Jumbo Foodmarkt opens in The Hague

Jumbo Foodmarkt opens in The Hague

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Jumbo opened its newest concept, Jumbo Foodmarkt yesterday in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre. This new concept goes beyond just being a supermarket as it provides customers with freshly prepared ready food. It has counters that sell sushi, fish & chips, meat, cheese, nuts, etc. I even saw a Veggie Chef counter!

This Foodmarkt is absolutely massive and offers customers a huge range of products under one roof. I saw a fairly large gluten free section and there is also a separate flower area too.

As it is open until 10 pm every day apart from Sundays where it has shorter opening hours, customers can have breakfast, lunch & dinner in Jumbo as it has a Food Cafe which offers pizza,  sandwiches and hot food. What I like about the restaurant area is that it is bright with lots of natural light and it is nicely furnished.  It is a gezellig (“cosy”) place where you won’t mind spending time there. For parents with your kids, there is a kids’ play area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The best pancake place in the outskirts of the Hague

The best pancake place in the outskirts of the Hague

Having lived in Holland for over 5 years, I have been to many pancake restaurants in different towns such as the Hague, Leiden and Leidschendam. Last weekend, my husband & I went for a cycle and decided to try the Pannenkoeken Boerderij in Katwijk. We have driven past it many times but never stopped to eat there.

This menu was incredible as there was so much choice. It had more than 100 pancakes to choose from. Some interesting pancakes were on the menu such as Egyptian, Mexican and Chinese pancake.

We ordered a ham, cheese & mushroom to share and asked if we could have a banana & Nutella pancake which wasn’t on the menu. The waiter was very accommodating to our request. What impressed me was that when the savoury pancake was served, we were given 2 plates to share it. Then, there was a nice pause before they served the sweet pancake.

The ham, cheese & mushroom pancake was so good! You couldn’t see the ham or mushrooms as the cheese covered the entire pancake. It was really, really delicious. Now, the banana & Nutella pancake was incredible as the bananas were inside the pancake rather than just placed on top. They were also perfectly ripe so they were well caramelised. I liked the fact that the Nutella was served separately in a bowl so that you can add how much you wanted.

Holland is renowned for its pancakes and after this experience, I totally agree and I am coming back with my daughters. The service was good and efficient. Another bonus is the fact that it opens every day and it is located opposite the entrance to the Panbos Park which I have yet to explore! The only drawback was the fact that indoor seating is very dark although it is charming and quaint. We asked if we could sit outdoors but were told we couldn’t as they didn’t have enough staff to serve both the indoor and outdoor areas. Hopefully, with summer approaching, they will open the outdoor area to clients.

Is Vlietland worth exploring?

Is Vlietland worth exploring?

Hi everyone! I can’t believe that I started this blog 2 years ago.  Time has flown by so quickly. I hope that you have found my blogs useful. The weather that we are having this Easter long weekend has been so amazing! I simply love being outdoors.

Yesterday, I went cycling around Vlietland and accessed it from Voorschoten and although I got a little lost trying to find my way across the canal, it was well worth going. My family and I brought a picnic with us and found a lovely spot by the lake to have our lunch. We watched some people hover boarding on the other side of the lake. What I liked about Vlietland was the fact that it wasn’t crowded and it has good cycle paths.  It was simply a scenic and peaceful cycle. We cycled around Vlietland and almost reached Leidschendam before we turned back towards Voorschoten. It was a perfect afternoon.

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What impressed me about Vlietland is that although it is a massive 300 hectares water sports, recreation and nature area, it didn’t feel that crowded with people. I think this is because it is so big and has so many diverse activities for people to choose such as canoeing and other water sports, a climbing park, hiking, mountain biking, skating and roller skating.

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Don’t forget to visit the Japanese garden at Clingendael which opens from the 26th April until the 9th June from 9 am to 8 pm. Make the most of the amazing weather that we are having while it lasts!

 

The Construction of the Bulbflower Parade 2019

The Construction of the Bulbflower Parade 2019

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I went to Sassenheim tonight to see the construction of the Bulbflower Parade for this year and I was quite taken aback by the detail of the design of each float and the dedication of the volunteers pinning the bulb flowers onto the floats. This is the 72nd year and the theme this year is “Changing World”. As the brochure was in Dutch, I asked and was given a free tour in English.

I actually preferred seeing the construction of the flower floats instead of the parade as you see the construction process up-close and you appreciate the history behind the parade itself. The entrance fee is Euro 6 and you have until noon tomorrow to see the construction of the floats before they leave the site for Noordwijkerhout where there will be a parade in that town that evening.

This year, there are a total of 17 floats, each with its own interpretation of the theme. I absolutely loved the float by Corsogroep KAVB Noordwijkerhout. KAVB stands for The Royal General Association for Flower Bulb Culture and its design is about the evolution of man!

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The KAVB of Hillegom, Haarlem had a float design showing the change of the animal kingdom from the dinosaurs to contemporary reptiles such as the snake, crocodile and turtles. That was a truly spectacular design.

It is Specsavers’ first year participating in the parade and I loved their unique float. (see the last photo of this blog). Thailand and China each had a float representing their country.

What I learnt from the volunteer who gave me the tour was that Holland’s major export were originally the flower bulbs and not the flowers. In order to have good quality bulbs, the farmers would dead head the flowers and throw them away. After the 2nd World War, people started making garlands from these unwanted flowers and eventually, one guy decided to make a float out of these flowers.

I also learnt that the floats have a height limitation of 3.6 metre as the parade path involves going under bridge that is 3.7 metres high. It even has a width limit to ensure the float can navigate its way around the roundabouts along the route.

If you are interested to see the actual parade itself, that takes place on the 13th April and it starts from Noordwijk at 09:15 and ends at Haarlem at 21:05.

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Keukenhof Gardens has opened !

Keukenhof Gardens has opened !

I took my daughter who was visiting to Keukenhof yesterday as she was leaving the Netherlands today. Despite my slight reservation that it may be a little too early to go especially with the awful wet and windy weather we had in the Netherlands during the last 2 weeks, we weren’t disappointed. In fact, we had a wonderful day in Keukenhof even though not all the tulips, crocuses or hyacinths were in full bloom. We loved the fact that there were far less people at Keukenhof as it made the visit so much more pleasant and enjoyable. We didn’t have to queue to enter the garden nor at the restaurant when we wanted to have lunch.  Finding a car park inside the Keukenhof grounds wasn’t an issue and the weather was perfect – warm and quite sunny.

The theme for this year is Flower Power so the indoor pavilions displays were fun and quite hippy with a 1970’s vibe! We absolutely loved it.

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Keukenhof is open until the 19th May and a website that gives you a weekly update on the state of the flowers at Keukenhof is http://www.tulipfestivalamsterdam.com. Frankly, I don’t think it matters when you go as it is an impressive and spectacular display of flowers. I highly recommend that you buy tickets online before you go as it saves you time having to queue to buy tickets there.

Encore by Simonis in the Hague

Encore by Simonis in the Hague

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Last weekend, I decided to try Encore and I was impressed as it is so unlike the other Simonis restaurants. It had an inviting warm ambiance and the first thing that hit me was the impressive bar and the funky modern chandelier hanging above the bar.

The restaurant has 2 floors of seating and a private function room. I loved the way that the top floor looked over the bar area on the ground floor. Cool music was playing in the background. I loved the music but it is definitely not the place to have a serious conversation in.

Encore had so many staff. I had never seen so many staff in a restaurant in the Hague before. It even had staff standing inside the kitchen so that once the food was ready, it was served immediately to clients to ensure the food was served hot.

Service was very attentive from the minute you entered the restaurant.

Encore has an interesting and huge menu with an Asian twist. For example, there is sashimi, sushi, hot starters such as crispy squid, seafood tacos, steak, and of course seafood. I highly recommend the Encore bread with tapenade and chives oil as it is so good. The bread is soft, moist and melts in your mouth.

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I loved the Tuna tacos and the Popcorn shrimp tempura. I had the Chilean sea bass which was served in a miso yuzu truffle sauce with shiitake and green beans. My husband had the black cod as his main course. Both the fish main course dishes were really good and the portions were big. I recommend that you share a main course if you want to try a number of their starters and maybe dessert!

The Hague should have more restaurants like Encore as it is a hip place with a great ambiance for all ages. Even if you are not interested in having dinner there, Encore is a great place to meet friends to have a drink and snacks.

The restaurant is a big restaurant and despite that, there were queues of people waiting to get in and it was full without a single empty table. Encore is clearly the hot spot in Scheveningen Harbour. I highly recommend you reserve a table before going. It is open every day for dinner and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, it is also open for lunch.

Encore also organises music and disco events. On the 17th March, it is having a Motown Sunday show including Michael Jackson and entry is free.

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