Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
In 1935, the last piece of work to be carried out by H.P. Berlage, one of the Netherland’s first modern architects, was completed. Sadly, Mr. Berlage died one year before that building, the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag, was finished. Now the low brick building that overlooks a rectangular ornamental pond is home to the largest collection of Mondrian paintings in the world. Berlage was a fan of using brick in his buildings as he felt it added visual strength and mass to the walls. He specifically used brick rather than marble or stone for the Gemeentemuseum because he felt the building should not impress the public but instead should invite them in. In addition to the Piet Mondrian collection, you will find works by Picasso, Appel and Klee, amongst others.
Tucked away among the shops that train travellers pass by without a second glance is Julia’s. Come in the morning and you will find it resembling an Italian espresso bar with coffee from Illy and croissants just out of the oven. Come in the afternoon or evening and you’ve got yourself the best food option in the station. Pasta! Yum! Pasta lovers can choose from four different types of pasta and seven different sauces, all cooked for you on the spot and topped with your favourite garnishes. Ciabatta lovers will be happy too. I’ve created a new ritual of grabbing a Julia’s pasta whenever I am in Amsterdam and don’t have time for a sit-down meal. And the best bit is that there is now a Julia’s at Rotterdam Centraal, i.e. very near to where I live.