There is something about the words ‘home made’ that evokes childhood memories of warm apple pie, fresh out of the oven, the smell of cinnamon-spiced apples permeating the air. It can also mean a hand-knitted jumper, itchy and ill-fitting, but your love for the person who crafted it means that you still faithfully wear it to family functions.
The Home Made Market in Den Haag stirs up some of these same memories and feelings, minus the itchy jumpers. An old fashioned merry-go-round swing, bright and colourful carousel, and pony rides make it an excellent place for children and families, while both sweet and savoury temptations are sure to seduce those in search of a more tasty experience.
New vendors are constantly joining the Home Made Market, and you will be fortunate indeed to come across Cakes ‘n Buttons. Chef Lavinia’s cakes and pies are not just that – they are literally works of art. Her bouton de rose, almond apple pie with rosewater, is topped with thin slices of apple crafted in the shape of a rose, and for a moment you may wonder if cutting a slice won’t irrevocably damage something so delicate. But don’t wonder for too long, as the taste will bring back those memories of apple pie, albeit one much more refined, from your childhood.
For more sweet treats, Sprinkles shouldn’t be too far away. Their cake pops are cute and fun and, perhaps unintentionally, the cheesecake brownies have the distinctive black and white markings of dairy cows.
Moving from sweet to savoury, Olivia’s makes delicious fresh pastas and sells pure olive oils, as well as vinegar made with fresh fruit. If you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday, a take-home portion of rettangoli al salmone or ravioli spinaci from Olivia’s will be a low-stress but packed-full-of-taste dinner.
The market is open from 10am to 5pm and if you have time after, catch a tram to the Dutch seaside resort of Scheveningen – challenging for non-Dutch to pronounce, but nonetheless enjoyed by those who visit its sandy shores. It is even said that the word Scheveningen was used by the Dutch during World War II to identify German spies; their inability to correctly articulate it was a clear giveaway. The Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel dominates the shoreline and while the pier which juts into the cold North Sea has seen better days, it still provides an excellent vantage point for views up and down the coast.
Sun-seekers flock to the beach the moment the sun breaks through the clouds and temperatures start to rise. Every spring dozens of beach cafés appear lining the promenade; deconstructed in the autumn only to pop up the following year as if they had never left.
One thing that isn’t going to disappear soon is the Home Made Market, and your sense of nostalgia can be thankful for that. It’s always expanding and its semi-regular appearances throughout the year in the Zeeheldenkwartier, Hofkwartier, and Statenkwartier in Den Haag ensure that all things handcrafted and home made are here to stay.