Friday, March 06, 2015

A Weekend of Friendship

Or, when it rains it pours.

Astrid and I can probably count on one hand how many times we meet up with friends in a year's span, not counting our trips abroad or guests "tripping" here.

So when we have two days in a row on a weekend, hobnobbing with local friends, that's a big deal.

It happened last weekend.  First it was Saturday with dear friend Margreeth (from nearby Giessenburg), with whom we have had several happy memories.

First, we went to eat lunch at our nearby Metropole Restaurant  (now open for both lunch and dinner).

It's one of our favorite restaurants here in Gorinchem, a 10-min. walk away.

Since 2009, the restaurant has partnered with the Syndion group,
offering jobs to mentally-handicapped adults.
It so happens that Emiel (close to age 40 with the mental age of around 12-14)
has been a friend of Astrid's since he was 12.  We LOVE him.
And no one could be prouder of his job than he is!
He was delighted that I took his picture:  "Now I'll be famous!" he said.

Waiting is always worth it when you're with a friend.

And when the food comes, we're never disappointed.  N E V E R.
Margreeth had the burger (something we've not yet tried).
Astrid and I shared the carpaccio salad and the grilled salmon salad.

From lunch we walked another 10 minutes to our Grote Markt.
That's where the old city hall is, housing our city's Gorcums Museum.
It was Margreeth who convinced us a year ago to buy the annual museum pass, remember?

 We headed straight to the top floor to first see the exhibit of the Gorkum Martyrs.

I had no idea about this part of Gorinchem's history.
19 Dutch Catholic clerics and friars were hanged by the Calvinists in 1572.
These religious wars are enough to break your heart open.

Walking down the stairs to the next exhibit, I was lifted up a bit...

to prepare me for 100 years of the chair!
This exhibit of 90 chairs is compiled by French expert Leidelmeijer.

 You want to see chairs? 

 Can you imagine sitting in them?!

 Some of them, NO.  Some of them, YES. 

 At one point, I had to put my feet up (at 7 weeks post-knee-replacement!),
while the ladies continued on for one of the permanent displays I'd already seen.

Looking out back from the museum you can see the Grote Kerk.
Looking out front you can see the fountain and main square.
Pay special attention to the middle-left image with the wee little cart....

because that's where we ended our day, with our must-have treat.
Our Venezia Ijssalon opened that day for the rest of the year.
We wouldn't have missed it for anything.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

That was Saturday.
On Sunday, we walked to nearby Femke's and Jeannettes's for a delightful afternoon.

This was the second time to build our friendship around food.
And what we're discovering is that the bridges just grow and grow.

Femke is the gourmet cook.  Jeannette is following in her footsteps.

See what I mean?  And we didn't even start with this!
I didn't grab my camera soon enough for the fig and raspberry liqueur from France,
followed by a homemade cheesecake, thanks to Jeannette.
O.M.G.  Eat dessert first!  Always.  Whenever possible.
But don't forget to take a picture of it first!

As if that weren't enough, Femke comes out with a quiche.
I think we all could have died and gone to heaven,
in spite of the voodoo toothpick holder.

See how she/they display their cookbooks?  I love it.
J&F.  And as we left, the waxing moon smiled down on us.

Most weekends don't come packed with friends like this.
Are we lucky or what!


  1. A feast for the eyes and tummy, wow! SO MUCH FUN.

  2. I have the SAME shoes Ginnie! How funny. What I am always struck by in your posts is the bright strong element of primary colors: the reds, blues, yellows. I look at your photos with incredible pleasure and imagine myself there. You sure know how to photograph food. Sheesh. The dishes look incredible. Also, I was fascinated by the chair museum.

    1. How funny, Susie. My daughter bought me these she-boots from Land's End before I moved to the Netherlands, matching the color of my winter coat. I love them.

      Thank you for the images-of-food compliments. I didn't use to enjoy food so much but have learned to appreciate it more with every meal. :)

  3. If you’re doing museums, I pronounce your gnu knee knearly yhealed. The feasts looked fantastic. Do you realize you ate your way through at least two-thirds of that blog post?

    1. LOL, Ted. I do realize I am loving food and taking pics of it more and more. I think I'm making up for lost time, to be honest. Thank you.

  4. Food always taste better when you are in good company :). It was a great weekend with great friends. Emiel is such a great guy and he always asks me 'please say HI to Jeroen' (my son) they know each other from the tennis court.
    It is great to see that sometimes making food is a pure work of art and a labour of love.
    I know I will never get tired of it. A weekend to remember.

    1. I will never tire of eating food prepared like this, that's for sure. Maybe I'll even learn to prepare it so artistically myself one day. :) We're lucky.

      And yes, Emiel is such a sweetheart. I'll never forget him.

  5. Friends and food they go hand in hand.

    I've seen a chair exhibit once, and only then did I pay real attention to the designing of the chair. Very interesting.

    BTW, what's the colorful cube that's being offered?

    1. Exactly, Maria...friends and food go hand in hand! I'm believing that more and more the older I get!

      It took me awhile to know what "cubes" you were talking about until I realized it was what Emiel was offering Margeeth. Those are tiny boxes of different flavored teabags. Very posh. :)

  6. Oh my...the food!!! Always wonderful to spend time with friends...accompanied by a spirit or two...and of course all of that delicious looking food! Love, love, love the story on Emiel!!

  7. Food and friends...and a spirit or two...doesn't get much better, Robin! When you come back to visit, we will take you to the Metropole and hope that Emiel will be there!

  8. Oh your trips never disappoint as we are taken on wonderful excursions to fab food and wonderful museums....I need to take a trio soon....too long snowed in here.