Raise a Glass to the Netherlands
Nov. 11, 2016
There are few places in Europe that feel as alive and progressive as Amsterdam. We love the diverse culture, the architecture and, of course, the food. That’s why we’ve partnered with an expert guide for a Food & Spirits tour this December. From private dinner cruises during the Amsterdam Light Festival, to a gin-tasting at the oldest church in Haarlem, experience the Netherlands in a way that will change your life.
Meet Amsterdam by Boat
Welcome to Amsterdam, where there’s excitement in the air, and the canals, as our visit begins with a three-hour dinner cruise on a private 1920’s saloon boat. For each course, the boat docks at another top restaurant, impressing diners with its creative best. It’s a beautiful way to introduce people to the area this time of year because it’s also the Amsterdam Light Festival, when artists, lighting architects and designers collaborate for amazing installations throughout the city. The group will be staying in one of the most sought-after areas of Amsterdam, at the DoubleTree hotel featuring an acclaimed roof-top lounge, and modernly-appointed rooms.
A New Day, a New Appetite
Discovery is best done on foot. We’ll explore the most famous art, cheeses and breweries of Holland through a walking tour covering some of the oldest, most historic parts of the city. We start in Rijksmuseum, to see classic works from Vermeer, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt, including his masterpiece “Night Watch.” Following the museum, another masterpiece awaits at Reypenaer, to taste Holland’s best cheeses paired with choice wine and ports. Under our expert’s guidance we’ll explore the De Prael microbrewery, select coffee shops and tour Amsterdam’s iconic 17th century and medieval areas, including the world-famous Red Light District. Not bad for the second day, right?
The Beauty of Dutch Design
There are two towns that define the medieval architecture of the Netherlands: Haarlem and Hoofddorp. During this visit, we get to see them both. Styled with cobbled streets, winding waterways and gothic cathedrals, the character and charm goes on and on. But since this is a Food and spirits trip, we can’t forget about a visit to the Gospel Gin distillery born from the oldest church in Haarlemmermeer or the organic fare of Vork & Mes. Upon our return to Amsterdam, we’ll visit the Museum de Cruquius, known as an engineering landmark from the 1800’s and learn how the steam pumping station shaped the landscape of the town and earned the designation of the first industrial monument in the World.
Food and wine don’t define a culture alone – it also takes art, which Holland has in spades. Jonathan takes us to Hague, where we’ll enjoy guided tours of the Louwman museum for historic automobiles like the D-type Jaguar and Prince Bernard’s classic Ferrari. Each guest also has the opportunity to choose other sites throughout the day, from Mauritshuis for prized Dutch artwork, or Escher in the Palace which was the former winter palace of Queen Mother Emma and currently displays a permanent exhibition of the world famous phantasmagorical visions of artist M.C. Escher. We’ll see the Binnenhof, home to the Dutch Parliament and continue on to Rotterdam, the iconic cube houses and the amazing Markthal, amongst other works of notable art. Rotterdam is home to over 175 different nationalities, creating a food and spirits culture that will tempt you to sample this unique center for dining excellence.
Seeing as the trip is in April, we felt it necessary to include some time to take in nature at its finest. Today, we’ll head over to the famous Aalsmeer flower auction, the world’s largest flower auction with over 20 million flowers sold daily. We’ll also drive through the countryside as we see the world’s largest flower garden: Keukenhof Gardens. Known for planting approximately seven million flower, this garden offers a beautiful landscape that’s hard to find anywhere other than the Netherlands. In the afternoon, after stopping for lunch in Woerden, we’ll stroll along the Old Rhine River to find the Reypenaer cheese ripening warehouse and savor the sweet aromas of cheese with an expert cheese taster.
A Day to Explore
While no guides will be with you on this day, there are plenty of sites to explore in Amsterdam. One of our favorite activities is to rent a bicycle and ride around the Jordaan area, where you’ll find boutique art shops and restaurants galore. Our expert guides will also be able to make recommendations to you as well.
On the final day in Amsterdam, breakfast will be provided at the hotel and your driver will escort you to Schiphol Airport for all intercontinental travel. Seeing the history, tasting the food and experiencing the culture will forever change the way Amsterdam is perceived, leaving each guest feeling full and satisfied. Please contact us and reserve your position on the Netherlands tour that will transform you.
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