The 1st edition of Congress The Journey of the Needle was held in Maastricht the Netherlands 8-9 Oktober 2016. TJotN objective is to focus on the use of acupuncture needles in Healthcare.

All posts in Maastricht

Culinary delights

Next stop: somewhere to sate the appetite. Hans van Wolde, award-winning chef at restaurant Beluga Loves You is the typical Wyck guy (even though he hails from Rotterdam). At once rugged and refined, he prefers eating with his hands and is happy to challenge convention (two Michelin stars doesn’t mean his staff can’t wear sneakers), yet gets emotional over dessert. His place among the best in town, which says a lot in Maastricht, where eating and drinking are almost synonymous to breathing. As far as Van Wolde is concerned ”cooking is about eating, drinking and enjoying food in each other’s company. Talking about it too much is a waste of time.” And to prove his point, he reaches for a razor-sharp knife with which to cut the carefully crafted tartlet in front of us and on which the words ‘Hit me’ are spelled out in confectioner’s sugars. He takes a bite of the divine sweet before giving me a handshake and hurrying back into the kitchen. Never before, have I been so aware of my taste buds. That’s because in Wyck, the scents just lure you in. Aromas of freshly-baked bread, pungent cheese (lovingly called ‘stinky Limburg’), fresh fruit tarts, spicy roasts; it’s almost like they’re doing it on purpose. At a restaurant like Harry’s, it’s jam-packed at 3 p.m., and at the Bread & Delicious bakery people are queueing.

It’s not only in hip and happening Wyck that restaurants, delicacy stores and cafés seduce your senses. In ‘old’ Maastricht within the Roman fort, it’s a true culinary feast, too. Bars and terraces, for instance, can be found all around the immensely popular Onze Lieve Vrouweplein (Square Of Our Lady), and thanks to patio heaters, you can take a seat all year long and enjoy Limburg´s famous local delicacy: devilishly delicious fruit tarts known as vlaaien. The basiliek van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw (Basilica Of Our Lady) looms over the square, and its most famous devotion – Our Lady Star of the Sea, a wooden statue appointed with a red-and-golden cape – is highly cherished among pilgrims. The fact that a castle once stood in this very spot can be verified a few steps further down the square, in the basement of nearby Hotel Derlon, where an underground museum is devoted to the subject.

Situated in the Province of Limburg, between Germany and Belgium, the city of Maastricht perches on the southern tip of the Netherlands. Travelling here feels like a romantic holiday, but the historic city is also bustling with creativity and energy.

Join us to discover both the old and the new.

Anja-who was born and bred in Maastricht( or Mehstraych)- is to be my guide, but only one minute into our appointment and I’m already completely lost. You see, for out-of-towners like me, the Maastricht dialect is quite incomprehensible. “This beautiful spot on the Meuse river has a character of its own”. Anja stipulates in her juicy tongue. Truer words were never spoken.
Maastricht cannot be compared to any other city in the Netherlands. A long, long time ago, dashes of Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands were put into the blender, and the fabulous cocktail of Maastricht came out. With a mind of its own and the appetite of a gourmand, it’s a city and a country rolled into one. There’s an atmosphere of cosy conviviality, and yet it’s such a chique place. The people who live here are proud, but also down to earth. For instance, although Anja’s given name is Anastasia, the officials at city hall thought that so outrageous, that they decided to simply register her as ‘Anja’, she tells us, before leading us off to explore the city with so many faces.

Uit: Holland Herald, March 2016