The first tiny seeds for this personal lifestyle blog were planted in the back of my head during my fiftieth birthday celebration.
Looking around and seeing my lovely female friends – between 35 and 62 – with each their own powerful and inspirational energy it became clear to me: Age Is Just a Number.
How to celebrate your 50th birthday?
That question kept me busy while in the midst of the take-over process of my luxury online platform Designer-Vintage. I wanted to do something special – duh – but didn’t feel like a big party. Big parties are great but in the end you didn’t talk to anyone. I wanted something smaller, more intimate. Spoil my friends and really make time for them.
I found the perfect venue for what I had in mind: country estate Duin- en Kruidberg in Santpoort, close to the sea. A former mansion dated from 1682 with a private dining room, stylish hotel rooms and a huge park along the dunes and the sea. Did I mention the restaurant has a * Michelin star? It ticked all the boxes for a 24 hour celebration…
December, 7 in 2013 at 14.00 o’clock
We gathered in the early afternoon, ready for a walk in the park and dunes. It was pretty cold but sunny (I was secretly hoping for a pile of snow, like on my b’days when I was little. Back in the sixties, yes).
This walk was an easy way to get acquainted, since not everybody knew each other. Of course we lost our way and were lucky to be back at the mansion before dark.
To enjoy tea at the fireplace before retreating to our rooms for a change of wardrobe. From sturdy gear dressing up in high heels and LBD’s for dinner. But not before a toast with Champagne. An important characteristic of the change of outfit was a pile of Chanel bags (photo below), your typical sign of aging well.
Private Dining room
The rest of the guests were lucky that we had a private dining room, 13 women and none of them shy for words can make some noise. Although some were new to each other, something special happened. We connected, we bonded and celebrated life together. We all have our life experiences, went from highs to lows and back, one of the inevitable things of aging.
But most of all, we were strong enough as a group to support my dear friend Caroline who lost her 24-year-old son Dennis in a car accident, only three weeks before. We cried and we laughed and all was good.
The 9 course dinner wíth wine package was delicious, as were the sweet words from my friends. I felt (and feel) blessed with these gals. Did I mention how good it was for everybody that we had a private dining room?
The next morning
Yes, most of us ended up in the hotel bar after dinner. We did some late night confessions, I don’t remember too much from this – it was the wine talking.
After breakfast and a strong cup of coffee – herbal tea for me – we each went our separate ways. But not after a second round of hugging. The first day of my next chapter couldn’t be better, let Chapter Fifty begin. I’m so looking forward!
An old proverb says that pictures say more than a thousand words: