Gelderland is the largest province in the Netherlands and has not a kilometer of beach. Nevertheless, Gelderland offers plenty of recreational attractions. Perhaps the biggest attraction of this region is its easy accessibility. Unlike the sandy beaches of Zeeland, it is no more than 100 kilometers to the Hoge Veluwe National Park, for example, when traveling from the Ruhr area in NRW. Ideal for short trips and weekend excursions, which can be filled with culture, nature and culinary delights.
In the small town of Otterlo there is one of three entrances to the Hoge Veluwe National Park. The park is part of the cultural heritage of the Netherlands. The landscape is varied. Forest, moorland, heath and shifting sand dunes cover 5,000 hectares. Throughout the year, visitors can ride white bicycles, located at all three park entrances, through the expansive grounds. The bikes are included in park admission. Those who prefer to drive through the park pay a higher entrance fee and are not allowed to leave the few main routes. By bike, the trail network is larger. Hiking is also possible. There are three restaurants scattered around the Hoge Veluwe, so you can plan stops when exploring the national park.
The Hoge Veluwe National Park not only has a lot of nature to offer, but also world-class art. The internationally acclaimed Kröller-Müller Museum is located in the Hoge Veluwe. The museum houses the world’s second largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh. In addition, the collection includes top exhibits by modern masters such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan. The extensive park displays one of the largest collections of sculptures in Europe.
The Kröller-Müller Museum is the life’s work of Helene Kröller-Müller. Between 1907 and 1922, the patron bought over 11,000 works of art. In 1938, the museum, designed by Henry van de Velde, was opened. To enter the museum, visitors always need a ticket for the national park as well. Nature and art can be combined in Otterlo in very short distances. As accommodation, the 4-star Hotel de Sterrenberg is an ideal starting point.
Hotel de Sterrenberg is located just 600 meters from the entrance of the Hoge Veluwe National Park. The hotel includes the restaurant Cèpes. It has been awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Guide Michelin since 2018. Chef Robert Hartelmann’s cuisine uses local and regional products wherever possible. This also applies to the game dishes. The animals mostly come from the extensive grounds of the Hoge Veluwe.
The first course is a light starter that puts you in a good mood, both in terms of color and taste. Arctic grayling wetted with a buttermilk-dill oil contrasts with the freshness of apple, radish and cucumber. To accompany it, Karolien Som, sommelier at Restaurant Cèpes, recommends a wine from the Alentejo. An exciting blend fresh and herbaceous with a slight bitter note on the finish from the Arinto, Viohsino and Torentes vines.
Wild duck shot in the Hoge Veluwe National Park. Served with a port wine sauce with polenta. The corn ball is filled with confis of duck leg. Accompanied by a puree of fresh corn, which harmonizes wonderfully with the rich sauce.
To accompany the game course, sommelier Karolien Som pairs a Bordeaux from the Nous les Vignerons de Buzet winegrowers’ cooperative. Le Petit Baron is an organic wine south of Bordeaux with berry notes. A portion of the proceeds from sales goes to a conservation project for owls. In a way, that makes Le Petit Baron doubly organic, and it’s a nicely advertised wine story as part of the multi-course meal at Restaurant Cèpes.
Restaurant Cèpes at Hotel de Sterrenberg in Otterlo offers a four-course surprise menu for both house guests and restaurant-only visitors. On request with a rewarding and informative wine accompaniment.
Read more about the province of Gelderland in the report Between Forest, Hanseatic League and Manor House with impressions from the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Kröller-Müller Museum, Ruurlo Castle, the Hanseatic towns of Zutphen and Doisburg.
The research trip was partly supported by the Tourist Board of the Netherlands