No, we’d never considered it either. Not really. I mean, when you think of the Netherlands, you think of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Hague at a push. Maybe Utrecht? After that..?
Sophia by Alvaro Soler
Coco Sushi and Noodles
This is our stupidity because, wow, Eindhoven was amazing. It’s set in some very lovely countryside, all green fields and big rivers and massive skies. Van Gogh painted around here, you know. It’s a compact city with a centre that’s big enough to be interesting, small enough to be walkable. There’s chain shops and little quirky boutiques and a river and a huge cathedral. It’s all quite modern (it was bombed in the war) but in a very stylish and cool way. The people are funny and friendly and all speak English (shameful, isn’t it). It’s only an hour by plane from London, or about 3 hours in the car from Calais (less, if your brother is driving).
I’m trying really hard to think of what doesn’t make Eindhoven a splendid destination for a weekend away. It has football (boy, does it have football. If PSV are playing at home, get a ticket because, well, they are European footballing royalty). It has hundreds of bars and a vibrant, student-y nightlife. It has lots of micro-breweries. It has the DAF truck museum (if that floats your boat).
We had the best time and were pleasantly surprised that we did. There’s kind of nothing to make you go ‘wow’ about Eindhoven – but it’s so charming and friendly that it creeps into your heart and when you leave, you realise actually you don’t want to go home. You want to stay and have another beer and watch PSV and go check out those DAF trucks. Brrrrrmmmm!
A little way out of town – but I mean, 5 minutes walk, because Eindhoven is compact – is this amazing, hi-tech space full of amazing beer. Annoyingly I don’t like beer that much but it was ok, they made me Aperol Spritzes. So I was a happy girl. Lots of fun, and the food looked yummy too.
De Vooruit Gang
Popped in here to escape the rain and ended up staying far longer than we meant to. It’s a huge bar with cosy settees and lovely staff. Nice Aperol Spritzes too (I drank more Aperol in Eindhoven than I ever did in Venice). Lovely staff.
This became our home away from home, mainly because this funky micro-brewery was right opposite our hotel. It’s crammed with amazing ales and ciders, plus some tasty bar snacks too. Heaving on a Friday night, more chilled on Saturday afternoon. Recommended.
Ooh, a football pub! Showing Juventus! We had to go in. And sat there for ages enjoying the chilled atmosphere. Apparently they do great hotdogs, too.
Cafe The Jack
A proper down-and-dirty rock bar. With a pool table and babyfoot. And cider in bottles. Sticky floors. Guns n Roses on the juke. Yes.
Down Town Gourmet Market
Kind of Boxpark with bells on. Amazing food, small and cosy and some fantastic wines too. Loved the croquettes and bittenballen. Some delicious pizzas and Chinese street food and… oh you’ll have to go and find out for yourself.
Meneer de Boer
Our breakfast spot – and it was spot on. Loads of soft scrambled eggs, hot buttered toast, coffee, pancakes, porridge. Granola if you wanted to be healthy. We didn’t.
Coco Sushi & Noodles
A Japanese of course! There’s always one. We were happy to see ramen on the menu and this place had it – it was a miso-based ramen, not our favourite but still pretty good. The sushi got rave reviews and second helpings, and the Asahi was nice and cold.
Indonesian Restaurant Bali
We had the rice table here and it was HUGE. I mean, you could have fed eight people with it, not three. Loads of fluffy rice and spicy dishes, with lashings of satay sauce. The service was a bit spiky but with Indonesian food this good, who cares.
Out of town a little way (just past the Philips Stadion) is Strijp-S, an old Philips factory now being turned into a cool little urban quarter. Loads of nice shops under one roof here in Urban Shopper – including Re-Creare which sells old kimonos made into pillows, as well as Japanese odds and ends. Or Kriz, selling fair-trade homewares and goodies. Plus Velvet (below). Guarantee: you’ll be here for hours.
Amazing 80s pop-up shop at the Noordbrabants Museum, with everything from cool stickers to funky furniture. A lot of fun to poke around in.
Velvet Music Eindhoven
Walk out of the city centre and you come to Strijp-S (see above), where Velvet is nestled. They sell vinyl and CDs and it’s definitely worth the walk.
Sophia by Alvaro Soler
So this is Spanish, right? But for some reason it stuck in our head when we were sat in Stadsbrouwerij Eindhoven and stayed with us for ages afterwards. Proper earworm pop music.
What we did:
Went and worshipped at the hallowed shrine of Dutch football, the Philips Stadion; we took a stadium tour, touched the sacred grass of the pitch and admired PSV’s incredible trophy room. Headed to the Philips Museum to admire the shiny new tech. Drove up to ’s-Hertogenbosch and went to the Noordbrabants Museum and enjoyed an ‘80s exhibition and pop-up vintage shop. Who said culture couldn’t be fun too?
What we bought:
A plastic, moveable figurine of Ronald Koeman dressed in his orange football finery. A PSV Eindhoven scarf. There really was nothing else in the world I wanted after that.
Where we stayed:
House Of The Dead / Crazy Golf?:
Oh yes. Yes. In fact it was GlowGolf. 18 holes of crazy neon golfing fun with nutty plastic dinosaurs and glow in the dark paint. Book in advance cos it’s jumping on weekends.