Distance: 9 km
Existing paths: partly on Amsterdamse Ommegang, partly on Noord-Holland Pad
Gastronomy: fabulous high-end farm store (note opening days/times)
Bail-out option: from Lindenhoff: Connexxion bus route 120 runs between Abcoude and Utrecht Central, passing through Baambrugge (stop is “Postwijk”)
This short walk features pleasant countryside, wetlands and spectacular food, but perhaps its most stunning attribute is the fact that it’s just, and we mean just, south of the Amsterdam city limits. It’s a perfect jaunt if you are already in or near Amsterdam and want to get out of the city for a day (or even just a few hours). Although it’s largely on paved roads, you can still get some quiet while staying surprisingly close to one of Europe’s most densely populated areas.
The destination is the culinary farm store Lindenhoff (or as its retail aspect is known, Lindenhoff Marché). The starting point is the charming village of Abcoude, easily accessible by train from Amsterdam or Utrecht. Your round trip could take just two or three hours out of your day, depending on how much you want to eat.
Your route to Lindenhoff follows the dike along the Angstel (no, not the Amstel, which is just down the pike; why they chose this name is beyond us too) and through the village of Baambrugge. This pleasant little rivers are home to many water birds. You’ll see some charming farmhouses and a windmill up close (unfortunately, it can’t be visited), and with any luck, a lot of happy livestock out living life to the fullest. The walk to Baambrugge is an easy way to experience the quintessentially Dutch feeling of being on top of the world while only a meter above all the land in sight.
The shop offers fabulous things from which you can make a picnic on the spot or assemble your evening meal. They’ll take a Dutch ATM card (‘pinpas’), and they have a clean restroom for customers, and tables to sit and eat the goodies you’ve bought.
Take the train to Abcoude. Exit the station and
* Turn L (You’ll notice you’re on the Noord-Holland pad), 300 m to
* Bijdorplaan, Stay L (as main road swings R), 200 m
* Kerkstraat. Turn R, 500 m
*At the second church, turn L onto Hoogstraat, (crossing the two bridges) 200 m
* Koppeldijk turn L, 400 m
* at Winkeldijk follow bend to R, 500 m
*After passing a house named “Land-lust” on the R, turn L at next fork (sign Baambrugge 3 km; bench), follow the dike for 3 km, entering the village of Baambrugge.
*At the church, turn L on Brugstraat, 50 m
*Cross the bridge, then turn L, following the water on Zand-en Jaagpad; you’re no longer on the Noord-Holland Pad (you could cut off some distance by walking along the main road here, but it’s not as pleasant), 700 m
* at the main road, Rijksstraatweg, (café “de Punt”), turn L, 800 m
* Just past a building on the right with a sign “Piet Jonker”, you’ll see the driveway to Lindenhoff (Piet Jonker has the original manor house with the Lindenhoff name over the door, but it’s not what you want). Turn right. You may notice a pig or two in the grass. These are the locally famous Baambrugse biggen. Keep going and you’ll see activity in about 100 meters.
This is the Lindenhoff Marché,. Ben te Voortwis raises Gasconne beef cattle and pigs on the farm and sells them in what was the coach house of a lusthof, or pleasure garden (forget the dancing girls though, we’re talking Calvinist merchants). He began it as a hobby in 1974 but quickly caught the bug and in 1989 he and his wife Ria decided to go pro. Their sons have since joined the firm, and they own additional land in France on which they raise livestock and grow vegetables.
Lindenhoff’s core business is selling top-quality meat, cheese, produce and wine to restaurants. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, they’re open to the public – lucky you! – as ‘Lindenhoff Marché’. There are a couple of picnic tables so you can sit outside and eat what you’ve bought, and they’re often cooking something and giving out free samples. The selection is extensive but they tend not to have ready–made desserts. But you may find that a piece of amazing fruit or the perfect medjool date hits the spot. They also serve fresh coffee. You can get wonderful breads, cheeses (all raw-milk, mostly imported), aged meats and charcuterie, Poulet de Bresse, fruits and vegetables (entailing as little hothouse cultivation as possible, mostly imported from France/Italy). Since their selection varies with the seasons and the whims of their producers, we can’t say precisely what you’ll find; you’ll just have to take our word for it that it’s stellar. Lindenhoff supplies many of Holland’s and even Belgium’s better restaurants, so they must be doing something right.
Shopping at Lindenhoff Marché is a delight. The cheese-counter staff are especially helpful, and there are usually several things to sample. Most of their wine selection can be tasted too. Such beautiful produce is a feast for the eyes, and it’s almost too much that you get to eat it too!
Rijksstraatweg 9c, Baambrugge
Tel. +31(0)294 29 12 72
open Th, Fri 9:30-5:30
Saturday 9:30 – 4:30
Bail-out option: the bus 120 goes between the center of Abcoude and Utrecht Central Station on Rijksstraatweg. To go to Abcoude, turn right and the stop, called “Manege” is on the Lindenhoff side of the road; to Utrecht, turn left to the “Postwijk” stop (check www.9292ov for times).
When you’re ready to continue, leave Lindenhoff and
* turn right onto Rijksstraatweg, 300 m
*At house no. 1 (“Beek en Geyn”), turn L onto a path along the water (past windmill), 1.8 km
*At the T intersection, turn L on Molenweg 800 m
This will take you back into Abcoude. You’ll pass the old fort (Fort Abcoude), now a nature preserve which harbours several species of birds including the rare kingfisher, and two species of bats. It’s open the second Saturday of the month from May to September, and on Open Monument Day, but you’re required to take the tour (phone (035) 655 99 55 for tour information).
*At the old bridge, turn right onto Hoogstraat 200 m
* Kerkstraat, turn R. If returning to the station, stay on Kerkstraat until you come to Bijdorplaan and turn left. This will take you back to Abcoude station.
Bonus foodie element:
Klein en Klein – Abcoude
If you’re not going home with your groceries, you might wish to dine out in Abcoude. Klein en Klein is the most interesting option, though not cheap. Organic ingredients are used ‘where possible’, and they further the argument in favour of local products; you will recognise several items on the menu from the farms visited earlier in the day. The Baambrugse big, the suckling pig from Lindenhoff, is apparently becoming something of a porcine benchmark.
Restaurant Klein & Klein
1391 AA Abcoude
+31(0)294 282 100
Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am
Saturday from 3:00 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
We try to keep up to date, but inevitably there will be changes to route markings, signage, restaurant/shop opening times and even existences that we will miss. It’s always good to check websites or phone before you set off.
Anne Hodgkinson Mitchell Sandler