Sexy Vegetables (Groenten) and a happy caravan.
A festival of mobile food? I like the idea very much.
Amsterdam’s Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) weekend at the Westergasfabriek wasn’t blessed with good weather this year, but plenty of us turned out to sample it anyway.
Now we know what happened to all those VW Bongo vans and the baked bean-shaped caravans that mysteriously disappeared after the 70s – they were turned into mobile food outlets. And very charming they are too. Continue reading
Smart and small – le Debut Restaurant at the Amsterdam Hotelschool.
I’d think carefully before agreeing to have my appendix removed by a trainee surgeon, or letting a rookie dentist dig around in my mouth with sharp instruments.
But offer me a meal at a bargain price and I’m happy to be a guinea pig for apprentice masterchefs and waitpersons.
Hotelschool, The Hague, has just opened a new building for its branch in Amsterdam. Mevrouw T and I signed up to be early customers. Continue reading
‘Brandweer ‘ – Texel’s miniature fire engine. I noticed the key was hanging in the ignition, ready for any emergency. May all their fires be small fires.
Excuse me for harking back to last weekend’s cycling trip to Texel Island. There were a few little things worth mentioning that I missed in my previous post.
What makes Texel so attractive to Dutch people and to a handful of knowledgeable German visitors is its small scale and its olde worlde charm. Continue reading
I’d seen them before, but I never get tired of them.
The Dutch countryside is nearly all beautiful. The nice thing about cycling out from Amsterdam is that you can ride in any direction with the wind at your back, then take the train back home.
I did just that today. I set out with no plans, and found myself blown inexorably towards the tulip fields. Continue reading
So relaxed and natural. Not protocol fascists.
Our Australian friend John met the new Dutch king on his trip down under a few years ago. Like me, John has a Dutch wife and speaks fluent bad Nederlands.
He and his wife were invited to an official reception for Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and the immensely popular Princess Maxima and checked on the correct way to address the royals. ‘Uw koninklijke hoogheid’ (‘your royal highness’) is a mouthful, even for Dutch people.
John practised the phrase faithfully on the way to the event. ‘Uw konning likker hoe geid…you konick linker hog height…’ It wasn’t going well. Continue reading
Mind the gap! A steady hand on the tiller was needed to steer this French cruise boat down the Schinkel.
A constant source of free entertainment is available from our Amsterdam balcony as we watch the bridge on the Overtoomsesluis open, stopping road traffic to let the boats pass.
The Schinkel, the canal below us, is the busiest working canal in Amsterdam. On weekdays there is a regular parade of barges, ferrying sand dredged from the harbour to places inland where it is more useful for building and land reclamation.
It’s only a few metres deep, and generally calm and flat, but oh, there are some impressive feats of helmsmanship on show. And there’s always something going on down there. Continue reading