The National Maritime Museum creates a total experience with The Food Line-up

Unique Insights #5

Claire de Jonge, Events Account Manager at the National Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum), organised a total concept called “Table for 2” for the public. What has she learned from this partnership with The Food Line-up during the corona crisis in our Covid-secure society?

“During the lockdown, we gathered the museum departments together for a brainstorming session. We decided to focus on coming up with interesting concepts for private individuals because the corporate market had more or less ground to a halt,” says De Jonge. “Our 900m2 Open Courtyard venue is suitable for numerous concepts incorporating 1.5 metre social distancing. Brainstorm suggestions included dating in the courtyard, movie nights and lie down concerts. Another idea was to create pop-up restaurants and one of the results of this was Table for Two!”

The event: Table for Two
“It pained catering company The Food Line-up to see so many wonderful venues in Amsterdam empty during the lockdown. This led them to come up with the idea of organising pop-up restaurants at iconic locations in the city, tailor-made to each individual location,” explains Claire. “Representing the Maritime Museum, I got in touch with them and ultimately we put together this dinner for 120 guests.”

Water and culinary culture
“The menu was inspired by photo journalist Kadir van Lohuizen’s exhibition ‘Rising Tide’, in which he portrays rising sea levels around the world and in the Netherlands,” says De Jonge. “Chef Arnout van der Kolk and his team from ‘Restaurant C’ put together a special five-course dinner called ‘Ode to the Sea’, focusing on the age-old connection between Dutch culinary culture and water. For example, oysters from Lake Grevelingen, a bisque made from lobster and shellfish ‘offal’, seaweed from the Wadden Sea, potatoes from the Frisian coast and wines cultivated on the briny Zeeland soil. To complete the concept, guests were able to view the exhibition themselves before sitting down to eat, which created a total experience.”

Hang in there
“The organisation went smoothly and we prepared well,” says Claire. “We officially notified the municipality about Table for Two. At that time, the measures were not entirely clear yet. We were ready to welcome the ‘boas’ (municipal Covid Marshalls), as we’d prepared properly, but they didn’t show up. Since then, we’ve managed to stage events without too many obstacles, we constantly keep abreast of the changing measures and fortunately we have enough space to host parties of various sizes. We look forward to being able to organise large-scale events again, but we’re not holding our breath. So, my message to colleagues in our branch is: Hang in there. Good times will eventually return!”

Golden ticket
It’s Claire’s turn to pass on the golden ticket. Which unique venue in Amsterdam does she want to ask how they have organised their events in the shadow of corona? “The Kromhouthal organises online events with their Kromhout Studio. So I’m keen to hear how they’ve been managing under the current circumstances.”

The National Maritime Museum creates a total experience with The Food Line-up