Local Heart, Global Soul

February 14, 2016

If The Café Food Is Half As Wonderful As The Architecture…

Himself and I came to the site of the former gasworks in Amsterdam last summer in order to attend a weekend fair. Himself dropped me off at the entrance and whilst I waited for him to come back from parking the car, I took photographs of the buildings around me. The main body of the gasworks is a short distance away, but all around us are stunning buildings full of architectural detail and character. In yesterday’s post I looked at the buildings on the right hand side of the entrance, todays post focuses on one on the left which has been turned into a café. We aren’t eating there ourselves and my interest is purely photographic but this place is wonderful… I love the woodwork detail and the brickwork patterns… I love the charm of it all: let’s take a look….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2013

A Lot of Waffle About a Belgium Waffle…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are turning a page of  my journal detailing our last summer’s travel adventures.

Little did our Singaporean friend “Velvetinenut” know when she landed in the Netherlands, that less than 24 hours later she would be entering a café in Lochristi, Belgium with the intention of ticking one of her wishes off her  wish-list: to try one of Belgium’s famous waffles.

The snack-bar down the road recommended the Semperlo Café as the best chance for a waffle so we duly stepped in the door and when the waitress came to take out order I duly made our request.

Imagine my surprise when I had to translate the answer back to Velvetine: “Sorry there are no waffles until 2.oo p.m. please come back then”.

What?  There’s a time limit for waffles? Seriously?

Indeed seriously… apparently it’s not customary to serve waffles in Belgium before 2.oo p.m. and since we are passing through and it’s only 11.30 a.m.  it appears we are out of luck.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m as stunned as Velvetine is, and the kids are very disappointed too.

They rush back to Himself because their second choice was a sausage from one of the stalls down the street that they’d seen earlier and we wanted to get back onto the road fairly quickly.

Velvetine and I order a warm Hawaii panini sandwich (smoked ham, young cheese and pineapple) to take away with us but it  takes ages to make.

After a very very very long wait we get back to the car as quickly as possible where the others are impatiently waiting.

The kids have spent the waiting time eating their lunch and lamenting loudly the absence of waffles to Himself, who’s as perplexed about the “2.00 p.m. rule” as we are.

Our sandwiches are tasty enough but the taste of disappointment about the waffles lingered.   We need to find the motorway again.. we have an appointment to keep…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 4, 2013

Working up an Appetite in the Fresh Air…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that the children in our group had requested our next destination…  their wish was granted and this lead to us trailing the figures of the three older girls as they raced ahead in the direction of the Café  situated by the jetty that the ferry that bought us here docked at.

Once we catch them up we find that they are still itching to go swimming, but we find that swimming is not allowed directly in front of the café, partly because of the ferry and boat traffic that frequent this particular stretch of water.

Since all three of the girls have their swimming diploma’s they can go around the corner to a quieter stretch of water and swim as much as they can until the food we have ordered is ready. The Dad’s take turns to keep an eye on them whilst I take a seat at a table and look after the two smaller boys.

They have to be restrained from climbing onto several all of the boats parked nearby and so they then entertain themselves by throwing a little plastic boat with the string on it into the water as far as they can, dragging it along the dock and then hauling it out ready for the next throw. Making sure they keep hold of the string so they don’t loose the boat but also manage to not follow it into the water when they throw it, is a small chore that keeps me busy until the distraction of food arrives.

The chosen fare are the ever favourites of toasted sandwiches and the very Dutch “bitterballen” (literally ‘bitter balls”) which is a little misleading because they are not bitter in flavour at all, but rather the name derives because they were traditionally served with the alcoholic drink of  “bitters”.

Basically to make bitterballen, you cook meat in herbs and spices, shred it, mix it into a stiff white sauce,  coat it in an egg and breadcrumb mixture and then deep fry them. Traditionally the are served with mustard too, although it isn’t to everyone’s taste.

As the food is served the older girls come running back, having worked up an appetite and keen to devour everything in sight. In fact the boys lay waste to a very decent stack of toasted sandwiches too, and the kids wolf down a second round of orders as well, so clearly the fresh air does them plenty of good.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 23, 2012

Himself and I… Just the Two of Us and …Catootje!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

About a month ago, Himself picked me up after my physiotherapy session and said that since he’d just completed a large work project for a client and no new work had arrived in yet, how about we go somewhere for an early lunch?

We drove around and had a look at several places we knew’,  but walked into one to discover it was only open for a private function (and no, we didn’t belong to the Company they were expecting) and two were not open yet for lunchtime so we made a detour into a different neighbourhood.

In the Reinkenstraat we spied a little café called Catootje and Himself went inside to find out if they had a lunch menu just after 11.00 a.m. and they did.

It may look from my photo’s here that there are few customers but that’s not a true picture at all.

A lot of people were still dropping in for coffee and a chat with friends and many of these had young children with them.

Where possible I try and avoid putting photos of other people’s kids on the internet, since I value the privacy of my own children and try and extend that to other children as well.

Therefore I tried to take photos of table areas as soon as they emptied and before they filled up again, which they did very swiftly.

At this stage of the day it’s a constant stream of customers and once we are served we realise why this place is so popular. The food is excellent and the service is friendly too.

I forgot the names of what we had for our lunch main course, but  Himself had the pasta and salad in the first two food photo and I had the  chicken salad sandwich in the third one.  For dessert  I convinced Himself  to have a slice of the  Bailey’s Cheesecake because I wanted to try it but fancied  the Chocolate Brownie too.  Himself had coffee and I enjoyed a tea.

Our lunch date was relaxed and  the food was delicious,  so our summary of our visit was that we would be happy to recommend this place to friends and even happier to return here whenever an opportunity arises.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2012

Tram Station Café: Great Food, the Egg and Bacon Pie is Recommended!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are flicking though the pages of my retro tour of New Zealand:   you know me, …can’t let any detail slip by, so the pages of this trip have bulked up with all the sights, sounds, and tastes of our trip.  Luckily it’s all electronic because if this were all on paper a small rainforest would be suffering.

Speaking of tastes… Most of  family Kiwidutch are now experiencing stomach rumbles so we look around or lunch.

Actually it doesn’t take long because whilst I was dawdling at the back, bewitched by the amazing artworks, Himself and the kids had found the café on the other side of the courtyard from the entrance of  Foxton’s windmill and made themselves comfortable sorting out their menu choices.

It’s called the Tram Station Café and the food looks excellent.

My slice of bacon and egg pie looks (and tastes)  amazing and the kids demolish their toasted sandwiches. Most members of my family are fully trained by now in the gentle art of “you may eat as soon as your food has been photographed by your demented Foodie Mama for her Blog”, but on this occasion Little Mr. lacks both willpower and motivation to keep his grubby little paws off his toasted sandwich during the photography session.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Sigh) Yes, his hands are still that dirty after  the hand wash! I suppose it’s testament to his immune system that he’s so very rarely sick.

As a concession in obtaining at least half a photo, I agree to take a photo of a very curly piece of dried grass that he’s taken a shine to and declared that it is “ so beautiful that he wants to keep it  forever!”

Unluckily for him it got sucked out of the van in a good gust of wind when we stopped down a coast at a beach a little while later and his love for it can’t have run too deep because he didn’t even mourn it’s loss for a single second.

Himself opts for coffee only,  since he stocked up on the bacon and eggs back in Wanganui at breakfast time.

The weather might look overcast and dull but don’t be deceived , it’s a very hot day today and we decide to eat al fresco  under a parasol at one of the outdoor tables. There are just enough puffs of wind to make it perfectly comfortable.  Let’s dine!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 7, 2012

Mike’s Beer…. Organic, Whisky,Coffee, Imperial or Pale Ale Brew?

Filed under: Beer,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reviews,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Beer, glorious beer! Of course we are looking at the main product of Mike’s Brewery… There are Porters, Pale Ales, specialist beers like Whisky, Coffee  or Imperial Porters, which are limited editions in individually numbered bottled and all organic! I’m no beer drinker but we bought some to take with us for Himself to enjoy and review later and Himself said he was very pleased with his selection because everything he bought tasted very good.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 6, 2012

Beer, Pies, Coffee and the Longest Chip We’ve Ever Seen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are just north of Urenui, on the east coast of  New Zealand’s North Island and visiting the White Cliff Estate organic brewery, a.k.a. Brewery Mike’s.

Lunch has just arrived and whilst fries are not healthy, they and the pies are welcome on a hot day after our car journey.

Himself washes his food down with a beer and pronounces it very favourable indeed but the one for the road is definitely a coffee.

Kiwi Daughter scores the longest French fry we have ever seen, she holds it up to her face and it reaches from her forehead to just past her chin.

I then get a series of photographs where she tips her head back and tries to swallow it whole like she’s eating a Dutch pickled herring. I’ve deleted her face from one of the photos to give you and idea of  how long it was, the top is by her forehead and the bottom reaches past her chin. That must have been one massive potato!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 5, 2012

A Comfortable Look Inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was a hot Taranaki day when we stopped in at Brewery Mike’s for lunch.

I can’t remember now if the old hall used to be a schoolhouse or if it was an RSA  (Returned Serviceman’s Association) Hall but either way it’s been well decorated for it’s present use, there are relaxing seating areas inside as well as out.

There  is a small display of local art (Kiwi Daughter spent some pocket money buying one of the paintings  in the photo) and some interesting old photos of local brewing, but since our food was arriving at the table outside I forget to check if  these were photos taken of this brewing family or not.

The place is cool in the summer heat and by the looks of the log burner in the corner surrounded by sofas, it’s probably pretty comfortable  in the winter too.

I like that not only is the beer organic but they stock a few organic snacks too, for example organic chocolate. Let’s take a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 4, 2012

Stopping in at Mike’s for a Brew….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

An easy drive down the coast near the small town of  Urenui,  Himself suddenly spies a large sign on the roof of a building that says “brewery” and as the beer drinker in the family he’s suddenly finding himself very interested in a break from the road, a hearty lunch accompanied… possibly, very strangely coincidently…. by a beer.

We have stumbled upon Brewery Mike’s White Cliff Estate organic brewery…

We pull in to find an old hall that”s been converted into a  beer shop and café, a massive deck has been built out the front and it’s been covered with a sail-like canopy so there is ample shade, excellent for a scorching day like today.

The kids want to run round on the large lawn at the front but after a few circuits and a quick investigation of the outer edges they decide it’s just too hot and come and flop at the table with a cold drink and waiting for the food to arrive.

We place our orders and take a look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 31, 2012

Shooting the Wildlife….

Filed under: Miscellaneous,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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It’s not often I get to attempt taking wildlife photos… the city birds who settle on our balcony are wary of the tiniest movement and I don’t have a particularly long lens on my camera to get good shot of them in the nearby trees.

Sitting at the end table of the  Fat Pigeon Café in Piopio, New Zealand  and with Little Mr. busy digging in the sand-pit close by (and therefore not being available to be waving his arms around in excitement  or wiggling on the seat in such a fashion to scare off our little visitors) …  I stood half a chance at one of my first attempts.  Ok it’s far from perfect, but it’s a “try”at least, and not having a tripod to hand it was a challenge too.

The birds came for the bread bits that Little Mr. hadn’t wanted so once they dared to get in close enough to grab something they didn’t waste any time chatting or saying hello to us,  they were just focused on getting away as quickly as possible.

Phase One: they watch us and we watch them… from a safe distance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phase Two: tentative steps…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phase Three: They check that the little noisy one who makes sudden scary movements is not too close:  Good… he’s busy….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phase Four: be brave! rush on on, there is treasure here!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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