Yep, you read that right; during our time in Holland we went to a factory that produces both cheese (gouda) and traditional Dutch clogs. We had a cheese-making demonstration in one room, and a clog-making demonstration in the other. I always wondered how clogs were made…and Irene Hoeve still makes them by hand! If it sounds kind of touristy, it is (I think they cater to tourists), but seeing the cheese/clog-production in action was a very neat experience. Not to mention that as much as I LOVED Amsterdam, it was nice to get out of the city for a bit and view the gorgeous countryside that Holland has to offer.
[Ceiling clog storage in the room of clogs]
Did I mention that we got to do a cheese tasting? Look at all of this delicious gouda at our fingertips! They told us to start from right to left, as the cheese flavors were strongest on the left end, and more subtle on the right.
The clogs were just so beautiful. I was tempted to buy a pair (when in Holland, right?), but ultimately ended up buying a few other trinkets – they have a pretty big selection of souvenirs in their tasting room.
A couple of my travel mates bought themselves a pair of clogs, a decision they later regretted; the clogs are light but certainly take up space in a suitcase!
[Strawberry vruchtenwijn (fruit wine) that they served us while sampling cheese]
[Mondrian-inspired painted cow in the gift shop]
[Also loved the tulips on this one]
Overall, I had a great time, and the folks here were so nice. If you enjoy a bit of touristy kitsch, then a stop at Irene Hoeve is a must! It was just a short and easy trip from our hotel in the south part of Amsterdam (Museumkwartier to be exact). Address below:
Irene Hoeve Cheese + Clogs
There is more of our time in Holland to come…next up: Volendam!