For the first time in a year, I'll be going back to Holland; the land of tulips, cheese, and bikes. After a few hours of sleep and an interview in the morning, it is time to relax for a bit, and in my book that equals a glass of wine. Waiting to board isn't so bad like this!
1. My hometown is small 2. Japanese isn't the most popular cuisine here. All the more reasons to be pleasantly surprised at Tokyo Lounge. Unlimited sushi and other dishes for those still a little sceptic of sushi (read my dad and sister), there's plenty to choose from. The restaurant was full, which is not a given this time a year in Tiel. Every round brought a new plate of delicious food and it was a wonderful welcome back to Tiel dinner!
A typical day in Amsterdam starting off with some cloudiness but moving to a prettier sunny day after all. One of my favorite cities, Amsterdam has something to offer any time of day. Although the RDL is often the only thing people know about, it's actually a beautifully historic city. Best way to explore is on a bike, obviously!
On tea! My sister and I wanted an afternoon of British deliciousness and fun. De Bakerswinkel (the bakers store) offered a great variety of tea of which we tried lemon, forest fruit, and the tea of the season. The table setting was adorable and the food super fresh! For a rainy afternoon in Amsterdam, a great find in the middle of the RLD.
Before heading back we wanted some dinner and plenty of choices here! We ended up at this restaurant we thought was another one (recent change) but it was still great. The atmosphere was laid back and the prices reasonable for the location. Coming back to holland for the winter, I had to have the specialty soup: Snert aka Echte Hollandse Erwtensoep. It's a vegetable pea soup with sausage. You have to try before judging but for those hesitant the other dishes were great too.
As part of my vacation in Holland, my family decided to head to the south of the country to spend the night in Maastricht. Although the drive is long for Dutch distances, about two hours, the views on the way there made up for it!
For the holidays, the entire city was lit up with twinkle lights. There was a Christmas market with anything from sausage to hats and an ice rink in the middle of it all. Although it was freezing cold, it was definitely very cozy to enjoy the evening.
So many options in this city to eat, it wasn't easy to pick but luckily we made a good choice. Outdoors was a little cold even with the heating but the inside was really cute. All of the food was delicious, from the tapas sized appetizers to the delicious chocolate cake for dessert. With reasonable prices and friendly wait staff. I would definitely come back here!
With the stores closed and the lights not twinkling by daylight, we decided to explore the town a bit by walking around. We made it to the river with gorgeous views and to the hipster part across the water. A fun little getaway for a day, I loved spending both day and night in Maastricht.
A family tradition is to head to Amsterdam every break to spend a day strolling down this outdoor market. Anything from specialty herbs to clothing to tooth paste us sold here and I always end up walking away with something cute, this time a new dress! Although it was just me and my mom this time, a school break isn't complete without de cuyp.
Shopping makes hungry, so we also have our usual stop for coffee. This rustic cafe is good for morning coffee, lunch and dinner, or as a late night bar!
Ever since I introduced my mom to sushi, she has been jumping at every chance to enjoy it. Since my dad and sister would rather skip a meal (trust me, this isn't common for anyone in my family) than eat a sushi roll, a day with just the two of us seemed liked another perfect chance to eat some sushi. We stumbled on this place on our way to the market, and it was a great choice! The restaurant is huge for the neighborhood but due to smart design, it doesn't feel that way. It's an unlimited concept, like every other time I have seen sushi here, and you can order on a tablet. Although we were the only people in the restaurant for a bit, it had a comfy ambiance. The sushi was delicious and fresh, one of the best I have ever had, and I am pretty sure we will be back next time I'm around here!
In my opinion, this is the best restaurant in town. There isn't much in Tiel (or as the locals say; Tiel is nie viel) but this truly embraces a typical Dutch atmosphere and menu, echt gezellig! The name is Dutch for the neighbor and it feels that casual. Meeting up with one of my oldest friends and his family, I really enjoyed my second to last night in town!
All good things have to come to an end and with the time flying by, it's already time for me to return to the states. Goodbyes are always sad, especially since I enjoyed my time in Holland so much! I am not sure when, but I'll be back soon...