Who would want to go to The Hague? Isn’t that where generals stand trial for war crimes?
The third-largest city in the Netherlands is indeed the home of the International Criminal Court, as well as a host of other international bureaucratic buildings. But among modern offices, like the Office for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare, is an historic city featuring medieval buildings and a vibrant restaurant scene.
The Hague is, as well as being on the coast, home to dozens of embassies – and the restaurant scene reflects this cosmopolitan background. A lively culinary scene is replete with contemporary restaurants expertly experimenting with modern European cuisine.
One way to experience excellent food and see the city is via Hoftrammm, a restaurant in a tram.
Your carriage circles the city while you stuff your face with dishes like stewed duck, served with sweet potato, grilled capsicum, polenta and dates-gravy. Choo-chew.
No trip to the Netherlands is complete without spending some time in the proximity of a canal. De Paas Bierspeciaalcafe, on Dunne Bierkade, is a small gem of a place, with the emphasis on small.
The enormous selection of beers though can be taken outside, if the weather is right, to be enjoyed by the busy waterway, where you can watch the boats chunter past.
Or maybe you could try Huppel, a bar situated in the middle of the city. Perfect for a cosy evening, there are over 150 types of whisky and 60 kinds of beer, including the house-made brew huppALE. Prost!
Dutch and Flemish painting has been delighting art lovers for the last century or three, so visit Mauritshuis if you ever want to find out why.
This splendid museum is set in a 17th-Century mansion and contains 800 paintings, including Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring which is, quite literally, a masterpiece.
Then there’s Lange Voorhout Palace. The stunning 18th-Century building now houses a collection of mindbending art by Dutch painter MC Escher.
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