… the tastier the food gets!
The city of Dordrecht lies just a short distance from the south of Rotterdam. It’s one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with historic ports, old warehouses and a special heritage building that houses one of the best restaurants in the region.
Words: Ellen Scholtens
Cees Timmerman and his wife Ester Weber ran a cosy ‘living room’ restaurant for many years but their food was in such high demand that they had to look for a larger premises. Restaurant DeliCees’s chef and hostess/sommelier have been residing in Dordrecht’s historic city centre for six years now, in an old patrician’s building at the foot of the Grote Kerktoren (The Church of Our Lady).
Dordrecht is less than 30-minutes from Rotterdam by car, or around 15 minutes by train. A short walk from the station, via the old Rutte distillery and shop (tip: drop into the tasting room on the way) and you soon find yourself tottering down Dordrecht’s charming old cobblestoned streets.
Restaurant DeliCees combines stately elegance with a modern decor. You can dine next to the kitchen, the fireplace or in the library – which is also available for private dining. In the latter, you can enjoy your meal and browse an impressive collection of cookbooks, with titles from Escoffier to René Redzepi’s ‘Noma’.
Cees Timmerman works with fresh produce and has his own vegetable and flower garden. He imparts a Dutch nuance to Mediterranean cuisine, in particular Italian and Spanish cuisine. The results are à la carte dishes such as beetroot with burrata and anchovies and a special preparation of Iberico pork. However, most guests like to try the three to seven course ‘surprise’ menus. The high standard of cooking, great service, not to mention the fantastic wines, guarantee a special evening at DeliCees, a restaurant that is a household name in the region.
Lange Geldersekade 8, Dordrecht
Open: Wed – Sun from 6pm
Plan for a long stay in Dordrecht because it is one of the most idyllic places to eat, drink and spend a night. From the monumental Villa Augustus Hotel in a refurbished water tower, you can enjoy a view on the river in one direction and the vegetable and flower gardens in the other. Stroll through a courtyard flanked with lemon trees to the café-restaurant with its own bakery, book and gift shop and a market. Organic seasonal and regional products are served from the open kitchen restaurant, including produce from the restaurant’s garden. The house salad with edible flowers, pizzas from the large wood-fired oven and the fruit de mer platter come highly recommended.
Tip: catch the Waterbus to Dordrecht from Rotterdam’s Willemskade (bicycles are allowed on board). It’s around an hour’s trip from there to a mooring dock near Villa Augustus.
Oranjelaan 7, Dordrecht
Open: every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Post’s owners love Mediterranean cuisine. That means tapas, fresh pasta, wood-fired pizzas and real bouillabaisse from Marseille. There’s a definite Mediterranean vibe to this restaurant and gastrobar, located on the street known as ‘de rode loper’ (the red carpet) that runs from the train station to the town centre.
The former post office, with its huge windows, is a popular meeting place and has a good selection of dishes to choose from, whether that be fines de claire oysters, spaghetti with mussels and tomatoes or ‘Confidential Post’, a surprise menu of small dishes. The gastrobar is the centre of activity; you can enjoy a cup of coffee with something delectable from Post’s own patisserie, or sit down and enjoy some tapas, pintxos, a glass of wine or a beer from a selection available on tap.
Johan de Wittstraat 127, Dordrecht
Open: every day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner
Herberg De Kop van ‘t Land
Swede cooked in salty dough, red sauerkraut with beet curd and rye bread ice cream are just a few of the exciting dishes served in this ’inn’ on the Nieuwe Merwede, right next to the Dordrecht polders and De Biesbosch National Park. Everything revolves around vegetables at this restaurant; you won’t even register the absence of fish or meat, so pure and rich are the flavours on your plate. De Kop van ‘t Land also serves organic wines, has four guest rooms, and provides a hearty, fresh breakfast. A perfect spot to set out from when cycling, walking and having a picnic or a trip on the Fluisterboot.
Zeedijk 32, Dordrecht
Open: Thurs – Mon for dinner
The monumental building ‘Bellevue’ is located at Groothoofd, the most beautiful spot in Dordrecht, on the corner of a quay where three large and one small river converge. This boutique hotel, also known as Hotel Restro, has a stylish interior with vintage candlesticks, plush furniture and dark green walls everywhere. You can dine here for lunch, choices include ham and eggs and shrimp croquettes, and dinner, the roast salmon with sweet and sour vegetables is a popular choice.
Boomstraat 37, Dordrecht
Open: every day for lunch and dinner