Topics

MingleMush (Or: A food hall in The Hague)

MingleMush is an indoor food hall that opened behind The Hague’s Central Station in June of this year. Marco and I have been going for the last few months. It’s a very interesting concept – there are about 15 food stands in this indoor food hall, with centralized seating around them. Ideal when you go with a group of friends — each person can order from a different food stand.

Some of the choices include paninis (my favorite!), Thai, Lebanese, Mexican, Italian (pizza and gelato), burgers&fries and more. They also have a few drink stands for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

MingleMush has a website, but I do not find it that informative. The main thing to know is that you can’t use cash, you can only pin. Which is fine, cash is so last century…

During our visit to MingleMush yesterday, I took a picture of the Christmas tree that was recently added:

Christmas tree at MingleMush

Yes, the lights twinkle. And check out the wall in the background.

Don Brulee and Pierogies stands at MingleMush, The Hague

Two of the food stalls – Don Brûlée and Pierogies.

Chess cow art piece at MingleMush, The Hague

Awesome cow at the panini stand!

I definitely love this place and hope it succeeds. It’s not perfect but the main complaint is that there are times when half of the stands can be closed. For instance, when Marco and I visited on Saturday around 1pm, half of the stands were closed. That is fine, but why don’t they put up a sign saying they are either closed for the day or the time when they do expect to open? Just give us a bit more information.

Arcane at MingleMush, The Hague

Upstairs they have a small arcade (free bathrooms as well)

Also, depending on when you go it can be very crowded and loud, but I think that is just a sign I am getting old!

Food stands at MingleMush, The Hague

A view of some of the stands from above. The brightly lit windows on the other side are where the trams 2, 3, 4 and 6 pass by on the way to and from Central Station.

Definitely give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Advertisements
Categories: Food, The Hague | Tags: | 1 Comment

That time of year! (Or: Gourmet minis at Albert Heijn)

One of the best things about the upcoming holidays (besides finally having a few days off – the last public holiday was June 5th!) is breaking out the gourmet set for New Year’s Eve.

Gourmetten is awesome. You have a little grill that goes in the middle of the dinner table and you spend a few hours grilling meats, vegetables (onions, paprika), and other miscellaneous items like pineapple (yuuuum!).

To get a sense of what it is like, check out this blog post from 2015.

Gourmet minis at Albert Heijn (2017)

Categories: Culture, Food, Holidays | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Mickey time (Or: More photos from Disneyland Paris)

I have so many photos to show, and not enough blog posts…

First, a few photos of Marco, Roger and I’s trip to Disneyland Paris with Dutch influence:

Disneyland Paris - It's a small world (Dutch)

A look at the Dutch section of the “It’s a small world” attraction – windmills, tulips and clogs of course!

Disneyland Paris - It's a small world, outside

Outside, the various translations of “It’s a small world!”. The Dutch translation is off to the right, in blue. “De wereld is maar klein, hoor!”

Silver Spur Disneyland Paris menu cover in Dutch

Restaurant menu from “Silver Spur” – a steakhouse we ate at on our last night at the park. 

(above) They had asked what country we were from. When we got to the table we were handed Dutch menus. A thoughtful gesture, but we weren’t sure how the wait staff would understand what we wanted to order. Perhaps it would be done on the “point with your finger” system.

The only confusing thing was that the dessert section read “Coffee or tea, 11 euros” in Dutch. We were very confused. How could coffee or tea cost 11 euros? We later got our hands on an English menu which read “Coffee or tea, plus a selection of desserts, 11 euros”. Okay, that makes more sense!

Continue reading

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekendje weg (Or: Disneyland Paris, 25th anniversary)

Weekendje weg = a short weekend trip. A bit ironic here, since our trip was five days…

Last weekend (Thurs-Mon), Marco, Roger and I went to Disneyland Paris. This was my second time – the first was during our honeymoon in 2013. And this time we splurged a bit, booking a suite in Sequoia Lodge, a hotel themed after the American northwest. The excuse was that we were with three adults, so this way everyone has plenty of room! And little did we know that the complimentary VIP fast passes (unlimited use) would quickly come in handy when we realized we arrived in the middle of a French school holiday…

We went by train, taking the Thalys from Rotterdam. First class! So free breakfast when you board at 7am. That got us to Gare du Nord, the train station in Paris. Then we had to take the metro (45 minutes to an hour) to get to Disneyland itself. It’s east of the city. We booked “Disneyland express” which meant that when you arrive at the Disney train station you can drop off your luggage and collect your park entrance tickets and VIP fast passes right then and there. They deliver your luggage to the hotel while you go straight to the park. We ended up not getting to the hotel until around 8 or 9pm that night.

Another perk of the room type – separate registration area! It was like opening a new bank account – you went to a desk, with two chairs for the guests. You have a seat while they get the last formalities squared away. There was a bowl of 25th anniversary golden coins (dark chocolate), free for the taking. We took a few, not knowing just how many we’d get during this five day trip…

At this point the worker called someone to let them know what our room number was so they could deliver the luggage to the room and open the sofa bed for Roger. We didn’t go to the room right away, but instead headed over to the “Golden Forest” lounge (for anyone with a Golden Forest room or better). It was a strange experience – there was no one else there! Unfortunately that was the only time we would see the place empty again.

Sequoia Lodge Golden Forest lounge

The advantage of the Golden Forest lounge – it is also a breakfast area, and you can get breakfast whenever you want between 7 and 11am. During breakfast they open both rooms. The first time Marco and I went to Disneyland together, we stayed at the New York hotel and had to pick half hour slots when we wanted to have breakfast (first come first serve at hotel checkin). This was much more relaxed.

Continue reading

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | 2 Comments

Halloween gets more popular (Or: SoLow in The Hague)

Marco and I visited SoLow a few times this month to look for Halloween supplies. The name of the store refers to their prices: they are, well, “so low”. But the best time to visit is in late September and in October, as they always have a good selection for Halloween costumes and decorations.

Clown Halloween decoration at SoLow, The Hague

This evil clown definitely looks like he jumped right out of the set of Stephen King’s It…

Dog halloween decoration at SoLow, The Hague

Or the undead dog. Oddly enough, this was the only thing a little kid wanted to go near. She was deathly afraid of the other decorations that made noise and moved around, but nope. This one she just HAD to pet. Briefly…

Halloween masks at SoLow, The Hague

Masks for every occasion. 

Skeleton Halloween decoration at SoLow, The Hague

Or a happy go lucky skeleton, if that is what you are looking for.

I’ve been pleased with how Halloween has grown as a holiday over here. It is still not nearly as popular as in the States, but there are more parties and opportunities for kids to get candy if they know where to go.

I think this year I might resurrect the blue fairy costume again. With a few pieces I bought this year from SoLow, of course!

Categories: Everyday purchases, Holidays | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Soccer? Football? (Or: My first ADO Den Haag game)

Of course – it is called football (or voetbal) over here. Roger bought some tickets for the ADO Den Haag game a few weeks back, against Sparta Rotterdam. So Marco and I met up with Roger and his mother – although our first stop was the Rrrollend Foodtruck festival. The last one of the year in The Hague! We are already looking forward to the return of the festival in 2018.

Here is the ADO Den Haag stadium – reachable by tram 3 or 4 from the city centre (Forepark station).

ADO Den Haag football stadium

Unfortunately it is about a 10 minute walk from the station, but at least you don’t have to take the train.

Before the ADO Den Haag football game

Before the game – people filing in and the grass being watered. It is hard to tell from this photo, but the seats are elevated, with fans needing to climb a flight of metal stairs to get to this level. The field is separated by a high wall to prevent rioters from reaching the field.

The section on the other side with the team logo is where the fans with season cards sit.

More flag waving before ADO Den Haag football game

At the beginning of the game they passed out a lot of large flags to our section. If you sit here your flag waving skills better be good!

Flag waving before the ADO Den Haag game

Above is one very energetic fan. He first passed this flag to another spectator, asking if the man wanted to wave the flag. When this didn’t really happen (the guy just held it in his hands), the guy took it back and began to wave it frantically. And note the back of his shirt – 070 is the area code of The Hague.

1-0 score between ADO Den Haag and Sparta

We ended up winning the game 1-0. It would have been 2-0 but there was a goal called off for being offside.

The best part: we were sitting right behind the goal so we had a great view.

Blue Army graffiti by the stands at ADO Den Haag football game

Here’s a look at the graffiti-filled wall that separates the fans from the field. The stairs to go up to the stands are off to the left.

All in all it was a fun game. Though I have to admit that my favorite moment was when ADO Den Haag had a goal chance that the Sparta goalkeeper blocked – four times! The ball kept being hit back to the ADO Den Haag player, who had little choice but to kick it back in the same direction. it was like a game of pong.

Categories: Friends&Family, Sports, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Dunkin’ Donuts in Amsterdam (Or: Mmmmmm, donuts)

“Doughnuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” — Homer Simpson (from “Marge vs. the Monorail“, season 4, episode 12). So much of my childhood was based around the Simpsons!

Here are a few more photos from Marco and I’s trip to Amsterdam a few weeks back – this time from the local Dunkin’ Donuts on Damstraat. Dunkin’ Donuts opened stores in the Netherlands at the beginning of this year. So far they have 5 locations across Amsterdam with plans to move into other cities by the end of the year, including nearby Zoetermeer.

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 2

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 1

And of course Dunkin’ Donuts is looking to open a location in The Hague in 2018 (article in Dutch).

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 4

It isn’t without controversy – Dutch political party PvdA was against Dunkin’ Donuts coming here due to the food being unhealthy (article also in Dutch). PvdA is Partij voor de Arbeid, or Labour party. Understandable, but I do not believe fast food should be banned purely for health reasons.

Dunkin Donuts in Amsterdam, Damstraat, 3

In an attempt to cater to local audience you also have locally inspired donuts like Dutch blue (far left), Tulip (middle) and a donut with the logo of Amsterdam (far right)…

Stroopwafel donuts by Dunkin Donuts, Amsterdam

and a stroopwafel inspired donut, with a piece of stroopwafel cookie on top and caramel filling. Sounds heavy! 

Six donuts from Dunkin Donuts in AmsterdamOur six choices are above. Top row, left to right: apple crumble, toasted coconut and Dutch blue (Delft blauw pattern). Bottom row, left to right: chocolate rainbow, maple drizzle, and lemon.

I don’t like donuts with filling (I know – sacrilegious!), so the two donuts for me were the chocolate rainbow and the lemon donut. 🙂 Yum!

Categories: Amsterdam, Food | Tags: | 4 Comments

Eye-catching (Or: Photos from Amsterdam)

As mentioned in my previous blog post, Marco and I were in Amsterdam last week to celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. And I have more photos to share! Here is a look at the EYE Film Museum, taken from across the river IJ.

EYE Film museum in Amsterdam, from across the river, Sept 2017

It is the national museum of film, containing over 40,000 films, from classics to modern film. Their website states that there are four cinemas, an exhibition space, a floor reserved for educational activities, a store and a bar-restaurant. They also host film-related programs and debates.

Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Sept 2017

A look at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, also in the heart of the city

Royal Palace Amsterdam - other side, Sept 2017

The lesser photographed “back side” of the building, including a 6 meter tall statue of Atlas carrying the globe on his shoulders

What are you reading board in American Book Center in Amsterdam, Sept 2017

And finally, the “What are you reading?” board in the American Book Center.

What am I reading right now? Open kaart, by Brenno de Winter. It’s a book about the OV-chipkaart system in the Netherlands, or the card used to travel on public transportation throughout the country. Specifically the book covers the historical security issues as detailed on Wikipedia, mostly related to how easy the card was to hack in the beginning. It sounds dry but it is a fun read… if you’re into that sort of thing, of course!

Categories: Amsterdam, Marco&Niki, Reading | Tags: | Leave a comment

Beurspassage in Amsterdam (Or: A beautiful shortcut)

Earlier this week Marco and I were in Amsterdam to celebrate our wedding anniversary (four years!). One of the places we visited was the Beurspassage, a small passage which connects two well-known Amsterdam streets (Damrak and Nieuwendijk). The passage itself is only a 5 minute walk from the central station. The top and sides are covered in art – including a giant fish!

Beurspassage in Amsterdam - fish sculpture - Sept 2017

A giant fish, just like I said!

Beurspassage in Amsterdam, Sept 2017

Towards Nieuwendijk

Beurspassage in Amsterdam 2, Sept 2017

Towards Damrak

Beurspassage in Amsterdam, Primark entrance, Sept 2017

Giant green shoes hang on the wall by Primark…

The only thing I would have wanted was that it was longer. But it was very pretty nonetheless!

Categories: Amsterdam, Marco&Niki | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Wednesday evenings (Or: Food and fun by Milu)

Last Wednesday I went out for dinner and cocktails with a friend of mine. We went to Milu, a restaurant in the centre of The Hague near the Grote Kerk (literally “the big church”). It was my second time visiting – the first time was with coworkers. The restaurant’s premise is sharing dishes; we ended up having three “rounds” of food and drink.

Round #1:

Bruschetta bread and beef teriyaki with Chinese pancakes. With a green tea mojito for me.

Bruschetta bread, Milu, The Hague

Beef teriyaki and Chinese pancakes, Milu, The Hague

Continue reading

Categories: Food, Friends&Family, The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.