town too!”

a glass of wine at the long wooden bench with street views? Or watch the pizzaiolo spin the dough in the open-plan kitchen. FIKO can seat about 70 people across 160 square metres, but it is best to book ahead as it gets very busy, even during the week. Future plans include two new FIKO restaurants in Amsterdam and further expansion into Europe. Watch this space!

There is an authentic woodfired pizza oven and the variety of pizza is mouth-watering. Gluten-free and vegan options are also on offer. Perhaps the cherry on the cake, however, is the pizza made with edible gold on top! Evenings at FIKO are buzzing, and cool interior lighting adds to the atmosphere. In the daytime, why not enjoy a pizza with


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  45

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam West Highlights


Many international corporations have their headquarters in Amsterdam. Since the housing market is so tough however, employees may struggle to find a place to stay during their deployment. Hotel2Stay offers them a home away from home. Hotel2Stay is not just a typical hotel. Of the 157 studios, 54 are for guests who stay for a longer period, up to six months. “The hotel rooms are not just for corporate housing,” explains Lara van Poortvliet, sales and marketing manager at Hotel2Stay. “They are also great for people who are moving house and need a place to bridge the period in between the move, or those who want a ‘home base’ for their travels.” There are six types of studios, varying from 20 to 40 square meters “Each studio has a kitchen, so guests are able to cook,” Van Poortvliet continues. “All studios are designed for extended stays.” The prices for the studios are fixed if you are staying for more than four weeks, starting for the King studio at 86,06 euros per night, including VAT, excluding city tax. 46  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

“The hotel is conveniently located in Amsterdam Westpoort, which is just outside of the city centre,” Van Poortvliet elaborates. “We are located next to the train station Amsterdam Sloterdijk. From there, you are within five minutes of Amsterdam Central station; it takes about ten minutes to get to Schiphol Airport. And, within 20 minutes, you are at Amsterdam Zuid or Museum Square.” Westpoort itself is booming with all kinds of new developments. “A local favourite hotspot is the nearby Westerpark. It’s a beautiful green park and offers plenty of diverse brunch hotspots, bars, and restaurants.” Hotel2Stay offers quality facilities for its guests. “There is a state-of-the-art gym, an infrared sauna, a rooftop terrace, meeting room, parking, bicycle renting and a business centre where you can work or study. Our 24-hour reception is always there to help you and we have our own laundrette.” If desired, there is a ‘breakfast in the room’ service. “Almost like getting breakfast in bed,” Van Poortvliet smiles.

“If you want to know what it is like to live like a local, stay at Hotel2stay for a longer period and explore the city from there. For extended stay reservations, please contact us via”

Hotel2Stay is part of Holland2Stay, which specialises in temporary housing in the Netherlands. If you are interested in more serviced apartment locations, please send an email to and they will send you more information.


Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam West Highlights

Eccentric chip shop in Amsterdam West TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: DR. PIEPER

When entering the mysterious chip shop Dr. Pieper, customers get transported to a world not dissimilar to a Tim Burton film. No doubt about it – the potato-obsessed Dr. Pieper is elevating fries to a whole new level.

elaborates Westland. “But this is different, similar to the ambiance in a Tim Burton film, and our customers are amazed when they enter. Most of them can really appreciate the humour and get a twinkle in their eyes, it’s fun to see their expression!”

Assistant to the doctor and co-owner Jelle Westland explains the story behind Dr. Pieper, his chip shop on Kinkerstraat in the up-and-coming area Amsterdam West. “I have always wanted to open a ‘friet’ (as it is called by the Dutch) business and when I met this scientist - let’s call him Dr. Pieper – it all came together.”

Everything is handmade, as Dr. Pieper is all about freshness of ingredients. As Westland explains, “we take our product seriously and bring fries to a whole new level. It’s quite a delicate process, where we freshly cut and double fry the potatoes in Dr. Pieper’s secret coconut oil blend.” In addition to French fries, the menu includes homemade croquettes and sauces, with vegetarian and vegan options, and meat lovers can try toppings such as Indonesian beef stew, pulled pork or chicken with their fries. During summer, Dr. Pieper also offers nitrogen ice-cream and a specially developed, medicinal cannabis mayonnaise. And in the near future, vegan fish and chips.

Aiming to offer the best fries in the Netherlands, Westland also makes sure that customers will not forget paying a visit. The eccentric interior is dark and mysterious, with a steampunk vibe and inspired by the research of Dr. Pieper himself. Some of his research equipment can be found in the shop, which looks like a Victorian lab with carefully selected music to enhance the experience, and it even hosts a tank with real, living jellyfish. “Many restaurants and shops nowadays are inspired by New York and London,”

Dr. Pieper is a unique gem and a mustsee when visiting Amsterdam West, for its delicious fries of course but also to add some color to the trip. Easily the best 15 minutes of your day. Part of the profit goes

to the continuous research of Dr. Pieper. But the identity of this mysterious scientist remains unknown. Perhaps the origin of the Dutch word ‘pieper’, meaning potato, can shed some light.


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  47

Discover Benelux  |  Summer Special  |  Amsterdam West Highlights

It all starts with the vegetables Reversing the concept of traditional dining, at Morris & Bella the veggies are the stars. But meat and fish can be added to the meals, making sure that everyone is happy with what is on their plate – ensuring a great dining experience for all.. Morris & Bella has just celebrated its first anniversary. Opened last year in the up-andcoming Spaarndammer area, this restaurant gives a new meaning to hospitality. “Our concept is a bit different,” says co-owner Annebel “Bella” van Meegen. “The base is vegan fine dining, and with every course you can add meat, fish and cheese as extras. Basically, everyone is welcome and it makes dining out a nice experience for groups with different dietary preferences.” The idea was born from own personal experience. “I’m vegan but my partner, Maurice “Morris” Leeffer, eats everything,” she says. “It was difficult for us to go out for dinner together. We wanted to change that.” It has proven to be a successful concept, with good reviews in

local papers and a busy venue. For instance, a review on TripAdvisor states, “unbelievable gourmet food with extraordinary presentation at very reasonable prices.” The menu changes every two to three weeks, with organic products according to what is in season and, of course, has a lot of vegetables. Van Meegen admits: “our guests are often positively surprised that the food is vegan, and at what we can do with vegetables.” In addition to the tasty menu, the atmosphere is lovely and friendly. “Everyone is happy with what’s on their plate, which also makes eating here at our restaurant a nice and social experience.”

Morris & Bella Nova Zemblastraat 586 1013 RP Amsterdam Email: Facebook: MorrisEnBella Instagram: @restaurant_morrisenbella

Creating that homely feeling Is there anything better than enjoying the perfect lunch or having drinks and tasting tapas, whilst feeling as if at home? This is exactly what Lilly’s Lunchroom in Amsterdam Osdorp can offer. “Osdorp is an up-and-coming neighbourhood here in West. But places like Lilly’s - quality lunchrooms - are mostly found in Oud-Zuid. We wanted something like this in our part of the city, so in 2016, we opened Lilly’s here. Our cosy, timeless ‘den’ fits in perfectly with

48  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018


During the summer months, guests can take the opportunity to enjoy the tasty meals outside on the terrace.



the neighbourhood,” smiles Robin, who manages the lunchroom. Every day, Lilly’s serves breakfast and lunch until 4.30pm. From then on, guests can order different kinds of tapas. “We have a Spanish chef and our menu is Mediterranean orientated. We serve different egg-based dishes such as scrambled egg with truffle cheese. We also have lovely pies to go with a good cup of coffee or tea. What we are known for is our chef’s special, battered chicken thighs. They are renowned throughout the city.”

The menu of Lilly’s changes with the seasons. “We use a lot of seasonal vegetables in our dishes, and change the menu accordingly,” explains Robin. “This summer season is perfect for our Lilly’s Salad. It is based on a Caesar Salad with our own twist, along with the usual anchovies and chicken. And the chef’s special is always available!”


Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots


From arty masterpieces to cycle racing There is so much to see and do in East Flanders. Check out beautiful Ghent with its many sights and lively festivities, travel to the ‘City of Art’ Oudenaarde for some artistic masterpieces, or try one of the cycling routes in the region. And there is plenty for beer lovers too, including beer walks and brewery visits. TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: VISIT FLANDERS

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Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Exploring East Flanders Ghent is Europe’s best kept secret. The undiscovered Flemish jewel of a city boasts an opera house, a handful of museums, even more ancient churches, and countless bridges spanning the two rivers that wind themselves through the city. The true joy of the town is to be found whiling away an afternoon in an outdoor café. If possible, find a seat on the Graslei, a scenic canal spot in the centre of town, with a great view of the many bridges, grand houses and medieval buildings. Another highlight is Oudenaarde, located on the left bank of the river Scheldt (Linkeroever) and a true city of art. Admire all the beauty that it has to offer, such as the City Hall with the cloth hall (Lakenhalle), the Huis De Lalaing with the tapestries of Oudenaarde, the Church of Pamele, the Beguinage and the Castle of Liedts.

When visiting the Flemish city of Geraardsbergen (Grammont), foodies simply cannot leave without having tasted the mattentaart, devotedly prepared by the local bakers. It is a unique regional cake that enjoys great fame, even beyond the national borders. The mattentaart was granted Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Union in 2006, indicating they can only be made in Geraardsbergen or in the nearby municipality of Lierde. The region is also well known for its difficult but popular cycling conditions. The Tour of Flanders Route will take you on a tour of the most legendary hills and cobbled sections. Tourism East-Flanders has combined three cycling loops in one unique Tour of Flanders map, with loads of information, facts and statistics about the route of the Tour. Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  51

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

DO NOT MISS: MOU - Museum of Oudenaarde and the Flemish Ardennes The museum is housed in one of the most beautiful city halls in Belgium and brings the history of Oudenaarde and the Flemish Ardennes to life. Here you can admire the original Oudenaarde tapestries and one of the largest silver collections in Flanders.

FOR BEER LOVERS: Ghent Beer Walk In Ghent, beer brewing went hand in hand with religious life. Discover Ghent and its surprising history during a three-hour beer walk and beer tasting with guide through the city. This is the perfect way to explore the beer abbeys and monasteries where some of the world’s best beers were created.

Gentse Gruut Stadsbrouwerij A Ghentian highlight is Gruut. This brewery in the heart of the city brews with the newest of techniques, but following the classic traditions. Gruut replaces the traditional hops with a special, secret mix of herbs that brings a unique flavor to the glass.

Liefmans Brewery World-famous Liefmans Brewery is located in Oudenaarde, 30 minutes from Ghent by train. The brewery was founded in 1679 and still exists today. The sour, reddish-brown cherry beer Goudenband is a much-praised classic that many connoisseurs love to cellar.

Brouwerij Roman Brewery Roman is also located in Oudenaarde, in the heart of the Flemish Ardennes. Roman is the oldest family brewery in Belgium and is famed for its vast range of beers. These are brewed in the traditional way, with attention to craftsmanship and a passion for beer that goes back nearly five centuries. Photo: Brouwerij Roman

52  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

STAM Ghent City Museum Stop by STAM to fully immerse yourself in the town’s history. A truly modern and multimedia museum opened in 2010, this is not a traditional or staid offering, but one that illustrates both the past and the future. From a tomb from the 1200s to the temporary exhibits exploring the concept of urbanity, prepare to be impressed. Tour of Flanders Centre If you are a fan of cycle racing, the unique museum in the Tour of Flanders Centre is definitely worth a visit. Get acquainted with the founder Karel Van Wijnendaele, and enjoy 100 years of history of the Tour of Flanders. Experience the heroism, feel the enthusiasm and sense the triumph and tragedy.

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Ghent Jazz Festival 29 June to 8 July The Ghent Jazz Festival is spread over two weekends, one weekend for the purebred jazz fans and, during the second weekend, there is room for more fusion artists. Since its first edition in 2001, when it was called Blue Note Festival, the festival has become loved among a great deal of people, and it now welcomes over 35,000 people each year.

Ghent Festivities 13-22 July After more than 160 years of existence, the Ghent Festivities have become one of the best festivals in Europe. Four international festivals take place there over a period of ten days, with free music on ten squares, children’s entertainment at various different locations in the city and hundreds of indoor and outdoor activities. This year, for the first time, the festival will

start on Friday evening and end on Sunday evening.

Patershol Festivities 10-12 August The oldest quarter of Ghent organises its own mini Ghent festivities, displaying maximal atmosphere and ambiance. For fans of more intimate events.

Adriaen Brouwer retrospective exhibition 15 September to 16 December, MOU Museum Oudenaarde A world-class painter, whose work hangs in the most prestigious museums: discover the art of Adriaen Brouwer. Many of his paintings will soon leave renowned private and public collections in Europe and America to travel to Oudenaarde. This is the very first time that just under half of his 70 works will be united.

The fact that this event is also being organised in Brouwer’s birthplace makes it all the more special.

Film Fest Ghent 9-19 October Every year, Ghent Film festival presents some 200 feature films and short films from around the globe. The festival enjoys an excellent international reputation and is quite unique in focusing on the impact of music on film. The International Film Festival of Flanders Ghent is also the organiser and driving force behind the World Soundtrack Academy. The awards ceremony is inevitably the high point of the festival. Every year, the festival also organises concerts of film music and exhibitions which have a link with film. Start planning your trip to East Flanders now, at

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  53

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Hotel Auberge du Pecheur.

Sleeping in style in beautiful East Flanders TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: STARS OF FLANDERS HOTELS

Discovering East Flanders is like discovering a hidden gem. If you are looking to explore the cultural highlights of Ghent, Antwerp or Brussels, or unearth the beautiful nature of the province, Stars of Flanders Hotels will provide the best base for your journey. “Whether it’s for business or pleasure, our hotels will suit all your needs,” promises Dimitri Vermeersch. “Class, geniality and personal service are always central,” continues Vermeersch. “It’s all about our guests feeling at home and having the opportunity to relax and enjoy a luxurious stay.” With the different hotels of Stars of Flanders, guests can do just that, in various different styles. Outside the vibrant city of Ghent, Auberge du Pêcheur takes you to one of the most 54  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

beautiful parts of East Flanders. Located on the scenic river Leie, this former lodge has been transformed into a gorgeous hotel. Sint-Martens-Latem is arguably the most charming village in the country. For centuries, painters came here to get inspired by the river in all its glory. Starting with one lodge, the hotel has been here more than 30 years, and is still a landmark, thanks to continuous investments and the upgrading of all the facilities. With its top-notch brasserie with a terrace on the waterfront, it is an absolute delight to dine here or host an event or party. “The unique view of the Leie, along with the private dock for the wedding boat, the top quality of the kitchen and the flawless service of the staff, makes it perfect for our guests to create unforgettable memories,” Vermeersch smiles

Guests can discover the beauty of SintMartens-Latem in different ways. “There are numerous walking and cycling routes. It is also possible to travel over the river Leie and discover it by boat,” Vermeersch explains. The region offers many hidden gems, including the elegant Ooidonk Castle. This medieval fortress is a unique example of the Hispanic-Flemish architectural style that emerged during the Re-

Hotel Auberge du Pecheur.

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

naissance, and has been home to many a battle. “For those who want to relax in a more sportive manner, there is the Royal Latem Golf Club. And Ghent is just 20 minutes away.”

A luxurious central point On the other side of Ghent, in the heart of the Waasland region and the centre of the Antwerp- Brussels-Ghent triangle, you will find Hotel Serwir, in the city of SintNiklaas. “Serwir is a perfect place for both private and business meet-ups, thanks to its outstanding brasserie, meetings rooms and party rooms,” Vermeersch clarifies. Its location is perfect for guests who want to discover Belgium’s great cities, as well as getting together with colleagues for seminars or business meetings. The Waasland region is another of Belgium’s treasures. Historically, the re-

gion is the birthplace of innovative techniques for the agricultural sector. Charles Townshend, one of the proponents of the early agricultural revolution, was an explicit advocate of agricultural practices first developed here. Sint-Niklaas is seen as its informal capital city and has a wealth of historical heritage. From Hotel Serwir, it is easy to discover all of them. The hotel has 79 elegant rooms. “Many people come here to enjoy the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, both for personal trips and business,” says Vermeersch. “It’s also a well-known venue for meetings, seminars, banquets, receptions, company events and wedding parties.” There is also a trendy brasserie, Renardeau, run by executive chef Stefan D’hondt. “It has an excellent menu and the chef offers exquisite daily specials. On Sundays, you can enjoy live music. There

Hotel Auberge du Pecheur.

Hotel Serwir.

is also the option of private dining, specially designed to make your most precious moments truly unforgettable.” Whether discovering the rural beauty of East Flanders, the vibrant Belgian cities or if hosting an event, a stay in Auberge du Pêcheur or at Hotel Serwir ensures guests will have the perfect starting point for their journey. “You will revel in luxury and be submerged in our Belgian hospitality, all whilst enjoying our beautiful province.” Hotel Gosset in Brussels and Charl’s at Knokke-Heist (Zoute) are other members of Stars of Flanders. Web:

Hotel Serwir.

Hotel Serwir.

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  55



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  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Gastronomy with a golden touch TEXT: ELLA PUT  |  PHOTOS: KRIS VLEGELS

Rewarded with a Michelin star, the mouth-watering dishes of star chef Edwin van Goethem, in his Restaurant ‘t Korennaer (Nieuwkerken-Waas) are one-of-a-kind, offering a unique, new experience for every gastronome. It all began 21 years ago when chef and owner van Goethem, started the restaurant out of a passion for cooking and a love for food. He had already finished culinary school and worked in several highly recommended Michelin-star restaurants, but opening his own was a dream come true. “It was just wonderful to bring people together around the taste and smell of delicious food; after all, food is social. And the ability to create a unique social experience whilst enjoying food felt incredible.” And his passion led to success. Van Goethem’s ability to combine his strong ambition with his meticulous choice of food resulted in ‘t Korennaer being rewarded a prominent Michelin star in 2016. It was a dream that came true, yet again.

When describing the passion for perfection, he explains: “I have always been somebody who strives for the best in myself and my job: selecting the food as well as preparing it, but also the overall experience for customers in the restaurant and the ambiance. It simply needs to be perfect.” Which might also be the reason for ‘t Korennaer having the reputation of being a “restaurant with a golden touch”, right down to the smallest details. “We only work with the best food suppliers; they need to have the same desire for perfection. Local products are the key ingredient of several recipes; even our Puglia olive oil is family-farmed, and selected with the utmost care by my Italian wife Francina.” 

 There is a sense of effortlessness in preparing the ingredients, and a reverent respect for the purity of the cuisine’s products. The restaurant’s decor, too, is modern, with its own unique style. Guests can see the chefs busily at work in the open kitchen, bringing a welcoming vibe into the star restaurant.

“We almost speak our own language when cooking. Mine is calm, without too much spectacle. The language is subtle and caring. You see what you eat, and hopefully taste the love and passion that went into it.


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  57

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Fine dining with a homely atmosphere TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: DA VINCI RESTAURANT

With a homely ambiance and tasty culinary delights, the Michelin-recommended Da Vinci Restaurant is still going strong. For the summer season, make sure to try some of the delicious courses which are made with homegrown vegetables and herbs. Da Vinci Restaurant is a true gastronomic experience in Sint-Gillis, East Flanders. The culinary team is made up of chef Jurgen Brouillard and his wife Miranda Vereeken, who takes care of the operations. Running in its 11th year now, the fine-dining restaurant has been recommended by the Michelin guide for six years and is a highly recommended venue according to TripAdvisor. Brouillard explains that they work with two menus, inspired by French and international cuisine. “We only use fresh ingredients according to what is in season and everything is made here, including the sweet treats that go with the coffee,” he says. “Vegetables and herbs are important for us and we actually grow some 58  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

of them in our own garden and greenhouse.” During the week, Da Vinci serves a menu of two to three courses and on weekends, guests can choose a menu of four to five courses. “Our inspiration comes from everything around us; nature, holidays, markets, magazines and so on,” explains Brouillard. ”Some of our combinations you probably won’t see every day. Yet we want people to recognise what they eat.” Amongst its tasty delights on offer, is smoked fish with asparagus - and why not try the lamb neck that has been cooked for 24 hours, combined with rhubarb and sheep’s cheese? Next on the summer menu is; beef tartare with structures of parmesan and homemade tomato bread, exclusive baby lobster with black summer truffle, Duroc porc, and a dessert in which cherries and beetroot prove to be a perfect food pairing. Da Vinci has many returning customers and Brouillard elaborates on the secret behind the success. “It’s just me and my wife

here. It makes for a familiar and homely atmosphere and our guests say that they feel at home away from home. Many come to meet us and talk, not just to eat at the restaurant, and that’s why we have been able to grow. They tell us about what is going on in their life, both good and bad, and this relationship with our customers is incredibly important,” One TripAdvisor comment about Da Vinci sums it all up; “Behind the front door is a very cozy interior in which every tiny little detail is cared for. A look at the menu and you know: this will be good.”

Miranda & Jurgen Bewerkt.


Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Relishing the Ghent experience TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT  |  PHOTOS: CARLOS QUINTO

If you are looking for the perfect place to eat, drink and enjoy life during the famous Gentse Feesten, look no further than Carlos Quinto.

even more importantly, we will always try to accommodate our guests every which way we can. Hospitality and service with a smile are our main assets.”

Smack in the middle of the festivities in the centre of the city, Carlos Quinto offers sumptuous surroundings in a historic setting. “We have a flexible arrangement of six different rooms as well as a beautiful courtyard which our guests can enjoy,” says owner and manager Pieter van Mullem. “Carlos Quinto comprises three individual houses which are all interconnected. This means we can accommodate large groups as well as individual guests, without compromising their dining experience and enjoyment.”

Gentse Feesten

The restaurant offers lunch and dinner as well as an opportunity to enjoy a full English high tea with scones and Devonshire cream, and a mouth-watering selection of delicious finger sandwiches. “Our lunch and dinner menus are based on traditional French-Belgian cuisine, with fine flavours and the use of fresh, seasonal products,” Pieter explains. “But

With parking only 50 metres away and a choice of rooms in different sizes, Carlos Quinto are also perfectly suited to host your party, wedding or business conference. “Our ballroom seats around 250 people and we can meet all our guests’ needs in terms of catering, music and video screening facilities,” Pieter is keen to point out. “We are known for our flex-

During the Gentse Feesten, the famous ten day Ghent Festival in July, Carlos Quinto will open a second outdoor seating area in front of the restaurant, where guests can enjoy aperitifs, cocktails, drinks and a selection of tapas. “The whole street will be buzzing with festivities,” says Pieter. “So what could be more enjoyable than resting your tired feet and refreshing yourself with a drink and a bite to eat while watching all this activity from the comfort of your seat?”

ibility. Whatever our customers wish for, given enough time to plan in advance, we will not disappoint them.”

For guests who fancy staying the night, Carlos Quinto offers two luxurious two-bedroom holiday apartments at adjacent Hof van Spanje. The restaurant is open Wednesdays to Saturdays for lunch and dinner, and on Sundays for lunch. During the Gentse Feesten, Carlos Quinto will be open every day.


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  59

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Discovering new products every day TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PHOTOS: VINTO

North of the Belgian Ardennes, is a small town called Kruishoutem. Here, you will find a rustic restaurant with a classic, warm interior and where quality is key. This is where Vinto holds house. It was only two years ago Pieter Fraeyman and Karel van Oyen decided to start their own restaurant. With their experience in catering and working for star restaurant Hertog Jan, it was no surprise that Vinto made it big immediately. The taste and quality of the menu, as well as the story behind the ingredients, get the most compliments. “We spend a lot of time finding the best of the best,” Van Oyen explains. Every day, they work to find better and tastier ingredients. “It’s important to us that ingredients are full of flavour, then they don’t need a lot of extras. You know how sometimes you may wonder what kind of flavours you really taste in a dish? We don’t want that.” 60  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

The menu is recognisable, but not too classic. “It’s based on known products and dishes, but we use certain techniques to make it just a tad more special. Thanks to the quality of the ingredients, we don’t want to add too much to a dish. If we serve dove, a guest has to be able to taste the dove and not some sauce we pour over it. Taste is most important to us, the way it looks comes second.” To achieve that kind of quality, there is no limit. Not in food - their up to 22-yearold Txogitxu beef from Spain is unlike any beef you have ever tasted - and not in wine. Fraeyman was voted Sommelier of the Year 2018 in Belgium so he certainly knows what he is doing. His secret? “Don’t go for the classic wines, but try to find new countries,” says Van Oyen. “We skip France and head up to Germany, Hungary and Austria. Our house champagne, for instance, is from a small farm South of Reims that Pieter discovered. We’re the only ones serving it in Belgium, and it tastes delicious.”

Vinto is telling a story with their products. Brands do not matter, taste does. And guests appreciate this. “They are often surprised when they hear our story behind something they eat, and that’s always nice to hear. This is our passion, after all.”


Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Indulge in haute éclairs TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: CHEZ CLAIRE

Launched in March in the hip Belgian cities of Ghent and Antwerp, Chez Claire is a unique new venue specialising in luxurious haute éclairs. With 12 mouth-watering flavours, Chez Claire offers a new and seriously improved version of the classic éclair. Most popular is salted caramel, with other flavours ranging from vanilla to hazelnut, mango, passion fruit and pistachio. Chez Claire will also introduce a gluten-free version in September, so that customers with gluten intolerance can experience the luxurious treat. Chez Claire is the brainchild of Dries Henau and Yuri Vandenbogaerde, who rose to fame in 2012 with their innovative WASBAR concept, combining a laundrette, café and hairdressing salon allowing customers to get a drink or a haircut while waiting for their washing. For the design of Chez Claire’s interior, Henau and Vandenbogaerde have once again teamed up with Pinkeye, the design studio that worked with them to develop WASBAR’s award-winning concept.

“We want to give our customers a moment of indulgence and happiness,” says Henau. “These days, there are so many things people need to do – work from nine to five, eat healthily, go to the gym and so on. At Chez Claire, we want to offer something that is not an obligation but rather gives the same feeling as in a luxury boutique, yet affordable.”

The foodie hotspot also offers its own brand of champagne, ‘Cuvée Claire’, for indulging in éclairs on the spot accompanied by a glass of bubbles. Or for something less decadent, a good cup of coffee. And for take away, Chez Claire has lovely packaging – ideal as a gift for a loved one or to make time and share together.

Opening hours: Every day from 10.30 to 18.30 Chez Claire Antwerpen Schrijnwerkersstraat 15 2000 Antwerpen Chez Claire Gent Kouter 185 9000 Gent Dries Henau and Yuri Vandenbogaerd.


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  61

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Quality with a capital Q TEXT: ELLA PUT  |  PHOTOS: CORBOO

Situated in a beautiful farmhouse, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Ghent, guests can taste mouth-watering dishes served with a spoonful of love for gastronomy. With almost 25 years of experience, Alexander and his wife Sofie are the proud owners of the 200-year-old homestead which houses the exclusive restaurant named CORBOO. Well-known for its quality in both food and service, every visit to the restaurant promises to be one to remember. Cooking according to the seasons, Alexander, who is not only the owner but also the chef, always makes sure an excellent selection of meat is available. “I love to cook according to the seasons, therefore, we also make sure we have the best quality products of each season in our kitchen.” Guests can also find an amazing all-yearround selection of the restaurant’s showpieces which include the homemade foie gras and

cassoulet. “Even though summer has barely started, we are already on the lookout for the best game meat for the autumn.” For the best pheasant, partridge or hare, CORBOO is the place to go. With more than 120 different sorts of wine, the restaurant also has a fine selection of both French as well as Italian wines. Perfect for the upcoming season, where guests can enjoy a delicious menu and a glass of wine whilst admiring the beautiful façade of the historic farmhouse

in a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere. Perfect for a business meeting or a family dinner. Web:

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Food, Drink & Sleep Spots

Luxurious Italian food and high-end service TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PHOTOS: L’INCONTRO

Restaurant, lounge bar, and space for parties and meetings. L’incontro has it all. In the centre of Ghent, right next to the Leie river, it holds place for over a hundred people. The perfect place to make a good impression. Three years ago, Alessandro Zingarelli started a small Italian restaurant with a fellow chef for around forty people to enjoy Italian dishes in an old manor house. The food was remarkable, guests indicated. Italian, they said, yet special. “We stay away from the classic dishes,” Zingarelli explains. “They inspire us, but we make them unique and more luxurious. Our linguine carbonara with truffle and lobster is something I guarantee you’ve never tasted before.” His Italian roots help Zingarelli create the perfect menu, with fresh ingredients for

exquisite pastas and meats. All ingredients are Italian, as are the staff. Everything to give its guests the complete, authentic Italian experience. But a restaurant alone was not enough for Zingarelli. “There are so many of those in Ghent, you have to offer something different.”

never be missed and handled as soon as possible.” For sure, a night out at L’Incontro will offer you a unique experience. Whether going there for a drink, dancing at a party or enjoying Italy’s finest dishes.

And he did, by moving to a place more than twice as big as the original L’Incontro. Where the interior is more modern, spacious and - most of all - stylish. “Especially the terrace is amazing, you look right over the Leie while enjoying your dinner or a glass of wine.” To retain a high level of service after moving to a place of this size, Zingarelli takes the help of technology. “I decided to place iPads on every table, to make it easier for our waiters. The orders go straight to the kitchen and therefore will


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  63

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Art & Culture Spots in East Flanders

Felice Casorati, Young Girl on a Red Carpet, 1912.

Photo: MSK

Temples of art: old masters and modernists MALIN NORMAN

When visiting Ghent, make sure to check out the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Both are temples of art, with world-class exhibitions this summer and autumn. The Museum of Fine Arts Ghent (MSK) is one of the oldest museums in Belgium, opening the doors at its current location back in 1903. This pioneer is an open museum, making it a lively meeting place where art, beauty and knowledge are shared. MSK houses an impressive collection of around 9,000 works of art, from the Middle Ages to the first half of the 20th century, and is considered a leading expertise of modern art. Its focus is on paintings from the Southern Netherlands but print art, sculpture and European painting are also well represented. Visitors can also witness the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece as it is being carried out in the heart of the museum. Finally, the MSK regularly invites 64  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

contemporary artists and social partners to interact with its historical collection and iconic building. Acting director Catherine Verleysen explains that in 2017, MSK kicked off a long-term project with its neighbour Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art. “Our project Back & Forth shows the historic ties between the two museums. In a series of encounters, contemporary artworks will temporarily return to the space for which they were created or where they were presented for the first time back when both museums were housed under the same roof.”

What’s on at MSK: Gaspar de Crayer and Ghent: An Unbreakable Bond 30 June 2018 to 4 November 2018 A presentation of several large-scale paintings by this local Baroque artist, coinciding with the De Crayer exhibition in the Musée de Flandre in Cassel. On Paper. Drawings by Ghent artists from the museum’s collection 14 July 2018 to 16 September 2018 The central theme of the exhibition On Paper is the City of Ghent and the artists who lived, passed through or settled here, covering 400 years of drawing. The Ladies of the Baroque. Women painters in 16th and 17th century Italy 20 October 2018 to 20 January 2019 The autumn exhibition features some 50 paintings and sheds light on the critical role of women painters in Italy from 1580 to 1680.

Photo: MSK


Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Art & Culture Spots in East Flanders

The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.) was founded in 1999 and is located opposite the MSK in a former casino building. Its permanent collection of first-rate Belgian and international works is presented in constant interaction with original and often provocative exhibitions. The Broodthaerskabinet is a permanent installation in S.M.A.K. dedicated to the presentation of the works, editions, books and archive pieces of Marcel Broodthaers, who became one of the most influential figures in 20th-century art. During his lifetime, the impact of his artistic practice was not only felt in his own country. He soon made his international breakthrough with work that forms a lasting legacy. This summer, visitors should take the opportunity to check out exhibition Nina Canell | Energy Budget, showing until 2 September. According to curator Ann Hoste, “Nina Canell’s works are transforming. The objects may be influenced by temperature and light, and some changes are directly visible whilst some take longer.” And in September, new exhibition Raoul De Keyser | oeuvre will open, showing works by Raoul De Keyser. “De Keyser is considered the grand master of Belgian painting for the last 50 years,” explains

curator Martin Germann. “This is the first time that his works are presented after he passed away in 2012.” Eline Verbauwhede, press officer at S.M.A.K. also recommends MAST, the museum’s summer bar, open from 1 August to 16 September. “Our museum is located in a park, so this is the perfect getaway from the city centre, only a 20 minute walk away!”

What’s on at S.M.A.K.: Leo Copers | 1969 - 1974 2 June to 2 September 2018 Together with BOZAR, M HKA and the Middelheim Museum, S.M.A.K. is celebrating the 50-year career of the Belgian artist Leo Copers and his surreallooking objects. Nina Canell | Energy Budget 23 June to 2 September 2018 Swedish artist Nina Canell links natural phenomena to systems developed by man, with the surroundings determining the temperature, atmosphere and transformation of objects. Zhang Peili | Uplifting 2 June to 21 October 2018 Zhang Peili is a pioneer of Chinese video art but also explores other media and styles in an attempt to distance himself from artistic conventions. Raoul De Keyser | oeuvre 22 September 2018 to 27 January 2019 S.M.A.K. is presenting the first posthumous survey of Raoul De Keyser’s oeuvre, on the basis of about 100 paintings and 50-odd watercolours and drawings from 1964 to 2012.

Nina Canell, Gum Drag, 2017.


Photo: S.M.A.K.

Marcel Broodthaers, Casserole de Moules S.M.A.K. installation 2017. Photo: Dirk Pauwels

Broodthaerskabinet, S.M.A.K. 2018. Photo: Dirk Pauwels

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  65

Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Historic Places to visit in East Flanders

Where old places meet new stories TEXT: MALIN NORMAN  |  PHOTOS: HISTORISCHE HUIZEN GENT

The magnificent Historische Huizen Gent unites seven historic monuments in Ghent, which are the silent witnesses of developments in the past and nowadays serve as the face of the city. But this is also where new stories are made. Historische Huizen Gent wants to build a bridge between the old and the new, between heritage and modern, innovative access techniques. It includes seven monuments in Ghent; the Castle of the Counts, the Belfort Tower, the Town Hall, St. Peter’s Abbey, St. Bavo’s Abbey, and the city palaces Hotel Clemmen and Hotel d’Hane Steenhuyse. These have all become open houses, where the modern day and spirits from the past can come together. “This is where old places meet new stories,” says communications manager Patty Delanghe. One of the highlights is St. Peter’s Abbey, which offers a mix of interesting exhibitions. For instance, Korda: Beauty and Revolution is open until 19 August. For the first time in Europe, it showcases work 66  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

by the Cuban photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, known as Korda, who is the man behind the legendary photo of the guerrilla leader Che Guevara. Delanghe also recommends a visit to St. Bavo’s Abbey. “It’s quite special, a hidden mystic treasure with a real Zen atmosphere. Are you thrilled by mysticism? You are bound to love these ruins.” Not to miss is also Hotel d’Hane Steenhuyse, an 18th century city palace in the Veldstraat, the busiest shopping street in Ghent. Its history dates back to 1768, when Count Emmanuel-Ignace d’Hane converted a number of medieval houses into a city palace. At the beginning of the 19th century, the palace was the home of Jean-Baptiste d’Hane de Steenhuyse, and according to Delanghe, “When entering, you can hear the sound of the old carriages and a dog barking. It feels as if the family is just about to leave or arrive.” Also, the impressive Castle of the Counts with its turbulent past, closely intertwined

with the often stormy political and social history of the city, has a lot for visitors to discover and is particularly popular amongst young guests. And, in addition to its medieval wealth, the Belfort Tower has a fantastic view of the city.


Discover Benelux  |  Discover East Flanders  |  Top Historic Places to visit in East Flanders

The fairytale castle with a difference TEXT: EDDI FIEGEL  |  PHOTOS: OOIDONK CASTLE

Think of a grand château and you will probably imagine the lavish castles of France’s Loire Valley. However, the magnificent Ooidonk Castle, a quarter of an hour’s drive southwest of the historic Belgian city of Ghent, can easily rival any château in the Loire for splendour. With its spectacular, fairytale turrets and grand moat, Ooidonk Castle is a unique example of the Hispanic-Flemish style of architecture which emerged during the Renaissance and is renowned as one of Belgium’s finest castles. The castle, which is often called ‘the Chambord of Flanders’ thanks to his similarities to the famous French château of Chambord, is home to Count and Countess Henry t’Kint de Roodenbeke and their three young sons and, over recent years, the Countess has taken charge of a complete renovation and refurbishment of the interiors. The elegant rooms, which include grand salons and majestic bedrooms, are filled with outstanding original paintings, engravings and antiques – including 17th century cabinets, 18th century Beauvais tapestries and Delft porcelain. The dé-

cor, meanwhile, has been sensitively and tastefully restored with period-style curtains, carpets and soft furnishings.

ganised on request every day between 1 March and 15 October. The gardens are open throughout the year from Tuesday afternoon to Sunday.

The Count is the sixth generation of his family to live in the castle and feels passionately about not only preserving its splendour but making the experience of visiting equally special for everyone. “There are many châteaux which have fine architecture and beautiful interiors,” says the Count, “but what is different for me about Ooidonk Castle, is that it’s not a museum. It’s a living home, and I think that visitors can sense that. We have magnificent paintings and antiques but they’re not frozen in time.” The castle is surrounded by nearly four acres of magical landscaped gardens in the French style, and the grounds are wonderful for a family day out or a leisurely stroll. Oidonk Castle also has a state of the art meeting room in the grounds, offering a 360-degree view of the castle and the gardens, which can be hired for business meetings and conferences, board meetings and product presentations. Ooidonk Castle is open to visitors from 1 April until 15 September on Sundays and holidays, and group visits can be or-

Web: For reservations and visits:

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  67





Why not to bloop in writing TEXT & PHOTO: STEVE FLINDERS

The first issue of the feminist magazine Ms. appeared in January 1972. Since then ‘Ms’ has become generally accepted as the standard form of written address for a woman in English. It provides women with the same neutral marital status as men and represents one more small step on the long, slow road towards gender equality. So I was surprised when we received a letter from a Maltese organisation recently, addressed to Mr & Ms Steve Flinders. Doesn’t that rather contradict the aim of ‘Ms’? But then I am often bemused by written communication here in Malta. Restaurant menus propose Ceasar salads while, perversely, Heritage Malta invites its members to a Paegant. A property magazine advertises an apartment for sale with insuit facilities, which I take to be a local rendering of ‘en-suite’. A prominent sign at the country’s main hospital indicates the location of the Fire Hose Cabnit which I think is a cabinet. And I wonder what you make of this email which I received from a local bank: 68  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

i am curently out of the office . Should you require an immdeate reply kindly contact [ ... ] on extension number [ ... ] Thank you

ally increases the danger of our treating rules and the truth casually too: there is plenty of evidence of such abuse in Malta at the moment, as elsewhere.

I kick off writing courses with an introductory text which I saw on prominent display in the first room of a major photography exhibition in Valletta, to illustrate the damage that bad writing can do to the reputations of individuals, organisations and sponsors. In just over 200 words which the writer - the curator - obviously did not proofread, we see spelling errors, repetitions, overlong sentences, typing errors, text that simply wastes our time (“Good photographers take better photographs than the average”) and the hauntingly weird: “fun was had”. (Question: “How was your party last night?” Curator’s answer: “Fun was had” - ?)

George Orwell’s warnings about this are as pertinent today as when he wrote Politics and the English Language in 1946. Please try not to bloop when you’re writing: the world will be a better place.

Good writing provides clarity. People in Malta tell me their managers prefer ‘utilise’ to ‘use’ because it sounds more impressive. More disturbingly, abuse of language rubs shoulders with lazy thought and abuse of power. Treating language casu-

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

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Calendar

Business Calendar TEXT: ELLA PUT  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete. Do not miss the opportunity to see the new offices as well as mingle and meet with stakeholders from the hydrogen sector.

Place Tech Trend Talks 17 July, Amsterdam, The Netherlands The place tech trend talks aim to bring together the property and tech communities in order to discuss the latest innovations and research results in the field of proptech. Visitors can expect a collaborative atmosphere where leading industry professionals from real estate mix with the world’s leading digital experts in tech.

CyberSecurity Start-up 1 July, Brussels, Belgium In this digital age, companies can benefit immeasurably from a stable cyber security system. But how does one set up such a system? And how to start a CyberSecurity venture? During this event, professionals from the industry will offer tools to bring the best out of yourself and your company.

ries of hackathons leading up to a final rehive fintech challenge. Throughout the series, sponsors will give away prizes to the best project in fintech.

Hydrogen Europe Office Opening Event 10 July, Brussels, Belgium Hydrogen Europe is opening a new office in Brussels, which will be inaugurated by the European Commissioner for Climate

Young PE Leaders 3 July, Luxembourg, Luxembourg The Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association organises an open event to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its programme for young PE leaders, where the practice as well as future goals will be highlighted.

Rehive: let’s build | Fintech 7 July, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Developers, entrepreneurs and designers are welcome during this 24-hour pop-up event which forms part of a seIssue 55  |  July 2018  |  69

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Instituto Cervantes Bruxelles

Beyond the Spanish language at the Instituto Cervantes in Brussels TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTOS: INSTITUTO CERVANTES

With 87 centres in 44 countries worldwide, the Instituto Cervantes has been promoting Spanish and Hispanic language and culture for more than 25 years.

and you can take advantage of the AVE GLOBAL platform on your mobile phone, which is an entertaining, effective and convenient way to brush up your Spanish anytime, anywhere.

The Instituto Cervantes in Brussels offers a raft of language courses at all levels, running through the year and welcoming both children and adults, plus, shorter intensive courses run through the summer months of July and August - morning, afternoon and evening options available. Levels commence at complete beginner, through to intermediate and advanced - the latter of which which brings students up to university and professional proficiency. The Institute also enables official certification of the various levels of proficiency, thanks to the DELE and SIELE examinations.

The Cervantes Institute prides itself on its collaboration with a number of universities in the country that offer special training to teachers of Spanish so they can keep up-to-date with the latest specialisms and make sure you receive the best.

Does your business need Spanish for professional purposes? Then courses can be tailor-made to suit your legal, banking, or other requirements. Specially trained teachers come to your workplace at a time to suit your needs. Tailor-made courses are also available via video-conferencing. Distance and internet learning is also offered, so you never need miss out whilst travelling 70  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

The Institute Cervantes in Brussels houses an extensive and technologically advanced library that is also open to the public. Peruse more than 31,000 volumes dedicated to Hispanic language, art, history and culture. Try an audiobook to enhance listening skills or just to enjoy a story. Thousands of films and documentaries are available to borrow and there is a well-stocked area for teen and children’s literature too. This highly interactive space houses more than 2,000 CDs of classical, flamenco and pop music so you are sure to find your favourite Spanish and Hispanic musicians. And if you would like your children to begin music training in Spanish, then the Institute Cervantes in Brussels offers a music

school from the age of three where children learn from an extensive Spanish and Latin American repertoire. Various exchanges, conferences, debates, talks, performances, film and more run throughout the year, where writers, filmmakers and researches can share their passion with the audience. Access to these events is free on a first come, first served basis. Just sign up for updates and newsletters to be sure not to miss out. Instituto Cervantes Brussels Avenue Louise 140 1050 Brussels Belgium Tel.: +32 2 737 0190 Email:

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 8:30-18:00 Friday: 8:30-15:00 Library opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 10:00-19:00 Friday: 10:00-15:00


Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  71

Discover Benelux  |  Culture Attraction of the Month  |  Janot Entertainment BV

Casa Rosso. Photo: Martin Alberts

50-year anniversary of erotica TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK

In 1968, the erotic theatre Casa Rosso opened its doors for the very first time. Fifty years later, it has grown into a household name and its parent company Janot Entertainment, has multiple venues. Certainly, Amsterdam’s redlight district would not be the same without it. Casa Rosso is the epicentre of Amsterdam’s red-light district. The world-famous erotic theatre stages numerous solo and duo performances, impressive poledance acts and interactive shows with humour. Tickets are available at the door and online, and visitors can stay as long as they like. With 184 red velvet chairs facing the stage, it is the perfect place to watch seductive acts come alive. 72  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

One of the reasons for the success of Casa Rosso is owner Jan Otten, who started out as a doorman and climbed the company ladder until he eventually took over the business. Even though he is now 76 years old, he still works every day, including handling ticket sales at the door of Casa Rosso. “I don’t have the time to retire,” states Otten. “Besides, this job keeps me young. Many people my age are sitting at home doing nothing. I feel alive when I’m at work.”

ples, there is something for everyone,” says Otten. In October this year, Janot Entertainment will celebrate its 50-year anniversary with a range of festive events.

Fifty years of erotic theatre Casa Rosso’s parent company Janot Entertainment, has become a real empire within the erotic theatre scene of Amsterdam. “We have a unique concept; erotic theatre for men, women and cou-

Bananenbar/Bananenclub Photo: unknown

Discover Benelux  |  Culture Attraction of the Month  |  Amsterdam

Otten: “All kinds of people come to visit Casa Rosso from all over the world. Our shows are female friendly, simply because we love and respect women. In fact, 70 per cent of all visitors are women.” According to Otten, the best part of the job is to see the expression on people’s faces after the show. “Casa Rosso stirs desire. When I see a couple is kissing intimately at the door after the show, I know that we have done our job properly.”

Erotica at the museum Amsterdam and the red-light district have an interesting history, starting in the 16th century. The impressive collection of erotic art at the Erotic Museum presents eroticism throughout the ages. Historical and contemporary paintings, drawings,

pottery, films, photographs and all kinds of unconventional erotic items, show the rich history of erotica. The Erotic Museum has several mustsee’s exhibited. For example, there is one entire floor dedicated to sado masochism and fetishism, but also the original erotic sketches that John Lennon made while honeymooning in Amsterdam, and much more. The Erotic Museum is a must when visiting Amsterdam, and do not forget to check out the quirky souvenir shop.

Nightclubs and hospitals Another of Janot Entertainment’s venues is the Bananabar and Bananaclub, two erotic nightclubs in the same building. There are a number of erotic shows, in

which bananas always play a big part. The perfect place to blow off some steam or to celebrate a bachelor/bachelorette party. Things can get very heated at the red-light district, and the hot nurses at the Hospital Bar will take good care of its visitors. The erotic dancers are dressed in nurse outfits and armed with stethoscopes. As they jokingly say at the bar, “A lap dance a day, keeps the doctor away.” The venues are located along the same canal and within walking distance from each other, and Otten can keep an eye on his businesses. Otten concludes: “I love the Banana Bar and the Hospital Bar, but Casa Rosso remains my baby, my first love. It’s where it all started for me.” Web:

Casa Rosso Photo: unknown

Casa Rosso Photo: unknown

Seks Place Photo: Gemeente Energiebedrijf

Photo: Martin Alberts

Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  73

Discover Benelux  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Oesterbar Restaurant Venitien

Tailor-made dining with a perfect view TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: RESTAURANT VENITIEN

If you ask anybody in Blankenberge where to find quality food and enjoy a great view, most will advise you to go to Restaurant Venitien on the Zeedijk. For nearly 40 years, the restaurant run by the Wymeels family - has been serving nothing but excellent food. “People can engineer their meals based on their dietary wishes, including the size of the portions,” explains Katerine Vergote, who has been working at Venitien for 27 years alongside her husband Jurgen Wymeels. “Some people have allergies or just can’t finish a regular portion. That can take away the pleasures of dining out. By designing their own meals, we make sure guests can enjoy our menu either way. For instance, you can have the standard codfish, or take a smaller portion and supplement it with different side dishes and sauces. We can prepare it any way you want.” Venitien opened its doors in 1970 on the famous Zeedijk in Blankenberge, one of the most beautiful spots along the Belgian coast. The influences of the Belle Epoque era are all around, on cosy squares and in narrow streets. “You are 74  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

literally just a few steps away from the beach and the North Sea. You can taste the richness that the North Sea has to offer,” smiles Vergote.

you dine at Venitien. “The perfect spot to enjoy the best of the North Sea.”

Ten years ago, Venitien redecorated the restaurant completely with the help of Antoine Pinto, the famous Portuguese interior designer who has designed restaurants in Brussels, Paris and Lisbon. “We wanted something perfect. I had seen multiple designs from Pinto,” remembers Vergote. “I never thought he would be interested in working with us. Still, I contacted him and it turned out he was!” When entering Venitien, you feel as though you are walking into a warm galley of an old sailing ship. There is a lot of wood and leather, and the floor is just like one you would find in a ship. The restaurant also has a terrace, right on the beach. For those who want to stay in Blankenberge for a few days and fully experience the city, Venitien has multiple apartments to rent, right above the restaurant. Excellent food, fully tailored to every wish, in one of the most beautiful places of Belgium; that is what you get when


Discover Benelux  |  Culinary Profile  |  Afrikan Gourmet


A Taste of Africa in Luxembourg TEXT: EDDI FIEGEL  |  PHOTOS: AFRIKAN GOURMET

Ask any foodie where to find the most innovative cuisine around the world and food trucks will almost certainly be mentioned. No less so in Luxembourg. One truck in particular – Afrikan Gourmet – has fast been gaining a reputation as one of the best in the city, producing top-quality, highly original cooking. Afrikan Gourmet – as the name suggests – specialises in African cuisine and is Luxembourg’s first African food truck, using locally sourced, high-quality ingredients from Luxembourg to create tantalising African dishes. The truck is the brainchild of Regine Welter, originally from the Ivory Coast, who realised that the African cuisine she had grown up with was relatively unknown in Luxembourg. Having seen the success of the African food trucks in Paris, she decided to launch a truck of her own in Luxembourg and, after train-

ing at the Atelier des Chefs cooking school in Paris, did just that. Arikan Gourmet’s speciality is the ostrich burger. Ostrich meat is a regular staple of West African cooking and is low in calories and cholesterol. The red meat (similar in colour to beef) is not only exceptionally tender, but, above all, flavoursome. “Ostrich meat,” says Regine, “is the standout ingredient which makes our food really special. Although we source our meat in Luxembourg, the ostrich is a native of South Africa and has amazing gastronomic and nutritional qualities. Above all, it’s the meat’s tenderness which makes it so delicious.” Other Afrikan Gourmet dishes include the best-selling Senegalese classic Yassa Chicken – succulent chicken with caramelised onions and mustard, Mafé de Bœuf du Sénégal – a beef stew with

tomatoes and carrots in a rich, peanut sauce and, Chakalaka d’Afrique du Sud – a spicy vegetable casserole with green pepper, cabbage, chilies, carrots, curry powder and beans. There are also veggie burgers as well as a wide selection of salads. All the ingredients are sourced locally in Luxembourg whilst the ostrich meat is provided fresh from quality Luxembourg ostrich farm Straussenfarm de Contern. Afrikan Gourmet’s dishes can be eaten in situ near the food truck or taken away in specially provided, eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging. Afrikan Gourmet’s distinctive, elegantly designed, black and white truck can be found at different locations across central Luxembourg Monday to Friday. Web:

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+33 3 8532 08 27 120 route des Poccards (Entrance via Rue de la Brasse)

Giethoorn Evenementen. Photo: © Giethoorn Evenementen

Out & About The month of July is upon us and this means an impressive line-up of festivals in the Benelux. So take the opportunity to go out and about, stroll along the colourful markets, listen to great live music and enjoy a refreshing beer. TEXT: ELLA PUT  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Calendar

De Parade 29 June – 2 September, different locations across The Netherlands De Parade is a travelling circus held in The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam throughout the summer. Bringing a splash of wild and fun performances along with colourful tents, eateries and last, but not least, the famous carousel.

Storm over Beulaeke 4-6 July, Giethoorn, The Netherlands In a breathtaking newly built open-air theatre, the spectacular show Storm over Beulaeke will take place. Specially adapted to the surrounding nature where it is set, the mysterious story of Beulaeke will be told during these midsummer nights.

André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra 6-15 July, Maastricht, The Netherlands The world-famous violist André Rieu and his

Blue Moon Festival. Photo: © Sam Outlaw

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Johann Strauss Orchestra will offer an impressive performance on one of the most romantic Dutch squares, Het Vrijthof, in Andre’s hometown of Maastricht.

Brosella Folk & Jazz 7-8 July, Laken, Belgium This open-air festival is more than just music, set in one of the most gorgeous outdoor theatres in the country. Surrounded by stunning nature, the two-day event brings out the best of folk and jazz. Discover young, unknown talent whilst sipping a beer in the lush atmosphere.

Blast Furnace Festival 7-8 July, Esch-zur-Alzette, Luxembourg The Blast Furnace Festival promises to be a cultural spectacle, already known for its many surprise acts. In the picturesque town of Eschzur-Alzette, all that is cultural will come together: workshops, music performances, art exhibitions, a market and even a zip line.

Giethoorn Evenementen. Photo: © Giethoorn Evenementen

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Calendar

Gentse Feesten 13-22 July, Ghent, Belgium After almost 160 years, the Gentse Feesten has become one of the most popular and beloved festivals in Europe. In a country famous for its good beers, the festival promises to be an event where guests can enjoy music, markets and, of course, beer - divided over ten squares in the town, as well as offering up hundreds of indoor and outdoor activities.

Blues Express 14 July, Lasauvage, Luxembourg National and international music acts will gather in Fond-de-Gras and Lasauvage during one day in July, with a historical backdrop as the magical setting. The beautiful train-ride with the Blues Express as well as the concerts are free of charge.

North Sea Jazz 15-16 July, Rotterdam, The Netherlands North Sea Jazz is without a doubt the biggest Issue 55  |  July 2018  |  79

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Calendar jazz festival in The Netherlands. With past performances by B.B. King and Ella Fitzgerald, some 65,000 visitors enjoy the best that the international world of jazz has to offer. This year’s performances include Emeli Sandé and CeeLo Green.

The Four Days Marches 17-20 July, Nijmegen, The Netherlands Tens of thousands of brave participants from all over the world take part in the fourday marches every year. Many visitors come to cheer, with plenty of entertainment in and around town.

Once in a Blue Moon 25 August, Amsterdam, The Netherlands With an exciting and promising line-up, including artists such as Tim Knol, DeWolff, Sam Outlaw and The Mavericks, the first edition of Once in a Blue Moon Festival will bring together the best of folk, Americana, country, blues and roots rock in Amsterdam Bos.

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Musée Mariemont

One of Belgium’s most beautiful gardens and private art collections TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTO: MUSÉE MARIEMONT

Visit the Mariemont Estate and enjoy magnificent art treasures from around the world and stunning gardens with abundant exotic plants. Visitors to the Mariemont Estate are treated to a sumptuous display of exceptional pieces of art, collected and donated to the Belgian people by the wealthy 19th century industrialist Raoul Warocqué – a man with a great passion for art, books, Eastern philosophy and Greek and Roman antiquity. It is a collection to rival the best in the world. Treasures from ancient Greece, Japan and China stand alongside Roman divinities, Gallic-Roman jewels, numerous ancient texts and manuscripts, an Egyptian mummy and contemporary pieces including a beautiful selection of porcelain from Tournai. The museum, located within the grounds, also houses architectural treasures from the Hainaut region and demonstrates that despite

his passion for travel, Raoul Warocqué never forgot his family’s longstanding connection to the region. This fascinating collection is housed in a 1975 building designed by architect Roger Bastin, surrounded by 45 hectares of beautiful English gardens – an open-air museum in themselves. This is where you will find Auguste Rodin’s ‘Bourgeois de Calais’ sculpture, a four-metre-tall smiling Japanese Buddha, and a myriad of rare trees and exotic plants whilst strolling along snaking paths admiring the rhododendrons and azaleas. The Mariemont Estate is a veritable oasis of calm in the heart of the region and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful parks in Belgium. The Estate is close to La Louvière, and only 25 kilometres from Mons, Charleroi and Nivelles. Make sure not to miss the unique summer exhibition: “n the time of Galen: a journey back in time to the Roman Empire.

Entrance to the park is free all year round. Museum fee: Adults: 5 euros,, seniors: 2,50 euros, students and teens: 2 euros, and free for children under the age of 12 Parking facilities and brasserie restaurant available on site. Web:

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Bastogne War Museum

An interactive wartime adventure for all TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTOS: BASTOGNE WAR MUSEUM

Experience life in the Ardennes during World War II through the eyes of an American GI, a German soldier, a resistance fighter and a child - at the modern technologically enhanced Bastogne War Museum. Visitors and school groups begin their adventure by taking a virtual journey back in time to 1944. The tour begins at the Allied Headquarters in England in June 1944 at a press conference. A journalist questions the top brass about events up until this moment. Then original footage and images are used to tell the story of the war up until the Normandy landings. The second leg of the journey takes visitors to the edges of the dense Ardenne forest. Senses are heightened and the temperature drops. We begin to understand that the fighting took place in the harshness of a very cold winter. An eerie sensation creates an awareness of the presence of soldiers hiding in their fox holes. You can hear them but you cannot see them. 82  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

The third and final experience takes place in a reconstructed café. Standing alongside the locals, you realise you are sheltering from the exploding shells on the streets outside.

Visitors will gain a greater in-depth understanding of the struggles, losses and gains on all sides and from all perspectives during this immersive, digitally enhanced adventure.

The epic Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 - January 1945) provides the focal point of the museum, placing it in a global context. This US-led offensive was the most brutal and bloodiest of the whole of WWII and the Americans incurred huge losses both in terms of manpower and tank power. Yet, despite initial German successes, this battle marked a significant turning point in the war and left the mighty German army in tatters.

Many activities including conferences, exhibitions, reconstructions and more will take place throughout the year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in 2019. Highlights will take place in December this year/2019 - delete as applicable.

The Bastogne War Museum presents this story through thousands of exhibits that include evocative photos, film, weaponry, uniforms and other memorabilia. Other significant WWII events such as the holocaust, the invention of the atom bomb and the fighting in the far east are engagingly displayed and explained.


Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Fondation Roi Baudouin – BELvue

Photo: © Frank Toussaint

Photo: © BELvue/David Plas

Photo: © BELvue/Philippe de Formanoir


BELvue museum brings the story of Belgium to life TEXT: SIMON WILLMORE  |  PHOTOS: BELVUE MUSEUM

In years past, the Place des Palais in Brussels was a place to meet and to exchange ideas in - a place in which to share discourse on the issues of the day. Issues such as democracy, prosperity, solidarity, pluralism, migration, language and Europe, all of which have come to describe modern-day Belgium – and it is these themes that are addressed at the BELvue Museum. “We offer visitors the keys to better understand the history of Belgium, its society and its people,” says Mathilde Oechsner, promotion manager for the museum. On two Sundays this year, 8 July and 5 August, these stories of local people will come to life even more vividly, as a theatrical live guide will recount days gone by with “funny, poetic, historical and sometimes silly” tales and poems. These will be presented in three languages: French, English and Dutch – whilst the museum’s audio guides are also available in German.

Presenting the tour in multiple languages is no coincidence. Oechsner says that being “open for everyone” is crucial to the museum’s vision and this includes people of all ages, especially families. Indeed, children are especially well catered-for with themed tours, including ‘Mimi and Momo’ for three- to five-year-olds, ‘I’m the Minister’ for those aged between six and eight, and ‘On the road with Zeno’ for nine- to 12-year-olds. These tours are visual and interactive to keep the whole family, and especially the little ones, engaged. “The stories we tell are tools that are brought to life through the objects on display. Of course there are the quintessentially Belgian things – chocolate, beer, fries – but we also tell visitors about industry, design and daily life. There are two centuries’ worth of objects to be seen,” Oechsner explains. Talking of chocolate and beer, the museum’s restaurant, whose terrace looks out

onto the gorgeous Royal Palace, has just reopened. The menu changes every day and always includes Belgian cuisines from local producers. The museum is managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, which was created for the 25th anniversary of the king’s coronation. The foundation’s goal is to “improve justice, democracy and respect for diversity” – and what better way to study these concepts than to learn about how we overcame the time when mankind was at its least harmonious – during the world wars. It seems extremely fitting that the upcoming temporary exhibition is titled Brussels, November 1918: from war to peace? The exposition, which will open on 26 September, seems like the perfect way to understand the birth of democracy, solidarity and Europe. Web:

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Opéra de Dijon

Dijon’s dynamic cultural hotspot TEXT: EDDI FIEGEL  |  PHOTOS: GILLES ABEGG

Dijon may be most famous for its gastronomy but the Dijon Opera is fast gaining a global reputation as a major player on the international arts scene. Based in a ground-breaking contemporary auditorium, renowned throughout Europe for its superb acoustics, Opera Dijon’s new season will feature a fascinating programme devised by its dynamic young director general and artistic director Laurent Joyeux. Six new opera productions will span five centuries and a vast array of musical styles - from the Baroque of Rameau and the 19th century melodicism of Bizet and Verdi, to the 21st century micro-tonal frictions created by contemporary Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. There will also be concerts by top calibre international guest stars such as virtuoso pianists Murray Perahia and Boris Berezovsky, performances of Mozart’s last symphonies as well as a dance work by the hugely influential, trailblazing choreog84  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

rapher Alain Platel, inspired by Mozart’s Requiem. The centrepiece of the 2018/2019 season will be the rarely performed Baroque opera Les Boréades, by one of Dijon’s most famous natives: Rameau – the star composer of the Baroque era. Les Boréades explores issues highly pertinent in society today, such as the struggle of the individual in the face of social inequality, the abuse of power, the subjugation and liberation of women and the awakening of political activism. The theme of liberty is central to the six main pieces which will feature in the Opera’s 2018/2019 season. Women and their liberation and empowerment are key themes ˇ ˚ in Janácek’s Jenufa, in a continuation of ˇ Opera Dijon’s ongoing Janácek cycle, plus in Sacrati’s La Finta Pazza and Bizet’s enduring popular classic – Carmen. The Opera will also present the French premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ 2016

opera Koma, which examines dark themes of illness and suffering and can be seen as exploring the lack of liberty within the human body. Political freedom meanwhile is the focus of another popular classic - Verdi’s Nabucco. The Dijon Opera’s season is not entirely adult-focused, however. The Opera also runs family-friendly workshops where children can sing, dance and act, as well as a school programme and student evenings with special ticket pricing for students.


Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Musée Gustave Courbet

Photo: © Varlet Ornans

LEFT: Léon Frederic (1856 – 1940), Panorama des Ardennes, 1921. Huile sur toile marouflée sur panneau de bois, Collection privée, © Johan Schutte. RIGHT: Léon Frederic, A la petite sœur, 1902. Huile sur toile marouflée sur panneau, Collection De Groeve, Belgique, © Johan Schutte. BOTTOM: Léon Frederic, Profil d’enfant devant Nafraiture, 1895. Huile sur toile marouflée sur panneau, Collection Charles Hack and the “Hearn Family Trust”, © The Hearn Family Trust and Charles Hack.


Most museums invite you to focus solely on the artworks they display, presenting paintings and sculptures in what are effectively insular, modern white cubes. At the Musée Gustave Courbet however, the uninterrupted views of the Loue valley and the town of Ornans, are arguably as important as the work within. The hugely influential 19th century French painter Gustave Courbet, believed in painting only what he could see with his own eyes. In his particular case, this meant the landscape and inhabitants of Ornans in Eastern France, less than an hour’s drive from the Swiss border. This was where he spent much of his childhood, returning frequently throughout his life and, at the Musée Gustave Courbet, you can see some 80 paintings, drawings, sculptures and personal artefacts in what was originally his studio on the banks of the River Loue. “For me,” says assistant curator Claire Bleuze, “what’s really special about the Musée is the fact that you can see

Courbet’s work in the midst of the landscape which inspired it. There’s such a strong connection between the views outside the museum and the work within it that you almost feel like you’re inside one of Courbet’s paintings.” Spread over three buildings, including original 19th farmhouse buildings and sensitively designed contemporary extensions, the Museum not only houses the most important collection of Courbet’s own work but also pieces by his pupils and followers, as well as the work of later artists influenced by him. The Musée Courbet also stages temporary exhibitions and summer 2018 will see a major show of works by Belgian symbolist painter Léon Frederic. Frederic was one of the most important figures in Belgian art at the end of the 19th century, moving gradually from realism and naturalism to symbolism, and the exhibition will bring together for the first time over 50 key pieces from both private collections and major international museums. The show will be followed by an exhibition by the museum’s current artist in

residence, contemporary Flemish artist Sven Verhaeghe. Throughout the summer, there will also be talks, concerts and family events. From July to October, admission to both the permanent Courbet collection and the Léon Frederic exhibition will be eight euros, or 12 euros, including a guided tour with the curator.


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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Pays Seltz-Lauterbourg - France

Natural Magic in Pays Seltz-Lauterbourg Borderlands are often fascinating places. Not least the towns and countryside around the French and German border, in particular the French region of Seltz-Lauterbourg. Just under an hour’s drive north of Strasbourg and less than five minutes from the German border, this fantastically green, fertile region is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, with scenic cross-border cycle paths, walks amidst a spectacular nature reserve, and a family-friendly beach at Lauterbourg. Whether you fancy yourself wearing a yellow jersey on the Tour de France and have the pedal-speeds to match, or just enjoy a gentle two-wheeled amble through the countryside, there are routes to suit everyone. Wannabe Wiggins can enjoy the famous ‘EuroVelo 15’ Rhine Route which runs alongside the river Rhine to the north or south, towards Strasbourg. There are also eight cross-border itineraries, as well as the Swiss/ Netherlands route which takes in a total of four European countries.

But the countryside is not just for cycling. The breathtaking nature reserve at the Sauer delta is a walkers’ and bird-lovers’ paradise, with no less than 400 different plant species and 182 types of bird. Similarly, Lauterbourg’s Plage des Mouettes (Seagull Beach) has 500 metres of fine sand beach and amazingly clear waters. For family fun, there’s also a water playground complete with sliding ropes, a springboard jump and water toboggan, as well as an inflatable soft-play water park, kayaking and catamarans. Nearby, you will find a fantastic variety of hotels, guesthouses and campsites. And for the


perfect lunch or dinner? The local restaurants are renowned for their exceptional Alsace cuisine. The ideal place to tuck into a tantalising ‘tarte flambée’.

Photo: Stempfer Christophe

Munchhausen. Photo: Tourisme Pays de Seltz-Lauterbourg


Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Passion d’art

Unlock your creativity at Passion d’Art TEXT: LORENZA BACINO  |  PHOTOS: PASSION D’ART

“I believe every child possesses an innate curiosity and love,” says Dominique Ferraglia, owner and founder of the Passion d’Art gallery in Cluny. “And I believe art provides a bridge between the two. Art is a living, breathing thing.” The gallery was born from Ferraglia’s intense and positive personal experience during a drawing course. So moved was she, that she threw herself into a new venture - and Passion d’Art was born. Situated on the ground floor of a 17th century building in the picturesque town of Cluny, Saone et Loire, the atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed. Ferraglia prides herself on the wonderful variety – watercolours, oil paintings, ceramics, bronze sculptures, pottery and more are tastefully displayed across two floors. Paintings by Swiss German artist Stéphanie

Bucher, Jan Van den Driessche and photographs by Jean Noel Reichel are currently on show and, from July, works by poet and painter, Martine Lenormand can be viewed at Passion d’Art. Ferraglia’s dream is to provide a space for local talent to be seen and appreciated by all. She has plans to extend and involve artists from further afield, moulding the dynamic and enhancing the harmony of the entire Cluny community, thereby creating a place where locals and tourists can mingle and enjoy a creative ambiance that embraces all the arts. “I want my gallery to become the beating heart of the artistic community here, a place for meetings, talks, performances and music. I want people to come and exchange ideas and feed their soul. My gallery is an extension of all of my loves.” Ferraglia’s passion for the arts ensures a

fresh approach and a fascinating turnover of works to attract all art lovers. And the town of Cluny is the focal point. “Cluny is a city of history, character and ideas. When you come here, you can feel it emanating from the streets, the Roman churches, the Abbey and just the whole feel of the place. I see my gallery as linking past and present, a path leading from our rich multi-layered history towards a colourful and equally rich future, and one I want to share with the public.”

Passion D’Art 2 rue du Merle, Cluny 71250 Saone and Loire

Opening times: Tues – Fri 14h30-19h Sat – 10h-19h


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Discover Benelux  |  Culture Feature  |  Claudy Jongstra


Murals, community and environmental awareness TEXT & PHOTO: STUART FORSTER

Artworks by Claudy Jongstra have featured in the likes of the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Fields of Transformation, a triptych more than 16 metres wide, is displayed within the University of Pennsylvania’s Moelis Grand Reading Room. Her works are characterised by the utilisation of natural colours and textured fibres from rare Drenthe Heath sheep. You will find a flock of around 250 of Europe’s oldest breed of sheep in Friesland. If the flock expanded, the local heathland would grow. Should their number decline, then the forest would begin to cover a greater area. The sheep have a significant impact on the landscape in which they live, so maintaining a balance 88  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018

is important. Examine Jongstra’s working practices and you will quickly learn that she exhibits an environmental awareness and commitment to the community. It is within Friesland that Jongstra has interests in a farm, De Kreake. The rural property plays a key role in the activities and philosophy of Farm of the World, a cultural foundation that places an emphasis on sustainability: it was initiated by Jongstra, Gitta Luiten and Claudia Busson. De Kreake stands at Húns, a few kilometres west of Leeuwarden and due south of Dronrijp – the village in which renowned artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema was born. Plants such as dyer’s camomile and true indigo count among those

grown organically on the farm. They – and natural pigments that would be recognisable to Golden Age artists and Alma-Tadema – are used to produce the dyes used by Jongstra and her creative associates. Visit the farm and you will see several young people at work. Some of them have struggled to find a path in life elsewhere. To coincide with Leeuwarden-Friesland being a 2018 European Capital of Culture, De Kreake is hosting several events, including yoga sessions and the ‘Food for Thought’ lecture series. At Spannum, a few kilometres southwest of Húns, you can find the Farm of the World studio. Students from around the globe compete for prestigious ap-

Discover Benelux  |  Culture Feature  |  Claudy Jongstra

prenticeships. The property has a compact garden and a medicinal-smelling workshop in which plants are dried and treated to create dyes. Wool is carded and brushed to straighten wool fibres that will be utilised in artworks. Coloured wool is strewn on tables in the workshop across the yard where works are painstakingly created. Hues and textures are central to Jongstra’s artworks. Woven Skin was billed as ‘the first of Jongstra’s murals to come off the wall’. The work was exhibited during May in the cavernous post-industrial setting of Waste No Waste Factory, a former sugar production unit in Groningen. Reminiscent of animal pelts hanging on metal racks and stretching for 48 metres, Woven Skin, was accompanied by a discordant soundtrack. The work – in common with De Kreake – invites people to consider and enter debate about agricultural production methods. See for more details about Farm of the World and for more about Claudy Jongstra’s oeuvre.

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Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Columns



Soviets at the Stedelijk The Soviet Union was a remarkable period in human history, and, despite its collapse nearly 30 years ago, it remains one of the most mysterious. In Freedom is a Recognized Necessity, a survey exhibition of Soviet art at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, we get a glimpse into what life was really like behind the Iron Curtain. The Soviet Union was a remarkable period in human history, and, despite its collapse nearly 30 years ago, it remains one of the most mysterious. In Freedom is a Recognized Necessity, a survey exhibition of Soviet art at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, we get a glimpse into what life was really like behind the Iron Curtain. As you might expect, Freedom is a Recognized Necessity is dripping with political symbolism and metaphor. From artists who spent their entire lives under socialist dictatorship, to those who emigrated, it had an evident and lasting

impression on their lives. Leonid Lamm’s eponymous work from 1974-84 evidences his disenchantment and the political shortcomings of the system, whilst the legacy of the Soviet era can still be seen in the work of young contemporary painters Wilhelm Sasnal and Paulina Olowska. Unsurprisingly, painting is a central theme in Freedom is a Recognized Necessity, with many big canvasses and airbrushes on show. Perhaps more surprisingly though, is the role performance plays in the exhibition. Avantgarde artists were pushing artistic and political boundaries in hosting secretive performances in apartments, as well as incorporating it into other art forms. This is a survey of a sensational era that spawned some exceptional and daring artists, but this is also a remarkable exhibition for the Stedelijk. The show forms part of Stedelijk Turns - hoping to interpret museum collections in new ways - and the majority of work on show

Leonid Izrailevich Lamm, Adam and Eve: Freedom is Recognized Necessity, 1984. Collectie Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

is from the Stedelijk’s pre-existing collection of work from former ‘Eastern Bloc’ nations; an astonishing feat considering what a wide-ranging and encompassing exhibition this is. A must-see show and one that runs until 12 August 2018. 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.


Préaris Grand Cru The 2015 edition of Préaris Grand Cru is a dark beer that has been aged in Cognac barrels for 13 months. The beer is a product of the Vliegende Paard Brouwers – meaning the ‘Flying Horse Brewers’ – which was founded in 2011. The brewery’s base is at Ouldenem, 10 kilometres south-east of Bruges, and Vliegende Paard was named by RateBeer as the Best New Brewer in Belgium in 2013. Over the past few years, the brewery has produced a series of grand crus, based on its powerful quad style beer. They are aged in a variety of barrel types: whisky, bourbon and even Grand Marnier barrels count among those that have been used for other versions of the ale. The limited edition releases are sold in numbered, 375-millilitre bottles that are sealed with a synthetic stop and wire. The top fermented beer re-ferments in the bottle. The colour of the beer is almost black. On pouring the 2015 Préaris Grand Cru I noticed 90  |  Issue 55  |  July 2018


that it wasn’t a particularly lively beer and had a malty, marmite-like aroma. The flavour also reminded me of marmite but had a sweetness and complexity, with hints of toffee and raisins, that made this beer soft, palatable and interesting to drink. I served it with a plate of mature Old Amsterdam cheese, walnuts and dates. I then added a couple of pieces of organic, 70 per cent chocolate to the mix, making for an interesting combination that complemented the beer. Perhaps it’s a brew that should be served with a good steak? Brewer: Vliegenede Paard Brouwers Strength: 10.0 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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