David’s Gelato in Gouda

David’s Gelato in Gouda

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Gouda is famous for its cheese but I discovered something even better – David’s Gelato! This place does AMAZING gelato and sorbet with really unique & interesting combinations. For example, he had a sorbet called Thailand which is made up of mango, coconut & a spicy pepper. I chose the vanilla gelato with homemade raspberry compote, cookies and white chocolate. I wasn’t sure about the combination But it was incredible and had a delightful crunch to it. My daughter had the passion fruit & apricot and raved about it. My husband had the pistachio and he said it was even better than De Lelie’s pistachio ice cream! And the cone was so light and melted in your mouth. Loved it.

This place has over 100 flavours and has new flavours almost weekly. What an avant-garde gelato creator! I was curious about how fresh and pure the gelatos were that I went onto his website and this is what I found out!

David, the owner who is currently in his late 20’s went to Italy in 2012 to learn how to make ice cream  and in 2013, he opened his gelato shop in Gouda!

He believes in using only the best ingredients so he sources from all over the world. The fresh fruit is peeled by hand and the milk comes directly from a farm less than 3 minutes away.

You can even hire David’s 3-wheeler ice cream truck for parties, weddings or business functions. Of course, he does wedding ice cream cakes and he even custom makes ice cream for restaurants to suit their menus.

For the address and opening hours, go to http://www.davidsgelato.nl. By the way, it’s open seven days a week from March to October and it’s located in the centre of Gouda.

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De Horsten Royal Estates

De Horsten Royal Estates

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Have you been to De Horsten? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. The northern part of the estate is sandwiched between the N44 and the N448 (Papeweg) that leads to Voorschoten. It has several entrances but its main entrance is from Papeweg. Once you turn into the N448, it’s the first turning on your left. You will see a huge tall gate. I went a few years ago but I have only recently discovered how huge and beautiful it is. It is a very peaceful walk and you have the flexibility of how long you want to walk for. It varies from 1 km to 7.5 km. The paths are wide and level enough for wheelchairs or child buggys. I love the sound of the birds singing, the constant sound of a small creature or bird rustling in the bushes, the bridges, streams, the massive bushes of rhododendrons and seeing the cows in the distance. I even saw several families of ducks with their young ducklings today.

Whenever I walk in De Horsten, I seem to take a slightly different route as there are so many options. But, don’t let that put you off, as no matter which turning you take, you end up either at the Tea Pavilion or the Lookout tower or back to where you started. What’s nice about De Horsten is you are allowed to bring a picnic with you provided you bring your rubbish home. The area I recommend for picnicking would be around the Lookout tower.

I must admit that there’s nothing like ending the walk with a stop at the Tea Pavilion for a drink although the food there isn’t much to rave about. However, do note that the Tea Pavilion isn’t open on Mondays or Tuesdays! Its opening hours are from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00-16:45.

To walk in the estate, you need to buy a day ticket that costs €1 per adult or 50 cents per child aged between 4 to 14.  Parking is free.

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Peony farm in Voorschoten opened today!

Peony farm in Voorschoten opened today!

If you are a peony lover like me, you would love this peony farm as you buy peonies that are freshly cut daily on site. It has many peony varieties, single, double, etc. and a variety of colours.  You can even buy potted peony plants from them.

It’s a 30 year old farm that used to supply peonies only to the flower auction but now it sells to the public!

Today is the first day it opened and they had the single peonies on sale. A bunch of 10 peonies only cost me €5! The double peonies will be available next week. 

Go early as they tend to sell out very quickly. They open at 9:00am but as their opening hours are irregular at the moment, check their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/horsthoekpioenrozen before going!

It’s located just outside Voorschoten. As you leave Voorschoten on the N447 towards Leidschendam, you pass the Esso petrol station on your left, continue along the road and you will see the farm on the right hand side before the bridge. It is opposite a building called B. Hoogwerff Kroon.

Depending on the weather, the farm opens for approximately 4 weeks. Enjoy the peonies!!

Kiraku Sushibar in Den Haag

Kiraku Sushibar in Den Haag

img_0825I love going to Kiraku for their sushi, it is always so authentic. It’s a cozy, unassuming place that opens for dinner seven days a week! You could walk past it without knowing it’s a restaurant. It’s located close to the Royal Stables in Den Haag, opposite the Paleistuin. It may be a little hard to find, but once you do, it is worth it!

My favourite starter is the tuna avocado salad which is a heavenly tartar of tuna, avocado and wasabi. Oh! And their gyozas are delicious too, with thin dumpling skin and delicious filling. I also love their “Maki Inside-Out” sushi,  which is a reversed maki roll, with rice on the outside, especially the spicy tuna and the dragon roll. I will admit, Kiraku’s sushi isn’t cheap, but it’s made on the spot with high quality and fresh ingredients. To me, that represents value for money. Their website is http://www.kiraku.nl, in case you were planning to stop by. If my blog wasn’t enough to tempt you, perhaps these pictures will help!

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Libelle Zomerweek 2017 at Almere starts next week!

Libelle Zomerweek 2017 at Almere starts next week!

Have you been to this event? It’s a Dutch annual event where you have local music artists performing and you can participate in the free workshops offered. Check out the programme for the workshops this year which range from how to do a perfect manicure, how to wear your scarf in a creative way, create your own apron, bracelet, etc.  It’s a huge shopping opportunity with more than 300 participating shops. This year’s dates are 15-21 May, so you have a good range of days to choose when to go! It’s a full day event and the entrance fee per day is €19.95, if you buy it on the day itself. I highly recommend that you pre-book your ticket if you want to go, as you get to sign up for the free workshops before the date.

I went a couple of years ago and I had an absolutely fantastic time. Make sure to check the weather before hand – it’s an outdoor event by the beach and it’s so much more fun when it isn’t pouring with rain. Hundreds of people attended the event.  I particularly loved the free workshops that are offered and you can spend the entire day just walking around all the stalls. I bought some great stuff and they sell everything there from food, shoes, clothes, jewellery, etc. I discovered the best dates there (Yogi & Yousef’s 100% natural dates) and still buy them!

To get there, it’s about an hour’s drive away from Den Haag Central station and you can park your car at the designated areas. Again, if you buy your car park ticket before the day itself, you get a discounted rate. It’s a very organised event as there are shuttle buses that transport you from the car park to the event itself.

For more details, the link is http://www.libellezomerweek.nl/2017.

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Valk Versmarkt Voorschoten

Valk Versmarkt Voorschoten

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Have you ever been to the Van der Valk fresh market? A Dutch friend recommended it to me and I was really impressed with the quality and range of fresh meat and fish that they have. The quality is excellent and the price lower than some of the butchers that I have been to. The other bonus is the fact that it is open seven days a week. It has a huge car park and parking is free.

I remember arriving in Holland five years ago and it took me months to find the correct cut of beef for a quick stir fry. When I walked towards the meat counter, I saw a drawing of a cow labelled with all the cuts of beef and I finally understood which part of the cow I had been buying.

Bread and cakes are freshly baked on the premises. If that’s not enough to tempt you, it also has a fruit & vegetable section, cheese & nuts counter and a wine section. Personally, I love their own ice cream brand which are sold in tubs.

As it’s a little bit tricky to find, its address is Veurseweg 214, 2252AH Voorschoten. As you drive out of Voorschoten town towards Leidschendam, you will pass the Van der Valk hotel on the right and the Valk fresh market is the next turning on the right.

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Parking made easy – a must have phone app!

Parking made easy – a must have phone app!

The Parkmobile app is an absolute must have here in Holland – I am so impressed with this great idea! Using the parking meters in the main cities such as The Hague & Rotterdam can be such a hassle as you have to find the nearest machine, estimate the duration required and most importantly, you end up over or underpaying when you incorrectly estimate your time. Well, all of that is solved with Parkmobile!

Here’s how it works: upon arriving at your destination, look for the number of the parking meter on the road that you have parked on. Then, click ‘start a parking action’, which will automatically find the parking meters near your location. Press on the correct number of the parking meter and press start! The app works like a stopwatch, just press stop when you return to your car. Hence, you only pay for your actual parking time, instead of an estimation. At the end of the month, you are sent a bill via email and payment is by direct debit from your bank account. This is so much more convenient than having to estimate how long to park for and running back if you need to extend your car park so that you don’t receive a parking fine.

There is a cost to it but in my opinion, it’s a small price to pay for such convenience. You have 2 choices: you can either choose to pay €0.25 per parking action or if you park more than 8 times a month, then you should choose the other option of paying €2 per month. Parkmobile is such a nifty and convenient app at such a low cost, which has saved me so much time, stress and money. The link is http://www.parkmobile.nl if you want to find out more.

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