With a bias for Australian beaches, I had no idea that a beach in Europe, in the middle of winter, could look so beautiful. Yet here I was, in The Hague of all places, standing on a wide boulevard on Scheveningen beach, looking out at a massive pier that stretched right out into the ocean. What a pleasant surprise!
The boulevard is lined with restaurants, bars and hotels and goes on for as far as the eye can see. It looks just like the beaches that you see in American films. You know, the ones with all the women in bikinis and beautiful people lifting weights and roller skating. The only difference is that it’s minus 1 degree and there are no bikinis, weights or roller skates in sight. Maybe when I come back in the summer…
The promise of food led us to De Pier, a 400-metre long promenade jutting out from the beach toward the sea. We were welcomed by the scent of fresh Dutch waffles (bearing little resemblance to the Belgian kind) and a sea of restaurants, shops, cafes and food trucks. Jackpot. We braved the outdoor upper level where we were at the mercy of strong sea winds – it was worth it for the fantastic views of the beach and the boulevard below.
Back inside we spotted a sign for the best fried chicken in town and immediately stopped at the Foodtruck Shack for lunch. Inspired by the American film “Chef”, we also couldn’t resist the the Cubano grilled sandwich. Seated at the bar with a view of the kitchen and the ocean behind, we watched as the ham, pickle and cheese-filled baguette was lathered in butter then placed in the sandwich press. Served with a side of guacamole and corn chips, plus a generous serving of the crunchy fried chicken with sweet potato fries and slaw, our challenge was set. And conquered.
Strandweg 1, 2586 The Hague
De Pier, Strandweg 1, 2586 The Hague