In the last post I showed you interior photos of the Binnenhof. Here is how the parliament’s complex looks when you round the corner to get the water shots:
I love how you can see the skyscrapers and scaffoldings in the background as a new skyline hovers over The Hague’s city center:
By the time I reach the flag-lined bridge, a flash of downpour hits,
so what is there to do but pop into a nice warm place to wait out the rain…while satisfying a sweet tooth at the same time?
In my defense, when you’re in the Netherlands, it’s practically a crime to not help yourself to some poffertjes, which are like baby pancakes covered with powdered sugar. I order one serving with fresh strawberries. When the plate comes out, it looks like my poffertjes were hit by a snowstorm (note to self, do NOT wear black when attempting to eat these):
It looks like every dentist’s nightmare, but it’s actually not all that sweet. As long as you don’t pour any syrup over it.
From here I make my way to the Peace Palace, or Vredespaleis, which is home to the International Court of Justice (judicial body of the United Nations) and a few other legal institutions. If you have any interest in the law, this complex is one of those places you want to visit to feel a little less cynical and a little more inspired…much like visiting the US Supreme Court. Unfortunately for me, it is closed to tours on this afternoon that I’m there, so I only have some exterior shots:
As I wrap up my report of the visit to the Hague in the next entry and post photos from the street, I’ll also take you to a cool museum that used to be a palace. But for now, I’ll take you to the dinner I mentioned from a few days ago. I’m finally breaking out that Chanel Paris Byzance cardigan coat that actually doesn’t photograph well (it looks much more shimmery in person) and frankly makes me feel like a Michelin man–maybe I shouldn’t have had all those pancakes:
I think maybe the coat looks better unbuttoned. But Michelin man or not, dinner beckons, and here’s another gratuitous shot of the new clutch having a martini :D:
Dinner is fabulous. Appetizer is mackerel tartare lightly seasoned with vintage soy sauce,
followed by grilled white fish on a bed of potato and beet puree–
which sounds simple enough, but I’ve never had better fish in my life. It’s cooked to perfection, and even the mushrooms are seasoned like no other. I’m not a true foodie, and my definition of gastronomy is purely subjective at this point, but at least now I know how fish should be cooked. This dish is that good.
To round it all off, dessert is funky, fun, and delicious. I wish I had taken notes when the maÃ®tre dâ€™ came by to explain the plate to me. All I remember now is that the underlining flavor is hazlenut, the tiny droplets of ice cream are pistachio-flavored, and the caramel sauce under the sprinkles of white chocolate simply melts in my mouth.
Yikes, it’s going to be rough to go back to my own cooking after this trip!