Whether it's a family vacation, a prolonged weekend at the beach or short trip to the sea - the Dutch province of Zeeland has always attracted campers from Central Europe. However, the often criticized shortcoming is the food: between Chinese restaurants, chips booths and tourist restaurants, it is sometimes difficult to find restaurants with good local cuisine. But the search actually is worthwhile, because Zeeland has a lot to offer.
Excursion tip 1: feasting in a former church - De Kleine Toren in Baarland
The restaurant "De Kleine Toren" on the Zuid-Beveland peninsula, for example, offers not only excellent local specialties but also a fascinating ambience. It is located in a former church in the village of Baarland, where services were held until September 2003. For some years now, chef Dennis van Nispen has been creating culinary delights from oysters, shrimps, sea bass and others. And while parents can enjoy the beautiful atmosphere that conjures up the sunlight through the old stained glass windows, the children are busy in the specially furnished play area. Dogs are also welcome here - the water bowl sometimes is even quicker at the table than the drinks for the dog owners. “De Kleine Toren” has been awarded a plate in the Michelin Guide for good quality cuisine and is not exactly low-priced. But if you want to treat yourself to something special as part of your motorhome vacation, this is the place for you.
Excursion tip 2: Visit to the mussel factory in Yerseke
The mussels and oysters from Zeeland usually make their way to the local sales counters and restaurants via the city of Yerseke, a small port town on the northeast coast of Zuid-Beveland. Here you'll find both small and large companies who handle the cleaning and processing of seafood. Some of these also allow visitors after prior notification to the local tourist office VVV. These include the company "Prins and Dingemanse", in which the mussels are washed several times within twelve hours, sorted by size and packed for dispatch. Here you can also find out which processes the mussels need to go through before they sit nicely packed in the refrigerated section of a supermarket. In fact, at least two years pass from growing to harvesting, during which the growing mussels have to be fished out again and again and relocated to new plots. The Dutch mussels can hardly be got fresher than in Yerseke. Stock up on mussels here and prepare them on the beach or at the campsite!
Excursion tip 3: oyster farming in Yerseke
Oysters from the Oosterschelde and the neighboring Grevelingen See are also processed in Yerseke. Small businesses specializing in oyster farming have settled near the large mussel factories. At Jaap Pekaar, there is a choice between a flat Zeeland and a Japanese Pacific oyster, with the local oyster having a more intense taste. Of course, this is also known to regular customers living in the area, who mostly shop here on Fridays and Saturdays for their own needs. If you are passing by Yerseke, you should definitely take a few oysters with you to enjoy them in the sun at the campsite.
If you prefer others to cook your shellfish meal for you, Yerseke is spoiled for choice: numerous restaurants have made mussels and other fish dishes a priority. These include, for example, the Oesterproeverij Pekaar with a direct view of the oyster farming basin, as well as the small Nolet's Vistro near the port, which is in the medium price range. For the smaller budget, the snack bar restaurant De Viskêête in the marina is recommended - a mixture of fish shop and bistro. Fish and shellfish can also be bought here. The Oesterbeurs restaurant in Yerseke is also very popular, but priced a bit higher. The menu here includes both freshly caught fish and meat dishes.
Excursion 4: Schellach cheese dairy near Middelburg
If you are looking for delicious ingredients for the fridge of your motorhome or caravan, you should also visit the Schellach cheese dairy on the outskirts of the city of Middelburg. The farm shop is buzzing here on Saturdays when various types of cheese and bread as well as various other dairy products, meat, and vegetables from their own production are handed across the counter. The family business operates both agriculture and dairy farming as well as a cheese dairy. For a small fee, visitors can explore almost every corner of the farm - from the stables and pastures to the cheese dairy, where delicious farm cheeses with different flavors are made from raw milk. Vegetables, fruit, and meat from the neighboring farms can also be purchased here, which does not make the decision on what to buy an easy task. For children, a visit to the calf barn is recommended.
Excursion tip 5: De Kleine Schorre winery
For those who are looking for the right wine with their mussels or oysters, a trip to Dreischor on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland is recommended. Wine grapes have actually been grown here at the De Kleine Schorre winery since 2001. The grapes used here, Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Rivaner, were explicitly selected to offer the perfect complement to the Zeeland specialties such as mussels, Osterschelde crayfish, oysters, flatfish, salt aster and sea asparagus. Visitors to the winery can convince themselves how delicious these Zeeland wines actually are. During the summer wine tastings and guided farm tours are offered here. Conveniently, the farm also runs a small campsite with sanitary facilities and a playground, so that after the wine tasting, nobody has to get behind the wheel of the motorhome.