What can be found behind some of Utrecht’s old façades? Utrecht has some trendy places for having a tea, coffee, lunch, or dinner and these places are cleverly designed.
Here is the tea-coffee, lunch-room, and restaurant of Hotel Dom. Have a look how all elements are put together. Notice the soft, wavy fabrics that make you think of a summery breakfast room, with open windows through which a warm breeze floats in. Notice how that romantic feel contrasts with that hard metal frame and the business-like chairs that give you a modern and ambitious feel. Notice the soft tan colours versus the hard red and watery aquamarine blue. Not many designers can balance those colours. There are hard lights and soft lights, hidden, and oversized lights. All the contrasts work together.
The Longbar of the Winkel of Sinkel’s lunch room is fancy. It has a dominating two level spiral staircase that offer elegant curves. The whole place has lots of sparkles and it daringly has surfaces that change their colours automatically, thus outrageously combining different bright colours. This is a place for the young: it is seductive, ambitious, and glamours. The bar is what young people want to be: shiny, daring, and elegant. The designers of this place must have kept that in mind: let a place resonate with its visitors and they will come back, time after time.
To have a tea, coffee, or lunch in a more meditative style, visit the tranquil ‘Refectory’ (De Refter) of Utrecht’s Central Museum, housed in the former Agnes Convent. The Refter is the old convent dining hall, that has sensitively and beautifully been renovated. There are two long dining tables with chairs, in the past for all the monks or nuns, now for museum visitors. Another wink to its history are the chandeliers, that are now modern, but still minimalistic. The whole place respectfully carries memories of the old convent, yet it now feels perfectly modern. Most likely the nuns or monks who ate here had to practise silence. Today, these long tables make you sit closer and more connected to other museum visitors, offering the possibility for a spontaneous talk.
Enough tea or coffee! Let me rush back to my drawing table. I’m working on a pair of common kestrels. I want them to be ready to fly off before spring.
Paula Kuitenbrouwer sells exquisite fine art cards of her drawings as well as reproductions, and of some drawings smaller business-, gift- or mummy-cards. See Purchase in the header for what is available as well as the price list. In case you like to commission Paula, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org