What am I doing here?
– I bought a house in Hoofddorp.
By: Jennifer Hohepa-Lam, Efficient Hotel Partner, 6 September 2017
I was born in Haarlem and raised in Heemstede. Though Hoofddorp is only a 10-minute drive from Heemstede, I actually don’t know much about Hoofddorp. Well, the general stuff, but everything else is unfamiliar territory.
So, why did we buy a house there? Financial reasons for one. We’d love to live in Heemstede, but for the size house we’ve got now (138 m² living space, 5 bedrooms, front yard, back yard), I’d pay about € 100.000 more in Heemstede – at the very least! Another reason was the location. As British real estate tycoon Harold Samueis once said: “Location, location, location.” The house is close to the airport, busses, train station, shopping centers, sports fields, schools and it even has an artificial ski-slope nearby. The only aspect I’m missing compared to Heemstede, is the bicycle distance to the beach – 7km vs 16km. Oh well, you can’t have everything, right?
We received the keys on 9 December 2016 and have been renovating the house ever since. We moved in, in the beginning of May (with still plenty to do, but it’s liveable) this year and I thought this would be a could opportunity to educate myself on Hoofddorp.
Hoofddorp is a town in the council of Haarlemmermeer. Haarlemmermeer is a polder, consisting of land reclaimed from water and the name Haarlemmermeer means Haarlem’s Lake, still referring to the body of water from which the region was reclaimed in the 19th century.
Its main town is Hoofddorp. It is one of the largest towns (pop. 70,030) in the Netherlands whose name is not used as the name of a municipality. This town, together with the rapidly growing towns of Nieuw-Vennep and Badhoevedorp, forms part of the Randstad agglomeration. The Netherlands’ main international airport Schiphol is also located in Haarlemmermeer. If you’d like to learn more about the history of this region and how a lake was turned into a habitable area for humans, I’d recommend visiting the Haarlemmermeer Museum. I drive by this place almost every day and I’ve never been inside… shame!
Fun fact: Fanny Blankers-Koen, 4-time gold medallist at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, lived in Hoofddorp.
In doing research to write this blog, I found out that Hoofddorp has its own fort. It was built between 1903 and 1904. During WWII the fort was used by the Luftwaffe for their horses. These days, the fort is occupied as a firing range (members only). I might seriously consider joining to relieve the stress of renovating an entire house!
Another stress release for me is dancing. I love to dance! Ballet, Jazz-ballet, Salsa, Samba, Streetdance, I’ve done it all. The Netherlands is very famous for its dance scene. At the age of 15 I attended my first festival – Sensation. If you are a fan of dance and electronic music then Haarlemmermeer is the place to be in August. Mysteryland is held here every year. The festival is spread over several days and you can camp out in the grounds if you desire. It’s still on my bucket list and I’m sure it will be awesome!
Furthermore, I enjoy going out for dinner. There’s this nice little restaurant close by my house called l’Hirondelle, which I’ve been to twice already. Others are Joseph, Long Island and Baracca, but those are pretty much the only restaurants I’ve been to. During my research I found a couple of others which I think are worth visiting such as; Den Burgh, Vork en Mes, Lieveling, Papa’s Beach House (yay, close to a ‘beach’) and the Jopenkerk.
The Jopenkerk has a fantastic reputation for quality and its atmosphere. If you are in the city centre, this bar/restaurant can be found approximately 10 minutes walk from the main shopping complex on the Marktlaan. Aside from the food, you can also enjoy a fine selection of local beers, spirits and wines. Housed in an old church, the Jopenkerk also operates its own distillery and you can sample some of the drink that is brewed here while admiring the old architecture and cool settings of this wonderful place.
Fancy a visit? There are plenty of hotels in Hoofddorp which I can book for you at Efficient Hotel Partner. Or, just come visit our new house, our bedroom and guest bedroom (which we are planning to rent out in the future) pretty much look like a hotel room.
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