Afternoon tea at The Villa Augustus

The Villa Augustus is a hotel and restaurant located on the fringe of Dordrecht city centre. The buildings are beautifully set in a lush garden that runs all the way down to the water’s edge.

This is the building housing the restaurant & bakery
And this is the main building of the hotel.

The garden is just so nice and quiet. It still a bit early in the year this time around. Even so, some of the tulips are already showing off the brilliant colours.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should confess that the flowers were not the main reason for my visit. The Villa Augustus does a lovely afternoon tea.

First tier: canapés with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and pesto; and spinach quiche.
Second tier: polenta cake, carrot cake and chocolate cake.
Third tier: scones (without raisins) with real clotted cream and an unidentifiable but excellent jam.

The afternoon tea at the Villa Augustus is completely unpretentious and feels very comfortable. The staff are all very friendly and drop by regularly to top up my pot of tea. To drink I have a pot of their house blend of Early Grey tea, and it really is very good.

Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk gets its name from a legend dating back to the St. Elizabeth floods of 1421, in which a basket was swept ashore containing a small baby and a cat that had both remained unharmed. Today, Kinderdijk is a large open air museum close to the city of Dordrecht. It houses a series of restored windmills that were originally built as part of an elaborate water system aimed at managing and draining the wetlands.

Getting to Kinderdijk

From Rotterdam, Kinderdijk is only about 25 minutes by car. It is not possible to access the museum directly by car. So your GPS will likely navigate you to the visitor centre with its large car park. From there a shuttle bus runs to the actual museum every fifteen minutes. Or you could rent a bike and ride along the river. From the visitor centre it’s only about five kilometres by bike along a very scenic route.

Where to get your tickets

The visitor centre is also where you get your tickets to enter the Kinderdijk. Alternatively, you can also purchase your ticket and access to the parking online. The parking tickets includes the use of the shuttle or bike rental.

Review

I visited Kinderdijk at the end of April 2022, and althought there were quite a few people around, the place did not seem overly crowded. The bike ride was good fun. The place really is flat as a pancake, so you easily get by with just the one gear on the bike. Having a bike is also useful for getting around the museum, as it sprawls over quite a vast area. Other than that, it was a lovely day when I visited. The flatness of the Netherlands allows you glimpses of these really big skies that you rarely get in a place as hilly or mountainous as Switzerland.