The location: Castle De Haar. The dresscode: Tenue de Ville with hat. The occassion: the first herring catch of the year… Yes, I attended this oldest dutch networking event, as I was invited by a customer of ours.
The typical dutch tradition of eating herring… I always find it somewhat funny, that foreigners cannot imagine eating raw fish like that. Well… ever had Sashimi? Yes, I happen to love herring. So this was a true treat. The “54e Nationale Haringpartij” had ten fishmongers representing their location, and were judged on originality in representing the herring. So, we tried herring on ryebread, herring sushi, herring salad, herring soup… I was actually quite glad there also was some paella as well. I was too late for the Oysters though, bummer… Schuitemaker Vis, from Katwijk, won the contest.
This was the 54th version of the event, a true society and closed networking event. As I got the invitation one day before (great planning..) I had to quickly origanise a hat. (Yay! A hat event!) I wasn’t home, so my best friend went clothes shopping in my closet for me and lend me her hat. So, tenue de ville it was. I actually still felt a bit underdressed with these ladies who wore the most beautiful creations. Really lovely to see. And next to the ladies, there were loads of society celebrities as well… Marijke Helwegen, Andre Kuijpers, Gerda Havertong, Ans Marcus, Mr. Van Vollenhoven, and serveral politicians.
Yes, networking. I have to admit, my networking skills are a bit rusty. It’s been a while. And then, you’re at a party where the average age is 60+;) Okay, compliments on the hats worked well. But note to self: refresh networking skills! I walked into another customer of ours, who actually has a multi-cultural networking group (note to self II: get well-connected with people with networks). He told me there was quite some work to do for him, getting this closed invitee-only network event a more diversified audience. Considering the hats, the average age and the average society women, yes – I agree. Although, maybe this is just a thing that should stay well-conserved as it is. Just for the fun experience:)
Kasteel De Haar
The venue where the event was at, Castle De Haar, I’d never been to before. But how incredibly beautiful! I never knew we had a castle like that in the centre of Holland. I actually drive close by almost every day! Lovely location for such an event. So, I have to add this to my weekend to-do list: getting a tour through the castle. This time, I only saw it from a distance, as the event was in the garden. But I noticed on their website that there are lovely tours.
So, no Royal Ascott this year – but the 54e Nationale Haringpartij was a nice runner-up!