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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you been to Westbroekpark? If you haven’t, you should really check it out as it’s in the heart of Den Haag and it’s a beautiful park where you can picnic, stroll and chill out. I love the sculptures dotted around the park as it gives the park a little more character. Food truck festivals are held at Westbroekpark at various times of the year, usually in the summer. It has a large children’s playground with swings, slides and even a swinging monkey.
What I love about Westbroekpark is the beautiful rosarium which has over 300 rose varieties. It attracts avid rose growers even those from abroad during the flowering season. There is a information booth where you can get detailed information about the different rose varieties.
There are 2 food outlets in the park. My favourite is the Waterkant which is open daily from May to mid September. The Waterkant is located behind the rosarium and you can easily miss it if you are not looking for it. If you walk through the rosarium, you will pass a mound on the right which has a bunker underneath it. Walk pass the mound and turn right to find the hidden Waterkant which serves breakfast, lunch & dinner from 10:00-21:00. It serves simple food but one really goes there for the atmosphere and location.
Waterkant is set right beside a canal and people can go across to the other side with a hand-operated pulley system. I love the fact that you can rent a rowing boat from the Waterkant which is a fun activity to do in the summer.
A new exciting addition is an organic garden and restaurant that will be opening in Westbroekpark sometime in 2017. There is no information yet on exactly when it will be open but I will keep you posted once it is open.
With the warm summer days, there are times when I don’t feel like cooking! I am so glad that I discovered Yoshi Bento as he delivers authentic Japanese bento boxes and donburi to your home or office! He delivers lunch from 11:30-14:00 and dinner from 17:00-21:00 from Mondays to Fridays. To secure the delivery time you want, it is better to order the day before.
His bento boxes come with rice, salad and a few small side dishes. As the food is freshly made, the bento boxes are still warm when you receive them. What more can you ask for!
My favourite bento box is the chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken) bento box. I tried his salmon shio-kouji yaki bento as I love ponzu sauce and it was delicious. He also does a good chicken teriyaki donburi.
I recommend Yoshi Bento if you are looking for good quality Japanese food at great value.
As I have not been to a food truck event in the Netherlands, I simply had to go to this sushi festival. My daughter and I went on the first day and as we approached the entrance, we thought we might have to pay an entry fee as there were attendants standing at the entrance. It turned out entry was free and the attendants were there to check people’s handbags and bags which I thought was good idea in light of the recent terror attacks in England.
It was an enjoyable evening with numerous food trucks, music in the background and bars to buy drinks. It wasn’t too crowded and there were tables for you to sit and enjoy the food you bought. A food truck that I particularly liked was “Pass the peas” truck which had Korean style fried chicken with Asian pickles and it was really delicious. I wanted to try his veggie tempura but that was sold out.
That was a takoyaki stall and numerous sushi trucks. There was even a sushi sit down place where you could pick up sushi from a conveyor belt. I tried the “Crispy Sushi” stall that had an incredibly long queue. You had a choice of 3 fillings: salmon, California and vegetable. I loved the way the soya sauce came in a pipette!
Another interesting truck was the Yokohama truck that sold ramen. You could choose either their pork or vegetable ramen. Two guys literally prepared the ramen by hand while singing along to the music at the festival. Meanwhile, the chef prepared the ramen bowl with fastidious care. I loved the fact that they were clearly enjoying making the ramen.
There were some food trucks that didn’t really fit the “sushi” theme. For example, there was a brownie stall but as it was the only stall that sold dessert, it had quite a long queue. All in all, it was a fun experience and I am glad we went to the festival. On 10 & 11 June, it is open from 14:00. For more details, you can check out http://www.festival-joy.nl/
I 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!