Over the space of 25 years I have visited many places in Holland from Texel island, little towns along the Ijsselmeer, Sneek, Arnheim Maastricht, Amsterdam, Zandvoort and many more. Various cities, towns and regions during all seasons but I had never stayed in beautiful and historically fascinating Nord Brabant.
Therefore our recent trip on the last gorgeous late summer weekend took us to Eindhoven and for a few hours to s’-Hertogenbosch – a place that you have a hard time finding online or on your navigation system because you just don’t know how to spell it. The locals call it Den Bosch.
North Brabant is a region of Holland bordering on Belgium, its capital is ‘s-Hertogenbosch and it’s largest city is Eindhoven. The region’s history reach back to before the middle ages and the former Duchy has gone through a variety of sovereign hands belonging to Holland, Spain, France, the Habsburgs, and the Belgians. It has been under catholic and protestant influence, has dealt with wars, famines, industrialization and revolution.
Today it is an important region from it strategic transportation routes, its beautiful historic tourist attractions. It has a wonderful outdoor food and beverage scene, interesting and diverse boutiques and seems to even have come to terms with its sprayers who use creative sticker tagging instead.
We took wonderful walks discovering the streets and alleys on Eindhoven and s’-Hertogenbosch, shopped at outdoors artistic stands, entered artists galleries, looked at the light sculptures, bought beautiful products such as pottery, were inspired by flower shops and plants, ate great food and stayed in a most pleasant and relaxing hotel. And we saw so many more things we would have liked to do, including coming back for Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven being renowned among other things for its Design Academy the results of which can be seen throughout the city exuding a funky artsy atmosphere and taste.
Well Nord Brabant, I promise we will be back!!!
Places we would recommend in Eindhoven:
We stayed in a Deluxe Junior Suite Hotel Lumière in Eindhoven www.hotellumiere.nl . The hotel was beautifully relaxing and luxuriant with its brown/earthy tones, its usage of wood and light elements. It was comfortable with 2 bathrooms including a great tub. It had a big bed, an espresso machine, the heating/cooling could be easily controlled and it was centrally located in a shopping area and straight across from a parking garage. Everything was perfect however even when we stated our enthusiasm to the staff we felt unwelcome or just accepted as part of the job, not as “special” people spending their hard-earned money for an otherwise pleasant experience – it is # 1 with Trip Advisor after all. Too bad it felt like an unwelcomed bad taste in your mouth after a glorious meal. In the meantime the hotel has responded and will pass on our feedback to the staff. We will definitely stay at this beautiful hotel again and give the staff a second chance!
- wonderful food @ de karse boom in beautiful garden reastaurant –
we ate quiche, tapenades, mushroom lasagne and great desserts http://www.dekarseboomeinfhoven.nl
- diversifed and delicious Indian & Indonesian food @ javaans eetcafe - http://www.javaanseetcafe.com/ -– we loved the peanut soup
- healthy, fresh-made juices – www.bagel-juice.com Kleine Berg 19
- absolute best fries in town @ Dik en Lang – Jan van Lieshoutstraat 28 – many good reviews & great crsipy freshness and sauces
There are several Kookstudios – cooking studios – in Eindhoven – here are just a few links:
Handicrafts & Cooking & other souvenirs:
- @ cook & co http://www.cookandco.nl/cook-and-co/kookwinkels.aspx -
- @ demeer Galerie at the small art & collectibles weekly market at De Markt www.demergalerie.nl
- @ het buiten huys find porcelian http://www.hetbuitenhuys.nl/bunzlau.html
- @ seed shop – smartplanet – Bergstraat 31
Flowers & Vases and exclusive design:
- @ oktober in huis – http://oktoberinhuis.nl/ beautiful flowers and vases also exclusive Belgian pottery
Bars & Nightlife: – there are 5 main going out areas: De Markt, Stationskwartier, Stratumseind, De Bergen, and Wilhelmsplein – each area offering either trendy spots or historical pubs and rstaurants. No matter where you are in Eindhoven you’ll find something you’ll like.
- Hot spot? @ Grand Café de Wildeman – www.cafedewildeman.nl
- Pub crawl? @ Stratumseind the street with the most bars in the Netherlands – more than 40 to choose from
Clothes & Shoes: – there are many, many boutiques, shops and stores offering innovative designs in fashion and shoes – here a just a few that we bought from
- Crazy t-shirts @ coolcat
- Great shoes & boots @ invito
- Men’s shoes @ Van Lier
- Cool boots @ sacha
We went looking for the fruit & vegetable market on Saturday but couldn’t find it anywhere and were sent in circles – when we finally gave up we stumbled upon it or what was left of it. Oh well we didn’t miss much since we found everything we needed and more just walking around.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves!
Also on our agenda for next time are the many, many museums centering around design, light, modern and contemporary art and of course the DAF museum.
Coming soon: Discovering North Brabant. Part 2 How do you spell s’-Hertogenbosch?