When you visit a friend in North Brabant province, it’s customary to enter through the back door. As Michel Deneef, owner of this former rectory in Tilburg, says, ‘Only strangers would use the front door, and we want our guests to feel at home.’ Fortunately, the back view of this four-bedroom B&B is particularly lovely, with its waterfront terrace, sunny garden restaurant and long communal dining table on the porch.
This is a place where everyday worries cease to exist, where guests kick back and savour the laidback vibe and locals pop in for a drink or delicious prawn croquettes, the most popular dish on the menu. The bedrooms are all different: romantic Bad & Boek (Bath & Book) has a private terrace, a bed with views to the Piushaven and a freestanding bathtub; Blad & Borduur (Leaves & Embroidery) has an embroidered rose above the master bed (the room sleeps five), a reference to Tilburg’s position as the Netherlands’ City of Textiles. Explore the surrounding neighbourhood on foot, or take the villa’s boat. The nearby Textiel Museum hosts quirky exhibitions, such as Picasso’s little-known works with fabrics.
Hoevenseweg 2 (+31 13 211 9040; www.villapastorie.nl)