Tonight Marion and I had dinner at restaurant “Nieuwe Koningin” in the city of Haarlem. It is not the first time we were here. Returning means that we really liked it there. And again we were not disappointed.
They say that the first impression is very important. You feel directly very welcome when you arrive. You are the appreciated guest and that is exactly how you feel there.
We both had the same main dish, sea bass with sweet potato cream, bacon and fennel.It was delicious. The taste was soft and had the fish a nice structure. Exactly how it should be.
Along with the sea bass we had French fries, a mixture of vegetables and rice.
We forgot the name of the wine, but it was perfect and went very well along with the fish.
As dessert we had chocolates served with coffee and a liqueur.
The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the restaurant easily leads to some good conversations. Something I love to get lost in with Marion.
Although it was officially Christmas Eve, Marion and I celebrated yesterday our anniversary. This evening has been something I have been planning for a long time, because I wanted to make something special of it. And finally I managed to keep it a small secret for her, which is always hard for me (“Those eyes… those eyes…” :)).
So Marion arrived yesterday more or less unaware at my apartment in Heemskerk. More or less, because I don’t ask her to take a day off from work without reason. So I told her that I reserved a table in a nice restaurant in the city of Haarlem and that we had to be there in time, which was of course completely the truth.
We had dinner at Lambo’s in Haarlem. And I must say that what I heard about this restaurant was absolutely correct. The food was just superb. The people very friendly. What I really liked is that we could take all the time we wanted for all the courses (we had a 4 course dinner). According Marion the different wines they selected were very good and I believe her. She knows a lot more then me on that subject.
This is surely a place I would like to go back again some time.
After dinner I suggested to take a small walk through the centre of Haarlem. It stopped raining and the temperature was nice for the time of the year. We both like Haarlem, so we enjoyed the walk. But what Marion didn’t realize that I was guiding her slowly in a certain direction.
When we walked to the Philharmonie of Haarlem, Marion remarked surprised that Ellen ten Damme and her Cirque Stiletto performed there that evening. Well, I had to admit that this was correct… and that I had tickets for this performance! The word she said pleasantly surprised I won’t repeat, but it resulted in a very nice hug :).
Well, about the performance I can say only one thing: WOW!!!.
Of course, first there was Ellen ten Damme who was the red line through the show. I already knew what a voice that woman has. And I already knew that she knows how to set a performance. But also in this circus she is right on her place. Her very special and sexy clothes added all to it in a positive way. Also the show was full of some pretty good humour and that I like a lot.
And Marion fully agreed with me… Ellen ten Damme has great legs (as Marion has to complain about that :P).
The other artists in the show were awesome as well. The things the acrobats did really make you sit on the tip of your chair. Some of the things we saw showed strength and complete control of the body. The most “scary” thing was in my opinion the knife-thrower and the lady bound to the turning board. If I understood it well Marion found the things the man walking the rope did pretty scary. Remember, unlike in a normal circus, we were sitting very close to it all.
Anyway all the performing artists were more then great and breathtaking.
Also the dancers that performed throughout all of the show were awesome. What a sense of rhythm. They made it all complete.
Marion and I really really enjoyed this show. We had tickets for one of the front rows, so we could see everything very well.
It was not allowed to take pictures or movies and in this case I can understand it. But I knew there were some movies on YouTube. Of course some movies of people who don’t understand what “not allowed to take pictures or movies” means. Those I ignored. But I could remember that I also saw some official movies on YouTube and I found one.
One or two things in the movie below were different then in the show that Marion and I saw, but most were the same. But as the stage on which we saw yesterday the performance is much smaller then the one on the recording, we could see things a lot better. And maybe because of the same reason I thought that the quality of the sounds was also yesterday a lot better. And most likely the Philharmonie has a way better acoustic then the huge hall on the movie anyway.
After the show Marion needed to visit the ladies room and that gave me more then enough time to get a signed CD (Ellen ten Damme has often signing sessions after her performance). I bought an older CD of her (“I am here”) and asked her to sign it.
After we left the Philharmonie we walked towards Grand Café “De Gouverneur” to sit and drink something. Here we chatted a bit about the show we just saw. Marion had one or two glasses of a very nice red wine and I took a good tasting single malt whiskey (I believe a Glenrothes).
When we stood up and prepared to leave, Marion was thinking that we would be going home, but here I had another surprise. For that night I reserved a room in the Ambassador City Centre Hotel (here I had a partner in crime who made sure I got the key of the room and that the things we would need for the night were already in the room).
As I already knew, the room was perfect. Everything one could need was available. There was a beautiful view on the big church that was close to the hotel.
We talked a bit and I showed Marion the signed CD and that made her laugh out loud (for those who don’t know the special meaning of a signed CD for us, should search my blog on “signed CD”. Somewhere in there is the answer to that).
After some more talking we both took a shower and went to bed…
And well, how they say? The rest is history…
(Credit photo’s: Rob)
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Today the Dutch queen is celebrating her birthday (well, the be precise it was the birthday of her mother, queen Juliana… but anyway…).
Now living in the province of North Holland, I wanted to see how they celebrate it over here (heard some very nice stories about that). I was warned by people not to go Amsterdam, but cause it is always too busy there. And now I am really happy that I didn’t go for Amsterdam. But idiots putting a train in fire and pulling the emergency breaks in to other trains, all train traffic to Amsterdam was a big a mess.
But I already had decided to go for this day to the city of Haarlem. Never really been there before and I heard from many people that it is a real nice city. And I have to admit that they are right!
What me always makes me grin a bit is who people dress up with orange colours on this day (orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal house). Know that I don’t like orange really. And oh, the young lady on the picture below was a decent example of dressing with orange…
But in Haarlem itself it was very nice. The atmosphere was good and there were many gathered to enjoy the live music that was played throughout the city. Everywhere there was drinks and food available.
I liked the city of Haarlem a lot. Very soon I will go back when it is there more quiet and walk around the city to see more of it and make pictures.
On my way back home I had to take the bus to Heemskerk because the train traffic was still a big mess thanks to those folks who couldn’t behave.
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