Frisk is like a Scandinavian city trip at Het Spaarne Haarlem
From hygge, lykke and lagom to Baum und Pferdgarten, Søstrene Grene and HAY: all the good comes from Scandinavia. Even when we talk about food. Contrary to what IKEA makes us believe, Scandinavian cuisine is much more than meatballs with cranberry sauce. Pretty tasty every now and then, only very different from the authentic New Nordic Cuisine. For an introduction with this kitchen, I went to Frisk aan het Spaarne.
Frisk, on the river Spaarne, is situated in a beautiful spot just outside the center of Haarlem. From the center of the city you are there by boat within a few minutes. I came (by lack of a boat) by bike. Halfway through the ride the navigation could already be switched off; the impressive building (the former Droste chocolate factory) that Frisk houses can't to be missed. Such a special building and location deserves an at least as special destination, the owners must have thought. Compared to other spots in Haarlem, Frisk aan het Spaarne is completely different. In a very positive way.
‘Being different’ turned out to be exactly the intention of Merel and her husband Frank. In 2015, the couple started the creative place Het Veerkwartier. Two years later Frisk followed: a multifunctional, Scandi-inspired place where Haarlemmers, digital nomads, lost tourists and hotspotters meet each other. To dine extensively, meet deadlines, stare over the water or shoot some nice pictures.
I still don't understand why Merel apologized when I entered Frisk. For 'the chaos'. Ha, I only saw beautiful things and even started an enthusiastic exploration through the building. A treat itself: Frisk is spacious, light and very nicely styled. Good work, for such a huge space that also consists of several subspaces. I discovered a bar, a sitting area including a huge sofa, a conservatory and a pastel colored (pink! mint!) restaurant area. I love it. Or, as they say in Denmark: jeg elsker det. Now that I have already thrown in some Danish terms: Frisk means fresh, by the way.
Merel and Frank are very keen on sustainability. A lot of attention goes to unprocessed, local and seasonal products. Obviously all frisker than frisk, and generally super healthy. In the dishes you will find a lot of vegetables and healthy fats, but of course you can also order kanelbullar and semlor (the famous fika treats). Every Sunday morning is Smörgasbrod: brunching in buffet style, for a fixed price and with all kinds of tasty things.
After my lunch, which consisted of French toast with cinnamon sugar (maybe not necessarily Scandinavian, but tasty), sourdough bread with pickled herring and knäckebröd with cottage cheese, I am convinced Frisk and I are a match. Merel and Frank have done it again; they've opened a creative, distinctive and special place. I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu. Especially gravad lax, pickled vegetables, pickled herring and the beetroot pie. I'll say it one more time: Jeg elsker det!