Local Heart, Global Soul

June 20, 2017

Of Course We Ate More Than We Intended…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know the feeling when you have eaten too much but everything looks so amazing that you are tempted to take something more?

That pretty much describes our breakfast on the second morning at Hotel ’t Speulderbos / Bilderberg in the summer of 2016.
Located in Garderen in the heart of the Veluwe, a lovely wooded and as close to “national park” area you will get in a tiny crowded country like the Netherlands, this a wonderfully quiet place to wake up in.

I’d taken a zillion photographs of the breakfast buffet before I set out to see the Sand Sculpture festival the day before, our mega early rising meant that we were some of the first guests to arrive, something I took full advantage of as my camera shutter got busy.

Sunday’s breakfast was altogether a different affair. We slept in, (which for Himself, means rising at 7:00 a.m. instead of 5:00 a.m.) Being a “normal” person I slept on for another hour, finding Himself already showered, dressed and reading a book in the early morning sun on the outside of our ground floor French doors.

By the time we kicked ourselves into action and entered the breakfast room it was crowded. This time I focused my camera on a few things that took my fancy.

I liked how they stood the eggs up in a bed of salt, the tiny dished for guests to scoop out hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) so that they could take it to their table and assemble it there. Just past Reception I saw a display of local beers, and whilst I detest the stuff the labels are intriguing and I take snaps to show to our beer loving friends.

Himself picked out a few to take back and try, and a few as gifts, I contented myself with photos. For some reason I am drawn to taking photographs of bread, even before I started this blog, the allure of a cracked crust dusted in flour has been irristable.

Bread therefore features heavily in this post, and also jars filled with “things various”, a strange mix of everything from bulgur to sundried tomatoes. Breakfast itself was as delicious as the day before, I would love to have someone set up this buffet for me at home every day, Luckily for my waistline this is definitely a dream. Himself and I of course ate more than we intended, don’t we all when the delicacies are laid out so invitingly? The it was back to the room to pack the bag and get onto the road. We have an unusual destination in mind.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hotel ’t Speulderbos / Garderen – Veluwe / Hotel Bilderberg Group

June 19, 2017

This Was A Delicious Surprise!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterdays post, Himself and I were in Garderen in the east of the country for a quiet weekend away.

I had spent Saturday touring the Sand Sculpture festival, with the aid of a wheelchair, managing to see everything from start to finish.

Himself  first enjoyed a long walk in the forests of the Veluwe and then hired a bike from the hotel and cycled to the birthplace of his mother, some 17 kms away, did some touring and sightseeing and had the sort of hours alone that is impossible to achieve at home.

After I’d taken a nap we went for dinner in the  Hotel ’t Speulderbos of the Bilderberg Group, where we were staying. The dinner we had enjoyed the evening before set a very high standard so we were intrigued to see what was on offer this evening.

Having discovered the Oklahoma smoker,  (my latest addition of “kitchen equipment” on my “If I won the lottery” list .. forget shoes!) we then had the terrible dilemma of everything looking so good that we didn’t know where to start.

Inside was laid out an extensive buffet of salads, hot and cold side dishes, most of the meat and fish of course coming from the smoker, some of the veggie dishes too (the courgettes and corn were amazing).

The outside tables were packed full when we arrived so we sat inside, but since we were late arrivals the crowed thinned out allowing me to take photographs of the food without disturbing other diners.

The only error I made was to leave the photographs of the desert buffet until later. The diners had made excellent inroads into these delicious specimens, I had only one photograph of anything “whole” and that was a new desert that was place there just as I came to take photos.

One small detail as the “Kiwi” in me did a double take, I thought I saw a Pavlova amongst the desserts! My heart soared! Then I realised it was actually a Baked Alaska, and that foamy- marshmallow-look was actually vanilla ice cream. My heart sank, but not for long because the Baked Alaska was divine too. The food was amazing, not only did I covert the Oklahoma smoker, Himself and I wanted to steal the chefs as well! It’s not often that I would return somewhere on the globe solely for the food, this is one of those places.

Himself and I agreed that we would not hesitate to return to this hotel, or any others in this same Bilderberg chain.The staff were friendly and helpful to a level that pleasantly surprised us, our later arrival and dinner the evening before was no problem, the one and only glitch was that I could not get my laptop on line, even multiple attempts by the willing and able staff at Reception were fruitless.

As you know, bloggers are lost without their beloved internet connections but actually Himself and I enjoyed our evening so much I didn’t miss it at all.  This was a meal much enjoyed and Himself and I have discovered a new “favourite” place to come for  treat. With locations throughout the Netherlands, who knows where we will be traveling to in the future. The chefs here are far above the standard that  Himself and I often experience, it’s safe to say that this was a delicious surprise!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hotel ’t Speulderbos / Garderen – Veluwe / Hotel Bilderberg Group

June 18, 2017

I Discover The Oklahoma Smoker…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After my day out at the 2016 Garderen Sand Sculpture I went to bed back at our hotel for a good rest.

Later after freshening up, Himself and I made our way to the restaurant for a late dinner.

The chef that evening was cooking outside on a huge beast of a barbeque, which I learned was called an Oklahoma smoker.

The helpful chef didn’t mind that I was interested and explained that the smoker works by stoking up the small firebox at the end of the unit.

There is a small duct that lets the heat from the firebox enter the main chamber, the airflow of which gives both upward and downward heat.

In fact, so much heat is generated that a second smoking chamber of food can be cooked there too.

The chef told me that he cooks things like steaks and hamburger patties in the first chamber, and is tonight cooking salmon in the second one. The smoker is constructed from a heavy metal material which is well insulated to keep the heat in and by stoking the fire in the firebox you can regulate the heat as you wish. Forget that I don’t even have a garden to put on in: as a foodie I am drooling over the thought of ever owning one of these!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hotel ’t Speulderbos / Garderen – Veluwe / Hotel Bilderberg Group

April 27, 2017

A Fabulous Evening And A Seriously Good Meal…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Arriving at the Bilderburg Hotel’t Speulderbos in the Veluwe last year, Himself and I headed into the dining room before it closed for the evening.

As late arrivals we headed in to find it almost completely full, but most of the diners had left by the time our entrée was finished.

We discovered later that there was a very large group staying at the hotel this weekend who were keeping to a schedule so clearly they arrived at roughly the same time earlier in the evening.

It was wonderful to enjoy a more sophisticated dinner, and to have conversation uninterrupted. Without the need to drive home, Himself could enjoy wine and an after-dinner cognac.

Having been busy packing bags for ourselves and the kids, the afternoon had been busy; I’d skipped lunch and Himself, a habitually early riser at around 5:00 a.m. usually has an early lunch so we were very hungry when we sat down to eat.Both of us enjoyed three courses, the food was fabulous and we were pleasantly surprised at how high the standard was.  I had fish, Himself had beef and everything was cooked to perfection.  It was a fabulous meal, well enjoyed.

Afterwards we stopped at the Reception desk so that Himself could sort out hiring a bike for the next day, whilst he was busy I spied a wooden box filled with small brown paper bags.  Although they were labelled “Veluwse Sprokkelhoutjes” (Veluwse tinder) and “Veluwse Zwienenkeutelties” (Wild boar poo), they were in fact bags of sweets (candy). Back in our room Himself caught a glimpse of a large frog on the path outside. I tried to get a photograph but only succeeded in a blurry blob because it was too dark.  My night photography skills leave a lot to be desired!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hotel ’t Speulderbos in Garderen / Bilderberg chain / The Veluwe / The Netherlands

April 26, 2017

A Quick Trip Means Checking In Ahead Of Schedule…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I arrived at the end of summer 2016 at the Hotel ’t Speulderbos of the Bilderberg Hotel chain, located in Garderen, a small town in the east of the Netherlands.

This was supposed to be a twenty year wedding anniversary gift to ourselves but it took until we were twenty-two and a half years married to get the opportunity to take it.

We left The Hague as soon as the kids got home from school on Friday night, dropping off the kids to their weekend lodgings on our way out.

Apart from a small delay with traffic around Delft, our trip was hassle free and quicker than we imagined it might have been.

The hotel is light, open, spacious and we have a room on the ground floor close to Reception, so getting around is easier.

We discover that we forgot there was an indoor swimming pool, so neglected to pack swimming costumes. Never mind. We check into our room and freshen up… after all this rushing around to get here, we are keen to get to the dining room before it closes and have a nice dinner together.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hotel ’t Speulderbos in Garderen / Bilderberg chain / The Veluwe / The Netherlands

March 30, 2017

As The Curtains Open, My Window Of Opportunity Closes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back at our Texel De Krim holiday park accommodation during the Easter weekend of 2016, I finally get another bird to come to the bird table.

I’ve been edging it closer and closer to the window several times per day since we arrived , and now think I’ve reached the limit of what the birds will accept without being spooked.

I close the curtains around the camera lens with clothes pegs each evening before I go to bed so that as little movement as possible can be detected from outside, everything as not to scare the birds away.

I know that the kids, especially the extra little one staying with us with her mother, can only be still for so long so my window of opportunity will be short.

Kids are also far louder than they think they are, and with our other friends joining us early, the group noise of three families, will be beyond keeping quiet.

My feathered visitor this time is a pigeon. Arriving at the table before the others dared is a risky move, but a smart one on this occasion, I had one tiny bird make a fleeting appearance but after just a second or so on the table, disappeared and didn’t return. After this pigeon’s visit, the rest of the household emerged, hungry and looking for breakfast, therefore as the curtains were opened , my window of opportunity for further photographs closed. Still, the results are better than I had hoped for… the learning curve continues.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 20, 2017

Enjoying The Peace, Without The Summer Hordes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

The De Krim Holiday Park is located just outside of Cocksdorp near the northern tip of Texel.

It’s a huge holiday organisation with hundreds of holiday houses for rent, and there also appears to be space for campers, caravans, and possibly tents too.

It appears that each of the houses is privately owned, but hired out to the public when the owner is not looking to occupy the property themselves.

This also accounts for why the houses come in every size and variety of shape,  and if the gardens are anything to go by, some seem to have many more owner visits than others.

A very large on-site restaurant and a multitude of activities, plus the nearby beaches, mean that this is clearly an extremely popular summer holiday destination.

Of course coming here for a pre-summer season long Easter weekend break means that many of the activities are not yet open, but there is so much to do on the island that we find the opposite problem, too many things to see and do and not enough time.   Now at least we have the advantage of a look around without the summertime hordes, and plenty of peace when the others take the kids out and I retreat for daily naps. Both Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr say that they like Texel.. who knows, we might be returning some time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

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(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

March 19, 2017

You Can Never Have Too Much Reference Material, Right?


(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Continuing from yesterdays post, Himself and I had the unexpected chance for a dinner out together during our 2016 Easter long weekend on Texel.

Dining at the on site restaurant at De Krim holiday park where our  accommodation is located, the friend staying with us kept the kids fed and occupied after a day full of chocolate easter egg hunting.

As usual I like to check out the local surroundings, and our later arrival at the restaurant meant that it was quickly very quiet.

The temperature dropped significantly after dark and so Himself went  to fetch my scarf and gloves that I had left in the car.

Using crutches means that my hands get terribly cold where there is a cold wind and putting my hands in my pockets isn’t an option.

I spend the waiting time taking more photographs: the restaurant has a nautical theme, so there are several wonderful characterful lamps around, fishing nets, shells,… the bread basket, something that I saw earlier but always seems to draw me back, the tulip on our table… what ever catches my eye. Most of these are for my reference art files… and you can never have too much reference material, right?


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )

March 18, 2017

An Unexpected Date Night…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

One thing about having an extra family share our holiday accommodation, is that in appreciation of the fact that they did not have to hire a separate and more expensive house, they looked after our kids and sent Himself and I off for a quiet “date night” meal together.

This happened during the Easter weekend of 2016 and so Himself and I thought we would make the most of the offer.

Deciding that dinner in the Krim Holiday park’s on-site restaurant would be just as good as one in the near by village, we made our way to eat a quiet and uninterrupted meal.

It was after 7:30pm when we arrived, mostly because a late start to the day meant that we had had in turn a late lunch and gotten back to the holiday park late after being out all afternoon.

We arrived in the restaurant to find a lot of families just leaving, and daylight fast disappearing, so photography was done on a fast shutter speed under artificial light. The resulting photographs are a little bit less than focused, but I suppose better some photos than none. Due to our late arrival, it was easier to take the buffet option than to order a la carte, and since the buffet food looked good, there was no queue for getting meat or fish made to order on the grill it turned out to be an excellent choice.

There was a salad bar, a selection of fish, seafood and meat that was to be cooked to order and all the usuals like soup, fresh bread, warm vegetables, pasta, potatoes, rice dishes etc. We almost had the place to ourselves so it was a very easy and delicious meal. The staff were extremely helpful, carrying my plate for me to our table, coming over to ask for instance if I wanted extra shrimps cooked, instead of me having to walk over and wait by the grill. That extra service is not necessarily usual in the Dutch restaurant trade so we made sure to show our appreciation in the tip. It was a much enjoyed meal… there is one photo in the series however where my desert looks like it has something like raw chicken on the side of the plate: never fear, it was aa sort of custardy, creamy pudding that had a shine on it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

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(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

ctually

February 12, 2017

Getting Settled And Sorted In Our Respective Accommodations…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last year,  on the Thursday before Easter, we find ourselves in the island of Texel and in the process of looking for our accommodation.

The place we will be staying is a rented house in a holiday park called “De Krim”.

The place that we have rented is a small, two story house: there is one downstairs bedroom with a double bed for Himself so I take photographs of the downstairs area, inside and out.

However, because of my foot injury I don’t want to have to go upstairs so Little Mr commandeers my camera and takes the honours.

Due to us arriving later in the day, and the variation in the weather during the our stay, these photographs were taken over the entire weekend.

The house is compact but plenty big enough for our needs.

The house that our friends hired is smaller, it’s actually more a static caravan. The area of their place is less than half the size of our accommodation, but they will be over at our place quite a bit, or out and about, so the size of the sleeping area is less important.

Their baby and almost four year old are more impressed with the playground for tots, so everyone is happy there.  Little Mr is pleased with the garden space at the back of our place, he and Himself had a kick-a-round with a football we have bought with us.  The house has plenty of space for everyone, perfect!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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