Located on the Western coast of The Netherlands, The Hague offers the perfect city escape and a plethora of unique boutiques for any shopping aficionado. Our contributor, Sonia Greyson-Newman, jetted off to the third largest city in The Netherlands for a shopping fueled adventure, hosted by The Hague Marketing Bureau.

I recently travelled to The Hague (located on the Western coast of The Netherlands) for a two-day shopping trip; a few weeks ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period.

One of the first things I noticed about The Hague is that is has a very different pace of life compared to Amsterdam. The city’s chilled and relaxed atmosphere, in addition to its eclectic vibe certainly distinguishes it from other cities within the country.

The Hague has typical chain stores like any other cities of its size. However, the focus of my trip was to explore shopping in independent stores versus the larger retail brands. The beauty of shopping smaller, independent stores is that you often meet the owners and hear stories of what inspired them to pursue their dreams.

Comparatively, I see The Hague as a bigger version to West London’s Notting Hill; with its boutiques, artisan and vintage stores. If you avoid high street stores in favour of independent ones, you will often discover the many hidden gems that line the streets.

On this occasion, my shopping expedition took me to the areas of Hofkwartier, Denneweg, and Zeeheldenkwartier. All three areas can easily be accessed and navigated at an easy pace over a 48hr period.

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Hofkwartier

Stretching from the Palace Gardens and Torenstraat to Hoogstraat/Noordeinde and the Great Church, Hofkwartier is found directly behind Noordeinde Palace. It’s often referred to as the ‘pearl of The Hague’, due to the amount of exclusive and high-end stores that line its streets. Also, proximity to the royal palace only adds to its allure.

Featured Stops

Micheal Barnaart

Michael is a fashion designer who’s couture knitted dresses have taken him to Amsterdam Fashion Week and numerous exhibitions, including one at the Barbican London. The dresses have become iconic must have pieces from The Hague. You can even choose your own colour combination to show your individual flare.

 

Lots of Goodies

This boutique was born as a result of its owner’s massive response to her pieces on Instagram. The store allows Instagram visitors to come and try on the items they fall in love with online.

We were told that shoppers come from all over the Netherlands to visit Lots of Goodies.

Owned by Jocelyn Bröcker, Lots of Goodies stock an array of pieces that are on trend this season. I was certainly in animal print heaven, I could not make up my mind regarding two blouses. So in the end, I bought them both (Lol).

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Wiezewasjes 

The next stop across the street was Wiezewasjes; a jewelry store that has stylish and understated pieces. Many of the pieces were designed using crystals, which I love. I returned the following day and treated myself to a silver moonstone necklace, that was then half price in their sale.

It was fun riding through the city in a Tuk Tuk to the Denneweg area where we discovered more stores.

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Denneweg

Located only one stop away from central station by tram, The Denneweg was once a premier venue for antique shops. As an open air shopping mall full of specialty stores, it now attracts locals and tourists who value the merge of modernity and history reflected in a city’s character..

Featured Stops

Lady Africa

I loved meeting Irene Hin, the visionary and the creative behind Lady Africa. Lady Africa is a reflection of Irene’s African and Dutch heritage and she has managed to fuse both into the store.

During my lovely chat with Irene, she shared that The Queen of the Netherlands (even though Irene did not recognise her at first) visited the store, and then purchased and wore items which raised the profile and visibility of Lady Africa.

At Lady Africa you can pick up the best in contemporary African designs, fabric, accessories etc.

Irene explained that she would be planting individual trees in our honour in South Africa. How cool is that?

 

Inproc Coffee & Tea

As you walk you through the door you are met by a burst of energy that is Krista (pictured in the centre of the photo below). Krista shared the story that the store had been in her family for generations. In fact, she bought it back from a previous owner so that she could continue her family’s dream.

In the store, you will find coffee and teas from around the world. Being of Jamaican heritage, I asked her if she stocked any Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Beaming with pride, she presented a treasured barrel of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. This left me quite impressed, as it’s a rare brand to find within Europe.

I bought some specialty teas lauded for health and vitality as well as some Guatemalan vegan chocolate.

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Zeeheldenkwartier

Located within walking distance to The Hague’s city centre, Zeeheldenkwartier is known for its trendy coffee shops, cosy cafes, beautiful Jugendstil homes, and so much more. Zeeheldenkwartier houses some of the most diverse restaurants in the city due it’s vibrant multicultural makeup.

 

Featured Stops

Bar en zo – Little Green Shop

This beautifully designed shop had a blend of lush plants and vintage items. I chatted with the store owner who shared his passion for horticulture and minimalism. He gave me some advice on how to look after my aloe vera cutting that I am currently rooting at home in water and we also discussed the art of decluttering.

 

Bar en zo are also known for revitalising dying plants back to life. Upon hearing this, I promised I was going to buy some plants on my return to the UK and not kill them.

Future plans for Bar en zo include a significant expansion project to erect a greenhouse in the shop’s backyard.

 

Namaste Cafe

Namaste Cafe can best be described as a little oasis in the city. It has all the zen you’ll need if you’re anything like me; and lover of meditation and yoga. I do believe you could just sit on the padded seating for quite some time and simply contemplate the meaning of life.

We were greeted by Ira, who kindly offered us one of my favourite teas (Yogi Tea) to warm us up and to treat a sore throat I was developing.

At the Namaste Cafe you can you can purchase clothes, spiritual books and mala meditation beads etc . There is also a dedicated treatment room for holistic therapies and workshops. Ira explained that the local area is home to an abundance of businesses that focus on health, spirituality and well-being, and that these businesses are built on special meridian type lines that connect with The Hague’s Peace Palace.

 

Mugs and Mermaids

What can I say? If you are looking for a healthy meal or a smoothie with a decadent twist, then Mugs and Mermaids is a ‘must visit’ stop where you can refuel after pounding the pavements shopping.

Their crab and avocado toast is a tasty option, and their unique, pink hot (white) chocolate drink takes flavour and instagrammabilty to the next level.

The spectrum of colours in the food really do draw you in and tantalise your senses.

 

 

Places To Stay

Zeta Beds

If you love being in the heart of a trendy area and vibrant neighbourhood, then staying at Zeta Beds in Grote Market is a great option. Situated in a square with a host of bars and restaurants, you can expect the lively atmosphere and loud music to continue till well after midnight.

The room I stayed in was vibrant, clean and fresh, with a cute little terrace that would be great for sitting, reading and enjoying a nice drink.

A few yards away you will find the Grote Market tram stop, making Zeta Beds the ideal location for getting around the city.

 

Hotel Des Indes

If luxury is what you are looking for in the Hague then you should definitely visit Hotel Des Indes. Whether you are staying there or stopping by for drinks or a meal, it is somewhere I am sure you will enjoy.

Hotel Des Indes is a 5* hotel that oozes luxury (certainly my kind of place). We were hosted by Maaike-Ina and Gabrielle who gave us a tour of one of the rooms. We were treated to the most amazing cocktails and canapés in the lounge bar area which was very lively.

Built in 1886, Hotel Des Indes has managed to keep its original charm and opulence.

I was really impressed with the property’s Wall of Fame – which highlights some of their famous guests over the years. My eyes lit up when I saw former Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia on the wall. Hotel Des Indes certainly has a historic grandeur that has attracted many high profile guests spanning the last 130 years.

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Getting there

Regular flights from London to Amsterdam take approximately 50 minutes, followed by a fast 30-minute train journey.

If travelling by sea is a more attractive option, Stena Line Ferries offers two daily crossings from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.

Lastly, you can now reach Amsterdam by Eurostar, meaning you could be in the Hague in no time. This makes it an easy option for brief shopping trips and those last minute gifts for any occasion.

The Hague has so much to offer and is only a hop, skip and jump away from the UK.  I do plan to visit again later this year with my husband, Tony, for a quick getaway. It’s on my list to experience the tulips in the spring, visit the beach, and explore a few more museums.

 

Disclaimer: Sonia was a guest of The Hague Marketing Bureau on behalf of HDYTI. However, all thoughts and opinions remain her own.

 

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Coach & Content Creator | Website

Sonia supports women to get unstuck, jumpstart their lives and get their sassy back so that they can live the life of their desires.

Passionate about supporting 50 plus women to live their best lives,

Wife, mother of 4 and grandmother, Sonia believes that sometimes the simplest mind-set and lifestyle changes have the biggest impact on living a balanced and happy life.

Sonia also offers life coaching tools, wellbeing tips and inspiration on her travel and lifestyle blog and social media channels.