Hi there! hope you are all doing well 😀
It’s only been a bit more than a month since I arrived to Maastricht and I feel like I’ve done a lot of things, especially since the Carnival week.
I was lucky I was in Maastricht during the carnival season as this city is known as the Carnival capital of the Netherlands. Once a year, the whole city escapes their daily routine and all the streets become the party venue for the carnival celebrations. You can see people of all ages drinking, dancing and singing in the streets, and entire families with members from different generations dressed in matching colorful outfits. There’s a huge parade and live marching bands that literally play music all day and all night (and I know this very well because I live in Markt, were most of the celebrations take part, and I wasn’t able to sleep for 2 days thanks to the bands that would pass by from time to time 😐). The bars and restaurants were also crowded, and there were long queues in front of restaurants and food trucks, so I thought this could be a good time to start discovering new food and try the famous French fries from Reitz I had read a lot about. I ordered the classic fries, with just mayo as a topping and I liked it.
We had a one-week carnival break at the university so I traveled during this days, as most of the students did. The first place I went to was Liège in Belgium. We went in the morning and came back in the evening as it takes only 30 minutes to get there by train and the city is not that big. We took my Belgian buddy’s advice and went to “La Frite” to have lunch. We ordered meatballs and the classic frites with “sauce lapin” which literally translates into rabbit sauce even though the recipe changed and it’s not made with rabbit anymore.
We headed to different tourist attractions after lunch but the one I liked the most was “Montagne de Bueren”, which is actually a 374-step long staircase. I usually don’t exercise, so I was exhausted when we reached the top but was rewarded with an amazing view of the city and the Meuse river. After burning some (or maybe lots of) calories while climbing the stairs, we rewarded ourselves again with waffles from Pollux, which is said to have the best Liège waffles in town.
My second destination during Carnival week was London. I went there with a friend because the plane tickets were very cheap. The Ryanair flight from Eindhoven to London Stansted airport was only €10 and we were also able to discover a bit of Eindhoven as we took an early morning train from Maastricht and our flight was at 10pm.
That was my first time in London and I really enjoyed the trip. Not only because I got to visit a lot of attractions and even other places like Stonehenge and the city of Bath but also because I’m a food lover and here I was able to try lots of new food. I asked a friend of mine for some recommendations for places to eat traditional English food and got to try many dishes, from the classic fish and chips in Poppies (which is also rated as one of the best places to have this dish in London) to the more curious jellied eels and ginger beer in the same restaurant. When it comes to international food, I had a nice Japanese ramen soup in Ippudo for £10. Here you can also request for an extra serving of noodles for £1.5 as long as you have enough soup, but I didn’t ask for it because I was already full with my order 😄.
I have a sweet tooth and enjoy trying desserts from different countries so I couldn’t miss this in my trip to London😋. My friend had recommended me to try the sticky toffee pudding so I looked up the best places to have it and that’s how we ended up in the Holborn Dining Room, an elegant brasserie with good music and a stunning atmosphere that serves traditional British cuisine. As we were three, each of us ordered a different dessert and not only tried the Sticky Toffee Pudding but also a Yorkshire Rhubarb & Ginger Trifle, and a Glazed Lemon Tart. All of them were fantastic but the sticky toffee pudding was our favorite 😛.
But my dessert hunting didn’t finish here… I came back to Maastricht via Brussels and had 5 hours before our bus to Maastricht departed so we took the opportunity to find the best place to have a Belgian waffle, which is different than the Liège waffle because is lighter and has a rectangular appearance. We found Maison Dandoy and, as we expected, had to queue because it was crowded.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!