Zwaanshals: the swan-necked beauty of Rotterdam

Zwaanshals is a street in the Old North district of Rotterdam. Together with the streets Zaagmolendrift, Zaagmolenkade and Noordplein, Zwaanshals is thé upcoming shopping and food district of Rotterdam. The term is the Dutch translation of Swan’s neck and is probably derived from the shape of the nearby Rotte river. Until the 19th century, the Old North belonged to the Ambachtsheerlijkheid (a Dutch polity that predominated in the Low Countries in the 17th century and arose from the feudal system) Blommersdijk and can be seen as one of the oldest inhabited places in the region. Nowadays, the Swan neck-area is the most vivid and desirable neighbourhood to visit in Rotterdam!

Zwaanshals in 1957

Zwaanshals in 1957 (picture via www.buikvanrotterdam.nl)

Rotterdam highlights part 2: Zwaanshals

In the Zwaanshals you can find multiple creative stores like Elle Aime (address: Zwaanshals 299) where they sell all kinds of DIY stuff, handmade gadgets and prints like the super detailed drawings of the mega talented illustrator Ferdy Remijn. Want a new piece of art? The art shop Gallery Art Now  (address: Zwaanshals 290) offers affordable contemporary art works, prints and products from young artists. My (of course) favourite of all is the antiquity shop called Antiquariaat Zwaanshals  (address: Zwaanshals 271) where you can get thrilled by used book hunting, but they also sell second-hand post cards and LP records. Do you have a love for cooking? Go to Kookpunt (address: Noordplein 29-41), the best cooking shop I have ever been!

Russian High Teas and Portuguese delícias

While walking around the Zwaanshals area, go and have a breakfast, lunch or high tea at Lof der Zoetheid (address: Noordplein 1). This (pastry) shop full of sweet and hearty delights started as a catering service by the Russian mother and daughter Anastasia and Elena de Ruyter. Everything they serve is home-made with pure ingredients.

Looking for something more Mediterranean? Bom Gosto (Address: Zwaanshals 275-277) is the place to be for traditional Portuguese cuisine! This caso de pasto has some great fish (like the arroz de marisco I had!) and meat stews prepared in the Portuguese cataplana pot. Muito bom! Oh, and good to know (and at the same time a bit of a flaw): make sure you take cash money with you because they don’t have a cash machine in the restaurant!

Later this month Brouwerij Noordt will open the largest city brewery of Rotterdam in an old fire station in the Zwaanshals. The concept is based on the one of the Brooklyn Brewery, which means drinking beer in a brewery instead of a bar. Brouwerij Noordt will cooperate with a couple of Rotterdam based restaurants and famous chef Herman den Blijker for special editions. Can’t wait to go there!

Cataplana  Bom Gosto

Arroz de marisco © De Buik van Rotterdam

As you read, there’s enough to do outside the city centre of Rotterdam. So, from now on: I you ever run around in down town Roffa and don’t know where to go, don’t forget to walk up to the north…

PS. Every first Saturday of the month there’s a market at Noordplein called R’damse Oogst where they only sell regional foods! Yeey!