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Team Talk

14
September
2017

Beryl's Shine Night Walk

Beryl Poole from our very own W1 London office will soon be participating in Shine Night Walk, a 13.1 mile night walk around London in aid of Cancer Research.

Along with her friend Georgina, the pair have been training in earnest for the six hour walk, regularly visiting the gym and walking in their spare time (with the occasional visit to the watering-hole!).

Beryl and Georgina's Shine Night Walk will take place on Saturday 23 September - there's not long left to sponsor the pair!

If you would like to donate to Beryl and Georgina's cause, please visit their Just Giving page. All money raised will go straight to Cancer Research UK.

Best of luck Beryl, we all know you'll do great!

Categories: Team Talk

24
July
2017

Living the Dutch life - August

Starting the cultural season

Sneekweek & Sailing Champignonships

From 5 until 10 August in the province of Friesland, the largest inshore sailing event will take place. The Sneekweek is named after the city of Sneek where the event is held. It is a great event for lovers of sailing but more famous for its fun and enjoyable atmosphere. By day there are competitive races and after the races the party begins – as the famous saying goes “by day for the honour, by night for the atmosphere!” There are also various other festivities, such as a fair and a big market. The event starts with a spectacular opening ceremony, including a naval review and a fireworks show.

From 5 until 18 August there are also the Frisian Skûtsjesilen Sailing Championships. Every day the races are sailed in a different place by fourteen skûtsjes in order to win the championship, all for the honour of a town, village or region. Skûtsjes are historical flat bottom boats that were originally used as cargo ships by Frisian farmers as they could easily sail through shallow water because of their structure. Sometimes farmers used them in sailing matches to make some extra money. These competitions form the basis of the organized Skûtsjesilen Championships.

International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen

Enjoy the most gorgeous firework shows across two weekends, on 11-12 and 18-19 August. The annual Fireworks Festival is a serious international competition with strict rules for the participating countries. For four nights several countries will try to put on the best fireworks display on the beach of Scheveningen. On the boulevard you can also watch fire eaters, jugglers and dance and music groups. The event draws tens of thousands of visitors, so it is recommended to go there by bike or foot if possible. 

Canal Festival Amsterdam

This ten-day classical music marathon is one of the most wonderful cultural events in Amsterdam. From 11 until 20 August more than 150 concerts are held in very special locations on and around the canals, such as roof terraces, cruise ships, canal houses, tube tunnels and hotel suites. The concerts are of high quality, involving young talents from around the world, and very affordable (mostly free of charge). The main event and definitely a must see during the Canal Festival is the Prinsengracht Concert, held on a pontoon on the canal with the audience listening from hundreds of little boats and from the canal side.

Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen

From 17 until 27 August a festival village appears in the city of Groningen with a unique and exciting programme. The Noorderzon Festival provides creative and innovative performances for a broad audience and is freely accessible. There will be theatre, dance, music, literature and visual art provided by national and international artists. 

 

 

Uitmarkt Amsterdam

During the last weekend of August the new cultural season is launched with the Uitmarkt, the largest cultural festival in the Netherlands. This free festival takes place at more than 30 surprising venues in Amsterdam from 25 until 27 August. The varied programme offers a range of performances, such as music, art, theatre, dance, opera, literature and cabaret. For the youngest visitors there is also the Uitmarkt Junior.

Categories: Team Talk

22
August
2017

Living the Dutch life - September

Enjoy September's outdoor events

World Port Days Rotterdam

Find out how fascinating Europe’s largest seaport is during the World Port Days from 1 until 3 September. Taking place in Rotterdam, the event gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the port and industrial area and also celebrates the international character of Rotterdam, something the city is really proud of. The activities range from ship tours on impressive vessels, adventurous port excursions and spectacular demonstrations near the waterfront – perfect for a family outing! The entertainment can be watched from the Erasmus Bridge and a grandstand at the Wilhelminakade.

World Heritage Days & Open Monument Days

Take the opportunity to visit one of the unique Dutch World Heritage sites or enter one of the Netherlands’ most extraordinary historical monuments during the weekend of 9 and 10 September. Both events are free of charge and a great way to learn more about Dutch heritage!

During the World Heritage Days eight out of the ten UNESCO World Heritage sites will share their exceptional story of the Netherlands in the spheres of water management, civil society and land design. Each site will offer activities, such as special boat tours, excursions and expositions.

During the Open Monument Days you can visit many historical buildings throughout the Netherlands, such as canal houses in Amsterdam, the political heart of The Hague or the medieval churches in Maastricht. Annually the Heritage Days attract around 900,000 visitors making it a prime cultural event in the Netherlands.

National Apple Picking Day

Harvest your own fruit at orchards around the Netherlands on 16 September during this classic autumn activity for families and those young at heart. A range of apples and pears can be picked at a small charge, with most fruit companies also showcasing regional stores that offer other delicacies. For children there are lots of activities, such as face painting, farming demonstrations and ‘train’ rides. At most locations you will have the possibility to enjoy coffee, tea or apple juice with Dutch apple pie.

 

Prince’s Day The Hague

On 19 September the opening of the Dutch Parliamentary season is marked with Prince’s Day in The Hague; the political centre of the Netherlands. The highlight of this day is a royal procession with the famous Golden Carriage moving from Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal of the Binnenhof. However, a Glass Carriage is currently being used due to a large restoration of the Golden Carriage. Thousands of people will be lining the route to get a glimpse of His Majesty the King, so be there early if you want to be sure of a good spot! In the Ridderzaal the King will read his speech from the throne which outlines the government policy for the year ahead. After the speech, The Royal Family is met with cheers from spectators on their balcony back at Noordeinde Palace.

It is unknown why the event is called Prince’s Day, but in the 18th century it was the name of Prince Willem V’s birthday. When he was older, King Willem II would bring him along on horseback to read the King’s speech. This may explain where the name for Prince’s Day, as we know it now, comes from.

Netherlands Film Festival Utrecht

From 20 until 29 September the city of Utrecht becomes the Dutch Film capital during the Netherlands Film Festival. It is a lively, inspiring and creative festival that gives Dutch cinema the recognition it deserves. Different venues will show a large variety of Dutch movies, such as short films, features, documentaries and TV productions. Besides movies the festival also organises talk shows, premieres, work shops, debates, parties and film screenings, but the highlight is the presentation of the ‘Golden Calves’, the grand prizes of the Dutch Film, on the Award Night. The festival attracts many Dutch cinema professionals - you might even bump into a famous actor or actress while walking around the town!

Kite Festival Scheveningen 

Come and see the world’s biggest kites during the Kite Festival in Scheveningen on 23 and 24 September. This event proves just how much fun kites can be for adults as well as for children! The sky will be flooded with brightly coloured kites, in all kinds of sizes and designs, from over a hundred kite-flyers from around the world. The most impressive kite that will grace the skies is Megabyte, a huge kite of 66 metres long and 25 metres wide. Throughout the weekend there will be kite demonstrations, stunts and workshops. And of course you will be able to purchase your own kite at a nearby stall. On Saturday evening there will also be a spectacular night kiting show with thousands of lights in the air.

World Living Statues Festival Arnhem 

Watch the world’s best living statues from 29 September until 1 October during the World Living Statues Festival in Arnhem. This extraordinary event will surprise you with over two hundred professional living statue acts. The art is all about standing totally still, dressed to look like real statues. However small movements here and there are allowed as part of the act. The event starts with the Statues by Night Show on Friday evening and this year a new dimension is added with The World Championship on Sunday.

Categories: Team Talk

26
June
2017

Living the Dutch life - July

Your Guide for Summer

North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam

For three days the North Jazz Festival will turn Rotterdam into the jazz capital of the world. Known globally as the event where the past, present and the future of jazz are featured within one festival, just under thirteen hundred artists will perform including jazz legends,such as Erykah Badu, Miles Davis, Alicia Keys and Jamiroquai. Next to jazz lots of other genres will pass by, such as blues, soul, funk, hip hop and more.

The festival will be held in Ahoy Rotterdam from 7 until 9 July. Visit the website for more information about the programme and tickets.

The Four Day Marches Nijmegen

From 18 until 21 July the greatest walking event in the world will be held with over 40,000 participants. During these four days people from all over the world, young and old, soldiers and civilians, walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometres a day through the beautiful city of Nijmegen in hopes to receive the coveted medal. Along the route thousands of spectators cheer on the walkers every day. The goal of the event is to promote sport and exercise but it also offers entertainment for non-walkers with the Four Days Festival.

Unfortunately the registration period for this year’s event is already closed since the registration limit has been exceeded. So if you are into walking the Four Day Marches should definitely be on your list next year!

Tilburg Funfair

The biggest funfair of the Benelux can be found in the city of Tilburg with more than 1.5 million visitors each year. For ten days, from 21 until 30 July, the entire city centre forms the fairground with over 230 attractions. You will find spectacular attractions like rollercoasters and catapults and besides the attractions you can also enjoy several events, such as Dutch music and typical Dutch snacks. It is a unique experience that cannot be missed when in Holland.

Rotterdam Unlimited

From 25 until 29 July the Rotterdam Unlimited event celebrates the cosmopolitan diversity of the city with a mix of music, dance, theatre and a colourful summer carnival parade. It is one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the Netherlands and attracts more than 900,000 visitors from all over Europe. On several locations throughout the city you can enjoy many acts and performances from major international artists. And you will also find a big festival market with many different kinds of food from different cultures. Find out more about the event on the website.

Gay Pride Parade Amsterdam

Each year in early August the equality of LGBTQ+ people is celebrated in Amsterdam. From 29 July until 6 August all kinds of events are organised within this theme including the famous Canal Parade. During the parade more than 80 decorated boats will sail on the Prinsengracht Canal to show that we welcome and accept people of all sexual orientations. To find out more about each event visit the website.

City Beaches

In Summer there is no better place to be than on the beach! You can of course go to one of the popular coastal cities such as Zandvoort, Noordwijk or Scheveningen. But it is also great to relax on an urban beach without having to leave the city. The cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam offer a great selection of places, but in the East of the country you will find some nice places as well. Below you will find our suggestions.

Amsterdam

Blijburg aan Zee is Amsterdam’s main city beach located in the east of the city on the (man-made) island of IJburg. It has a sandy beach by the water with a bohemian vibe where you can enjoy food and drinks, live music or evening campfires. Learn more about urban beaches in Amsterdam.

Rotterdam 

The beach of Nesselande at the Zevenhuizerplas is all you would like a city beach to be. It is situated on the north-eastern fringe of Rotterdam, with palm trees, boulevard and wide beach. Learn more about urban beaches in Rotterdam.

Other Cities

In the city Best (near Eindhoven) you will find Aquabest, a man-made and family-friendly beach resort. It has one of the most impressive beach clubs of the Netherlands, called Beachclub Sunrise, where it will feel like being on holiday in Saint Tropez. 

Zandfoort aan de Eem is a very popular city beach in Amersfoort. It has a unique location right in the city centre and close to central station. With an international restaurant, cosy bar and little beach chairs in the sand you will get the ultimate feeling of being on vacation.

Strand Oog in Al (SOIA) is one of the nicest spots in Utrecht. It is also Utrecht’s prime city beach (childfriendly!) and located along the Amsterdam Rine Canal and Merwede Canal. You can spend your day here enjoying the sun with some great food and drinks or just relax in the covered seating area when it is raining. 

Categories: Team Talk

28
April
2017

Well Done Stella! 64 miles for the British Heart Foundation

Trek for Charity

Our very own move coordinator celebrated completing 64 miles walking from London to Oxford, all in aid of The British Heart Foundation.

Despite a sore knee, Stella came back to our W1 office with a huge smile on her face! A great achievement for a worthwhile cause. Until next time...

If you would still like to donate, please click here for Stella's JustGiving page.

Categories: Team Talk

19
May
2017

Living the Dutch life - June

Plan your month ahead in the Netherlands

Day of the Castle

Every year on Whit Monday, history is brought to life with the Day of the Castle. Dozens of centuries old castles, country estates and ruins will open their doors hosting activities for young and old, such as guided tours, expositions, music and theatre performances. This year the event will take place on the 5 June.

Discover a magical setting where culture and nature merge together. Take a moment to admire the moats, orchards, statues and nature, while reliving the past and learning how people live and work in a castle today.

Visit the website to find an overview of all castles that are participating.

Open Garden Days of Amsterdam

Discover one of Amsterdam’s best kept secrets during the Open Garden Days from 16 until 18 June. Behind the impressive canal houses hides a completely different world where you will find a quiet green oasis. This year around 30 of these canal house gardens will be accessible to visitors for the weekend.

Purchasing a ticket will allow access to all of the gardens as well as a city map to help you locate the gardens. On the website you can find more information about tickets and locations.

The Day of Architecture

Since 1986 the Day of Architecture has been a national phenomenon attracting thousands of visitors each year. During the event the importance of architecture and urban development is highlighted with each city or region organising their own programme and theme. Readings, debates, tours through iconic buildings and fun excursions will take place throughout the weekend, such as tours through an old bunker complex, government buildings and a canal tour along monumental buildings.

The event is celebrated from 16 until 18 June, but this may differ in certain cities. Please visit the website for more information.

Flag Day Scheveningen

Celebrate the first herring catch of the year on Flag Day with a festive programme in the harbour of Scheveningen. This event is one of the biggest street festivals in The Hague, held this year on the 17 June. The festival is a great opportunity to see people in traditional attire as well as live music.  And of course you can taste some Hollandse Nieuwe (new Dutch herring) at one of the fish stalls!

Flag Day is held every year in June at the start of the herring season. Spring is the best period for herring to be caught because there is more plankton for the fish to eat - any earlier and the herring will be too lean and too late they will be too fatty. The first cask of herring is always sold at auction every year, with the profit being donated to charity.

SAIL / Navy Days Den Helder

From 22 until 25 June two huge nautical event will bring back the Golden Age to the city Den Helder. The event features a fleet of Tall Ships and ships from the National Sailing Heritage, and visitors will have the opportunity to look inside the ships. SAIL Den Helder is not an annual event and therefore this edition promises to be very special.

Taking place at the same time is the Navy Days as organised by the Royal Navy. As the Nieuwe Haven is the largest naval port in the country it is the perfect location for both events. During the Navy Days there will be many demonstrations and navy ships to be admired. As seen in this video.

Veterans' Day

The annual Veterans’ Day in the Netherlands honours more than 117,000 veterans. We take a moment to appreciate the effort of all Dutch military everywhere in the world both now and in the past. This festive day is celebrated in The Hague with a ceremony in the Hall of Knights and at the Inner Court, with a march past the Court Pond and a unique airshow.

During the march thousands of veterans and military will march around the Court Pond followed by a range of army vehicles. The veterans will all wear a special gold pin which symbolises the appreciation for the honourable work they have done in name of the Dutch government.

The event will take place on 24 June from 11:00 till 17:00 and the airshow will start at 13:00. Throughout the day a range of activities will take place on the Malieveld, such as informational stands, veterans’ art, exhibitions, military museums and bands. To get an impression of Veterans Day in The Hague watch this trailer!

Festivals

Summer in the Netherlands is the prime time for festivals. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite festivals taking place this June.

1 – 25 June: TREK

Foodlovers can visit this eco-friendly festival with free entry in Utrecht, Eindhoven and Enschede and various other locations. TREK turns a park into a huge open-air restaurant with delicious food trucks.

3 – 5 June: Pinkpop

This is Holland’s biggest open-air festival and is sold out almost every year. It is a multiday event which takes place in Landgraaf, and has previously featured musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

9 – 18 June: Oerol

Since 1982 Oerol has grown to become a true phenomenon on the island of Terschelling. It is one of the most fun and exceptional theatre festivals in Europe, with ten days of (street) theatre, dance, art and music at many exceptional locations. 

19 – 25 June: Amsterdam Roots Festival

A musical world trip along the most divergent cultures and styles is how Amsterdam Roots Festival can be described. You can enjoy performances of fado, zouk, latin, flamenco and more non-western music, but the highlight of the festival will be in Oosterpark where 50,000 people will come together!

23 June – 2 July: De Parade

This travelling festival is a theatre, circus, carnival and funfair all in one. In June through to July it hits Holland’s four main cities – Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and then Amsterdam.

25 June: Parkpop

The biggest free pop festival in Holland is held in The Hague - the number one pop city for a reason! Tens of thousands of music lovers gather in Zuiderpark to enjoy many top musicians and upcoming talented bands.

Categories: Team Talk

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