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7 reasons to visit Holland in 2018

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7 reasons to visit Holland in 2018

Leeuwarden
Leeuwarden, that charming 10th-century town located in Friesland state, has been selected the European Capital of Culture for 2018 and the former royal residence has lots planned to celebrate its selection. The biggest attraction will be performances by the Royal de Luxe, the world-renowned French mechanical marionette street theatre company that uses giant figures to wow the crowds. Leeuwarden also has 50 major projects and hundreds of community initiatives planned throughout 2018.

Keukenhof Garden Show
The annual Keukenhof Spring Garden Show — an enormous floral spectacle — is held between March 22 and May 13 and people from all over the world come to admire the breathtaking display of over seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. If you’ve never been, book a ticket with KLM or Air Canada because this is the most beautiful garden show in the world.

Alkmaar Cheese Market
The Alkmaar Cheese Market reopened on March 31 and will stay open until Sept. 29. The market, located in northern Holland about 30 minutes from Amsterdam, is where you’ll get to see 2,200 giant cheese wheels on display. These cheese markets date back to 1365 in Waagplein, the only town with a scale big enough to weigh the giant chess wheels at the time.

Gouda Cheese Valley
If you’re visiting Alkmaar’s cheese market, you might want to extend your stay and tour the Gouda Cheese Valley, where most of the cheese consumed by the Dutch — they pack away 15 kilos each a year — is produced. The cheese valley is made up of Gouda, Bodegraven, Reeuwijk, Woerden and Krimpenerwaard, and each town has a long history with the creamy product. Cheese first arrived in Holland in the Middle Ages.

National Mill Day
Don’t miss National Mill Day (May 12-13). On that day, 950 windmills and watermills open their doors to visitors and the lineups are usually long. The iconic windmills have played a major role throughout Dutch history in reclaiming land and processing raw materials. Some are quite beautifully decorated inside and out.

Cycling Kinderdijk’s Windmills
Speaking of windmills, you can see the greatest collection of Dutch windmills in Kinderdijk while cycling along a route that passes right in front of them. There are 19 windmills in Kinderdijk and the cycle path also cuts through some charming Dutch towns. Cycling in The Netherlands is easy and all areas have well-marked bike trails.

Heritage Days
On September 8-9, you can get free admission to about 4,000 historical buildings during Heritage Days. Just about every city in The Netherlands participates and you’ll get to see some real treasures in places like The Hague, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Maastricht.

For more information, visit https://www.holland.com/global/tourism.htm

Marc Atchison is a veteran journalist and a seasoned traveller with more than 20 years of travel writing experience. http://www.travelife.ca/

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Festive Gatherings By Design

Festive Gatherings By Design

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Festive Gatherings By Design

by Linda Mazur

The holiday season, is fast approaching.  This year, parties are taking a far more formal approach with the return of glamour, colour and luxury that will leave your guest wanting more.  It’s all about making your guests feel joyful, while exuding elegance and creating an affair to remember.

Rich jewel tones, metallics and a touch of sparkle are a must in the party life of 2017!  As in design, this year is all about colour.  Pretty amethyst, lush plum tones bordering on black, and beautiful bright pinks that pack a punch are a highlight of the upcoming holiday palette.  Incorporate these rich hues in your fireplace mantel, centerpieces, glassware and textiles to create a lush and layered look for your festivities.

From a stylish, well-appointed home in which to host your party to the quality and attention to detail in your party planning; this year the design scene and the party scene run hand-in-hand.  Décor is of great importance when planning your festive gathering, as are many other “little things” that will make this a special and elegant affair for all to remember.  Think formal invitations, with a dress code, to set the stage.  Or beautifully wrapped personalized ornaments as party favours for your guests … an added touch that will remind them of the evening.  It’s all in the details this party season!

From the flowers and décor, to the food and drinks, the best parties this season will be thoughtful, intentional and carefully crafted to reflect individual style while creating an unforgettable night for your guests.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your festive party planning!

  1. Glam up your tables with beautiful china, crystal and silver.  A bit of fresh greenery, candles and a few holiday touches are a quick and simple way to add a festive touch to your table top and other areas of your home.
  2. Consider hiring waiters or bartenders to assist, not only does this ensure the needs of your guests will always be attended to but it will also allow you to personally enjoy your party.
  3. Dessert/cake image — “Instead of formal desserts, create a decadent and festive sweet table for your guests.  Pretty vintage footed-cake plates, a touch of greenery and lush florals will make for a beautiful table-scape; feature an accompanying dessert wine to make this a fait accompli.”
  4. Floral arrangement image –“This beautiful floral arrangement is the perfect accompaniment to the holiday season featuring rich, lushes plum tones, with a great play on texture … who could ask for anything more.”

Floral design by – Opening Night Flowers

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.

LindaMazurDesign.com

@LindaMazurGroup



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