De Winkel van Sinkel
May 11, 2018
The peculiarly named De Winkel van Sinkel is one of Utrecht’s cultural hotspots. Located in the heart of this fair city, and housed in an imposing lemon-yellow Grade-II listed 19th century building, it is something of a cocktail itself: part club, grand café and part restaurant with a liberal glug of chic thrown in for good measure. It lies beside canal the large elegant and it is by turns light and airy, a slope-ceilinged bar is swish and swanky, and its stage and night club beyond reproach. It’s all things to all men. Small one wonder it is held in such high regard. The grand café is the beating heart of the establishment. Mercifully, they have made a point of keeping many of the old fixtures, some of which have been put to a different use. A counter serves as the buffet, for example. The terrace at the front affords you a good view of the Old Canal and the Cathedral. The cuisine is eclectic, but has a marked French International bias. Before you step across the threshold, do stop and cast an eye on the four mighty caryatids which hold up the entablature and indeed the stucco work above the door. And what of that curious name? It was once the Netherlands’ first department store and inspired a rather rude song, the refrain of which goes: At the big shop of Sinkel’s, all things can be bought/Sweeties and shandies, undies for dandies/Needles for knitting, and tablets for shitting’. It loses something in translation, does it not?