For as English-speaking focused as the Dutch are we are finding it surprisingly difficult to find information about our new home that is in English. Much of this is likely due to the fact that our little city of Enschede is not exactly a tourist destination nor is the region surrounding it, the province of Overijssel. We did locate a book about the 53 places to see in Enschede, which, though mainly in Dutch, contains a short paragraph about each place in English, giving us a starting point for our adventures in the city.
From the preface of De 53 Leukste Plekken Van Enschede by Robin Pater:
First-time visitors of Enschede are often surprised by its charm. The city offers splendid parks, cosy terraces, insurgent architecture, and a very versatile cultural palette. Most of all, the inhabitants of Enschede are uncomplicated, modest people. To think that this was once a cheerless textile industry town. Well, that has truly changed. This book honours the sparkling capitol of the east, and helps to discover its best places.
Last week, I wrote about our bike trip to Het Rutbeek, which is number 16 in the book.
Today we went to the 23rd best place to see in Enschede, Wooldrikspark. The park is a small, British-style park located just outside the ring road in the northern part of Enschede and was first designed in the 19th century by a textile baron named Ter Kuile who situated it on an old farmyard. It was later taken over by another textile baron (Enschede has had many) named Van Heek, who kindly purchased the park on behalf of his textile workers to give them a pleasant area to enjoy together with their families on Sunday, their one day off of work each week. The park was donated to the city of Enschede in 1950 and has been a municipal park every since.
Now, the old farmstead is used as a petting zoo while the carriage house is occupied by a studio and charming teahouse named Theetuin ik & mijn moeder (Teahouse Me & My Mother.) We spent several hours sitting in the garden at the teahouse for a very late brunch, discussing our future travel plans for this spring and devouring Serrano ham and goat cheese sandwiches with a pot of the house tea – a black tea with mango – followed by a white chocolate Toblerone cake and another pot of tea – a green tea with cactus and vanilla. It was a lovely, lazy Sunday afternoon, the kind that Mr. Van Heek must have envisioned being enjoyed in Wooldrikspark!