Saturday, July 27, 2013

3 Dutch things I love and will miss

Tic-tac, tic-tac, tic-tac ... Wow, time is really ticking out and in just one week time I'll be leaving the Netherlands behind and driving all the way down to a new life in Switzerland. Exciting! But so sad at the same time. I've lived for nearly two years in Maastricht and my love for this small and cosy city has only grown and grown, and so has my appreciation for all things Dutch. So today I've decided to talk a bit about three Dutch things that I absolutely love.I wonder how I'll survive without them!

Albert Heijn

Oh, the AH, that wonderful dutch supermarket that's in every city, town and train station in the Netherlands. A real monopolist in the most economic sense of the word, but what's not to love about it? It has an incredibly wide range of products with great quality and budget-friendly prices, though Dutch people tend to disagree on this, as they often regard it as the most expesvice supermarket in the Netherlands. Its bonus card will save you some euros on a regular basis as the AH has dozens of product on promotion every week - I've never paid full price for laundry detergent or conditioner, asI most of the time there's a suitable 2x1 offer. Another great thing of the AH is its monthly free magazine Allerhande full of recipes and cooking tips.


An absolute life-saver! Whatever you need, you're most likely to find it in your nearest Hema shop. From bicycle lights to underwear and from biscuits to glasses and cutlery. And everything is, oh, so cheap! I especially like its stationary and make-up ranges and my last purchase was a couple of bikinis for four euros each. Bargain! Hema is a real institution in the Netherlands. Dutch people have been shopping at Hema for almost a century now and last year they even produced their own musical telling the story of an inmigrant trying to find her way in the Netherlands and working as a Hema shop assistant. The musical even featured typical Dutch sausages and cakes dacing on stage!

La Place

This chain of restaurants catters fast-food with a twist, an organic twist. Everything is fresh-made and from organic ingredients. Almost every city in the Netherlands will have at least one La Place eatery, most of the time on the V&D department stores and luckily on the top floor with a terrace to enjoy. La Place serves fresh juices and smoothies, salads, soups, wok dishes, pizzas, coffee and tea, sandwiches and delicous patries. I really like its mushroom soup, the best I've ever tried and any of its cakes will do me. There are also small cafés where you can grab a quick snack and food retailers selling sweet-smelling chocolates and tasty breads and baked treats. Every month there's a new set of vouchers on its website with nice deals.

Ah, these wonderfully practical Dutch things. I will have to find a way to cope without them but in the meantime I better get packing. My appartment currently looks like a battlefield and I still have quite a lot of things to do before leaving. I've already done most of the paperwork and only the most tedious tasks remain, namely cleaning and tyding everything up and put most of my belongings into boxes. But not everything will be boring this weekend as a friend will be visiting me tomorrow and Boyfriend is coming on Thursday to help put everythinng together in the car and leave together on Saturday. And I'm so looking forward to it as we haven't seen each other in almost three months, yay!

Have a lovely weekend!


  1. It seems it's a year of new beginnings. Wow, I'm sure you'll miss these places that have been a part of your life in Netherlands. My sister-in-law is leaving Dubai for good too after living here for many years and she spent her last few days re-visiting places, friends and family for the last time to go back home for good. While reading your post, I get a glimpse of how it is to say goodbye to spots and how I should not make the most out of the time and appreciate local shops while I'm here.

    1. Oops typo, I should now make the most out of the time and appreciate local shops while I'm here.

    2. hehehe I had already spotted the typo!
      I can imagine it was also hard for your sister-in-law to leave Dubai after so long. For me it's only been two years and it was already hard to leave.
      Enjoy your time there while you can, I'm sure there are many great things to do in Dubai :)

  2. Hola!!
    ¿Te mudas a Suiza? ¿Qué tienes pensado hacer allí?

    Un beso

    1. Sí, me mudo a Basilea con mi novio. De momento el único plan es encontrar un trabajo y un piso lo más pronto posible :)

  3. Hola Irene!
    qué diferente es en cada país el concepto de tienda, verdad? Me ha llamado mucho la atención lo del último restaurante; no estaría mal que hicieran uno así aquí en España.
    Entonces.. te marchas? vaya...espero que vayan muy bien estos días con tu amiga y tu chico.Bsinss, wpa:)

    1. Muchas gracias, Pilar!
      Contesto tan tarde que hasta me he mudado ya! A ver como sale todo!
      La verdad que sí, que a pesar de que muchas marcas están ya omnipresentes en la mayoría de países aún sigue habiendo cosas únicas de cada país que hacen cada viaje especial :)

  4. hi Irene!!! I can feel you and understand fully...
    moving from one place to another is always great experience but there are so many things sad to leave behind.
    but i'm sure you'll love the one and you could always go back and visit the previous one ;)

    take care and hop you had a wonderful weekend!!!
    xoxo,Meg of Sweet Gala's

    1. Thanks, Meg!
      That's exactly how I feel. So looking forward to the next best thing but at the same time so sad to be leaving ... But I'm sure that everything will be fine :)

      Take care xo

  5. Irene, have a safe trip. I'm really excited for you. It's going to be a great new adventure. You have good memories where you've lived and you're going to make some extraordinary new ones where you're going. Let us know how everything is once you settle in. ((hug))

    1. Thanks, Kim! I also think that a great adventure is about to start :)
      I've already left Maastricht and I'm really excited about my new life in Switzerland, even though it'll take a while to settle in but so far everything is fine!

  6. Best supermarket ever!

    It is sad that you're leaving the Netherlands but how exciting that you're moving to Switzerland! Once you've taken care of all the boring stuff of course.

    I'm looking forward to reading about your new adventures in a different country, and good luck with the move :)


Thanks for your comments!
I appreaciate your love and reactions.
I'll take a look at your blogs and I'll try to reply as soon as possible
Feel free to follow if you like :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...