Not a fan of England? If not, click to another page. Because Vessel 11, a restaurant ship moored in the Wijnhaven, is the ultimate in Britishness. You can eat fish and chips, get a pint of special ale pushed in front of you and be surrounded by – yes – the only English tourists that ever find their way to Rotterdam.
So, splendid it is. The bright red ship is a so-called gastro pub, as the English call a ‘normal’ restaurant. At least that’s how your critic experienced it. But ‘ordinary’ is not a good description for that restaurant. You step into a living room, with a large Chesterfield sofa in the middle, surrounded by a few chairs which look as though they’ve been plucked away from a lamppost. The empty corners are stacked with ‘authentic’ English paraphernalia.
Admittedly, the room is very atmospheric. That’s partly because of the Dutch speaking waitress – most of the staff only speak English – who welcomes us and tells us all about the boat, the food and the punters. She also tells us that they’re out of coca cola. That alone makes Vessel 11 special.
So no cola, but some very greasy fish and chips and a tasty side dish whose name your critic has forgotten. All washed down with special English beer. The flavours complement each other well, so well done to the waitress who advised us. The slightly high prices – fish and chips for just under twenty euros – eventually gave us stomach ache.
Our six person table – there are two of us – does not fill up with new guests during the evening. That could happen, our waitress ‘warned’ us beforehand. We do get a visit from the house cat. Her presence certainly adds a certain domesticity to the evening, but we frown anyway. “Is that allowed in a restaurant”, my fellow diner remarks somewhat sourly, but rightly.
The rest of the guests couldn’t care less. They – all Brits – are too busy feeling British. That means: glass in hand and being loud. Students would be better to come on a Tuesday evening when they can eat the dish of the day for a few euros. The rest of the time, Vessel 11 is like being on holiday in your own country, including the advantages and disadvantages of the travel.
Student vibe: 5,5
Pick up potential: 5
Beer: 5 euro