Local Heart, Global Soul

November 16, 2017

The Ultimate Compliment To Give To A Good Meal…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before I get to the beautiful interior of the “Den Engel Hotel” (the Angel Hotel) in Baarle Nassau, I will first give you a glimpse of the delicious cuisine.

After a busy day and journey here, Himself and I were ravenous.

We had booked a table in the hotel restaurant when we checked in, and were among a group of late diners.

A large group had a long table close by, judging by the banter we heard and the ages of those at the tables, someone there was having a special birthday and the entire close family were present.

We were tucked away by the window in relative quietness, and with the main rush of the evening already over, and other staff assigned to the birthday group, our waiter had time to give recommendations, and explain the menu in detail.

Himself chose steak and I chose prawns: we shared a side salad for two plus fries. An appetizer arrived soon after we sat down, we were both so hungry that my plate was empty and Himself was on his last bite when I grabbed the camera and remembered to snap a photo. Everything in the main course was delicious and things got even better when dessert arrived. I’d ordered a waffle (not my usual sort of dessert, especially because it came with loads of whipped cream which I usually avoid because it’s bad for my asthma). On this occasion the dietary restrictions went out of the window and I indulged, an experience made doubly delicious by the addition of lashings of warm chocolate sauce.

Himself usually helps me out with desserts but not on this occasion because he said that eating anything sweet would ruin the taste of his cheeseboard. So I was (sigh) “forced” to finish this myself. If that’s not taking one for the team I don’t know what is. The small detour outside to get to our room gave us both a much needed breath of fresh air after we had stuffed ourselves. It was a classic case of “I’m full, but this is so good I’m finishing it anyway“. Himself had the same with his cheeseboard. I suppose that’s the ultimate compliment to give to a good meal.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.hoteldenengel.nl/
Hotel Den Engel / Baarle Nassau / (Baarle-Nassau/Hertog) The Netherlands

November 15, 2017

Taking A Room At ‘The Angel”…

Filed under: Accomodation,BAARLE Nassau/Hertog,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I arrived in Baarle Nassau late in the afternoon, as the light was beginning to wane.

As usual I took photographs of our room at “Den Engel Hotel” (The Angel Hotel): handy reference material for possible further stays in the future and also because it’s nice to remember what facilities were on offer as you travel.

It’s also my way of showing how the room was in reality compared with what can be seen when you open up the photograph tab on a hotel website.

Himself had asked for a quiet non-smoking room and the only one they had available during the dates of our visit was at the very back of the main building and accessed by a flight of stairs.

I had to bite the bullet on that one, we figured we would not be to-and fro-ing too much, and the rest of the time we would be using the wheelchair, so it was a trade off, especially for the price we paid. The staff were exceptionally friendly: the weather had been cold, they had been up earlier to put the heating up higher especially for us, so that the room would be properly warm by the time we arrived. The room has a small refrigerator in the corner, we aren’t planning to use it this trip but it’s an item we always appreciate if staying anywhere for a longer time, in tropical destinations or when traveling in the summer months.

The bathroom is large, there is a bidet as well as a toilet, and the only drawback is that there is a step between the bedroom and the bathroom that I have to remember when I half sleep-walk to the loo in the middle of the night. For the rest, the bed was very comfortable and there was enough space to put our bags. It’s compact but perfect for what we need. We asked for quiet and indeed this room was very quiet, despite being on a busy road. Perfect! After a short nap (yes, another one, in spite of the sleeping I did in the car on the way here), I was ready to freshen up and head down to the restaurant for dinner.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.hoteldenengel.nl/
Hotel Den Engel / Baarle Nassau / (Baarle-Nassau/Hertog) The Netherlands

November 14, 2017

Checking Out Before Checking In…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before checking into our room in “Den Engel” (The Angel) Hotel in Baarle Nassau, I have to of course check out the beautiful carved stone relief panel set into the wall on the street outside.

There is a small information plaque on the wall above it which says:

‘For centuries this street was called “Engelsestraat” (Angelstraat), named after the “Den Engel” (the Angel) Inn.

A  three-day livestock market took place at this location twice per year,  events for which the area was famous.

Max van Tilborg bought “Den Engel” in 1894 because of the existing calf and livestock trade and established a butchery on this spot as an addition to the Inn.

Since this time “Hostellerie Den Engel” has belong to the Tilborg family or as it is today, the Tilborg company.

No information is given as to the age of this stone carved piece, or the artist but I am stopped in my tracks in admiration… and a few photographs of course because this is well worth checking out as we check into the hotel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 23, 2017

Another Little Snippet Of Information…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes you learn tiny bits of information about your city. For instance I learned that the  title of “Longest flat / apartment building in The Hague” (and possibly one of the longest in the Netherlands also) is located in Loosduinen.

It’s a long curved building that has one end on the Laan Van Meerdervoort and the other on the Ockenburghstraat and is close to the beach at Kijkduin.

The big roads are main arterial routes in and out of the west of the Hague so are ones local use often. One of the biggest cemetery / cremation / funeral places is opposite too so sadly many people visit this side of town for less joyful reasons even if they do not live close by.

Himself and I are lucky to not have to live in a large apartment block, both of us agree that having so many people as direct neighbours would not suit us well at all.

Our small quiet street with older, character houses suits us much better. That said, at the end of the day, a roof over your head is not to be grumbled at and with house prices what they are, many have little choice. Large blocks of flats have a variety of private and social housing, the whole block as a community organise upkeep and the day to day running and there are lifts available, a must for many older people and families with very young children.

Houses often vary in size so families and single people can live side by side (whereas in a street such as ours, every house is more or less a ‘family” home) and in a time when the city council is trying ver hard that elderly people live at home (with local community nursing assistance for example) rather than move into care homes at the first sign of ill health, these kinds of buildings are often very much needed.

Some people even prefer larger block appartement living to other styles of housing, citing more modern building materials, sometime extra such as underground parking and less maintainance as reasons for their preference. Whilst it would never be our ideal style of living, we have the luxury of choice and can see that for many people it is ideal, so now we drive past knowing one more tiny fact about the character of our city… and that’s never a bad thing.

(photograph © Google Earth)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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)

(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

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)

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