12 x Tips for a Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht

Last midweek we traveled to Maastricht and its surroundings. Let see what the city that almost hosted the 2020 Eurovision is all about.

We Dutchies are globe-trotters with a capital ‘G’ and an exclamation mark. Our travel-around-the-world-craving seems to become bigger and bigger, year after year. But besides all the international magic, did you know our own country has just as much to offer as the most distant destinations? A nice side note: you save yourself a pricey ticket and killer jetlag (here’s how to avoid one). Hello Maastricht!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht in a nutshell

Would you like to experience life like the Maastricht citizens do? Drop by on a Sunday afternoon till Thursday and you’ll get that slow living, enjoyable feeling! No hustle and bustle, just everything at ease. The authentic atmosphere of Maastricht made me feel like I was on a laid back mini vacation abroad – and that wasn’t just because of the lovely spring sunshine, cold beer with Italian nibbles and a hospitable community. There is so much to explore, let’s zoom in on a few highlights and to do’s I’ve tried & tested.

Where to Stay

In my opinion the best district to stay is without doubt the hip and lively district ‘Wyck’. Extra plus: it’s near the train station, which is super convenient. Let me give you three really cool hotel tips for your citytrip in Maastricht:

» The Student Hotel: The Student Hotel has become a household name in this city. Besides housing students with a home away from home, the building also provides guests with a playful decor and spacious rooms. The monumental building is the perfect match for that TSH vibe, which stands for playful, creative and community. Next door you can find The Commons, a nice restaurant that guest and outsiders can use for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Keep an eye out for more Student Hotel locations, they plan to have 41 properties in European cities by 2021! Book your stay here.

TSH Maastricht
The Student Hotel

» The Dutch: The colourful, trendy design with international allure would certainly not be missed in Amsterdam, London or Barcelona. I’m in love with their breakfast bag, which they hang on your door in the early morning, so cute. Food allergy, vegan or other wishes? No problem for the genuinely friendly staff! www.hotelthedutch.com

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch
The Dutch, one of my stays during my midweekend citytrip in Maastricht

» Kaboom Hotel, are you smart, worldly-wise and a tad of a rebel? Did you hear yourself saying three times ‘yes’ than you definitely have to stay here. Rewarded as the best hotel concept in 2015 according to Entree Magazine, good job! Oh and they’re nice for your wallet: budget-friendly without feeling cheap. Book your stay here.
» Townhouse Hotel. They want to give you the feelin’ like home-away-from-home experience: rent a goldfish for one night – how funny is that! – and enjoy their homemade soup or a little alcoholic drink in one of the comfortable, retro sofas. If you prefer a pure and ‘down to earth’ hotel, this is your match! Book here!

Townhouse Hotel
The Townhouse Hotel

Where to Eat

Oh Yes, we have arrived (figuratively  speaking) at my favorite chapter: Food! During my citytrip in Maastricht I spotted many pretty new hotspots.
» Mr. Smith, Say hi to this new kid in town. A stylish cocktailbar of two hipsters. This cocktailicious hotspot is one you need to know, otherwise you will spontaneously go along. Press the bell and a small-scale, hidden cocktail heaven will open in front of you. Go for their fresh GT’s or ask the staff for a tasty advice. In advance #sorrynotsorry for your hangover. mrsmithmaastricht
» De Poshoorn, on Sunday evening I went to the well-known De Poshoorn. In the past a brown, tiny unobtrusive pub, nowadays a vibrant beer café with a fresh, contemporary atmosphere. Sixteen beers on tap and hundred on bottle. Go local and try the ‘Mestreechs Zoervleis’, a local food specialty. In spite of the fact the Maastrichtians see this dish as something unique, for this girl from above the rivers it’s a look-alike of the meaty hachee, so delicious! www.poshoorn.nl
» De Tapijn, is a very cool 4-year catering project in a former barrack. Relaxed location near the park, welcoming staff, a huge terrace and yummy food. I love the fact they know the origin of the fresh, local ingredients. This alone makes the food even better. Lunch, dinner or a Friday drink with friends, this hotspot in Maastricht has it all! www.tapijn.nl

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Jack White’s, one of the hotspots I’ve tried during my citytrip in Maastricht

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Never mind the beer! 😉

What To Do

Boy o boy where to start, there’s so much to do during a (mid)weekend Maastricht and other parts of South Limburg! Here are my favorite highlights:
Let’s start with the city walk through the urban part of Maastricht. Honestly, the excitement of the guide is essential for making or failing it, but luckily I had an amazing time with Lianne Schuuring, credits for her. She showed all the interesting ins and outs of Maastricht from the history till today. Bucketlist proof!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Sightseeing Maastricht, a must do during your citytrip!

Midweekend citytrip to Maastricht

Get Active

If you’d rather ride a bike than walk, rent a mountainbike and work on your condition in this hilly area. There’re so many bike routes. I cycled to the newly opened ENCI-quarry, a wonderful spot for a swim in summertime. Just a guess, I think you’ve never thought about a kickbike tour in the caves of Zonnebergust. In the Maastricht underground nothing is too crazy. Although I do not have much with visiting caves, the whole new experience ánd power chick Niké Hermans made it really enjoyable. See the Southern part of South Limburg from a fascinating, different angle. Are you claustrophobic? Let shake hands…but I can tell you this wasn’t too claustrophobic for me, so don’t worry.

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Entering the cave

Herbal walk?

A herbal walk in Maastricht or other parts in South Limburg, have you ever done it? Come one, once has to be the very first time. Definitely book it via the enthusiastic master herborist Anne van der Linden. She’s is a running encyclopedia, she really knows everything about herbs and their special function: tea of nettle for blood purification, the juice from the dandelion for drying out annoying pimples and so on, and so on. If you’re very interested in the history of historical buildings go to Abdij Rolduc in Kerkrade and book a tour. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite, but I can imagine you don’t want to miss it during your midweekend in Maastricht and surroundings. Afterwards you can have some food in the Brasserie or have a quick look in the microbrewery, a hidden gem!

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Maastricht

An information overload summarised in a city guide for you, you’re welcome 😉 I’ll definitely go back to the south if I need a mini-break!

Love,

Sharmaine

Read more of Sharmaine’s foodie tips here!

5 x picnic in Rotterdam

Summer has officially started and we are looking forward to all long summer nights and picnics in the park. To make things a little easier, we’ve listed 5 restaurants that sell really nice ready-to-go lunchboxes for perfect picnic in Rotterdam.

Karakter

Restaurant Karakter uses fresh and biological ingredients daily and they also make special picnic boxes with meat, vegetarian or vegan food. The Karakter Picnic Box consists of BLT sandwiches, carrot and beetroot wraps with tasty fillings, avocado sandwiches, fried cheeseballs, a salad, some fresh fruits, pastechi with chicken and/or vegetables and some sweet bites. The box comes with either wine or local apple juice. Me and a friend tried the vegetarian box and it tasted really good. We especially liked the wraps, the cheeseballs and the BLT sandwiches with vegan bacon. The Karakter Picnic Box costs €37,50 for two persons and you can order it one day in advance. www.restaurantkarakter.com

Picnic in Rotterdam
Picnic in Rotterdam by Karakter

Spirit

At Spirit they have loads of food options. Instead of a menu they have a big buffet with 50 different dishes. Everything is vegetarian and seasonal. You can easily mix & match the variety of foods for lunch or dinner. How about some grilled green asparagus, chickpea salad, risotto balls or a seaweed salad? You can make a full and varied take-away box which will cost you €2,50 per 100 grams. You can choose as many ingredients as you want, you will pay for the weight later. www.spiritrestaurants.nl

Lot en Daan

If you are looking for an all-day breakfast and lunch place, then go to Lot & Daan for guilty pleasures. You can order the Urban Picknick box to-go. The box is filled with fresh juice, fruit, olives, a fresh salad, bread with dips and a surprise piece of pie. If you pick it up at the restaurant you will be rewarded with two free Kaapse Brouwers beers or a small bottle of cava. Or you can use Thuisbezorgd. The box is for 2 persons and costs €18. Lotdaan.nl/picknick

picnic Rotterdam
Picnic by Lot & Daan

Little V

Little V is a Vietnamese restaurant and a popular spot in Rotterdam. They serve many Vietnamese dishes like Banh Mi baguettes, Pho soup and Banh Xeo pancakes. They also have a Street Style Lunchbox on their menu which contains 4 delicious dishes. The lunchbox costs €13,50 and it’s a surprise what’s in the box!

Iyumi

Fancy a Japanese picnic? Iyumi serves many Japanese dishes and their whole menu is available for take-away. Besides sushi boxes, you can get traditional bentoboxes (Japanese lunchboxes) with a variety of fish or meat together with a salad, fried snacks, fruit, rice and warm vegetables. Perfect for a picnic. The prices for the bentoboxes vary from €10,50 to €15,95 for one person. The larger sushiboxes vary from €10,25 to €33,50.

Are you looking for the perfect picnic spot in Rotterdam?

  • The Vroesenpark
  • Het Dakpark
  • De Kralingse Plas
  • The Park at the Euromast are all great places to get together for a picnic gathering.

Find out which places in Amsterdam offer a traditional picnic basket!

Enjoy!

Love,

Merel

* Merel is one of our guest editors in Rotterdam. She describes herself as a daydreaming student who loves to travel. She just came back from a 5-month backpacking trip trough Asia and can’t wait to see more of the world. Check her out on Instagram: @merel_d94.

Citytrip Almere | What to see and do

When you first think of a citytrip Almere you might think of modern and innovative architectonic buildings, a shopping area without much ambiance, and always a breeze at hand. In all honesty, we didn’t know Almere as well as we thought. But the youngest city of the Netherlands has more to offer than meets the eye.

How Almere captures your heart

Recently, I received a secret invite for a ‘Destination Unknown Experience.’ Obviously, it triggered my interest. Little did I know that together with some other nosey parkers we got on a speedboat – a rapid Rib with 100 km/h on the meter – and after an adrenaline rush for 30 minutes, we arrived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature. ‘Welcome to Almere ladies!’ This wasn’t in line with the City I met years ago. I had to give this municipality a second chance.

Almere citytrip
What a way to enter the city!

One of the things I was mostly surprised by, was the immense natural character

A 24h citytrip in Almere

If you are planning a city trip to Almere you have many options, but I will give you a glimpse of my one-day citytrip. The city is surrounded by five natural areas: Oostvaardersplassen, Lepelaarplassen, Pampushout, the Vroege Vogelbos and Almeerderhout. Consequently, nature-lovers will dig this. And did you know that Almere has twice as many bridges as Venice? After floating through the canals, we arrived at Boathouse Almere. A beautiful place where you can dock your boat. I can tell you, you’ll stay here a little longer than initially planned. Expect a menu with something for everybody. From a club sandwich to fish & chips or bao with pulled jackfruit. After an appetizing lunch break we continued our journey by…Segway! Thanks to Segs in the City (see what they did there?), we drove around Almere’s many cycle paths, which is a great way to explore the city.

The boathouse Almere
Boathouse Almere

Segway Tour Almere

Did you know that Almere Centrum won the title Beste Binnenstad 2017 – 2020?

High Tea & Bubbles

Being a segway driver makes you hungry, so our next stop was at a culinary gem: The Black Cockatoo. It’s the first 100% vega(n) hotspot in town where you can indulge yourself with lots of treats. Mostly locally produced and – as far as possible – organic ingredients. The black Cockatoo will always be marked as the place where I had my very first ever vegan hot chocolate milk with whipped cream. And they also had me at ‘vegan brownie.’ Heavenly soft inside, literally and figuratively finger lickin’ good. 

Champagne Almere
Cheers to Almere!

The Black Cockatoo, Almere

High Tea Almere
Happy tummy, happy sweet tooth at The Black Cockatoo 

Lifestyle Salon and Spa knows how to pamper you!

Take a break and Relax

Almere has a lot of shopping opportunities (there are more than 400 stores!) and after all that walking around the city center, your body may need a little pampering. Go to Lifestyle Salon and Spa. Firstly, you can get your hair and make-up done or get a fresh haircut. Secondly, the ladies at the salon offer head and full body massages. Pedicures? You name it, they have it. And all with the idea that beauty is a combination of inner and outer well-being. The crew is very professional, honest and has a ‘what you see is what you get’ mentality. You will love the laidback vibe here, as it is the perfect spot to recharge yourself.

Beauty salon Almere
The ladies at Lifestyle Salon & Spa know how to treat a lady

CULTURAL: visit Vis à Vis open air theater

In the evening we went to Vis à Vis, a theatre company which plays open air shows at a permanent location at Almeerderstrand. Light-hearted comedy, astonishing spectacle and ingenious storylines lead the audience with a wink to the abyss of serious dilemmas. Even though I’m always in for some theatrical violence, I’ve never seen something like this before. Never. In 1,5 hours you’ll be amazed again and again. Step into a world full of extraordinary humor and surprises. Even the air is part of the decor and this is not comparable with a traditional indoor show. In case you’d love to have a complete night out, you can reserve a spot in De Rode Haring with simple (buffet) dishes and long Biergarten tables, a much-vaunted food formula.

Vis a Vis Almere
A must see in Almere!

Where to stay

After a very long, but overwhelming day, we were dropped off at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim. This is exactly what you need after a full day Almere. A luxury lodge with all comforts including a huge bubble bath with a fantastic view over the countryside. When I woke up I didn’t had the idea I stayed in in a city. Nature everywhere, and this was suppose to be a city trip? Well, I’m sold.

Accommodation Almere

Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim Almere
Heart shaped bubble bath at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim

Maybe it won’t be love at first sight if you stroll through city centre, but a citytrip to Almere is absolutely worth a try. Nature, city beaches, wellness, shopping, culinary spots makes me wanna say; see you soon?

Special thanks to Visit Almere for this wonderful trip!

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

Learn more about the Netherlands here!

 

 

 

8x tips for a weekend citytrip to The Hague

I love springtime! For me it’s the best time for a citytrip. Last weekend I played the tourist in the royal, majestic The Hague. Let’s zoom in on some great trendy and even some vintage hotspots I figured out for you. Here’s the wanderlust citytrip to The Hague. 

Where To Eat

Food, food, food. I can think about it the whole day long if you give me the chance. Because I really see the daily ‘food moments’ as something important, I don’t take pleasure with every standard looking food spot just around the corner. It’s a discovery tour to find the gems! Below you’ll find a couple of (coffee) spots which caught my attention. pistachecafe.nl

Pistache Café

Located behind the royal palace ‘Noordeinde’, this healthy oriented hotspot is definitely one for your food bucket list. Why? The Pistachers only work with fresh ingredients and are figuratively allergic for E-numbers and other chemical stuff. Most of the foodies tried the bread with avocado, looked finger lickin’ good! I ordered the sweet potato pancakes – what a surprise – which were also yummy, but a bit too little if you’re hungry after a city walk 😉

KADE

Drop by and enjoy a good cup of coffee, fresh juice, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ve tried the Eggs Florentine which was really delicious. Tip: order the hollandaise sauce on the side. Especially, I would like to point out the genuine hospitality of the staff, thumps up for them. 

Little V

This Vietnamese hotspot is tha bomb! They’re famous for their homemade ice teas, worth to try. If you’ve ever been to Vietnam you definitely will taste the real Vietnamese buns, pho’s and spring rolls in the beating city heart of The Hague. Also the laid back ambiance is great. And for the dessert lovers? The chocolate mousse with a Vietnamese touch is the one you definitely have to order! 

vietnamese-food-lovers-this-is-your-spot-to-drop-by-in-the-hague
Vietnamese food lovers, this is your spot to drop by in The Hague

The Hague Bookstore

Located in the city center, this is the vintage spot for your shot of caffeine, cakes – the cake of dates is heavenly – and books. They have a kind of a garden where you can escape the hustle and bustle of The Hague. Sit back and relax! Website.

the-hague-bookstore-the-place-during-your-citytrip-in-the-hague-for-a-relaxation-moment
The Hague Bookstore, the place during your citytrip in The Hague for a relaxation moment

Lola

A bike and coffee shop in one, love the concept! It’s a heaven on earth for cycling enthusiasts, no doubt about that. Expect an easy-going atmosphere – even in the weekend -, superb coffee and cakes ánd friendly staff who like to make a chitchat. lolabikesandcoffee.nl

LISTed

You definitely will fall in love with this fashion meets coffee concept store. They have in my opinion the coolest Scandinavian clothing brands, original accessories and…coffee! Girls, take your time, the boyfriend will enjoy their coffee with a book in the chill chesterfield. Win – win! Facebook

Where To Stay

The best way to explore The Hague is to stay a night in one of the mostly classical designed hotels or Airbnb’s. I tried the budget proof The Student Hotel, located nearby the train station The Hague HS. It’s a place where students can live for a couple of months and design-savvy travelers can stay for a few nights. My opinion? It’s a modern, simple and very clean hotel (room) with all the facilities you need. No foolishness, only functional design. I really loved the helpfulness of the receptionists, credits for them. Besides I prefer the smaller boutique hotels instead of the – with all the respect – more ‘room factories’ like The Student Hotel, I absolutely recommend The Student Hotel when your budget isn’t sky high. You can book your room here. Book your stay here.

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The Student Hotel, my stay during my citytrip to The Hague

Oh and by the way: In 10-15 minutes you’re in Scheveningen by tram, the place to be when it’s a blue sky, sunny day. There are a lot of beach resto’s where you can have a pit stop for nibbles, drinks and more. Locals told me the less touristic spots are located around the ‘Zwarte Pad’ (Black Path).

Keep the above tips in mind and go for your The Hague citytrip as soon as possible. The welcoming inhabitants are waiting for you!

Love,

Sharmaine

Check Sharmaine’s midweek citytrip to Maastricht and get all the tips! Follow Sharmaine on Instagram.

These are the Top 13 Beach Clubs in The Netherlands

In the Netherlands we needed to wait a while before spring/summer knocked on the door, but she’s here. Finally! When the sun is out, people want to escape the hot city and go to one of the many amazing beaches. The Netherlands offers a few long stretched beaches with pretty amazing sunsets. Beach Clubs are all part of the fun and come in all sorts of sizes Each one has something special or authentic. To clear things up for you, we’ve made a selection of our top 12 beach clubs in The Netherlands.

Tulum, Noordwijk

This newcomer opened last year and is a big favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum beach bar Zandvoort Netherlands
Pretty Tulum

The Fat Mermaid, Scheveningen

Not new, but a breath of fresh air in Den Haag. Located on the busy promenade of Scheveningen beach, The Fat Mermaid is quite busy on sunny days, but we still recommend you to take a look while you’re around. Even though they don’t claim to be fully sustainable, they try to offer as many organic and local products. For example, they serve fish from local fish shop Ben de Lange and the meat is from the wonderful Lindenhoff farm. Therefore, families, couples, friends and dog owners all love it here. www.thefatmermaid.nl

The Fat Mermaid beach Bar Netherlands
The Fat Mermaid. Photo by Floor Boers

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan zee

6km from the hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So they’ve opened a beach club called Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. Will this become one of Hollands best Beach Clubs? www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming Beach Bergen aan Zee

De Branding, Noordwijk

Voted as the best beach club in The Netherlands 2016, this beachclub is very popular indeed. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at this trendy place. The white decor set’s away beautifully at the beach. Enjoy good drinks and music whilst people watching. www.brandingbeach.nl

Beach Club de Branding
Branding-Noordwijk

Pepper Beachclub, Zandvoort

When you get to Pepper Beach Club you immediately feel that Ibiza vibe. The dream-catchers, colorful cushions and summer cocktails will make you stay until sunset. They describe themselves as hippie Chic, laid back, with good music, good vibes! www.pepper-beachclub

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Source: Pepper Beachclub

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee

When we visited this beach bar a couple of years ago, it felt like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order the famous Dutch Croquette on bread to keep you grounded. www.timboektoe.org

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Source: Timboektoe Instagram

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande

If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach.
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers or close your eyes and pretend you in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

Elements-beach Netherlands

Club Zand, Castricum

The Netherlands is lucky with a beach bar like Club Zand. Not only do they have a great relaxed location in Castricum at sea, they also hosts outdoor cinema nights with free popcorn! Their latest edition will be on the 2nd of May, so reserve your spot! Every Friday there is live music from a DJ or band, so there is something for everyone. The other thing we really like about this beach bar, is that they support sustainability. They are hoping to become the greenest beach of the Netherlands and they do this with several projects like reducing gas by 50%. Take a look next time you’re around Castricum! www.clubzand.nl

Hippie Fish, Zandvoort

Like Tulum, this beach bar has a vibe that takes you to another place that looks more like Mexico or Ibiza. It’s not large, but super cute and the food is tasty! Come here when its less busy, like a midweek or morning. This way you can enjoy Hippie Fish to the max. www.hippiefish.nl

strandtenten in Nederland hippie fish zandvoort
© HIPPIE FISH

Woodstock ’69, Bloemendaal

It’s an oldie but for people that are not from Holland, this one should definitely be on the list. This place will take you back to ’69 and brings out your inner hippie. On Sunday’s and when the weather is good, this is the place to be. People from all over the country drive up to Bloemendaal Beach to dance to the beats of some of the most talked about DJ’s of the moment. www.woodstock69.nl

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Dance with your feet in the sand at Woodstock

Beachclub Perry’s, Scharendijke

All the way in the south of Holland, you will find this fine beach club that’s been around for over 25 years. They have a North African atmosphere and serve dishes such as Tajine Casablanca and killer pancakes. Above all, it’s a great place to relax in their beach chairs overlooking the sea. www.beachclubperrys.nl

Top 10 beach clubs Netherlands
Arabic style Perry’s


Not at sea, but still worth a visit:

Down Under, Nieuwegein

This beach bar/restaurant has a few things that make it special. Besides the restaurant and bar there’s so much you can do. Wakeboarding, waterskiing, indoor bodyboarding and floating golf are just some of the water activities you can participate at Down Under. Besides this, there is a large grass and a sand area where you can sunbath. It’s perfect for families with young children, for instance, they have many kids activities. The beach club area can also be hired for business or private parties. Down Under is situated near Utrecht, right in the heart of The Netherlands. www.downunder.nl

beach club Down Under
down under

Key West, Utrecht

Situated next to one of the bussiest highways on The Netherlands, is the Key West Beachhouse. Okok, it’s not a real beach but it’s besides the “Haarrijnse Plas” where you can safely swim. It’s the perfect spot for a business lunch or lovely dinner. They cook with local and fresh products and as a result the menu changes per season. www.keywestbeachhouse.nl

Key West Netherlands

In conclusion, this list will give you enough choice to enjoy the Dutch beaches this summer!

Love,

Wander-Lust

30 x Must Visit Food Festivals in The Netherlands 2019

Food festivals have proven to be a hit in the Netherlands, and because there are so many of them, it was time to create a list so you can pick and choose which ones you want to visit this summer. We have listed the best and upcoming food festivals in the Netherlands per month. Enjoy!

May

23 – 26 May TREK Maastricht | More info
25 – 26 May Pizza Festival Amsterdam | More info

29 May – 2 June Rollende keukens Amsterdam | More info
30 May – 2 June TREK Nijmegen | More info
31 May – 2 June Taste of Amsterdam Amsterdam | More info
31 May – 2 June RYPP Wijnfestival Rotterdam | More info
24 May – 2 June Toost Foodtruck Festival several locations! | More info

trek festival

June

1 -2 June  Spijs Foodfestival Venlo | More info
6 – 10 June TREK Utrecht | More info
7 – 8 June Gin Festival Utrecht | More info
7 – 10 June Lepeltje Lepeltje Amersfoort | More info

7 – 10 June Cuisine Machine Vlissingen | More info
8 – 17 June Bacchus Wijnfestival Amsterdam | More info
11 – 14 June Het Hoofdgerecht Amsterdam | More info
14- 16 June TREK Enschede| More info
27 – 30 June Leiden Culinair Leiden | More info
28- 30 June Fête du Champagne Amsterdam | More info

food festival leiden
Source: Culinair Leiden

July

5 – 7 July Lust Foodtruck Festival Winterswijk | More info
5 – 7 July Vorkje Prik Utrecht | More info
4 – 7 July TREK ‘s-Hertogenbosch| More info

12 – 14 July TREK Amsterdam| More info
26 – 28 July Beach Food Festival Texel | More info

Beach food festival 2019
Beach Food Festival Texel

August

2 – 4 August Amsterdam Kookt Amsterdam | More info
23 – 25 August ProefPark Haarlem | More info
30 August- 1 Sept Proef Eet Enschede | More info

30 August – 1 Sept TREK Den Haag | More info

Food truck

September

6 – 8 Sept Festival Joy Utrecht | More info
6 – 8 Sept Kannen & Kruiken Maastricht | More info
6 – 29 Sept Toost Foodtruck Festival | More info
13 – 15 Sept Smaak Karavaan Tilburg | More info
27 – 29 Sept Hippen Happen Festival | More info

More Tasty Hotspots? Check all our foodie tips below!

Must Visit! Beach Food Festival on Texel

Last year, I visited Texel island (the Dutch Ibiza of the North), to get a preview of the Beach Food Festival. I arrived in style by a Bruuzer Texel, which is a speedboat that flies across the water with speeds up to 80km per hour! And if this was only a teaser, they have something in store for you, when the the actual event is happening this summer!

Beach Food Festival Texel
Beach Food Festival last year

On Friday the 26th until Sunday the 28th of July, the Wadden Haven on Texel will be transformed into a foodie’s festival dream. The 3 day festival focusses on sustainability, local food and local trade. It’s the 3rd edition for the Beach Food Festival that saw 12.000 visitors last year.

Beach Food Festival
The Bruuzer Texel certainly woke me up!

Local Food
Because Texel is an island, local produce is very important to the community, and food has different variation in flavours than on the Dutch mainland. All the restaurants and food stands that are participating at the festival, are local or offer something unique. During my time on Texel, I got the chance to taste some of the food that will be served at the festival. Here some of the highlights;

  • Novalishoeve
    This organic farm is doing everything right when it comes to local produce. Their cows, sheep, pigs and chickens produce dairy, eggs and meat that they sell in their own shop, located at the farm. From the milk, they create the most delicious ice-cream, without any additives. Besides dairy and meat, they also sell herbal tea, cakes, home-made granola and their home baked bread, that is sold in many restaurants on the island. Novalishoeve will serve their special  ice-cream at the event this year. www.novalishoeve.nl

Novalishoeve Texel
Ice-Cream at Novalishoeve

All participants must serve at least one vegetarian dish on their menu

  • Kook Atelier
    This popular restaurant, serves beautiful creative, local food. Sea food caught at the Waddensea is their speciality, and last year they created a Texelse Pizza, that people are still talking about. www.kook-atelier.nl
  • Eilandkeuken
    The name says it all. The kitchen created on the island. This restaurant uses everything Texel has to offer. They will serve speciality meats at the Beach Food Festival, but each food truck needs to also offer at least one vegetarian dish. Eilandkeuken is serving a no-waste-veggie-menu and I had a little sneak preview so I can tell you that it’s worth stopping by! www.vincenteilandkeuken.nl

Beach Food Festival
Testing the pretty seafood from Kook Aterlier

  • StrandPaveljoen Twaalf
    Beach bar twelve is normally located right on the large beach of Texel, but for the festival they will set up a mini beach bar with delicious BBQ flavors like roasted pumpkin and vegan burgers. Last week I tried their vegan BBQ, which was amazing! StrandpaviljoenTwaalf
  • Texelse Branding
    Time for local coffee! Founder Evert used to live in Amsterdam, where good coffee is widely available. When he moved to Texel, he couldn’t find good quality coffee.. So he decided to experiment and roast his own! With great success, because his Texselse Branding is sold at several restaurants on the island. www.koffiebranderijtexel.nl

Market

Sustainable
Sustainability is very important at the festival. Besides that all ingredients must be local or organic, all the plates and cutlery are bio-degradable. Electricity is minimised by the foodtrucks and the festival ends in the evening, so no extra lights need to be in use. Because Texel is an island, many people use their bicycle to get to the festival and visitors from outside the island come by bus or foot. As previously mentioned above, all participants must serve at least one vegetarian dish on their menu and vegetarian food is highly encouraged.

Texel beach

Sleeping on Texel
There are many options! To find your favorite spot, check this website for availability www.texel.net

So take a pen and write down the dates, this July, we might see you at Beach Food Festival!

Beach Food Festival
20th – 22nd of July 2018
Waddenstrand Oudeschild, Texel
Website / Facebook

Love,

Elke

Waterdorp Burdaard, escape the city

Living in Amsterdam can be hectic sometimes. Life moves fast, and this applies to other big cities Time for a few days out of the busy city, and explore the North of Holland without getting bored. I booked a Bungalow Villa in Burdaard, Friesland. 

Burdaard, Friesland

If you are looking for a place to unwind, enjoy the Dutch landscape and clear your head, read on. Coming from Amsterdam you need to drive for about 2 hours to get there (Australians reading this, think “that’s a trip to the grocery store mate!”), but the drive is totally worth it. Burdaard is a tiny village, located in Friesland where quiet and serene where people still greet each other on the streets.

Windmill Waterdorp Burdaard

Bungalowpark Waterdorp Burdaard

The bungalow park is named Waterdorp Burdaard because it’s located next to the water where boats pass the river. The 5 villa’s are brand new and as a result, the houses are very clean and modern. You can choose between a 4 or 6 persons accommodation that all contain a fully equipped kitchen (with a Nespresso machine!), outside patio & garden with tables and chairs, luxury bathroom, TV, and a parking spot. The villa I stayed in had a wonderful view looking at a traditional Dutch Windmill and 2 bedrooms. Additionally you can ask for a baby bed if needed. 

Waterdorp Burdaard
Inside a 4 persons Villa at Holiday Park Waterdorp Burdaard

Waterdorp Burdaard villas
Holiday Park Waterdorp Burdaard

Things to do

Besides hanging around in the house, there are plenty of activities you can do in and around Burdaard. Cycling and walking are popular but during the summer you rent a boat and discover the area from the water. You won’t find any direct facilities on the park, but there is a supermarket just 700 meters away, a bakery, an ATM, cafes and restaurants and beautiful terraces where you can drink a delicious cup of coffee or have lunch. In addition you will find a community building nearby with tennis courts, fitness, swimming pool, a kids playground, cinema and a theater.

Dokkum
Visit Dokkum

Shopping & Eating

For more culture, shopping and other activities you can visit Dokkum (10 km) or the city of Leeuwarden (20 km). Both cities are well worth visiting. Leeuwarden was crowned the capital of culture of Europe last year and therefore gained immense popularity. You can feel the buzz in the city and with so many shops and restaurants, you could spend the whole day here.

Stek Leeuwarden
Lunch in Leeuwarden

Leeuwarden shops

Are you ready to escape the city? You can book your private villa via Bungalow.Net from €435,- for a 4-persons villa which includes cleaning, tourist tax and bedding. 

Love,

Elke

Curious what the Netherlands has to offer?

6 beach clubs in The Netherlands you should visit this summer

The Netherlands is famous for its long stretch beaches and endless amounts of beach clubs. So many that sometimes is a bit hard to make the right choice. Where will the food be the best? Where do they have the best ice-coffee or ambiance? We’ve listed our 6 favorite beach clubs of the season.

Tulum, Noordwijk
This newcomer opened last year and is a big beach club favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum Beachbar Netherlands

Bries, Noordwijk
This beach club is situated in Noordwijk. You can enjoy a Mediterranean menu with Asian influences where you can taste several fresh fish dishes. If you like meat you can go here for the steak market on Sundays. On other selected days you can even enjoy yoga classes or massages! Not sure if the weather is good enough? Check their live webcam to see if the sun is shining! www.briesnoordwijk.nl

Beach bar bries
Source

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee
Probably the most chilled out beach bar in the Netherlands. It feels like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order a famous Dutch Croquette on toast to keep you grounded. A big plus is that parking is free at Wijk aan Zee, so if you get there early, you can get a great spot near the beach! www.timboektoe.org

Timboektie beach bar

Unbuntu Beach, Zandvoort
It’s Sarah’s favorite beach club, and even though this one has been around for ages, it never get’s old. So why do we love it? The food is good, the service is great and they have swings (I mean, hellooo). Time to visit this all time favorite. www.ubuntubeach.nl

Unbuntu Beach bar Netherlands
Source

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan Zee
6km from the lovely Blooming hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So last year they opened beach club Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming beach bar

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande
If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach. 
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers. Or close your eyes and pretend you’re in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

 

Elements beach bar
Source

Love,

Elke

The Leeuwarden Guide 2019

Leeuwarden was voted the culture capital of Europe last year, and since then the city has been buzzing. New restaurants and shops pop up like mushrooms which resulted in more visitors than ever before. Time to check out the city of Fryslân everyone is talking about!

Bye bye hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, hello hello fresh air, calmness and…sugar bread! 

What to do in Leeuwarden

Street art tour Leeuwarden
A noteworthy tip is the street art tour in Leeuwarden. Great way to start your day, especially after a heavy breakfast. In 1,5 hours, you learn more about the interesting city background. We love the fact the talk was a perfect combi of historical and temporary facts. Guide Henk Leutscher and his team make so much fun of it! Check it out: a Guide to Leeuwarden.

a-guide-to-leeuwarden-street-art-tour-saskia-van-uylenburg-by-klaas-lageweg
Street art Leeuwarden style, love it!

Shopping
This fashion, flower and interior stores will pleasantly surprise you. It wouldn’t be out of place in Amsterdam. Lots of trendy stuff to pamper yourself, be prepared shopaholics! The Kleine Kerkstraat was even voted the best shopping street of the Netherlands in 2010 and 2013! Check out Scandinavian style concept store Nørd pictured below.

Leeuwarden shops

Blokhuispoort
Back in the days this used to be a prison, but now houses different business and eateries. Worth checking out.

Rent a boat
You can rent a boat at Greenjoy to see Leeuwarden from the water. Boats are available from about €25 euro.

 

Leeuwarden: a natural beauty
And if you want to escape the city for a while, please, please, please explore the raw and wonderful natural surroundings of Leeuwarden! Next time, I definitely want to have a pitstop there.

leeuwarden-emmakade-winter

In 2018 Leeuwarden-Fryslân was crowned the cultural capital of Europe

Where to Eat in Leeuwarden

Stek
This cute restaurant used to function as a bridge house and people actually lived here. If it reminds you of the popular brunch spot Pluk, you got it right. Stek is run by the previous co-owner of Pluk, which she started with her sister and brother in law. After a move back to the city she was born, she decided to start Stek and with great success. The food is lovely, and the coffee is good. Stek has an outside terrace overlooking the water. A must visit if you visit Leeuwarden.

Stek Leeuwarden

Lazy Lemons
If you have kids, you are going to love Lazy Lemons! Then again, you are also going to love it if you do not have any. Why? The food is simple but the portions are big, the service is good and there is enough space for families, friends and lovers. Upstairs you can find a large play corner for kids, which means a undisturbed lunch or dinner for the parents. We wished we had more of these in Amsterdam!

Lazy Lemons Leeuwarden

KB Food and Drinks
If you want a menu full of choices and options, you are at the right address at KB. Their formula works like this; you order a main and you can pick 2 side orders plus a saus of choice. The service here will make you happy and its no problem if you want to bring your kids. KB has a garden area, so you can enjoy those summer evenings. Fun fact: the building used to be a video library! www.kbfood.nl

KB Food and Drinks Leeuwarden
Dinner at KB food & drinks

Roast Leeuwarden
Must-try hotspot Roast Leeuwarden. Located in the middle of the city centre, this recently opened cozy lunch, dinner and drink spot is one to remember. Really like the fact they’ve put together a very diverse and continually changing menu for every budget. Their signature dish: chicken. But no worries veggies and vegans, there’s also so much appetizing food for you. If you can fit it, try the chocolate overloaded dessert, which is so yummy. Oh, and they’ve got two really cool tables with table taps, a perfect way to trigger your inner bartender haha! roastleeuwarden.nl

Roast Leeuwarden

 

De Neushoorn
My guide Henk told me about this must-visit…and he was right. It’s kind of a magical and vibrant place where music meets dance meets film. Visit one of the performances or feel free to pop by for a laid-back beer.

Moon
An Instagram dream with pink/purple walls, marble tables and a menu that you just need to take pictures of. It’s no surprise that you can order a matcha, beetroot or turmeric latte here. Get your freak on with a freakshake or go healthy with avo on toast. Yes, this place was made with the intention of being a hotspot. www.moonleeuwarden.nl

Moon Leeuwarden

Also worth mentioning:

  • Dr. Plant: vegan take-away restaurant in the heart of Leeuwarden.
  • Fruitbar SIS: the green and healthy hotspot with vegan cakes.
  • Blikspuit: a concept store with a kiddies corner, so great for parents.
  • Speelcafé: this café is made for kids and you’ll love it if you are a parent. There is a slide inside and countless toys. They serve great tea and homemade cupcakes.

Where to stay in Leeuwarden

Catshuis Boutique Hotel
We love boutique hotels and this hotel is certainly one that you want to check out. Located in the heart of Leeuwarden, it is the perfect place for couples. Beautiful rooms, lovely and always included breakfast and a stylish interior. At the hotel you can also book a high tea, great for friends! www.catshuisleeuwarden.nl

Post Plaza
In case you’re thinking about a citytrip to Leeuwarden, definitely book a room at the charming Post Plaza****. They invited me to stay and for sure I said ‘yes’. To be honest, I’ve nothing but praise. Especially the hospitality and extravaganza wakey wakey breakfast with everything a sweet tooth with a bit of a sleepyhead wants.. sugar bread. Do we need to say more?

Post Plaza, Leeuwarden
Hotel Post Plaza

Van Der Valk Hotel
We like this hotel because they have the BREEAM-NL certificate. This means that they are putting a lot of focus on being sustainable. For example, the heat from their restaurants is collected and re-used for the meeting rooms and kitchen. They have also installed bee hotels and a harbour to maintain biodiversity. It’s also a great hotel for families with kids, due to the family rooms and possibilities. Book your room here!

Van der valk hotel Leeuwarden
Van Der Valk Hotel

Explore the Friesland region and Leeuwarden if you get the chance!

Love,

Wander-Lust