Fourteen years living in the Netherlands and I had only been to Zeeland once. It must've been very soon after I settled down here, because in a fog on novelties, my mind failed to register what I saw. I think we were only there briefly. Hubby, who used to be an avid windsurfer, wanted to show me where he once practically lived, provided there was wind.
Last weekend I got a golden opportunity to go back to Zeeland on an assignment. Now, I'm not really what you would call a beach fan and in fact, I much prefer the mountains and forests. My knowledge of Zeeland pretty much went as far as their regional specialities. One of them being seafood. They have some of the best lobster, shrimp, oysters and mussels. But last Saturday, I discovered that the food is also a beautiful reflection of the province's charm and allure. There's so much to see and do. Whether that be strolling through pretty little villages, checking out monumental cities or flying though the water on a surf board.
I was particularly charmed by towns like Veere, Haamstede and Brouwershaven (birthplace of one of my favorite writers, Jacob Cats). In Haamstede we stopped for a lunchbreak at La Baguette, a restaurant on the Noordstraat, with its terrace on a street lined with chestnut trees. Under a blue sky dotted with friendly clouds, I had a delicious meal of garlicky fried mussels accompanied by a refreshing glass of white. Sitting there, enjoying my meal, I had one of those moments of gratitude. Not just because of the food, but because I am so happy to do what I love and call that my work. I will be going back to Zeeland soon. In the meantime, if you're in Haamstede stop by La Baguette and have those fried mussels. You'll thank me.