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!
I recently discovered Sushi So Tasty and loved the quality of the sushi. What I liked about this sushi shop is the fact that it offers a variety of sushi such as the classic maki, temaki handrolls, uramaki (the inside out rolls) and futomaki rolls. I tried their 24 piece uramaki menu which had a combination of tempura prawn roll, spicy roll and california roll. On top of that, I ordered 10 pieces of futomaki crispy prawn and 6 pieces of salmon maki. What can I say but the rice was perfectly cooked and everything I ordered was delicious.
For returning customers, you get a 5% discount for every order and for the month of September & October, you get half of a futomaki crispy crab roll if you order above €30. It is open every day apart from Mondays and it does home delivery to The Hague, Voorburg, Leidschendam, Leidschenveen & Rijswijk.
Although Giethoorn is almost a two hour drive from The Hague, I love going there because it is an incredibly scenic and peaceful village. The houses are quaint and immaculately maintained and presented.
There are no roads in the old part of the village. All transport is done by water. You can either walk around the village or rent an electric motor boat for a couple of hours. I took my brother and his family recently and we had so much fun taking it in turns to manoeuvre the boat along the narrow canals. We went out to the huge lake where there is a small island in the middle of it that you can picnic on. This island has toilets and rubbish bins for your use.
It costs around €45 to rent a boat for an hour but if you go to Smit Giethoorn which is on the outskirts of the village, you can park there for free and the boat rental was only €30 per hour.
There are of course many restaurants and shops in the old part of the village to explore on foot. My favourite shop was Gloria Maris’ shell and jewellery gallery. Hence, despite the distance of Giethoorn, I would definitely go back again and bring my family and visitors to.
With summer coming to an end, you should make the most of it and alfresco dine before it gets too cold to do so. Character Gastrobar by Mila in Wassenaar is a great place to do so as the food is really excellent and it’s a great place to people watch. It’s located in the middle of Wassenaar in a square diagonally opposite Luciano’s which attracts the ice cream lovers throughout the day.
Mila has a Specials menu which she changes every week and this depends on the produce that is fresh and in season.
I have had Mila’s steak on several occasions and it is seriously melt in your mouth tender and juicy. Her chips that come with the steak are also really good as they are cooked to perfection – crispy on the outside!
Recently, she had prawns on her special menu that were cooked in Green Egg BBQ that were excellent – smokey but juicy!
It’s a nice cosy restaurant and I like the fact that it’s a casual restaurant. The service is excellent as the staff are attentive and friendly. As this place only opens from Thursday to Sunday, I do suggest that you call ahead to reserve a table to avoid disappointment.
If you fancy having a bowl of ramen in the Netherlands, Fou Fow Ramen is the place to go to. The noodles are perfectly chewy and not overcooked and the broth is amazing. Fou Fow serves a variety of ramen such as Shio Ramen (noodles in chicken broth), Tonkotsu Ramen (noodles in pork broth) and Miso Ramen (noodles in a rich chicken and pork broth with miso). It even serves a vegetarian ramen.
I love their home made gyozas as well. You have a choice of pork & vegetable gyozas, vegetarian gyozas and even deep fried chicken gyozas.
Fou Fow is so popular that it has opened a second shop in Amsterdam at Van Woustraat 3. Apart from Mondays, the Elandsgracht shop is open for lunch from 12:00-15:00 and dinner from 17:00-21:00. As it’s so popular, you can’t reserve a table. I therefore suggest that you go during off peak hours. While waiting for a table at Fou Fow, you can explore the surrounding area or walk around the corner and have an ice cream at Ijscuypje which sells amazing ice cream and gelato.
Have you had unpleasant service by your local bicycle shop? I remember in our first year in Holland, we bought all our bicycles from a shop and when we went back for servicing, the staff were unpleasant and rude. They insisted that we had to drop off our bicycles by a certain time in the morning and return to pick them up at the end of the same day. They refused to store our bicycles for us until the next day even though we couldn’t return to pick them up the same day.
The good news is I have found a really pleasant guy called Martijn who charges €40 per bicycle (a reasonable price) for an annual maintenance and he comes to your house to do it for you. He works quickly and takes around 30 minutes to service each bicycle. He comes with his van equipped with all the tools to do the servicing for you. I admired how he just hoisted the bike in his van and began to work in such a compact work space.
I loved the fact that it was so convenient having someone come to your home to service all our bicycles and I could choose the day and time that suited me. Martijn works every weekday from 10:00-17:00 and will come to you if you are located in the Hague and its immediate surrounding areas such as Leidschendam, Wassenaar, etc.
He charges €9.50 for travelling to your house but if you have 5 bicycles for him to service, he doesn’t charge you his travelling cost. Martijn can be contacted on his mobile 06 3391 7510 and by email at email@example.com