(Dutch-related) Stuff That Happened In March 2015

Bit of a quiet month blog-wise as March has been a reeeeeally busy month at work (yep – I have a real job and everything!) Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like it’ll let up anytime soon, so you’ll probably only be hearing from me about once a week for the next few months. Just so you know and that. I haven’t been kidnapped.

Tomorrow we’re off to Brussels (for one night) en route to France to see my parents for a few days. (Yep, the ‘rents are expats too – they moved to France a couple of weeks after I moved to Holland!)

So before we go off gallivanting… here’s some stuff that happened this month.

 1. Rediscovering Etsy 

I’m very happy to have discovered some extremely talented Dutch illustrators in the past month… Introducing Kim Bell Illustrations. Love her work!!

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After living here for nearly a year… the office/blogging den/spare room is finally finished! (Crikey, we are terrible DIYers!!)

I was looking for some funky postcards to frame and brighten up my office –  so there’s the obvious, Paperchase, but their delivery rates to the Netherlands are ridiculous (Β£5 for a postcard… huh??) so I decided to look elsewhere.

Bravo, Etsy! Bravo!

These fine specimens are from a seller named Darveelicious:

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I also bought postcards from Moa Gift Ideas, Steak & Eggs Please and Le Lapin Blanc. I specifically opted for Dutch illustrators / Etsy shops (with the exception of Steak & Eggs Please) because they ship to the Netherlands (obviously) but also because they are friggin’ awesome. Why look further afield when there is so much talent right here in the Netherlands? Can you tell I’m a BIT excited about this!?!?

And the final result…

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I should probably also show you the other side of the room, aka the Blogging Den, but hmmmm my desk is a bit of a mess now… and can I be arsed to tidy it for photos? No.

2. Clog slippers

Possibly the best slippers ever? The Dutchie has been without slippers for about six years, but whilst in tourist paradise at Zaanse Schans, he was sucked in by the clog slippers.

Nothing to do with me, honest!

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3. Visiting Haarlem, Zaanse Schans & Gouda

Pretty impressed I made it to three new places in March. In case you missed those posts, there was A Quickie in Haarlem and Tourist Paradise – Zaanse Schans.

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I didn’t write a post about Gouda because, well, there were no rose-tinted spectacles involved!! ‘Twas a dreary and cold day and the photos I took on my iphone just didn’t do it any justice. My American friend and I did however discover a fantastic cafe thanks to Sophie in Clogs (big thanks again, Sophie!) This is an especially good tip for mamas who are visiting Gouda… we went with a one year old and the place was totally kid-friendly. It’s unofficially split into two parts, the right-wing for kiddie winks (with loads of toys and high chairs etc) and the left-hand side for grown ups who’d like to enjoy their coffee in adult company.

Zoet & Zalig (yup, that’s my full review on Trip Advisor) is most definitely off the beaten track and if you didn’t know it was there, you’d be forgiven for walking straight past it. Here’s the entrance:

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But once inside – it’s a complete hidden gem!

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Fantastic food, beautiful interior details and a great atmosphere. It’s set in a former orphanage but they have completely transformed it – including the outside. When the weather’s nice, there’s a gorgeous courtyard with funky tables and chairs. Ohhhh and THE CAKE. I’m not at all a cake person, but their selection of cakes and tarts was too hard to resist. The coconut and pineapple taartje was stunning. If you visit Gouda, go here for coffee and cake, minimum!

4. Masterchef Holland

A new series of Masterchef Holland has started! YAY! Pretty much one of the only Dutch TV programmes I can watch! I love you guys, but you really don’t have the best TV… Thank funk for Netflix! So yeah, one of the contestants is an undertaker… or so I thought when I translated ondernemer  literally. It actually means entrepreneur! Oops!

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I have also been watching a few Dutch films: Gooische Vrouwen (yes, I know, I’m totally behind the times!!) Dunya & Desie (totally a teener film, but hey, I like Clueless!) and Jackie, which I watched last night. If anyone has any other Dutch film / series recommendations for me – preferably on Netflix – I’d love to hear them please! Trying to watch as many Dutch programmes as possible. It all helps, right? It’s still such a strange concept to me that I can actually watch films in another language. Fuck! (Sorry Mum!)

5. D’ Vijf Broers, Zaandijk

Gah! More food! Yup, pretty much sums the month up: working & eating!

You know when you go to a restaurant and fall in love? I really did with this place. D’ Vijf Broers in Zaandijk is truly unmissable if you’re visiting Zaandijk / Zaandam. Full review here.

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6. Port tasting

Oh, and we did a cheeky bit of drinking too!

Our friend works at a Gall & Gall store and we went to a port tasting evening (in Dutch might I add!) at the beginning of the month.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and although I didn’t understand absolutely everything – as there were so many technical words – it was fun and something I wouldn’t have been able to do a few months back.

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It’s not a wine tasting until you’ve spilled wine, right?

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7. Bagels & Beans

And while we’re on a food and drink theme… I have to mention Bagels & Beans which we have visited twice in the past week!! If you follow me on Instagram you will have probably already noticed my new obsession!

If there’s a Bagels & Beans in your neighbourhood and haven’t visited yet, I encourage you to do so now!

Koffie – check.

Goedkoop – check.

Lekker – check.

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There is a distinct lack of bitterballen in this post!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??

Have a great weekend everyone!

Hayley x

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26 comments

  1. Expeditie Robinson, will begin it’s 16th series in the autumn. Reality survival programme which is one of the few Dutch programmes I watch. Definitely one to watch!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m a Dutchie myself and I can’t stand Dutch tv either (yikes! I always just pirate American shows, oops haha). My mother isn’t much of a fan of Dutch tv either, but she said this new series by Linda de Mol is actually quite good. It’s based off of Modern Family and it’s about this recovering alcoholic (Linda) and her friends and family. She said she had tears in her eyes laughing and that doesn’t happen often! I know it’s broadcasted Sunday nights, RTL 4 if I’m not mistaken. A Dutch show I personally don’t watch since it hits too close to home is called “Divorce”. It’s supposedly brilliant, the actors are very good and the script actually quite clever.

    I loved your last post about the Zaanse Schans by the way, I live 5 minutes away from it and I don’t visit nearly as often as I should! It is quite lovely even with all the tourists everywhere.

    I’ll have to visit D’Vijf Broers soon, I’ve been there before years ago (delicious if a little upscale/expensive) and it’s gone bankrupt twice I think and taken over a couple times by different owners, hence my hesitation to get a bite there. Perfect excuse, thanks Hailey! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Josha, thank you for the tips – I will look into them. Much appreciated.

      Aww, thanks – so nice of you to say so.

      Re: D’Vijf Broers, the lunchtime menu is much more reasonably priced than the evening menu, so might be a better time to go? Also, when I went the ‘soep van de dag’ was mushroom… and it genuinely was the best mushroom soup I’ve tasted! Super lekker!

      Like

  3. Hope you will understand : van Gooische Vrouwen is er ook een hele serie ! Veel seizoenen! En er zijn 2 films van! Dus misschien leuk om te volgen? Ikzelf ( en heel veel andere Nederlanders ) waren er dol op!!!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “but you really don’t have the best TV…”

    Probably because Dutch channels are almost always years behind? (if a series/movie airs at all here). That is the main reason using “unofficial” sources is kinda normal around here, plus: what’s the point in signing up for Netflix/Hulu/etc if you can only access the content meant for the country you live in instead of the content for all countries?
    And let’s not forget the removal of original voices which have been replaced with Dutch ones, that happens sometimes as well and that’s the reason I stopped watching Cartoon Network when I was a kid. Just recently I came across the Power Rangers with Dutch voices. Ay caramba!….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely post! I really like the cards and what you did with them!

    You could try watching So You Think You Can Dance, a lot of it is in English as one of the judges is American.

    Also, you almost made me weep with your Bagels & Beans picture. I miss it so much! The mozzarella bagel is pure happiness on a plate.

    Lekker weekend gewenst! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You should watch “Simon” it’s a real dutch movie about the last months of Simon, a real dutchie who has cancer. And no its not a soppy one like “stephmom”, but its a funny one with a tear sometimes. I think it shows excactly why we have a euthanasia law in Holland.
    I’ve checked it’s on Netflix! Love to hear your review.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Really glad you guys enjoyed Zoet & Zalig!! We almost walked by when we were in Gouda, but my friend is more adventurous than I and isn’t afraid to push open a door when something looks closed πŸ˜›
    I think I’m too much of a snob for Masterchef Holland – after watching the Australia version the gap in cooking talent is just too great to be ignored! I loved the Undateables when it was on, though. I also tried to watch Gooische Vrouwen but found that everyone looked the same and that they were speaking FAR too quickly! (Also I may have been cranky the night we tried to watch it …) Did you see that romantic comedy set in Tuscany that came out last year? ‘Toscaanse Bruiloft’ – really cheesy but I thought pretty good for what it was!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was awesome! Will definitely pop back next time I’m in Gouda!

      Ha ha ha ha, how can you be a TV snob!? That’s hilarious! The gap between UK and Holland is even greater (I watch all three) but Holland I watch less for the food and more for the Dutch practice.

      There’s a Dutch version of Undateables?? Nope, never heard of Toscaanse Bruiloft – googling now! Thanks! πŸ˜€

      Like

      1. The Undateables is so good! I hope you like it.
        As for the snobbery – it’s food snobbery I’m afraid. I have a problem! Will definitely check out the UK version!
        My newest Dutch practise tool: Young Adult novels in Dutch! It takes about three times as long per page as it would take in English but the plot tends to be gripping and the language easy enough to understand!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the postcards you found, but if you really need a Paperchase (and are in the neighbourhood) there is one in the Bijenkorf in Eindhoven.

    Liked by 1 person

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