Sandwich Paradise

The popularity of sandwiches rose dramatically during the Industrial Revolution when the working classes made fast, portable and inexpensive food a staple. Overtime, sandwiches have become one of the most versatile meal anyone can have.  Whether you like yours with brown or white bread, baguette or ciabatta, there are a hundred ways of making it delicious and interesting with your favorite spreads, fillings, salads and anything else you can imagine.

In The Hague, two sandwiches places stand out for their thoughtful, healthy and gourmet approach to preparing an ordinary piece of bread into a delightful lunch or scrumptious dinner on those lazy nights you just don’t feel like cooking.

Bagels & Beans

Bagels & Beans, Plaats, Den Haag centrum

Popular for six varieties of bagels to choose from: 100% organic white, brown and sesame bagels, and, or sun-dried tomato, multi-grain and cinnamon & raisin bagels.  Order it with your favorite cream cheese flavor: natural, walnut & honey, dill or pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. Finish off with one of their healthy fresh fruit juices.

They have three outlets in three favorite locations in The Hague that makes them so appealing. Plaats at The Hague city center or the Aert van der Goesstraat at the intersection of the Frederik Hendriklaan in the  Statenkwartier are ideal choices for casual lunch meetings.

Bagels & Beans, Plaats, Den Haag

And the cafe at the first floor of Selexyz Verwijs bookshop in The Passage at the city center is a favorite destination to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee with a slice of one of their heavenly dessert cakes while reading a book or magazine. The date cake is to die for. Ok, I digress.

Boosty

Thoughtful food.  That says it all.

A quick glance on the menu yields wild turkey filling on a cranberry spread, smashing avocado with goat cheese and a salad mix, spicy chicken with roma tomatoes and baby spinach on aioli dressing among others… need I say more? Oh yes, their salad bowls are refreshingly everything you want to have in your salad but don’t know yet.

 

Boosty at Frederik Hendriklaan

But what makes them also really popular is their broodjetaart (bread cake) which is a large round sandwich bread filled with your choice of toppings and sliced into serving portions of eight or ten or twelve.  Perfect for that lunch birthday treat in the office or to serve with your cocktail parties. You have to order these a day before.

 

Sandwich Filling Counter, Boosty

 

STET: The English Theatre Productions in The Hague

STET – Stichting The English Theatre – promotes and produces professional English-language theatre for the international community in The Hague and surrounding areas.

STET is the brainchild of Elske van Holk who worked for the Southwark Playhouse, a famous studio theatre on the London Fringe.  She was a part of its production team for six years where she learned the ropes and trade of theatre production.  She started STET in June 2006 upon her return to The Netherlands, having identified the need for a good high quality English-language theatre in The Hague.

The English Theater has been involved in over 20 productions in the past three years.  The locations where the productions are often performed add a special charm to the performances.

Ashley Ramsden’s A Christmas Carol was performed in one of the oldest and best-preserved almshouses in The Hague “Het Hofje van Wouw” (1634). The open-air performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Mowgli Stories (aka Jungle Book) by the British theatre company Illyria, sometimes accompanied by champagne picnics, at the Oranjerie of Duivenvoorde Castle from late August have now become a tradition for many.

STET’s oncoming production, The Guildhall Graduates 2010 – Young Talents from London, takes place on 29 September to 3 October at the Branoul Literair Theater in the Maliestraat, The Hague.  Three young graduates from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama will perform their graduation solo pieces. Collaborating with Drew Balch (viola), the monologues are written and directed by the actors themselves as part of their final examination requirements.

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is one of Europe’s leading conservatories.  It boasts of Daniel Craig, Joseph Fiennes and Ewan McGregor among others as its alumni.

More information and online bookings can be found on their website www.theenglishtheatre.nl

Prince’s Day (Prinsjesdag)

CC Photo Courtesy of Audringje ❘ Flickr

The third Tuesday of September is Prince’s Day in the Netherlands.  It signals the start of the Dutch parliamentary year and is one of the most important days in the Dutch royal calendar.

Schools in The Hague close so the children can watch the procession as the Queen rides a golden horse-drawn carriage from the Noordeinde Palace to the Hall of Knights in the Binnenhof, the seat of the Dutch parliament in The Hague.

As Head of State, the Queen delivers the “Speech from the Throne” before a joint meeting of both chambers of parliament, members of the cabinet, the Council of State and some other invited guests.  The Queens’ Speech outlines the government’s plans for the coming year.  The Finance Minister presents his symbolic briefcase, containing both the Budget Memorandum and the National Budget to the President of the House of Representatives later in the day.

The Dutch Royal Armed Forces line the road as the procession returns to the Noordeinde Palace.  The Royal Family appears on the palace balcony to address the huge crowd waiting for them.

The Prince’s Day celebrations date back to the 18th century when a holiday was declared to mark Prince Willem V’s birthday.

In present times, the occasion has taken a more pragmatic significance and is not a national holiday.  The scenes of royal traditions in The Hague however are not lost on an adoring public that lines the city’s streets to witness the pomp and glory of the occasion.

A tree-lined avenue called Lange Voorhout

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The Lange Voorhout has always been a favorite haunt in The Hague.  Walking along its tree-lined avenue on early weekend mornings, while everything else is asleep and quiet, is the ultimate food for the soul.

There is a charming quality to its surroundings.  The hundred year old buildings flanking its sides are now homes to various embassies, residences and various offices.   The summer and autumn months lend its gravel walkways to various exhibits of great works from artists all over the world.  The Escher Museum awaits at the end where one can unravel the Dutch artist’s mysteries on optical illusions.

Currently, the larger than life bronze sculpture works of Valencia-born Manolo Valdes are showcased in an open air exhibition until the 12th of September.

And when those feet are tired, the Lounge Bar of the Hotel des Indes is a perfect place for coffee or high tea… or the cafes along the Denneweg serve as perfect venues for that much yearned for cup of coffee or refreshing cocktail.