The Netherlands – my home country – are only a small country, but I have to confess there are still places that I have never been to. And to think that I travel around the world!

It’s about time I changed this, so one Friday afternoon I’m driving towards the sea to discover Dutch Flanders for the first time in my life. Sometimes, it takes a detour to return to base. This certainly goes for Iske, whose roots are in Dutch Flanders, Zeeland. After moving around a bit, she returned here to settle and share her stunning surroundings with others.

Before leaving, I make sure to check the exact address of the house in which I’m about to spend the weekend…..which turns out to be unnecessary, for I arrive in a tiny village consisting of no more than 20 houses. Such tranquility, all you hear is birds singing, you can’t get lost here!

My home for the weekend is the house in which Iske and her husband Kristof have lived themselves for a while. These days, it is fully let and they have moved into a handsome old building in the next village, which they are currently renovating.

It is a lovely house in which you feel at home immediately. Cosily decorated and very complete….a fully equipped kitchen with several kinds of tea and coffee, etc. The walls are covered with Kristof’s art, there are lots of books and recommendations for local establishments. In addition to the enormous open plan kitchen with dining room table, there is a living room with French doors that open onto the garden (with BBQ!)…. The lazy couch in front of the television is perfect for relaxing. The bathroom is also downstairs, it’s spacious…with tub, separate shower and lovely bath products! A narrow staircase leads up to the upper floor, where a study and a bedroom with solid Tempur matrasses on the floor are located. Note: because of the open stairwell, this house isn’t suitable for small children.

And then I’m off to the beach….only 10 minutes away by car are a vast beach and a great beach restaurant: Loods 10. Life’s always nice at the beach, no matter the season or whether it’s windy or sunny!

The next day, decisions have to be made, for there is lots to do around here! Bruges and Ghent are only half an hour’s drive away, as is Middelburg. To complete my Zeeland adventure, I decide to visit the latter. And it’s such a nice town! Plenty of fun little coffee places, restaurants, shops and beautiful monumental buildings to fill my day! A definite must!

But it is equally wonderful to return to ‘my’ little house, for, as Iske already said, people come here to unwind…and I totally get that! On my last day I go and check out Iske’s latest addition, a quaint little bakehouse that she managed to save from destruction just on time. This will be her third house, for there is already a second one in the village where I spent the night…..which is a great alternative for when Wit Huisje is booked!

The weather is lovely and for the last time I set out to discover my surroundings, heading for Groede this time. It is a lovely monumental village that serves a great cup of coffee and cake at Fonteyn or a nice, home brewed beer from the ‘Brouwerslokaal’ (the local brewery) at the ‘Drie Koningen’ (the Three Kings).

But I end my day at the beach….here, on the coast….the Zeeland coast…..I totally understand Iske!