16th February, 2015

We love a hidden gem here at The Carter Company. So when one of the family members recently visited Leiden and was shown around by a local resident (by bike and on foot, no less!), we were delighted to hear of the beautiful Cafe de Bonte Koe. An old fashioned Dutch 'living-room-cafe' over 120 years old, it was once rated in the top 20 bars in The Netherlands. Despite this, it's very much an authentic local hotspot, rather than a tourist trap. Step inside for a taste of real Dutch style and cafe culture!

Although the bar is fairly old fashioned, it features a highly original design. Tiles of gorgeous hues and fantastic detail cover pretty much every wall. Many depict agricultural scenes, with farmers and cattle set amidst a classic Dutch landscape, reflecting Holland's traditional agriculture-based economy.

And then there's the beer! Of course. Wilderen Blonde is quite rare, especially on tap, but here you can indulge in as many glasses as you like. Even the pumps are special designs from the 70s. Beware though, the beer glasses are so giant you need two hands to lift them!

All in all then, a quintessential Dutch 'brown bar'. Small, dark, and cosy with relaxed drinking vibes. You can find out more on the cafe's website.

Why not visit Leiden on our cycling holiday in Holland?

If all this talk of kicking back with a refreshing pint in Cafe de Bonte Koe has tickled your fancy, why not book a spot on our ever-popular 'Highlights of Holland' cycling holiday. A 6 night wonderfully gentle, self-guided tour, it begins in Leiden and finishes up in Amsterdam - where you can choose to stay for an extra night or two and experience all that the capital has to offer. The route takes in a stunning mix of heritage rich towns, breathtaking coastline, picture postcard countryside and maritime history. Plus there's overnight stays in some very individual and stylish 3 and 4 star hotels. It's the best way to see Holland!