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The love for luxury goes through the stomach. Some restaurants go a step further than candlelight and caviar. A top 3 of the most romantic restaurants in the Benelux.Text: Susan Poeder & Carsten Klint

Strandlodge*, Winterswijk, Netherlands

On the water in Winterswijk? Of course! Perhaps one of the big positive surprises in the 2017 Michelin Guide, when the star was awarded. An undiscovered gem according to chief inspector Werner Loens. Located on the first floor of the pavilion of the Strandbad, which reopened in 2011, in the easternmost part of the Achterhoek in Gelderland. It has a trendy lounge and open terrace with beautiful views of the water. Here, chef Mike Vrijdag cooks worldly dishes with products from the region. His signature dish: smoked pigeon with red cabbage, bay leaf and peanut. Strandlodge is a beautiful location for weddings.

L'Air du Temps**, Éghezée, Belgium

Sometimes spectacle is not necessary and luxury is simply modest. Sang-Hoon Degeimbre, chef of the two-star restaurant L'Air du Temps, knows this from experience. The former sommelier became known for his extravagant food pairings and molecular cuisine, but gradually refined his cuisine. Nowadays he is making waves with an apparently simple approach: he uses local seasonal products, often straight from his own vegetable garden.

Degeimbre is not as well known as Sergio Herman or Kobe Desramaults to the Dutch-speaking public, but his restaurant nevertheless became a place of pilgrimage for foodies. There are also five hotel rooms for those who want to enjoy the surrounding natural landscape for longer.

Lighthouse Island, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Once a day, a boat sails to a small island in the Markermeer near Durgerdam. Unspoiled nature with “wild” sheep, a dilapidated fort and one lighthouse. There is also one restaurant, beautifully situated in an entirely glass greenhouse where the spring and summer restaurant takes place. In the colder months you walk through the narrow corridors of the fort to dine in small groups in different rooms near the fireplace. You can't get more romantic than that. You eat in and out of nature. The table d'hôte menu is prepared entirely on an open fire. A place for an unusual, stimulating dining experience, where you learn to experience the luxury of pure nature.

Reservations must be made approximately 2 months in advance, but you can always call to ask if a spot is available.