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Weeknote 23

Exploring South Holland, Dutch dining, Mood and mental health

Exploring South Holland & Dutch dining

Over the past week, I joined and assisted my parents on their first trip to abroad in Central Europe since 2019.

Outbound we took the eco-friendly route via overnight ferry direct from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. I can highly recommend this option for smooth sailing, stress-free, flight-free travelling, and without the long security queues we experienced taking Eurostar from Brussels on our return journey.

Left ship funnel view with S logo, right: golden sun rise over shoreline

Delft's Hotel Vermeer was our choice of accommodation, which was a characterful accommodation choice beside the canal and right in the heart of this beautiful Dutch city.

There's no shortage of great dining options in Delft, and for our first night we chose Spijshuis De Dis. I'd the Brammer dish consisting of a creamy fish pie and an exquisitely presented garnish of steamed veg, spinach tart and potato presented in three ways.

Delft plate with spinach tart and potato presented in three ways including mash, crisp and tart

Gouda was our first day-trip destination on the second day of our visit, followed by Rotterdam. My foodie highlight of day two was a visit to Gouda's Van Vliet's Siroopwafels café for coffee and their delicious coffee bread, which is similar to France's pain aux raisins but ten times better!

Laird and Jenny sitting on a porcelain decorated bench with backdrop of canal and bicycles

On the final day of our stay we visited the delightful cities of Harlem and Leiden. Both had their own charm for exploring and easily worth another visit to see all their museums and attractions. Most of the Netherland's are somewhat pricey, and it's probably worthwhile committing to a museum pass if visiting museums is your main reason for going there.

Our final evening's dining out choice in Delft was at 't Postkantoor where I'd the vegan option, Vegetable Garde, which is made of marinated artichoke, crispy black bean risotto balls and grilled asparagus. All in all, a perfect end to our short trip in Delft.

Square dish of marinated artichoke, crispy black bean risotto balls and grilled asparagus

Mood and mental health

Most of the trip went well, although the ongoing sh*tstorm in UK politics, an economy in depression and consequential feelings of low morale back home did take its toll on some of us to the point of breakdown. Overall our trip was a pleasant respite away from the UK in a country somewhat more sane in its political direction and generally much better off as a consequence.