A festive ex-Queen’s Day

Before 2014, April 30th used to be our national holiday (as opposed to now April 27th) when we used to celebrate our then-Queen’s birthday. I’m not really a monarchist but I do love this national holiday for all it’s fun-filled celebrations.

Queen Beatrix’ birthday is actually on January 31st but as that is too chilly for a celebration, she chose to keep Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) on April 30th, which had been her mother’s birthday. Even though it’s 8 years ago since the last Koninginnedag in 2013 (and since the coronation of her son as King), I still need to remind myself to call the new festival on April 27th King’s Day (our king’s actual birthday) and I still need to remember that April 30th, as it is today, is now just a regular day.

With Corona crisis measures still in place, there hasn’t been much public celebrating for King’s Day and today, on what I still like to call Queen’s Day, there are of course no parties to be found either. That doesn’t mean that this day hasn’t felt a little festive to me (and it’s got nothing to do with our ex-Queen)! Some Corona crisis measures have been slightly loosened here two days ago (the day after King’s Day), which means that there is no curfew anymore from 10 pm – 4.30 am, all shops are open again under strict regulations (mask wearing, hand sanitizing and limited visitor numbers) and from noon till 6 pm restaurants are allowed to open their terraces for outdoor lunching. So, today, despite chilly and wet weather, Mr Esther, mini me and I tried our luck.

We drove to Noordwijk, which is on the coast to the north of The Hague, and tried to find a terrace that is covered so we could eat out for the first time in over six months and stay dry as well. We found an Italian place and filled in the health check form…

… and although it was chilly and we had to keep our thick coats on, it was lovely to be able to eat out again! We warmed ourselves with hot chocolate and omelettes and a sandwich for Mr Esther…

Afterwards I wanted a glimpse of the sea but as we were cold and it was wet, we didn’t do any more than just glimpse.

Despite the cold, it felt like a little feast to be able to do this again on an ex-festive day such as ex-Koninginnedag. On a little side note: this going for lunch outside thing will be even more fun when the weather gets warmer but for today I will take what I can get.

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