Earlier in September, Marco and I visited one of the local Bagels & Beans cafés to enjoy a lunch outside. It was a bit cold, but doable as long as I kept my jacket on. It was probably my first visit in 2020, although admittedly we usually only go a few times a year. Check out our chai lattes:
I always loved these plates, and pretty much forgot about them until I saw our coffees. I also had a bagel with butter and chocolate sprinkles, but I was decidedly not Dutch about it. If you’re Dutch, you spread on the butter and then pour the sprinkles on top. The butter is mainly there to help keep the sprinkles from falling off while you take a bite. I have no interest in butter and chocolate together, so I instead simply alternated which one I put on my bagel. Which did mean I sadly had some chocolate sprinkles left over, but c’est la vie.
It definitely showed that I haven’t been to a Bagels & Beans in a while. I forgot that you need to pay inside. Which worked on in the end, since we were also asked to leave our contact details for corona purposes. Unlike other places (with a QR code you scan) you simply wrote your details in a notebook with a pen.
In other news, The Hague library no longer requires online registration before visiting the library (article in Dutch from the library website). The rule only lasted about two days, but was temporarily required after the press conference last Monday. A few days later the library received status in The Hague’s emergency ordinance as a doorstroomlocatie, or basically a place where people walk through it to experience something or get something (museums, monuments and attraction parks are other examples). This was probably for the best, since the link above mentions that there were long lines outside of people waiting to get in. Face masks are still urgently advised the library, like all public indoor locations in the Netherlands.
Here is your Awww moment for the day. The first color photos of the panda cub born earlier this year in a Dutch zoo are available:
The panda definitely knows how to pose for the camera.
Kerkplein (“church plaza”) is a plaza by the Grote Kerk and the Old City Hall, the latter being where Marco and I were married in 2013 – very cool.
The church is the wall just on the right edge of the picture. In the distance is a terrace for the Anne and Max café, which Marco and I visited a few weeks ago. Spoiler: I can recommend it!
The photo above is looking across the Kerkplein towards a building across the street. The same flowers in the foreground were used in 2013. The city frequently puts out those red flowers – they even made an appearance in Marco and I’s wedding photos!
As always, if you are in this area I can recommend the Cheesecake Company which is just off the right edge of the above photo. Tasty!
Yesterday Marco and I took a long walk, skirting around the city centre to avoid crowds of people. We walked along the Zuidwal, which is both a street and a neighborhood within the larger Centrum neighborhood. For the most part it was easy to avoid others and it was a pretty walk along the canal. We did see a few boats drive past as well.
Near the end found ourselves near the Grote Kerk and spotted a café by the name of Anne and Max. I’ve seen it a lot although we’ve never gone to it. And yesterday was 1 June, the day restaurants and cafés were allowed to open again. After some pondering we did sit down at the terrace. None of the tables on our side were taken so it seemed safe enough. Still, it did feel weird as it was most likely our first terrace visit of the year due to the weather only being warm enough the last few weeks.
Above is a look at the menu with a closed one on the left and an open menu on the right. The light green insert on the left was added to talk about the changes in this new “corona time”. For instance, payment would be done at the table so you didn’t have to get up, and that walking paths had been made. Slightly surprising: the toilets were open, and with them promising they are disinfected every hour.
Marco ordered a Zindering (no idea how to translate that – if you know, leave a comment), which is an ice cold chai latte with an extra shot espresso. I had a ginger-lemongrass soda and we shared a slice of apple pie with whipped cream. Somehow we always end up ordering apple pie at new places. This apple pie was pretty good, although it was different than what I expected – I expected the top crumb to be a bit more crunchy. Still good, though.
Otherwise things seemed pretty normal. I wouldn’t say the waiter kept 1.5 meters distance perfectly, but a) that’s almost impossible b) the moments were limited to handing out the menus, receiving the food and paying.
The only thing that would have made the visit better would have been more sun. When you are moving around it isn’t too cold but sitting down meant it was easier to feel the wind every minute or so. Brr! I think businesses would have preferred more sun, but perhaps it was for the best as it meant that most places weren’t overflowing with guests. There was enough room in most places to take a seat right away and enjoy the goodies.
Here is a look at what they are serving (or selling):
From upper left (“Bloemen”): Flowers, coffee, pizza, croissants, ice cream, sandwiches, Thai food, Cold Turkey (a type of beer from the nearby restaurant Hoender en Hop, apparently), fries, and vinyl records. There isn’t much information available online about this food truck action, but it could be that it is only running Thursday through Sunday.
And here are some more chalk drawings. I’m unsure if they are supposed to mark the distance between 1.5 meters or not, as some of them are more haphazardly placed. Or maybe they are just decoration, which is cool too.
I was looking through my phone recently and I came across a few photos that I had taken earlier in the year when Marco and I went to Bagels & Beans here in The Hague. The first time I had ever had a mochaccino… it was pretty tasty! I generally go for black coffee, but this choice was not to be ignored.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, Thursday was a holiday here in the Netherlands – Ascension Day (40 days after Easter). It was also Liberation Day (Dutch | English). For most people, that is only an official holiday every 5 years (2015, 2020, …) so most people had the day off because of Ascension Day.
But the reason Thursday was so great was the weather – 18c, or low 60s. A great day of sun that almost everyone got to enjoy. Since Friday we’ve been in the 70s.
Marco and I went to Hometown Coffee where I again ordered my iced mocha coffee. Yum! Marco got a blended cappuccino. Due to the good weather we decided to take a walk. Somewhere along the way we decided to go to the Palace Garden (Paleistuin in Dutch) where we found a bench to soak up some sun and watch the kids play on the playground.
And that’s the thing – good weather is precious here in the Netherlands and something to enjoy. The city comes alive in this time, with the outdoor cafés crowded, every table in the sun taken. It’s a great time!
(And here is a shoutout to my mom on this Mother’s Day!)
On Sunday Marco and I went to Hometown Coffee. It was Easter but a lot of cafés and restaurants were open regardless. This cafe is close to Spui Buitenhof (a movie theater) and Popo’s, a Mexican restaurant.
I ordered my favorite drink there: iced mocha coffee on the rocks. Yum!
For Valentine’s day, Marco and I visited Pim, a café on Wagenstraat. They have a “breakfast for 2” on their menu which I thought might be interesting to try out. While they have another café on Prins Hendrikstraat, the one on Wagenstraat has only been open since September.
The ambiance was pretty nice, beginning with the flowers on the table:
And here is a look at the breakfast for two. Two large croissants, four pieces of brown bread, four pieces of white bread, orange juice, coffee, hummus and a few vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, paprika).
The blue plate was awesome…
As you can see below, there was also cheese, ham and two cooked eggs. I am not a fan of eggs in general, so luckily Marco was willing to eat mine as well.