Laren is vibrant! After you have visited the Laren Singer Museum or have 'shopped till you dropped', you can relax and enjoy one of the many outdoor cafes or have a meal in one of the restaurants, all within walking distance of your B&B. Laren seems to have invented 'The Good Life'.
Laren used to be a poor farming village with a small-scale weaving industry until by the end of the 19th century it was discovered by artists. Painters like Anton Mauve, Jan Sluijters en Jozef Israels took up residence in Laren and founded the 'Larensche School'. The once so poor village started to flourish.
Laren is situated in the centre of the beautiful area 't Gooi. This unique Nature Reserve is characterized by the hills of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and green pastures in the North. Getting to Amsterdam or Utrecht from Laren is very convenient. Both cities are just a 30 minutes drive away. You'll reach nearby Hilversum in 10 minutes.
LAREN IN THE OLD DAYS
The rather poor village of Laren was situated on the sandy soils of 't Gooi. The local population lived from agriculture and weaving until, by the end of the 19th century, the picturesque village was dicovered by artists. Painters such as Anton Mauve, Jan Sluijters, Jozef Israëls and Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig took up residence in Laren and together founded the 'Larensche School'. In the centre of the village art dealer Hamdorff opened the Hamdorff Hotel which was soon to become the central meeting point of artistic life in Laren.
In 1911 the picturesque and idyllic character of the village attracted the American couple Anna and William Singer. They decided to settle in Laren. Both were frantic art collectors and in 1954 they founded the Laren Singer Museum. At a later stage the museum was expanded to include a concert hall.
Nowadays Laren is no longer only known for its artistic background. Of course you can (and must!) visit the Laren Singer Museum, featuring many interesting exhibitions, or enjoy a performance or show in the Laren Singer Theatre making your choice from a varied programme of theater, cabaret, musicals, classical music, children's performances and lectures. Or do you prefer to visit a sauna like Sauna Spasereen or Thermen La Mer?
You might also want to do some shopping in one of the many fashion and clothes boutiques. Moreover, Laren has a number of stylish homeward and interior design shops. And every Friday an extensive, homely weekly market can be found just around the corner of 'Het Hof van Laren'.
Laren has many excellent restaurants with outdoor terraces, including Loetje Laren, Bar Bistro Brink20, George L.A., Pizzeria La Vespa, Thai Restaurant Bangkok, Hamdorff Eten & Drinken, Nick Vollebregt Jazz & Eetcafé, Zuijderhoudt and L'Elefante Bianco. And there are just as many nice in- and outdoor cafés like 't Bonte Paard, Mauve, Gastrobar Anton and the Prinsemarij (with their Winter- and Summerbar). There are also some very good restaurants in nearby villages. In Blaricum you will find The Red Sun, Rust Wat en Trattoria Da Bruno and in Bussum there is Bistro La Cave and Restaurant Soigné. Cosy outdoor cafés and restaurants like Blair, Moeke Spijkstra or Blushing in Blaricum are within a 10 minutes drive. And after a beautiful walk on the Zuiderhei in Laren you can relax and enjoy the scenery at Theehuis 't Bluk.
Every year in early spring the traditional old Dutch 'Poffertjeskraam' (Poffertjeskraam) is set up on the Brink. From November until the beginning of the new year everyone, be it young or old, can enjoy some ice-skating on the local ice rink 'IJs op de Brink' (IJs op de Brink). During the year there are many other events you can visit, for instance the culinary festival 'Lekker Laren' (Lekker Laren) and of course the famous Larense 'Kermis' (funfair Larense Kermis) every summer.
You see, there is enough to do and enjoy in Laren!
Nature Reserve 't Gooi, the area between Gooimeer to the North, the river Vecht to the South and the hills of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug to the East is renowned for its varied landscapes and differences in height. Sandy soils and moors alternate with peaty grounds and offer a fascinating scenery. You might love to hike or ride a bicycle or maybe even explore the area by Vespa, or you might prefer to travel by car or public transport and visit Amsterdam or Utrecht. Within 15 minutes by car you will find the wonderful public golf-course 'Naarderbos' (Golfbaan Naarderbos).
If you opt for a bicycle-tour: you can rent a bicycle at 'Het Hof van Laren' (only during your stay, from check-in at 4.00 pm until the check-out at 12.00 am). If you stay two nights or more in this B&B you will get one day free! There are also bicycles for rent very close to this B&B www.biketotaal.nl but please notice that the shop is closed on Sundays. You can also get them at www.fietsserviceaanhuis.nl. With your bicycle you can cycle through the village or its environment, over the moors or through the other 'Gooische' villages. Alternatively you can rent a scooter in near-by Hilversum. Of course Cornélie will be more then pleased to lend you one of her many good bicycle maps.
Amsterdam: 30 kilometer - Utrecht: 25 kilometer - Hilversum: 5 kilometer - Amersfoort: 20 kilometer