Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours
photography & words by KARIEN ANNE
"...let your mind wander"

This mid-weekend is all about wellness and unwind, and Zuid-Limburg is the perfect place to escape from everyday’s stress, to let your mind wander and be pampered in one of the numerous wellness centres, day spas and hotels! Even the big city, Maastricht, felt different on this mid-weekend — with more space and tranquillity, with the emphasis on additional service and personal attention.

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Château St. Gerlach
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Château St. Gerlach

12.00 Guided tour in and around Château St. Gerlach
Joseph Corneli Allee 1, Houthem St. Gerlach
We started our mid-weekend at the eminent Château St. Gerlach, located on the edge of the Ingendael nature reserve, just a short drive from Maastricht city centre. We got a tour in the château and around the hotel’s extensive grounds include the original estate farmhouse, convent and grain lofts.

We have seen Restaurant Château St. Gerlach, which has a rich story; even the bullet hole in the mirror was visible after so many years! In the château’s last aristocratic resident, Baron de Selys de Fanson, you can find their cosy and homely Bistrot de Liège.

After walking through the building, we went to the 18th century, frescoed St. Gerlachus Church and walked along their lovely herbal, fruit and rose gardens. Château St. Gerlach even offers its products made out of the freshest ingredients grown onsite in the flourishing orchards, gardens, herb beds and vineyard!

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Château St. Gerlach
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Château St. Gerlach
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Château St. Gerlach
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Château St. Gerlach

13.00 Lunch in Burgemeester Quicx, Coffee & More
Joseph Corneli Allee 1, Houthem St. Gerlach
After the guided tour in and around the beautiful château and gardens, we went to have lunch at Burgemeester Quicx. This new coffee- and lunch concept is located in the living area of the castle and was once the residence of Burgemeester Quicx, Mayor of Houthem (1820-1856).

The restored interiors with the original wooden beams and centuries-old marlstone walls combined with the leather seating and galvanised steel chairs create a cosy living-room vibe and authentic atmosphere! I got a delicious vegan plate with their artisanal bread, sour salad and veggie juice alongside my mint tea. The sun shining in the lovely courtyard, gave us the real feeling of unwinding (abroad) — even though we were still in the Netherlands.

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Burgemeester Quicx
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Burgemeester Quicx

14.15 Spa & Wellness St. Gerlach with Sothys facial
Joseph Corneli Allee 1, Houthem St. Gerlach
After our delicious lunch, we had a facial treatment in their Spa and Wellness, which is built beneath the vaulted arches of the estate’s ancient cellar. Walking to their unique basements and through the small, Roman style corridors, we arrived in the intimate and cosy treatment room.

The Sothys signature treatment I got is designed to boost and detoxify skin. It consists of cleansing, peeling, elimination of impurities, hair removal, a massage adapted to each zone of the face, mask and day cream. The delicious smells of all the creams, the interesting talks with the friendly beautician and just thinking about nothing — but searching for figures (like faces and hearts) into the ceiling — gave me the ultimate wellness feeling. My face felt so clean and soft afterwards, and the skin care advice was very useful!

Walking upstairs, we got into the Roman-style swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath, which truly pampered us. We totally relaxed in the Turkish bath, followed by a few swim laps in their swimming pool.

After the relaxing spa, we freely walked through their sunny, blossoming gardens and all the temporary sculptures before getting the taxi to the restaurant.

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Spa & Wellness
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Spa & Wellness

18.30 Diner at L’Appetito
Dorpstraat 26, St. Geertruid
The old stables, piggery, hay loft and hen in St. Geertruid are beautifully renovated with old furniture, wooden/ancient beams and yellow limestone walls. L'Appetito, an artisanal restaurant, serves delicious fresh pasta, the highly prized wood-fired pizzas and (ice)desserts. We got a vegan surprise menu including carrot soup, fresh pasta for the main course and delicious date cookies with mango ice-cream as dessert. I honestly had to get used to Burgundian large portions Limburg served and was super full and satisfied walking back to the taxi.

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Diner L’Appetito
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Diner L’Appetito

21.00 Staying at B&B HEI15
Heiweg 15, St. Geertruid
The artistic design bed and breakfast HEI15 lays in the rural area of Sint Geertruid — a short distance from Maastricht, Liège and Valkenburg. The friendly host and hostess (a passionated dairy farmer and interior architect) showed us the whole renovated farmhouse, where they have combined the rural character with contemporary architecture. The result refers to the authenticity of a rustic barn or stable but with today’s modernity and sustainability. Pure, durable materials and style choices ensure that urban and rural areas are merged with the preserved historical values of the farm.

We stayed in a deluxe double room with countryside views, which gave us the same calmness and relaxing feeling we had experienced during the whole day. Walking back to the kitchen, we even saw some fresh vegan brownies they made for us and drank a cup of tea. Sleeping on the soft box spring underneath a fluffy duvet made our day complete.

The next morning, we took a rain shower (with great water pressure) and walked downstairs where the breakfast was already served. Again, a delicious, Burgundian (vegan) meal was served with fresh ingredients. The fresh smoothie and delicious blueberry muffins made it all complete!

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - B&B HEI15
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - B&B HEI15
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - B&B HEI15
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours -B&B HEI15

11.00 Coffee/tea at KAFETHÉA
Mariastraat 6, Maastricht
The taxi brought us to a small alley, where the new coffee bar and vegan bakery is located. At KAFETHÉA you can enjoy fresh tea, coffee and vegetarian/vegan food. The interior design combines Nordic simplicity with a comfortable, cosy interior, to work or just relax. The wide range of vegan products arises from their belief in the well doing of plant-based living, and they want to show that it can be just as tasty (or even more delicious) than dairy based products.

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - KAFETHEA
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - KAFETHEA

12.30 Hidden places, secret spaces walk
Mariastraat 6, Maastricht
After our tea/coffee, we walked to the VVV, which is just around the corner, for the Hidden Places, Secret Spaces walk. We got a tour through the most atmospheric and surprising district of Maastricht, and the most undiscovered area. The theme of the tour was urban development: we saw the industrialisation, working class neighbourhoods, many monasteries, fortifications and so further.

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Hidden places, Secret spaces
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Hidden places, Secret spaces
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Hidden places, Secret spaces
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Hidden places, Secret spaces

15.00 Dominicanen Bookstore and shopping time(!)
Dominicanerkerkstraat 1, Maastricht
When in Maastricht, you have to take a visit to the Dominicanen Bookstore. Thousands of books are laying in the 700-year-old Dominican Church: "a bookstore made in heaven". Buy yourself a book or just drink a cup of coffee at this majestic location - and do not forget to take a look at the ancient frescoes on the ceilings!

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Hidden places, Secret spaces
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Hidden places, Secret spaces

18.00 Eetcafé Ceramique
Rechtstraat 78, Maastricht
We ended our mid-weekend at Eetcafé Ceramique, owned by a very passionated man. They offer an extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, most of it biological. The origin of the ingredients is notably relevant at Ceramique, and they focus on the "future" regarding sustainability. Smart energy solutions, local fair trade, vital water and fresh ingredients are the core of their pub. It is definitely worth to visit!

Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Eetcafe Ceramique
Karienanne.com | Zuid-Limburg and Maastricht in 36 hours - Eetcafe Ceramique

What I am wearing:
Beachlife bordeaux bikini top | Outfit 1: Ichi white blouse | Selected Femme leather jacket | Outfit 2: Opus blue blouse | Opus blue pants