Cafè Voltaire

Cafè Voltaire
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Entering the Cafè Voltaire, in Stoofstraat 6 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the birthplace of one of the greatest painters of the northern Renaissance Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), is like entering parallel world, unusually welcoming and warm, considering that we are in Holland. It is almost like being in the private kitchen of someone who wanted to preserve for himself a safe spot from the world. Among biscuits, barbies, cups and plates to be  washed, architecture magazines, books and newspapers are abundant. The owner, Ms Ria Schouten, in her fifties, actually tries really hard to keep her Cafè “à la pàge”: the collection of sets for coffee and tea, and the furniture from the 1950s and ‘60s, gives this place a pretty retrò style. Ria is also proud of her co-activity as contemporary art dealer, and the magazines spread around the Cafè show her good taste, and together with the books which guests may borrow, give the Cafè Voltaire a dandy and intellectual atmpshere.

In this little town in the  southern Netherlands, some 80 km south of Amsterdam, in a church, there is a permanent Bosch exhibition. His characters are threedimentionally reproducted: walking along the church you happen to pass under and beside them. You can admire Bosch’s incredible paintings in the five floors of the tower of the church.

The Cafè Voltaire’s owner  used to work in a hospital is now really into her activity, earning half as much money but finally being happy. Coffee and food honour her noble choice. Segafredo coffee, prepared with love, is a delicacy in a country which really doesn’t have the tradition of good coffee. Sandwiches, soups and other hot meals are also served, “but only my taste: if people don’t like, they can go somewhere else!”, remarks Ria. There is also an excellent variety of biological cheese. Prices are affordable, and students are always better treated, as the bill results to be few euro cheaper.

Maya Turolla

Cafè Voltaire [Link]

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