Discover Benelux, Issue 65, May 2019

Page 1

I S S U E 6 5 | M AY 2 019









Discover Benelux  |  Contents

Contents MAY 2019




Lucie Horsch At the age of just nine, Dutch recorder player Lucie Horsch became an overnight sensation when one of her canalside performances in Amsterdam was broadcast on national television. We caught up with the musical prodigy, now aged 19, to discuss her latest album, Baroque Journey, an enchanting musical journey around Baroque Europe.


Distinctive Flemish Landscaping: Transform your Outdoor Living Space It’s time to get out in the fresh air and make the most of your garden. We present the Flemish experts who can help make your outdoor dreams a reality.




Company profiles, regulars and more We look at the month ahead in business, as well as profiling the Benelux companies you need to know about.


Roadside Gastronomy This feature is guaranteed to make your mouth water! We look at the myriad of tasty traditional food available at booths and take-away restaurants in the Benelux.

Netherlands Tourism Special: Where to Stay and What to See Join us on a journey across the Netherlands, as we pick out our must-visit destinations and top places to stay.

Discover Top Flemish Cyber Security & Data Protection Experts: Think Before You Click! This month we look at the Flemish firms at the forefront of cyber security and data protection.






Fashion Picks  |  8 Desirable Designs Out & About  |  75 Columns

Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning: An Exceptional Experience Every Time If you want the ‘wow’ factor for your next event, look no further than our guide to the finest locations and cultural venues in the Netherlands.

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  3

Discover Benelux  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux Issue 65, May 2019 Published 05.2019 ISSN 2054-7218 Published by Scan Group Print Uniprint

Eline Joling Eva Menger Hannah Krolle Martin Pilkington Matt Antoniak Maya Witters Michiel Stol Steve Flinders Stuart Forster Cover Photo © Dana van Leeuwen/Decca

Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Anna Villeleger Copy-editor Karl Batterbee Graphic Designer Audrey Beullier Feature Writer Arne Adriaenssens

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

Foodies will not want to miss our feature on the various fast-food delights available in the Benelux. Right now you’ll probably want to give some of the region’s many seafood delicacies a try. For example, soused herring is an iconic Dutch delicacy which is only sold from May till September. Catch it while you can! On the cover this month is the hugely talented recorder player Lucie Horsch, who told me all about her latest album Baroque Journey, which was recorded with the Academy of Ancient Music and lute player Thomas Dunford. The album features works by Sammartini, Bach and Händel among others, and takes listeners on an enchanting musical journey around Baroque Europe. If you have any preconceptions about the recorder, I can assure you that listening to this album will soon dispel them. Elsewhere in the magazine, we explore landscape gardening in Flanders and present a guide to the best Dutch event locations — ideal if you have a special occasion coming up. Have a great month and enjoy the Benelux in bloom!

Phone: +44 207 407 1937 Email:

Contributors Chérine Koubat Colette Davidson

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 65  |  May 2019

Welcome to our May issue. The sun is shining and the Benelux is buzzing with an array of cultural events. This month we hone in on some of our favourite places to visit in the Netherlands, as well as presenting our pick of the country’s best places to stay. From castles in the countryside to slick city hotels and everything in between, there’s somewhere to meet all budgets and tastes.

Anna Villeleger, Editor

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Fashion Picks


Get ready for summer! With summer around the corner, it’s time to make way for some fresh new looks. Here are the top new trends for this season – from elegant beachwear to comfortable leisurewear. TEXT: HANNAH KROLLE  |  PRESS PHOTOS

Easy and stylish This casual outfit is not only suitable for the gym, but doubles as a stylish leisure look. The glowing colour of this figure-hugging sweater adds a sense of freshness to your outfit and it can replace a jacket on chilly evenings. Sweater: €59,95 Tracksuit bottoms: €49,95

Casual, yet chic The short-sleeved button-up shirt with a floral pattern is a versatile item for your summer wardrobe. It prepares you for both a stay at the beach and summer in town. The burgundy floral pattern goes well with light-coloured trousers and shorts. €59,95

Athletic Discover your new beach look with these elegant swim shorts. The striking contrast between blue and white creates a sporty look. Thanks to its straight cut, these shorts are an ideal companion for long days at the beach. €24,98 reduced from €49,95 6  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Graceful and proud This fine, navy-blue swimsuit will bring out your best side. With a band under the bust and a slim golden decoration, it’s both comfortable and chic. Feel graceful and elegant while strolling along the beach! €169,95

Feel-good dress Wear your heart on your sleeve with this lovely summer dress. The flowing material and beautiful cut will flatter your figure as you spend carefree summer days with your family and friends. Its loose fit around the legs makes it comfortable all day long. €225

Functional elegance Have you have ever thought that hats often don’t suit you? Well, this straw visor will. Thanks to its wide brim, lightweight material and fine stitching, it is the perfect accessory for the beach. The elastic hook-fastened loop at the back makes it adjustable and keeps your head protected even if it’s windy. €35 Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  7

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Desirable Designs


Primary choices A century ago, the Dutch art movement De Stijl took the world by storm with its primary colours, straight lines and blank spaces. In 2019, the minimalist approach of Mondriaan is once again present in many interiors. Spruce up your home with a touch of yellow, cyan and magenta this spring. TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PRESS PHOTOS


1. Inked pots


Adding greenery to your interior doesn’t mean that emerald has to become the dominant shade in your home. With these chipper pots in plenty of sizes, the primary colours balance out the green invasion and brighten up your indoor garden. From €41,35 2. Art against the wall Who doesn’t want a famous painter’s work gracing their walls? With this wallpaper, inspired by the work of De Stijl icon Bart van der Leck, it is possible! The mesmerising print is entirely nonrepetitive, allowing your imagination to run wild for a long time to come. €159

3. The original The Red and Blue Chair from Gerrit Rietveld is one of De Stijl’s foremost symbols. The idea was to create a design chair, simple enough so people could construct it themselves. After a century, the chair is still a desired item in many interiors; and you no longer have to build it yourself. €2,545


8  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019


5. Back in time Whether you have a mantlepiece or not, this minimalist mantle clock fits any interior. Since it is handmade, you can pick the colour of the frame, hands and dial yourself. Besides this yellow-bluered scheme, there are 124 other possible combinations to choose from. €139

4. Off the grid Pleasant working environments make workers more productive. The grID desk is, with its clean lines and strong contrasts, not just easy on the eyes, it is also as ergonomic as they come. With a subtle handle, you adjust its height to your personal perfection. Price on request


Castle of Gaasbeek. Photo: Visit.Flanders


Transform your outdoor living space With its humble size and dynamic activity, Flanders is a densely populated region. To keep this jungle of concrete pleasant and liveable for everyone, gorgeous green oases pop up in the unlikeliest of places. In the middle of its metropoles, in busy industrial zones — every empty corner gets a touch of green nowadays. And for good reason, since flora is a natural medicine. TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

Castle Bornem. Photo: Visit.Flanders

10  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Distinctive Flemish Landscaping  |  Transform your Outdoor Living Space

Royal Greenhouses, Laeken. Photo: Jean-Paul Remy - Visit.Brussels

Who doesn’t like spending a sweltering summer day in the sanctuary of the garden? Shady trees, colourful flowers and a comfortable lawn form the perfect décor to read a book, have a picnic or just get a healthy tan. But even more than just a place to relax, a garden can keep your body healthy. While carrying equipment, shovelling soil and pulling out weeds, you train a myriad of muscles. And if you plant vegetables instead of ornamental flowers, this hard labour will even result in delicious, yet healthy meals.

Arboretum Kalmthout. Photo: Visit.Flanders

Healthy bacteria Even if you just relax in nature, there are plenty of health benefits. One of the biggest advantages, for example, is the exposure to bacteria. While dabbling through the soil or just lying in the grass, you get in contact with many of these small animals. As a reaction, your body will bolster itself against them, making it harder for other bacteria to make you ill. Your immune system will also get boosted by the sun’s vitamin D. Apart from reducing the risk of cancer and making your bones grow stronger, vitamin D is

a perfect partner to help your body fight unwanted visitors.

Stress reliever With ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ as its credo, nature also improves your mental health and relieves stress. When stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which causes inconveniences like sweaty palms, elevated heart rates, cerebral short-circuits and eventually blind panic. Studies now show that spending a few minutes outside when stressed is the best way to suppress these effects and give you more grip on the situation again. In other words, the benefits of being in nature are numerous. Private gardens, parks, green company properties all of them help us get the best out of ourselves. Flemish landscapers are experts in creating the perfect piece of greenery for each location and client. They transform lost spaces into blooming fata morganas and design you a garden which fits your needs and wishes like a glove. Allow us to introduce you to the region’s most capable masters of green architecture. Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  11

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Distinctive Flemish Landscaping  |  Transform your Outdoor Living Space

We build bridges, not walls TEXT: ELINE JOLING  |  PHOTOS: THE LUNG PROJECT

Based in central Antwerp, The Lung Project seeks to turn the grey, concrete city into a green living space using ecological and sustainable materials. Working with only the best-quality products, Jan Bonjean and Willy Otto aspire to create aesthetically pleasing outdoor living areas whilst minimising their carbon footprint. Urban areas are constantly expanding and people are living in increasingly compact spaces. To take a break from their rushed city lives, people want to be able to enjoy their outdoor areas no matter their shape or size. For that reason, The Lung Project focuses on turning the city green, and making urban areas function as the new green lung of our planet. The company’s vision is to design urban areas through the means of aesthetics, functionality and, most importantly, greenery. They believe that green has a 12  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

positive effect on people, which is why they don’t just offer their services to private individuals, but also to companies looking to prime their work climate, where green creates a healthy environment and pleasant atmosphere for employees. For this, The Lung Project likes to collaborate with other architects, working together to design a building as a whole, as interior architects have similar visions. The starting point when designing projects is always to be as ecological and sustainable as possible, whilst keeping the outdoor spaces easy to maintain. To achieve this, The Lung Project works with sustainable materials that are sourced as close to home as possible. In this way, they keep their footprint small and can ensure that the materials sourced are extracted in the right way and are not contributing to illegal logging or other processes that harm our planet.

In a city like Antwerp, there are many possibilities to turn green. With its numerous flat rooftops, there are different levels to work with and connect, turning roofs into areas where people can enjoy themselves – think a vegetable garden on top of your house. The opportunities are there, but not enough is being done with them yet. “We want to build a bridge between concrete buildings and green. Cities have so much potential to incorporate more greenery, but we just need to build the bridge. We believe that the city must evolve into something that it isn’t yet,” says Bonjean. “A greener city which is more liveable — that is our mission.”

Web: Urban Greenification

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Distinctive Flemish Landscaping  |  Transform your Outdoor Living Space

Garden project Santiago, Chile.

Garden project, Italy.

Eco-friendly garden and landscape design TEXT: MAYA WITTERS  |  PHOTOS: FRANK ADRIAENSSENS

Garden and landscape designer Frank Adriaenssens has nearly 30 years of experience under his belt in Belgium and abroad. Today, he offers his expertise to cities, cultural heritage organisations and private customers alike, to create sustainable green spaces that blend perfectly with their surroundings. “As a landscape designer, I want to distil the essence of a place into the design,” Adriaenssens attests. “The greenery around a building has to be in harmony with the architecture and create a link to the wider surroundings. At the same time, it is our task to create diversity and make every garden unique to its owner.”

Apart from creating designs for private gardens of all sizes, Adriaenssens’ company also fulfils an advisory function for cultural heritage sites. Starting his career at the UK’s National Trust has left him with a lifelong admiration for these estates. Because they are often sizeable but underfunded, they require a delicate management approach that balances financial and ecological sustainability. “Buildings are usually given more consideration than the surrounding trees, but the latter are an indispensable part of the domain, which help lend it its unique flavour,” Adriaenssens explains. “Trees on cultural heritage sites are often hundreds

of years old. We provide advice on their upkeep, which can be challenging as temperatures rise.” Throughout his career, Adriaenssens realised the role landscape architects have to play in supporting the ecosystem. He took classes in ecological landscape design and became the Benelux’ sole distributor of flower carpets, which give biodiversity a boost. “Wildflower meadows provide great support for dwindling bee populations, and thanks to innovations in technology, they no longer take several years to yield blooms. We work with a specialist distributor of flower carpets, which allow us to guarantee the desired result within a few months with minimal disturbance to the client.” “We make sure we put biodiversity and ecology at the forefront of all our designs,” concludes Adriaenssens. “And we see that customers are ready for these innovations too.”

Landscape garden, Aartselaar, Belgium.

Contact Frank Adriaenssens at for garden design, or visit for flower carpets.

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  13

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Distinctive Flemish Landscaping  |  Transform your Outdoor Living Space

Castle of Olsene.

Vandecasteele Houtimport.

Garden in Sint-Martens-Latem.

Garden in Bruges.



The massive trees adorning many a green lung leave little to the imagination: gardens are built to last. Paul Deroose Landscape Architects knows like no other how to design a green oasis for decades to come: “Just stay away from impermanent trends.” “You don’t build a garden for just a few years,” says Paul Deroose, founder of family business Paul Deroose Landscape Architects. “When intelligently designed and well-maintained, your garden can easily outlive you. As landscapers, we must anticipate on that by creating timeless designs.” To achieve this, they use qualitative plants and trees which suit the specific location perfectly. Because not only should they match with the soil and climate of their new home, they have to fit in the already-existing environment as well. “A garden is never an island. In fact, it is an 14  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

addition to the world surrounding it. Therefore, every garden must be created to match the area’s context.” In their designs, Deroose and his team keep safe distance from impermanent trends since they tend to go back out of style as suddenly as they popped up. “By following such tendencies, you burden your garden with an expiry date. Classic elements like grass, water and trees, on the other hand, never go out of style. Instead, they stretch your yard in all dimensions, diffuse sunlight and attract animals.” Besides creating private gardens, Paul Deroose Landscape Architects is a respected partner of governments and businesses galore. “The era of depressing, grey industrial sites lies behind us. More and more companies now opt for a touch of greenery alongside their buildings. Not

only does this improve your brand’s image towards passers-by, but a nice and healthy working environment is also proven to make your employees happier and more productive.” When your dream garden is finally realised, you still need a bit of patience before everything has grown into place. Those who want to have a nearly-finished garden as soon as the gardeners leave, can, of course, choose to plant fully-grown trees and plants instead of small ones. An option which is way more expensive and, according to Deroose, a missed opportunity as well. “Seeing your garden grow is a true delight. It is like seeing your child grow up. You just don’t want to miss out on that childhood.” Web:

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Distinctive Flemish Landscaping  |  Transform your Outdoor Living Space

The International.

The International.

The International.

The International.


To golf players, their beloved course is sacred ground. The design of it should, therefore, be developed by expert hands. As a former national and international golf player, architect Bruno Steensels knows like no other what makes a course stand out. With Mastergolf International, he creates some of the world’s finest links. “A great golf course rests on three pillars,” explains Steensels. “First, you need an interesting location to settle your club. Secondly, you need to design a course which perfectly fits this setting as well as the needs of its future users. And finally, you must make maintenance your priority to retain this good reputation.” As an architect’s office, Mastergolf International is mainly involved in the exquisite handling of the second pillar. To assure their designs respond to the players’ needs, they

often collaborate with golfing royalty like Ian Woosnam. “Players on this level are so experienced that they are a valuable source of information to us. Some clients even contract a golf pro themselves to actively help with the design of the course and link his or her name to the club.” Throughout the years, Mastergolf International has designed many renowned links in Belgium and abroad. Only a stone’s throw from Brussels Airport, they established a tranquil oasis called The National. In Amsterdam, they designed The International, the greens on which the prestigious KLM Open will be played in September. “We also operate in more exotic countries like Brazil or Saudi Arabia. For those projects, we consult with local specialists on which vegetation to use. The soil and climate are very different in these parts, making it impossible to use

the same grass and trees as we use here. We always look for the most natural and sustainable option without losing quality.” When an existing course is due for an upgrade, Mastergolf International performs its magic just as well. By means of a few changes and restorations, they adjust any course to meet tomorrow’s standards. “Although golf is a century-old game, it keeps innovating and changing. Modern sets of clubs, for example, allow golfers to hit their balls further than before. Therefore, the obstacles on the course are not in the right place anymore, undermining the challenge of the game. Golf courses have to anticipate on evolutions like these. If they do, they can last for centuries to come.” Web:

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  15


Where to stay and what to see From long sandy beaches to verdant countryside, via vibrant cities and world-class culture, the Netherlands can meet all your summer holiday demands. Join us on a journey across the country, as we pick out our must-visit destinations and top places to stay. Whether you are looking for an exclusive castle hotel, a relaxing spa, or a family-friendly holiday park, the Netherlands has it all. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

16  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  The Netherlands in 2019

Sail away The northern tip of North Holland harbours one of the Netherlands’ best-kept secrets: with the water-drenched landscape of Langedijk and Heerhugowaard offering islands to explore, scenic views and cultural hotspots such as the fascinating Museum BroekerVeiling. There, you can find the oldest sail-through auction in the world.

History Another highlight in North Holland has to be the city of Alkmaar, with its charming

old town, superb shopping districts and countless museums. Foodies will not want to miss the Cheese Museum, while the Stedelijk Museum is a must for art aficionados.

Culture vultures The subject of art brings us to Amsterdam, where you will find museums and cultural venues in abundance. This year, the Rijksmuseum is marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death by declaring it the ‘Year of Rembrandt’. Visitors can enjoy an array of special

events and exhibitions celebrating the work of one of the world’s greatestartists.

Stunning coast Meanwhile, if it is a beach holiday you’re looking for, head south to the province of Zeeland, with its idyllic 650 kilometres of coastline. Oysters, mussels and Oosterschelde lobster are just some of the culinary delights you can enjoy there.

Start planning your trip to the Netherlands now at

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  17

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  The Netherlands in 2019

18  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  The Netherlands in 2019

D AT E S F O R Y O U R D I A R Y Vondelpark Open Air Theatre May - September, Amsterdam

Every year between June and September, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre in Amsterdam presents a jampacked programme comprising music, festivals, dance, cabaret, children’s theatre and stand-up comedy.

Holland Festival 29 May - 23 June, Amsterdam

The Holland Festival has been the leading international performing-arts festival in the Netherlands since 1947. From up and coming talent to well established names, the festival showcases some of the finest performances from across the world.

Kaeskoppenstad 1 - 2 June, Alkmaar, North Holland

Get ready to step back in time! This June, the incredible Kaeskoppenstad event returns to Alkmaar. Against the backdrop of Alkmaar’s Old Town, hundreds of actors recreate life as it was 445 years ago.

Concert at Sea 27 - 29 June, Brouwersdam, Zeeland

Much more than just a regular music festival, Concert at Sea brings street theatre, superb food and drinks and the beautiful backdrop of Zeeland. Big-name performers include Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Nile Rodgers & Chic and Douwe Bob.

Zomerfeesten 13 - 19 July, Nijmegen, Gelderland

Celebrate the summer with a huge street party. This unmissable event combines outdoor markets, art exhibitions and family activities with live music, theatre and performing arts. Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  19

Realm of 1,000 Islands.

A maze of water and soil TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

The northern tip of North Holland harbours one of the Netherlands’ bestkept secrets: the water-drenched landscape of Langedijk and Heerhugowaard. With its multitude of islands, picturesque views and interesting Museum BroekerVeiling, it is a great destination all year long. Yet, during June, the region boasts a new, temporary attraction on its territory. The Realm of a Thousand Islands. Although it might sound like a faraway destination from a fairy tale, it is actually a magnificent green area close to home. In the north-east of the Netherlands, this patchwork of elements unfolds. “1,000 years ago, this place was a swamp,” says Ron Karels, director of the nearby Museum BroekerVeiling. “The muddy wa20  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

ter was too deep to walk through but too shallow to take a boat through as well. Therefore, the locals dug small channels through it for their boats, creating tiny islands with the soil they’d shovelled up. In total, they created around 15,000 of these small pieces of land. Because of the sludge, they were also very fertile, attracting local farmers to grow crops on them.” During the 1970s, however, agriculture on small parcels like these was no longer profitable and the beautiful area got drained to make room for a big residential neighbourhood. Only a small part with around 300 islands remained intact and is now a protected reserve. “Luckily, this preserved part is a very interesting one. Not only because of the big pond in the middle, but also because of its interesting buildings like the windmill, the

old gardener’s houses and the BroekerVeiling, the last remaining vegetable auction of the region.”

Dutch auctioning Up until the late 19th century, the farmers would sell their produce at the docks through a bidding system. Throughout the years, more and more buyers would appear, stretching the bidding process longer and longer. To counter this, the farmers came up with a reverse-auction procedure, where they started with a high price and went down until someone was willing to buy it. To date, nearly all fruit and vegetable auctions in the world operate with this so-called ‘Dutch auctioning’. In 1912, the economic activity moved from the harbour to a first real auction house: the BroekerVeiling. “It was a sail-through

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Visit in the Netherlands in 2019

Museum BroekerVeiling.

auction,” Karels explains. “The building hangs over the water and has a small channel flowing through the auction hall. Farmers would navigate their crop into the building for the buyers in the hall to inspect it. Then, the auction clock against the wall would start to count down until one of the buyers pressed their button to stop it and buy the vegetables for the indicated price.” Today, the BroekerVeiling houses an interactive museum about the auction and the unique region surrounding it. To immerse yourself even more in the auctions of yore, you even can participate in a vegetable bidding yourself. Multiple times a day, you can take a seat in the auction hall while floats with small amounts of vegetables and fruit enter the arena. As a visitor, you can purchase yourself a lettuce or bunch of bananas

Museum BroekerVeiling.

with a simple push of the button beside you. But don’t push too early, or you might royally overpay for your little dose of vitamins.

A boat ride through history To see the Realm of a Thousand Islands in all its glory, you must descend to the water and flow through the meandering landscape. During the entire month of June, the villages of Heerhugowaard and Langedijk host a boat ride in between their beautiful towns. “The free trip over the channel takes just ten minutes, during which the sailor delights you with stories about the region’s history. Once on land, activities galore await you in both villages.” For boat trips through the Realm of a Thousand Islands itself, you can join a guided boat tour that starts at

Museum BroekerVeiling. Those longing for some more peace and quiet can even rent an electric boat themselves and take it on a spin through the wet labyrinth. There is no reason to be hungry, either. The museum’s restaurant happily provides you with a delicious picnic basket for an on-deck lunch.

Visit Northern North Holland With Amsterdam on its territory, the Dutch province of North Holland attracts plenty of tourists. Oddly enough, however, very few of them make it to the northern tip of this region, and that is a pity since there is much to discover on this humble piece of land. Besides the Realm of a Thousand Islands and its auction house, a trip to the historic city of Alkmaar is paramount, with its traditional cheese market and big cultural offering. Culture lovers will also be in their element in the city’s beautiful old town and between the old masters in the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. Just a stone’s throw from the city, you can encounter the mighty North Sea. Northern North Holland is therefore a hugely versatile location with mesmerising nature as well as vibrant culture.


Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  21


A versatile stay in the countryside TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PHOTOS: DE BLOEMENBEEK

With its breathtaking nature and luxurious facilities, De Bloemenbeek is a garden of Eden to those in need of a break. The rustic estate hotel never fails to create everlasting memories through a myriad of sporty, relaxing and gastronomical activities. The only question you should ask yourself is: what to do first? As soon as you enter the premises of estate hotel De Bloemenbeek, a feeling of tranquillity washes over you. Given its location in Twente, the green buffer between the Netherlands and Germany, busy Dutch city life seems a world away. “The nature here does not look typically Dutch,” says Raymond Strikker, owner of the family business. “The landscape isn’t as flat here but sometimes even a bit hilly. That makes it the perfect setting for a relaxing hike or a challenging bike tour.” With picturesque towns like Deventer and Münster just a short drive away, you can easily explore urban life as well. Even metropoles like Amsterdam and Düsseldorf are near enough to make a day trip.

Romantic style After a busy itinerary like that, a comfortable room is what you crave for the most. 22  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

The rooms, as well as the rest of the hotel, are decorated in a soothing and nostalgic Dutch style. “We don’t like the sterile, modern interiors which most luxurious hotels swear by today. Instead, we opt for a contemporary classic vibe. We, however, keep investing in our infrastructure to ensure no chance of deterioration. We just stick with the romantic style our guests expect here and adore. Today, we are still the 12th-best hotel in the Netherlands according to TripAdvisor. That means we must be doing something right, no?” The nostalgic style suits De Bloemenbeek like a glove as well. The building has a 110year history of offering top-notch hospitality. 53 years ago, Strikker’s father took over the business and turned it into the personal, yet luxurious, oasis it is today.

Michelin star Nothing pairs up with a great holiday like an extraordinary meal. For that as well, De Bloemenbeek is the place to be. In their restaurant, you will find what is among the finest gastronomy you can get in the country. Don’t just take our word for it, however: their Gault&Millau score of 15 out of 20 and their Michelin star above the door says it all. Chef Michel van Riswijk’s mantle is, furthermore, filled with many prestigious

awards, among which ‘The Golden Chef’s Hat’ and ‘Prix Culinair Internationale le aittinger’. “Van Riswijk has been working here for 31 years already but keeps surprising us. Together with chef de cuisine Matthijs Mulder, he combines FrenchMediterranean cuisine with lots of local products and delicacies. For most of our vegetables, we collaborate with a local organic farmer, but we also grow some crop of our own. Actually, many delicious things, like herbs, pop up on the domain by themselves. The kitchen team, therefore, walks around the premises every morning, looking for delicious surprises they can use that day.” With Twente being one of the Netherlands’ most gastronomical regions, you find great restaurants galore in the neighbourhood. Obviously, the hotel staff can help you to select the best choices for your taste.

Spa and golf Nonetheless, many of De Bloemenbeek’s guests prefer to spend their holidays in and around the majestic hotel itself. “As an independent, family-owned hotel, we can provide our guests with an informal, personal service. Therefore, they feel very much at home with us and can fully relax.” And what better place to do that than

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019

in a fully-equipped spa? If the pool, the saunas and the steam room don’t do the trick for you, a visit to the in-house beauty parlour will surely help you get rid of that last bit of stress. “But also, the active tourist will be happy here. Apart from a tennis court, we also have the equipment for a game of ‘klootschieten’, a local variety of hammer throw. You can even pull out your putter here, on our nine-hole pitch and putt course or on one of the two 18-hole courses that are just 15 minutes away. On request, our staff will bring you there with the hotel’s old-timer taxi.”

Events and conferences Combining amazing service, infrastructure and food, De Bloemenbeek is a loved partner of many a business. Because of its discrete location and its humble number of rooms, companies often opt to book the entire premises for several days to host events or conferences. Their in-house events team will take care of everything, from arranging venues for meetings to organising evening activities and making restaurant reservations. “Even international football clubs know where to find us when training nearby. Ajax, Porto, the national team of Qatar… their players have all stayed in De Bloemenbeek.” Web:

Beuningerstraat 6 7587 LD De Lutte

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  23

Intimate luxury at the waterfront TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PHOTOS: AMBASSADE HOTEL

Behind the facades of 16 authentic canal houses, concealed from the naked eye, stretches the snug, privatelyowned Ambassade Hotel. With its inspiring rooms, relaxing floating centre and finger-licking-good gastronomy, the hotel is a homey oasis in the middle of the vibrant Dutch capital. “The Ambassade Hotel saw the light of day in 1953,” explains managing director Lucas Schopman. “Back then, it was settled in just one canal house. Throughout the years, we were lucky enough to buy some adjoining homes when they became available. Today, our hotel consists out of 16 picturesque houses.” While strolling through its corridors, the small differences in level remind you that these used to be 24  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

separate mansions with different heights once upon a time. Inside the rooms and suites, comfort meets character. “All our rooms are unique and decorated with warm colours, ornamental fabrics and real CoBrA art against the wall.” CoBrA is an acronym of ‘Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam’ and refers to a group of avant-garde artists in those cities during the aftershocks of the Second World War. Their work stands out with its bright colours and almost-childish simplicity. “My father, Wouter Schopman, started this CoBrA collection which now counts over 850 paintings, statues and ceramics at which you can marvel in all corners of the premises. In combination with the preserved structure of the

old houses, these little touches constantly remind you that you are in a lush Amsterdam canal house.” Downstairs, you will also find about 5,000 autographed books of writers who have stayed in the hotel. Alongside almost all Nobel Prize winners in literature of the last three decades, celebrated authors like Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco and David Sedaris are represented. On request, the staff will happily show you the precious volumes.

Pleasant, warm atmosphere Nonetheless, it isn’t just the art and the welcoming colours that give the Ambassade Hotel its unique warmth. Its biggest value lies in the staff who bring

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019

the houses to life. “A warm and respectful reception is crucial,” says one of the reception assistants, Ewout Smit. “It is so important that guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive.” Schopman: “We are there for our guests for whatever it is that they need but we are also open for a chat. In Dutch, we know the word ‘gezelligheid’. It is impossible to translate in any other language, but it means ‘a pleasant, warm atmosphere in which everyone feels at ease’.” That, however, doesn’t interfere with the professionalism of the service of the Ambassade staff. In their endeavour to make your stay as perfect as possible, they go all the way. The reviews on sites like TripAdvisor don’t lie about that. Compliments like “the staff were all extremely attentive and went over and above on service” and “the whole experience was a delight” flood the comment section in high numbers.

Floating and massages With almost all hotspots within walking distance, the hotel is a great hub to start your daily journeys from. For a moment of relaxation in between discoveries, you can go to Koan Float, the Ambassade Hotel’s float and massage centre. Located a few houses from the hotel, it is the perfect spot to escape the city noise for a minute. “Floating had already existed for decades but never really broke through in Europe. During a session, you lay down in a closed capsule with very salty water at body temperature. Because of the salt, you float on top of it in the dark, soundproof basin.”

As simple as it may sound, the method is proven to be incredibly relaxing. An hour of it relaxes you as much as five hours of sleep would. Furthermore, it also helps you to fight your jet lag.

Refined French cuisine Those who rather relax with a gastronomical masterpiece in front of them, are always welcome in the hotel’s brasserie. Given its popularity among locals, it is wise to book a table in advance. As specialists in refined French cuisine, they serve nothing less than the finest seasonal products. Their bisque, steak tartare and (highly-praised) confit du canard are just a few of the exquisite delicacies you can find on the diverse menu. In combination with a view over Amsterdam’s picturesque channels, these courses become a unique

culinary experience. The same counts for the elaborate breakfast buffet the hotel guests stumble upon every morning. With the chef preparing the hot dishes on the spot, everything gets served warm and fresh. The Brasserie is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days a week. “The fine food, the beautiful rooms, the art, the view over the channels… all these aspects attribute to our guests having a perfect stay with us,” says Schopman. “Yet, what matters most for us is that our guests feel at home at the Ambassade and enjoy the warm and sincere interest we have in every single one of them.” Web:

Koan Float.

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  25

A remote world… right on your doorstep TEXT: EVA MENGER  |  PHOTOS: PRINS HENDRIK HOTEL & BUNGALOW PARK

As the largest Dutch Wadden Island, Texel is known for its many great restaurants, cosy villages and liveliness. With a population of over 13,000, it’s hardly uninhabited, and its reachable location has made it an incredibly popular tourist spot. But there’s a different side to the island: on the eastern corner, far away from the crowd, you’ll find Prins Hendrik Hotel & Bungalow Park, a hidden gem offering nature, peace and quiet. Founded by Floris Dekker in 1911, the hotel is named after Princess Wilhemina’s 26  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

husband Prince Hendrik. The island used to be his favourite spot to hunt for seals, though rumour has it that hunting for women was equally high on his agenda. Over 100 years later, the hotel has become the perfect base for guests looking to explore the Wadden Sea and its nearby bird boulevard. “Our location is the perfect antidote to a busy and stressful lifestyle,” owners Ernst Weijschede and Ingeborg Noordam confirm.

Nature in all its glory Whether it’s the Wadden Sea (also a great spot for oyster picking), the vast number

of bird species flying around or the island’s very own breed of sheep, a visit to Texel brings you straight back to nature. As the world’s largest unbroken system of mud flats and intertidal sand, UNESCO listed the Wadden Sea as a World Heritage Site. Throughout most of the area, natural processes and eco-systems are undisturbed, making a walk alongside these stretches of land – the locals call it mudflat hiking – an extraordinary experience. Seals like it there too, so keep your eyes peeled! What’s more, the hotel is right around the corner from Europe’s longest bird boule-

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019

vard. Comprising 15 nature reserves, all attracting thousands of birds, the area is carefully looked after by the Dutch Nature Monument Foundation, who’ve made measures to ensure all birds can breed safely. Hence, visitors can observe unusual bird species – from sandpipers and red knots to curlews and oystercatchers – from up-close and in their natural habitat, and those visiting in spring are likely to spot a hatching egg or two. And then there’s the sheep: first bred over a hundred years ago, the Texel Sheep are a crossbreed from local and several British breeds, resulting in sheep that are large, fast-growing and woolly. Following a strong and proud breeding tradition, the island currently has nearly as many sheep as it has people.

Local secrets Weijschede: “Our natural environment has played a significant role in our design process. Bungalows are built in a Scandinavian style reminiscent of Swedish countryside cabins, while the vibrant colours of bird species including robins and spoonbills have inspired the decoration of our modern hotel rooms. Ultimately, we want to offer our guests a peaceful experience without too many distractions.” The hotel restaurant shows clear signs of local influence, too. “Our menu is built around locally-sourced comfort food, in-

Oyster picking in the Wadden Sea.

cluding steak from Texel beef, fresh local strawberries, oysters and, of course, many great lamb dishes,” Weijschede explains. “We also work closely with a local care farm, who provide us with wonderful ingredients and allow us to keep our menu seasonal.”

The perfect getaway With spring in full bloom and summer fast approaching, the area’s many exciting events are another reason to visit. First off, there is the world’s biggest catamaran race (Ronde van Texel) on 22 June, and in late July, the nearby harbour of Oudeschild will be converted into the Beach Food Festival featuring dozens of

food trucks, bars, beanbags and parasols. Last but not least, the Prins Hendrik Hotel will be hosting live music in their luscious garden each Thursday during July and August. It’s pretty clear: those looking to temporarily turn their busy lives into a distant memory will love it here. The boat to Texel is just a one and a half hour drive or train journey away from Amsterdam, yet staying in the Prins Hendrik Hotel will make you feel like you’re in a different world. What more could one ask for? Web:

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  27

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019


Located in the heart of Amsterdam, boutique hotel Kimpton De Witt is the ideal hub to explore the city from. With their personal approach and original, modern design, they make you feel at home in no time. At their brandnew neighbourhood cocktail bar Super Lyan, you can top off your visit with some gastronomical fireworks. Although just a 15-minute drive from Amsterdam National Airport, Kimpton De Witt is located within walking distance of hotspots like the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum. Yet, the cosy boutique hotel is more than just another sleeping spot among Amsterdam’s must-sees. “We aim to be a second home to our guests,” says Sarah Post, director of sales and marketing. “By providing an informal,

warm service in a modern yet homey setting, guests immediately feel welcome upon arrival. During our daily wine hour in the lobby, we get to know them even better. This way, we discover how they experience their stay and provide them with some personal advice on which hidden pearls to visit.” In the minimalist yet cosy setting of the hotel, some gentle touches of Dutch folklore stand out. “The tulips on the table, the Dutch masters against the wall and bits of Delft Blue everywhere you look constantly remind you where you are,” says general manager Bart van de Brug. “Unlike many other hotels, Kimpton De Witt is tailormade for Amsterdam.” That same eye for detail, you can stumble upon at Super Lyan, the neighbourhood cocktail

bar which opened its doors on the premises last month. “Besides great coffees, fresh stroopwafels and surprising dishes, the cocktails of London’s most celebrated cocktail guru Mr Lyan adorn the menu. Therefore, it is not just another hotel bar, but rather the talk of the town. Super Lyan is the place where our guests and Amsterdam’s locals meet over a spectacular cocktail.” Inspired by the personal hotels he saw in Europe, American Bill Kimpton founded the first Kimpton Hotel in San Francisco in 1981. Today, the successful chain counts no less than 68 charming hotels. With the opening of Kimpton De Witt, the company opened its first branch outside the Americas, quickly followed by many others in the United Kingdom and Asia. Today, Kimpton is founding many more dream destinations in, among other places, Paris, Frankfurt, Barcelona and Rotterdam.


28  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019


With its mighty moat, elegant towers and 360 degrees of surrounding greenery, Castle TerWorm is what fairytales are made of. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a princess or baron to spend the night here. Set course for the royal hotel and let their delightful rooms and exquisite gastronomy enchant you. With its history dating back to the 15th century, Castle TerWorm is a tangible piece of history. Many aristocrats called this place their residence, and you can be next. Both the castle and the Pachthof house plenty of regal rooms. “In the Pachthof, you will find spacious rooms which are very popular amongst families and business travellers,” says marketing manager Yvonne van Vierzen. “Inside the castle itself, we house ten unique suites. Usually, guests have a clear preference of which room they want. Our tower room, for example, is very popular for wedding nights. Since we are an official wedding location, you

can also have the ceremony and party with us.” Outside of the castle’s thick walls, 220 hectares of untainted nature stretches out. Discover the domain’s best-kept secrets on one of the mapped-out tours. Even though there is much to explore in walking distance, you can rent (electric) bicycles and Vespa scooters on the premises for bigger tours. Only a stone’s throw from the hotel, you will find vibrant cities like Maastricht, Aachen (Germany) and Liège (Belgium). Explore the three countries’ gastronomy, discover the cities’ hidden pearls and stroll through the picturesque streets, with or without carrying shopping bags. Back at Castle TerWorm, you can relax with a drink on its marvellous terrace. Last year, it was crowned ‘second-best terrace in the Netherlands’ and it is not hard to see why. “While gazing at the water and its fauna, you almost feel like you are in the south of France. Our jovi-

al and professional waitstaff makes the experience even nicer.” And so does the gastronomy they serve. By combining French cuisine with exotic tastes, every bite is a pleasant surprise. Businesses who want to host a meeting or event with a culinary edge, are at the right address as well. The conference rooms on the premises are perfect for small meetings, as well as multiple-day brainstorms, while the restaurant forms a picturesque setting for your next party or event.


Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  29

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019

Music and history at the American Hotel TEXT: MAYA WITTERS  |  PHOTOS: THE AMERICAN HOTEL

The American Hotel has been an Amsterdam landmark for more than 100 years. Now, a few changes are afoot, as the establishment gears up to become the Netherlands’ first Hard Rock Hotel in 2020. It’s a logical choice, according to general manager Claire van Campen: “Music has always played a central part in the American Hotel’s history.” The beautiful Art Deco building at Leidseplein has not only been receiving guests since 1902, it has also served as a central meeting spot for Amsterdammers. Many locals have stories of first dates or special celebrations at its iconic Café Americain. Understandably, some of these long-time patrons might be concerned about the adoption of the Hard Rock brand, but it’s a perfect match for the American Hotel, explains van Campen. “The Hard Rock brand puts great stock in the individuality of the hotel. Their support has made it possible to restore historic 30  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

elements of the building. The lobby, for example, was remodelled in the 70s in a style that isn’t in keeping with the rest of the hotel. We are now restoring it to its original Art Deco style, with wood floors and a mahogany reception desk.” The musical element, too, will only reinforce the hotel’s historic character. “Since we are located right between some of Amsterdam’s foremost music venues, we have been lucky to welcome hundreds of musicians throughout the years. Our former barman, who has now retired, made a habit of taking photographs of all these artists. The photos, of which there are now more than 200, grace the walls of our bar.” The music in the hotel is, of course, nailed down to the last detail. In the bar, music is picked according to the present guests, while the lobby and café have playlists adapted to the time of day to evoke a certain atmosphere.

The Hard Rock brand will also serve to enhance the already unique style of each hotel room. All the rooms are being fitted with underfloor heating and rain showers in the bathrooms, as well as new furniture. In addition to current services like Nespresso machines in each room, guests will be able to borrow a record player or even a guitar once the Hard Rock brand is adopted. The American Hotel, in short, will make you feel like a rock star.

Discover the American Hotel online at

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Special  |  Top Places to Stay in the Netherlands in 2019

The perfect place for a family holiday TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: HOF VAN ZEELAND

The province of Zeeland is a great place for family holidays. You will find everything from beaches and leisure activities to outdoor pursuits and culture. The best place to discover all of that is at holiday park Hof van Zeeland, just outside the city of Heinkenszand. “Young or old, there is something for everyone here,” says Andrada Maxim, marketing team leader. On the park is a large lake, surrounded by well-equipped luxurious holiday homes. A limited number of houses also have a sauna or a sun-shower. “What is better than having breakfast or a barbecue at the waterfront,

as you watch all the fishermen,” Maxim continues. Next to the lake is a temperaturecontrolled outdoor swimming pool, with a special section for babies and children. “We have a lot of outdoor activities for the older ones as well. And during the school holidays, the park has an animation team.” Part of the service at Hof van Zeeland includes a ‘guest pass’, with which holidaymakers can redeem special offers at various places in the neighbourhood, such as the sub-tropical swimming pool in Goes, or the steam train ride in Borsele. “We are in the centre of the province — the perfect starting point to explore it by bike. Our bike

and E-chopper rental service is for both adults and children — so no-one has to take a back seat,” Maxim smiles. “Our holiday park is the ideal base to explore and enjoy the province with your family; it is central, quiet and child friendly. And the beach is just 30 minutes away!”

Web: Phone: +31 (0)38 333 01 01


In the Betuwe region, stress and city noises are just distant memories. The rural area in the Netherlands is, therefore, the perfect destination for a cleansing getaway. At the brand-new Fruitpark Hotel & Spa, you can relax in the lap of luxury while gazing at blossoming fruit trees as far as the eyes can see. Where most four-star hotels tend to be formal and distant, Fruitpark Hotel & Spa is the exact opposite. Since it opened its doors last month, the family-owned destination in the middle of the National Fruit Park Ochten provides a warm and hospitable experience from check-in until check-out. “We want everyone to feel welcome in this house,” says marketing manager Lisa Geurts. “Therefore, we offer specially-equipped rooms for people with disabilities as well.” 32  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Of course, your stay at Fruitpark Hotel & Spa is more than just a night in an amazing room. During your waking hours, as well, the hotel and its surroundings offer plenty to discover and explore. In the beautiful park, you can stroll between the fruit trees or immerse yourself in the flora alongside a local guide. You might even bump into a mini golf course, hidden behind the blossomy trees, where you can host a little family tournament. To fully explore the unique locations with all your senses, you can take off your shoes and walk the barefoot path which runs between the trees. Inside the hotel, the wellness centre is at your disposal too. After spending a full day outside, the pool, saunas and massage therapists give your body the rest it deserves. Web:

34  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Lucie Horsch


The sound of truth At the age of just nine, Dutch recorder player Lucie Horsch became an overnight sensation when one of her canalside performances in Amsterdam was broadcast on national television. By 15, she was selected by the Netherlands to represent them at the Eurovision Young Musician contest and, the following year, Horsch made history, becoming the first recorder player to be signed to the prestigious classical music label Decca Classics. But the story has only just begun. We caught up with the musical prodigy, now aged 19, to discuss her latest album, Baroque Journey, an enchanting musical journey around Baroque Europe. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: DANA VAN LEEUWEN/DECCA

“Somehow everybody has a story about the recorder!” laughs Horsch, reflecting on the ubiquity of her beloved instrument in primary schools. “Everybody kind of recognises it like, ‘Oh yeah, the recorder – that’s the instrument I had to learn in school’ – so they might not have a positive association with it. “It’s nice to show people a side of something that they thought they knew. I mean, any child can get a sound out of a recorder because it’s such a direct instrument, but to play it beautifully is quite difficult.

Beautiful repertoire

“When people learn the recorder in school, they usually only play Mary had a Little Lamb and then they stop playing – so they think that’s the complete repertoire. In fact there’s a lot of wonderful music originally written for the recorder.”

Horsch comes from a musical family: both her parents are professional cellists, while her brother is a violinist. From an early age though, it was the recorder which caught her attention. What did they think of her decision to learn a non-string instrument? “I told my parents ‘I want to learn the recorder’, and they thought ‘Oh, let her do that. In a few years she will probably switch to the flute or the oboe…’. But I always stuck with the recorder. I think the reason I stuck with the instrument is definitely because the sound is so true. It’s close to the human voice and such a personal sound – very pure. It has become my sound,” she smiles.

Unique Having her own distinctive sound is important to Horsch, who says many of

her musical inspirations are not recorder players. For example, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald is one of her idols. “Her timing and her sound, the way she controlled her voice and used all the possibilities… She was so communicative in her way of making music,” explains Horsch, adding that fellow Dutchwoman Janine Jansen is another of her musical heroes. “Whenever I go to a concert of hers I get so inspired by her passion for music and her conviction. It always seems like she has a very clear story. Every single note she plays – she means it. That’s a great quality. “I also listen to a lot of recorder players but I don’t idolise them. It’s dangerous if you make one person your ideal version, because then you’re very likely to imitate them – but never surpass them. Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  35

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Lucie Horsch

When you have your own ideal image which you’ll never reach, you can always keep striving.” Horsch is “very grateful” for the fact that Decca had confidence in signing a recorder player. “The recorder world is kind of a niche category of the classical music world, so it’s really exciting that they can bring it to a very large public – that they had confidence in the fact that it would work.”


To describe the signing as a success would be an understatement. Her debut album, Vivaldi, earned her the esteemed Edison Klassiek Award 2018. Her second album, Baroque Journey, was released back in February, and had an instant impact on the classical music charts, where Baroque music appears to be having a moment. “I love the variety of different styles in Baroque,” says Horsch of the genre’s success. “I mean, Baroque music is like a general term and many people think it’s all just the same, but actually, every country had its own specific musical style with its own specific rules and also a lot of influences from other styles.”

Musical journey

Her latest album was recorded with the Academy of Ancient Music and Thomas Dunford, featuring works by Sammartini, Bach and Händel, among others. “It’s like a musical journey through Baroque Europe. We start in my home country with Jacob van Eyck, then we go to Germany, Italy, France, England and then back to Holland, it’s kind of a weird circle!” “What you hear in this CD is the connection between the different styles, even though they are quite different. For example, Bach was inspired by Vivaldi – it’s interesting to see how these national styles influenced each other. The more you get to know about all the pieces the more you see how connected everything is.” Horsch had already played with the Academy of Ancient Music before the recording, but making Baroque Journey 36  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

was her first proper collaboration with them. “When I heard that they would be the ensemble to play on the CD I was very excited, because they are fantastic and very experienced,” she enthuses. “What I especially love with Baroque music is that there is a large amount of interaction between the ensemble and the soloist. That communication through the music always makes every performance very spontaneous.”


Alongside the Academy of Ancient Music, Horsch has been touring the album, having already made appearances at prestigious European venues such as the Barbican London, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam and De Doelen Rotterdam. Does she ever recall feeling nervous before a show? “When you have the responsibility of playing concerts at a young age there’s certain pressure that comes with that,” she admits. “But the most important thing is that you like what you’re doing – and I love my instrument. As long as that’s the case, then that’s a weapon against all the pressure and the stress. Even if my entire career collapsed and I never got to play a concert again in my life, I would still be

very happy because I can make the music that I want.” Of course, such a scenario seems hard to imagine, Horsch undoubtedly has only just touched the surface of her achievements. She has already accomplished so much in her two decades, so what next?


“I don’t have specific ambitions,” she reveals, when asked about any particular places she would like to perform. “I used to think like that, but then when you have those big experiences it’s not always what you hoped. It’s not always the most prestigious experience that turns out to be the most inspiring experience. Sometimes when you play a concert in a tiny hall or a tiny church it can turn out to be so inspiring. You actually think ‘ah, this is what music is about’. In these rewarding moments you’re kind of reminded to continue to work hard.” “It’s more about your mindset — by challenging yourself you can make any performance an inspiring experience. The most important thing is that you keep to your own standards and are a perfectionist, which I am! That’s never going to change!”

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  37

Photo: Het Koelhuis


An exceptional experience every time Are you looking for somewhere memorable to celebrate a special occasion or host your next business event? If you want the ‘wow’ factor, look no further than our guide to the finest event locations and cultural venues in the Netherlands. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER

Photo: Landgoed Groenendaal

38  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning  |  An Exceptional Experience Every Time

Kruisherenhotel, Maastricht. Photo: Etienne van Sloun

Location is everything Unforgettable events do not just happen, they require a whole lot of planning – sometimes weeks, months or even years in advance. Finding the right venue can make or break an event, so choosing your location is a decision not to be made lightly.

Think of a theme As well as obvious initial considerations such as budget, another point worth considering early on is the theme for your event – this will make later decisions, on topics such as decorations, food and drink, and entertainment, easier.

Photo: Cultuurkoepel Heiloo/Marlise Steeman

Experience and creativity When it comes to the big day, one of the key things to remember is to relax and to always have a contingency plan. Organising an event can be highly stressful, which is why knowing your event is taking place at a highly recommended venue with experienced staff will help put your mind at ease. As well as benefitting from their experience and creativity, it means you will be able to enjoy the big moment without stress. If you are having fun, there is a high chance your guests will too!

Timur Akhmetov - KIDS OF CHAOS: Scene of Evacuation Photo: Maarten Nauw/Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  39

Culinary perfection in the greenery TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PHOTOS: LANDGOED GROENENDAAL

Just like the forest it is in, Landgoed Groenendaal is deeply rooted in the soil of Heemstede. After more than a century, the restaurant and events venue is more relevant than ever. With the entry of Hein Uitendaal, the fourthgeneration manager, a veritable fresh wind blew through the halls of the family business, transforming it into a culinary paradise amidst a sea of green. Central between Amsterdam’s city noise and the waves of the North Sea, lies the green oases of Groenendaal. The history of the domain goes back to the 17th century, after which it knew many owners. In the early 20th century, the municipality of Heemstede bought the domain and turned it into the hiking forest that it 40  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

is today. Joop Uitendaal got the permission to sink his teeth into the coach house of the former estate and turned it into a restaurant: Landgoed Groenendaal. Today, 102 years later, his family still runs the business. For this, they even received the title ‘warrant holder of the Dutch royal family’. When Joop’s great-grandson Hein Uitendaal took over the business from his father in 2010, he decided to steer the restaurant down an entirely new path with culinary exploration as the centre of attention. The traditional Dutch dishes made room for refined French cuisine with exotic touches. “Every month, our chef creates a new ‘king’s meal’,” says Uitendaal. “This menu serves you five courses of two small dishes each and pushes the boundaries of food pairing, introducing you to exciting

new structures. Those who wish, can also peruse the surprising variations of classic dishes on our menu and order them à la carte.”

Soothing and elegant interior With the rejuvenation of the menu, the building itself got spruced up as well. For the restaurant’s 100th anniversary, an intensive metamorphoses made it more elegant and soothing than ever. Also, their four venues got restored and prepared for a multitude of happenings. “We organise many different events here; from business meetings to weddings and family events. The combination of our unique location and the small-scale of our business comes with plenty of benefits. Since our sole neighbours are the animals in the

Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning  |  An Exceptional Experience Every Time

woods, you don’t disturb anyone if your event gets a bit loud in the early hours. For big happenings, like weddings, people often have the entire premises for themselves. This way, the sky is the limit in terms of decoration or a specific menu. Do you want an extravagant theme party? No problem! Do you want a vegan menu or rather a kosher one? No problem either! As an intimate, personal venue, we can follow you in your wishes and go the extra mile to realise them. For marriages, we can host the ceremony as well, given that we are an official wedding location. With questionable weather, we even prepare two settings for it; one inside and one in the garden. This way, no couple has to gamble with the infamous Dutch weather and everyone gets the most ideal wedding possible.”

Big business events and small meetings The unique combination of exquisite service in a relaxing green bubble attracts many businesses as well. Around the beautiful building, green is all you look upon. With good weather, the doors and windows open up, extending the venue with a beautiful terrace and garden. Since it is shielded by high trees on all sides, it is suitable for all seasons. It blocks the cold breeze in spring and casts a cool shadow over the terrain in summer. At just a 20-minute drive from the Dutch

national airport of Schiphol, Landgoed Groenendaal is also the ideal spot for meetings and events with an international audience. “From small meetings and photo shoots to bigger seminars or product presentations: everything is possible here. Our biggest hall seats 120 people. Spread over the entire premises, we can welcome about 300. If our guests opt for a walking dinner or reception, their guest list can, obviously, grow a little bit more. Our event planners are experts in making your event unforgettable as well. When a Dutch company came to celebrate their merger with a Japanese one, we hosted them an event with fusion cuisine. Our surprising dish-

es like yakitori with Dutch endives were an enormous success.” But even if you go to Landgoed Groenendaal for an intimate meeting with just three people, they will do everything they can to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Instead of offering you the choice between predetermined time slots, you can choose the time and duration of your meeting yourself. To top it off, a cup of coffee with homemade cookies or a little walk through the garden in between sessions will make your meeting all the more productive. Web:

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  41

Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning  |  An Exceptional Experience Every Time



Photo: Karin Keesmaat



Far away from classic venues with shining chandeliers and cream-coloured draperies, you will find Het Koelhuis. This former industrial site is now an urban event location for a myriad of happenings. By combining character with top-notch service, the team will make your event unforgettable. “With me being an events manager and my husband an interior designer, we were often asked to host events and parties at empty industrial locations,” says Mieke van Tilburg, founder of Het Koelhuis. “Unfortunately, these buildings often come with plenty of technical issues like bad acoustics and poor insulation. With Het Koelhuis, we offer an interesting alternative. In this restored industrial building, we offer authentic, urban experiences with all the professional facilities you need for events.” With its eight multipurpose halls and two atmospheric terraces, the complex is perfect for all types of events — from an intimate meeting to a 400-person cocktail party. 42  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

“What makes this place even more unique is that we can rearrange the elements and furniture to your needs. We always start by listening to our clients and fathoming what they want and then translate it into the perfect ambiance, including matching decoration and catering. Every event at Het Koelhuis is entirely custom-made.” To accomplish this, combining many disciplines and talents is paramount. Their in-house marketing and communication team happily spreads the word for you, a technical crew adds light and sound to your evening and the kitchen staff create delicious food matching the occasion. “If your event requires talents we don’t have in our team, we have a pool of external professionals and partners who assist us as well.” The location is often used by organisations for meetings, product presentations and corporate celebrations. It serves very well for conferences with a multitude of rooms to choose from. The Boterlokaal can seat almost 250 people in a theatre

style while the other rooms lend themselves perfectly to smaller workshops. “Events with over 150 people can even opt to have the entire premises for themselves. For big occasions like these, we also have an event manager present during the event. This way, you have nothing to worry about; not before, nor during, nor after your special day.” Het Koelhuis is also very in-demand for celebrations, like weddings. “Many couples want something out of the ordinary. We can offer them a wedding celebration in an industrial setting with custom-picked decorations. We can host both the ceremony and the festivities.”

Photo: Harry Gelderman


Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning  |  An Exceptional Experience Every Time

Host your business event in a national monument TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: CULTUURKOEPEL HEILOO/MARLISE STEEMAN

Travellers who have ever flown in or out of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport will certainly have noticed one the most unique event locations in the Netherlands as they looked out of the window: the Cultuurkoepel in Heiloo. The green cross on top of this former chapel which is now a national monument - can be seen from miles away as well as from the air. “It used to be a guiding beacon for pilots,” remembers Leo Gouwerok, who together with Jan Bellekom, runs Cultuurkoepel Heiloo. “It is a remarkable location for a conference or large business meeting. In the chapel itself there is room for around 500 guests. In the adjacent buildings there is space for breakaway sessions,” explains Bellekom. Outside the chapel, in the gardens, there is room for another 1,500 guests. “If the weather is bad, we can cover the entire garden.” The chapel is located on the Willibrordus estate, a former monastery that used to house a

sanatorium. Now the congregation has left, the estate is being rezoned – although one part is still in use as a treatment facility. “We offer the people there a unique opportunity,” says Gouwerok. “Under the guidance of top chefs, they can be part of the catering staff for the Cultuurkoepel. It is our way of helping them integrate into society.” Next to the Cultuurkoepel, they have even established their own gastronomic restaurant, Keuken met Karakter. The Cultuurkoepel Heiloo is a truly unique and beautiful place to host your next meeting

or conference. “This location is quite simply the best-kept secret in the Netherlands,” smiles Bellekom.


Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning  |  An Exceptional Experience Every Time


Do you wish to sleep in a monastery, dine in a marl cave or hold a conference in a castle’s salon? At the four authentic estates of Oostwegel Collection, a royal welcome in a unique setting awaits you. In their three hotels, eight restaurants and three bars, inspiration, hospitality and craftsmanship go hand in hand. “Although all our properties are located in the region of South Limburg, the Netherlands, they tell very different stories,” says Camille Oostwegel jr., the young hospitality prodigy who is succeeding his father in the family business. “Winselerhof is a picturesque, rustic manor farm while Château Neercanne is an elegant castle with a breath-taking garden and an adjoining marl cave.” The latest addition to the Oostwegel Collection, the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, on the other hand, is a five-star hotel and restaurant in the remains of a gothic monastery in the city centre.

Although the level of quality and hospitality has remained constant throughout its 40-year history, Oostwegel Collection does not fear improvement and innovation. By placing the experiences of both guests and staff at the heart, they manage to constantly improve and expand their facilities. At their biggest location, Château St. Gerlach, they have recently constructed the St. Gerlach Pavilion: a state-of-the-art congress centre with three multifunctional meeting rooms, that can be used separately and combined for up to 750 guests.. Businesses who organise their event or meeting in this complex can

combine it with experiences at other Oostwegel Collection locations as well. After a day of work in the castle’s shadow, a gala dinner in the caves might be an unforgettable twist. “Our biggest aim is to create valuable memories for our guests. Whether you come for a business event or for a romantic weekend away, your time at Oostwegel Collection will surely leave a lasting impression.”

St. Gerlach Pavilion.

Kruisherenhotel, Maastricht.



In the late-19th century, the Dutch government constructed a defence line around Amsterdam to protect the city from their enemies. The introduction of the aeroplane would, however, make the belt redundant before it was even completed. Today, one of the bunkers, Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, has become a vibrant sanctuary for contemporary art. “Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen is a unique and inspiring place,” says artistic director Zippora Elders. “Internationally relevant artists come here to immerse themselves in the setting and its history and translate it into art.” Although they use a myriad of art forms, their work is united by a common theme: science fiction. Within the building’s thick walls, alternate realities and worlds get created. “The artists who come here reflect on our present and future with the past as their guideline. The results are always surprising 44  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

and manage to hold a mirror to the world.” Until 26 June, Nicola Arthen’s work takes over the fort and its storage warehouse. His fascination for drones and their moot usefulness inspired an installation with propellers and characterful small planes galore. By giving these mechanic surveillants personality, the otherwise-scary planes almost become personalities. Alongside Arthen, Russian artist Timur Akhmetov exhibits his work about the urge to run away in the fort as well. In dark, low halls, video projections give you a glance inside his unsettled mind. His narratives may not be

easy to grasp, but alternately, his work is visually fascinating enough to keep you watching for a long time. “Besides our exhibitions, we also feature other distinct artworks here. Now, a mystique oracle owl from the Scandinavian Ann Lislegaard is our centrepiece. As a public institution, we try to be a place for everyone: for the art aficionado and for the cyclist who takes a break at our centre.”

Timur Akhmetov - KIDS OF CHAOS: Scene of Evacuation

From Haarlem or Hoofddorp: bus 300 (15 min). Ruin of a retractable gun turret.







Do you think you’re a good manager? If you do, can you say what you do which makes you good? UK surveys repeatedly tell us that most British workers think they are badly managed. Perhaps it’s because new managers are promoted from a job they are good at to a job leading people, something they often have no experience of. It’s amazing how little support novice managers receive when this happens. Even good managers often don’t know what it is they do to manage well. Others have an idea but can’t articulate it. Finally, there are managers who manage well, who are clear about what they do, and who can say what it is which works for the people who report to them. It is very important, indeed it is critical, that managers should not just aim to be good but should also be able to say how they do it. This is because a central role of management is developing people and fostering their learning. If you can articu46  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

late good management practice, you can help others to become good managers too; and help non-managers to approach their working relationships better and to work better in teams.

mentor or whatever they do to develop their people. So good managers also need to know about how each of the people who report to them learns best. Do you?

For managers who can’t do this, reports can help by giving them feedback so they have a better idea of what they do well, what they could improve, and how others see them. HR facilitation of tools like the Johari window and 360-degree evaluations can start off this process if the feedback culture in a workplace is fragile or absent. Of course, there are other ways of learning than just hearing it from the horse’s mouth. We can shadow a good manager, and some of us can learn, simply by observing, as Honey and Mumford suggest. Although the claims made by theories about learning styles such as theirs are contested, it is at least clear that people do learn in different ways and that managers can assist this process by adapting the way they teach, instruct, facilitate,

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

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Calendar


ICT Spring. Photo: Dominique Gaul

Emerce B2B Digital.

TEQnation 15 May, Utrecht, the Netherlands TEQnation is a dynamic, annual playground for developers and IT experts. With its interesting speakers, eye-opening demonstrations and valuable networking possibilities, the conference is the perfect occasion to catch up with the latest trends and tendencies in cyberspace. IoT, AI, VR and other fascinating acronyms form the agenda of this year’s edition.

Green Week Conference 15 - 17 May, Brussels, Belgium With protest marches in all corners of the continent, the environment is one with a bullet on the European Union’s agenda. During its Green Week, the benefits of a

ICT Spring.

sustainable lifestyle are emphasised with a myriad of activities in different countries. In the capital, the Green Week Conference takes you on an inspiring trip with lots of thought-provoking speakers, aspiring for a greener union.

ICT Spring 21 - 22 May, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg ICT Spring is the global celebration of the digital industry’s diversity. Go to deepen your digital knowledge, capture the value of the fast-growing FinTech Industry and explore the impact of space technologies on terrestrial businesses. While strolling in between the many stalls and listening to the amazing selection of speakers,

ICT Spring. Photo: Dominique Gaul

you can get in touch with the future of informatics.

Emerce B2B Digital 23 May, Meersen, the Netherlands As a business that targets other businesses, it can be hard to find the right marketing channels. At Emerce B2B Digital, they teach you the tricks of the trade. 30 experts from leading (international) companies will share their know-how on digital B2B marketing with you during an exciting and enlightening conference.

Money 20/20 3-5 June, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Although the history of money dates back millennia, the financial sector keeps evolving rapidly. At Money 20/20, you are taught the tools to stay on top of things and adapt to this changing world. Spread over seven stages, 350 leaders from banks, payment, FinTech and Big Tech companies offer you a unique look behind the curtains of the developing sector they lead. Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  47

Discover Benelux  |  Tourism Business  |  BBI Luxembourg

Photo: Anefore

Global course for a global industry TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON

In the fast-evolving world of tourism, higher-education provider BBI Luxembourg is staying ahead of the game with its new e-learning master’s programme. Based in multilingual Luxembourg, and with a student body drawn from a multitude of countries, leading provider of higher education in the tourism and hospitality industry, BBI Luxembourg, has had an international outlook since its conception in 1990. When the first cohort of students begin their studies on its new e-learning master’s programme this October (enrolling students up to early August), the institution’s reach will extend even further. “Many people in work have never had the opportunity to pursue a master’s but would like to, and that skill level is increasingly attractive to employers,” says Hans de Meyer, director of marketing and business development at BBI’s Luxembourg base. “Family and financial commitments can make taking two years out impractical, so our intensive one-year e-learning 48  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

course meets several needs and reaches out globally,” de Meyer adds. During the first ten weeks of the programme, students will cover core topics through online and written resources, after which the curriculum will be more tailored to individual needs and interests. Students will be able to use Skype and other access media to interact with the tutors assigned to them. “They’ll submit projects and case studies just as for our existing master’s programme,” continues de Meyer, “and they will spend three weeks actually on campus here, something we think is important to the overall experience: making presentations, covering selected topics in greater depth, taking part in organised visits, and learning from classes and talks given by speakers who are significant figures in their field.” That time on campus has another advantage, allowing students to meet people from other countries and cultures. “It’s a global industry,” says de Meyer, “and having a network of contacts with diverse ex-

periences can be hugely beneficial. Simple human contact is vital too – our motto is ‘BBI Luxembourg, the place where extraordinary people come to life’.” He’s keen to emphasise that the course is not exclusively for those working in the field now: “It should facilitate careerprogression for those working in tourism already, but we think it’s also a route into this growing industry. If students have a bachelor’s degree, and drive, it will help them with that ambition.”

Photo: Anefore

Email: Tel: +352 27 91 12 92 102 Web:

A stunning new residence in the heart of Schifflange TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: IMMO&CONSEIL

The expert team at Immo&Conseil in Luxembourg are proud to present their latest project, Am Duerf, developed in collaboration with the municipality of Schifflange and the service of National Sites and Monuments of the Ministry of Culture. Immo&Conseil have developed and are managing the construction, while the building firm Bei Terres Sàrl are their partners in this project. “This changes nothing for our customers, and we remain their constant companion from the purchase to the delivery of the keys,” explains Claudine Schwartz-Bemtgen, managing director at Immo&Conseil. Located in the heart of Schifflange, a charming town in the south-west of the country, Am Duerf comprises a selection of stunning residential and commercial 50  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

buildings which perfectly blend modernity and authenticity. The properties will be available in around two years, and have already attracted a large amount of interest. “Nine out of 20 have already sold,” points out Christian Schwartz, assistant managing director at Immo&Conseil. “We’ve had so much interest from all types of people - both young and old.”

and leisure facilities within easy reach. “Everything is nearby, so you wouldn’t necessarily need a car, and the residence is only 200 metres from the train station,” notes Schwartz. That said, those with a car will be able to acquire one or two parking spots inside the vast basement with its space for 33 vehicles.

High standards Being made to meet the high-quality standards that Immo&Conseil demands of all its projects, Am Duerf is composed of 17 apartments and three penthouses, with space for three shops on the ground floor. Located on Avenue de la libération, there are schools, shops, restaurants

Christian Schwartz and Claudine Schwartz-Bemtgen

Discover Benelux  |  Real Estate  |  Immo&Conseil

History and modernity Combining history and modernity, Am Duerf blends traditional character on the exterior with the finest modern finishes. Spread across three levels, the apartments measure between 49.19 square metres and 100.66 square metres. The majority feature a garden, balcony or terrace, as well as windows with triple glazing, electric shutters and anti-burglary security front doors. “Everything is of the highest quality,” enthuses Schwartz. Meanwhile, on the top floor are three magnificent penthouses, which measure between 86.07 and 128.43 square metres. “They leave nothing to be desired,” smiles Schwartz.

Personalised service High standards are just one of the trademarks of Immo&Conseil, a family business renowned for its friendly, personalised service. The company’s philosophy is all about confidentiality, reliability and a dedication to keeping clients happy. Schwartz runs Immo&Conseil alongside his wife Claudine Schwartz-Bemtgen, whose father Marc founded the company in 2002. The small team can help with all manner of real estate projects, including estimations and advice, real estate promotions, landscaping and renovation and the purchase, sale or renting of various kinds of properties.

Increasing demand Luxembourg’s property market is thriving at the moment, thanks to its strong economy, superb living standards and enviable location at the heart of Western Europe. “There is always much more demand than there is property for sale,” confirms Schwartz. House prices in the Grand Duchy are continuing to rise, with property in higher demand than ever. Schwartz has also noticed a recent increase in people from English speaking countries investing in Luxembourg — most notably since the Brexit referendum. His advice for anyone thinking of buying in the Grand Duchy? “Do it now, because prices will only increase!”

Immo & Conseil 19, Steewee L-3317 Bergem Luxembourg To find out how Immo & Conseil can help you with your next real estate project, visit Meanwhile, to discover more about the Am Duerf residence in Schifflange, visit

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  51


Think before you click! Online safety has never been so important — for both businesses as well as everyday internet users. This month we look at the Flemish firms at the forefront of cyber security and data protection. PHOTOS: PEXELS

52  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Top Flemish Cyber Security & Data Protection Experts  |  Think Before You Click!

Sebastien Deleersnyder.

Manage your IT risks with Toreon’s Threat Modeling course TEXT: EVA MENGER  |  PHOTOS: TOREON

With more and more companies going digital, the need for cybersecurity has never been bigger. Whether it’s looking at the specific risks within a company or teaching clients how to organise their security, Belgian consultancy Toreon is here to create a safer digital society.

advice to organisations working with critical data. “This could be an energy supplier, a healthcare institution or a financial company,” Deleersnyder explains. “Both because of GDPR and general digitisation, an increasing amount of companies now have to think more carefully about how they protect their data.”

Toreon provides solutions that match the increasing need to understand, measure and manage IT security risks for their customers. In order to improve the IT security maturity of their customers, multi-disciplinary teams of governance, risk, and compliance specialists are combined with the technological know-how of IT security architects. At Toreon, a team of ethical hackers is continuously testing for vulnerabilities in networks, systems and software.

Without Threat Modeling, data protection is a shot in the dark

Co-founder Sebastien Deleersnyder: “Cybersecurity has always been my profession as well as my hobby. When my partners at Toreon and I realised we would be able to achieve much more as a team, we decided to start our own company in 2014.” With a team of nearly 40 ICT security consultants, Toreon offers independent

Toreon has also developed a prestigious training programme. Their ‘Threat Modeling or White Board Hacking’ two-day training course is aimed at software developers, architects, system managers and security professionals, provided either on-demand, in open sessions or at conferences. This year, Toreon will be providing training at the OWASP Global AppSec conference in Tel Aviv (27 to 28 May), Black Hat in Las Vegas (3 to 8 August) and DevSecCon in London (12 to 13 November). Deleersnyder: “It’s the first time a training course from Belgium has received so much international attention, so it only goes to show how relevant this topic is today. Without Threat Modeling, data protection is merely a shot in the dark, and this often

means that organisations discover their vulnerabilities when it’s already too late.”

Detect security problems In a range of workshops, students will work with business and IT owners to examine an application or system, ultimately aiming to detect security problems based on potential threats. Participants will get to grips with the basics of threat modeling; they will learn to understand what they are building, how threats can be identified using the STRIDE method, and how each of those threats can be addressed. Comprehensive training material and hands-on workshops with real-world use cases guide participants through all aspects of threat modeling.

Get ten per cent discount on your first training Are you in need of data security advice, or interested in coming along to one of Toreon’s training sessions? Visit their website for more information and claim ten per cent discount for your first training.


Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  53

Discover Benelux  |  Discover Top Flemish Cyber Security & Data Protection Experts  |  Think Before You Click!

Good information security starts with awareness TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTO: LIBBY PENNER

Effective cyber and network security is essential for companies these days, and having the right tools is vital. Since 2011, KV-Solutions in Roeselare has been advising on security solutions as well as designing and maintaining IT infrastructure for clients all over the world. “Perhaps even more critical than having the right tools, is creating awareness of the need for security,” begins Kris Verstraete, owner of KV-Solutions. “Roughly 80 per cent of incidents involving cyber security are due to human error,” he explains. For example, they might have clicked on a corrupt link in an email or forgotten to log out. “Making them aware of the dangers and the risks that are out there has to be part of your security strategy.” This is a major part of the consultancy that KV-Solutions offers to its clients. “There are new threats and risks

coming up each day. Keeping your staff up-todate is important.” Besides consulting on information security, KV-Solutions designs new IT infrastructure for companies, as well as upgrades for systems. For a client in the medical device sector, they designed and implemented security and privacy controls for these devices. “Helping develop products that are part of clients’ cyber security strategy is a challenge, but one we know how to take on.” “We offer all the tools and services needed to secure your systems and data. But if your staff do not understand the importance of good security, the tools won’t matter. For us, that is just as important as the technology itself. Maybe even more.” Web:

Beth Riddle and Kris Verstraete.

Discover Benelux  |  Profile  |  Pâtisserie Hoffmann


The sweet smell – and taste – of success TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON  |  PHOTOS: PÂTISSERIE HOFFMANN

Luxembourgers like the finer things in life. Master pastry chef and entrepreneur Jean-Marie Hoffmann has built a very special business that aims to provide not just the fine, but the finest. In his youth, Jean-Marie Hoffmann dreamed for a time of becoming a surgeon, but decided that such a life was not for him. Given the meticulous attention to detail demonstrated in his creations, his growing business empire, and his tireless drive to improve both, it is very possible he would have made a mighty medic. The path the now 51-year-old Hoffmann chose was to become a great pastry chef, learning his craft with some prestigious names before deciding that it was time to launch his own operation. “I looked seriously at Venice Beach in California 56  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

as an option, but it wasn’t right for me or what I do.” He wondered about Dubai too, but finally saw that home was best. “Luxembourg has great gastronomic traditions, it’s an ever-more prosperous place where people are willing to pay for the best, and where they appreciate what top quality is,” says Hoffmann, “Like the French, eating well is a part of our culture, our heritage.” Thus, in 1991, he opened his first shop in Bonnevoie, making a name and setting it on the firm financial footing that enabled him to open a second, in Alzingen, in 2001. Making a name for himself included, in 1996, coming second in the pastry-chef world championships in Paris, the perfectionism that yielded that result reflected in the products in his shops – ices, sorbets, chocolates, del-

icate pastries, gâteaux… “We set the highest standards and use the best materials, including flour and fresh cream and milk from Luxembourg; but we also search the world for the topmost quality ingredients, like cinnamon from Sri Lanka, and Madagascan vanilla.”

18 Avenue de la Porte-Neuve L-2227 Luxembourg.

Discover Benelux  |  Profile  |  Pâtisserie Hoffmann

CEO Jean-Marie Hoffmann.

A grand expansion For some people, that relatively simple business would have been enough, especially as it evolved into what is very much a family concern: “My wife has been very important to the company since the start, and my daughter Kelly joined after she became a master pastry-chef. And now my son Dustin is working on the marketing side,” he says. But Hoffmann had other ideas. As 2017 ended, it was announced that his company was acquiring the 16 shops, restaurant and production premises of long-established Luxembourg rival Schumacher, investing 16 million euros into upgrading their facilities. “We changed overnight from around 30 employees to 230,” he states, “And to be able to achieve what we want to do with the business, we expect to increase that to 280 or 300 before too long.” The bakery business is known for its anti-social hours, but to integrate the two parts and oversee the new investment projects Hoffmann has gone further, actually installing a camp bed in a windowless broom cupboard next to his office in his new production facility in Wormeldange, and spending most nights there.

Fresh ideas, fresh investment, fresh products Even early on in the process, the signs were positive, sales good, and a good reaction from the workforce was evident. Because of the nature of what they produce, this is something that takes a very special approach – and Hoffmann is appreciative of production director

Michael Weyland. “The scale of the operation, with 18 shops, and many catering companies and other outlets in addition, could be seen as industrial,” Hoffmann says, “But this has to be artisanal, what we do is a craft with so much done by hand, reliant on human skill rather than machinery.” And Hoffmann has no intention of losing what has always been – and remains – the trump card of his business: “If I have a new idea, if we come up with a new product say, we can make it happen – and at the highest level of quality – within the day.” It is a philosophy that matches the nature of the business. In the restaurant, the mouth-watering menu du jour is now truly du jour, changing daily and using the best seasonal produce. The wraps, sandwiches, quiches and salads that form the savoury basis of the traiteur business are truly fresh. The chocolates beneath their glass counters in the shops are miniature works of art, the great classics occasionally joined by new creations; and it is the same too with the pastries, handmade, as enticing on the shelves as they will be later in the day on the tables of Luxembourg’s discerning diners. The whole team is working tirelessly, and it is working successfully too. And they share a vision: “Our goal is to be one of the big names in our sector, not just in Luxembourg but beyond too,” Hoffmann concludes. Web:

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  57

Discover Benelux  |  Brewery of the Month  |  Bobeline

Micro-brewing with local culture on the menu TEXT: COLETTE DAVIDSON  |  PHOTOS: BOBELINE

This spring, La Brasserie des Bobelines will launch in the heart of the thermal town of Spa, offering a microbrewery, restaurant and events space. The impetus for La Brasserie des Bobelines was a call for project applications, set out by the town of Spa as a way to revitalise the Pavillon des Petits Jeux, a 19th-century building recognised as a Belgian national heritage site. Bobeline & Cie co-founder Didier Dumalin answered the call, putting forth an idea he had been contemplating for a long time. “It offers something extra,” says Didier. “There are already many festivals and tourists here, but this is a way to welcome even more people: we’ll be the only ones in the region to offer something like this.” Indeed, La Brasserie des Bobelines will be more than just a microbrewery. A restaurant seating up to 50 people will offer dishes

cooked with local ingredients as well as Bobeline’s famous ales. And a cultural space will be dedicated to concerts, events and seminars – aimed at tourists and locals alike. But beer is undoubtedly the priority at La Brasserie des Bobelines. The microbrewery will have a production capacity of 2,000 hectolitres of beer, and will offer not only its

classic flavours – Triple, Black, Ambrée and Blanche Fraise – but seasonal varieties as well. A focus on eco-friendly production and local savoir-faire ensures that Bobeline stays true to its roots while remaining innovative. Web:

Photo: Visit.Flanders

Roadside gastronomy TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

When on a packed city trip or business getaway, there isn’t always time to sit down for a lengthy meal. Instead, we often opt for a quick bite on the go. But that does not have to mean you must miss out on local specialities. The Benelux cuisine offers a myriad of tasty traditional food at booths and take-away restaurants; hot and cold, sweet and savoury.

Poffertjes The Dutch are masters in the art of baking pancakes. In the many pancake houses of the country, they surprise you with both sweet and savoury pancakes. Yet, most typical are their ‘poffertjes’. These tiny, airy pancakes have yeast in them, letting them rise like real cakes. Usually, they serve you 12 of them with a bit of butter and some powdered sugar on top. As to the roots of the dish, we can only guess. Rumour has it that it was discovered in a monastery. Other stories say that it was originally French and only got introduced in the Netherlands by Napoleon’s troops. Regardless of its origins, poffertjes are as Dutch as they come today, and a musteat on your trip to the Netherlands. 60  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Photo: Tijs Zwinkels

Discover Benelux  |  Gourmet Guide  |  Roadside Gastronomy

Waffles If one product puts Belgium on the culinary map, it must be the waffle. The griddled treat is popular in most corners of the country and comes in many varieties. To eat them all, a little road trip might be in order. The city of Brussels is the best place to start your journey as it is the home of the famous Brussels waffle; an airy, crispy and perfectly rectangular confection. This sizeable waffle doesn’t ask for any toppings, just a whiff of powdered sugar at the most. The second stop on your trip will be the city of Liège. Their waffles are by far the most popular ones and are sold in shops all over the country. They are heavier than their Brussels’ counterparts and have rounded corners. On top of these waffles, vendors put toppings galore. From chocolate and whipped cream to fruit and sweets. All these options are usually on display, creating colourful and mouthwatering shopfronts as if from Willy Wonka’s hand himself. Those who still crave waffles afterwards can continue their road trip to Bruges for the Flemish waffle, and to the far north of Flanders for the ‘Kempense galetten’.

Liège waffle. Photo: Pieter D’hoop - Visit.Flanders

Soused herring and kibbeling

Soused herring. Photo: NBTC

While living a stone’s throw from the North Sea, the Dutch sure know how to prepare the ocean’s delicacies. Even on street-food menus, fish is a popular ingredient. Most iconic is their soused herring, a delight which is only sold from May till September. During this period, young herrings are caught and marinated in acid after which they are eaten raw with chopped onion. Cutlery is not required for this treat. You just grab the fish by its tail and let it slide vertically into your mouth. If you prefer a cooked fish over a raw one, you might be up for ‘kibbeling’ instead: deep-fried, battered cod fish with a fresh tartar sauce. The snack stems from the 19th century when food was scarce. Back then, they fried the cheeks and other inferior pieces of the fish to make them edible. Although kibbeling and soused herring are sold in many snack bars these days, the ideal place to eat them is at a local event or fair. On popular occasions like these, you are never far removed from a fishy treat. Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  61

Discover Benelux  |  Gourmet Guide  |  Roadside Gastronomy

Kapsalon We admit it: when on the hunt for typical Dutch delicacies, the local kebab stand is not the first place we normally look. Yet, that is exactly where you can find a ‘kapsalon’ (or: hairdresser’s). This comprises fries and shawarma with grilled cheese and lettuce on top. The bizarre combination was created in 2003 in a kebab shop in Rotterdam. A local hairdresser came to the restaurant on a regular basis for a self-created dish with all his favourite ingredients. After a while, the owner decided to add the dish to his menu and called it kapsalon, as an ode to the person who came up with it. It became an instant success and was copied by many other kebab places in no time. Today, almost all Middle Eastern takeaways in the Netherlands and Belgium have it on their menu. It is especially popular at night when partygoers head back home. With around 1,800 calories in one portion, it is the perfect weapon the fight an upcoming hangover.

Snack wall

Meat croquette. Photo: Kroketterij De Bourgondiër

62  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

The Dutch put the ‘fast’ in ‘fast food’. To avoid queues at the snack bar, they get their hot bites from vending machines. Behind tiny glass doors, steaming snacks await you. When you put a coin in, the door unlocks so you can grab your delicious treat. The most popular snack in this so-called snack wall is the meat croquette: a typical Dutch croquette of beef ragout wrapped in a crunchy crust. Very similar to this are the ‘bitterballen’, small balls stuffed with the same ragout. Usually, you can also buy sausages, chicken snacks and vegetarian croquettes filled with Asian bakmi noodles. Despite its popularity in the low countries, the concept of buying lunch from a vending machine didn’t originate on Dutch soil. It was invented in Germany during the 1950s, after which it became wildly popular in all of Western Europe and the United States. Halfway through the 1960s, however, the popularity of the technology decreased, after which the machines disappeared from the streets in most countries. But not in the Netherlands — the Dutch still love to ‘pull a croquette out of the wall’ to take the edge off their appetite.

Discover Benelux  |  Gourmet Guide  |  Roadside Gastronomy

Photo: Efteling

Rookworst A bun, a sausage and a royal serving of sauce. It is the simple recipe of regional specialities all around the globe, from the German bratwurst to the American hot dog. The Dutch are no exception to that, yet, they put a traditional ‘rookworst’ between their bun. This local sausage gets its characteristic taste from the time it spends in a smoking chamber. Its immense popularity in the Netherlands and abroad, is thanks to the famous chain Hema. They have been selling the sausage for almost a century and made it a symbol of Dutch culture. The simple snack consists of a sausage, a bun and a bit of mustard. For convenience, the rookworst that is used for these hot dogs is shaped like a regular frankfurter. A traditional one, however, is thicker and U-shaped, with the two ends tied together by a string. These are usually eaten as part of a more nourishing meal, with fermented cabbage or kale.


Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  63

Discover Benelux  |  Gourmet Guide  |  Roadside Gastronomy

Photo: Visit.Flanders

Photo: De Fritbox, Booischot

HOW TO ORDER BELGIAN FRIES? A trip to Belgium is not complete without a stop at a typical ‘friterie’. The country’s fries are famous around the globe and come with an entire ordering ritual — which sauce should you pick, and what should you eat on the side? Let us take you behind the counter of a Belgian friterie. Belgian fries are, in many families, a traditional dish to eat on Friday evenings. Some fry them at home themselves, others go to one of the country’s 5,000 friteries. Normally, Belgians fry their golden delicacy in animal fat, giving the potatoes a unique aftertaste. Today, however, most friteries opt for vegetable oil instead. This is cheaper and healthier. Yet, many

Belgian fry fanatics still stick with the original animal-based recipe.

Must there be salt? After having ordered your fries, the question “Should we put salt on them?” will follow. According to Belgian traditions, the only right answer to that is a wholehearted “yes”. Putting salt does, however, have one big disadvantage for those taking their fries home. The salt distracts the water from the chips, making them lose their crunchiness. So, chances are that you will arrive home with mushy fries. If you eat them straight away, on the other hand, the salt won’t have the time to affect your crunchy meal.

Any meat? When in a friterie, the dazzling offer of different snacks can be a bit intimidating. In general, the assortment of snacks offered is a mix of different meaty, fishy and vegetarian side dishes. Since almost all of them are breaded it might, howev-

Photo: Visit.Flanders

64  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

er, be hard to pinpoint which is which. A safe choice for many is the ‘frikandel’, a tasty and smooth sausage. Even more traditional is Flemish stew. This traditional Belgian dish has been around for centuries and perfectly complements a hornet bag of fries.

Do you want sauce? The Belgian sauce culture is very extensive. Of course, you cannot go wrong with mayonnaise, since Belgians have paired this with fries for centuries. Yet, if you want something more special, a myriad of sauces await. Tartar sauce works well with a fishy snack on the side and ‘andalouse’ sauce gives that extra bit of spice to your fries. Yet, if you want it to be very special, you just have to ask for it! If you order a ‘special’ portion of fries, they will add ketchup, mayonnaise and chopped onions on top of it. They also do this with snacks, by the way. So, feel free to ask for a special frikandel as well.

The most popular sauces

The most popular snacks

1. Mayonnaise 2. Special sauce 3. Warm meat gravy 4. Tartar sauce 5. Andalouse sauce

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

A frikandel A hamburger A satay A meatball Flemish stew

Architecture for dogs - Konstantin Grcic. Photo: Hiroshi Yoda

Out & About Get outside and smell the fresh scent of spring! Whether you are a car enthusiast, a flower fan or a foodie, May is full of amazing activities and events out in the open air. Don’t worry about the weather though: with plenty of century-old processions passing the Benelux’ historic streets, the weather gods will surely be on our side. And even if the rain does fall, the region’s splendid museums offer more than enough to keep you entertained. TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

Luxembourg City History Museum. Photo: Sebastien Grebille

66  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Calendar

Oranjewoud Festival. Photo: Majanka Fotografie

Tulpenrallye 12 – 18 May, Valkenburg, the Netherlands With the tulips in colourful bloom this month, the annual Tulpenrallye rides out as well. The characteristic race kicks off in Andorra, after which it explores the versatile roads of France. The finish line lies in the atmospheric Dutch city of Valkenburg, where activities galore await the many supporters. Les Nuits du Cirque. Photo: Christelle Anceau

Creatures Made to Measure & Generous Nature 17 May – 29 September, Gent, Belgium This summer, Design Museum Gent unites fauna and flora. In their exhibition Creatures Made to Measure, they zoom in on the relationship between humans and animals and fantasise about how we can change each other’s future. Belgian Design: Generous Nature, on the other hand, shows the work of Belgian

design prodigies who create objects with a sustainable and ecological mindset. A theme that, in a time of eco strikes, is more relevant than ever.

Luxembourg Museum Days 18 – 19 May, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Despite its small size, Luxembourg City is rich

Filmstill from Golden Boy. Photo: Thalia de Jong

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  67

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Calendar Rollende Keukens. Photo: NBTC

Rollende Keukens. Photo: NBTC

The Procession of the Holy Blood.

in museums. For two days a year, 40 of them open their doors free of charge. Hop from one cultural temple to the next and explore the diverse collection of art and history the capital houses. In many of them, you can even join a free tour or participate in an exciting cultural activity.

Les Nuits du Cirque 25 May, Villers-la-Ville, Belgium With the dark night as its backdrop, a circus extravaganza ignites the picturesque abbey of Villers-la-Ville once a year. A hurricane of colours, sounds and magic creates a universe that amazes all ages. Be fooled by

Gent Smaakt.

68  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

the clowns and enchanted by the acrobats during the most mesmerising night of the year.

Rollende Keukens 29 May – 2 June, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Few restaurants are as diverse and atmospheric as Rollende Keukens. The food truck festival in the heart of the Dutch capital takes the edge off your appetite with a myriad of exotic cuisines and surprising snacks. You had better be starving upon arrival, however, since the temptation to try a bit of everything might be too hard to resist.

Les Nuits du Cirque. Photo: Philippe Renard

Oranjewoud Festival 29 May – 2 June, Heerenveen, the Netherlands Oranjewoud Festival tickles all your senses. Not only is it the perfect place to enjoy worldclass classical music, but it also stands out with its amazing (often unconventional) concert locations which add an extra dimension to the fantastic music. Among other places, gardens, plastic domes and an ice-hockey stadium will become temporary concert halls during the cosy music festival.

Gent Smaakt 29 May – 2 June, Ghent, Belgium Gent’s favourite food festival, Gent Smaakt,

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Calendar Leeuwarden. Photo: NBTC

Oranjewoud Festival. Photo: Jantina Talsma

Oranjewoud Festival. Photo: Lucas Kemper

serves the best the town’s cuisine has to offer. Underneath the iconic Stadshal, the city’s known culinary quantities and upcoming gastronomical talents prepare amazing dishes which will surprise with every bite. Because in a young and vibrant city like Gent, the world comes together on your plate.

Procession of the Holy Blood, during which they carry the relic with Jesus’ blood through the historic town. One weekend earlier, on Sunday 19 May, you can witness the Hanswijk procession in the streets of Mechelen; a parade that has been organised for the past 747 years.

The Procession of the Holy Blood


30 May, Bruges, Belgium May is traditionally a great month for procession aficionados. During the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the most beautiful, folkloristic parades stroll through the Flemish streets. The most famous one is Bruges’

30 May, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands Do you want to spruce up your interior with a touch of spring? Then head to the flower market of Leeuwarden. With over 200 stalls selling their fragrant flora, it is the longest flower market in the country. Every year, over 30,000

ING Night Marathon.

people stroll over the traditional fair to watch, smell and, of course, purchase themselves a few living souvenirs.

ING Night Marathon 1 June, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg As a metropole in pocket size, Luxembourg City is perfect to explore by foot. On the first day of June, hundreds of athletes will do just that. During the ING Night Marathon, you see all the city’s hotspots in the moonlight while running a dazzling 42,195 kilometres. The starting signal sounds at twilight, after which your night-time endeavour can commence.

The Procession of the Holy Blood. Photo: Jan Darthet

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  69

Hiu Tung Yip Detail Look Gently No. 2


CODA Museum puts on a grand display with CODA Paper Art 2019 TEXT AND PHOTOS: CODA PAPER ART 2019

Paper amazes and inspires. The strength of paper is both unique and versatile, and the beauty and rich colouring go hand in hand with themes like sustainability, current issues and innovation. CODA’s transparent, open building offers fantastic potential for installations and large spatial works: after a highly successful edition in 2017, CODA Museum Apeldoorn presents CODA Paper Art 2019, an exhibition that provides ample space – both literally and figuratively – for the installations, spatial works and jew70  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

ellery of artists from the Netherlands and abroad whose work is centred around paper and cardboard.

staggering and dynamic but sometimes also moving and subtle ways.

Paper is a fantastic material that has inspired artists to create impressive works of art for centuries. The structure, texture, divergent traits and infinite possibilities of paper enchant and inspire. Paper and cardboard are relatively simple and fairly cheap materials that, combined with traditional and modern techniques and the artist’s inspiration, show their endless possibilities and expressive power in

Through juggling, ripping, disassembling and then reassembling photographs, Kensuke Koike (Japan, 1980) creates new images with their own independent lives, just barely connected with their previous ones. The cut is Koike’s medium. Slicing, collaging, and weaving are his methods, and scissors, scalpels, and even a pasta maker are his tools. Koike is best known for his Single

Kensuke Koike

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  CODA

Image Processing – an ongoing series in which he alters vintage photographs and postcards. He has one rule for making this work: nothing can be removed and nothing can be added. One photograph, one source from which to construct new work and a new meaning. The rigour and discipline of this approach unlocks unexpected richness in images that might otherwise be overlooked as familiar, or even dismissed as banal. His work is a conceptual exercise of constraint and deceptive simplicity that tests and reveals how much may be achieved with very little.

Boris Tellegen Boris Tellegen (the Netherlands, 1968) began his artistic career using his pseudonym – ‘Delta’ – on the streets in the 1980s. He always treated the twodimensional frame of the letter and the word as sculpture, bursting out or morphing into the wall, piercing its boundaries by adding a dimension. By combining the reliefs of his practice with his education in industrial design, he soon started to create three-dimensional work on the intersection of architecture, painting, sculpture and installation. In his body of work made over a 30-year span, Tellegen explores how to transcend the boundaries of walls by annexing, deconstructing and recomposing them, to ultimately disregard them in recent installations. Through the ever-fluctuating shape of his work, Tellegen continues to disrupt our perception of surface and space.

Boris Tellegen - SR1 (surface runoff), (2016).

Erik van Maarschalkerwaard - Postzegelboek uit Het Conciliatiekabinet van Romann Jäger (2019).

Jerry Kowalsky - End of a system (2015-2017), cardboard, foam. Photo by Carsten Beier

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  71

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  CODA

Kensuke Koike - Ikebana Woman (2017), cut postcard, metal wire. Courtesy of Rossana Ciocca Gallery, Milan.

72  |  Issue 65  |  May 2019

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  CODA

Jerry Kowalsky - What remains is vivid (2018), cardboard, foam, wood. Photo by Peter Cox

Hiu Tung Yip Jewellery is also included in CODA Paper Art 2019. The works of Hiu Tung Yip (Hong Kong, 1991) are about interaction and connection. She draws inspiration from animals in nature by engaging with how they attract and repel one another. The colourful feathers of rollers provide the sweetest lure while the vibrant skin of poison dart frogs gives the loudest deadly warning: different colour combinations and arrangements give out wildly different information. Tung Yip created the pieces thinking how humans can achieve such effects without vibrant feathers or patterns on their skin. Look Gently is a series of jewellery about the delicate process of interacting and bonding with people. Balancing between safeguarding your comfort zone and venturing into the wild, it proposes a way to deal with these insecurities and intimate discomforts.

Nai-Dan Chang - Emitting Papers round (2018), papercrafting. Photo by Nai-Dan Chang

CODA Paper Art takes place from 10 June up to and including 27 October 2019.

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  73

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Nuit des Choeurs

An enchanting night amongst ancient ruins TEXT: CHÉRINE KOUBAT  |  PHOTOS: NUIT DES CHŒURS

For its 20th anniversary, La Nuit des Chœurs is aiming for more: more drama, more intricate light works and even more spectacular fireworks. This one of a kind concertpromenade is a true multi-sensory experience, where choral music, artful lighting and a magical setting combine to create a mysterious, almost mystical atmosphere. For two evenings, on 30 and 31 August, visitors are handed a map and a small flashlight each and invited to amble about the ruins of a 12thcentury Cistercian abbey for an immersive musical evening. Throughout the night, they

have access to fine foods, craft beers and a Champagne bar, but most importantly, they get to discover word-class vocal ensembles. “Don’t expect pure religious hymns,” says Benoît Meurens, one half of the duo behind the event. “Our event showcases the best of choirs, covering pop, Celtic, lyrical, sacred, and even martial music.” The diverse repertoire appeals to a loyal and ever-growing audience, hailing from Belgium, but also France, Germany and further afield. The 20-minute concerts are perfectly synchronised, allowing waves of spectators to leisurely drift from one stage to the next.

During each performance, the merry buzz is replaced by a solemn, enraptured silence – no meagre feat for a crowd of 15,000. The evening culminates in a collective performance on the main stage and majestic fireworks. Set on the last weekend of August, La Nuit des Chœurs is a last hurrah before the end of summer and the start of the school year. It takes places at the Villers Abbey in Villers-laVille, Belgium.


Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Lifestyle Columns



The latest exhibition at MIMA Museum, Brussels, is the very definition of immersive. Dream Box, involving five European artists, is the visual representation of too much late night gouda; a mind-bending, kaleidoscopic dreamscape of optical illusion and trompe l’oeil.

The conceptual premise of Dream Box is to challenge intuitive thought – the mental process that accounts for 90 per cent of all human action and makes the world comprehensible. With immersive floor-to-ceiling installations, Dream Box pushes the idea of reality to its limits and jump-starts our imagination. Of course, there are head nods to the op-art movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but it never reaches the conceptual stuffiness of that period, offering instead a riotous, magical waltz along the tightrope of perception. I realise the futility of trying to describe artwork where the very intention is to challenge perception and be difficult to grasp, but I’ll give it a go if you’re still on the fence. In Felipe Pantone’s installation, you enter a scene from Bill Gates’ ‘90s anxiety dreams; a darkened room full of giant CD-roms floating in a tech-

nological dystopia. When you walk through Elzo Durt’s open-mouth doorway, you step into the album cover of a ‘70s psychedelia compilation, complete with added multimirror madness. It is rare that art exhibitions like this succeed, more often than not falling too far on the side of gimmick. But Dream Box manages with aplomb, balancing conceptual heft with great dollops of fun, in a show that is enjoyable for all. Dream Box is on show at MIMA Museum, Brussels, until 1 September 2019.

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.


Oud Beersel 2017 Barrel Selection Oude Pijpen Geuze TEXT & PHOTO: STUART FORSTER

The Oud Beersel Brewery is named after a municipality — roughly ten kilometres southwest of Brussels — in the Pajottenland, a region famed for beers brewed in open tanks between October and April. Known collectively as lambic beers, the region’s micro-flora and naturally occurring yeast strains are key to triggering the fermentation process. Oud Beersel’s limited edition 2017 Barrel Selection Oude Pijpen is a traditional geuze — a blend of lambic beers — that has been aged in oak barrels formerly used to transport port wine to Belgium. The 650-litre barrels that give this beer a facet of its distinctive character are 60 to 120 years old. The aroma of the beer is reminiscent of slightly sour scrumpy mixed with oak and vanilla. It is a cloudy gold in colour and should

be poured into a dry glass, while turning and coating the inside of the drinking vessel, to minimise oxidation. Some geuzes are famously sour and, traditionally, were served in thick-bottomed glasses so that women and children could crush sugar cubes to sweeten their beer. However, this beer is wonderfully rounded, has a light effervescence, a dry mouthfeel and a moreish finish. Like a good wine, this is a beer that can be laid down to be enjoyed years later due to bottle refermentation rounding its character. The ‘best before’ date on bottles suggests this beer should be consumed before the end of 2037. Oud Beersel will open its doors to visitors on 4 and 5 May as part of the biennial Toer de Geuze, which showcases the lambic breweries and blenderies of the Pajottenland. Brewer: Brouwerij Oud Beersel Alcohol content: 6.5 per cent

Stuart Forster was named Journalist of the Year at the 2015, 2016 and 2019 Holland Press Awards. Five generations of his family have been actively involved in the brewing industry.

Issue 65  |  May 2019  |  75

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.