L’Avant-Comptoir – an ode to French cuisine


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Leonie van Spronsen, lives and works in Paris and recently dined at a tapas bar / wine bar L’Avant Comptoir.

“Last week I had the chance to visit the ‘tapasbar/winebar’ L’Avant-Comptoir in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This is the place where chef Yves Camdeborde serves traditional French dishes, products and delicacies in a different, Spanish-feeling way.

You walk into a very small bar, with a wall of beautiful wine fridges behind the bar and a ceiling covered in cards with small dishes, their names and their prices on it. There is only place to stand and the bar is filled with gorgeous fresh bread and delicous salty butter. Every little dish is between 4 and 10 euros and can be shared and needs to be savoured. We’re talking lemon macarons with fresh foie gras pate in between, a cheese dish created as an apple crumble, blood sausage on a béarnaise macaron and many, many more. Did this get you ready? Imagine a vast array of beautiful wines to compliment these beauties.

Tip for when you’re in Paris: Apero at L’Avant Comptoir

And after this beautiful experience, you expect a hefty bill (as you would after eating foie gras) but none of this, everything is moderately priced and an elaborate apero (what the French call pre-dinner drinks) is already enjoyed for 17 euros!

L’Avant Comptoir, an absolute must-visit in Paris.”

Shadow Wi-Fi system


The premier Shadow Wi-Fi System, developed by Happiness Brussels, launched with the support of the Peruvian League Against Cancer. The president of the Liga Contra el Cáncer, Adolfo Dammert Ludowieg about the system: “Shadow Wi-Fi has changed sun-worshipers’ behavior and educated them about the value of becoming shadow-worshipers at the most harmful hours of the day, between 12 and 4pm.”

We want the Shadow Wi-Fi system at the Dutch beaches as well this summer

With the summer ahead we could use some inspirational warnings against the harmful sun at the beaches in the Netherlands as well. It’s a new call for being extra careful while sunbathing especially directed at our youngsters. Check the video to see how it works, a little bit more info: a directional antenna ensures that the Wi-Fi is only delivered to the shadow area. A sensor tracks the movements of the sun throughout the day, changing the rotation of the Wi-Fi antenna. The system allows for more than 250 users to connect to the network at once. Once users log on to the network, they also received an email from the Peruvian Leage Against Cancer. According to our source the towers have been wildly successful in Lima (Peru) and will be scheduled to be rolled out in San Francisco and New Zealand as well.

Shadow Wi-Fi’s developer, Happiness, has released access to the software for non-profit use. Cancer foundations around the world can set up the system, without ICT knowledge.

The chefs of restaurant IDRW will be cooking from a vintage outdoor kitchen on location


A culinary twist to the trend of outdoor cooking. Marcel Zomeren and Justin van den Berg, chef-owner and chef from the restaurant In Den Rustwat (IDRW) in Rotterdam will be cooking on various location this summer with only the basic essentials. They will use a wood-burning vintage field kitchen from 1944, complete with army tent.

Vintage outdoor kitchen

The chefs from restaurant In Den Rustwat (with a Bib Gourmand rating by Michelin) are available to cook underneath the starry sky at all kinds of parties and events. The outdoor kitchen is part of a new joint initiative called ‘Your Personal Chefs’. At www.yourpersonalchefs.nl you can hire the chefs for a culinary feast on location. The culinary duo is for hire with or without the tough field kitchen. The vintage outdoor kitchen will be pulled by a DAF army vehicle from 1955. Anyone that wants to extend their style can rent the army tent as well.

The chefs can also be used without the vintage kitchen, at any location. The dishes are prepared in camping style, but on a very culinary touch. Think of a perfectly prepared cote de boeuf, grilled tuna, stew or duck. Or flammkuchen, the Alsatian version of a pizza.

Bathing pond art installation opens at London’s King’s Cross


The King’s Cross Pond Club, a naturally filtered outdoor swimming pool, is part of the redevelopment of King’s Cross in London. Soil and Water (the name of the project), will be the UK’s first man-made bathing pond that’s filtered using natural processes.

The pool is designed by studio Ooze Architects (Rotterdam) and Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč. The pool is built two metres above ground level, with salvaged bricks and stones used to create a basin that measures 40 by 10 metres. The pool is both an art installation and a public facility and will be cleaned using wetland flora and submerged plants rather than chemicals or machinery. The local community participated in key aspects of the planting.

Swimming pool is located at London’s King’s Cross

It is located within the new Lewis Cubitt Park, close to the campus of design school Central Saint Martins, which forms part of the 27-hectare redevelopment of the area behind King’s Cross station. The swimming pool will open in May 2015.

“The project is an attempt to capture the dynamicity conveyed by the changes within the area, a moment in time where new possibilities and possible futures arise,” said architect Eva Pfannes, who co-founded Ooze with Sylvain Hartenberg. Architects Ooze and artist Potrč have been collaborating on projects since 2008. Ooze’s projects are of a participative and multidisciplinary nature. “The project is a small-scale enclaved environment, a living laboratory to test balance and to question a self-sustaining system including one natural cycle – water, land and the human body. The aim is communication with visitors, describing the balance of man with nature, and the balance of living in a sustainable city,” she continued.

The King’s Cross Pond Club is engineered and built by Europe’s leading natural pool designer BIOTOP and its UK partner, Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. The pond will be operated as a swimming club by Fusion Lifestyle.

We want to buy our groceries through the wall!


Early May the second Bilder & De Clercq Wall has been placed in the most sustainable building in the world: The Edge on the Zuidas (South of Amsterdam). The new prestigious headquarters of Deloitte/AKD designed by PLP / Architecture.
This allows the employees of these offices to order their groceries at Bilder & De Clercq every workday, without leaving the office. Same day delivery without subscription! To use the Bilder & De Clercq Wall, one must download the Bilder & De Clercq app and enter payment details. We have previously written about the first Bilder & De Clercq Wall in Google’s office in Amsterdam.

The future of grocery shopping?

We would love a wall like the Bilder & De Clercq Wall at our office! No more worries about what to eat, no overwhelming choices. Just order it until 15:30 and pick up the groceries from 17:00 hours. No more shopping stress during weekdays! The wall offers 14 dishes, plus some drinks and small bites.
After registration you order the dishes either by tapping into the app, or by keeping the smartphone in front of the dish of your choice. The wireless NFC chip in the phone takes care of the communication. We know a similar concept from South Korea where supermarket chain Tesco has developed a virtual shop at a subway station. Yes.Tap makes contactless payments possible.

Bilder & De Clercq

With their store Rogier Leopold and Diederik Van Gelder facilitate people who want to cook tasty and healthy but just don’t want to dub about the menu. With a weekly changing menu, Bilder & De Clercq offers choice of fourteen dishes for which they provide the ingredients in the right amount. They have a shop in Amsterdam (on the corner of the Bilderdijkstraat and the De Clercqstraat) and already two Bilder & De Clercq Walls. The second store on the Ceintuurbaan will close in the end of May and they will focus on the office market. More info? Contact info@bilderdeclercq.nl

Kromkommer straight to the top


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Exactly a year after the introduction of the Kromkommer soups, a pop-up store opens its doors in Utrecht Hoog Catharijne (the Netherlands). The shop is open from 18 until 31 May. Kromkommer is the first store in the Netherlands with weird shaped vegetables.

Straight to the top

Kromkommer makes sure that products aren’t wasted because of their looks. According to the estimates 5 to 10% of all the vegetables and fruits in the Netherlands are wasted because of their looks. That’s why Kromkommer makes sure the crooked vegetables and fruits that don’t fit the perfect picture come back to the plate in different ways. The founders Jente de Vries and Lisanne van Zwol started their quest in 2012 and soon after Chantal Engelen joined in the waste battle.

See our earlier article about Kromkommer and their crowdfunding campaign.

Pop-Op Shop

The Kromkommer Pop-Op Shop is a place where the story of weird shaped vegetables can be experienced in real life. You can find Kromkommer soups, weird shaped vegetable juices and green gadgets. Nearly all the products that can be found in the store, are recycled.

The Kromkommer Pop-Op Shop is besides a point of sale for weird shaped vegetables, a place for meetings. Growers tell stories about their product, retailers share their opinion about the waste of food and the Krommunity organizes workshops and lectures for the visitors. The Krommunity forms the backbone of the activities by Kromkommer.

On the birthday of the Kromkommer soup (25 May), the newest weird shaped vegetable soup ‘Koele Soep’ (Cool Soup) will be launched. They’re going straight to the top!

The opening of INK Hotel Amsterdam


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INK Hotel Amsterdam opened its doors at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal early April. INK Hotel Amsterdam is an innovative lifestyle hotel ‘where stories are yet to be written…’. The hotel owes its name to the history of the building. And also the interior can be traced back to the former owner, newspaper ‘De Tijd’. The themes ‘Stories, Ink & The Time’ played a role in the determination of the interior.

The hotel has 149 rooms, a garden room, standard business facilities, the ‘PRESSROOM’, patio’s, room service, breakfast-to-go, a gym, free Wi-Fi and a fast check in & out service. The facilities meet today’s expectations, from both local Amsterdam citizens and international guests.

The interior

For the interior the hotel collaborated with architect office ‘concrete Amsterdam’. The history of the three former Amsterdam canal houses has inspired the interior from where INK Hotel Amsterdam is built now.

The entrance

The entrance of the hotel is a reflection of the canals of Amsterdam. You can find high bar tables at the reception along with ‘check-in- tablets’. ‘’We let the boundaries disappear between outside and inside at INK Hotel Amsterdam, with green, rough stones, glass walls and of course a lot of light’’ according to ‘concrete Amsterdam’.


The PRESSROOM is the ‘Drink & Eat’ concept of the hotel. This includes a restaurant, bar and a lounge. The floor consists of the same cement tiles print as in the pressroom. A part of the PRESSROOM is the Library Lounge with a fireplace, leather banks, wood tones and a lot of books.

Dutch beer tasting festival


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The Dutch Beer Tasting Festival takes place at the Grote Kerk in The Hague from Thursday 28 May until Saturday 30 May. The event is also the kickoff of the ‘Dutch Beer Week 2015’.

Beer Tasting Festival

During the Dutch Beer Tasting Festival a record number of 40 breweries present themselves to visitors who can taste and enjoy more than 150 beers. In addition, visitors can participate in master classes by experienced beer connoisseurs. On 30 May the finals of the ‘Dutch Blind Beer Tasting’ championship will be held at the festival.

WeekNLBier app

All beers that are available at the Beer Tasting Festival, can be found at the WeekNLBier app, where visitors can find more information, rank and assess all the beers. The program and the activities that take place during the week of the Dutch beer are also integrated into the app.

The Dutch beers became very popular in a relatively short time. In Amsterdam, the organizers of a ‘small’ beer festival on a town square (17 May) are overwhelmed by the number of Facebook registrations (now 20,000). There have been several Dutch tap takeovers already, where a (small) brewery manages the drafts for one night. Recently a Michelin star restaurant in Amsterdam (Ciel Bleu**) made its own IPA in collaboration with a local brewery.

Easter campaign in Brielle


  • Photo credits: John de Pater
  • Photo credits: John de Pater

We can’t say it often enough: if you do a sales promotion, point it at your potential visitor. After Easter we read about the promotional action of Sven Schreuder for his Brasserie Hotel ‘De Nymph’. Inspiration for Easter next year but in the way he implemented it could work for other campaigns as well.

Fans could hunt for giant Easter eggs in Brielle

Sven hid 10 giant chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. He did this in Brielle, the town where his brasserie and hotel is located. From 8 o’clock in the morning enthusiasts could try to find the hidden eggs. Last year, participants tried to follow Sven while he was hiding the eggs. So this year he went out extra early! As from 8 o’clock he gave hints on his Facebook page.

The finder of the giant chocolate egg could of course keep it, all finders could get a free ice cream in his ice cream parlor ‘De Koele Kever’ (The Cool Beetle). In addition as an extra incentive Sven hid in one of the eggs a free night at his hotel ‘De Nymph’. A great Easter action and an example of how you can implement a local promotion: local press was involved (the newspaper ‘AD Voorne Putten’ paid attention to the promotion before Easter) and the fact that Sven also used social media to give hints and placed pictures of the ‘finders’ on Facebook. Next to the annual celebration of the Brielle capture by the Sea Beggars on 1 April 1572, the city now has a new tradition.

A Food Boat instead of a Food Truck


Pizza Pi, a pizza delivery boat, is sailing the Caribean Sea and delivers pizzas at the Christmas Cove on the Great St. James Island.

Pizza Pi – the first pizza delivery boat

The Pizza delivery boat of Pizza Pi is an initiative by Sasha and Tara Bouis. They bring the trend of food trucks, which are becoming pretty common nowadays, to a new level. They converted their house boat into a fully operational pizza bakery boat in two years. Sascha and Tara have visited the Pizza School of New York and now they make their own pizzas, including gluten-free pizzas aboard their ship.

A food boat in the Netherlands?

Although we lack the Caribean sun, we can have great summers and we have a lot of water and water enthusiasts as well! It’s a great idea for Italian restaurants to start delivering pizzas by boat! Maybe one of the restaurants located at the lakes in the West and North of The Netherlands already does this…. We’d love to hear it!

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