Just when I thought we’d scoured every significant place within 200 kilometers’ radius of Amsterdam, I’m thankfully still proven wrong. Aimless online searches over the years have opened us up to so many places, nice, even great places that otherwise would have been practically invisible, but after all the wandering we’ve done, in the Netherlands and nearby Germany and Belgium, it felt like the best was already past. So it was more than a little surprising that just across the border 90 minutes away was a castle that wasn’t just impressive in size, it had so much to offer that made it well worth the effort to get there, and even more so. Discovering Schloss Anholt during one of those aimless online searches, I wondered why it remained under my radar for so long and quickly looked forward to the moment when Teko and I could make it happen. 150 kilometers was manageable – heaven knows we’ve gone much farther – and despite my hesitation to leave the safety of Dutch roads, it was a fresh diversion from the last several weeks. Lunch in a castle isn’t nothing after all.
I didn’t do my due diligence before we got there so what greeted us was a construction site by the main entry way and a castle-museum disappointingly closed due to Covid. What I did know was that we had a lunch appointment and no rain in the forecast, which meant we could have our meal out in the terrace. At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, summer wasps, the huge kind, were everywhere and made it impossible to enjoy the outdoors unbothered. We made a beeline back inside and happily got seated by a large, window-side table in the glass-walled Wasserpavillon. It was another lunch to remember.
To say the meal was great would be an understatement – the delicious lamb and overindulgent sorbet (and a bite of the tender schnitzel), terrific service, overly-generous space, and despite windows that could use some cleaning, a million-Euro view of the castle grounds.
With the meal soon over, roaming the garden park was the obvious next step, and with 35 hectares to cover there were bound to be enough pleasant sites along the way. By the end of our walk, through a miniature garden maze, over streams and through fields, I was quite sure all the lunch calories were well-spent. Whether we‘ll be lucky enough to ever see the museum, and the soon to be constructed Orangerie, is anyone’s guess. I’m just happy we’re fortunate enough to know this place and experience it this time – but who knows, let’s see what the next coming months might bring.