Exploring Breda

Exploring Breda

Where to begin... no place like the last weekend trip I guess.We have now officially done Breda to death! three weekends spent in this lovely city that feels more like a town than a city in Holland... and though done to death we will be seen in Breda again and again....

If you, like us dont mind escaping to the mainland often but prefer to be a short distance from Calais and a whole bunch of stuff to do... then Breda is an ideal base. Ideally located to venture out to other parts of Holland while keeping the drive back to Calais a reasonable and not so tiring 3 hours. It is 1.5 hours from Brugge, 2 hours from Kuekenhoff and Den Haag and 2.5ish from Amsterdam (but who wants to go to Dam when Holland has so much more to offer elsewhere!).We stumbled upon Breda on a trip back from Den Haag, it was a boys weekend away, we were tired, needed decent food and were not willing to spend any more money at the over priced motor way stops...

Willy's Kebab Shop in Breda

We took the next exit off and we were in Breda, Tom Tom guided us to the center of the city where Willy's kebab shop by Breda Castle, next to a canal was a sight for sore eyes. Willy's is one of the many kebab shops in town but their crepe doners are the best, ok the doner meat at Efes in London is better but ever had a doner in a crepe! exactly! awesomely unhealthy but nice.

Since this was a pit stop spent an hour or so exploring Breda and what little I saw was promising enough to make it our base for the next weekend when I was back in Breda with the girls for Keukenhof. Breda worked out great for there is nothing other than tulip gardens in and around Keukenhof and the hotels around it suck, we learnt this the hard when the heavens opened up for a few hours one morning...On our first weekend in Breda we stayed at the Golden Tulip which is bang in the centre of town, the main square and cathedral being a 5 minute walk away and there is secure parking just around the corner from the hotel. One thing we learnt on our next trip was book in advance the Golden Tulip gets booked up fast...

The alternative is the Apollo Hotel, great hotel but slightly out of the centre (a 10 minute walk instead of the 5 from the Golden Tulip).The must do things in Breda include visiting the catherdral, eating out in the square (the Italian is great, the Mexican is ok and they even have a Goucho Grill franchise!) and the absolute must eat at place has to be the Den Boerenstamppot Restaurant on Skool Straat.Den Boerenstamppot is the only restaurant in the centre of town that serves authentic, traditional

Dutch cuisine and my my, it is simple and wholesome food! Den Boerenstamppot translates as the farmers stew, the variety on the menu would bewilder you... pretty varied farming going on in their backyard!The restaurant is a mom and pop operation with the hired help being their family and friends and it shows.. the service is spot on, we had a lovely young Dutch girl Kaistern (Hi Kaistern if you are reading this.. and apologies if I have made hash browns of your name) serving us, the only member of staff whose command of English was solid, and was needed to explain the menu in detail to us (thank you).

Did I mention that the food was awesome, the portions American and the price silly! I had the beef stew with cabbage, pan fried potatoes and a white sauce... doesn't sound very appetizing for the spice spoiled British palate but it was great... a welcome break from the spices of Pakistani and Thai cuisines and the heaviness of the pies, fish and chips! one note of caution the Dutch eat a lot of salt! so do let them know to hold back a little.We'll be dining at this Farmers Kitchen again for sure....

If you are looking for Den Boerenstamppot, follow the road towards the canal from the Castle gates (to your left if you are facing the gates with the Wilmena statue to your back) and take the first left towards town on Skool Straat, you can not miss it.

And most importantly the locals eat early, Den Boerenstamppot closes at 19:30 and last orders are 19:00.... and you'll be wise to reserve a table in advance, it is very popular with the locals.Schoolstraat 3-5, 4811 WB Breda, T: 0031-76-5140162

A Grand road trip up the Grand Trunk Road - Peshawar to Torkham

A Grand road trip up the Grand Trunk Road - Peshawar to Torkham