Tuesday, July 30, 2019

DELFT: A little guide to the city I devised for WhatsThePlanNL

As tourists, we tend to stereotype and classify within boxes, a lot of destinations that have a lot to offer. As someone who lives in Amsterdam and used to live in Den Haag, I have made my fair share of touristic trips to Delft. Always sold as a one-day trip where you can pick the best Delft Blue pottery and visit the church where Vermeer is buried, over time I began to observe that Delft was that and a lot more. Sure, like most Dutch towns a lot of its beauty is concentrated on its beautiful canals and waterways. And sure, the delft blue pottery factory is charming in the most obvious way and really does give you an insight into how it is really made and how it came about to be. (Hint: We can definitely credit China with being our OG inspiration). But when I had to create a map (mind you, I'm seriously directionally challenged) for the July edition of #WhatsThePlanNL (a meet-up and networking initiative I began) for a walking tour of Delft I was organising and my first thought was whether I had bitten off more than I could chew.
I knew from the very onset that the delft blue pottery factory (there are a few) was something I did not want to include in the itinerary for a variety of reasons. 1) The likelihood of some people having checked it out was very high. 2) It is extremely long and time consuming and while that is enchanting mostly, on a full day's worth of sightseeing, it is not the best bet. 3) I wanted the tour to include food and drink pit stops just as much as informative and touristy ones.
So with the assistance of the internet (a few great articles I read and one that was shared with me), combined with my own multiple trips to Delft, here is the exact outline of what I sent across to the attendees to save on their phones before the meet up. I am including our last minute detours, changes and pro-tips along side. (Marked in red are my comments, changes and tips)
If you use this guide, don't forget to tag me and take me along (virtually, at best).

In association with iDeal of Sweden @idealofsweden and @shreyakalra1

Welcome to the walking tour plan that I’ve devised for us to explore this city on foot, have a faboosh time and get to know some new people in the process.
For the bits where I’ve listed options, I would love for us to collectively make this decision in order to make it more inclusive and fun.

·     Beginning with, lets meet at Delft Central Station at 11 am.

·     We begin with walking through the old city where the canals of Delft are. A stroll through Oude Delft. IMPORTANT TO STOP FOR PHOTOS OF COURSE. Stads Koffyhuis is OPTION 1 for sandwiches and coffee (some of the best sandwiches in NL, apparently) 

·     Next we do Oude Kerk (Or Old church) { If some people would like to go in, we can definitely make a stop and meet them at a pit stop for food and coffee}
Notes: We did the canals and we did Stads Koffyhuis for coffee alone. Not only is it absolutely beautiful what with a red floral facade and a blue exterior, but here is the best part. We went without a reservation and despite being pretty full they were not fazed at all with a group of 12 and gave us a prime spot on their tethered boat on the canal! The drinks were brilliant and the service was impeccable  (I really don't say it often!). Must must visit.

·     A cute little old bakery called Stads Bakkerij (or City Bakery) de Diamenten Ring falls on our way to Voldergracht. It’s full of amazing baked goods and local delicacies so I thought it might be nice to make a pit stop and check it out!
Notes: Best best stop over. It's got a beautiful yellow striped awning and has the best selection of baked goods I've seen in this town. Anything you can imagine and more. Everybody picked up a wide selection of different baked goodies cause what's a walking tour without snacks to boot. My recommendation: The pecan bread and their home made jams (I picked one that was cherry and red wine and it is mind blowing!)

·     Head to Voldergracht and stroll down to Kek (a very cute and possibly the best cafĂ© in Delft with good brunch food and SUPER INSTAGRAMMABLE). (OPTION 2 FOR FOOD)
Notes: We crossed Kek and it definitely looked absolutely adorable and very instagrammable but the queues lined up outside went for way too long for us to give in to the hype. Cannot vouch for the food plus when I messaged them on instagram in advance to figure out whether we could book for 12 people I did not receive a response. A Leonidas lunch room also close by looked quite beautiful too.

·     From Voldergracht through to Hippolytusbuurt and onto Wijnhaven is where the antiques, vintage and bookmarket sprawls across. So lets walk along, do a spot of shopping, take some fun pictures and possibly videos and a whole lot of catching up! 
Notes: This was definitely the highlight of our walking tour. The antiques and vintage market only happens on Saturday so if you do want to check it out, keep that in mind. We saw the market starting right after the Oude Kerk so we walked along there on. From extremely old versions of Delft earthenware, old books, maps, etchings, gold and brass artefacts, lampshades and almost anything you can imagine in the perfect sort of an antique market, you will find here. The objects are not cheap. I am not entirely sure whether you can bargain but I am certain that if you look carefully and painstakingly enough, you will find something to write home about. 

·     Sint Agathasquare  has beautiful porcelain lamp posts in delft blue to check out. Also cute and a great spot for photos along with a souvenir and gift store called ‘Winkeltje Kouwenhoven’.
Notes: Apart from Sint Agathasquare which has the beautiful delft blue lamp posts, we also went to the Markt which was the central square and walked to the big blue Delft blue heart which in my opinion, is the best and the biggest photo opportunity in Delft.

·     Nieuwe Kirk or New church is another 6 minutes walk from Sint Agathasquare so if everybody is still keen, we can definitely drop by and check it out. To wind it up, if we have any takers, we could head to Bier Fabriek, this super cool old brewery in Delft, cause one for the road. 
Notes: The New church is at the Markt or the central square of the town so from there we walked to Beestenmarkt (which is close to where Bier Fabriek is). While Bier Fabriek was still a valid option, since the weather was actually quite pleasant, we decided to sit and grab drinks and some apple pie in the centre of Beesten Markt which has a beautiful outdoor seating with plenty of restaurants and bars.

Hope you enjoyed this little day's worth of itinerary for Delft. If you would love to be a part of WhatsThePlanNL in the form of an attendee or sponsor, do not forget to drop me a message on instagram or an email. 
Till the next time, 


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