@FrankDJS and I hot-footed it down to HEMA’s new outlet in Victoria tho afternoon. HEMA is quite the institution in the Netherlands, so Frank’s excitement at their arrival was palpable. HEMA are a low-cost, but good quality shop, selling everything from chocolate to make-up, tea to underpants.
Penny Golightly managed to get in ahead of me earlier this week and you can read her review of the store here. I agree with everything she has to say (except about the make-up….not something I have a great deal of experience with).
I grabbed a basket as soon as we walked in and busily began to fill it with all kinds of delicious goodies. You can see some of the evidence in the photo below. And we weren’t alone – Dutch people were going crazy, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over beloved treats from home.
A bit like me when I come across Tayto crisps.
So far, I’ve cracked open the Stroopwafels (excellent syrup waffles) which have gone down very nicely with a giant cup of tea. I’m not a fan of liquorice. but Frank is, especially the (vile) salty Dutch kind. The paprika-flavoured crisps are a bit of a personal favourite and may well be consumed in front of the football tonight.
All in all, HEMA is a great store for small tasty treats, but also lots of other useful bits and bobs. I picked up a 12-pack of excellent felt-tip pens for £2.50, a pack of three Moleskine-esque notebooks for £3.00 and some very comfortable, but eminently disposable shades for £5.00. The kind I won’t mind (inevitably) leaving behind on the beach this summer.
I wondered why HEMA chose Victoria station as the location for their first store. But actually, it makes perfect sense. HEMA is all about quick impulse buys and where better to do that than when waiting for a train? Need a bar of chocolate? A drink? An umbrella? An iPhone case? HEMA has you covered.
I’m just a little disappointed that they don’t sell (yet) their excellent pea soup (erwtensoep) or smoked sausage (rookwurst). Hopefully, their range will increase over time. Because these two go together really, really (I mean really) well.
Welcome to London, HEMA – I think we’re going to be seeing a more of each other in the coming months!