Fifty+, Portraits

Life & Style after Fifty Portrait: Danielle van Berkel

Featuring our Portraits series today is international commercial producer Danielle van Berkel.
Born in 1956, exchanging fifties for sixties later this year. And oh my, does she wear her age well.
Danielle is a foodie-avant-la-lettre and easily cooks a five course dinner for 20 friends. On top of that she is a Hermès carré scarves hoarder.
She lives together with her husband (married after living in sin for 25 years) in a stunning 5 storey house in Amsterdams city center. Which is actually for sale, next step is something smaller but not outside their beloved city center.

Chapter Fifty Danielle van Berkel Hermes scarve carres

How do you feel about being over fifty?
For me, 49 was much more difficult. I don’t like the ‘9’ numbers, the last years of a decade. As in 29, 39, 49 and now I’m 59. Looking back, Fifty was fine. Actually, it’s a good number! Things have settled, my mind is more at peace. That really is a nice feeling. Now you only have to make sure it doesn’t get boring.

Chapter Fifty Portraits Danielle Van Berkel Hans van Rijs

Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
I always think that I was at my best when I was 28. Far too much energy, stepping up the career ladder and totally in love with the person who now my husband. But going back? No way! I hold on to the memories, life is pretty good as it is now.

What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions.
Sun, sun and sun. These are the three main elements that make my day. Add food, a daily massage and a unique location in the mountains to that and my ideal day is complete. I love the mountains – summer or winter, I do think that I must have been ‘Heidi’ in a former life.

From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
Working abroad in Russia, Ukraine and Qatar made me stronger and made me realize that we live in one of the best countries in the world. What I’ve learned from working with different nationalities is to say yes or no at the right moment. Timing is everything, extremely important. But not only in work, these experiences help me to apply the same timing in my private life as well.

Chapter Fifty Portraits Danielle Van Berkel 2

Where are you 10 years from now or what’s on your wish/bucketlist?
In 10 years I’m almost reaching the big 7-0. Oh! My feeling is that in the next 10 years, while I’m still healthy and in good shape, I will work less – and only with people I really like – and travel more.
I do want to go back to Japan to see more or this wonderful country. My travel bucketlist is a never ending one. High on my list are Bhutan, Vancouver and going on safari.

What is your golden beauty trick or favorite product?
Apple Cider Vinegar followed by spinach/banana/coconut water/oatmeal smoothie in the morning for nurturing the inside and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength daily peel for the outside.  A smooth and beautiful skin in 2 minutes.

Which book/film/music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
There are plenty of books and this is a difficult one, but if I have to choose: ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ by John Irving. Written in 1989 and still high on my favorite list.

Who should we follow on Instagram?

  • @1stdibs instant tips and interior inspiration around the globe
  • @hudabeauty for extreme hair and make up tips that make me laugh out loud #roflol
  • @foodstories for the love of food
  • @inezandvinoodh Dutch photographers couple who work and live together
  • @nowness more than inspiring short films, wonderful

Danielle van Berkel Islamic arts Quatar Hotel Danieli Venice

What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?

  • Destination    : Japan
  • Hotel               : Hotel Danieli in Venice. Nomen est omen.
  • Museum         : Moma in New York and Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, stunning exterior
  • Restaurant     : Choux in Amsterdam

Chapter Fifty Portraits Danielle Van Berkel recipe Asperges

What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table.
I love food, traditions and to cook. I also find it important to cook with the season. One of our traditions in Spring is The Asparagus Dinner. Think long tables, lots of friends, food and wine. For the recipe of my signature dish – asparagus with new potatoes, wild salmon and hollandaise sauce – click here.

Trivia time, make a choice and share your favourite brand:

  • Nailpolish or Lipstick?
    Lipstick, I never ever leave home without Chanel Rouge Allure Passion no. 104
  • Heels or Flats?
    Heels, I really enjoy walking on heels.
  • Dress or Trousers
    Trousers, Jeans and jeans and jeans in all varieties and colors, mostly 7 for all mankind.
  • Coffee or Tea?
    Both, only
    1 cup of coffee per day and plenty of (herbal) tea. Home made with lemon, ginger and kurkuma.
  • Swimsuit or Bikini?
    Bikini, I do buy swimsuits but never wear them… Have to start this year I’m afraid.

Follow Danielle van Berkel on Instagram

Want to share your life and style in these series or recommend a friend between 50-60?
We love to hear from you at

Portraits Danielle van Berkel


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  • Reply Harriet Andriessen at

    Great article Danielle! I have known you for about 42 years now (I’m also sixty this year) and have seen you growing better and stronger with time – always a role model for me, how to live life to the full and enjoy it totally ;-), to go for what you want and to walk the talk about your values. Your beautiful looks are the reflection of that. Even if we don’t see each other often, I always feel connected and I’m very happy to be your friend, much love,

    • Reply Karin B. (52) at

      Thanks for your hearth warming words, Harriet. I will sure pass them on to Danielle. I couldn’t agree more!
      Have a lovely Sunday, grtz Karin

    • Reply Danielle van Berkel at

      Thx Jet! And yes, I’m blushing right now…X

  • Reply Monique Gerritsen at

    Yes. This is super woman Dani as I know her.
    And I desperately want to meet mister Dennis Gross.

  • Reply 8 timeless books for a long summer read - Chapter FiftyChapter Fifty at

    […] Danielle van Berkel: There are plenty of books I like and remember so this is a difficult question. If I have to choose one summer read then it ‘ll be ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ by John Irving. Written in 1989 and still high on my favorite list today. ‘If you care about something you have to protect it. If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.’ Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend’s mother. Owen doesn’t believe in accidents; he believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is both extraordinary and terrifying. […]

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