Instagram Travel: Antwerp & ‘s-Hertogenbosch Sweet Treats

by farrah on August 15, 2013 · 20 comments

Once again I’m linking up with Katja at Skimbaco Lifestyle and some other fine travel bloggers for Instagram Travel Thursday. Check them all out- you might be inspired to visit someplace new! Today I’m talking about a couple of towns just a few train stops away- Antwerp and ‘s- Hertogenbosch. Both have some total mind-blowing deliciousness to be found.

Sweet Day Trippers

I realize that my last post was all about letting loose with your inhibitions when it comes to the beach and body image- and today’s post isn’t going to do much to help that. I blame my mother in law. She’s here visiting and this week while the kids are back at school she and Grandpa are taking day trips. So far they’ve done Amsterdam, Antwerp and Den Bosch. On these day trips my mother in law kindly brings us all back treats and doo-dads from her travels.

Antwerp Hand Cookies

Yesterday they were in Antwerp and brought back these cookies. I’ve heard two stories regarding them- one that the hands symbolize those of an evil giant who had his hands cut off by a hero- the other is that the hands were cut off of merchants who arrived in Antwerp unable to pay the tax. The hands were then thrown in the canal. Either way, these cookies are traditions and cannot be sold as true ‘hand cookies’ anywhere else. We loved the buttery thin texture.

‘s-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch)

Den Bosch is a beautiful city- great shopping, cafes and open market. We’ve been there on several occasions- however this was the first time for my in laws- and they had a wee bit more time than we usually have, additionally without three small distractions.

Tuesday my mother in law excitedly messaged my husband and I to say ‘Not to worry! I have dessert under control!”. Not thinking much of it- I mean, she was in Den Bosch. I’ve been there. Sure it’s a great town, but what could she possibly bring home that I hadn’t already seen?

Well, how about this?

 Bossche Bollen van Jan de Groot

O.M.G does NOT cover this giant ‘bon bon’. I don’t like chocolate eclairs- which is what I thought that it was. Expecting custard, this deliciously chocolate covered pastry was filled with a dense, freshly homemade whipped cream. INSANE. The chocolate is a cross between dark and milk- so it hits that perfect sweet spot. No pun intended.

You can find ‘make your own’ recipes online. From what I know you can also buy these in other shops.. however: THE ONLY PLACE TO REALLY GET THEM IS AT Jan de Groot in Den Bosch! When my in laws were told to try some of these at Jan de Groot, my mother in law asked ‘Where is it?’ and people told her ‘Don’t worry. You’ll see the line.’

Did she ever. She said it was a well oiled machine of a pastry shop with a line out the door and everyone waiting for these incredible treats.

I know why. You’ve just got to try one. You must. I’m having this for breakfast.


If you get the chance, head to Den Bosch- and whatever you do, do not leave until you try some of the Bossche Bollen!!!

Hop over to check out the rest of these great IG travel posts linked up on Skimbaco Lifestyle and her tip of the week.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katja of Skimbaco August 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

I love culinary travel and tasting the local foods, and when they are sweets… um, even sweeter!!! Thanks for joining us!


2 farrah August 15, 2013 at 7:50 am

Thanks for hosting, I love this Thursday link up!


3 Marloes August 15, 2013 at 7:49 am

My home town den Bosch! I love reading about it! And you’ve discovered the bossche Bol of jan de groot! Wherever we are when in holland, our friends & family always ask us to bring those! If you’re looking for a cosy tea place, go and have a high tea at ‘pink Lemmon’ in den Bosch!


4 farrah August 15, 2013 at 7:50 am

I was thinking of you when I wrote this 🙂 So glad you saw it. Wow are these things divine or what?! And thank you for the tip!!


5 Reeta @houseofanais August 15, 2013 at 8:00 am

I am such a treat lover and these just look irresistible. Soon my to-visit list has a zillion places to visit…


6 farrah August 15, 2013 at 8:15 am

These will do wonders for your sweet tooth cravings 🙂


7 Gayla August 15, 2013 at 8:09 am

I’ve been to Antwerp on numerous occasions and have never even seen the little hand cookies. How did I miss those??
But the Bossche Bollen I know all about and Jan de Groot is KING! Whenever Mike takes a trip and his train goes through Den Bosche, he hops off, runs over to the bakery (which is a short walk from the station) buys 4 bossche bollen and takes the next train home. 2 of the sweets are for us and 2 for our neighbors 🙂
Your in-laws are so lucky to have found all they did on their first try!!


8 farrah August 15, 2013 at 8:17 am

My in laws took a canal cruse and had an exceptional tour guide- who told them all about the cookies in Antwerp- as well as where to get them! And then in Den Bosch- I know it- how lucky are they? I felt kind of silly being so oblivious. If anything it’s like we have barely scratched the surface where we live!

Glad you’ve tried them. They are just… wow.


9 Chasing the Donkey August 15, 2013 at 11:41 am

Pasty, chocolate, cream… and coffee. BLISS!


10 farrah August 16, 2013 at 7:30 am

Sounds pretty good to me too 🙂


11 Ann August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

You know, when my parents and in laws have visited they also end up getting the coolest finds. I want to try both of these now, but I kinda want to go to the place with the balls tomorrow. Those look good!

Gayla: mikes next stop have him pick up 5 and we will drive over to your place to get it! 🙂


12 farrah August 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

I wonder why that is? Being a traveler in your own town might be something I discuss.- why haven’t I heard these stories? I feel kind of silly when they share them with me. Happy of course- but kind of like I’m missing something.


13 Tina Saib August 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

That bon bon looks amazing! I love enjoying sweet treats during travels. YUM!


14 farrah August 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

It was, and I’m thinking it was a great find by the in laws!


15 Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog August 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I love sweet treats, too. I’ve enjoyed your photos on IG. The hand cookies are amazing because they really do look like hands.

Thanks for linking up with us.


16 farrah August 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

Thanks for being a host! And I’m glad you like them. I really enjoy IG and with this linkup the tips are really coming in useful 🙂


17 Nadia Carriere August 16, 2013 at 1:19 am

My mouth is watering! Those treats look divine!


18 farrah August 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

They’re divine!


19 Satu VW August 16, 2013 at 9:33 am

Ok so my porridge breakfast seems even more dull after reading this post!! I really must travel somewhere soon with proper pastries… 🙂 How are you doing with the pronunciation of the place names by the way? ‘s-Hertogenbosch seems like quite a mouthful……


20 Nicole August 18, 2013 at 5:55 am

Beautiful! You’ve brilliantly combined my two passions: travel and delicious foods.


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