Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

Hello everyone, it's Anke and I'm here today to share my once-monthly column about tabletop styling and food. I'm German, yet our annual family summer vacations in Holland for the past thirty-seven years (I'm only 40!) shaped me and my sense of style. I love the the laid-back, relaxed and joyful lifestyle of the Dutch and whenever opportunity arises to visit Amsterdam I use it! For March, I've created an Amsterdam-inspired tabletop idea to inspire you for spring.

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I just returned from the city of canals and bridges with my dear friend Dunja last month and though spring seemed far away at that time we still enjoyed strolling through the streets and tiny alleys for hours. The beautiful canal houses are one of the most typical symbols of the city, so I started to search the web for a DIY everyone can implement without spending much money to their tabletop to bring in a little Dutch charm.

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I ended up finding a Dutch Canal House Luminaries DIY at Kate's Creative Space. All you have to do is to print the templates and cut out the houses/ windows. Lucky for me, cutting out the small windows a little inaccurate gave my houses an even more charming look! Haha! Happy accidents are nice, aren't they?

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The perfectionists amongst you can also glue transparent paper behind the windows which looks wonderful when you are planning to illuminate them with candles in a jar. You can also use craft knife and self-healing mat.

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There is no Dutch-themed table decoration without tulips, agree? In our local flower shops we are experiencing tulip high season right now and one can draw from the full range. I picked different shaped tulips in rich shades of pink and red and placed them in my vases from Lyngby Porcelæn.

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Furthermore a little treat in the form of Chocolate and Beet Brownies with a cream cheese topping and cute canal house biscuits for ornament went on the table for my afternoon coffee gathering. You will find the brownie recipe at La Tartine Gourmande.

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The pretty chocolate bars you see on one of my images are from PLUK Amsterdam, definitely one of the most popular locations for breakfast, lunch, coffee&cake and decoration shopping in Amsterdam currently! They also run an online shop in the meantime. Their chocolate, postcards and candles are the perfect souvenirs! The bars are the perfect hostess gift to your guests.

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Have a beautiful time welcoming spring... soak up sun, light and colors! I am looking forward to see you again with a new column posting in April everyone! Tot ziens & veel liefs!

(styling, text and photography: anke illner)