So, this weekend I went Dutch- not in the traditional sense as in splitting the bill though- but rather we wore orange and decided to celebrate Kings Day or Koningsdag as it’s known in Holland- the Dutch national holiday in honour of their monarch.
Formerly Queen’s Day, this year The Dutch celebrated the first King’s Day since 1890 after a long succession of female monarchs in honour of King Willem-Alexander.
My housemate Jim is Dutch and so this year our house, his Dutch friends and a surprising number of Dutch citizens from around the entirety of not only London, but in one case, a guy Rob had actually flown from Amsterdam to celebrate King’s Day in London, descended on the infamous De Hems Pub in Soho.
Dutch flags and a sea of orange perched on the edge of China Town and cheesy Europop wafted out of the pub as the doors swung open for the rest of the day. The National Anthem, where the Dutch thank the Spanish Royals (?) and many songs involving forms of transport such as scooters and bikes, kept this party going all through the day with the bouncers having to turn people away come 6pm!
We took a break from being Dutch and went for an all you can eat buffet in Chinatown part way through the day when some of us were flagging from the festivities (dancing to Las Ketchup, Barbie Girl and 90’s dance gets exhausting)
The atmosphere was great and everyone completely friendly about us English joining in on their festivities. We were inaugurated into the Dutch circle, plastered with the flag and made to conga with everyone just like locals! The day really paid heed to the vibe and reputation London has of being the whole world and a tiny separate world all at the same time. It was one of my favourite days in London so far.
I like the Dutch. Long Live King Willem!
Check out De Hem’s here. A Nicholson’s pub, well known for it’s Belgium and Dutch beers, and traditional bar snacks including fried cheese and sausage.
According to Van Gogh “oranje is de kleur van gekte” . Everyone was wearing Orange and things got pretty crazy. The craziness continued onto the next day I’m afraid with two impulse decisions! The Dutch are contagious!
Other places I’ve been and liked
Joe’s Southern Bar & Kitchen in Covent Garden. @beercanchicken1
Absolutely massive portions- non greasy American fare.
Get the mac n cheese
You’re eyes will be bigger than your stomach. Wear elasticated waists
2-4-1 on Tastecard
SNOG in Soho – Frozen yoghurt bar. Feels virtuous but probably naughty. Esp with oreos and brownies (They were gluten free though!)
Looks like it’s been modelled on Burgess’ Moloko bars a la ‘Clockwork Orange‘ No drugged milk though- at least… I don’t think so!