The 21st of July is the Nationale Feestdag van België. The south of the Netherlands proclaimed independence to form the Kingdom of Belgium (the official name) on the 25th of August 1830. This was the start of the Belgian Revolution, which ended on the 14th of July 1831. Leopold I became the first king of Belgium the 21st of July 1831, and every year on this day everyone celebrates in Belgium.
But because the 21st was on a Saturday this year, I went to the Netherlands to spend the weekend (it’s rare that I have 2 days off in a row!). Koen and I had a relaxing time in Roosendaal, enjoying good wine (from Grand Vin, of course), food, and weather.
Friday the 20th
After work we headed to Roosendaal and enjoyed a lekker apéritif, 2011 Minuty Rosé, AOC Côtes de Provence, on the balcony.
Because the weather was so nice and sunny we grilled every evening, taking advantage of our access to Dook’s Boretti!
The steak fresh off the grill.
With our dinner, Els made her world famous Caesar salad and dressing!
A delicious Burgandy to go with dinner.
After dinner we enjoyed a few different cheeses paired with a lekkere Pomerol.
Saturday the 21st
I enjoyed fruit-flavored sprinkles, or vruchtenhagel, every morning this weekend! Hagelslag can also be made from chocolate (hagelslag) and it is sprinkled on buttered toast (so the sprinkles don’t fall off) for a real Dutch breakfast.
After breakfast Koen had to study, so I went for a walk downtown. Because we visit so often, I thought I’d take some photos of the city.
Because it’s Saturday, the market was going on downtown in the Nieuwe Markt.
Fresh stroopwafels! You can also order a giant stroopwafel that is prepared in front of you. When my parents were last over we visited this same vendor and indulged!
Now to the Oude Markt.
Cafés to enjoy drinks and the weather.
The Tullepetaon is the mascot of Roosendaal during carnaval. All of the southern Dutch cities have official mascots during the celebration.
I wanted to share a photo of the fried food wall that you can only find in the Netherlands! You put money into the wall to buy hamburgers, kroketten, en frikadellen. If I ever mention eating well in the Netherlands, Belgian people always bring up the wall filled with fried food, haha.
Now back to the Nieuwe Markt. In the middle you’ll find the Pavillion over the underground parking garage.
There is also the entrance to the Passage, an Italian opera style knockoff, but still charming in its gaudiness.
After walking around downtown I enjoyed a delicious glass of the Austrian white wine I liked so much a few weeks ago on Koen’s parents’ balcony.
And the view.
Koen made dinner that evening – grilled porkloin with eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, and potatoes.
Luckily my mother brought one of my favorite barbeque sauces from Savannah for Dook and Els on her last visit!
For dessert, we enjoyed a variety of cheeses.
Which we enjoyed with a glass of Tawny Port, 10 years.
After dinner we visited Koen’s Oma (Dutch for grandmother). On the way I wanted to take a photo of the church, Sint-Josephkerk, that Koen’s grandparents attended and where his Opa sang in the choir.
And this is Oma’s building. Originally it was Oma’s school before becoming an apartment building! So Oma is living in her old school!
This is Koen’s Oma. She is holding Opa’s miltitary bag that he kept all of his personal items in during his service. It’s such an amazing bag because written all over are the different locations he was stationed. Every city he went to, he wrote the location!
And here is the view from Oma’s balcony.
Koen’s Uncle Ton and his daughter Cato were also at Oma’s.
When we came back to Dook and Els’ Koen and his father enjoyed another delicious wine.
Sunday the 22nd
After sleeping in late and enjoying a book on the balcony, we grilled again for dinner!
Koen made a sundried tomato and Parmesan bread.
And we enjoyed a refreshing Riesling with dinner.
First course was saté (Indonesian pork on skewers served with satésaus, a sort of peanut sauce), sausage, potato salad (with apple, green onions, and curry – possibly the most delicious potato salad I’ve ever had), and artichoke salad with a homemade fresh basil dressing.
Second course ribs.
Third course Livar pork chops.
And then we were all too full for dessert!
What a great weekend!