A visit to the Seal Sanctuary and lunch at “Zoet of Zout”

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Good day to you!

I hope you’ve had a good weekend. I know I did 🙂 To be honest: I spent waaaay to much time working on my new website. Especially on Saturday I felt my eyes turning into squares! But I was so keen to get it right that I wanted to work on it until it was. Hopefully you’re able to look at this post on a beautiful website now! Let me know in the comments what you think, or send me a message if you have any suggestions.

To summarize: on Saturday my mom and I went to the Seal Sanctuary close to our home. It opened recently, and we were curious to see it. After that we went for lunch at “Zoet of Zout”, which is a newly opened restaurant right next to the sanctuary. I will write about my experiences later in this post! In the afternoon I went for a coffee with two of my dear friends. We had so much to discuss, as always 😉 On Sunday I visited my cousin Dagmar in Amsterdam, but I will describe that in a different post. First: The sanctuary and lunch!

By the way: you can find pictures at the bottom of this post.

The Seal Sanctuary

“A seal” in Stellendam is a place where seals can be brought if they are stranded on a beach in the Netherlands. There was quite a number of seals in there so I’m afraid it happens way too often. We had to pay €9,50 to enter the building, and then we could walk around freely.

To be honest it made me a bit sad: the seals have so little space to swim and they make these crying sounds because they don’t understand what’s going on… Heartbreaking! But of course, they are not held captive without reason. The baby seals cannot survive without their mother, so they stay there until they are strong enough and learned how to swim. After that they are released and can go back into the sea.

Luckily there were some seals that seemed very happy, too. It’s so funny to see them reacting to humans, they seem so curious! I stare at them, they stare at me… I wonder what they are thinking at that moment, and if they realise what is going on. Anyways, it was fun to be there for half an hour but we were hungry too so we quickly moved on to the restaurant.

First impression of restaurant Zoet of Zout

The restaurant opened only a few weeks ago so it’s still very new. The appearance on the outside is rather… interesting: it’s a huge blue building! The inside however is very stylish. It’s a combination of industrial materials and warm, wooden furniture. The copper lamps on the ceiling combine these two in a beautiful area, and even though the restaurant is high and quite big it has a welcoming environment. The two fireplaces in the middle definitely help with that!

Staff

Unfortunately, we didn’t feel very welcomed by the staff. They were very busy so it was understandable that we had to wait sometimes, but I did not understand why they had to be so clear about it. They had those stressed out faces and were shouting at each other about having no time to help. Why?! I’ve worked as a waitress for quite some time, and one of the first things you are told is that a guest will feel what you are feeling and that being stressed out is no reason to be curt. Also, one of the main rules of being a good waiter or waitress is that you always ask if everything is okay, and that you try to refill or clear empty glasses as soon as possible. I wish I could be nicer about it but I’m afraid there’s a lot of work to do here!

There were some exceptions: we received many friendly smiles from some of the girls working there. They were busy too but still managed to radiate a certain calmness that was very reassuring! That’s the kind of service you want in a restaurant.

The food

Pheww, the food was something to be very positive about. The menu was a bit standard but that’s okay: there will always be something you like. I ordered the Fish and Chips, which I regretted once I tasted my mothers Dutch Weed Burger haha!

The fish and chips were nice: fresh, crispy battered fish with a good “sauce ravigote” and fries with truffle mayonnaise. Simple, but tasty! The Dutch Weed Burger however, was what I really liked. I only tasted a bite and my mother said she liked it but wasn’t sure if it was worth the money, but I loved it. The burger is made from seaweed and it’s placed on this green burger bun. There was some sort of sweet chilli sauce on top, and I really liked the combination of flavours! You can buy this burger at many restaurants and festivals in the Netherlands so I will definitely try it myself sometime.

(Meanwhile there are drunk people passing my house in weird costumes, screaming. Ahh, Dutch Carnaval… I tried so hard to hide from it!)

Dessert

Finally it was time for my favourite part! The desserts. This restaurant has quite a nice concept: you can choose multiple small glasses/plates of different desserts and combine this into one platter. So cool! I’m someone who can never choose, so this is perfect for me. You pay €2,75 per mini dessert, and 2-3 is recommended. We both chose 2: I had some sort of cake with white chocolate mousse and a crème brulee and my mom had ice cream and a very thin apple pie.

The apple pie was okay-ish, the other 3 desserts were really nice! Actually, it was one of the best crème brulees I’ve ever had… Yumm! Many points earned on that part.

Conclusion

All in all it was a nice restaurant visit. They earned some points, lost some points… Let’s see how they did!

The environment: 8/10

Staff: 5/10

Food: 8/10

Total: 7 out of 10

Still a good score! However, in real life the experience is more influenced by the staff than by the environment of course. But I think a 7 is a good score.

 

Well, that’s it for this review! I hope you enjoyed it, if you’re ever in the neighbourhood go and check it out… See you next time!

Vivian
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