I can’t believe a year has gone by since I started my blog! Anyway, spring is my favourite time of the year in Holland. As the hyacinths, daffodils & tulips will be in full bloom over the next 2 weeks, I highly recommend a trip to the bulb fields for the spectacular experience during this limited period.
If you fancy cycling the bulb fields, click here for the blog that I wrote for Angloinfo South Holland in which I recommend which village to go to, the bike route and even where you can rent a bike.
The Japanese Garden in Clingendael opens from 28 April to 10 June this year. Again, it’s a unique garden worth visiting if you haven’t been. Click here for my previous blog on this garden.
Enjoy the amazing weather that we are having!
Luciano’s ice cream is excellent and it offers a huge variety of ice cream and sorbets. My personal favourite flavours are pistachio, hazelnut and key west lemon pie.
Luciano’s first shop opened in Wassenaar in 1996. What I like about Luciano’s is despite the fact that it won the title “Ice cream parlour of the year” in 2006, Luc still creates new flavours for his clients.
This year, Luciano’s introduced the bubble waffle cone! You have a choice of 6 bubble waffles to choose from. I chose the Tony’s sea salt caramel and it didn’t disappoint at all. For €5.50, the bubble waffle came with 2 scoops of ice cream of your choice, Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate chunks, sea salt caramel pearls, caramel sauce and cream. I loved it but next time, I will definitely share it as it was a huge indulgence for one person.
By the way, the bubble waffle isn’t available at all Luciano branches. Fortunately for me, it is available in the Wassenaar branch.
Have you been to Fahrenheitstraat? If you haven’t, it’s worth exploring as this street has not only the mainstream shops such as Hema, Blokker, Albert Heijn but a variety of shops. Essentially, it’s a street where you can buy everything that you need – even stamps, freshly ground coffee, etc. Of course, Fahrenheitstraat has a number of eating places.
One of my favourite is Lunchroom Lot which is on a street off Fahrenheitstraat. I stumbled across Lot and simply loved the food and coffee there. There is always freshly made bread, soup, juices and smoothies. It’s a simple menu with an interesting twist. My favourite lunch choice is bread with Jamaican Jerk chicken, avocado and Sriracha dressing.
Another favourite of mine is the cauliflower pumpkin soup with red lentils and fenugreek.
Chef Roel changes an item on the menu every fortnight. I am looking forward to seeing what he will have on his menu as we head towards spring.
Lot is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8:00-18:00. It’s a child friendly place as there are sofas and toys for kids to play with.
I went to Happy Tosti in the Hague as my daughter wanted to have a Tosti. We decided to try Happy Tosti on Korte Poten. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the tostis were and the quality of the service.
My husband & daughter chose to a Tosti each. One had the Raclette Tosti and the other had the Chorizo Tosti. I chose the Veggie Panini and absolutely loved it.
The decor was simple. It has swings suspended from the ceiling for some of its seats. It’s a great place to go for breakfast, lunch or a snack!
Happy Tosti is open every day and it has 5 branches in Hoofddorp, Leiden, Delft, Breda & the Hague. So, if you don’t live in the Hague, you have 4 other locations you can go to.
Last night, we went to eat at Ruisenor as a friend raved about how amazing the food was. It’s a Mexican restaurant on the Denneweg which serves dinner 7 days a week. I called the night before and was told it was fully booked but I was put on a waiting list in case there were any cancellations. Thankfully, there was a last minute cancellation!
There wasn’t a menu to choose from as chef Alberto serves a 7 course tasting menu for Euro 50 per person. I was totally blown away by the food as it was an unforgettable culinary experience. Interestingly, chef Alberto has a degree in chemical engineering but decided to use his degree towards cooking!
Each course has a story. For example, the first course was called “Destroying mum’s food”. Although what we like to eat tends to be predetermined by the food cooked by our mum, Alberto challenges your taste buds in this first course with a wild fusion of international ingredients (including the cactus!).
I loved the “Zinc, Swing & Sing” course. Zinc is needed in the human body every day to maintain health and perform important functions such as repair, growth and immunity. So, Alberto create a dish full of zinc for his clients. An explosion of flavours burst through that made my taste buds “swing and sing”!
Every single course was wonderful. There was a course about the moment before you kiss. The flavours introduced in this dish activates the body’s preparation for the kiss. Alberto loves his biochemistry!
The restaurant has such a lovely ambiance with Alberto singing occasionally in the background. He has quite a number of staff working with him in the kitchen and you can tell they clearly enjoy what they do from the laughter in the kitchen. The staff who serve the food are attentive and do a great job describing the story behind each course to you. They even explain how you should eat the dish.
Alberto changes the menu every 2 months and as we left the restaurant, he was waiting with great excitement for a delivery of a 4 kilo King crab from which he wants to use for his next menu change. Ruisenor has been open for 2 years now and I would highly recommend a visit to this restaurant if you want a truly unique and wonderful dining experience.
FOAM cafe on the Frederikstraat is a lovely vegan cafe that opens seven days a week from 10 am. Although I am not a vegan, I love the food there as it’s absolutely delicious.
The soup is always excellent. I had the coconut & red lentil soup last Monday. My daughter chose the Pita Gyros which was filled with oyster mushrooms & tzatziki.
We tried the homemade lemon & coconut cake which was amazing as it was light, fluffy and not too sweet. It was so popular that by the end of lunch, the cake was almost gone. It was so good that we bought a slice to take home.
The name “FOAM” means “Fresh Organic and Meat Free”. It is a relatively new cafe as it opened in April 2016. I am so glad that I have found a vegan cafe which serves great food. FOAM has a great ambiance with a lovely view of the garden at the back.
Have you been to Philippe Galerne’s Patisserie near the Frederik Hendriklaan? I recently discovered it and have been so thrilled with my discovery. It has such a large selection of bread, tarts, pastries and desserts and despite the constant queue of people in the bakery, the staff are always friendly and patiently serving customers. I remember the first time I went there, I was so confused with the variety of bread but the girl who served me patiently and enthusiastically described the variety they had to help me decide which bread to buy. When I couldn’t decide between the 2 choices, she suggested that I buy half a loaf each which I thought was so nice and accommodating of her.
I have tried their plain croissant, chocolate croissant & almond croissant and they have been amazing. My favourite is definitely the almond croissant as unlike most croissants, this one oozes with a creamy almond paste!
They do an incredibly good pear tart. You can buy individual ones or a large one. The crust is a lovely and thick and the pears on top are succulent and not too sweet. A perfect combination.
The bakery has been open for 11 years and most of the staff are French. They are open every day except Mondays. As Philippe is always busy with its continual flow of customers, it has a high turnover and fresh produce is always being baked throughout the day. What I particularly love about Philippe is their customer service. I have called on more than one occasion and if they have run out of what I want, they offer to bake what I want in 2 hours! What more can you ask for! A tip from me – I recommend that you call to reserve what you want before you go so that you don’t get disappointed.