Delft is a small agreeable town that remains largely unchanged since 17th century.
Most of the town life is concentrated on the main town square, Markt, which has the town hall on one end and the Nieuwe Kerk on the other. The church bells ring melodically every 15 minutes. Inside the church, there are stands depicting history of the country and the House of Orange, as well as some stained-glass windows. We did not climb to the tower top.
The Oude Kerk, with its leaning tower, was closed during our last visit.
Delft has its own canal network, which can even be toured by boat. Because the town is small, renting a bicycle ♥ allows for a less hectic touring than a similar one in Amsterdam.
Places to Eat
All places last visited in Spring 2008.
Vlaanderen ♥♥♥, on Beestenmarkt, is a French-influenced restaurant, despite its name. The non-smoking section is on a covered patio, in a very nice environment. Good wine selection, excellent service, great food. A seasonal prix-fixe menu (€36.50) is a combination of small portions of three appetizers, three main courses, and three desserts. Works rather wonderfully. The rest of the menu has many great choices; there is a separate kids menu. Our damage: €160 for the family of four, including a bottle of wine and gratuities.
On the same leafy square, Jill’s appears as not a bad place to have dinner, but our experience there was so-so. It should be noted that we targeted a different place, LEF, which is several blocks away, but it did not take reservations and happened to be fully occupied when we showed up; after checking out a couple of other places, we ended up at Jill’s because they had a table available. The food was pretty good; Dutch mustard soup was very interesting, and beef entrecôte was juicy and tender. The service, though, left a lot to be desired. We were not offered a wine list, and, having indicated that we would like some red wine, received a bottle of middling merlot. There were seemingly plenty of waiters, who moved rather frantically; yet, we waited for long intervals for our food. Furthermore, upon finishing our appetizers, we idly sat for over half hour, and then were told that one of our entrée selections was no longer available for the night. We refused to pick a substitute at the danger of having to wait for it even longer, which may have been a mistake, since the remaining main courses arrived good twenty minutes later. We ended up leaving without waiting for desserts, since our 7-year-old was falling asleep by that time. (On a positive side, we asked for a special treatment for our picky child, and were served a branch of fresh cherry tomatoes for her, which was not on the menu at all). The damage was €75 for three appetizers and two main courses, with a bottle of wine.
Hotel de Emauspoort ♥♥♥ sits directly behind the Nieuwe Kerk in the very town center (the bells of the church, ringing through the night, is the only negative). There is no parking by the hotel, but if you park in the central underground garage Zuiderpark, you will get a discounted daily parking rate from the hotel.
We occupied Room #1, De kamer van Jan Vermeer, is a two-level loft decorated with prints of the works by Vermeer, including his most famous, Girl with a Pearl Earring. There is plenty of living space, a double bed on the lower level, and two single beds in the upper loft. The room is furnished to evoke a painter’s studio of the 17th century, replete with an easel and paintbrushes, as well as toilet utilities of the age (don’t worry, those are for decorate; a modern bathroom is part of the suite), and accentuated by exposed beams.
Breakfast selection is not very extensive, but quite sufficient, and served in a pleasant dining room. Bread and pastries that are baked on premises are delectable. Last stay: 2008.