Alice Catherine Alice Catherine

*This post includes a press stay with Sir Hotels but all words & imagery are my own as always! 

One of the most memorable trips I went on last year was actually to somewhere I’d never planned on going! Funny how life happens like that and a reminder to think outside the box when it comes to dreaming up travel plans.

It’s easy to get caught up on where’s popular or a bit of a ‘hot spot’ on social media, but often times those are the least enjoyable places because they end up being extremely busy at peak times when most people are free to travel (and often very overrated). It’s that age old expectations vs reality concept – sometimes the places you look forward to the most end up being the most disappointing. And then sometimes you visit a random city in the Netherlands with your best friend in the world and it ends up being an absolute delight… 

My best friend Amy lives in Australia and has done for many years now! We grew up around the corner from one another so the distance is now palpable, but it means that whenever she’s home, we try to make plans in advance and generally just pull out all the stops to make it special.

Just as we were messaging about her coming home, I was also in touch with Sir Hotels about coordinating a travel collaboration of some kind. They mentioned that they had a hotel in The Hague that they thought I might love and I jumped at the opportunity to combine a work trip with some leisurely best friend time.

I hadn’t really heard much about The Hague, I don’t think I’d ever seen anyone take a trip there or make content about it so it seemed like one of those spontaneous moments where it’s either going to be the best trip ever or a complete flop. I knew whatever we got up to would be fun because we would be together, but it’s funny to me now that we chatted about getting the train to Amsterdam most days as we would ‘probably get bored’…

We arrived in The Hague for a few days and the weather pulled out all the stops! The hotel was in such a great location and we instantly felt like there was an exciting buzz of energy surrounding us…

By the end of the first day, we both agreed that going to Amsterdam would be silly when there was so much to explore from our hotel doorstep. I’ve been to Amsterdam many times over the years and it’s a city I never get tired of going to, but there was something about The Hague that just felt more laid back and inviting in the warmth of the summer sunshine.

We stayed at Park Centraal Hotel which has everything you need for an amazing stay in Den Haag – our room even had a little balcony that overlooked the park which was such a treat to wake up to each morning! They also have bikes you can rent which is super handy if you fancy living like a local whilst you’re in town.

A few highlights from the trip that I would wholeheartedly recommend if you visit anytime soon!

Vincenzos PizzaA really great pizza spot that we went to on our first night! They had lots of outdoor seating which was lovely and the pizza/drinks were all so so delicious.

Sam Sam A great spot to have breakfast and watch the world go by! Very cute if you can get a seat outside & tonnes of healthy options and fresh coffee.

The Bookstor Cafe Possibly the best book store I’ve ever ever been too! If you’re a fan of reading or just enjoy the environment of a beautiful book shop then this place is an absolute must. There’s even a cafe so you can sit and read for hours if you fancy. There’s also a garden area out back (it just keeps getting better) which is heavenly during the summer. We walked past this place a few times because we just loved the area so much, everyday you can find people outside playing chess and sipping on their coffee…

Pistache Cafe Another great place to stop for coffee & a sweet treat! Lots of healthy & organic food to choose from.

Binnenhof – The Binnenhof is a complex of buildings in the city centre of The Hague, Netherlands, next to Hofvijver lake. It houses the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands, as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. It’s also just a really beautiful square to walk or cycle around on a sunny day!

Mauritshuis If you head to the Binnenhof then you’ll soon stumble across the Mauritshuis museum where you can catch a glimpse of the famous Girl With A Pearl Earring painting (very tiny in real life, why is this always the way ha?).

De Filosoof: Wijnbar A gorgeous little bar where we had the most amazing natural wine and small plates!

Jazz Coffee & Wines For small plates, wine, a great place to eat before or after visiting the Bookstor cafe! They also have music in the evenings so it’s worth checking their website beforehand for any events etc.

Coffee Company A great coffee spot not far from the hotel, also a great place to work for a few hours if you find yourself in need of some laptop time!

Scheveningen Scheveningen is one of the eight districts of The Hague, Netherlands, as well as essentially being a kilometre long beach in your back yard! It’s a modern seaside resort with a long sandy beach which makes it perfect for a day out with friends/family and kids etc. There’s a pier and a lighthouse and it’s a popular destination for water sports in the summer months too. We biked here from our hotel and it was the most perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Looking back through these photos, I can really sense how much we enjoyed strolling around the city! There was more than enough to keep us entertained for three whole days so no emergency trains to Amsterdam were necessary in the end.

I would definitely jump at the chance to visit The Hague again sometime soon – I still dream daily about the Bookstor Cafe, there just isn’t anything that comes close here in gloomy Manchester!

If you made it this far then I hope you enjoyed this little film diary of our time in The Hague!

It was truly the nicest summer surprise (we visited at the end of July) and a trip I will forever hold dear to my heart. There is truly nothing better for the soul than bike rides to the coast with your best friend…

You can find my IG highlight of the trip here: Highlights from The Hague! 

Photographs taken on a Contax T2 using Portra 400 film 

Where we stayed: Sir Hotels kindly hosted us at Park Centraal Den Haag 

You can explore other Sir Hotel options here! 

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