EINDHOVEN... A City To Be Discovered
Eindhoven... a city trip I won’t forget. There is more to Eindhoven than you know… you have probably heard of PSV, a famous football club, you may know that 125 years ago Phillips brought light to the city and you probably know it is in the Netherlands, but what else does Eindhoven have to offer?
I was fortunate enough to find out and I was impressed, they say it is the most vibrant city in the South. No, it does not have the canals and coffee shops of Amsterdam but it does have great hotels, food, fashion, creativity, innovation, design and is rapidly developing a technology hub to become Europe’s Silicon Valley. I am going to share my experience of the all-in-one day city trip.
The flight was about £50 return from London and only 45 minutes. Getting out of the airport took no time at all, not like any of the major city airports in Europe. Once out of the airport I jumped in a taxi and within 20 minutes was at my hotel. The hotel was surrounded by factories, some looked old and deserted with great walls of colour covered in street art and advertising. This part of the city looked industrial but not cold, there was something about it that I could not quite put my finger on. The city was not what I expected; the Blue Collar Hotel was tucked away but surprisingly had more than ample parking facilities. I walked into the hotel, a converted factory that now had been transformed into a unique and quirky hotel with a hard rock theme, the reception was part of the bar and the staff in line with the décor were clearly, rockers, guys with long hair and big beards, girls with chokers, bleached blonde hair or jet black hair, young and stylish. Electric guitars hanging from the walls, barrels and kegs above the bar with the pipes running down to the bar, it even had its own theatre, bigger than life paintings at either end, where you could see the rock legend Lemmy starring out the other ‘lesser’ known musician, Beethoven. The beer was great, refreshing lagers, Trappist beers and burgers to die for. The place looked edgy, vibrant and cool but was incredibly warm and friendly. The place just buzzed.
After a night’s sleep, my tour was about to start. The first stop was at @bagelsandjuice … a healthy start to the day, smoothies and scrummy bagels.
Then on to Urban Shopper (@urbanshopperehv), a converted factory site containing a wide variety of products and a food hall, with places for the children to play, full of young families, warm, friendly and tastes from local producers and those from around the world.
As with any shopping spree, we had to catch our breath… and what better place to do so if not at Intelligentia ICE (@intelligentiaice), where we discovered flavours that blow the mind, exciting combinations in both ice cream and chocolate formats, one of the strangest was soy sauce sesame and red pepper. Generally the chocolate flavours were fruit and herbs, delicious contrasts that made the mouth tingle. My favourite ice cream was red wine and black cherry, deep and rich in flavour (sorry, no picture of my favourite as I ate it ☺ YUMMM!)
A brief insight to AREA 51… no alien artefacts but a skater’s dream, a wooden crafted skate park with ramps, rails, a half pipe and a big deep bowl.
Then on a bicycle into the city centre, this is Holland… how else would you travel! A bit wobbly but made it there (only fell off once or twice… I have not cycled for more than a decade; the roads were safe, the only hazard was my lack of coordination, oops!)
Lunch was not just a treat for the stomach but also one for the eyes. The restaurant’s design (@de_vooruitgang) was breath taking, wine from the floor to the ceiling, at least 3 stories high if you include the open cellar (shortlisted for the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards).
After lunch we went on and discovered Van Abbe museum (@vanabbemuseum), a fun, interactive and amazing place. I will let the pictures do the talking, it was great and museums are not usually my thing!
On to dinner and then drinks with bloggers from around Europe and new friends we made on our stay. @lourenegoll / @flunkingmonkey / @justlikesushi / @thatgirlwithherblog / @cocktailsandheels / @mylifeonsneakers
Strijp-S was closed to both locals and tourists up until 2007; it was for Phillips workers only but now the doors are open. I was to discover that the factories have provided the fertile ground for designers, architects, restaurants, entrepreneurs, artists, businesses and families to grow and develop. This part of the city has so many hidden treasures and the potential for so many more. It is a place to watch.
Go, see, enjoy, experience, or even invest and live there… it is a blank canvas; go create a trip, a life, a business. Eindhoven is definitely going to put itself on the map as a place to see or be.