The end of warming tables and political spin

The formation lasted for 98 days in early summer 2017. After checking other options, only the ChristenUnie remained as a possible fourth party for a cabinet with VVD, CDA and D66. But first a reconciliation between D66 and ChristenUnie was necessary because of the major differences in content, especially in the field of medical ethics.

In political The Hague, scanning often takes place in a restaurant. Two decades later, for example, an informal consultation started in hotel Des Indes in 1976 led to Paars I, the first cabinet in seventy years without the parties that now form the CDA, which Hans Wiegel (VVD) and Dries van Agt (CDA) thwarted by a dinner party. a second Den Uyl cabinet in Le Bistroquet in 1977, and in 2012, VVD leader Mark Rutte asked PvdA leader Diederik Samsom to visit Toko Soeboer, which led to Rutte II.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold asked Gert-Jan Segers of the ChristenUnie to visit the Indian restaurant Garoeda. Because “forming is dining”, he told the journalists who were asked to join. It led to Rutte III.

But Garuda is no more. At the end of September, the iconic rice table restaurant was declared bankrupt. Two years ago, owner Peter ‘t Mannetje told NRC that he was looking for a successor. And even then the prospects were bleak: due to a lack of successors and a lack of customers, one Indonesian restaurant after another in The Hague had already closed. Toko’s are doing well, Asian cuisine too, but rice tables are out.

And Garuda (anno 1949) was also completely traditional: with waiters in starched jackets, wooden dragons on the wall and items from the colonial era in display cases. With warming tables and desserts with a wafer and maraschino cherries. The time of tempo doeloethe Man called it.

Corona was the last straw for the restaurant. In recent years, Garuda has mainly had to rely on groups of officials – who work from home – and tourists – and they stayed at home. In addition, Garoeda was only allowed to receive thirty guests in recent months, while the restaurant with its three floors and mezzanine could accommodate 160. On Prinsjesdag, all the tables at the window were always full with customers who booked months in advance to catch a glimpse of the king and queen at eye level as their carriage drove up the Lange Voorhout. This year there was no driving tour to watch.

The contents of the restaurant will be auctioned online at the end of October. According to curator Christiaan Mensink, a restart is no longer possible. “I still found people with good plans for a Garoeda 2.0, but I was unable to reach agreements with the landlord of the property. He has other plans.”

This means that an iconic place in political history disappears. But other restaurants are still there: the next to Garoeda, and also Indian, Poentjak is perhaps more popular among politicians. Although Le Bistroquet changed its name and formula a few years ago, it is still located on the Lange Voorhout. And Hotel Des Indes will celebrate its 140th anniversary next year.