BELGIUM & THE NETHERLANDS: GOUDA, CHOCOLATE & BREWS GETAWAY

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20661712068-80cf082914-o-1_3_orig.jpg

BELGIUM & THE NETHERLANDS: GOUDA, CHOCOLATE & BREWS GETAWAY

from 3,475.00

September 24 - October 4, 2020

Single occupancy: $7,950
Double occupancy: $6,950

Join Cheese Journeys in the Netherlands and Belgium for a Gouda, Chocolate & Brews Getaway. We loved the Netherlands in 2019 but we couldn’t resist adding our favorite Belgium things (more great cheese, beer and chocolate) to this already amazing tour! We start in Amsterdam, a city full of colorful homes, picturesque canals, meet up with Beemster, Boska and our favorite “Julia Child of Cheese”, Betty Koster of L’Amuse and work our way south to Bruges, Brussels and Chimay!

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We’ve designed this tour to showcase this region during the fall harvest season- the most sunny and beautiful time of year. This tour is packed with unique and interesting food and beverage experiences. Along with great cheese, beer and chocolate, you’ll find frites, Belgium waffles, charcuterie and seafood, Dutch Jenever and our favorite Belgium Trappist-style beer!

Our journey kicks off with time spent in the lush countryside, enjoying the small villages of the Beemster Polder. This fertile province of North Holland was reclaimed from a lake, the water being extracted out of the lake by windmills in the early 1600s. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements. We join local chef and guide Naomi Nieuwenhuis and our cheese expert host for a “pop-up cheese and food photography class” in the polder. We’ll take a small boat through the canals of De Rijp, a historic Dutch town - once a seafaring port surrounded by water, and home to herring and whaling ships. Stopping at the Netherlands' smallest candy store, experience how this beautiful village brings history to modern life. We’ll spend time at the Fort Beemster Resort to enjoy the spa, followed by an amazing gourmet dining experience in their restaurant. Then, we’ll visit the Alkmaar Cheese Market on Friday morning for the most Dutch of cheese experiences. This bustling market is filled with mountains of Gouda, as cheese vendors weigh cheeses and strike deals, while cheese carriers haul wheels of Gouda around the market. This market has been a site of local cheese trading for over 500 years. Shopping, sightseeing and enjoying great food in this classic Dutch city is a must! Afterwards, we visit the Beemster Dairy (a CO-OP Member Farm) and their new, beautiful, state-of-the-art aging warehouse.

Head into the weekend to experience Amsterdam at its best! Take a walking tour with Anna to get an overview of the Dutch cheese scene and meet up with some of her favorite foodie friends - like Tony’s Chocolonely. From farmers markets and bakeries, to cheese and charcuterie, to historic bridges and landmarks, you’ll experience the great food scene of Amsterdam. Later in the day we meet up with the brilliant Martijn Bos, owner of Boska Holland Cheesewares TM - for a great cheese party experience and evening boat ride through the canals of Amsterdam as we extend our “food trip” through the city canals til sunset! Martijn's traditional yet innovative family-run company has been crazy about cheese since 1896 - making every tool needed for a cheese enthusiast or professional to enjoy their obsession! Later in the week, you’ll spend time with Martijn touring Boska’s world headquarters.

Guests will then spend time with Holland’s Julia Child of cheese: the legendary cheesemonger, affineur and exporter Betty Koster of Fromagerie L’AmuseYou’ll tour her beautiful new retail and wholesale facility and later join her and her daughter Thassia in Haarlem (the Dutch version, not NYC!)  at the Jopenkerk Brewery for an educational evening of artisan beer and cheese pairing. They’ll introduce you to the makers of some of the region’s most interesting and innovative cheeses, such as Remeker and Wilde Weide, and the award-winning small-scale producer of Holland’s best blue. Spend time at one of her favorite spots by the sea to learn the secrets of great tea and cheese pairings.  

Finally, we'll head south to Belgium for the remaining five days of our tour. Our first stop is the world-famous Chimay, where we'll deep-dive into Trappist-style beer and cheese.  We’ll enjoy exclusive, private tours of the Chimay Brewery and creamery and the Chimay Castle. We'll spend time in Brussels, exploring the world of Belgian chocolate and what makes it so special. We wrap up the tour in one of Anna’s favorite cities in Europe-Bruges. With the entire city centre named as a UNESCO  World Heritage site, it’s  a spectacular sight as well as home to great beer and chocolate! Get a behind the scenes tour at De Halve Maan Brewery, enjoy a sip of “Straffe Hendrik”and a meal in their restaurant and gardens. The tour ends on Sunday, as we head to the airport for flights home.

 

Included in the tour price are: Lodging for 10 nights, 11 continental breakfasts, 10 midday, 10 evening meals, and alcoholic beverages served with meals, classes and tastings. All expenses related to classes and/or tours provided by chef, guest cheese and wine experts and hosts are included. Transportation during the trip is included.

Not included in the tour price: Trip transportation or airfare to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Brussels, Belgium. Optional additional wine tastings, personal shopping or market food. Specific alcoholic beverages other than those served at meals and tasting events may be purchased separately.

Disclosure: .A full, detailed itinerary wil be provided to all guests at the time of booking. We reserve the right to substitute an event if needed. Guests have the option of declining a particular excursion or tour but please note that we are unable to give refunds for any missed meals, classes or events. Please see additional information under “Terms & Conditions” above.