6 things to see or do in Punda, Curaçao

If you are a day or two in Curaçao you might want to do these things to get a feeling of the Capital of Curaçao, Willemstad. Willemstad is divided by the Anna Bay in two halves, Punda and Otrobanda.
The two halves are connected by the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, the swinging old Lady.
the pontoon bridge
Crossing the bridge from Otrobanda (“the other side”) towards Punda (from the word “punt” or point) you see to your left our iconic Handelskade and to your right the Governor’s Palace.
gouverneur's paleis
1. Our first stop is at the Palace of the Governor, where you can enter the courtyard of Fort Amsterdam and visit the Fortkerk, a protestant church established in 1769. The Fortkerk has a museum you can visit.
In the Fortkerk there are regularly concerts, check local listings for that.
Coming back out of the courtyard you turn right and walk towards the Penha building, another icon of Punda.
SONY DSC.
You can stroll through the streets of Punda or head straight to our second stop. With the Penha building in front of you, go to your right towards the first square, da Costa Gomez square and turn onto the square to your left. At the end of the square turn right and you have the big yellow synagogue at the end of the street at your left.

2. The Mikvé Israel-Emanuel synagogue in Hanchi Snoa. Here you can visit the museum and admire the beautiful interior of the synagogue in a cool and serene environment.
Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue in Curaçao.
Yes, that is sand on the floor.

3. Out the door to your left and immediately left again walk two blocks up to the water of Waaigat, where you have to your left the Floating Market and to your right the New Market, a round building, and more to the right, about 100 yards/90 meters, the Old Market. The Old Market is our stop # 3.
I want to suggest you have your lunch right here at the Old Market and to stay ahead of the crowds be there at 11.45. Great photo op!
Order your lunch or let the girls advice you. A safe and delicious bet is fish…if you’re courageous you can try one of my favorites, Giambo, an okra soup filled with fish, shellfish and pig’s tale…and super slimy. Totally Fear Factor-like but than delicious at least. I like to eat at Zus, at the far end of the Old Market.

Zus at the Old Market

Share a Pumpkin Pancake as dessert. Angelica’s Kitchen’s version of the pancakes you can find here.
SONY DSC
4. When you’re done at the Old Market head straight back towards the Anna Bay and walk past the Floating Market, our colourful version of fresh fruits and vegetables and spices, brought in from Venezuela. Great photo op.
maritiem museum
5. At the end of the Floating Market, with the Anna Bay in front of you, turn to the right and cross the water towards the Maritime Museum..
If you are staying on the island, you can take a harbor tour on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s. Check with the Museum for more details.

handelskade6. To finish your tour of Punda you can relax at one of the cafe’s on the Handelskade and be in awe when the ships go in or out of the harbor. The pontoon bridge opens and closes so often, you are bound to witness a ship, small or tall, go in or out.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Punda.
And remember to relax and don’t worry, be happy, you’re in Curaçao.
If you have been to Curaçao before, please share your moments with us and please share this blog with your friends. Like us on Facebook at Angelica’s Kitchen.

7 or more things to do in Curaçao

If you are so lucky to visit my island Curaçao, here are my favorite places to visit for good food and music.
1. Monday’s at Cafe Restaurant de Heeren it is Salads at half price, for lunch or dinner. I love their Thai Beef salad. Comes in small or regular portion.
2. Tuesday’s it is at O’mundo, where you can start the evening with a nice dinner and stay for Juni Juliet, a great entertainer and singer.
3. Wednesday’s is for me sushi day at Craving Sushi, I go here for lunch. In the evening you can grab a movie, 2 for 1, at the Cinemas in the Renaissance Mall.
4. Thursday evening from 8-10 pm you can enjoy live Jazz at Blues at Avila Hotel with great musicians like Hershel Rosario and David Ronchi Matthews , who both played at Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival. CNSJ is held at the end of August. Must see.
Before Jazz you can have dinner in the area of Penstraat where the Avila Hotel is, where you have a choice of good restaurants like Fishalicious, Pane e Vino, Seasons Restaurant, Batavia Club 1920 and Rozenendaels, where the tenderloin is always good.
5. On Friday you can hop from Happy Hour to Happy Hour, starting as early as 4.00 pm or stay in one area, for instance Pietermaai, and enjoy Happy Hour at Miles Jazz Cafe, from 5.30-6.30 and continue down the street to have dinner at Mundo Bizzaro, where they also have a Happy Hour from 5.30-6.30.
6. Saturday is for me the day I play golf. You can enjoy a round of golf at Old Quarry Golf Course at the Hyatt or at Blue Bay Curaçao. I play at Curacao Golf & Squash Club on Saturday afternoon, the course is then only open for competition.
7. On Sunday I’m winding down and chill out at home. You on the other hand could go for a trip to Klein Curaçao with Miss Ann Boat trips. In the evening I go dance salsa at Hemingway.
And then we start over again. Next time I can tell you about other wonderful places and things to do on Curaçao. You can check out activities at K-Pasa or Go Weekly.

These are a few of my favorite things, I hope you have a chance to enjoy them when you visit Curaçao or that you have enjoyed it now with this virtual visit to Curaçao.
Tell me your favorite things to do if you already have visited Curaçao. I’d love to here from you.

Good food, good wine, good company

Last September 2012, Thérèse Boer of De Librije was in Curaçao, where she hosted a wine tasting held at Angelica’s Kitchen for a group of 40 guests. The wine tasting was organized by Dorine van den Elzen, who regularly gives workshops in Curaçao about wine and food pairing.
De Librije is a famous Dutch restaurant with 3 Michelin stars and is run by Jonnie Boer as the 3* chef and his wife Thérèse Boer as the host and wine master. It was interesting to learn how temperature, glass size and airing of the wine can influence the flavor of the wine. The same red wine served just 2-3 degrees warmer has such a different aroma and flavor. In Curaçao we often drink white wine straight from the fridge, which is at about 8 °C, a lot cooler than in Europe. When in Holland/outside the Caribbean I will have it at the normal temperature of 12-14 °C.
This October I had a chance to visit de Librije for the first time – I hope to go more often. I went with two dear friends and I have to say we had a ball. The food, the wine, the company was excellent. On the above photo you can see one of the amuses we had, a steak tartare on top of chives mayonnaise, a delicate balance of flavors and textures. This time I didn’t take a lot of pictures to show you, I was to busy enjoying the food and the wine, you’ll have to believe me that it is totally worth every euro for the 8 course menu + wine pairing that I had. Next time I’m in Holland I’ll do a workshop at de Librije’s atelier and stay at their hotel.
When you are on vacation, do you take cooking classes or go to Michelin star restaurants? Share your experience. And please let me know what you think of the post.