UNIque: Huize Ruysdael

The livingroom is a Dutch-style ‘brown café’.
From the left: Martijn Smakman, David Jacobs, Brand Snippe and Merijn Lamers. Photo: Guy Ackermans

There are student houses and there are weird and wonderful student houses. In this column we visit the latter. 

House: Huize Ruysdael
Residents: Martijn Smakman, David Jacobs, Brand Snippe and Casper Krijnse Locker. Former housemate Merijn Lamers is in the photo too.
UNIque because: the four residents, Gentlemen of the SSR-W fraternity De Toebacksuyghers, wake up every day in their very own Dutch-style ‘brown café’.

Merijn: ‘There used to be a pub in Wageningen that closed down, so we got the wooden floor and the bar top from there. It was just lying in the street outside the pub. We mounted the bar on an old piano. Huize Ruysdael was first located on Asterstraat, but we had to move at some point. We then moved the entire brown café with us, transporting everything on a skateboard.’

David: ‘In the kitchen there is a photo of Alexander Pechtold doing the washing up. When he was still mayor of Wageningen, Huize Ruysdael invited him to dinner and he accepted. Because our Gentlemen had cooked for him, he had to do the washing up. We have also invited the current mayor to dinner since then.’

David: ‘There’s a lot of smoking in our fraternity, the Toebacksuygers. Our house is named after a former cigar brand from Wageningen, the Heeren van Ruysdael. Everyone who comes to live here becomes a “Gentleman of Ruysdael”, numbered in order of arrival as a resident. So I am Gentleman number 19, for instance.’

Martijn: ‘I am Gentleman of Ruysdael number 20.’

David: ‘There are a few customs in the house. We have a bell, for instance, like you see in almost every pub. You ring it when you’ve got something to celebrate. In the pub, you ring it for a round of drinks, in our house the bell ringer has to drink a shot with everyone individually. So now I would have to drink one shot with each of you.’

Martijn: ‘That might not sound attractive, but people really like it. It is a good concept.

Would you like to be in Resource with your UNIque house? Email us at resource@wur.nl.

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