TBBC Meetings logo The British Beard Club
The Judges give their decisions
Marc Van der Veken enters his first Beard Contest in Germany
Marc tells David Dade about the experience
Waldhotel Hufeisenhof Linsengericht
Waldhotel Hufeisenhof Linsengericht

quotesMY WIFE GRIET AND I arrived in Gründau-Lieblos on the Friday before the contest, and checked-in to our nearby hotel, the Waldhotel Hufeisenhof Linsengericht, set in the middle of the woods; it was a very calm and peaceful setting. That evening, we enjoyed our first dinner of the weekend - I do like to eat as you can see from the pictures of me!

Griet had pumpkin soup, trout (without any bones) with a butter sauce and parsley potatoes, a glass of white wine, and a salad from the salad bar. I had potato soup with baked bloodsausage (heavenly!), a steak (bloody) with baked onions and baked potatoes, with a side salad from the salad bar, a glass of red wine and a glass of applestrogle (applejuice with sparkling water or soda). Maybe it was the bloodsausage, but I am sure I heard bears in the woods calling during the night...

Conor Creighton and Steve Ryan

On Saturday morning I was nervous as hell but at the contest venue I was reassured very quickly by two Irish guys called Conor and Steve who happened to sit down at our table with my wife and I. They told me they are writing a book about beards and moustaches all over Europe. I asked them if they knew any of the English contestants.

Jolly Rodders

David had told me that Rod Littlewood, who is the President of The Handlebar (Moustache) Club and a veteran of many Beard and Moustache contests, with fellow member Andy Lear would be looking out for me. Of course Conor and Steve knew them, and a couple of minutes later Rod came to sit with us. We had a 3 hour conversation that made me feel very much at ease. Rod was a great teacher and mentor (if I may say so) and a very funny guy as well! I met Andy too, and a Swedish guy who was also in Rod's group.

The contest was organised by Bartclub Gründau-Steinau. In my category of "Chin Beard Natural" there were 6 contestants. It was quite confusing for the German contest organisers to understand that I was a Belgian representing The British Beard Club, but I wore my name badge proudly from The British Beard Club all of the time, so after a while I think they got the message!

Gerd Bröning and Marc

I came 4th in my category, just 2 points below third position. The judges can be seen giving my score at the top of this report. It was pity not to be in the top three, but it was fun anyway.

Marc beards the Judges

We didn't wait for the presentation of the prizes that evening because we had reservations in the restaurant. Griet had Zucchini with pasta and a tomato sauce, again white wine - but she wasn't very hungry. Me, I was! I ordered a starter of smoked salmon with a green herb salad and a great sausage, next a wienersnitzel with paprika and mushroom sauce with french fries, red wine and the applestrogle drink again.

So we both had a great time and thank The British Beard Club for their support. My thanks also go to to Rod Littlewood and Andy Lear of The Handlebar Club for the guidance and encouragement during the tournament.

Best Bearded Regards
Marc quotes
Here are some more photos taken during Marc and Griet's visit
An astonishingly long beard!Another view of the longest beard we've seen4th from the left, Marc in his category lineupMarc's Wife GrietA man with large white beardThe Garibaldi Beard lineupA gentleman with a long beard outside
The Full Beard Natural contestantsAnother White-bearded gentlemanThe Musketeer Beard contestantsThe longest-bearded gentleman outside
Click a thumbnail to enlarge or play as a SLIDESHOW

Photos on this page are Copyright © 2009 Griet and Marc Van de Veken, and where marked © Dan Sederowsky. TBBC