Get out of Amsterdam, Dive into Delft

_dsc8465OK that’s it, grab your jacket. We are getting out of Amsterdam.

One hour by train. That’s all you need to get out of this city that is miring in cheap tasteless fish-net stockings and terrible stench of smoking cannabis. I have been to Amsterdam twice and still haven’t learnt to love it. Shoot me.

Delft is the place to go if you ever find yourself floundering in the riling capital of the Netherlands. You still get to stroll along the emblematic Dutch canals, eat pancakes and do an elegant ballerina brisé to avoid the gentle stream of bicycles that might, occasionally come in your way. So relax, you are not missing out on anything.

Delft is the perfect day-trip place for all. It’s comfortably small, sun-slowed and genial. You don’t need a map to navigate your way around the town.

The heart of it lies in a beautiful market square, protectively swaddled in a circle of Renaissance buildings and shops.

Every Thursday, close to a hundred stalls open at the square, spread out like the wing of a Morpho butterfly. From fresh flowers to crusty loaves, antiques and bric-a-brac, the Delft Market has it all.

But maybe these are not enough to satisfy your itching need to shop (I can understand). That’s why we are going to waltz across the market and spend every cent of our Euros at Royal Delft – on the famous blue and white pottery.

Influenced by the design of 14th-century Chinese porcelains, this earthenware will turn corners of your house into a page out of House and Garden Magazine.

And yes, they are not the cheapest thing from this town. So, you might want to skip the “Fragile” label altogether and proceed to buy a new seat on the plane for your soon-to-be-heirloom souvenir.

If it helps to know that Delft is the hometown of one of the greatest Dutch Golden Age painters, I’ll secretly tell you that this is where Vermeer was born, baptised and buried. You can spend an hour or two at the Vermeer Centrum to learn about his work and his life. Or, you can toddle your way to 40 and 42 Vlamingstraat to see the once mysterious passageway that appeared in one of his most important paintings, The Little Street.

But of course, you are more interested in finding out where to get the best butter cookies. We all are. Your wish will be granted at Stadsbakkerij De Diamanten Ring.

Step into the shop, unleash your inner child and look at all the cakes, pastries and cookies in wide-eye wonder. Buy three, five or even more. And if you could pronounce the name of this bakery, all’s on me.

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With love x

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