KLM’s Dutch borrel: A mixer done right

We headed down to the Gardens by the Bay for KLM’s Dutch borrel on Friday to celebrate the 80th anniversary of flights between Amsterdam and Singapore. For the uninitiated, a borrel is an informal reception or meeting for drinks for invited guests. And if you ask us, it’s an office party done right. 

Besides offering a chance to hobnob with travel industry insiders, including the KLM general manager for Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, Domingo de Cola and the KLM country manager for Singapore Sharad Khuller, the event was unstuffy good fun.

They fed us lots. And not just precious little canapes, but heaping cones of mayo-covered fries and slabs of pickled fish (a crowd favorite). Hoards of guests crowded around the each platter of fish as it came out of the kitchen. A nice lady from the Dutch Embassy described the delicacy as “advanced level Dutch food.” So the fact that people went for it was impressive.

Besides, the grub went great with beer (which seemed to the the drink of choice for the night). Plus, we chased all that with hunks of fondant covered birthday cake. They also picked a great location. After a week at work, there’s nothing more soul-soothing than a walk through a park (even a man-made one like Gardens by the Bay). It’s good to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

That’s not the end of the 80th anniversary celebrations. The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Band is performing at the Botanic Gardens on May 11 and as part of the Journeys of Inspiration concert on May 12. So you can still head down for a taste of that convivial Dutch hospitality.