A day at Royal Palace Het Loo – part 1


A few weeks ago I visited the Grace Kelly exhibition in Royal Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn. It was my first visit ever to the palace and to Apeldoorn, and I can assure you that it wasn’t my last. I just loved the region! The palace is situated in Apeldoorn, a city in the east of the Netherlands right amidst the national park the Veluwe. Few cities in the Netherlands offer as much peace and quiet as Apeldoorn. Extensive woodlands and city parks dominate the region and city and are the backdrop of many monumental buildings. A visit to Palace Het Loo is a journey through 3 centuries of the Dutch Royal family. The palace was built in 1686 and used by the royals as a summer retreat. I spent a whole day in the stunning gardens, walked the trail on the palace grounds, and visited inside the palace. It was one of the highlights of this year for me as I enjoyed the vegetation, flowers, nature, peace and tranquility, and beautiful architecture. Today, in part 1 I will share my photos of the palace gardens. Tomorrow in part 2 I will show you the trail of the palace grounds and inside the palace.

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King William III and his wife Mary Stuart had the palace and gardens built to gain more authority and regard. Therefore the palace gardens were also accessible to visitors and still are. Their aim was to impress guests, something they succeeded in and still do. The stunning views, impressive statues, blooming flowers and the sound of the fountains make the gardens to a peaceful escape. Back in the days the gardens were used to flaunt, and to host theater performances, concerts and firework shows.IMG_2945 IMG_2946

The baroque gardens and palace of the French king inspired the design of the gardens at Palace ‘t Loo, however, because of the Dutch vegetation it got its own signature nevertheless. Typical for a 17th century garden are the symmetrical beds with singular plants, flowers and green hedges.IMG_2952 IMG_2955 IMG_2956 IMG_2962 IMG_2963

The garden downstairs consists of eight parts that are filled in like French embroidery. Along the borders there are lush exotic plants. Statues of Greek and Roman gods and godesses embellish the garden. In the middle is a globe with all the significant places where king William III had trading partners.IMG_2966 IMG_2968 IMG_2980 IMG_2985 IMG_2986 IMG_2987 IMG_2988 IMG_2993 IMG_2999

The “upper” garden with its white colonnades, almost feels tropical. Lush palm plants and an orangery make you feel like you are in Spain. From the top of the collonades you have a beautiful extended view of the property. IMG_3009 IMG_3012 IMG_3013 IMG_3019

Isn’t it beautiful? Stay tuned for part 2!

 

De-stress and detox at Het Massagehuys in Amsterdam


A few weeks ago I got to try out the newly opened Oriental massage salon ‘Het Massagehuys‘ in Amsterdam. I was in dire need of a massage to detoxify my aching body and relax my tense muscles. The new massage salon is situated in Amsterdam west, an upcoming neighbourhood where a multicultural street scene and laid-back atmosphere draw locals and tourists to enjoy the small ethnic shops and hipster cafes. ‘Het Massagehuys’ therefore fits right in as it is a small, minimalist and approachable salon with a simple interior, natural materials, plywood walls and an open informal atmosphere. The Oriental massages at The Massage Huys help you relax, energize, get a sense of well-being or purify your body.IMG_8723IMG_8715

The walls and window are lined with bottles of home-made massage oils. In the back there are four massage rooms. When arriving you are first treated to a pot of tea that is linked to your treatment. The concept is quite interesting because they offer a menu of six different massages with an oil mixture and bio tea blend that enhance and complement the massage. You can opt for a massage on a massage table or on a classic Oriental massage mat.

 

The six massages they are offering are: deep detox,  a relaxing stress relief massage, an authentic Asian massage, the She massage aimed at women, a strong muslce massage, and an energizing massage. I tried the deep detox which was complemented with nettle tea and a detox oil blend that purifies your liver and kidneys. I learnt that the direction and not the firmness one strokes determines whether it is a detox massage. The massage was wonderful and so was the tea and oil. For more info and reservations, visit their website.IMG_8717 IMG_8720 IMG_8721 IMG_8725 IMG_8726photos taken with my iPhone

 

Posh Pumpkins


Only a few more days till Halloween! Today I drove past a house that was covered in creepy Halloween decorations. And although I love Halloween, I prefer to decorate with style and moderation. That’s why I love these posh pumpkins ideas I found on pinterest. Studded, bedazzled, with ikat print or inspired by Missoni’s chevron. Make your pumpkins stylish and fashion forward this year. Looking for more pumpkin inspiration? Visit my autumn pinterest board here.

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photos source: reignmag

Steller app: visual stories, stunning photos


Have you also noticed that these days people prefer to skim texts and rather look at beautiful pictures that tell the story? While the masses have finally caught on to the app instagram to share nice frames, the early app adopters have already moved on to the new kid on the app block: The Steller app! I’m totally obsessed with it. I recently added my own 4 visual stories and grouped them in a collection called Dutch Diggs, featuring Dutch homes I photographed. I’ll soon be adding more homes as well as travel photos.

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Once you have installed the app you are all set to browse the most beautiful visual stories by other users. Although everyone can make a photo album or story as it is called in Steller, only the crop of the cream photo stories get selected by the Steller team to appear in the public stories stream.

You can also create and browse in collections which are themed or grouped “albums”, follow friends and family, like and save stories, share them with others, or just opt to stay inactive and only enjoy the photos by others. From nature, to interiors and recipes, there are multiple collections to admire. Once you start creating your own, you’ll see how easy it is. The app offers different lay-outs and text lay-overs. If you have beautiful photos, or like to look at beautiful photography, give it a try!

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Pumpkins


Don’t you just love the pumpkin season? At the nurseries and local farmers you can find a variety of pumpkins to use as decorations in and around the house. They come in so many colours and sizes. And besides being pretty they are also delicious. If you are looking for pumpkin recipes, have a look at the archive for:

Always wanted to know the names of the different pumpkins? Have a look:

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photo credits: 100 Layer Cake

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