Wednesday 12 August 2020

’People don’t think of NL as a beach country but it has a huge beautiful coast’

’People don’t think of NL as a beach country but it has a huge beautiful coast’

You might have come across one of Ben Coates books, Why The Dutch Are Different or The Rhine. Or maybe you’ve come across one of his controversial opinions about bike helmets or Dutch work ethic on Twitter. The British international aid worker and the author has strong feelings about Dutch food, but he’s here to stay.  How did you end up in the Netherlands? I was backpacking through Central America and I met a lovely Dutch girl. I got her... More >

Blog watching: The City Archives

  Amsterdive is a personal blog where Ana V. Martins writes about all things Amsterdam, art and culture, and her experiences as a local / foreigner. She aims to promote different artistic scene(s), sustainable ways of living, as well as bringing people together. On wet weekend days, when museums and cafes get swamped by people, and all I crave is a calm, culturally-stimulating place: that’s when I typically end up at the Stadsarchief. Getting to the City Archives by bike... More >

Webhosts must be simple, secure and fast

Covid-19 is driving more and more business online. But you don’t have to be an internet wizard to start your own website and there are lots of sources out there to help you. Since the lockdown was imposed in the Netherlands in March, over 250,000 new dot nl domain names have been registered in the Netherlands. That figure, according to domain registration agency SIDN, is unprecedented, and illustrates just how much businesses are moving online. There are now some six... More >

Inburgering with DN: animal 'games'

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 17: ‘games’ involving animals The Spanish chase bulls in the streets, with or without their horns on fire, the Brits used to stuff ferrets down their trousers and the Belgians swallow live fish, all in the name of tradition. So what do the Dutch do to animals for a bit of ‘harmless’ fun? Here’s a few examples, past and present. Zwintie tikken... More >

Learn Dutch online with Taalthuis

Taalthuis’s new online Dutch lessons are proving popular with busy internationals from all over the world. We find out how the corona crisis has revealed the value of online tuition. When the country was locked down due to the coronavirus, Dutch language school Taalthuis had to act quickly to meet the needs of its 800 students. On March 16 a new format was born, with students accessing online teacher-led lessons from home. A change worth keeping But what was meant... More >

Weird places to spend the night in NL

If you want to go on a holiday during these uncertain times, it might make sense to stick close to home and aim for the more rural corners of the Netherlands. Here’s some unique rentals and other lodgings around the country that can help you avoid as many other human beings as possible. A camping raft – De Heen and other locations These somewhat difficult to describe floating huts are called vlots and you can find them bopping on the edges of... More >

How to pick a name for your website

With more and more activities moving online thanks to coronavirus, this might be the perfect time to take the plunge and develop your own website – or even a set up a new one, if you are already active. So where do you begin? It all starts out with the name. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Airbnb – they are all website names which have become part of every day life, and one thing they all have in common is that they... More >

Inburgering with DN: 10 cheeses

The lockdown may be over but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 16: Cheese There is more to Dutch cheese than the plastic versions of Gouda and Edam you tend to find in foreign supermarkets. Here are some of our favourites. Dutch cheese, by the way, is either jong (young, 4 weeks),  jong-belegen (young-mature 8-10 weeks), belegen (mature, 16-18 weeks), extra belegen (extra mature, 7-8 months), oud (old, 10-12 months) or overjarig (very old,... More >

11 great things to do in August

Celebrate the sofa bed, get some outdoor entertainment and do some star-gazing. Here are 11 great things to do in August. See what the Romans left for us Some two thousand years ago Roman soldiers guarded the limes, or the northernmost frontier of the Roman empire, along the river Rhine and remnants of their presence are on show at the Leiden archaeological museum. But it’s not just swords and helmets because women. Children and servants came too, which explains the... More >

Are you a Shopaholic or Stopaholic?

Many people in the Netherlands are now putting a full stop on buying new clothes. We investigate what makes the nation’s stopaholics and shopaholics tick and ask the question, is buying new clothes now finally going out of fashion? ‘I’m a self-proclaimed shopaholic,’ says Sebastian Walburg van Gent (51), a hotel operations manager from Amsterdam, who admits to loving the ’buzz’ of in-store shopping and ‘the anticipation of delivery’ when making purchases online. Smart shirts from Hawes & Curtis are... More >

Inburgering with DN: protected food

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 15: protected foodstuffs You thought the Netherlands was all mashed potato dishes, cheese and herring when it comes to traditional food? But there are a fair few Dutch items on the EU’s official lists – even if rather a lot are cheese. And just so you know what we are talking about the EU logos PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI... More >

A confession and apology to the First Mate receives a lot of correspondence from readers, sometimes looking for help in tracing lost relatives, sometimes to share experiences of the Netherlands in years gone by. But this email, from reader Joost Goedkoop in the US, is different. In the summers of 1965 and 1966 I worked on Dutch freighters sailing the Caribbean Seas. The shipping line, KNSM, had beautiful little freighters with routes from Amsterdam to NYC, that continued on to Miami, Puerto Rico, St Maartin, Curacao, Bonaire,... More >

Costa Holanda offers Med-style break in NL

Swimming costume packed and beach gear on, Jennie Fix was looking forward to a day of relaxing sun. Except this care home worker from IJsselmuiden was not on the way to the ‘Turkish riviera’ of Antalya as planned. Face masks on, in a coach together with her husband Dick and daughter Gera, she was on her way to ‘Costa Holanda’ — having swapped her Turkish Corendon break for a holiday on the North Sea. ‘We were going to Turkey for... More >

Inburgering with DN: windmills

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer.  Lesson 14: Windmills Coronavirus put paid to this year’s national windmill day in May, but the windmill association has called on mill owners to open their doors on September 12 and 13 instead as part of National Heritage Day. Here are some facts and figures about the Netherlands’ most enduring industrial monuments. 1 The oldest windmill The oldest remaining mill in the Netherlands... More >

Podcast: The Wilders For Moroccans Edition

It’s the last podcast before we head off for our holidays in sunny Spijkenisse. We tell you who won the Christian Democrat leadership election, how many people joined the unemployment queue in June and why neighbours saw red over a green house. In sport, calls grow louder to overturn a ban on singing in football stadiums. And love knows no bounds as campaigners persuade the government to relax travel restrictions for long-distance sweethearts. Want to support the DutchNews podcast and... More >

'Chill. That typifies my Amsterdam'

William Sutton spent his childhood in the United Kingdom before moving to Canada at age 16 and then finally to the Netherlands in the 1980s. He now lives in Amsterdam and is a long-time actor who loves the city’s old school cafes. His most recent project is COVID Criminals Amsterdam, an online comedy micro-series. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My eldest sister married a Dutchman when I was 12 years old. I visited at that age and... More >

The March elections are not a run race

The March elections are not a run race, says columnist Syp Wynia, and the current incumbent Mark Rutte may not last the course. As the country is coming out of lockdown, politicians are jostling for position for the next general elections in March, or perhaps sooner if the coalition should fall. Prime ministerMark Rutte looks to be in poll position but more than one politician has fallen at the last hurdle. At the moment Rutte is not even officially in... More >

French Rivièra to the heart of Amsterdam

Spending summer in the city, or having a few days getaway at home? Get that Rivièra feeling with a visit to Amsterdam’s very own Grand Beach. Luxury hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, located in the heart of the city centre, has opened its very own beach terrace in its historic courtyard, bringing a taste of the French coast to the Dutch capital. The Grand Beach is inspired by the elegance of the French Riviera. As you walk on to... More >

Dutch Destinations: Breda

My first experience of Breda was in February and it was cold, wet and grey. Yet the North Brabant city known as the pearl of the South had not lost its lustre. Voted Best City Centre from 2017-2020, Breda is more preened than most – a hangover perhaps from centuries of royal occupancy: the Nassaus, who resided at the castle. But despite its twee shops and chic terraces (do plastic chairs even exist in this town?), the atmosphere is above... More >