Throughout Hollands' cities and towns, flower stands are everywhere. The country produces more flowers than any other country and is especially known for tulips.

Outdoor chairs are kept ready at a moment's notice to put into service at outdoor restaurants the minute the sun comes out. Often, the Dutch can be seen sipping coffee outdoors on warm winter days.

Antique delft from Aronson Antiquairs, in business for five generations in Amsterdam.

Chef Sonja Perreira at the Blue Pepper in Amsterdam, one of the elegant Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands.

Fresh tropical fruit is a fine way to end an Indonesian meal and a treat for the Dutch.

The Dutch love their farmhouse varieties of buttery cheese- often Gouda or Edam, but aged to increase flavor. These are at Amsterdam's best cheese shop, De Kaaskamer.

They may be in hats and coats, but even the children like being outdoors, here at Winkel's, eating their famous apple cake in Amsterdam's Noordermarkt in Amsterdam's Jordaan neighborhood.

Apple cake, with a cake-like crust and rich apple filling, is a favorite throughout the Netherlands. This apple cake, though, we felt was the best, at Winkel's in Amsterdam.

The European Fine Arts Fair (TEFAF), one of Europe's liveliest and most successful art and antiques fairs, takes place in March in the lively town of Maastricht, situated in South Holland, within sight of the borders of both Germany and Belgium.

Elegant and urbane, arts dealer Robert Noortman displays costly art at TEFAF, the art and antiques fair he co-founded.

The dining room at the elegant Chateau Sint Gerlach, just outside Maastricht is in a first- rate hotel and is worth a side trip.

The exterior of the Chateau Sint Gerlach in the Netherland's South, hints at the elegance inside.

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ESSENCE OF HOLLAND

From the Editors of Traditional Home
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Opulent town houses line canals throughout the beautiful city of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Their beauty lies in architectural details.