Rotterdam: Holland’s Hidden Pearl
What a city! Rotterdam took my heart by surprise. In just 75 minutes from Antwerp I was there with Eurolines (€20 back and forth).
The reason for my Roffa trip was the invitation of my friend Lindsey to stay in a design hotel for free as her ‘plus one’. Got to love Bongo.
Here she’s posing with Rotterdam’s giant ‘buttplug Santa’ statue which was decorated with marine stripes in honour of the big Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition. More about that in my next post!
We stayed in the impressive Bazar Hotel in probably the coolest street in town: Witte de Withstraat. Bazar Hotel is entirely inspired by the best of the Middle East. Beautiful tiling, oriental chandeliers, bold colours and golden ornaments. Good choice, Lindsey!
You don’t even have to stay in the hotel to enjoy one of its best features: the restaurant! A ceiling with mirror tiles, oriental lighting and most of all mouthwatering dishes. We had their special, the Bizar Bazar, for dinner and with €15/person it was their most expensive dish.
FYI, Bizar Bazar = mixed grill kebab with lamb, chicken en turkey, with a Persian style stew of lamb with almonds, with rice, fried potatoes, yoghurt sauce with moesir and salad. Not bad at all, huh? Check out the menu here.
In the morning we were served the giant and delicious oriental inspired breakfast. A perfect start for a busy day in the city.
Because Rotterdam is a city with a lot to do and a lot to discover. I’m going to be honest: it’s not pretty. The city was bombed during the Second World War and what they constructed afterwards is just plain ugly. But what Rotterdam lacks in architectural beauty is highly compensated by exciting experiences and a surprise around almost every corner.
Whatever you decide to do, go to these 3 streets:
As I already mentioned, Witte de Withstraat: Hotel Bazar, WdW Contemporary Art Gallery, MAMA Showroom, Ecce.
Don’t stop when the street changes names and becomes Schilderstraat: Margreeth Olsthoorn, Haring Design, Bagel Bakery & Burgers.
Make sure to pass by Pannekoekstraat as well: the absolute favourite of Lindsey and me is Pierre. Beautiful interior and dito staff. Great service, great wine, great music and all kinds of people. We’ll definitely go back next time to try the food.
You’ll also find Smaakatelier Zoet & Zout in Pannekoekstraat, which is perfect for lunch or a relaxing drink. Other interesting assets of this street include Depot Rotterdam, No Robot, Very Cherry and Shop4aday.
Do you want to have a night out “Vincent & Lindsey style”? Then this is your itinerary:
Have dinner at Bazar, have a cocktail at Tiki’s, drink Straffe Hendrik at Sijf, activate your party mood at Rotown, make a brief stop at Hemingway, have a late-night snack at Burger King and party the night away underground at Toffler.
Ok, I’ve already given you 18 things to do in this post (Burger King not included). Now it’s time for you to go to Rotterdam and discover this amazing city. You can do everything on foot and we did all this and more in just two days. Trust me, you won’t get bored.
The post about the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition at Kunsthal Rotterdam will shortly be online, so keep on checking our site, Twitter and Facebook page!
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