Hotel to Heart: Castle Bloemendal in Vaals

Last week I blogged about the exiting weekend trip to Limburg in the south of the Netherlands. Today, I would like to share more about that little escape that left me so rejuvenated. What makes or breaks a perfect getaway is in my opinion the hotel. And boy, we stayed in a hidden gem! The Kasteel Bloemendal, also known as the Hotel Van der Valk Vaals, is a gorgeous castle set in a green haven of tranquility. Driving up towards the hotel instantly makes you feel like nobility. An impressive white … [Read more...]

Autumnal Weekend Escape to Limburg

Sometimes you don't have to travel far to have a rejuvenating weekend full of new discoveries. It had been over 20 years since my last visit to the most southern spot of the Netherlands; Vaals. Although it is only a three hour drive from my home, somehow I just never felt compelled to travel to one of the most beautiful provinces of my own country, Limburg. My loss, because it really is gorgeous! But after last week's autumnal weekend escape I have made a vow to do it more often. A weekend in … [Read more...]

The Dutch flowerfields; When and where to see them

flower fields Holland

Holland is at its best in spring, when parts of the country are covered in a blanket of colourful flower fields and other parts are full of blossoming fruit trees.  Each year I plan a day to hike a trail and photograph both. I only live 20 minutes from the flower fields, still I continue to be excited and in awe each year. When to see the flower fields The flowerfields are best to be viewed in the last two weeks of April. Mid April you'll see mostly hyacinths and daffodils. From April … [Read more...]

Shopping Guide Amsterdam: Old South – part 1

It has been a few weeks since my last Amsterdam shopping guide. In my first two shopping guides I highlighted neighbourhood De Pijp. Today, and the coming days I will share with you my favourite shops and eateries in the Old South of Amsterdam.  Although Old South is often referred to as posh and decadent, there are plenty of shops that are quite the opposite. And yes, I do like a bit of luxury as well. The Old South has been my personal shopping destination ever since 2008 when I had my office … [Read more...]

Leiden Festival Weekend

The annual Leiden Laken (cloth) Festival and the Leiden Food Festival have come to an end. The 4-day event (Thu-Sun) treated us, like every year, to a lot of fun activities and great food in the historical city center of Leiden. The Leiden cloth festival refers to the flourishing textile industry in Leiden in the 17th century. It's one of the biggest events of the year with dragon boat races, markets, and street musicians. In the cobbled streets around the Pieters church you could … [Read more...]

It’s that time of the year…10 enchanting Christmas fests

What I love about the Christmas season are all the Christmas festivities, fairs, markets and light spectacles across the country. It's the best way to get into the holiday spirit and shop for unique curiosities and beautiful ornaments. Coming weekend, beginning on Thursday, there are a lot of fairs and festivities. One of them is the Christmas fair at the Keukenhof in Lisse. It's a fair I visit annually. This year is bound to be bigger than ever before with a circus act, ice skating rink, … [Read more...]