Gwen van Lammeren is over-fifty-woman no. 25 who shares her life and style in our Portraits series. She lives in Amsterdam but was born in 1963 in Arnhem. This oldest of three daughters followed her father’s foot steps in choosing the hotel business for her career path. Starting with the Hotel Management School in The Hague.
Gwen’s career change came after working in the UK, USA and the Netherlands at several luxury hotel chains such as Ritz Carlton and Landgoed Lauswolt for 15 years. In short: after 15 hectic years. She starts her own business: personal coaching on work related subjects in the niche of hospitality.
But not only that, parallel to coaching Gwen also finished her training as beautician. Combining both practices is where her work experience and holistic approach of a healthy mind and healthy body meet.
Being a divorced mother of two, Cécile of 15 and Anton of 13 years, she plans her work life around their (school) schedule. She loves spending time with them on the golf course, her sailing boat in Durgerdam and family vacations at Club Med in France.
The upside of co-parenting is when the kids are at their fathers, Gwen leads her ‘single’ life and joins different groups of friends. With one she goes to the Concert hall, and with another – the ‘MuClu’ (Museum Club) – they visit musea and galleries in Amsterdam by bike. And let’s not forget the weekly rowing club at De Hoop along the Amstel River.
Her open personality reflects her life philosophy. Getting as much out of life as possible, meeting inspiring people, read interesting books, listen to beautiful music, taste good food and be with her loved ones as often as she can.
How do you feel about being over fifty?
Actually it doesn’t feel that different then let’s say the last 20 years. Unless we’re talking about the time before thirty when the body would recuperate a little faster after a night out. Other then that, I still feel as energetic as always. hat helps is that I am blessed with good genes from both sides!
My mother, now 77 years old, looks at least ten years younger and my grandmother from my father’s side became 100 years old, still sound and every inch a lady untill the end. So in that respect I am just starting the second half of my life!
Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
I loved being 26, living in the fast lane of life, job wise, men wise, no kids and not to many responsibilities. Although it was great and I enjoyed that period to the fullest, I wouldn’t want to go back. Because that also means back to the insecurities, the broken hearts I suffered, and caused.
I am very happy with my two children and the diversity of my jobs and friends.
What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions in time, money, people or whatever.
I would like to start my ideal day in Amsterdam. After a very early sunrise rowing trip with friends and jump back into bed. Where a five star hotel breakfast is served which I enjoy with every (national and international) newspaper available assorted around me. This will take almost all morning and I have to rush to make it to my body shape class given by Conchita of Core Active. After this hour of exercise I meet some friends at Frank’s Smoke House – a father and son restaurant – for a culinary home smoked lunch.
In the afternoon a play a round of golf in Algarve at San Lorenzo. This beautiful course is close to the sea which provides a nice breeze since it is a warm and sunny afternoon.
After that I meet the children at our boat and we sail of around the small island of Pampus, close to Amsterdam. When we arrive home there’s a huge delivery with all kinds of goodies from De Leeuw, my favourite butcher and deli in Amsterdam. I used to assist in them during X-mas time, loved it. So, my ideal day end at home with a family dinner with the best Wagyu beef ever.
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
My divorce 9 years ago, when the children where 3 and 5 years old. In the end it turned out all for the best. We have a smooth co-parenthood now, which I really appreciate very much. The four of us go skiing in Verbier every Winter and in Summer we spend a week in the Provence. We both put in effort to keep the family together.
What is your golden beauty trick or favourite product?
Well, it will be no surprise that since I am a beautician working with EmerginC, that my routine consists of EmerginC products only. I really believe in this organic spa brand from Brooklyn.
Very important is to always clean your face. Even when you’re too tired, had too many white wine, G&T or whatever! There’s no excuse.
My favourite product is the vitamin C serum 20%, great to combat pigmentation concerns. This and the LPG massage
Which book and/or film and/or music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
This is not easy, there are so many! One of my favourite books is De Amerikaanse prinses van Annejet van der Zijl. She illustrates the strength of an extraordinary American socialite who became an influential international figure. And who also had a fascinating relationship with our royal Dutch family. I would have loved to live in that era and for her to be my friend!
One of the films like is ‘Jackie’, the intimate portrait of the first lady which starts after the assassination of her husband. Great acting by Nathalie Portman, beautiful pictures and costumes. A great way to see this part of our western history illustrated from her perspective.
Music is even harder, goes from Keb’Mo blues to Strauss: the Vier Letzte lieder, performed by Jessye Norman.
Who should we follow on Instagram?
- @reneearnoldedelstenen Dutch gemstone jewelry designer
- @emerginC organic skin care, Brooklyn rooftop garden pictures included
- @jimmy.nelson.official Dutch photographer who captures the faces of the world
- @fourseasons takes me back and gives me future dreams
- @dailalama he who aways smiles
What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?
- Destination : New York
- Hotel : the Canalhouse in Amsterdam, cozy luxury boutique hotel
- Museum : Frans Hals museum in Haarlem, golden age painters. Especially when the real flower arrangements match the still lifes!
- Restaurant : Bokkedoorns Restaurant in Overveen
What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table. And which childhood dish best represents the time and place of your youth?
From every trip to France I bring back Confit de Canard, Sautéed with crisp skin it is great with the Dutch dish of ‘stampot rauwe andijvie’ – raw endive.
When I think of youth, definitely the braai in Capetown South Africa, where we live when I was 2 to 6 years old. Lamb chops and roasted chicken. Also the image of passion fruits comes up. My mom gave my sister and me each a half which we eat with a tea while sitting on the sidewalk, while she finished running her errands.
Trivia time, make a choice and share your favourite brand:
- Nail polish or Lipstick?
Nail polish from OPI, big apple red, but on my toenails only. For my fingernails I only use nail hardener since professionally I need to keep my nails short and neutral. (btw, I always use the same lipstick: phyto lip twist from Sisley, nr 9 chestnut, a tinted balm that nourishes while giving a nice natural smile)
- Heals or Flats?
Sorry, both: from New Balance sneakers, to handmade boots from Sendra and heels from Sergio Rossi.
- Dress or Trousers?
Again both, depends on the occasion. I love my little black dresses from Juffrouw Jansen. This Dutch brand uses fabric where you can jump on your bike, without ruining it. Important since we Amsterdam ladies are used to bike from A to B and stay sytlish at the same time! My favourite jeans are from Closed.
- Coffee or Tea?
Both…, I drink about 3 large pots of tea a day, starting with Lipton english breakfast, via Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong in the afternoon and Love tea from Puka in the evening. Before 8 pm, won’t sleep if I drink tea or coffee after 8 pm. In the morning one or two cappuccino’s will do.
- Swimsuit or Bikini?
Bikini, from Seafolley, as long as I keep on rowing on the river Amstel and do about 80% of my journey’s in Amsterdam by bike, I dare to make this choice..:-)).
Follow Gwen van Lammeren on Instagram.
Fore more inspiring interviews, read our Portraits series.
Want to share your life and style in these series or recommend an inspiring friend over fifty? We love to hear from you. Please send us an email.