If you are looking for somewhere to have a nice dinner in the Hague, I highly recommend Cottontree City. It is located adjacent to the American Embassy in the Hague. It has an interesting menu in that it doesn’t have starters and main courses. Instead, it offers a good variety of a la carte dishes for €12.50 and some classic dishes at a higher price.
I had the 4 course menu and the waitress told us which dishes we would be having and even offered me another option when I wasn’t keen on the dessert choice.
For a Saturday night, the restaurant was almost full but we didn’t have to wait long for our food. I absolutely loved the tuna tartare as the tuna was so fresh and the combination of the wakame and wasabi dressing with it was sensational.
The next course was the sauteed prawns with papaya, kai lan and black pepper which was served with crispy noodles. That was amazing. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of the dessert which was a brownie with lemongrass, peach, apricot and blood orange sorbet but it was surprisingly good.
The food was not only excellent but beautifully presented and the portions were good. It cost me €39.50 for a four course menu which I thought was reasonable. Cottontree also offers a 5, 6 or 8 course menus and is open for lunch and dinner. I was told that the restaurant changes a few dishes every 3 to 4 weeks.
I will definitely go back to eat at Cottontree again. I particularly like the fact that it is open for lunch on weekdays and unlike most restaurants which are closed on Mondays, Cottontree is closed on Sundays.
If you are looking for somewhere to go to do your Christmas shopping in Holland, I recommend the Kasteel de Haar’s Country & Christmas Fair. What I love about this fair is Christmas shopping in the unique & beautiful setting of the castle grounds. There are more than 240 stands at the fair so you should be able to find Christmas presents for your family & friends.
2017 is the 20th year of this event and the dates are from Tuesday, 21 November to Sunday, 26 November. The opening hours are from 10:00-22:00 apart from Sunday where the opening hours are from 10:00-18:00.
You have to pay to enter the fair. It costs €20 per adult and €10 for children between the age of 12 to 16 years old. Children under 12 enter for free. However, if you buy your tickets online, adults get 20% discount off the entry fee. Parking isn’t a problem as it’s a well organised event. You buy a car parking ticket for €6 online as well.
One of my favourite seafood restaurant in The Hague is Mero. I have been to Mero several times and have never been disappointed by the consistency of the quality of the food and service. What I usually have at Mero is the dinner surprise menu where you can choose 3 courses or 4 courses. The 3 course surprise menu costs €32.50 and the 4 course costs €37.50.
Mero also offers a 2 course surprise menu at lunch time for €25.50 where you can choose to have a starter and main course or a main course and dessert.
In the summer season, it is open everyday from 12:00-22:00 apart from Monday and Tuesday. In the winter, it opens later at 14:00. However, although the restaurant isn’t open until 14:00, if you call the restaurant in advance, the owners are accommodating and will open the restaurant earlier at 12:00 or 12:30 for you.
If you are at Schipol airport and have time to kill as security was much faster than you had anticipated, a lovely place to have a coffee, cake or a quick bite is Cafe Coco which is located in Schipol Lounge 2. It opened in 2016 and it offers a selection of starters, main courses and desserts.
Cafe Coco has comfortable chairs and unlike most of the food outlets, you are served by waiters at your table. As my family & I had already had lunch at home, we had some desserts and drinks.
I had the “Longue Passion” cake which was an amazing mango & passion fruit dessert. My daughter had the “Quenelles aux chocolate”, a dessert for chocolate lovers as it had 3 different types of chocolate mousse on a crunchy base. The cappuccino was excellent.
I am so glad I discovered Cafe Coco as airports aren’t fun places to be especially if your flight has been delayed!
The Japanese Garden in Clingendael Park is open from 14 to 29 October this year from 10:00-16:00 every day. I went there today as the weather was amazingly warm for October to see the autumn colours in the garden. It was particularly busy as some of the Dutch schools and international schools are on holiday this week.
I must admit that although it was beautiful, I still prefer the Japanese Garden in the spring as it is even more stunning particularly with its beautiful azalea bushes. But it’s still worth visiting!
I went to Marks & Spencer (“M&S”) yesterday to buy food & stock up for its imminent departure but much to my surprise, it was permanently closed for business. I could see contractors dismantling the fittings inside the shop.
Although the company announced last February that it will be closing its Hague store on 31 October 2017, it has closed much earlier! I left town feeling very sad as I will miss everything from the food hall such as the bread, cereal, crisps, biscuits and the ready meals especially the Italian, Indian, Chinese & Asian meals.
Farewell M&S! I loved having you here since 2014 and will really miss your presence in Holland.
I discovered Brute Burgers quite by chance last weekend. I was looking for a lunch place near Schipol airport so that my daughter could eat lunch before catching her flight.
I had never been to Hoofddorp before but it was the closest place to have lunch. Much to my surprise, Brute’s burgers were really good, in fact the best burgers that I have had in Holland!
My daughter chose the “Bruut Deluxe” burger and I had “Pablo’s Burger” which was delicious with a combination of guacamole, jalapeno pesto and tomato salsa. Pablo’s burger is actually only available for dinner but the chef kindly made it for me. I loved the friendly service and the fact that it opens on Sundays for lunch and dinner.
So, the next time you are near Schipol, you must check out Brute’s Burgers! It’s worth the detour!