The Hague- City Guide

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I took a little right-before-Christmas trip to The Hague, in the Netherlands. We did some blog mentioning worthy stuff, so here we are. Den Haag turned out to be a cozy, compact city with very little must-sees, but lots of hyggelig cafés, coffee roasters and shops. If that sounds like your cup of tea, definitely read on.

Before we headed straight to the town of The Hague, don’t skip Museum Voorlinden. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a cool museum. It’s a modern art museum that houses the biggest private collection of the Netherlands. We definitely experienced some ‘Hu?! That’s cool” moments. Our favourite pieces included Ron Mueck, Yayoi Kusama, and Marthine Tayou. It’s an very slick, cool lined museum right on the edge of a huge park that is ideal for walking. Best of both worlds!

In The Hague, we made Rariteitenkabinet our first stop. This little quirky shop was one of our favourites. It’s home to an unbelievable amount of stuffed animals, gems and weird collectioners objects. The man in the shop told us it was his passion run out of hand (only a bit). We didn’t know where to start or how to stop looking.

After a bit of walking around we needed some warming up, so we decided to stop by the Van Kleef Jenever distillery. It’s one of those places where it looks like time stood still. But here comes the cool part, you can choose to do a tasting there and they let you try any type of jenever for only 80 cents. Bargain! We went home with a bottle of the local ‘Haagsch Hopje’ flavour, a super sweet caramelly coffee flavour.

Worth strolling through, or if you’re into shopping, is the Passage. Another plus is you stay dry when it’s raining!

My boyfriend and I are both breakfast food lovers and I believe that if we could pick one type of meal to have every day, breakfast or brunch would be it. Needless to say, we take picking a place for breakfast very seriously. On the first day, we stopped at Bartine. Small, but great food. I’d recommend the sourdough bread with blueberries and thyme as well as the golden latte. Yum!

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On our second day, we tried the Yoghurt Barn. It turns out it’s a chain of breakfast places that do lots of yoghurt dishes as well as frozen yoghurt. Another winner!

The best gifts can be found at De Bonte Koe – chocolade (best chocolate), Van Stockum Boekhandel, Paagman, American Book Centre (best book selections), Koffiebranderij Boon (best coffee), Free Beer(best specialty beer) and Inproc (best tea and coffee).

For lunch, we went to Instock. It’s a restaurant that has mostly vegetarian meals on its menu AND it uses food surplus from supermarkets and local bakeries to combat food waste. And did I mention the food was delicious? I’m still dreaming of the crispy chickpeas on top of my fully loaded vegetable sandwich. More yum! Top tip: make reservations in advance, because the place doesn’t have that many tables.

That’s it! We wanted to go to Scheveningen beach too, but the rain and wind decided otherwise. Next time!

Any requests for the blog? Lemme know!

Rotterdam – a shopping guide

Between Christmas and New Years, my boyfriend and I took a little getaway to Rotterdam. We took things slow and explored some of the great architectural constructions like the Markthal, saw some art at the Kunsthal and wandered the city’s streets. There were definitely too many nice looking shops and cozy cafés, but we managed to squeeze in quite a few! I’m giving you an overview below so you can enjoy some of the best ones. The shopping must go on!

PLEK – concept store

Where? 

What? This concept store is a design lover’s dream. From clothes to homeware, this place has everything in its own style, from Scandi chic to German retro. They also have a great selection of fragrances. My favourite – the Bon Parfumeur in the scent 301 – a woody scent with sandalwood, amber and cardamom. It was love at first smell.

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STEK – de stadstuinwinkel

Where? Nieuwe Binnenweg 195B

What? It’s the urban jungle lover’s dream. You walk into the shop and immediately get that jungle vibe: there’s literally plants everywhere! If your love of plants exceeds the plants itself, like me, you  will also like the botanical greeting cards and lovely ceramic pots as decoration. The shop owner is also really helpful! Basically, I could live in this store and be perfectly happy.

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HAY

Where? Haagseveer 99

What?  Anyone that knows me, knows I absolutely love this brand. It’s a Danish design brand that distinguishes itself from others by using unique shapes and colours. Regular scissors, clothing hooks and towels become objects of marvel. Time and time again, I end up buying nothing at all because I want everything and my budget just doesn’t allow for that to happen.

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VOORLOPIG

Where? Nieuwe Binnenweg 165

What? Everything you didn’t know you needed. There’s not really anything you couldn’t live without at this store, but there’s A LOT of things that you don’t feel like you want to live without. It’s got a wide selection of greeting cards, children’s books and posters. And I mean, who doesn’t love a store that makes a Christmas tree out of books! Out of books! Right.

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Hutspot

Where? Karel Doormanstraat 317

What? Really cool and edgy clothes and accessories that are comparably very affordable. From basic items to some pieces to stand out with.  I especially liked their jewellery collection, which as on point. You can kind of get the vibe of the store by looking at their website.

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Markthal

Where? Dominee Jan Scharpstraat 298

What? Only the most amazing architectural construction in Rotterdam, with a combination of apartments and a huge glass market hall. This really is the place to be for food lovers. If you’re not already hungry by the thought of the market hall, you will definitely get some cravings when you see al the glorious food stands. A must if you’re ever in Rotterdam!

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GROOS

Where? Achterklooster 13

What? A really basic but artsy store that is enjoyable by the way it’s been set up alone. It’s kind of like a mix between a warehouse and an art or design gallery. We bought some local beer (with lime) there and socks with an unbearably cute print. It’s a great place to get a gift for the ungiftable person.

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KEET

Where? Oppert 2a

What? A gift store that doubles up as a café. The perfect place to go snoop around when the weather isn’t that great. They have a great selection of ceramics and jewellery. Again, you’ll need nothing but end up wanting everything.

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Coffeelicious

Where? Nieuwe Binnenweg 174

What? After all the shopping, it’s nice to bop in somewhere to grab a cup of coffee or tea. This place’s interior looks like Alice in Wonderland had a baby with a Scandinavian designer (not my favourite combo) but the cake here was the bomb.com and all was forgiven quickly. Try the carrot cake!

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This is only a grasp of the many, many more shops and cool places in Rotterdam and I’m pretty sure I’ll have to go back in summer one day, but I feel like these are a solid list to get your started. If you’re into one of a kind shops and laid back wandering around the city, Rotterdam is definitely the place for you.

Please be sure to let me know if you have any questions or comments! I’d love to tell you more about it.

Until the next shopping spree! :-)

Eindhoven

Last weekend my boyfriend and I took a small trip to Eindhoven to see how our neighbours live. Eindhoven is a short drive away and yet radiates a different atmosphere entirely . What we discovered was a city known for its good food, lots (and lots and lots) of shops and design. Here’s a few photos of what we enjoyed and what I believe you might too if you ever end up there.

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Boekenhandel Van Piere. If you love books and magazines as much as I do, you will love this bookshop. It’s got Dutch as well as English books, a little café in the back and some very cute book-related home decor that I didn’t need but couldn’t resist nonetheless. More info here.
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Walking the streets. We were blessed with two gorgeous autumn days, which allowed us to fully enjoy the quietness of the city. Lots of bikes, which means less cars, which means a very enjoyable city to explore on foot. 

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Enjoying all the trees around and how they capture the light. 

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Visit the Van Abbemuseum. Although I initially was disappointed that this museum was not an ABBA museum (which is in Stockholm), I enjoyed sniffing a bit of culture in this museum about modern art. More info here
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What’s even nicer is the fact that the museum is located in a pretty nice area. It’s situated on top of/in the river de Dommel and downstairs there are glass area’s that give you the feeling of hanging out in your veranda and allow you to watch the trees, the river and the complementary ducks. 

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It even had this art piece that told you to take off your shoes and cozy up in this suspended car. What’s not to love, right?
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Finally, the museum has a pretty cool design, capturing lots of light. It is clear from its outlook that Eindhoven is a design hub. The many design stores in town (some of the side streets of the main shopping streets are the best places to check out) are proof of that.
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Last, but certainly not least, did I mention our awesome breakfast we had at Meneer de Boer, a cozy cafe with good coffee (according to Gillian) and to die for pancakes (according to myself). More info here

Happy travels,

Silke