Michelin experience: Lunch at Joelia, Rotterdam

Technically, restaurant Joelia, two-star Michelin chef Mario Ridder's new baby in the heart of Rotterdam, still don't have a star. But the much-publicized restaurant located in the corner of Weena and Coolsingel just below Hilton Hotel, has piqued my curiosity. This little corner is always having a transformation and it was nice to finally see something that looks like it's going to stay. The menu at Joelia's is "peperduur" as we say in Dutch - very expensive. A foie gras appetizer will set you back €39 already and the main course ranges from €35-49. So as usual I tested the waters ...

In search of foie gras: review of Rodin, Rotterdam

Monday, June 29, 2015 0 Permalink

Every once in a while, I crave for a particular taste - a dish my mother used to make when I was a child, a tropical food or a delicatessen I've tasted during my travels. For the past weeks, I was craving for foie gras, thick, juicy slab of goose liver, pan seared and served with apple and alcohol syrup. The kind of foie gras that is forbidden in many countries, not the duck terrine that they like to serve in restaurants as appetizers. The last good foie gras I've had was in Sofitel, Philippines. For a make-up dinner, Robin brought ...

One tipsy night in Schiedam

Monday, June 15, 2015 2 Permalink

Dear readers, tonight my husband and I had a quarrel. He went out to get some "fresh air". But when he didn't come back at 8PM to cook dinner, I was already starving. I had to find a place to eat. So I went to our favourite restaurant in Schiedam, Prego in Langehaven. I had a plate of spaghetti vongole and three glasses of Inzolia. It was a beautiful evening. I saw a group of young people smoking pot on the restaurant's boat terrace. Oh too be young and free! During dinner I called up my friend in Spain and we talked ...

Why I run

Thursday, June 11, 2015 2 Permalink

It's been a year since I started with serious running. Nowadays people who know don't ask me anymore my wine of the moment or the latest city I've been to. Instead, they'd ask me when my next marathon is. But more often, they'd ask me why I keep on running. Why do I subject my knees and shin splints to so much stress? Why do I keep on training even without a race? Why do I run? I run because: - I love solitude. Even though I run side by side with Robin, I can be alone with my thoughts. There's no need to explain ...

Stravaiging in the cliffs of Algarve

Thursday, May 7, 2015 0 Permalink

Stravaig: A Scottish word meaning to wander around, often for pleasure and frequently with no particular destination or aim in mind. This lovely definition taken from this blog. I came across this word during an unforgettable dinner at a restaurant of the same name in Glasgow. I have not forgotten it since nor have I forgotten haggis. Stravaig has become one of my favourite words while travelling, in the same way that Elizabeth Gilbert attached a great meaning to the Italian word attraversiamo. I guess stravaig is a word that I have been looking for all this time to define the way ...

Weekendje weg: Mook en Middelaar

Sunday, May 3, 2015 0 Permalink

It was a spontaneous decision. I was looking at my weekend agenda last Thursday and saw that there was no driving lesson, interview or inspection scheduled in the weekend. So I asked Robin if he wanted to go on a weekend getaway. I would have liked to go to the beach but we decided to go to the hills instead. He found and booked our hotel on the same day, Landgoed Jachtslot de Mookerheide. So spontaneous was it that we only found out we were booked in a single room when we were checking in. But that's for another blog ...

A pregnancy photo: the story behind it

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 2 Permalink

It was Monday evening and the payment I was waiting for weeks finally arrived. Robin and I decided to celebrate in our favorite Italian trattoria, Prego, with a bottle of Primitivo and some aperitivo. The bottle emptied before the main course was over and the succeeding glasses of alcohol piled up. We went home zigzagging on our bikes. During dinner, Robin started another series of complaints about Facebook and his desire to delete his Facebook account. "There's just too much trash and too much bullshit going on there. Nobody actually cares," he complained. "But you can filter the thrash that you're ...

MR2015: Hand in hand to the finish line

Monday, April 13, 2015 4 Permalink

"Hand in hand, we will cross the finish line, schatje." That's what I wrote on the Rotterdam Marathon 2015 wall when we picked up our start numbers on Friday afternoon. After that we decided to skip the last training and head over to restaurant Napoli to enjoy some wine, pasta and aperitivo. We had a good feeling about the marathon. We trained hard, we kept to the schedule despite very busy months and we were confident about the finish line. But sometimes, things do not work out the way you planned. During dinner, on the night before our last long run of 35,5 ...

Totale ontspanning: Erawan Thai Massage

Thursday, April 9, 2015 0 Permalink

What exactly is a Thai massage? A systematic kneading and pinching of your sore muscles as well as pulling, twisting and bending of your ligaments in various and sometimes in the most awkward ways. It involves pain - as little or as much - as you can handle. If you are a masochist or simply want a deep-tissue massage, the Thai way is the best option. But I mean the real Thai thing, not the one with the "happy ending". How would you know if a Thai massage is real? Look at the bed. It is usually a hard, flat bed ...

The happy list

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 0 Permalink

Not being able to travel is humbling. It used to be my escape from stress and work. But I've been stuck at home in the first three months of the year due to work, more work, a magazine and running. So I find happiness in little things, things that I have often ignored because of the many places and conquests that needed exploring. So I took a step back and looked deeper around me. These are the things that I found and are currently making me smile. 1. Blue skies. 2. Waking up to the sound of birds in the morning. 3. Sunrise. And ...