The gastronomical Heart of Europe

Breathtaking, that is the first word that comes in mind when I think back of the event I was fortunate enough to be part of. This event was to put the local products from 4 regions that to my opinion deserve more attention. I’m talking about Limburg (Belgian & Dutch), Liège  and Aken-Düren-Heinsberg (Aken doesn’t contribute to the culinairy part).Not sure how good your geography is, but maybe you’ve noticed that these are neighboring regions (even crossing country boarders)

Heart of Europe

Chateau Neercanne was the location of the event, why exactly this location? Well first of all because Maastricht is the point where countries from the 4 regions come together and I think also the historical past of Chateau Neercanne might have been a reason. Chateau Neercanne is the place where the Maastricht Treaty has been signed on 7 February 1992 (Treaty on European Union). So basically they used this historical location to write history all over again! 4 regions spread over 3 countries collaborating and joining forces to put, what is a wonderful piece of Europe in the spotlight.

Chateau Neercanne

Chateau Neercanne (3)

Chateau Neercanne Entrance

Chateau Neercanne Entrance (2)

Chateau Neercanne itself is already a good example of the treasures that are hidden in this “Heart of Europe” (and a reason to come here).This 1 Michelin star awarded restaurant (already since 1985) is to me one of the most magical and beautiful restaurants where I have ever eaten. No picture can represent the actual beauty of this spot!  We didn’t eat at the restaurant itself, we ate in the restaurant’s wine cellar. This cellar is located in the caves of the hill itself on which the Castle is located (also the exact location where the Treaty was signed). From the first step you walk in the caves, the only word that comes to mind is “WOW”. Names from people who have been here during the centuries written on the walls, plaques with names and Escutcheons from important and royal guests that have been here (like Paul Bocuse, HRH Queen Beatrix, …), candles burning everywhere and wines wresting as far as the eye can see. Funny enough the Plaques that is the most striking from them all was one from Red Bull crushed ice (yes, in the bright colors of Red Bull, check picture below)

Neercanne Cave (2) Neercanne caves (1) Neercanne caves (3)

Plaques Treaty of Maastricht Red Bull Plaque

Honestly I didn’t know there were such beautiful castles in “Limburg”! Which is again like I said before a good example that these regions get underestimated and deserve much more credit than they are getting at the moment.  FYI I would have loved arriving here on a horse :-).

In my next post I’ll finally start talking about the food and reveal more undiscovered secrets from the gastronomical heart of Europe! To already make you curious I’ll share the picture of our table for lunch

Our table for lunch

For more info on the heart of Europe, check the following link

To be continued ….

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