Tag Archives: Leisure

Three Weekends in Holland: Amsterdam & Limburg (Part 2)

Limbourg Chic & Nature

The Hotel : Winselerhof in Landgraaf

Surrounded by vineyards, this elegant hotel set in an old farmhouse is a haven of peace. We had lunch in the lovely interior courtyard bathed in sunshine (photo above, 5). Tasty refined cuisine with Mediterranean accents (3 & 4). The breakfast is also varied and plentiful.

We are happy to get in our spacious comfortable suite (1 & 2), after a long (sporty) walk in the nearby forest (6: no, it is not the silhouette of a real wolf, but a sculpture). When we left the Winselerhof, we felt very relaxed and invigorated.

What To Do

Visiting Valkenburg & Maastricht

Direction Valkenburg aan de Geul, a picturesque medieval village (photos 2, 3 & 4 above). What a surprise when we arrived, the village was crowed by tourists! It is really touristy. To avoid the bulk of the crowd, move away from the center of the village.

Another option: driving to Maastricht, a charming little town with countless cafes whose summer and winter I never tire of (1). In the evening, we dine in Herleen at the Brasserie Mijn Streek, located on the top floors of the SCHUNCK museum (5 & 6). A nice view, really good food and friendly team. 

Arty Amsterdam

The Hotel : Conservatorium Hotel

For this new weekend in Amsterdame, we focused about contemporary art. The Conservatorium Hotel, a former music conservatory, is located in the museum district of Amsterdam. I did not know this lovely neighborhood.

As soon as we enter the imposing lobby (photos below 4 & 5), we are projected into a large space mixing cutting-edge design, massive architecture and lots of art. The hotel has a number of works of art as well as renowned restaurants. The reception and restaurant teams are  friendly and professional.

But the best is our large Rooftop Suite with a sleek minimalist design (photo above and photos below 1 & 2). Superb bathroom (3). A cocoon of luxury and good taste. I forgot, the breakfast in the Brasserie and Lounge is simply delicious. 

What To Do

Amsterdam Art Weekend

There are a thousand ways to visit Amsterdam. We decided to go there, during the Amsterdam Art Weekend  (the next session is scheduled from April 15 to 17, 2021). s 2021). We started our art walk by visiting of the artists’ studios in residence at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten  (1).

Then we spent the rest of the day in different private art galleries. And in the evening, we were at an exhibition opening in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the huge museum of contemporary art (2). After the event, what a treat to quickly be able to walk back to our hotel! 

The next day: long stop at the PAN Amsterdam,, the most important art and antiques fair in the Netherlands. Where among a thousand discoveries (it’s a real Alibaba cave), I really liked the sculptures of Vladimir Zbynovsky at the Etienne Gallery (3). In the afternoon: we went to the Moco Museum where I really enjoyed the works of Daniel Arsham (4). 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

I Amsterdam

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to Visit Holland and I Amsterdam, for this beautiful invitation. Also many thanks to the Winselerhof Landgraaf and Conservatorium Hotel and the restaurants mentioned in the article. As always, theses are my opinions.

Three Weekends In Holland : Maastricht (Part 1)

  

Trendy Maastricht

The Hotel: The Dutch, Maastricht

A great decoration (for Instagram), super cool and friendly team and central location, a stone’s throw from Maastricht train station. The best: our suite with a disco ball and Barry White as a music (photos above 4, 5 & 6)!

In short, The Dutch offers an 80’s twist. It feels so good that you no longer want to leave to visit the city! My heart swings between aerobics and lazy morning (lol). 1, 2 & 3: the lobby and bar of the hotel with a flair of Miami Vice.

Where To Eat

My Selection To Go For Brunch & Lunch

Photo 1. SoDelicious: for a Sunday brunch with good bread and excellent soups (the Thai soup subtly flavored is a delight). Relaxed nice atmosphere, with a great team and a very modern decor.

Photo 3. I really enjoyed the space of the Filmhuis Lumière‘s restaurant in an old ceramic factory. The simple cuisine is healthy and tasty with fresh and delicious salads. After or before, you can attend a cinema screening.

Photo 4. Bijzonder is a really good vegetarian restaurant. We tasted a platter with different restaurant specialties, in a very young atmosphere. It is located near the Grotten Noord (North Caves Maastricht Underground) which can be visited (more details in the “What to do” section below).

Photo 6. Very good burgers at Tapijn Brasserie! A vintage decor that makes me think of an ancient army canteen. It’s better if you have a car, because the restaurant is a pretty far from the historic center.  

My Selection To Go To Dinner

2. Onglet is all good! To access the restaurant with a “New York atmosphere”, you cross a hipster butcher shop. It’s quite exclusive but definitely cool. The meat dishes are to die for (and yet I am not a meat lover, the quality is impeccable) and the non-alcoholic gin and tonic is gorgeousl! Congratulations to Chef Chef Alan Oostrom and the team!

5. I discovered a very Dutch dish, the croquettes which are the specialty of Bistro CroquantThe setting is very pleasant with a mix of local customers and tourists. The atmosphere is more mature and family.

What To Do

Art, Science And History

If you have been to Maastricht several times, you know some of the main activities are to stroll through the picturesque streets of the city, do some shopping and then sit at an outdoor cafe for a long time. Especially when the weather is nice! But the more we enjoy a city, the more we want to discover it.

Photos 1 & 2. In the historic center, the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht (natural history museum) is in an old building full of charm. We go from one room to another, discovering among others: birds, butterflies and the skeleton of a mosasaur (giant predatory reptile that lived at sea). Fun and exciting! Activities are also organized for children. 

Photos 3 & 4. I really liked the Bonnefanten. A part of the museum is dedicated to ancient art (from 1200 to 1500) and another to contemporary art (Arte Povera). 

Photos 4 & 5. If you like history, I recommend you visit the St. Peter Caves, dug by miners for 10 centuries. We did the private tour with a history-loving guide who showed us the space where the Nazis stored the paintings (of famous masters) they had stolen. Scary. Thankfully these caves were also used to hide Jews and an American pilot during the Second World War.

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Visit Maastricht,

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to the Maastricht Tourism Board for this beautiful invitation. Many thanks to The Dutch Maastricht and all the restaurants mentioned in the article. As always, these are my opinions. .

Czech Republic: Short Road Trip In Bohemia And Prague

  


Disclosure: this article was first published in late 2019, 
following a trip made a few months earlier. 

Before this trip, for me, the Czech Republic and especially Prague were exclusively linked to Milan Kundera and Kafka, two of my favorite writers. I am happy to have discovered a bit of Bohemia: the extremely green landscapes, forests and castles. And of course Prague, the architecture, rhythm, small and large streets.

Our short road trip begins with the Brussels Airlines flight which lands in Prague at 11 a.m. Then we collect the rental and take the road to Pilsen and its surroundings.


Text and images below of our exciting itinerary.

Day 1: Pilsen And Surroundings

On Our Way To Pivovarsky Dvur Plzen (Near Pilsen)

Where I experience my very first beer spa at the Purkmistr Beer Spa   (photo above 1). In fact, I’m immersed in a warm beer. Nice! We continue to Pilsen, where we join the Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour, in order to discover the huge Pilsner Urquell brewery (photo below 3). The tour is interesting, but a bit long if like me, you don’t drink beer (2).    

On the road again, we cross beautiful super green landscapes and arrive in the early evening at Kašperské Hory (4), a picturesque village. We dine at the restaurant of Nebespan, Boutique Hotel, whose chef is French. I really enjoy the cool setting, atmosphere, food and team. 

Day 2: Kašperské Hory & Sušice

On The Program: Castles And Bikes

We spend the day with our very friendly guide, Veronika who takes us to the emblematic Kašperk castle (photo above 1 and the two first photos of the article) built in the 14th century on the Ždánov mountain. Near the castle, hiking trails in the Bohemian forest allow you to have different panoramas of the castle.

In the afternoon, from Sušice we take a superb (and sporty) 46 km bike ride in the countryside. Thanks to Veronika, we visit small villages and a romantic castle transformed into a luxury hotel, the Zámek Hrádek (photo above), where we stop for a drink.

Day 3: From Dobříš To Prague

Dobříš & Slapy

We leave Kašperské Hory, where we slept the first two nights. After 1 hour 40 minutes, we arrive in Dobříš, to visit the Dobříš chateau dating from the 18th century (1 & 2). We have lunch on the terrace at Zámecká restaurace Dobříš, the castle restaurant. Then back on the road, we head to the Slapy Water Reservoir on the Vltava, in the Prague-West district, a famous resort for Prague people. 

Lively and colorful surroundings: many small sailing boats come and go (3). While the shores are filled with people in bikini sunbathing on grass. Family and summer atmosphere. We do a nice ride on the water which allows us to better enjoy the landscape sourrounded the lake. And then, we are off to Prague. We leave our luggage at Mama Shelter Prague (6). I cool off and we go to the historic center.

I am super excited: Prague! I’ve been wanting to see Prague for so long! In the historic center, there are too many tourists! We step on each other and lots of drunk young tourists (from 7 p.m.). The monuments are superb, but we decide to return to the Mama Shelter’s area with a quiet hype neighborhood. We dine in the very trendy Cobra Bar (4). I liked everything, the cool atmosphere, music, my hamburger with coconut sauce (5) and the proximity to the Mama Shelter: I said, e-ve-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! 

Day 4: Prague

The Last Day Of Our Breakaway

And my real first day in Prague! We walked for a long time in the center much quieter and more pleasant than the day before. Finally, I enjoy the beauty of the city. Long dreamy break in a terrace bar overlooking the Vltava. I would love to explore more and visit the museums, but we must return to the hotel to collect the car and go to the airport, our return flight is at 6 p.m.

Prague, I will come back!

Where To Sleep? The Mama Shelter Prague

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Czech Tourism 

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to Czech Tourism for this beautiful invitation. As always, these are my opinions.