If Rotterdam is Manhattan on the Maas (a name it often gets called), then the Kralingse Bos is its Central Park and, with a little stretch of the imagination, the Kralingse Plas is the famous New York park’s rowing lake.
De Tuin van de Vier Windstreken, shortened by Rotterdammers to De Tuin, is one of the best locations to sit and admire the city’s skyline with a glass of wine or beer in hand. With its 600 square metre terrace and seating for at least 300 guests, it’s a real hotspot.
Located at the park’s edge and overlooking the lake, the café-restaurant is housed in a stately mansion flanked by two historic windmills known as the Lily and the Star. Built in 1796 for the manufacture of snuff and spices, it’s these two windmills that formed the foundation for De Tuin, which was built between them in 1867 by the windmills’ business-savvy owners to serve as a director’s house.
The restaurant side of things started up about 1930, when a new owner started selling refreshments to ladies and gentlemen passing by on their horses. A conservatory was added after World War II and there have further changes since, such as the outdoor terrace and sea-container bar area and the 50-metre pier that begins at the restaurant’s entranceway and stretches out into the lake. A large renovation inside is now also complete, giving the brasserie a new bar and industrial look.
Whether for lunch, brunch, a drink, dinner or high tea, De Tuin is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind as boats from the De Lelie Sailing School gently glide by.