Spending our Bongo in Schoorl

August 19, 2009

We not only got a “hat box” full of delicious chocolate from Hendrik and Magda (please refer to my post Hendrik & Magda of the 20th of July) but also a “Bongo” for a dinner in a one-star restaurant. I left it up to my wife Monling to pick the restaurant. She selected hotel-restaurant Merlet in Schoorl because it is near to the sea (according to the brochure the daily fresh fish is either caught from the beach or from the fish-auction in Den Helder a few kilometers North). And above all it has also a few rooms for guests who don’t want to drive home at night.

De Rijp
A beautiful village called "De Rijp"
So the day before yesterday (Monday) she took me via Graft-De Rijp (a beautiful small town, birthplace of the famous Leeghwater, see picture above) to Schoorl. De Rijp used to be the centre of whale hunting and was the birthplace of Leeghwater, the Dutch hero responsible for creating “new land” (our famous ‘Polders’). We walked the ‘main’ street but it as was blocked somewhere we decided to have lunch and a drink. After that Monling drove us to Schoorl.


The reception of Hotel-Restaurant Merlet

The reception of Hotel-Restaurant Merlet

We checked in, went to our room and unpacked, had a bit of a rest (I sat on a tiny balcony) and then walked up onto the top of the “klimduin”, a steep hill of sand. We walked until we could see the sea far in the distance so we walked back via another route.
The tiny balcony of Hotel Merlet

The tiny balcony of Hotel Merlet

Klimduin in Schoorl

One star dinner
Dinner was great. Monling had the fish menu and I had the vegetarian menu. It was more than delicious and the perfect view over the country side was certainly a bonus! Comprising five full courses it was definitely worth the value of the Bongo. Below you find pictures for some of the courses, for the remaining courses it was too dark to take pictures (even with flash).

Restaurant Merlet's one star dinner

Restaurant Merlet's one star dinner

I had seen a waiter pushing a long cart with many kinds of cheese on it. I asked if I could change my desert for a cheese platter and that proved to be possible. And what did I see? The square reddish cheese called Maroille (refer to my post called “Day one: trip to France” of the 23rd of July) we (Marcus and I) were all the time looking for. What a coincidence!

Checking Out
The next day we walked through the centre of Schoorl, bought a few postcards and Monling made the beautiful pictures you can see in this post. Hendrik and Magda, you have given us such great and original gifts! Thank you very much the both of you!



  1. What a super time you had and the last photo is just lovely.
    Tell me, what is a Bong? I’m guessing it’s some type of gift voucher ~ am I right? That word does not exist in English ~ or at least BONG is the sound a bell makes when it tolls. LOL! So I am intrigued.

  2. Sorry, I see it was BONGO ~ and there is no translation at all for that word!

  3. Hei man… what is a Bongo?
    I hope something good for you!!!

    • The word itself means nothing, also not in the Dutch language. It’s a combination of the ‘bon’ (Dutch for voucher) and the English words ‘to go’. In fact it is just a gift voucher for a certain amount (that you have to pay upfront) that you then can give to someone whom at any time can spend the full amount. The Bongo is normally for a specific purpose. In our case for a dinner in a one star restaurant. The Bongo is normally beautifully packed. Ours came in a square little red box with a catalogue with a description of all one star restaurants in Holland and Belgium in it!

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