Cheese Journeys – a bespoke culinary tour company – brings its signature mix of culture, craft, and luxury travel to cheese, chocolate and beer-aficionados as they spend eleven hedonistic days exploring and tasting the rich bounty of artisan and world-renowned products of Amsterdam and its environs, as well as Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp, September 24- October 4, 2020.
While travelers meet in the iconic capital of the Netherlands, the journey truly kicks off in the lush countryside north of Amsterdam at Beemster Dairy, where cows graze upon the nutrient-dense Beemster Polder – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – producing some of the finest milk in the world which Beemster Dairy uses to handcraft the most flavorful Goudas and other cheeses.
Guests will spend time with cheesemonger and affineur, Betty Koster of Fromagerie L’Amuse. Considered Holland’s ‘Julia Child of Cheese,’ Betty’s deep, long-established relations with Dutch farmers, cheesemakers and other affineurs give her – and Cheese Journeys! – access to the region’s most interesting, innovative cheeses, including Wilde Weide – which is based on a lake-island where only seven 25-pound wheels of cheese are handcrafted each day.
An educational evening of artisan beer and cheese pairings at the Jopenkerk Brewery will further one’s appreciation of award-winning, small-scale producers of Holland’s best blue, goat, and Gouda-style cheeses, while an afternoon at the beach with Koster explores the secret of matching cheese with tea – a surprising combination.
Time will be spent with the energetic Martijn Bos, owner of Boska Holland Cheese & Chocolate wares. This innovative family-run company has been crazy about cheese since 1896, making every tool needed for the cheese enthusiast and professional. Travelers will tour
Boska’s headquarters before partaking in an exclusive cheese & chocolate party showcasing Boska’s wares in use.
Cheese travel to the Netherlands would not be complete without a visit to the Alkmaar Cheese Market for the most Dutch of cheese experiences. This bustling market is filled with vendors and cheese-hauling carriers, upholding the tradition of weighing and selling local cheese for over 500 years.
Heading south to Belgium for the remainder of the tour, guests will spend time in the medieval city of Bruges. A UNESCO World Heritage City, Bruges overflows with history, including that of beer. De Halve Maan Brewery is the last brewery operating in the city’s center where travelers will enjoy a sip of Straffe Hendrik as well as an amazing meal in the brewery’s restaurant and gardens.
A day in Antwerp visiting some of Belgium’s top culinary trendsetters at De Konick- Antwerp City Brewery. We’ll enjoy a cheese tasting and lunch with the highly-regarded affineur Kaasaffineurs Van Tricht, taste sweets with chocolatier JITSK, and pair beer with charcuterie from the butcher De Laet & Van Haver. We’ll wrap up the day dining at the mouth-watering Michelin star restaurant The Butcher’s Son.
In the rolling hills of southeast Belgium we’ll take a deep-dive into the Trappist-style beer and cheese experience. Guests will enjoy exclusive, private tours of the Chimay brewery and creamery and learn of Chimay’s unique commitment to high-quality products, agriculture, sustainability, and caring for the future of their employees. Tour the beautiful Chimay Castle, currently home to the Prince of Chimay, a true lover of Chimay cheese! Experience fine Belgium chef-prepared meals featuring local recipes and ingredients…and of course cheese!
We conclude our tour in Brussels after a visit to one of our favorite Lambic-style beer producers. To ensure our guests have time for last-minute cheese, chocolate, and antique shopping, we’ll spend our last day exploring a very desirable and historic neighborhood of Brussels- Sablon, all before returning home.
This trip is co-hosted by Cheese Journeys founder and CEO, Anna Juhl, and Samantha Kane, CCP and cheese expert. Cheese Journeys is privileged to be hosted by Holland’s ultimate cheese experts: the makers and sales team from Beemster Dairy; Martijn Bos, owner of Boska Holland; and cheesemonger and affineur Betty Koster, owner of Fromagerie L’Amuse.
About Cheese Journeys:
Cheese Journeys was founded in 2013 to take food enthusiasts and professionals on custom tours designed to deepen their knowledge of artisan products, learn about customs and trends, and connect with producers and other food lovers during a relaxing and tasty adventure. These tours provide insider access to explore worlds that few culinary travelers discover on their own. Anna Juhl, founder and CEO of Cheese journeys, is a dedicated food professional and cheese enthusiast, offering a warm and personal style of hospitality which lies at the heart of Cheese Journeys, an ASTA member. For more information visit CheeseJourneys.com.