It’s less than a decade since Dimitri Roels opened the first Vlaamsch Broodhuys bakery, yet there are already 10 branches across The Netherlands. The latest is in The Hague, on Bankstraat, and for the new site a new creative direction was sought from Amsterdam studio ninetynine.
The best carb-avoiding intentions will fall by the wayside after one glance through the window — I defy even the most fanatical paleo diet devotee to turn their noses up at some of the pastries and breads enticingly laid out in here. In the retail shopfront area, the designers have opted for raw steel shelves affixed to the bare brick, with more steel racks and shelving forming an array of display surfaces for warm and cooled baked goods. The fiendish impulse buys are right next to the till, sitting on a block of reclaimed wood: light and stained oak figures heavily in this part of the operation. Things are toned down a little for those who want to sit in and eat in the lunchroom. The lights are lower and dimmer, with seating upholstered in three shades of blue and a separate six-seat glazed tile counter to choose between.