Beer and Bravery

De Leckere Kat
For some people, alcohol takes away their inhibitions, not to mention their sense of self preservation. To look at some cats, you’d think they were raging alcoholics, doing whatever they want, when they want, and going wherever they want. I spotted this gorgeous Siamese cat enjoying the view from a sign for a local brewery — De Leckere — that hangs outside Pret à Porter, a restaurant on Domstraat. Seeing stuff like this makes you understand how the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” could come about. Or maybe I’m just jealous, because I don’t like heights. I also want to call this cat Claude, per the motto on the sign.

For another perspective, here’s a photo of the restaurant and the sign on which the cat was perched. (And FYI, there’s a beer brewer’s festival tomorrow at Molen de Ster and De Leckere will be there. Details in the Events Calendar.)
Pret a Porter

Mosselfestival

Mosselfestival
This would have been more useful if I’d posted it before today, but hey, if you’re in Utrecht today and want some mussels and tasty beer (De Leckere brouwerij) and wine, come on over to the eastern edge of town today for the Mosselfeest, organized by some of the cafés and restaurants on Lucas Bolwerk. The festival started at noon, but the official opening is at 2 p.m. and the event runs until 7 p.m. The street is blocked off to traffic, so you can wander around and enjoy the food and the scenery along the Wittevrouwensingel and you can stop in at Café de Potdeksel, Café de Stad, Tilt Café or Brasserie Zocher throughout it all. We’re heading over in half an hour or so (we’ll be recording Wimbledon to watch later). Oh, and kids are welcome. They’ve got a bouncy castle, too.

Yellow Buses and White Ladies

Unexpected
We’ve been having beautiful weather here the past few days, with temperatures getting up around 18C (around 68/70F) and lots of sunshine. Determined to make the most of it today, we headed out for a walk over to the Streekmarkt today, a monthly market featuring local, mostly bio, foods. It’s up toward the northern end of town, so it meant a pretty walk, as well. I’ll probably save some of those photos for another post or two.

Once we got to the market and did a tour of the offerings on hand, we decided to have a lunch of meat pies and beer. As we were waiting for the pies to be reheated, we did a bit of people watching and just took in the scenery. It was then that I realized that the big yellow bus in front of me was a bit more unusual than I was thinking. I’m so used to these buses, having ridden a few on occasion, that it took me a moment to realize that this is not a sight you see here in the Netherlands!
Grote Gele Bus

In this case, the bus was being used as a children’s book store; a cute idea! Children aren’t bussed to school here, though. They either ride their bike, are dropped off by their parents, or if they do take a bus, it’s a normal bus that everyone else takes. As a result, no school buses, and certainly not the big yellow buses I’m so familiar with from the U.S. Despite not having seen one in a few years now, it’s just such a normal sight to me that it honestly took me a moment to realize that it’s not a normal sight here. It reminds me of when I saw a (NYC) Metrocard lying discarded on the ground in the park near us. It was such a common sight for me once, that it took a moment to realize that while the sight might be normal, the location certainly wasn’t!

Soon our food arrived and we tucked in to our lamb and steak pies. We took turns passing them back and forth, enjoying each one. They were certainly enjoyable, but didn’t taste like the traditional English meat pies they were described as. Maybe it was just the absence of the HP sauce! They went well with the local beer we tried. We’d seen a poster for Witte Vrouwen beer yesterday in the grocery store and were curious, since we live near Wittevrouwenstraat. De Leckere is a local brewery and they have a variety of beers, some with Utrecht-related names, including a Willibrord amber beer I wouldn’t mind trying. Witte Vrouwen, not surprisingly, is a witbeir, and a very nice one, indeed! I see more of them in my future. De Leckere is the first 100% organic special brewery in the Netherlands, and if the Witte Vrouwen is anything to go by, they’re doing an excellent job!

Witte Vrouwen Bier