Residing in the Antwerp region for more than 50 years, we longed for a quieter lifestyle in a more natural environment. Our children were on the verge of leaving the family home, so it was time for us to make new plans.
In July 2010 we became the proud owners of this long front farmstead, built in the late 19thcentury. Renovations were needed, but this was a house with a soul. We wanted to make it lighter and airier with all of the mod cons while taking our environmental views and personal views into consideration. While some of the historical features were restoredwe conducted a full renovation. Now it is our stunning new home, and we have ample space for receiving guests.
We wanted a B&B with character. We came up with a name during an improvised picnic in the newly laid out garden. Of all things, it was candlelight, a BBQ, creative friends and some drinks were the ideal combination for developing a name! It had to start with the letter A and it had to be a playful name, so we opted for ‘Artikel 14’ or ‘Art.14’ in short, as 14 is our house number.
At that stage we hoped that the B&B would be ready by June 2014. At least, that is what we planned but things turned out differently! We plunged into a love affair with saffron (feel free to read about our adventures on belgischesaffraan.be) and the B&B was pushed to the background.
Meanwhile “The Belgian Saffron Farm” became known abroad and we received several awards. Thanks to the ‘HIB’ (Handmade in Belgium) we even supplied our product to the Royal Family on two different occasions! In other words, we had very little time to focus on the statutory building provisions with which a B&B must comply.
When we were asked to participate in the TV program ‘Met Vier in Bed’ (VTM), we knew that we would have a tight work schedule and deadline. The B&B had to be ready! That is why we are extremely pleased and proud to be able to receive guests today.
Our farmstead is somewhat tucked away, which is why people may have difficulty finding us but this also means that we have all the peace and quiet that we need. In the summer months, you are often treated to the songs of many native birds that migrate through the region. Stan, our dog (an older, medium-sized Schnauzer), guards the B&B with love and readily accepts scratches for his services.
Since saffron production is one of our main activities, you can also find this theme in our B&B. We can offer our guests a package of their choosing and a saffron cooking workshop.
You will definitely notice the environmentally friendly aspect in and around our B&B. Our premises are energy neutral thanks to photovoltaic solar panels, a geothermal heat pump and a solar-powered water heater. Fresh (bio) breads are baked in the spacious open-plan kitchen with an AGA stove. Eggs come from our Campine chickens, and we grow bio vegetables and fruit in our own vegetable garden. In addition, we work with local (bio) farmers and producers. For here, in the Kempen region, we enjoy a wide range of authentic and delicious products. Our wines come from Limburg winegrowers who guarantee high quality wines.
It would be our pleasure to give you addresses of top, local chefs cooking with our saffron. That way you will have the chance to enjoy the highest quality cuisine the region has to offer!
Marc & Linda