A Postcard From… Holland

Every 10 years a different region of the Netherlands hosts the huge horticultural spectacular known as Floriade. This year it’s the city of Venlo in the province of Limburg, a bustling little town with a café on almost every corner.

Walking into the Villa Flora at Floriade the incredible scent of flowering bulbs and plants was a heady mixture for the nose. The eyes had to work overtime as well to take it all in. The show features gardens and exhibitions from around the world. They say 1.8 million bulbs have been planted along with 18,000 shrubs. 190,000 perennials, 15,000 hedge plants and 5,000 rose bushes. We took the cable car ride to get our bearings and to work out our priorities. A one day visit was a bit of a rush, two days would have been better.

Whilst in the region we also called in at De Beejekurf in Venray. It’s only been open three years and has already been voted ‘Best restaurant in Limburg’ twice! The asparagus with hollandaise, chopped egg and ham was delicious. (The sandy soil of the region grows world famous asparagus.) We also drove to the village of Grubbenvorst for an ice cream at Clevers. The award winning ice cream parlour always has 50 varieties to choose from, including asparagus! Their ice creams are so good they are even visited by Italian ice cream makers to share and develop new flavours. J.P.

Interested in visiting Floriade – it runs until October 2012 visit;;;; and www.p&

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