In response to my recent 5 things I will always love about the Netherlands I thought I would write a counter post. The things that I really don’t get. The things that always mark the differences between our countries. In many ways the things I don’t understand about the Dutch are the basis for the reasons in which I love them!
As a fan of a good old list I took the liberty of picking just 5 things that make me keep coming back for more.
The love for diverse European music. Be it on the radio or Spotify the diversity of the playlists in and across The Netherlands is richer with culture than ours here. From French hip-hop to latin grooves, English ballads and Dutch pop. The radio is always a treat.
The (overly) friendliness of folk. Once you get past the 3 kisses which really calm down the introductions of new people. Its so apparent the difference with the firm handshake of your best friends, dads work colleague compared to the million kisses from your pseudo-mama. There was kiss-gate once when I threw myself in to the culture of kissing everyone and did so with a stranger – totes awks.
The Dutch attitude. Their cool style and straight talking attitude its always a joy to observe. They look far more comfortable on a bicycle than I do. Double denim is always acceptable and who needs all that make up or perfectly coiffed hair?!
Cake for breakfast is ok and should be utilised at any and every available time.
The outdoor life. Taking a coffee or your dinner out on the terrace in the street instantly puts England and the Netherlands poles apart. My trip in September was the second opportunity I have had to eat outside all year. How we live like this here is beyond me. There is such a relaxing feeling eating your dinner outside and enjoying the warm evening air. We don’t get that here and it makes me very very jealous.
Across the fields and hidden just off the main road is the glorious ‘Happy Italy’. Standing proud in all her splendour Happy Italy is the prefect mark on the horizon after a trek round the woods with the dogs. With a pet friendly terrace the Fast Italian was busy on both of our visits.
Living up to its name and providing our order faster than one would have ever expected we basked in the sun and had the most amazing pizza.
For all its plus points; great food, location and super friendly staff the venue is a little large and I wouldn’t quite fancy trying to get in to on an evening. The children’s play area seemed like a great big hit with the kids and the parents too.
If we had to pick a downer- and obviously we do always have to find something to pick fault with – There wasn’t any music on the terrace, now there is a fine line between blasting out some generic Italian beats and turning the restaurant into an outdoor rave but even so, a little something would have been nice. Secondly, and this is hardly a negative – the pizza was huge! They do offer you a take out box which is a great little touch and it is always better to have too much than too little!
A great place to catch up with friends over great food and on a comfortable terrace. I had that holiday feeling and would give it a very respectable 8.5/10. Gino saw my score and matched it all be it loosing a point because he wasn’t a fan of the outdoor tables!
The name Kaat Mossel comes from the historical figure Catharina Mulder. She was a Rotterdam fishwife, who was feared for her big mouth, she was imprisoned for singing loud and proud what is now the Dutch national anthem. The restaurant atmosphere was fantastic. The wall paintings questionable but it all adds to the charm.
STEP IN AT KAAT MOSSEL …
I am no fan of seafood although I do accept it is popular in the Netherlands. We had a lovely little table underneath a picture of a naked blonde lying on top of a bed of muscles. The was nice.
The only real issue we had there was the shear length of the wait between each course. We were in the restaurant 4 hours and had a starter, a main and a coffee. Not worthy of a 4 hour stint in anyones book. The staff were lovely, most accommodating and hilariously good company. We later moved to an outside table to enjoy our last meal as a family and our last dinner in the open air because at 19 degrees it was all very pleasant.
Language fail 1)
‘Black Angus’ when referring to a steak was miss interpreted into ‘Black Agnes’. Thats what you get when the Dutchies spend too much time talking in English, their own accent suffers.
Language fail 2)
With a mix of languages, accents and two bottles of wine we managed to confuse ourselves with Dutch style Chinese Whispers.
‘Spare ribs’ became ‘carrots’ which then became ‘Paris’ which ended up being ‘parents’. We really did have no chance by the end of it.
A truly fantastic Rotterdam pub with a great menu. I had the stewed beef which was just outstandingly tender. Somewhat pressured by Mother Holland into trying Eel which to my shock came COLD and then being bullied into sampling the muscles I can confidently say I enjoyed my meal. We all walked away giving it a solid 8/10 but the service could have been so much faster!