with Peter Medhurst & Thomas Abbott

Young Woman and a Man at the Virginals by J Vermeer c1663

Press PLAY to hear Peter Medhurst play John Bull’s Les Buffons on the Virginals

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25th September – 1st October 2015

6 nights / 7 days £1,499 (single room supplement £260)

To book, please contact Mrs Carole Willatt on 01494 715109 or email: c_willatt@tiscali.co.uk

Day 1

Friday 25th September 2015

10:00      ARRIVE                  St Pancras Station for check in on Eurostar to Brussels

                                                Train departs at 10:58

14:05      ARRIVE                   Brussels Midi Station, change trains for Den Haag

                                                Platform 12 to board train IC9247 departing at 14:45

17:17       ARRIVE                   Den Haag station. Board our coach for Delft

18:00     ARRIVE                   Hampshire Hotel Delft Centre, Koepoorlplaats 3, Delft.  Tel: 0031 15 2122125


Day 2

Saturday 26th September

Delft09:00  We start the day with a lecture in the Jazz Conference Room with Peter, who will give an introduction to the history of the Low Countries. Afterwards, we depart the hotel for the short walk to visit the Nieuwe and Oude Kerks (New & Old Churches).   We continue to the Vermeer Centre to focus on the works of Johannes Vermeer, one of the best known artists from the Dutch Golden Age, and whose name is inextricably linked with Delft. The Vermeer Centre offers a visual voyage of discovery through the life and work of this artist. Lunch is at leisure, after which we will visit the Prinsenhof Museum. Here we will see the permanent exhibitions of Delftware, works of Delft artists and scientists, and artifacts and memorabilia connected with the life and times of William of Orange, Father of the Nation.

Dinner at hotel.

Day 3

Sunday 27th September

We depart the hotel by coach for a day in Leiden (above) where we will visit the Boerhaave Museum, which displays a history of science and medicine in the Low Countries.  It possesses a fascinating collection of historical scientific instruments from all disciplines, but mainly from medicine, physics, and astronomy. After our visit, we will have leisure time to explore the delightful town of Leiden, which has often been called the most beautiful city in the Netherlands.

Evening at leisure in Delft.

Day 4

Monday 28th September

09.00 lecture with Peter. The rest of the day will be spent in The Hague, and first stop will be the Panorama Mesdag, a building which houses a cylindrical painting more than 14 metres high and 120 metres in circumference.  The Panorama shows a vista of the sea and the dunes at Scheveningen village (left), the seaside resort of The Hague. Viewing this painting has been described like being transported back to 1881, the date the painting was finished. In the afternoon we will visit the Mauritshuis Museum to view the Royal Collection of Paintings. We will have plenty of time to explore this wonderful museum and take in the delights of Steen, Rembrandt, Potter and Vermeer.

Evening at leisure in Delft.

Day 5

Tuesday 29th September

09:00 lecture with Peter. After the lecture we will depart for Rotterdam to visit the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, which exhibits art ranging from medieval to the modern.  The museum houses the joint collections of Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans (d 1847) and Daniel George van Beuningen (d 1955), hence the name of the building.  Paintings include:  Bruegel’s Tower of Bable, Metsu’s A Woman at the Virginals, Titian’s Boy with Dogs in a Landscape, and the famous ‘fake Vermeer’ by Van Meegeren.

The afternoon will be at leisure in Delft.

Day 6

Wednesday 30th September

09:00 lecture with Peter. At 10:00 we will depart the Hotel and walk the short distance to Oostport where we will board our boat for a canal trip to Voorburg.

On arrival we will be met and given a tour of the Hofwijck (left), which was the country house of Constantijn Huygens, poet, musician, art connoisseur and secretary to the Princess of Orange, who was knighted by James I for his skills in playing the lute. Here, Huygens was able to escape and relax away from his busy life at Court. The 17th century house is a jewel and in a perfect state of preservation, boasting much memorabilia from Huygen’s period. Lunch will be at leisure in the village of Voorburg, after which we will make our way to the Oude Kerk where Peter will give an organ recital of 16th and 17th century Dutch keyboard music.

There will be a farewell dinner this evening at the hotel.

Day 7

Thursday 1st October

Virginals by Jean Couchet 165008:45 Check out of the Hotel and board our coach for a transfer to Antwerp. On arrival there, we will make our way to the magnificent Gothic Cathedral for a stroll though its aisles and a glance at its treasures, which include works by Rubens, as well as Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer and Marten de Vos. After our visit we will walk to the early 16th century Vleeshuis to view the wonderful collection of musical instruments that are housed there. Many of the harpsichords and virginals (right) are of the type that may be found in the paintings of Vermeer and his contemporaries.  Lunch is at leisure before we continue our journey to Brussels to take the Eurostar back to London.

14:30       DEPART                    Antwerp by coach and transfer to Brussels Midi station

17:00       ARRIVE                     Brussels Midi Station for check in on Eurostar to St Pancras

Train departs at 17:56

19:03       ARRIVE                     St Pancras Station for onward home journeys


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The music and art specialists

VeniceTom Abbott (left) and Peter Medhurst (right) in the Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

Peter Medhurst is well-known in the world of the arts as a singer, pianist, scholar and lecturer, who in addition to his appearances on the concert platform and in the lecture hall, sets aside time to devise and lead tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs.  His particular interests are centred on the music, art and history of Vienna, Salzburg (with its strong Mozart link), Berlin, Halle (Handel’s birthplace), Dresden, Venice, Rome and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has been associated with a number of travel companies including Cox and Kings, Travel Editions, Success Tours, Heritage Travel, Tailored Travel, and Voyages to Antiquity.

Thomas Abbott graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. 1987 he moved to Berlin leading tours in Germany, specialising, of course, in the German capital. While in Berlin, Tom commenced and completed his graduate studies in the history of art and architecture, focusing particularly on the art of the Italian and German Baroque.