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De Hems Dutch Cafe Bar

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by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
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Published February 23rd 2015
The only Dutch cafe bar in London

There is only one Dutch Cafe Bar in London, amazingly. When you consider the the size of London, and the relative proximity of England to Holland - it makes it sound even more amazing. The fact that De Hems sits right at the entrance to Chinatown in the very centre of London makes it almost obligatory that you should take a trip to visit it.

So, a little history. The pub as it is exists from a Dutch seaman buying the already existing establishment in 1890. The pub became a pillar of the Dutch community - especially during the Second World War, when the Dutch Resistance would meet here.

Even more intriguingly, the pub seemed to be quite an influential place for the music industry, with vip's, including the manager of the Rolling Stones, using as as their place to hang out. For those people wondering if this is a place now living off past memories - you will be glad to know this isn't the case - in fact in the 2000's the pub can credit the birth of the Mighty Boosh - one of the most popular comedy duos of recent years too, who debuted at their comedy club, the Oranje Boom Boom Cabaret.

Here's why you should go there yourself. It looks like a typical pub, but the beers and food are distinctly Dutch - think Oranjeboom and Grolsch on tap, along with comforting plates of frikandellen (basically a Dutch hot dog), or if you're lucky - oysters. There is also a large selection of traditional pub foods, and beers and ales should you want them - basically, whatever you feel like - you're more or less covered.

So, use it as a pit stop after exploring Chinatown and Soho, or simply as a destination for a night out itself - whatever you do - give it a try...

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Why? London's only Dutch cafe bar.
When: Monday to Saturday: 11:00 - Midnight, Sunday: 12:00 - 22:30
Phone: 020 7437 2494
Where: 11 Macclesfield Street, London, W1D 5BW
Cost: Standard pub prices
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