Posts Tagged With: HEMA

Hema’s smoked sausage flavored beer (Or: Would you try it?)

One thing Hema is famous for is their smoked sausage (rookworst). When we eat stamppot (English Wikipedia) we always pair it with sausage from Hema. It is tasty! We eat stamppot once a year; Marco’s mom always makes us a batch around February or March when the weather outside is nice and cold.

But now Hema has come out with rookworst flavored beer (5.3% alcohol). Would you want to try it?

It’s definitely an interesting concept, and a bit easier to understand than their tompouce flavored beer last year. Tompouce is a Dutch pastry – see also this English Wikipedia page if you need a refresher.

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That is one sweet boat (Or: Sinterklaas display by Hema)

By the Hema in The Hague’s city centre there is a display for the upcoming Sinterklaas holiday (5 December):

The display is a boat, a reference to the boat Sinterklaas uses to travel from Spain to the Netherlands every year in November (English Wikipedia). The actual contents of this boat are kruidnoten, small cookies which are a staple for the Sinterklaas holiday.

In other news:

  • Megastores helemaal gesloopt voor nieuwe woontorens from omroepwest.nl (article in Dutch). Megastores is a shopping mall on the other side of The Hague’s Holland Spoor train station. However most of the stores sell furniture or home goods, so the number of shoppers has been dwindling over the years. The article talks about how the entire shopping mall will be demolished in phases starting in 2024, to be replaced by about 2,000 apartments in residential towers.
  • The Zeldzaam mooi markt will be at the Lange Voorhout in The Hague on Sunday, 27 November. The name translates to something like “Rare, beautiful market”. They will be selling retro, vintage and reuse items like jewelry, clothes, home goods, etc.
  • You can donate Sinterklaas presents for kids at The Hague’s Central Library from 14-18 November (indebuurt.nl, in Dutch). The toy drive is sponsored by Sintvoorieder1.
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Childhood memories (Or: Old Dutch candy)

A few days ago I was at the local Hema and I spotted some classic Dutch candy (oud hollandse mix).

It reminded me of visiting my grandparents. I am pretty sure they had a candy dish full of sweets like that (who didn’t?). The hard candy that sticks together, somewhat annoying for a kid because you have first try to pull them apart before you can enjoy one, but nice because they take so long to eat. I don’t remember them having much taste, but I could be wrong on that point.

Candy, candy, candy everywhere. Sometimes I miss being a kid that could eat half a bag of candy or a handful of cookies without a second thought. I do still have a weakness for Haribo gummy bears, though. But only if you stick them in the freezer first… I’m weird, I know.

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Spotted at Hema (Or: Anyone up for some tompouce flavored ale?)

Last week Roger spotted some tompouce flavored ale at Hema:

How crazy is that! Considering it has Hema branding, it looks to be a Hema exclusive. And if you need a reminder about what tompouce is, check out the English Wikipedia article. It is quite tasty but difficult to eat!

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Mall of the Netherlands (Or: Like an inexpensive trip to America?)

The Mall of the Netherlands opened earlier this year. It is definitely an American style mall, complete with kiosks in the middle of the walkways. The owner is Westfield (the company that owns a lot of American malls) so it does make sense.

First, the cutest photo ever, of the Nijntje store! Nijntje is a cartoon rabbit. She goes by Miffy in English translations.

And then Hema – I love the facade and touch of green. And as noted, there’s a kiosk in the middle of the walkway.

What mall isn’t complete without a peanut butter store (below)? pindakaas = peanut butter.

The joke on the bag is Pindakaas, in geval van noot or Peanut butter, in case of emergency. Normally it is “in geval van nood”, but they switched out nood (emergency) for noot (nut in English).

(It’s a lot cooler if you don’t have to explain it, I swear.)

And finally, a huge cart artwork which doubles as a slide for kids (the front paws are the slide).

So we can finally say that the Netherlands has a proper mall. American style, at least.

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Early morning shopping (Or: It still feels weird)

Early morning shopping was on the menu today. Early morning being in the city centre around 09:00, when shops were just opening and practically deserted. I didn’t go to any “popular” stores as that would be the epitome of silly. For example, here was the line at Primark around 09:30:

Note that this is a double line that starts on the left side, goes to the right, snakes down the side of the building and wraps back around to the entrance (the door directly in the picture is the exit in corona times). But it won’t be the first or last time I take a photo of the line outside of Primark. It is always crazy long.

I went to Blokker and Xenos – both were practically empty. I then went to Hema, which was a bit busy but doable. I did take a photo of the smartphone cases at Hema as I thought it was a cute display idea:

Those hands would also make for great models for drawing.

I did end up buying a few minor things – a few dish cloths, a new loofah, a spicy ginger tea and a small bag of jelly beans for Marco – but nothing too special. But still, it was weird to be back in “non-essential” stores again. Oh, and I randomly saw a coworker who I’ve spoken with once (!) in the last year. That was strange too. We had a short conversation in Dutch and then parted ways again.

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Waiting in line at HEMA (Or: Pickup is allowed)

In the afternoon you will usually see a handful of people waiting to pick up a package at HEMA (official website, or check out the English Wikipedia page). It sells housewares and clothes, mostly made under their own label.

Under the current corona measures you are allowed to pick up packages at non-essential stores, although later in the week you will also be able to make an appointment to shop at a non-essential store. The rules are pretty strict, though; only two customers at a time per floor which is not helpful for large stores.

As you can see a few people are waiting for a package in this photo. Technically the pickup point needs to be outside, but it is actually just inside the first of two sets of automatic doors. If you look closely you can just barely see the white cart with three shelves and a blue bag – there is a customer inside picking up her order. And at least this way you don’t get rained on while you are paying for your order!

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We miss you (Or: Hema and sculptures)

I noticed a “We miss you” sign at Hema (English Wikipedia) recently and decided to snap a quick picture:

“We missen je” = “We miss you”

Non-essential stores are still closed in the Netherlands, although click-and-collect options will be available from 10 February (see my previous blog post).

In other news, for those of us in The Hague: the yearly sculpture event will be returning to the Lange Voorhout this summer! (Official link from pulchri.nl in Dutch). The exhibition will run from 21 May to 14 September and will feature sculptures from 20 artists. The event is free and open to the public at any point of the day (provided there isn’t an evening curfew… ugh).

In 2018 (blog post) and 2019 the event was sand sculptures. Unfortunately the 2020 event was cancelled due to the corona crisis, so it is nice to see it return this year.

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Essential? Non-essential? (Or: What are we again?)

The discussion about who can stay open during the lockdown and who must close continued today. Hema, a general merchandise retail store, decided to open today. Only essential items like food, baby clothes and toiletries were available. The original government ruling said that if it at least 30% of the items sold were essential, then that part of the store with essential items could remain open. The rest of the inventory would be unavailable for sale. (If the store sold at least 70% essential items the entire store could remain open.) Because at least 30% of what Hema sells is essential they decided to open yesterday. Problem is, other chains including Action and Wibra then decided they would re-open from tomorrow. And those stores’ stock is even less essential than Hema’s in my opinion.

That meant the Dutch cabinet went back into discussions last night and this morning. The end result: the 30% ruling is now gone, so you need to sell at least 70% essential items to stay open.

Some large non-essential stores open despite lockdown; government to intervene from nltimes.nl

and then Tighter rules around essential stores that can open in lockdown, also from nltimes.nl.

Fotoseries: Stil in Den Haag op de eerste dag van de lockdown, or Photos: Silence in The Hague on the first day of the lockdown [Tuesday]. Photos 9 and 11 are a bit political, since the pink ‘soon available for renting’ signs have the Dutch prime minister and the Health minister’s name listed as the realtor (Rutte and De Jonge).

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That’s pretty clever (Or: A wall of chocolate letters at Hema)

Marco took this photo for me of the Hema in The Hague’s city centre. It shows a wall of chocolate Sinterklaas letters being used to block off what was formerly the entrance to Hema’s restaurant:

Hema’s restaurant is closed right now due to the corona regulations in the Netherlands. All restaurants and cafés are closed with the exception of takeaway. But takeaway doesn’t make much sense at the Hema restaurant so it is completely closed.

And what better way is there to to block off an entrance? It’s quite clever – it immediately makes the space more festive and takes attention away from the reasons why it needed to be closed in the first place. Here’s a look at the store when the restaurant redesign first opened back in early 2015:

You can see the store in the background

If you need a refresher on Sinterklaas letters, they are literally large letters of chocolate, from A all the way to Z. They usually come in the flavors milk, dark, white and hazelnut. They are either plain or covered in fancy designs. If they are a gift for someone, then you normally buy the letter that corresponds with the first letter of the receipt’s name (N for Niki, and so forth). Or a lot of people buy “S” for Sinterklaas. But be warned: if you wait until the day before Sinterklaas to buy one, there will probably only be Q’s left!

Sinterklaas is celebrated on 5 December. It is a children’s holiday (mostly…), celebrated with gifts, poems and good food. You can read more at dutchnews.nl with the “Ten things you need to know to celebrate Sinterklaas” list.

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