A shopping trip to Zierikzee? Now that’s a good idea!
Written by: Roswitha Guiran
Of course, as a local gal (a ‘Zierikzeese’) I’m bound to know the best shops to visit in my beautiful home town on the Oosterschelde. Just mentioning them is good enough, but it’s even better to visit! If you ask me, Zierikzee is the most attractive town in all Zeeland, what with its 568 monumental buildings. The winding streets feel like they were put there just for ambling around them. Well, you’ll certainly find loads of shops worth dropping into. And when you need to recharge after an afternoon of shopping, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants to choose from. Some have a fascinating view out over the old, or new, harbour. Let me tell you my way to spend a day in Zierikzee.
When I walk into town, I hear the clocks pealing on the old town hall on the Meelstraat. They put me in the right mood straight away. We decide, for starters, to treat ourselves to a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, and pick out ‘De Zeeuwse Hemel’, a restaurant-cum-café-cum-shop with a glorious garden out at the back. You can sit here quietly and enjoy some of the yummy goodies they’ve prepared. You can just taste their love of food. The rest of the street is a charming array of authentic shops and restaurants.
Hard to get away, but worth the effort. We go outside to take a look at the ‘Maarpleintje’ square, with a fountain in the middle. You can’t miss the murals on one side. In the summer, you’ll often find painters and other artists holding Montmartre-style events.
Next I decide to get something nice for a friend. She doesn’t live in Zeeland so I always enjoy selecting something Zeeuws. A good place to look around for this is the Poststraat, which takes you right into the town centre. All sorts of shops there: the brands are there, as they should be in a decent town. And heaps of savvy entrepreneurs have set up shop in a historic old building. A palette of clothes to browse around, with a range of styles and brands and something for every purse.
Tip: when you’re looking around in a shop, take time to look up at the décor. Each building is prettier than the next!
And Havenplein offers not just a fine spread of café terraces, but some great shops too. Like the hip ‘De Zeepfabriek’ which has a super range of home-made artisanal soap. You can’t miss it. You won’t!
By now, those shoppers’ hunger pangs are back, so I grab a Zeeuwse bolus pastry from the baker’s. We head off over the Havenplein square to visit the old harbour and we contentedly nibble away at the bolus. This is one of my favourite spots. Now I need to recharge after our meandering, and get ready for some more.
I walk back with the others to the Havenplein because there’s a shoe shop there with the latest collections. Must go. And then, to round off the shopping trip, I always stop by the Fair Trade ‘Wereldwinkel’ shop. As well as its stock of original gift items and foodstuffs from various countries and cultures, the building itself is interesting. Called the ‘Gravensteen’, this former prison was built in 1358. You can visit by appointment: I warmly recommend it.
And yet again, time to top up, after my day out in Zierikzee. We head off to the Grandcafé de Werf restaurant. The coolest location in Zierikzee, championed by the floating terrace in the harbour. The sun has come back so we sit there and order a round of drinks and nibbles, and I peep at what I’ve bought today. Happy with all that, a glass of wine in my hand, the sun on my face, somehow my eyelids droop. Feels good.