In June (2019) we traveled by train from Brussels to Delft in the Netherlands (approximately 2 hours). I had been given a Bongo voucher for an overnight stay somewhere in Belgium, France, the Netherlands or Germany (I think) for my 30th birthday. So after some research to find a) a place that is accessible by public transport, b) on the days we were available, and c) which is actually nice, we settled for the Westcord Hotel in Delft. It’s a little outside the town, but right next to IKEA, and that’s part of the deal: the hotel has been entirely decorated and styled by IKEA designers. On top of that you can also rent bikes, which in the Netherlands is quite essential.
We set off on our journey during the very hot last weekend of June (thank god for aircon on trains). We arrived in Delft and soon found ourselves wandering the little streets and the flea market which takes place by the canals on Saturdays. We found ourselves a nice lunch spot at Pleck, which is also a cool shop, and really enjoyed our sandwiches and Bundabergs.
Being so close to the seaside (see below), we (aka my boyfriend) could not resist trying some of the fresh fried fish from De Visbanken. As it was such a hot day I instead opted for an ice cream from the ‘famous’ ice cream parlour De Lelie. Apparently there is always a queue, sometimes even past the church. Luckily this wasn’t the case for me and I got the enjoy my ice cream (with local flavours such as ‘Delftenaar’) not long after joining the queue.
We wandered around a bit more and then went for some drinks on the Beestenmarkt square, where all the bars and restaurants have a terrace in the middle. We had some cocktails at Bar Sil. Then we decided to climb the tower of the New Church for the amazing view over the area, especially on such a clear day. It’s 376 steps up and quite narrow sometimes, but worth it for the view.
Time then to go check in at the hotel. We intended to make full use of our stay there, so when we found out there was a gym with aircon we got well excited! After our workouts we freshened up, ready for dinner. Back in town we struggled to decide where to go, opted for Dolce Amaro in the end and it did not disappoint! My other half went for the salad and bruscetta. I went for the weekly special (I think it was at least) which was canelloni with bechamel, thyme, red onion and tomato sauce. After a nice evening stroll back to the hotel we enjoyed some drinks in the cozy patio area outside the hotel.
I love a good breakfast, so you can imagine how excited I get about hotel buffet breakfasts. And we fully indulged ourselves, which was good because we had quite a bike ride ahead of us: from Delft over Den Haag/The Hague to Scheveningen by the sea (16,5 km). We followed some lovely bike paths (it is the Netherlands after all) and ended up in The Hague, which wasn’t quite what we expected. I mean, not sure what I was expecting, but I didn’t feel very impressed by the city? Might need another visit to double check though. We then biked to the Vredespaleis/Peace Palace and continued onto Scheveningen Strand/Beach.
Before we got to the beach and promenade part of Scheveningen, which is a bit too touristy for my liking, we passed by a nice little place in the town called Duo. There were some people sitting outsde, eating food that looked very yummy, so we parked up our bikes next door and ordered some lunch. We did get a bit of a fright during lunch as all of a sudden we noticed our bikes had gone! Luckily they had just been moved a little further, as the shop (which was closed) in front of which we had parked our bikes had opened in the meantime.
That was the part about Scheveningen that made the best impression on us. After lunch we walked over the promenade which was loud and a bit of a pain with our bikes and when we finally went to sit on the beach for a bit it clouded over. On top of that a guy then charged us a full day price for using some beach chairs for half an hour, despite us asking around if they were free to use.
Feeling a bit disgruntled we set off from Scheveningen. Luckily the sun came out again and it was as lovely a bike ride back as it had been on the way there. Back in Delft we went to drop off the bikes at the hotel and pick up one of our back packs we had stored there. We then walked back through the town, said our goodbyes to the quaint little streets and picked up some food for our journey back to Belgium.
It was a really nice to visit a smaller town in the Netherlands. We got to take things easy and even venture out on a bike . It was also really nice to travel by train, so if you have any recommendations for places you can reach in about 2h by train from Brussels I’m all ears!