(A summer’s day in Utrecht.) At couple of weeks ago, the Dutchie and I made the most of our close proximity to Utrecht (a mere 14 mins by car or train) and spent our Saturday afternoon/evening exploring this quaint city. It’s actually the 4th largest city in the Netherlands with a population of over 300,000 people, but to me it feels somehow smaller. Like a Dutch version of Brighton… with canals and minus the sea, of course!
First we went for a glass of bubbly at Vino Veritas, an Italian wine bar run by Alison of A Flamingo in Utrecht and her partner, Giovanni. The inside of the bar is decorated with stunning pictures of Bologna, Giovanni’s home town, plus a HUGE wine rack… of course!!
If the weather is good, there’s a small terrace to sit outside and watch the world go by. We didn’t sample the food (as we were on our way to a Japanese restaurant) but the cheese and meat platters on another table looked incredibly delicious!
After our refreshing glass of Col Fondo (Prosecco – recommended by Giovanni) we went exploring… keeping our eyes peeled for Street Art and other random curiosities for me to photograph! Well, I wasn’t disappointed, there were lots of weird and wonderful things to keep me amused!
This rather cool piece is painted on a side street close to Vino Veritas (Biltstraat 9). I love the colours and the LED displays… I can’t remember what they said unfortunately…
Another side street… another opportunity for street art. As you can see, cyclists don’t limit their parking for art… 😉 So make them part of the shot I say!!
In the grachten (canals) we saw a number of abandoned bikes – sad – but strangely pretty. They remind me a bit of dead umbrellas…
I suspect this one, on the other hand… might be a practical joke 😉
The next bike we saw wasn’t abandoned… but an advertisement. Bedrijvendag means company day. It’s a day for students to connect with potential future employees, organised by the Student Association of Utrecht. It worked for me! I certainly had to look twice at this beautiful green beastie!
An interesting looking street, vlakbij (close by) Biltstraat…
After much wandering (and photo taking) in the general direction of Mariaplaats, we finally found the Japanese restaurant, Konnichi Wa, which a friend had recommended. (Of course, I’d also looked it up on Trip Advisor and Iens – a Dutch restaurant review site – just to double check!!) 😉
We were in sashimi-edamamebean-vegetabletempura-wasabi-misosoup-plumwine heaven!!
A great restaurant and reasonably priced for the Netherlands. Everything we ordered was delicious and the wasabi was HOT HOT HOT! Always a good sign of a Japanese restaurant… if the wasabi is kicking, the food probably is too! 😀
My only minor critique is that the plum wine was served in a thimble!! For 5-6 euros I want a big girls glass please!!
I can’t end without including this cool shot I took of a Lion’s head fountain close to Mariaplaats. I instagrammed the crap out of it… obviously.
What else is there to do / see in Utrecht next time we visit?