Hof van Twente on the Overijssel

The Gardens of Twente, the meaning of Hof van Twente, is located just behind Enschede, on the German-Dutch border. The municipality of Hof van Twente in the province of Upper Jutland in the Netherlands was formed in 2001 from the six municipalities of Delden, Bentelo, Hengevelde, Goor, Diepenheim and Markelo. The region offers a wide range of activities and attractions. The best way to get around Hof van Twente, as is often the case in the Netherlands, is by bicycle. Delden, the largest town in the region, offers a charming old town with restaurants and cafes, the castle and parks of Twickel Estate , and a salt museum right in the city center. If you get on your bike, you are immediately in the middle of the extensive Twente bike tour network. Only small discoveries along the way can stop you.

Büchertauschbörse bzw Outdoorregal mit Sitzgelegenheit zum spontanen Schmökern im Buch. Region Twente, Niederlande / © Foto: Georg Berg
Book exchange or outdoor shelf with seating for spontaneous book browsing. Region Twente, Netherlands / © Photo: Georg Berg

Cycling through Twente

The Twente cycle route network consists of a series of nodes. If you connect these points, you have a whopping 2,500 kilometers of bike routes to choose from. Of these, 500 kilometers cross the border into Germany. You can choose from various themed routes with names like Quer durchs Grü ne or Eiszeitlandschaft von Hof van Twente, or you can put together your own route. Maps are available at local VVV’s or on the Internet. A junction to start your own tour can often be found quickly, as there are signs at almost every intersection.

In der Region Hof van Twente gibt es ein großes Angebot an Rad- und Wanderwegen. Die Region wird auch als „Die Gärten der Niederlande“ bezeichnet. Die Knotenpunkte kennzeichnen Übergänge, an denen Radfahrer oder Wanderer ihre Routen erweitern können / © Foto: Georg Berg
In the Hof van Twente region there is a wide range of cycling and walking routes. The region is also known as “The Gardens of the Netherlands”. The junctions mark crossings where cyclists or hikers can extend their routes / © Photo: Georg Berg

Wagyu by the wayside

Sometimes there are even culinary surprises along the way in Twente. In an area called the Garden of Twente , one encounters many farms and estates with an appropriate offer of fruits and vegetables directly from the producer. But a farm where you can buy a piece of gourmet meat for the backyard barbecue is unusual. At the Nijhof on the outskirts of Delden, Wilfried and Yvonne Nij have been raising Japanese Wagyu cattle since 2007. Wagyu simply means Japanese cattle. Characteristic for Wagyu meat is the tender marbling and the special quality and taste of the fat.

Wagyu-Farm in Delden mit Hofverkauf von Fleisch / © Foto: Georg Berg
Wagyu farm in Delden with farm sale of meat / © Photo: Georg Berg

The 60 or so animals are given brook during the day and from the age of three they receive their daily massage from the boss himself. Slaughter age reaches the animals, which can also go out to pasture, at five years. The exception is the cow Likka. She is the first animal of the breeding on the Nijhof, her crooked horn even became part of the logo. Likka, the aging mascot prefers to stand in the barn listening to music in her old age.

Ab einem Alter von drei Jahren beginnt Züchter Winfried Nij mit der täglichen Massage seiner Wagyu-Rinder / © Foto: Georg Berg
From the age of three, breeder Winfried Nij starts massaging his Wagyu cattle daily / © Even old Likka still gets a massage now and then. Photo: Georg Berg

The Salt Museum of Delden

The Salt Museum is located in the center of Delden. The historic center of this charming little town dates back to 1333, and many buildings have been restored over the years. In 1886, salt soil discoveries were made in the gardens of Twickel Castle. However, the museum does not only tell about the local finds and the subsequent extraction of common salt, which is still practiced in the town of Hengelo today.

Das Salz-Museum in Delden, Region Twente, Niederlande / © Foto: Georg Berg
The Salt Museum in Delden, Twente region, Netherlands / © Photo: Georg Berg

The museum shows the history of salt in all its facets. A large part of the exhibition is devoted to the nutritional importance of salt. But also the salt mining in the former colonial areas of the Netherlands is presented critically. On the upper floor, there is a rather amusing collection of salt shakers, which looks a bit as if the rooms of the old villa should have been filled with salt-related themes.

Das Salzmuseum in Delden erzählt sowohl die Geschichte der Gewinnung von Kochsalz in Twickel, Boekelo und Hengelo und erläutert die verschiedenen Arten der Salzgewinnung und stellt die Bedeutung von Salz in der Nahrung dar / © Foto: Georg Berg
The Salt Museum in Delden tells both the history of the extraction of common salt in Twickel, Boekelo and Hengelo and explains the different ways of salt extraction and presents the importance of salt in food / © Photo: Georg Berg

Carelshaven – from inn to hotel

A special address in Delden is the Carelshaven hotel and restaurant. The history of Carelshaven dates back to 1772. The name refers to a small harbor that used to be located on the Twickelervaart canal. In the 18th century, the Twickelervaart was an important waterway for transporting wood and stone to the west. This canal opened up the Twente, which connected the town of Delden with the great Amsterdam via various waterways. The canal was built by Count Carel George van Wassenaer Obdam, who lived at Twickel Castle. Today’s Hotel and Restaurant Carelshaven started as a modest inn of the port company Twickel and developed over the centuries into a renowned hotel.

Hotel und Restaurant Carelshaven in Delden besteht seit 1772 / © Foto: Georg Berg
Hotel and Restaurant Carelshaven in Delden exists since 1772 / © Photo: Georg Berg

which and Overijssel has a beautiful nature with varied landscapes and a great diversity of flora and fauna. Extensive forests, light rolling moorland, green meadows with ramparts and country estates with stately country houses makes Overijssel a province worth discovering. Experience the beautiful landscape of Twente, the wooded hills of the Sallandse Heuvelrug or the Rietlanden in the National Park Weerribben-Wieden. Or what do you think of the magnificent Hanseatic cities along the river IJssel, the typical Saxon farms and the many beautiful castles?

Chef de Cuisine im Restaurant Carelshaven ist Daniel Nijkamp. Er kocht auf hohem kulianarischen Niveau mit saisonalen und regionalen Produkten / © Foto: Georg Berg
Chef de Cuisine in the restaurant Carelshaven is Daniel Nijkamp. He cooks on a high culinary level with seasonal and regional products / © Photo: Georg Berg

Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Carelshaven is Dutchman Daniel Nijkamp. Not only as a hotel, but also as a gastronomic business, Carelshaven has a history, Nijkamp tells us in conversation. The Alliance Gastronomique consisting of representatives from the Netherlands and Flanders was founded in 1967 in the garden of Carelshaven. The decisive factor for the foundation were alarming signals in the industry. One observed a widespread loss of taste, criticized the inadequate professional training and the lack of high-quality culinary products. In 1972, Carelshaven was awarded the first Michelin star in the east of the Netherlands. This was held until 1986. To get a Michelin star again is the declared goal of Daniel Nijkamp’s team.

Frische lokale Produkte im Restaurant Carelshaven / © Foto: Georg Berg
Fresh local products in the Carelshaven restaurant – served on wooden blocks from the local sawmill/ © Photo: Georg Berg

The Dutchman stands for modern cuisine with the use of seasonal products. The ambitious menus feature classic combinations such as a caviar of herring with potato cream, which surprises with its texture when wrapped in a crispy coating. Beef is sourced from the neighboring farmer and veal loin is combined with kombualge, while monkfish is accompanied by a shitake miso mousse. Today, the Carelshaven restaurant is a member of Jeunes Restaurateurs European (JRE).

Useful tips

Route planner Bicycle tours in the province of Overijssel with the indication of junctions for individual planning. The official website of the Twente Region provides information about excursions and places of interest. The Twente region also has an extensive network of walking trails. The historic perimeter path around Twickel Castle was planned in 1890 by the German garden designer Eduard Petzold.

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The research trip was supported by the Dutch Tourist Board

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