Dutch Quilting and Spring Highlights Tour
Quilts, flowers & Delftware - an inspiring spring tour to the Netherlands
This multifaceted tour combines a trip to the Patchwork and Quilt Days show in Rijswijk with visits to Keukenhof, the most beautiful spring garden in the world, the charming city of Delft with its famous porcelain factory and the world famous Dutch Golden Age museum, Mauritshuis.
Quilt making has a long history in the Netherlands. The oldest reference to a Dutch quilt dates back to the 13th century, but the tradition really began to flourish in the 1600s when the Dutch East India Company started trading chintz from India in exchange for spices from the Far East. In the 18th Century, quilting became a popular pastime for many Dutch women and their creations played an important part in the development of quilting across the world.
The Patchwork and Quilting Days event in Rijswijk is an annual celebration of contemporary quilting and patchwork. Featuring displays of beautiful quilts illustrating the huge variety of styles and techniques being used today, as well as showcases of fabrics, patterns, materials and tools, this is a must-visit show for quilters and textile crafters of all kinds. Our programme gives you plenty of time to explore the inspirational stands and stock up on supplies to take home and use in your next project.
We have also arranged for a local quilting expert, Herma de Ruiter from WonderFil Threads, to come to the hotel for an after dinner talk on speciality threads.
There's more to choosing yarn for your quilting project than just the colour; how thick will it be? What material it is made from? Will you choose cotton, rayon, metallic, or polyester? Do you opt for shiny yarn or matt? To help answer all these questions and more, we have invited Herma de Ruiter, an enthusiastic quilter and yarn expert from Wonderfil Threads, to come to the hotel to talk to you about the wonderful world of thread! She will discuss the many varieties of yarn available, explain how each can be used and talk about the affect different yarns have on your finished projects.
Keukenhof’s annual festival of spring flowering bulbs is one of the world’s most spectacular floral events and this tour offers a once-a-year opportunity to witness the garden’s seven million bulbs in flower.
Each year the world’s leading floriculturists meticulously choreograph the planting of new bulbs to create breathtaking displays of floral artistry and the air is full of the heady scent of tulips, anemones, daffodils, freesias and hyacinths.
There are more flights of floral fancy in the sculpture garden, while the exhibition pavilions showcase particular species. Tulip lovers should head for the William Alexander Pavilion, for example, while orchid aficionados are in for a treat at the Beatrix Pavilion. And if the site of all these flowers makes you want to try your own hand at floral design, you can pick up tips at the daily demonstrations in the Orange Nassau Pavilion.
The canal-ringed city of Delft has a rich history; synonymous with the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer and the iconic blue and white pottery that bares the city’s name, it is also the burial place of William of Orange. Our tour gives you ample free time to explore the medieval streets and cultural highlights.
History and Culture
Vemeer Centre – see the studio where Vermeer painted The Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft, along with high quality, full size images of the artist’s entire oeuvre.
Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk – the magnificent old and new churches dominate the inner city. Visit Vermeer's grave at Oude Kerk, with its leaning tower and famous stained glass windows, and see where William of Orange was laid to rest at Nieuwe Kerk.
Museum Prinsenhof – immerse yourself in the history of Delft at this museum set in the former court of William of Orange.
Shopping and eating
The old city has plenty to tempt shoppers. The streets surrounding the Market Square - Oude Delft, Choorstraat, Voldersgracht, Wijnhaven, Hippolytusbuurt and Vrouw Juttenland - are filled with art galleries and one-off fashion and vintage boutiques.
Food-wise, there is something for every taste and budget. Two highlights are Visbanken, which was involved in the fish trade in the Middle Ages and is still the best place to go for a traditional Dutch herring or mackerel sandwich, and Het Gulden ABC, best known for serving ‘poffertjes’ (Dutch pancakes) to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
No trip to Delft would be complete without a visit to Royal Delftware. Established in 1653, it is now the city’s last remaining 17th century earthenware factory and its iconic Blue Delftware is still painted entirely by hand following centuries-old tradition.
Our programme includes a one hour tour that takes you on a fascinating journey through the brand’s 400 year history. Discover Royal Delftware’s links with Vermeer and the Dutch Royal Family in intriguing themed rooms which include a recreation of Vermeer’s dining room furnished with original Delftware from the period.
Carel Fabritius Het puttertje, 1654; Johannes Vermeer Gezicht op Delft, c. 1660-1661; Johannes Vermeer Meisje met de parel, c. 1665 All courtesy of Mauritshuis, Den Haag
Located in the heart of The Hague, the 17th century Mauritshuis Museum is home to the best Dutch paintings from the Golden Age. Amongst the 841 artworks on display are masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt and The Goldfinch by Fabritius. A special exhibition, Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis, showing all 18 paintings attributed to the artist in the museum's collection, will running during our visit.
We have arranged a private guided tour of the museum extraordinary collection to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.
This cosy hotel in the heart of the city is full of character, art and antiques and boasts a bar overlooking the oldest canal in Delft. The 66 comfortable and peaceful guest rooms make the perfect base for sightseeing.
Wednesday 10th April
AM: Flights depart UK & Dublin airports
Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, meet your Tour Manager and the rest of the group
Transfer to Delft and check in at Best Western Hotel
Orientation walk with the Tour Manager
PM: Free time to explore Delft
1900-2000h: Welcome dinner at the hotel
2000-2130h: Talk from guest speaker Herma de Ruiter from WonderFil Threads
Thursday 11th April
Breakfast at the hotel
0915h: Coach transfer to Patchwork en Quiltdagen Show in Rijswijk
1500h: Depart show for a tour of the Royal Delft Pottery
Evening at leisure
Friday 12th April
Breakfast at the hotel and check out
0930h: Coach transfer to Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague for a guided tour
1200h: Coach transfer to Keukenhof, arriving 1300h
1800h: Depart Keukenhof for the airport and return flights to the UK & Dublin
Outbound: Depart 0915h, arrive 1130h - KL1422
Inbound: Depart 2105h, arrive 2120h - KL1435
Outbound: Depart 0920h, arrive 1135h - KL1050
Inbound: Depart 2200h, arrive 2210h - KL1057
Outbound: Depart 1000h, arrive 1245h - El604
Inbound: Depart 2140h, arrive 2220h - El611
Outbound: Depart 0910, arrive 1145h - KL1278
Inbound: Depart 2110h, arrive 2135h - KL1293
Outbound: Depart 0955, arrive 1225h - KL1008
Inbound: Depart 2030h, arrive 2055 - KL1033
Outbound: Depart 1110h, arrive 1330h - KL1074
Inbound: Depart 2115h, arrive 2135h, - KL1083
Hand baggage allowance :
1x item of hand luggage, max 55x35x25cm
1x accessory eg handbag, briefcase or laptop, max 40x30x15cm
Total weight, max 12kg
Check-in luggage allowance:
1x item of check-in baggage L+W+H max 158cm, weight max 23kg
*Aer Lingus baggage allowance is 1x 10kg cabin bag, plus 1x 20kg checked bag
Also with Aer Lingus: Collect Avios, Earn Tier Credits, Advance seat selection, Priority boarding, Standby for earlier flight
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Our ATOL number is ATOL 6545. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.
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Flights from Birmingham, £810pp
Flights from Bristol, £795pp
Flights from Dublin, £750pp
Flights from Edinburgh, £845pp
Flights from London Heathrow, £780p/p
Flights from Manchester, £800p/p
Single room supplement for 2 nights, £80
Prices shown are per person, based on 2 guests sharing a twin/double room.
Prices are subject to change until a payment has been made.
Prices are updated regularly to reflect the increases in airline costs.
At this time we require full payment on booking
- Return flights to Amsterdam
- 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at the 4* Best Western, Delft
- Arrival dinner at Best Western, Delft
- Local transfers
- 1 day entrance to Rijswijk Quilt Festival
- Entrance to Keukenhof
- Entrance and 1 hour tour of The Royal Delftware Pottery
- Entrance and guided tour of Mauritshuis
- Guest speaker for presentation on speciality threads
- Porterage service per person at the hotel
- Services of an ECT Tour Manager
- Travel disruption insurance