[Den Haag] The Shopping

Preparatory reading on the plane

My big sister Fedelma, international lawyer and all round hot shot, is currently preparing to swap jet setting lifestyle in Den Haag for the exotic climes of Mauritius following a job offer there for a whole two years. Leaving behind friends, family and boyfriend Makane, she is off later this month and we will all miss her muchly. I made it my task to go out and make sure she was all set, as well as having a little fun and relaxation with her in sunny Holland. I'd been before but somehow had never enjoyed it as much. The first half of the weekend mainly consisted of a worship at the altar of consumerism. Here's how it went...

I arrived on Thursday late afternoon, and caught the tram in the evening light to meet Fedelma at the Peace Palace. What a place to work! It is quite literally the most grandiose office block imaginable, replete with marble interior. First things first, we visited the PIG which the gardener keeps by his house! He was so. Cute. Were that not idyllic enough, we wandered home through the cobbles streets and by the canal which are Fedelma's neighbourhood. With flat, wide built streets, Holland is well built to balance the urban and outdoors. All those bikes and pavement cafes are as natural as breathing.

After a girly get-ready, we headed out to local French restaurant "Bistrot de la Place" with Fedelma's friend Vincent Joel, whom I met in Greece, and is very good at making us giggle! The food was divine; I had salade fermière followed by salmon, the other two snails for starter and saurkraut mountain main. The waiter was an overly charming French man, the décor was tasteful, even in the toilettes, while food and wine hit just the right spot. All in all, an authentic experience français.

Friday, while Fedelma worked, I spent the morning padding her apartment in the onesie she gave me for my birthday, blogging and drinking coffee. Then, I wandered around the shops. Near her place in Den Haag, there is a nice balance between familiar high street brands and Dutch shops to discover all housed in a burrow of pretty streets. From global superstars Adidas, to bread-and-butter British Clarks, to my Swedish sweethearts Cos and dozens of independent Dutch boutiques in between, all with varying levels of cool. I picked up sunglasses in a plasticky accessories shop called "Lemon Mellow" and an unexpected find - minimalist sheer blouse from a trashy, Euro-pop thumping, disco-lit boutique.

After the frivolities of the night before, we stopped off home with a home made supper of champagne, charcuterie and got some well earned rest for the next day, which of course involved more.... SHOPPING! Fedelma showed me a great little boutique Vanilia where she stocked up on frocks for her move to warmer shores, including that Oriental print one. With the price points of Massimo Dutti, the high street view on trends of Zara with a dash of Cos shapes, its definitely a shop I'd frequent on her salary. We also went to Zara itself where I picked up some awesome floral shorts and Fedelma expanded her working wardrobe to be.

Heading back to get ready for the evening, a short-cut through n a department store was the icing on the consumer cake. In the Sephora concession, we bopped to the cheesiest dance tracks imaginable spun out by a real live DJ, we paid for the toilet, still a concept I have trouble with, and retro-snapped ourselves in a photo booth. Fedelma has the originals, but you get the idea... All in all, Holland and spending hard(ly) earned cash make pretty good bed fellows....

Fedelma's place of work


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