The Oude Conversatiezaal, located on the ground floor, is the true heart of the Club. The room is decorated in a nineteenth century Neo-Louis XIV style, with motifs from the seventeenth century Baroque. It remained virtually unchanged for more than 140 years, but was once again restored to its original colour scheme during the 2005 renovation works. The room is only accessible to De Witte members from Monday to Friday, who meet in this room with other members and/or guests for a cup of coffee, lunch, drinks or dinner. A seasonal lunch menu and a fortnightly changing dinner menu ensure members can enjoy varied culinary delights at any time of the day. This, naturally in combination with an excellent service, always makes a stay at the club a particularly pleasant experience. The Oude Conversatiezaal, in combination with the Gaanderij and Barzaal, is generally where social events take place too. It’s also possible to exclusively reserve the room during weekends. However, permission from the Executive Board is required for this.
You will enter the Gaanderij upon entering the members' area, which connects the Oude Conversatiezaal and the Barzaal. The Gaanderij is multifunctional and is often used as a meeting place for people before they attend an event elsewhere in the building. The Gaanderij is also home to the lectern which provides details of all announcements regarding table and social events. The parquet flooring will certainly also make the same room an excellent dance floor during galas and dinner dances.
Barzaal (Bar Room)
The Barzaal borders the Gaanderij and the Oude Conversatiezaal and this room served as a billiard room until the second half of the last century. This Italian Neo-Renaissance styled room boasts a characteristic coffered ceiling, consisting of twelve coffers with a painted medallion. As is the case in the Oude Conversatiezaal, the fireplaces are mirror-imaged with incredibly beautiful double doors on both sides.
The room has been given a different purpose over the years and is now fully furnished as a Barzaal. The large bar, which runs parallel to the Doelenstraat, offers an extensive selection of aperitifs and digestifs. There’s undoubtedly going to be a drink to suit everyone’s individual tastes as a result of the large variety of whiskeys, jenevers and cognacs. It’s therefore no surprise the bar is always a lively place both before and after dinner.
The Restaurant, located on the ground floor behind the Oude Conversatiezaal, is designed in a businesslike Neo-Louis XIV style. A great deal of emphasis is put on the mantelpiece with mantel clock and the special medallion from 1872 in the ceiling in this room, just like in the Commissarissenkamer. The Restaurant was thoroughly renovated in 2008 and fully restored to its former glory. The restaurant has not changed since 1918, except, of course, for the furniture.
The former Kleine Conversatiezaal has served as an à la Carte restaurant since 1976 and is only available to all De Witte members and their guests from Monday to Friday. Contrary to the Oude Conversatiezaal, the Pleinrestaurant is ideal for smaller groups (up to 12 people) to enjoy an extensive lunch or dinner. The excellent, classic, French cooking style, coupled with the accompanying high-quality, traditional service, always ensure time spent in the Pleinrestaurant represents significant added value for members for both private and business purposes. In addition to excellent food, a great deal of attention is also devoted to a meticulous selection of a large, varying and appropriate wine assortment, particularly by the Wine Committee. We recommend you book a table at your earliest convenience if you'd also like to enjoy this special experience.
The Nieuwe of Littéraire Sociëteit’s Bibliotheek has a long and impressive history. A reading room and library were a matter of course for large clubs back in the nineteenth century.
De Witte boasted a well-stocked reading table with daily, weekly and monthly newspapers from both the Netherlands and abroad right from the very beginning. It was decided to grant statutory recognition and promote the reading table as a 'reading facility’ in 1855. The expansion of the Sociëteitsgebouw in 1900 gave the Bibliotheek a second space, the current Leeszaal (Reading Room), initially in Art Nouveau style and renovated in The Hague Art Deco style thirty years later. With over 30,000 books, De Witte's Bibliotheek is one of the largest private libraries in the Netherlands.
The Bibliotheek's collection is supplemented based on priority areas established in a policy plan prepared by the Executive Board. These are: the former Dutch East Indies, history, the royal family, the armed forces, The Hague, biographies, politics and diplomacy and Dutch and foreign acclaimed literature.
The Leeszaal houses the Indies collection, i.e. books about the former Dutch East Indies’ military, economic and anthropological history from the period 1860 - 1946. These books can be browsed on site, but can’t be taken away from the premises. A special cabinet in the Leeszaal is intended for books written and offered by De Witte members. In addition, the complete series of red and blue booklets and student corpora almanacs can be found in the various cabinets in the Leeszaal. The magazine cabinet is home to (inter)national magazines.
The Atlassenkamer (Atlas Room) is located in the space above the Uitleenbureau (Loan Office), accessible via the spiral staircase. This is where you’ll find the oldest books from the collection, together with large sheet metal works and atlases.
An impressive number of donations have been made for the Atlassenkamer since 2012.
The Biljartzaal was situated on the ground floor next to the Gaanderij (the current Barzaal) for a long period of time. The Biljartzaal was moved to the first floor and renovated in Art-Deco style during the second half of the last century. The Biljartzaal, equipped with six billiard tables and one snooker table, is only accessible to De Witte members and members of its sister clubs. Billiard club 'De Witte' was founded in 1934, but the billiard tables were already extensively being used before that.
The De Witte members’ levels range from beginner to somewhat advanced (libre between 0.2 and 2.5). Libre is the most popular type of game, three cushion billiards and cushion caroms lag quite far behind this. Many members faithfully follow a professor’s lessons for the serious element of the game.
The traditional bowling game is still being practiced in the basement.
The Kegelbaan was refurbished and decorated in the summer of 2015: the two old "warped" lanes were replaced by new plastic lanes and three photos (2 by 10 metres) are now on display on the wall, the first being one of the De Witte bowling alley back in early 1900.
In order not to have to completely say goodbye to the old wooden (teak) alleys, loved by and familiar to many, these were transformed into two robust tables, perfect for enjoying a drink at. The two bowling alleys are available to any member who’d like to learn bowling, or who’d perhaps like to test his or her bowling skills against other members. In addition to the tables, which occasionally enjoy a pleasant evening here, there are also four bowling clubs whose members meet here on a weekly basis to play matches. Throwing twenty balls with eight players on two lanes easily takes around one and a half to two hours. What makes the game especially attractive is that people take turns and can constantly change their discussion partner. The Kegelbaan is definitely worth a visit, or better still; enjoy having a go at bowling some time!
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