When we were creating this site we decided to add a category called ‘Inspirations’; a chance to share something extraordinary and inspiring. Well, here is the first ever entry – Villa Augustus.
Located in Dordrecht, in the south-east of the Netherlands – an hour from the tulip growing area – stands Villa Augusta, an imposing and magnificent old water tower on the edge of the riverbank. In 2003 the current owners purchased the site and set about converting it into a hotel with 37 rooms. The views are delightful – our Room 12 -overlooked the river and the formal gardens. The interiors are very European; pared down elegance, modern and understated. Everywhere you look there are vases of beautiful fresh flowers and candles, the bathtubs are hugh, modern art covers the walls and the linen is the very best from Belgium – creases and all.
Surrounding this building is the most enormous vegetable garden with hundreds of beds all planted up with new season seedlings and plants and several greenhouses bulging with salad crops, all destined for the restaurant. We ate lunch and dinner there; both were fantastic, amazing platters of roasted garden vegetables with deliciously rich garlic mayonnaise, the freshest mint tea and amazing staff – our waiter spoke seven languages, just where did we go so wrong?! The design of the restaurant is modern with an eclectic mix of tables and chairs helping to create a really relaxed, effortless atmosphere – there is even a library full of books and magazines and of course, the comfiest of chairs to relax in! Outside is an enormous terrace which overlooks the growing vegetables, just the place to catch the last rays of sun with a glass of chilled wine.
It was an inspiring place – a great stop for all who love to grow and eat vegetables!