A green oasis smack in the middle of town; this is the best way to describe Rood & Bloem, the urban garden shop owned and run by Carolien Rutgers (34). At the end of last year, the shop relocated from the industrial hall Vechtclub XL to Springweg in the centre of Utrecht. Rood & Bloem sells pot plants, ceramics and home accessories, as well as greeting cards, soaps and fresh tea. And for those of us with (or without) green fingers: Carolien regularly gives creative workshops.

> Rood & Bloem
Springweg 14

by Dieuwke de Boer

Cool place
‘I live in Leidsche Rijn district, so I bike over the Dafne Schippers bridge into town every day. I love this cycle path. I also enjoy running on Het Lint, an eight-kilometre route through Máxima park. Metaal Kathedraal in De Meern, close to Utrecht, is a cool place where they regularly organise great activities, including markets. The building itself is stunning, but don’t forget to wander through the lovely gardens behind it.’

Metaal Kathedraal, Rijksstraatweg 20, De Meern | metaalkathedraal.nl/en

Unique experience
‘I often advise people to try De Klub restaurant on Europalaan. They’ve nailed the entire concept: delicious food and good wines, combined with friendly staff and a great location. All in all, a unique experience. Before you go to eat, have a beer next door in De Kromme Haring brewery pub. I also enjoy Concours on Biltstraat, organic restaurant GYS on Amsterdamsestraatweg and Le Jardin on Mariaplaats. The food in Le Jardin is to die for! And I’d recommend checking out new bistro on Vredenburg: De Utrechter.’

De Klub, Europalaan 2B | deklub.nl
De Kromme Haring, Europalaan 2C | dekrommeharing.nl
Concours, Biltstraat 23 | restaurantconcours.nl
GYS, Amsterdamsestraatweg 113 | gysutrecht.nl
Le Jardin, Mariaplaats 42 | lejardinutrecht.nl
De Utrechter, Vredenburg 40 | deutrechter.nl

Evening out
‘If I fancy a nice glass of wine, I go to Talud9 on Donkere Gaard or VinVin in Predikherenstraat. They don’t have a wine menu at VinVin; the owner asks what you like and then finds something suitable. TivoliVredenburg is a great place to go for concerts. I was there not long ago, visiting the indoor Biergarten on the fifth and sixth floors of the building. You can play table tennis, while sipping beer and munching popcorn. It’s great.’

Talud9, Donkere Gaard 9 | talud9.nl
VinVin, Predikherenstraat 19 | wijnbarvinvin.nl
TivoliVredenburg, Vredenburgkade 11 | tivolivredenburg.nl