To our environmental enthusiasts who enjoy spending their holidays surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature, we’ve found the perfect spot for you! op Oost, located on the bird-rich Wadden Island Texel, has figured out exactly how to put nature first.
op Oost is an authentic Texel farmhouse and weed barn that has been renovated into a gorgeous boutique hotel. Its twelve suites are decorated in a modern and simplistic style and guarantee an incredible view of either their edible garden, the village of Oost, or the Waddendijk. When you arrive you are immediately dazzled by their wide-open terrace, the restaurant in what looks to be a greenhouse, and floral garden.
Texel is one of the Netherlands’ islands located off the coast of North Holland. So getting there is an adventure all on its own. Although some islands don’t give access to cars, Texel is not one of them. It’s quite easy to drive on the ferry and get anywhere you need to go. Kiki and I, however, decided to take the public transportation route.
Although this seemed overwhelming at first, it turned out to be quite trouble-free! Because the Wadden Islands are incredibly popular for both locals and tourists to visit, it’s pretty straightforward getting to the ferry by train and bus. The busses and ferry are even scheduled to line up just right – so you don’t have to worry about waiting for your ride once you arrive. However, it is important to mention that if you are not going to a very popular spot, you need to contact the bus services ahead of time. You can do this online or by phone.
Our trip to Texel took place on April 27th, which just so happened to be Kings Day! For our non-Dutch readers, ‘Koningsdag,’ is the day where everyone in the Netherlands dresses up in orange and Holland attire to celebrate – you guessed it – the king! Why April 27th? Well, King Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand was actually born on this day 54 years ago. Furthermore, once he took the throne this became the new date of this national holiday. It was so fun to put on our tiny hats and join the sea of orange as we journeyed out to our staycation.
The outside of op Oost definitely stays true to that authentic farmhouse feel. It is surrounded by gorgeous greenery, healthy farm animals, and plenty of space! Believe it or not, space is a luxury that is often hard to find in The Netherlands, so when you do, you relish in it. Walking around the grounds, I noticed many people tending to the edible garden. It became evident to me that the owners and staff take their motto – nature first – very seriously!
Between their farm house and weed barn, op Oost offers twelve luxury lodgings. Each range in size and capacity so you can easily find what suite suits you! 😉 We found ourselves in the Farm Loft. We were stunned by the exposed wooden beams, split level rooms, and 360 view of the village of Oost to the Wadden Sea dike!
When we entered our room we first saw the oak bar and wide windows that had a view over the meadows to Waddenzee dike. The decorations were simplistic yet stunning. We couldn’t get enough! We also found a spacious walk-in shower that was not only gigantic, but beautiful. The toilet was of course separate.
Up the stairs is the dining area, with a mini fridge and coffee maker, a plush couch and comfy bed. The bed itself comes from a well-known eco-friendly brand called, COCO-MAT. Their source of inspiration is: nature itself. Which I found strikingly similar to op Oost’s motto, nature first. Furthermore, it makes perfect sense why the owners of this boutique hotel would choose brands like these to decorate their rooms. Their dedication for nature doesn’t stop at the garden, it’s also evident in the details of their decor.
op Oost offers a variety of educational experiences ranging from foraging to learning about making kombucha to wine pairing. Although we wish we could have done them all, we opted to take to the Wadden sea and go oyster picking! The sea is only 150 meters from the hotel, so we met with our friendly guide and journeyed out by foot.
We made it to an empty spot and were taught the best way to spot a good oyster. It was quite easy with the low tide, they literally are scattered all over the beach. Once we got the hang of opening them, you can actually eat them directly from the sea. These were literally the freshest oysters I had ever tried – so delicious.
Our reward for a good days work of oystering? Vuurzee bier – an exclusive bubbly cold champagne beer. And when I say champagne, I mean it. De Goede & De Stout Brewery uses yeast from the actual famous French region of Reims. How cool is that! It was the perfect way to cheers to our hard-work.
This gastrofarm doesn’t only focus on edible foods. They also have an adorable flock of chickens and, my personal favorite, peacocks! While we were enjoying drinks and more (!) oysters in the garden, we spotted these beautiful birds. I had seen a few at zoos in the past, but none put on quite the show as this fella’. He stretched out his feathers and pranced around the garden – it was a true show stopper! All of the guests gathered around to enjoy his beauty. When you visit, you must take the time to catch a glimpse of this gorgeous animal.
Well known for their incredible raw cooking styles combined with fine dining, we were really looking forward to eating anything that came out of the restaurant! We planned on foraging in their edible garden to help find ingredients for our dinner, but alas, we had bad luck with timing.
Not only did we visit on Kings Day, but it was also the day before terraces were allowed to reopen. This news was given pretty last minute, so the staff and kitchen’s focus turned to getting the restaurant and terrace ready to open the next day. Unfortunately for us, that meant our adventures with chef Joram and his Nordic twist with breading, foraging, and conserving, no longer could take place. We are looking forward to returning so we can get this experience.
We did, however, get a delicious breakfast which was very traditional in the dutch sense, with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, and boiled eggs.
Our escape to Texel was everything we could have asked for. We were able to dip our feet in the ocean and spend time in nature all while sleeping in a luxury gastrofarm boutique hotel.
→ This article was written in collaboration with op Oost. We got to stay here for free, in exchange for content. Of course you can read our own opinion here!