A weekend of food in the ‘Gelderse Streken’ Part 1

As a city boy, being often in Haarlem, Amsterdam and The Hague, I’ve never been to the far east of our country. But luckily I’ve been invited for a weekend of food tour in the ‘Gelderse Streken‘.

The food tour is divided into two programs, program A and program B which has different spots to visit.
As for this blogspot, this is part 1 of the food tour. It’s a long post, cause it was a long day. A long day of foooooood!

We were to meet up at ‘Hotel de Bilderberg‘ to drop our luggages and for a short meet up with other fellow bloggers. When we dropped our luggages and had a good chat with the others, our journey starts!

The first place we went is a really old and authentic beer brewery in the far back of our country. It also has it own open air museum. In this museum you will see how they lived in the past. With all kinds of old tools and instruments. But we were there for beer tasting. Beer Brewery Erve Kots! Erve Kots was a small hostel in the past. But at some time, prince ‘Frederik Hendrik van Oranje’ made this the headquarter for his army. After that the place became a farm and it was lived by the family Kots till 1936. They still brew their own beer and distribute it to the local cafe/restaurants. After the story of Erve Kots and how the business went on, it’s tasting time. We got to try out some various beers they brew and it was delicious and a bit sweet.
With a beer in our hand, campfire in front of us, we talked about the company and took some photos of this place. This place is filled with passion and a old stories.

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After some beer tasting, it’s time to leave this lovely place and head out to another location. This time we find ourselves at ‘DRU cultuurfabriek‘ The Dru cultuurfabriek in Ulft is a central meeting point for cultural en creative activities. The building is located in a old industrial area, which has a history of 250 year. In 1754 they had their first industrial activities what now is left off with seven National monuments. We’re in one of the old buildings what now is turned into a beautiful restaurant, where we had a chance to taste some of their dishes with ingredients from the local farmers and producers!

But the theme of this weekend is game meat. As we Dutch people say ‘Wild vlees’. We had so much food and I was stuffed, I mean literally stuffed! But soooooooo good, take me back!
We got a short introduction from our host about the building and history and then she poured the wine in. Followed by a very good looking meat platter, with pate, liver, sauerkraut croquette. It was just amazing!
I was already full after this platter, then she said:’ but you guys still get 4 courses……I was like, are you joking or what, hahaha.

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It was a great experience and very delicious. Time to go back to our hotel and have a good night rest.

When I woke up, I was still trying to compress the food coma, hahaha. So much food! But then I remember, this day will be the same. Our first destination is to go to Doesburg. Doesburg is a beautful Hanseatic city connected to the IJssel. We had the opportunity to visit one of the oldest cafe in the Netherlands! Cafe Stadsbierhuys de Waag started its business back in the 1478. Back in the days, people get a bit of their payment as beer. There were a lot of merchants who close their contracts there and students that can enjoy the beer. So it became the central meeting point of Doesburg. In my opinion, it was a really lovely place full with its own charm. The old chairs, building, painting, lamps and everything. Just love it!

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We had a short tour around this cute town/ village. The buildings in this town looks so cosy but also in a way, full with stories. Some buildings served its purposes. For example, we saw what now is a house, but in the past it was a building for carriages. So as we wander, we ended up at Grand-café Het Arsenaal 1309. This cafe was a weapon storage in the past. This building also has a lot of its own history. Then again, the old place has changed into a lovely place for people to lunch and dine. Using the ingredients and products from farmers around the area. You will love it here for their small bites or a complete meal. As for us, we had the chance to try out some food of the new cook book “Of je mosterd lust” from ‘Tamara Verheij’. I did not have the chance yet to look into the book, but looking at the food. It sure looks good!

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We had to say good bye to this cute little town, it was time to hit the road again.

We were expected at the hotel and restaurant ‘De Gouden Karper‘ where we tried out some various game meat dishes. We didn’t really get a tour or a background story of this spot. But I did some digging about this place myself. This hotel and restaurant is also know as the ‘Krent’. It is also a starting route for a nice walk through the forest. And of course, enjoy a drink of some food after at this place.

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The food was great at ‘ De Gouden Karper’, but more food is waiting for us. Our next location is to meet up at Restaurant ‘ Eet-Lokaal‘. We got a short tour around the area. One of the owner ‘Michiel Beltman’ talked about their way of using products and where they get it from. You can see the passion and dedication in his work. The other owner ‘Hertzog E. Olivier’ presented the food. It was lovely, we had so much meat that day. That we were screaming for some vegetables. The owners had us taste their delicious and healthy platter. What only consist vegetables. There was also a small platter of sausages and also a platter with buffalo cheese. The dishes were served with apple cider, so good! Everything was so pure and healthy, you just got to love this restaurant!

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Then it was time to hit back to the hotel and take our short break. Cause there is also another spot to go for dinner. As for dinner we were invited to ‘Restaurant Vesters‘. Restaurant Vesters is a place for fine dining, but also for comfort and laughters. That is what the owners said 10 years ago. ‘Jeroen Vesters and Nikolien Verstraelen are now leading a young team, each with their own talent. As we sit down, the atmosphere in the restaurant is delightful. The young team walking around and serving their guest are very professional. It was a dinner to remember. The dishes were cooked with care and respect. We really enjoyed our night at this restaurant. It was also the last night being together as a group.

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Photo by SANNE BAKKER

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photo by SANNE BAKKER

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This long long day filled with food and stories of passionate owners was over. In this trip I learnt a lot about various places and how they use their products and ingredients. I mean, you can be a restaurant or cafe owner, but as long you don’t respect your ingredients and products. It’s a fail. But the owners I met really deserves my respect and my thanks! Not only for their time, but also for their effort and hospitality!

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