To properly close this Dutch chapter on the blog (well, temporarily, we still have to tell you about Amsterdam!) we had to tell you about our day of explorations in the oh-so pretty The Hague. Restaurant, stroll and festival : it’s a program made of treats and discoveries that we’re offering you today, coated as it should with soft sun rays and sprinkled with atypical encounters. Shall we?
Instock, the potatoe rescuers!
We were gently awoken by the sound of the waves of the North Sea and our gourmet day naturally began with a meal at the restaurant! How appropriate right? So it is with our starving bellies that we pushed the front door of the charming InStock restaurant, amused and intrigued by their promise to “save food”. The place is really nice and welcoming with a simple, chic and cozy decor. It must be the hub of the trendy working youth of The Hague, since it’s ideally located right in the city center. We ended up sitting on the terrace, it would have been a pity not to take advantage of this beautiful weather. It didn’t take long before our pretty waitress came to us. She explained the original concept of this brand new restaurant: with their customized bike, the members of this fine team go every day to supermarkets from the area looking for unsold food that’s still fit for consumption. Vegetables, meat, bread, fruits, thay rescue all types of food and the menu will then depend on the day’s findings. The menu has some basic dishes (fruit juice, green salad, Spanish omelette) and they’re ingredients change every day. Therefore, the food is fresh, seasonal and everything is homemade, what more could we ask for?!
So how did it all taste? Well it really was pretty good. We were both surprised and seduced by some of the flavors offered on that day (including the apple, kiwi and mandarin juice) and their homemade fries are absolutely delicious! Since we’re not really fond of this type of healthy food, we couldn’t say we had a food orgasm but nevertheless it’s a nice little place that we totally recommend.
Buitenhof 36, 2513 AH, The Hague
Sunset above the sea
When leaving Instock, we had an urge to go back to the sea so naturally, we went towards the beautiful Scheveningen beach for our digestive stroll. Well, we got there by tram to get to the Scheveningen beach be more specific. It’s not really the next door destination: 20 minutes by tram, 1 hour by foot! When we were in The Hague, we had daily transport tickets which proved to be very easy to use and very convenient … as long as we remembered that we had to check them in AND out of the subway, bus or tram. At first it’s a little surprising, we aren’t used to doing it this way back home. We often found ourselves frantically searching for our tickets in our pockets to check them out and be able to jump on the pavement before the doors would close on us! Friendly tip: when your stop is announced, check out your ticket and don’t wait until the doors are already opened before doing so, you’ll avoid much stress!
So after a little fright, we finally managed to check out our tickets and jump off the tram just in time at the Kurhaus stop. It took us a few minutes to be sure of the direction we had to take (thank you Google Maps!) and we finally realized that we were only a few minutes away from the beach by foot. Some turns amid large and imposing buildings later, we were finally facing the North Sea which waters the pretty Scheveningen beach. The sun had already begun to decline and a superb golden light was covering the beach where swimmers, walkers and … many seagulls were meeting! It was really the perfect moment to enjoy the place which, despite the presence of (too?) many buildings, restaurants and shops, certainly doesn’t lack charm. The atmosphere was really laid-back, friendly and we almost felt like we had gone back to Coney Island. The huge ferris wheel that overlooks the sea quickly caught our attention and stirred our curiosity. It’s actually the only ferris wheel in Europe that’s built on the sea and it must be said that it is quite impressive. The view from up there is definitely worth a detour and enjoying the sunset over the sea in these conditions is quitxe unique.
Strandweg 150-154, 2586 JW, The Hague
Food trucks and good music at TREK Festival
But enough with the daydreaming and strolling. We had to finish this foodie day in the best possible conditions and what better than a food truck festival to do so? Nothing, that’s for sure! We went to end this beautiful sunny foodie day in Westbroepark at the TREK Festival, a wandering food truck festival. After going to Rotterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht and Amsterdam, the festival had finally settled in The Hague for a few days placed under the sign of good vibes, conviviality and most of all gluttony!
As soon as we arrived, we were impressed by the size of the festival. There were dozens of food trucks arranged between several small white and red circus tents. It was a real small town built in the middle of this huge park and the TREK Festival even has its own mayor that we had the chance to meet! There also is a small stage where several talented local artists played, a small theatre scene and 2 DJs with very diverse musical influences. We loved the excellent cowboy DJ who was installed in an old tractor and played rock, blues and soul classics on his vintage record player. Totally improbable, but great and perfect for dancing! The philosophy of the TREK festival is clearly turned towards epicureanism, the desire to enjoy life to the fullest in a laid-back, easy-going and benevolent atmosphere. Everything we love! We started by taking two fresh beers and headed towards the relaxation area, not far from the Social Mealia Area. We played foosball and enjoyed the last rays of sunshine while waiting for the hunger to come.
This is when things got complicated. The diversity of the food trucks in Westbroepark was quite impressive. Indian, Thai, burgers, barbecues, hot dogs, tortillas, bruschettas, there was something for every taste and the hardest part, as always, was to choose! We had to walk several times throughout the alleys of the festival, curious, hungry, salving a little more with each of our discoveries. Whether it was juicy burgers, barbecue grilled meat or Twisters crispy twisted potatoes, everything looked delicious and was pretty affordable. After much hesitation, we finally opted for Firma Pickles‘ juicy burgers and Red Dog Society‘s original hot dogs, a real treat! Once night fell, temperatures fell quickly and we bitterly regretted not having planned sweaters to spend the evening. So we had to go back to our little beach house with bellies filled with delicious dishes and heads full of lovely memories.
We were invited by The Hague Tourist Office to try out Instock and the Pier’s ferris wheel. However, any opinion expressed here is our own and we haven’t in any case been subjected to the influence of a third party. A huge thank you to Chantal, Mieke and Suzanne for your warm, smiling and caring welcome!