Monthly Archives: December 2017

I escaped the Haarlem just before the weekend for a few days of rest and peace in the area of Maastricht, Valkenburg and surroundings. It’s been a lot of walking, some shopping, sightseeing and exploring great restaurants. A special recommendation goes to Restaurant Le Baroque in Valkenburg. Even if it’s the last thing you do, do try the pigeon with foie gras and truffle sauce. It’s one of the best dishes I’ve had this year.

The mulled wine speciality of the region – with amaretto

Pigeon breast with foie gras and truffle sauce

Valkenburg is lit up – including the light parade we watched yesterday


Wishing everyone of my readers a Merry Christmas and to those of you from far-flung corners of the world Happy Holidays! We have celebrated it yesterday as is customary in Sweden with traditional ginger bread baking followed by a Christmas smörgåsbord including obligatory delicacies such as meatballs, gravad lax, foie gras, wild boar pâté and stuffed turkey of course (courtesy to the British influences running in our family).

As the Christmas party was close to as stuffed as our turkey, we made a break for unwrapping the presents under the tree followed by Rice a la Malta, coffee, baume de venise and petit fours.

Julafton has arrived….finally!

starting off with baking ginger bread 

Christmas smörgåsbord

Come on! Time for gifts

Bricks Arms & Lego stood on the wish list 

Gift exchange in action

and wonderful desserts courtesy of RP x

No pics please!

waking up to many wonderful gifts

I love waking up in the mornings to an albeit small but tasteful decorated Christmas tree…..all credits to the kids who discovered the best pieces, discarded some and fought over the tree top decorum – Star or Peak. It became a star in the end. Keeping in line with family tradition, we put up the yearly decor purchases, this time three pieces from Villeroy & Boch’s collection which we acquired on our last trip to Lille.

Tree waiting for gifts from Father Christmas

Reindeer from the Villeroy & Boch collection

…so luckily we took the opportunity yesterday to enjoy the snow bonanza hitting the Low Countries for the last couple of days. Sadly the snowman and our igloo lantern have turned into grey slush by now, but memories and pictures remain :).

we don’t get many evenings like this

So Sebastian and I started on a snowman project. Unfortunately we didn’t have a carrot at our disposal so it received the bird treatment instead 😉

igloo lantern

recipe from a Swedish childhood

I’m in bed with the snowflakes dancing outside of my window. It’s so peaceful, which is what I need after one of the most hectic months and years I can remember. Perhaps not surprising I feel fluish and decided against having another working Sunday. Instead I will put on the Crown which has just premiered it’s second season.

Before going offline, some snapshots of yesterday’s evening. We don’t get much time to have a 3 hour dinner with the family, so very happy for this treat. Thanks Victoria and RP for making it memorable.

Dogged tired but managed to scrape up well with my beautiful daughter as companion

good company, conversations, food and wine

special evening

100 year anniversary menu ending with a delightful dessert

The Groenendaal manor in full Christmas glory

A late but wonderful Sinterklaas celebration. And he had prezzies for everyone. On that note I can’t wait until it’s Christmas!

❤️ Sibling love ❤️

who is the boss of the prezzies?

…and more Lego. We have quite some building to do this weekend

It feels tremendously good to be home after a hectic week and a conference in Helsinki. Although extremely cold when I arrived home, I found beautiful gift from the kids in the shape of an Advent Calendar by Rituals. Very thoughtful and I am already using the hand cream :). As I was away they had fun with morning gift openings leading up to Sinterklaas. And from what I can see their Advent Calendars were quite a hit too!

First morning of December

Surprise, surprise!

Advent Calendar by Rituals