THIS IS HOW YOU TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A HOTEL

Since we are all home-bound until further notice, a little comfort and luxury in your own house is not a bad idea. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself once in a while.

We had a little peek in a few of our favourite hotels in the Netherlands and we are happy to give you some tips so that you can get the luxurious hotel feeling in your own home. Enjoy it!

Fresh breakfast in bed | QO

Nothing is more delicious than a lazy Sunday morning, because say your day starts just a bit nicer when you can start nice and quiet. Breakfast in bed, good company and a newspaper with it; do nothing at all. But why wait until Sunday? After all, you can organise your own room service every morning of the week! Every morning at Persijn, the restaurant in the QO in Amsterdam, a fresh take-away breakfast including a bread basket, boiled egg and yogurt with fruit is waiting for you. To give it a more luxurious touch, you can serve it at home on a made-up tray. For example, use linen napkins and your most beautiful tableware for an extra bit of flair. An extra tip from our side, prepare some nice glasses with your favourite and healthy juice!

Hotel take away

For the hard worker | BOAT & CO

Working at home sounds nice, of course, but it often does not always benefit productivity. You are regularly distracted by your partner / child / pet and as a result the work piles up. But yes, a fully equipped workplace is not for everyone. Of course you can try to make the best of it. Hotel BOAT & CO will help you out. Every day, the hotel rooms will transform into flexible workplaces from 9 to 5. There is enough space to get started actively, creatively and positively. Balance is key here so give yourself enough breaks, take time for a healthy lunch in the available kitchen or do a yoga session in between. Keep an eye on the Instagram & Facebook of BOAT & CO for the fine yoga classes of Tatiana Capozzoli from i move amsterdam. Workspots can be booked from €39 via 020 246 1500.

Working Hotel Boat & Co

Stimulate your creativity | BLOOMING

Because more time is left and you relax more, more creativity will automatically arise. And hotel blooming thinks this is important. The hotel itself is a source of inspiration due to the beautiful surroundings, nature and the colourful and quiet interior. Blooming previously released a bath book. She set up a writing competition and gave undiscovered writers the opportunity to submit a story. Do you also want to make your writing dream come true? Then keep an eye on badboek.nl.

Blooming shared five tips with you:

  • Daydreaming. Try to do nothing for a few hours and let your mind wander. Take notes if something special comes to mind;
  • Describe the story in a few sentences;
  • Describe the main characters in a few sentences as if you know them through and through;
  • Although the writing itself is a nice process, it helps to make a planning with purpose and end date; Just write!

Writing hotel

Extra Tips

  • Use all those small hotel toiletries that you still have left from your recent travels
  • Treat yourself to some new sheets, hotel quality! Our favourites are Crispsheets
  • Buy an expensive scented candle, hey, it’s OK to treat yourself!

Do you want more tips during lockdown?

11x RESTAURANTS IN UTRECHT THAT OFFER FOOD DELIVERY

Your favourite local businesses need your help. And you need to eat. Let’s help each other!

Here are some local restaurants in Utrecht that deliver food at your doorstep. Bon appetit!

FIG

The concept is innovative: gym and restaurant in one. While we really miss their workout sessions, we thankfully don’t have to miss their tasty meals. As of now, FIG offers a dinner rotation with a “dish of the day” to be ordered by 2pm. Add any sides, desserts or drinks from their menu and enjoy it at home. I am impatiently waiting for shakshuka day to be back!

Punk Pizza

Punk Pizza is not only delicious and out-of-the-box pizzas, but they are currently paying it forward by donating 1 euro per pizza ordered to Utrecht’s cultural scene. Cultural establishments and artists are currently facing unprecedented hardship, and if eating pizza can contribute to the cause even so slightly, sign me up.

Gys

Gys is 100% organic and focuses on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options (yet they have meat dishes too). It’s a perfect healthy choice that has options for anyone quarantined with you. Who wouldn’t want vegetarian kapsalon made healthy for some guilt-free junk food?

Restaurants in Utrecht, home delivery

Life’s a Peach

Talk about baked with love! Life’s a peach is a Focacceria & Design shop ran by food and art-loving owner Vanessa. From savoury focaccia’s, freshly baked bread to donuts and other sweet things, support this talented business owner and treat yourself. Win-win.

Waku Waku

If you are living by a plant-based diet, you sure are not forgotten. Waku Waku ’s popular restaurant on Vredenburg might be temporarily closed but they will bring the goods to you. Pizza, burgers, noodles, salads; all the delicious soul-food made vegan.

Waku Waku Utrecht

ANAN

ANANs Vietnamese food is my go-to for fresh, tangy, bold flavours. Perfect to bring a little variety to your dinner routine. This Asian restaurant in Utrecht offers a wide selection of Vietnamese staples, with plenty of options to cater for vegetarians, vegans, meat-eaters and everyone in between.

Dogma

What about a HOT DOG? Dogma is all about hotdogs in all sorts of funky variations. Mexican toppings, sauerkraut, Japanese-insipred, with a side of truffle fries? Swap any dog of a plant-based sausage or go for a gluten-free bun; mix and match to fit your wildest hot dog dreams.

Dogma Utrecht, deliver food in Utrecht

Spice Monkey

Spice Monkey is a new-comer on the Utrecht restaurant scene, and an unlucky one when it comes to timing. But we all love trying out new places and discovering new menus, don’t we? This is the perfect occasion to explore the emerging culinary scene of Utrecht. Go check out that spicy Bali-inspired goodness and tell us how you like it.

Brunch by Teds

Make your weekends feel special still with some tasty brunch. Teds is one of Utrecht’s busiest spots for brunch, and for once, no need to wait for a table. Order from Teds extensive brunch menu – eggs benedict, granola, pancakes, you name it – and keep weekends feeling like weekends.

Brunch Utrecht delivery

KEEK

Cakes and other sweet deliciousness freshly baked and brought to your door! On days like these, I believe we all deserve to spend some quality one-on-one time with a slice of chocolate tart, a glossy cinnamon bun, or a hearty bowl of soup (they do lunch too). Treat your soul with some KEEK.

Cakes delivered Utrecht

Roberto Gelato

Let’s end with a bit of a wild card. I have been introduced to Roberto Gelato a few months back as the best ice cream in town by an Italian friend (so she knows her gelato). Sadly they then stopped selling gelato for the winter months. But to my delight (and my friend’s) they are now open for business and will bring that iced creamy heaven to you.

Prefer cooking at home? Check out these 5 vegetarian recipes made with non-perishable ingredients!

Is your favourite restaurant in Utrecht offering home delivery and not on the list? Comment down below!

Hungrily yours,

Mathilde

Mathilde is a professional content writer based in Utrecht. To balance out the serious content she produces, she tries to bring a little laughter in the world with her comical animal facts on Instagram @dailymooseletter.

THE BREDA CITY GUIDE 2020

Breda is a vibrant place in the southern part of the Netherlands. The city exudes cosiness and is a perfect destination to enjoy food, drinks and shopping. Hotspots such as trendy restaurants, cafés and concept stores pop-up one after another.

In other words: Breda is HOT! Therefore, it’s time to discover the pearl of the Southern Netherlands and the pride of Brabant (more on Brabant here).

How to get there?

Amsterdam and Breda are not very far apart from each other so you can easily take the train or go by car. I would recommend taking the train because it is a more sustainable way of traveling and it takes the same amount of time (1 hour) as going by car. In addition, it is only a 5-minute walk from Breda central station to the city centre. A return train ticket from Amsterdam to Breda will costs you around 45 euro.

Breda City Guide Puick
Puick

Where to eat?

Puick
This place can be best described as a living room where you can enjoy a healthy fair-trade meal between hanging plants, peaking cactuses, old Chesterfields and vintage 70’s lamps. So if you want to go for a healthy lunch with creative green dishes, this is your place to go!

Hemels 
For a delicious lunch or dinner I would recommend going to Hemels. The restaurant is very atmospheric, the service is always attentive and they have a cozy, green courtyard garden for long warm evenings.

Bobbi’s bar
Probably one of the biggest hotspots in Breda right now. The ambiance in this restaurant is great and it is beautifully decorated to the last detail (especially the bar which looks like it’s straight out some movie). So if you want to dine in an Instagram-proof restaurant with velvet chairs, neon lighting, and golden detailed interior; head your way to Bobbi’s! The restaurant is often full, so a reservation is a must.

Breda Drinks
Bobbi’s Bar 

Chocolat
Planning a special date night or just feeling like having an elegant dinner? The culinary restaurant Chocolat serves special and creative dishes made of seasonal products. Be prepared for an explosion of flavours while sitting in a fancy chocolate brown interior.

FoodHall
This big industrial-styled open space has a big bar in the middle and is surrounded by food stalls where you can find 14 different kitchens with a wide variety of dishes and drinks from all over the world. This is the place to be if you want to eat, drink and socialize with friends, family or colleagues in an easy-going, relaxed atmosphere. The FoodHall also regularly has live music performances during the weekend and they hold game / quiz nights. Check the program here.

’t Hart van Breda
Are you strolling around the city and want to have a little break while enjoying a drink and a little snack? ‘t Hart is a cozy, easy-going café located in the middle of the city centre with a large outside terrace. They are famous for their delicious nachos.

Tiger Club
The best Asian street food restaurant in town! All their dishes are the size of an intermediate dish and are intended – according to Eastern family traditions – to share with the whole dining company. Service, interior and the quality of food: everything is right. Personally my favourite place to eat in Breda!

Breda City Guide Tiger Bar
Tiger Club


Where to drink coffee

Koffie bij Teun
Whether you order espresso or cappuccino, it is certainly a taste sensation. The owner (Teun) and his employees all have a real passion for coffee, and it will surprise you what these people get out of beans!

Yirga
They call themselves an urban espresso bar with a natural kitchen and that actually describes them in a nutshell as they serve great coffee and tea, and cook with as many organic products as possible. Everything is home-made; from cake to ketchup!

Koffiebar Sowieso
A nice, relaxed coffee bar just outside of the city’s bustle, where only delicious home-roasted coffee is served. Tip: this place is a must for vegetarians and vegans because they have many vegan cake & lunch options.

Breda City Guide Coffee
Koffiebar Sowieso


Where to go for drinks

Dok 19
A great place for a drink in the sun along the harbour of Breda. They have a cupboard filled with board games, an extensive specialty beer menu, and nice music. You won’t get bored here!

De Bommel
Café de Bommel has been a household name in Breda for more than fourty years. You can go there for a casual drink or go out during the weekend. The nice thing about this cafe is that people from all age-classes hang out here.

Beers and Barrels
An industrial looking restaurant located in the old beer brewery of Breda. Their huge range of beers (internationally and locally) make it difficult to choose! A must-go if you are a beer-lover and want to do a little beer tasting.

Breda City Guide BB
Beers & Barrels

Suikerkist
From gin & tonics to fresh smoothies or a delicious specialty beer: you name it and they’ve got it. Their large outside terrace catches the sun all day and has a nice view of the big church.

De Botanist
This spot is known for its inviting terrace along the water. The prices are affordable, and they have tasty cocktails.


Where to Shop?

Ginnekenweg & Wilhelminastraat
These two streets are connected to each other and are full of historic buildings and contain an extensive range of different independent boutiques and restaurants. From clothing stores to book stores and from interior stores to places where you can find the most beautiful bouquet, it’s all here. The concept boutique PALMA is definitely worth a visit, here you can find cool lifestyle products, trendy and extraordinary clothing and beautiful jewellery. Exclusive fashion / beauty chains such as Skins cosmetics, IKKS and Pauw are also located in this street.

Palma Breda
Palma

Veemarktstraat
This is a broad restaurant and shopping street in the centre of Breda. The stores consist mainly of specialised boutiques in clothing and lifestyle areas. Halfway the street is a little square (Veemarktplein) where an organic market is held every Tuesday morning.

Ginnekenstraat & Eindstraat
These two combined are the main shopping streets in the centre of Breda. The big retail chains such as Zara, Scotch & Soda, Mango, Bershka and Levi’s are settled here.


What to visit?

Valkenberg park
When walking from the train station to the city centre you pass through Valkenberg Park. This park was until 1812 the garden of the Breda castle which still stands next to the park. Valkenberg has also been voted in 2019 as the most beautiful park in the Netherlands. It is a wonderful place to relax among the green trees.

Club solo
This artist initiative club offers Dutch and Belgian mid-career artists the opportunity to create and show their work in solo presentations. Club Solo is also a platform for discussions, lectures and music. A ticket is only a few euro’s. It is an inspiring place to walk around! Check out what exhibition is on now here.

STEK & PIER 15 Skatepark
STEK is a breeding ground for creative and artistic entrepreneurs who are committed to sustainability. There are studios, office units, workshops, flexible workplaces, shops and various types of little restaurants and bars. Next to STEK lies the PIER 15 Skatepark. On Saturday (during summer) an event called “Haveneiland” is organised there and you can expect great soul, jazz, disco and funk tunes. Get ready to dance!

Markdal
Just on the outskirts of Breda is a beautiful piece of nature: Markdal. This area is rich in nature and cultural history and is popular by walkers, hikers and cyclists.

Markdal Breda
Markdal Breda

Whether you want to shop, go out for lunch / dinner or do something cultural; Breda has it. They don’t call Breda “the pearl of the south” for nothing! Planning your next trip yet? 🙂

Curious about our favourite LUNCH SPOTS IN AMSTERDAM? Or check out all our CITY GUIDES!

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest in photography, fashion, spirituality and traveling. She was 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time and has been to every continent in the meantime. You can follow iris on Instagram.

 

 

 

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.

dsc_0918
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!

dsc_0939

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.

the-student-hotel-my-stay-during-my-citytrip-in-the-hague-3
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

11091279_1479663958986130_6271870478417441335_n
1422616_1511473419138517_7763858370359386924_n
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

11241708_912087965508267_225566726_n
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

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
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