Krefeld and Kempen: Fashion, Food and Family

Last weekend, I left the city (Dusseldorf) on Saturday afternoon to visit my godmother in the neighbouring town of Krefeld. The journey took roughly half an hour and once I had arrived, I was whisked off to a lovely little Konditerei in the Uerdingen quarter of Krefeld for a slice of cake (my godmother knows me so well!). The slices of cake were incredibly generous and I opted for a blueberry, yoghurt creme cheesecake – I was not disappointed. We sat in the cafe for a while, catching up on life since our last meeting and savouring each mouthful of our delicious cakes.

Afterwards, we jumped in the car and headed back to her house for a lazy afternoon watching German TV. Saturday afternoon features the Shopping Queen omnibus – Shopping Queen is a makeover programme which features five competitors, all given five hundred euros to spend on a new look. However they are given ‘mottos’ for their look which this week was ‘winter cardigans’. The women then had four hours to shop for a complete new look, including hair and makeup and later walked the catwalk in front of the other four competitors. Then, in private, the other ladies give the look a score out of ten and after the week is up, whoever has the highest score out of forty wins the title of Shopping Queen. Not the most thought provoking TV, but entertaining all the same!

Once we had watched the entire week’s worth and saw Nuremburg’s Shopping Queen crowned. It was time to think about dinner. We went out to this amazing Chinese restaurant with the biggest ‘all you can eat’ buffet I have ever seen! There was a whole section for warm food; the usual spring rolls, satay chicken and various meats in sauces, another section for cold things like sushi, salad etc, a completely separate bar of raw meats, fish and seafood, which you could chose and have cooked in the kitchens, and then, finally, another bar devoted to desserts and fruits. I made full use of the huge array of foods (by now I’m sure you’ve got the message that I am a girl who loves my food) and naturally, even after pigging out on the main meal, I still had plenty of room left for dessert.

The following day, we stopped off for a huge breakfast, which rekindled my love of German bread. They have so many different varieties out here, from sweet bread, bread with nuts and the well known, dark breads. After filling myself up once again,we started our little road trip. Renate took me to the part of Krefeld where she grew up Krefeld Hohenbudberg which had been almost completely demolished by the pharmaceutical company Bayer and replaced by factories and office blocks. All that’s left now is the small church, the graveyard and 2 houses. It was impossible to believe that this once used to be a residential area with many houses, shops and a primary school. We had a quick look inside the church, where Renate was christened and had her first communion, and then also had a little walk around the graveyard, situated on the banks of the River Rhine.
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From there we drove back in the direction of the town, stopping off at the old Dujardin brewery, which produced a type of alcohol that used to be brewed in Krefeld. Nowadays, in the old brewery buildings is a popular restaurant, a brewery museum and shop. Being Sunday, only the restaurant was open but we had a little wander around and peeked into the museum windows.
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Back in the car, we made a short trip to Kempen, a little west of Krefeld, in the direction of the Dutch border. We didn’t stay too long as the weather, despite being clear and sunny, was rather fresh; but we had enough time to walk around the sweet streets of the Alstadt and also up to the old town walls.
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Not much of it is left now, but still standing proud is the Kuhtur or Kempentur, which to me looked like something out of a fairytale; you could almost imagine Rapunzel hanging out of the window..
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To finish off our Sunday road trip, we drove back into Krefeld, through the town and out to Krefeld Linn, where the old Schloss Linn stands. This little quarter also offers a number of sweet picturesque streets and little shops, but having seen the area before, we made a bee-line for Cafe Winkmannshof , renowned in the area for its fresh waffles and delicious Streuselkuchen.
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Eventually, it was time to head back to D’dorf, along with my food-baby and get myself ready for the next few days at school and to prepare for my tutoring session on Wednesday. Another successful weekend I think.