We invited old friends to join us at Rust en Vrede for dinner with high expectations. We hadn't seen them for a long time and were dying to catch up with them, and had heard great things about the restaurant. What a disappointing and uncomfortable evening. From the first moment, it was all about the restaurant presenting itself and its food, and not about creating a space in which people could to get together and talk over a meal. We couldn't get a decent flow of conversation going with the constant interruptions of staff to talk about each item of food on every plate that they presented. We were embarrassed for our friends that it seemed they had to comment on every course, instead of just being able to enjoy the meal and the catch up. The food was forced into centre stage every five minutes. All in all, I felt robbed not just of the considerable cost of the meal, but also of a rare chance to catch up with beloved friends. We respect artistry and the obvious commitment to excellence at Rust en Vrede, but feel the restaurant has lost sight of what it's really all about: it's about the people that visit and eat and share precious time together, not about proving a culinary point. While I could see that Rust en Vrede is trying to create a remarkable food experience, the staff failed completely in reading our table and delivering a full and rich dining experience.