Rotterdam by Gregor Jaspers
THE WEEKENDER - ROTTERDAM
- Founder of The Grey Men's Skincare -
"I love all beautiful things in life, whether it is food, fashion, art, or beauty. I am lucky to travel the world for my work, but Rotterdam is where my home is."
WHY DO YOU LOVE YOUR CITY?
Rotterdam has evolved into a vibrant city bursting with opportunities for creative people. However, on the surface, these opportunities can be hard to find. You need to know your way around or have a friend take you by the hand. Then, you will discover the best venues and meet the most inspiring people in unexpected locations. This raw layer just below the surface makes Rotterdam unique and unexpected. Having one of the biggest ports in the world means that Rotterdam has a large multi-cultural demographic, resulting in a city rich in world cuisine and exotic cultural locations.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL SATURDAY IN ROTTERDAM
My ideal Saturday would involve sleeping in a bit and waking up to fresh coffee and a new magazine in bed. Then, I'd slowly make my way to the Noordplein market—an organic and artisanal market located in the northern part of the center. Along the way, we'd pass by one of my favorite coffee places, "Man met bril," where we'd have a small breakfast and enjoy a perfect cappuccino before heading to the market. This market is a feast for enthusiasts of quality, as everything you see is grown, made, and prepared with love. After exploring the market, we'd venture into the center and take a leisurely stroll through ZOHO. We'd make a stop at "s’Zomers bloemen," a flower store with an excellent selection of flowers and small goods like perfume and candles.
Continuing our journey to the center, we'd head to Van Olden Barneveldstraat, where we'd indulge in some fashion shopping at "Devastator," "Ansh46," and "T0K10." Following our shopping spree, we'd unwind on the terrace or in the hotel bar (depending on the weather) at "Morgan and Mees" for some drinks. Eventually, it would be time to head back home and prepare a wonderful dinner for a group of my closest friends. We'd enjoy a long summer evening in our small garden, overlooking the park. This, to me, is the ideal Saturday!
Morgan en Mees
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD?
If you're unfamiliar with Rotterdam, navigating the city can be a bit challenging. Unlike traditional cities with a centralized downtown area, Rotterdam features a unique layout characterized by smaller neighborhoods scattered throughout the city center. One particular area that I find particularly captivating is around the Museum Park and Euromast Park, which offer the best of both worlds. Here, you'll discover an array of museums, delightful parkside restaurants (like Parqiet), and charming bars tucked along the streets in between.
The Witte de Withstraat is also a vibrant hub, renowned for its lively bars and enticing eateries. Another personal favorite of mine is the vicinity around Pannekoekstraat and De Meent. This area is a treasure trove of independent fashion boutiques, captivating vintage shops, and noteworthy establishments such as Hendrikus and Nen Xavier.Despite being situated in the city center, this part of Rotterdam exudes a distinct charm, characterized by its absence of skyscrapers and the tranquil rhythm of its streets.
WERE TO STAY
My favorite hotel is Supernova, situated on 's-Gravendijkwal. This boutique hotel is owned by two young guys who are widely regarded as tastemakers in the city. The hotel boasts a delightful cocktail bar and offers charming garden rooms.
Just recently, another gem named Morgan and Mees has emerged in the Museum Quarter. This new establishment features an exceptional restaurant and a late-night cocktail bar. The rooms are fantastic, and for those seeking a touch of luxury, they offer a suite with an impressively large terrace, providing an incredible panoramic view of the entire city.
WERE TO GET THE BEST COFFEE
"Unfiltered" on Van Oldenbarneveldstraat is a minimalistic slow coffee bar with a great selection of coffees, and, of course, "Man met Bril," who roasts their own blend on the spot. Another must-see is the recently opened "Nice" Coffee and Eatery, a fantastic small contemporary coffee bar at the end of Hoogstraat, perfect for enjoying coffee and lunch while immersing yourself in the local street culture.
WERE TO EAT AND DRINK
For food, I love to go to Bar Simon, Viskantine aan de Cool, Marseille, Bar Berta, and La Pizza. I am a sucker for Thai cuisine, and Deli Bird on the Deliplein is the best in town. The upcoming area in the south of Rotterdam is worth a visit as it houses great restaurants and impressive architecture. For some more fine dining, I would recommend Heroine and Putain. Both locations are beautiful, but Putain is a floating restaurant in the harbor, so if you have to pick only one, this would be the one.
"For summer drinks, go to Biergarten and sit outside with the locals. While you're there, check out the agenda at Annabel, our local pop podium; you might be surprised by the artists! Head to De Witte de With and visit NRC for drinks, and don't forget the cocktail bar at Putain.
SHOPS WE CANT MISS
When it comes to fashion, ANSH46, T0K10, and Devastator stand out as prime destinations, all located on one street, De van Oldenbarneveldstraat. These stores offer meticulously curated selections of fashion brands. For the finest vintage finds, a visit to Hendrikus and Nen Xavier on de Pannekoekstraat is a must. If you venture across the bridge to the southern part of Rotterdam, near Hotel New York, you'll come across Margreet Olsthoorn (or just Margreeth, as locals call her) and her distinctive fashion collection. Sneaker lovers should head to Woei.
For skincare and perfume enthusiasts, Skins Cosmetics is the go-to spot, offering an unparalleled selection of the finest products in the realm.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Depot is undoubtedly worth a visit. While our primary museum is currently undergoing renovations, many of its exhibits are housed in The Depot, which is open for public viewing. It showcases a small yet exceptional selection of art. Additionally, the rooftop terrace offers a panoramic 360-degree view of the city. I highly recommend a trip to Kralingse Plas, our largest park and lake. It's a wonderful place to explore. And don't forget the Noordplein market on Saturdays; the vibe is eclectic, and you can find great food to take home or enjoy on the spot with a glass of wine.
YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL HOTSPOTS
I adore the new hidden gem, Krozant. This place crafts homemade croissants with unexpected toppings in the basement of a parking garage—an intriguing concept that you simply must experience. Another hidden gem is my friend's establishment, Houtman and Menkveld, a deli offering the most exquisite cheese, ham, and canned foods. Situated by the side of the Euromast park and the riverbank, it's the perfect spot to gather your picnic essentials and head to the park.
As a cooking enthusiast, Kookpunt is a haven for me. It's the largest kitchen and food store in the Netherlands, with an extensive selection of barista tools as well. I enjoy spending time there, exploring new kitchen gadgets and perusing the latest cooking books. For a rainy day, I have a favorite spot—Kino, the ultimate independent movie theater. Arrive a bit early before your arthouse film screening to savor the best smash burger in town at their in-house restaurant, "NIKO." It's the ideal way to make the most of a gloomy day.
ABOUT THE WEEKENDER
Our "The Grey" friends, family and ambassadors has grown into an amazingly interesting community of men based all over the world. And what better city guides than local heroes with exquisite taste for food, fashion, and culture to guide you through our world metropolises? Enjoy the inside information of our community." Safe travels