Dordrecht is around an hour’s drive from Amsterdam and there is plenty to see for culture vultures in terms of museums, theatres, restaurants, cafés and independent shops. Its jewel in the crown is Hotel and Restaurant Villa Augustus, a former water tower and water purifying plant which in 2007 was transformed by a group of far-sighted entrepreneurs into a boutique hotel and organic and hyperlocal restaurant.
Villa Augustus has a room at the top of the water tower, surrounded by glass on all sides called The Lantern Room. This special room on the top floor of the water tower offers access to the glass lantern on the top, by way of a spiral staircase. The view offers a broad panorama across Dordrecht. In clear weather, you can even see the Euromast in Rotterdam! From here, you can appreciate Dordrecht’s unique location, at the intersection of three rivers: the Noord, the Merwede and the Oude Maas. This is a place with spectacular light, magnificent skies and often an unforgettable sunset.
To celebrate a special occasion, Frank and I booked an overnight stay in the Lantern Room and of course dinner in the restaurant where they serve largely home-grown produce. The restaurant is in the middle of the vegetable garden in the former pump house. Gardeners and chefs work together at Villa Augusutus to harvest and serve seasonal vegetables and fruit from the early spring to deep in the winter. In the open kitchen – the heart of the restaurant – they prepare everything as deliciously and attractively as possible.
It was a great stay and I highly recommend Villa Augustus; it offers a unique experience, super fresh and unadulterated food, friendly service and the oh so very special, South Holland hospitality.