Hidden Green

Ah, spring. Feel like immersing yourself in the trees, indulging in a little vegan food in the city or relaxing in nature as it comes into bloom? Summum knows which places will lure you into spring straight away.

Green food: Gare du Nord, Rotterdam - Amid the cosmopolitan concrete of Rotterdam, you'll find a little haven of calm. Gare du Nord, an adorable organic vegan bistro is located in a beautiful old train carriage in ZoHo, Rotterdam's industrial district. It is an inspiring environment where lots of sustainable initiatives are developed. You can eat inside – a very cosy setting – and soak up the (now) quiet surroundings through the carriage window. During the summer, the garden tables are placed outside so you can eat in nature. Oh, and the food: delicious organic and vegan bistro food such as beetroot carpaccio with truffle, pine nuts, balsamic and cashew parmesan, juicy burgers and clafoutis with pear and vegan cream for dessert. The four-course menu changes each week and is made from seasonal and local produce. So there is not a huge choice of dishes, but this kind of menu does guarantee minimal food waste – and it tastes amazing. It feels like a home away from home, where there’s a slower pace of life.


Green walk: Bloesempark in the Amsterdamse Bos – In March and April each year, the soft pink cherry blossom in Bloesempark in the Amsterdamse Bos is a very special sight. The Japanese traditionally celebrate the arrival of spring with the cherry blossom festival, or Hanami Matsuri in Japanese. Families, relatives and friends have picnics among the blossoming cherry trees. These flowers have a symbolic meaning in Japan: the cherry blossom represents both a new beginning and transience. It is not difficult to notice the beauty of these two hundred trees in full bloom, which together spread a wonderfully intoxicating light, sweet fragrance. It is so beautiful and enchanting, you almost want to scream a confession of springtime love. Make sure you go during the week, as the park is much busier at the weekend – and prepare or order a picnic basket to add to the festivities. The exact time when the blossom appears depends on the weather. Follow the park's Facebook page to find this out.

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Green sleep: Landgoed Groot Warnsborn, Arnhem - A retreat on a country estate, surrounded by nature as far as the eye can see: sounds like a mini holiday. And it is, especially if you travel to the Landgoed Groot Warnsborn in Arnhem, near De Hoge Veluwe National Park. The grand country house, which once belonged to barons and noble families, still has the grandeur of bygone days on the outside, just like the beautifully maintained vast estate surrounding it. The interior is a different story: ask for one of these modern attic-like rooms with a free-standing bath and you’ll wish you never have to leave. To get to restaurant La Belle Source, you descend the stairs with love – two red utensils in the Michelin guide – and at Bar de Bron the homemade cocktails will help you slowly glide into the evening. During the day, you can enjoy long walks on the estate or spend a few hours in the inspiring Kröller-Müller museum and its famous sculpture garden. Th garden forms a nice contrast with the museum buildings designed by Henry van de Velde and Wim Quist and pavilions designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Aldo van Eyck. After two days, you are guaranteed to feel recharged and refreshed.


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