Art and Culture while having a pint

The Dutch word gezellig is difficult to grasp. It means sociable or enjoyable, but its essence is much warmer than that. More like a feeling of likeness or camaraderie…Of open smiles and shoulder pats.

The past weekend I caught a glimpse of the true meaning of gezellig at the new-look Eetcafé Carré in Wageningen. Situated behind the market and opposite the town hall, Eetcafé Carré is a well-established bar and restaurant, recently revamped.

Not only is it fantastically gezellig, but it’s unashamedly aimed at promoting music, art and culture in Wageningen. On special evenings, you’ll find poets waxing lyrical between music sets. On an average night, original paintings colour your dining experience while people share a laugh and a drink after work.

What’s also impressive is the invitation on their website ( that all interesting art ideas will be considered for showcasing. Definitely an opportunity not to be missed if you’re artistically inclined.

Try Eetcafé Carré the next time you feel like a bite or a pint. Or make a night of it with solid live performances and good old-fashioned gezelligheid.

Junushoff and all that Jazz

Last weekend I met Fay Lovsky.  Not in person, but on stage.  

Being a foreigner I had not been introduced before to the phenomenon that is Fay Lovsky. A child from the 80’s, she was doing weird things with even weirder instruments while I was still in primary school. And looks like things haven’t changed since then.

Part of the Jazz Impuls concerts (, Fay was joined on stage by jazz heavy-weights Eric Vloeimans on trumpet, and Jeroen van der Vliet on piano. The first half of the show featured the three of them, and the second part of the show featured a live performance by the band (or ensemble?) Gatecrash.

Now I’ve never done Jazz. I find it too disorganized. I like structure, metronome beats. And Jazz has always been too…all over the place. But today I am a converted man.

The sheer energy and musical genius of the band blew me away. I felt challenged, enlightened and delirious all at once. They’re really good.

Junushoff was the venue, and it’s worth checking out for a spot of culture, theatre or performance art (, click on “Voorstellingen”). Magic, comedy, dance; you don’t have to speak Dutch to enjoy many of the shows. Go and take a look – Junushof is centrally located in Wageningen at Plantsoen 3, right across the road from Postbank / ING. You can pick up their 2010 calendar or just have a drink or a coffee at their really friendly bar.