Nutstuin (Den Haag: NETHERLANDS)
Like most people, I have lived in a particular place for many years and been completely and utterly oblivious to some of the little gems that exist right under my nose! This can range from interesting streets, nice restaurants or cafes, museums... or in this case a restful little garden in the middle of the town!
Nutstuin is a little secluded garden area right opposite the Grote Kerk in Den Haag, along a busy street and one of the main shopping areas and hidden away behind a fence of buildings, carparks and with only a tiny little entrance to give away it's location. It is incredibly easy to miss if you don't realise that there is something there!
I would have to say, I would still be completely oblivious to the fact that it actually existed if I hadn't recently done a little garden concert there! And the only reason that I was doing outdoor garden concerts was due to the Coronavirus limitations on indoor concerts! So, from clouds... there are sometimes little silver linings!
So, from the very first photo, behind the building on the corner there is this lovely little garden space that is open to the public. The building in the photo directly above is the back of the building that features in the first photo!
There are two ways into the garden, there is a little alleyway that is labelled Nutstuin, but if you aren't looking for it... I'm pretty sure that most people would just walk past it! Or you can come from the building that is in the photo... which means that you are going through a sort of community music/arts space.
There is a nice cafe/restaurant in the back of the building from which you can buy all sorts of healthy style food... and the coffee is pretty decent as well! It is a touch on the expensive side, but that is to be expected for a place that is in the middle of the city. Interestingly enough, you pay by the weight of the food... odd way to do it, but it does incentivise against overeating and waste!
Outside, there is the open garden area with seating space under umbrellas, and this terraced area (which was where we were playing from). There is a small grassed area if you prefer that, and entire space is shielded from the sounds of the town (traffic and everything) by the ring of buildings around it. The only exception being the side that is bordered by a multi-story carpark from which you do hear some noise.
It is strange that this is the way that things are done in Europe. In Australia, I'm not used to the idea that there are hidden space behind the buildings. Here in the Netherlands at least, the buildings go right up to the street... and there are lots of interesting things to be found in the spaces behind them!
So, if you are finding yourself in the middle of The Hague, and in need for an escape from the horrific shopping areas... this is definitely a good recommendation! Quiet and surrounded by very few people... it is the perfect place to plop down and read a book whilst enjoying a nice coffee and banana cake. Did I mention that the coffee is great! Well, the food is pretty damn decent as well!