Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A trip to the Polish Pottery Outlet in Holland and a quick stopover in Utrecht (Apr 10)

Finally, after trying to find a time that worked for both of us, Stephanie and I organized a trip up to the Polish Pottery Outlet in The Netherlands (aka Holland) on a Friday when we both didn't have French class. They're only open on Fridays and only during certain hours which I think are from 9:30 - 2:00, but you should always call ahead to make sure since I heard that they are closed for a few weeks here and there. Anyway, we asked several people to go with us, but unfortunately no one else could make it, which probably ended up being good considering Stephanie and I are a bit indecisive and took much longer than we should have at the outlet!

This opportunity is available mostly for non-European Union members; thus you mainly see Americans, Canadians, and Japanese ladies at the outlet, though I'm sure some Europeans still go. There are so many choices that it's a bit overwhelming when you first step in to the warehouse which is jam packed with every imaginable shape and pattern of Polish Pottery. Some of the items you could find included plate settings, lasagna dishes, quiche and pie pans, numerous styles of bowls, butter dishes, soap dispensers, platters, bread loaf and muffin pans, tea sets, candy dishes, and the list goes on! I believe it's the only warehouse outside of Poland where you can get your Polish Pottery fix, minus a few stores that carry a few pieces. Actually the American Women's Club of Brussels gift boutique carries a small, yet nice collection of Polish Pottery. Anyway, once we did a walk through and picked out a few pieces, we went back to examine more to add to our cart. I mostly came to buy gifts and only a few items for myself because I can't justify buying too many pieces since I have brand new dishes waiting for me back in the US along with several entertaining dishes which I wasn't allowed to bring over. My husband kept saying, "Do we really need all this kitchen stuff in our shipment, don't you know how small our apartment will be?" well, I guess he was right! It will almost be fun to return home and use some of the wedding gifts that we weren't able to bring with us which are currently in storage at Shannon's parents' place. It will feel like we just got married again!

In particular I really liked the quiche / pie pans and ended up buying one along with some cute candy and nut dishes. I also bought a few items for presents, but I found it quite difficult to pick out for others not knowing their tastes and especially the colors of their dishes. Stephanie ended up with a few unique entertaining dishes to add to her collection. We really enjoyed our experience and I'm sure we'll make another journey up there since it's only around 2 hours from Brussels; maybe when my mom returns or when my mother-in-law comes as I think they might like some of this stuff. After showing my photos to a few friends, I heard that they also made the road trip up there and had an equally good time! Here is the website to the outlet if any of you are interested in making the trip.

Once we had left the outlet, we headed to Utrecht (still in Holland) for lunch since it was only 30 minutes away and on our way back. We had never been there before and I heard it was kind of cute. Since it was such a beautiful day we were able to enjoy our lunch on one of the several cafe terraces. Later, we walked along one of the canals weaving in and out of shops and just enjoyed being outside on such a lovely day. We were going to visit a castle called Kasteel de Haar and its surrounding park in a city nearby, but we ran out of time, so maybe we'll check it out on our next trip up that direction.
Some of the beautiful quiche / pie pans
Aren't they so pretty!
A fun shape and design which could be used for any side dish
Bread loaf pans
The warehouse is crowded with tightly packed aisles of Polish Pottery both in and out of boxes.
You can see why it was so difficult for Stephanie and I...look at the huge selection we were tempted with! Crazy designed bowls
Similar to lasagna pans, but with a little more character
Huge platters for entertaining
Cute little tea pots
Muffin pans
Soap dispensers
Utrecht, NL proved to be a cute city
I'm not sure if these guys were sun bathing outside their window or what!
Cute canal that goes through the city
We ate at the cafe on the right
Utrecht's "Domkerk" - This magnificent cathedral took almost 3 centuries to build, from 1254 to 1517.
The nave collapsed during a violent storm in 1674 and was never reconstructed; the choir and transepts survived and remain disconnected from the tower .

When it's a sunny day in Europe, I think everyone forgets about their work and ends up on some cafe terrace!
You can tell I'm in Holland, there are bikes everywhere and a canal behind me!
It's very common to see flower booths in The Netherlands
I just love Holland's wooden shoes; someday I will probably have to buy some!
There are even cafes down by the water
Stephanie and I enjoyed some ice cream as we strolled along the canal


Simone said...

I wish I could have gone -- it looks like you guys had a great time! Plus, now I want to visit Utrecht (up 'til now all we've seen is the traffic on the ring road on the way to/from Amsterdam).

Sarah A said...

Looks like you guys had a blast. Give me a call next time you go, I'd love to tag along :)

karen said...

was it expensive to buy the polish pottery there?
should i start planning my trip to the netherlands to purchase or should i just buy it here in the states?

Anonymous said...

Also, wondering about the expense. How does it compare to buying the pottery in the shop?