1989, Gerie and Wullie have both been working for almost 12 years in Amsterdam, Wullie has spent a couple of years travelling the world and after looking long and hard all over the Netherlands we found our first restaurant ( the building next door to this one). A small lunchroom that was exactly what we were looking for ... 20 seats and a small apartment upstairs for Gerie, myself and our 5 month old daughter Isla.

Wullie has spent his whole working life in French kitchens, Gerie after studying theology at university, has been running a couple of Greek and Dutch restaurants ...the adventure begins!

It was a disaster... too many similar french bistro's not enough customers!
We had almost decided to throw in the towel when the local council organised the 50th anniversary of their twinning with the city of BATH. There was a complete English week planned, complete with English Bobbies and red telephone boxes, and, of course we were approached by the organisers to participate, with the comment "you are English anyway", now, as you understand this had the same effect as waving a red flag at a bull! We decided to organise our own Scottish week at exactly the same time... best decision we ever made!
It was the busiest we had ever been.
It didn't take long for us to realise, this was the way to go....
Within a month we had changed our company name, registered at the chamber of commerce, redecorated and made a complete Scottish menu. We have never looked back!

At the end of 1992 it was obvious we had grown out of our old business, luckily we heard that our neighbor, a florist, wanted to retire after 38 years.
Cutting a long story short, after an immense building project our new restaurant with almost 6 times the floor space opened on the 7th of may 1994.
Our kitchen team was quickly expanded to 5 and Wullie transferred to front of house where he still is today. Wullie has now more than 35 years experience working with whisky, he holds several awards for whisky including -the Single Malt Whisky Award 2001- best Dutch Whisky Bar, -the last 10 years on the GREAT WHISKY BARS OF THE WORLD listing. -In 2015 final 5 of the Drammie awards WORLDS BEST WHISKY BAR. He also writes fregularly for several magazines here in Holland; MITRA MAGAZINE, WHISKY PASSION, THE KILN, also over the years there have been more than 100 articles published about Wullie/The Hielander...