Monday 22 July 2019

Five great places to eat vegan food

Even the most committed meat eater cannot fail to have noticed the surge in veganism in the Netherlands. Marieke Mills has been checking out some of the best Dutch vegan restaurants and lunchrooms. Vegan restaurants are not just limited to Amsterdam anymore. You’ll be a happy vegan foodie if you live there, but Rotterdam and Utrecht have a number of vegan options as well. Beer and vegan food: Oproer Brouwerij (Utrecht) Vegan food and beer go hand in hand in... More >

Police in the polder: the search for truth

The Netherlands’ best known tv detective, Baantjer, was based on the adventures of a real life policeman, Appie Baantjer who was based in the Warmoesstraat on the edge of Amsterdam’s red light district. British crime writer Daniel Pembrey has now used the real-life 1983 Heineken kidnapping case to understand his police detective character. What makes a fictional detective compelling? Not likeable, necessarily, but rather the kind of character you want to follow for case after case – despite his or... More >

Number of energy suppliers quadrupled

The number of suppliers of electricity and gas has almost quadrupled since the liberalisation of the Dutch energy market in 2004, according to research by website Energievergelijk. Before deregulation there were only 12 suppliers for electricity, based in different parts of the country. Now, there are 47 which all want a piece of the cake. In total, 35 companies offer gas and electricity for consumers. The remaining 12 only offer energy contracts to businesses and multinationals. Energievergelijk has made a... More >

How the Dutch make their drinking water

The drinking water in Amsterdam, the Hague and large parts of Noord and Zuid-Holland is cleaned and filtered in the sand dunes along the Dutch coast with the North Sea. Joshua Parfitt has been finding out how. It is early in the morning and I am trying to take the perfect picture of the sand dunes in Meijendel—a 2,000-hectare nature reserve just five kilometres from The Hague city centre. As I race down the sandy trail from a dune offering... More >

Lessons for Nexiteers

    People in the Netherlands who support the idea of a Nexit need a few lessons in reality, writes macro-economist Mathijs Bouman. They really do exist, the Dutch politicians who look at the UK and think: now why can’t we do that. Political chaos, ministers stepping down in droves, parties split down the middle, companies preparing to leave, the economy on hold and a derailed social debate. Exactly what the Netherlands needs. ‘We want a NEXIT referendum, just like... More >

The Dutch repatriates: is NL still home?

For Dutch repatriates, returning to the Netherlands after many years abroad is not always the homecoming they envisaged. Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports on the ups and downs of resettling. Arriving back in Amsterdam in 2013 after 15 years abroad was a huge shock to the system for Daniëlle Bos (45). ‘Ever since I’m back, I’m feeling like a legal alien,’ she explains. After six years in Portugal, a career on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and spells in South Africa... More >

Podcast: The Groundhog Ophef Edition

With the summer break looming, we decided to pick out our favourite examples of ‘ophef’ – those tornados of outrage that blow up on social media only to be forgotten within 24 hours – from the year so far. It was also a week in which Mark Rutte got caught up in another Trump whirlwind at Nato, Frisian water engineers proved to be more useful than Elon Musk, the king faced a possible fine for flying drones in his back... More >

'The work-life balance surprised me'

Singaporean neuroscientist Xing Chen (32) moved to Amsterdam for work in 2014. Already a die-hard FEBO fan with a convincing Dutch accent, she has quickly made the Netherlands her home. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I was studying for my PhD in the UK and in 2014 I was looking to continue my career. I had a lot of experience working in the lab and studying the visual cortex and how the brain works and I found... More >

The 30% ruling cut is foolish

Dutch tax minister Menno Snel should resign because of the incompetence he has shown with his plans to cut the 30% ruling for current cases, says expat Jay Henning. Anyone familiar with tax will know that retrospective changes to tax law are taboo, as it creates a climate of uncertainty which puts off investment and long term planning.  But that does not seem to apply to the 30% ruling, which the Dutch government is cutting from eight to five years,... More >

Podcast: The Rutte Gets Busy Edition

As one of the longest droughts on record continues, examiners are feeling the heat after an administrative meltdown leaves hundreds of students in Limburg facing a miserable summer. The government admits that new migrants have been left high and dry by the integration process, employees are being burned by the rise of casual labour and Max Verstappen is on fire in the Austrian Grand Prix. In the discussion Paul and Molly look back at how Mark Rutte hot-footed it from... More > destinations; Delft

Best known for its pottery, the city of Delft offers plenty of quaint streets to wander through and some delicious places to eat. Molly Quell lives there and tells you why you should visit. Delft’s reputation is one of polar opposites. It’s picturesque, quaint and adorable, but it also boasts the oldest and largest university of technology in the Netherlands and the largest start-up incubator in Europe. You can’t walk through the city centre without bumping into houses from 1500... More >

Expats stay longer, live like locals

The expat profile is changing and the property market is evolving accordingly. One operator is adding long-stay apartments to its portfolio to meet the needs of today’s international newcomers. The highly-skilled worker who comes to the Netherlands for a few months and then flies out again is on the decline. Today, expats are more eager than ever to adapt to Dutch life and live like a local here. Expats stay longer in the Netherlands, with around half remaining for more... More >

Blogwatching: Summer spots by the beach

Hayley, aka the Bitterballenbruid, is originally from the UK and mostly blogs about Hilversum and ‘t Gooi area, eating too many bitterballen, getting married in Holland, learning how to be Dutch… and the language. This weather right now is giving us a delicious taste of more sunny days to come in the Netherlands (I hope!!) and what better way to hang out in the sun than by the beach? Dutch people love terraces (terrasjes) when the sun’s out but I like... More >

Podcast: Everything is Miserable Edition

Own goals, defensive stalemates and an unorthodox formation – no, not the World Cup, but Rotterdam’s talks to find a coalition, which finally concluded this week. This week the podcast team discuss the last week’s political developments, which also saw former GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema come out of retirement to become Amsterdam’s first female mayor. In another first for women, sailing came home as Carolijn Brouwers celebrated victory in the Volvo Ocean Race, which finished in Scheveningen harbour. There was... More >

Castles to classical music in a greenhouse: 11 great things to do in July

If you are in the Netherlands over the summer, there is no shortage of fun or thought-provoking things to do. July’s entertainment ranges from a visit to Hotel New York to classical music concerts in the Netherlands four botanical gardens. Work up an appetite The private museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar presents the first European retrospective of American painter Wayne Thiebaud (1920). His colourful paintings of cakes, ice creams and hotdogs are bound to make the enamel on your teeth crack... More >

'Leaving Amsterdam improved my Dutch'

In 2005, nutrition educator Shay Klomp Bueters (43) left the mountains of Montana, USA for the Dutch lowlands, following a romance on a cruise ship with a Dutch co-worker whom she went on to marry. They live with their five-year-old son in Almere-Poort, where she been amazed at the Dutch ability to reclaim and settle new land. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I fell in love with a Dutchie while we were both working for the Holland... More >

Heralding in the herring season

The herring party is a very Dutch tradition, held every June to mark the start of the new herring season. Molly Quell takes the next step in her ongoing inburgering process. When the editor-in-chief of this esteemed publication sent me the press release for The Hague Herring Party and told me to go and write about it, I assumed I was being punished. Was it the typo I’d made on Facebook that week? My foul language on the podcast? The... More >

Howzat! Cricket in the Netherlands

With an estimated 2.5 billion followers, cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, second only to football. Not so in the Netherlands, where a little over 5,000 people play the game, and many of them are expats from the traditional cricket-playing countries.   There are all sorts of reasons why the Dutch have not particularly taken a shine to the ‘Gentleman’s Game’, yet they have been playing cricket since 1883 and have made the most of... More >