If you can get to Utrecht on Sunday afternoon (26 August) and you like mussels, head to Lucasbolwerk (over by the Stadsschouwburg) for the second Mosselfestival. The cafés in the area (De Potdeksel, Tilt, De Stad, and Zocher) are hosting an outdoor festival with Zeeuwse mussels, and local wine and beer. A good-size portion of mussels costs just €3.50.
We went last year and were very impressed with how nicely the mussels were cooked, with a perfect blend of seasoning. De Leckere beer will also be on hand again, so you can probably drink a Wittevrouwen bier next to Wittevrouwenstraat.
The event starts at noon and Utrecht writer Jerry Goossens will officially open the festival at 14:00. The event lasts until approximately 20:00. There will also be a bouncy castle for the kids to play. You can find more information at utrechtsmosselfestival.nl. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!
As I mentioned Sunday, we were planning on heading out to the first (of many, hopefully) Mosselfestival right here in our own neighborhood. Horeca Lucas Bolwerk (a collection of bars and cafés in the neighborhood) organized this lovely mussels festival. It ran for about seven hours in total and seemed to have a fairly constant stream of attendees. We went shortly after 2 p.m. and were immediately struck by the delicious smells emanating from the pots of cooking mussels.
We soon grabbed a couple of portions, which were quite generous, and picked up a couple of beers from the De Leckere Brewery stall. The mussells were beautifully seasoned and cooked. Just a nice kick of pepper and lots of natural flavor. I was really impressed with just how well they were done for such an event.
The street was closed to traffic, so they were able to set out lots of tables on the street, each table with its own garbage bag to keep things neat and clean. There was an accordion player wandering among the tables, and there was a bouncy castle for kids to play in. Sadly, there were no special play areas for the dogs we saw there. They were kept entertained by the possibility of stray mussels, I guess!
I joked with G that I guess this was a bit like a Dutch version of a crawfish boil or a New England clam bake. The women working at the mussels stall were all wearing old-fashioned lace caps — along with t-shirts and jeans! It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and a nice breeze, and by the end of the day, all the trash was cleaned up and neatly piled away for the garbage collectors the next morning. All in all, it seemed like a success.
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.