spring greens: akkerman hofkwartier groen ink
A motorcycle approaches from the distance, sound getting louder as it comes closer. The engine stops, a few houses down the road. You hear people chatter, exchanging pleasantries and then closing the door. They must’ve ordered some food. It’s a quiet evening, noise of the motorcycle diminishing as the delivery guy rides away. A bird chirps. The house is warm, and the only light comes from a small lamp on the side table, illuminating a corner.
During the springtime, I tend to gravitate towards green and purple inks. In addition to the super murky greens that I love, my a very special bright green enters my inked rotation: Akkerman’s Hofkwartier Groen, #28. It is a bright, well-lubricated green without sheen and much shading. It’s legible even from a small distance, and the flow is a perfect match for my Platinum #3776 Century with a slightly dry medium nib.
Akkerman is a pen store in Den Haag, and since I have been over the past week, I decided to talk about Hofkwartier neighbourhood. Unfortunately, greenery is not the first thing that comes to my mind, it’s the Noordeinde Palace. It’s not surrounded by great gardens like most of the ones I’ve been to, so when you stumble upon it for the first time it’s a surprise. The gardens (Paleistuin) are behind the palace, the entrance it from a different gate. It’s great for taking a walk or sit and read in one of the benches on a sunny day. The bright grass green of the ink probably comes from this park, as rest of the neighbourhood is not particularly green.
The area is still lively and fun to spend a couple of hours in with second hand stores, antique jewellery and beautiful streets to walk through. The winding alleys are full of cute restaurants and interesting shops to get lost in. Streets are beautiful, some with buildings that are starting to show their age, and others that are meticulously cared for. Sometimes one of those buildings are behind a scaffolding, like a present ready to be opened. Then the next time you’re there, and the brick building welcomes you with its shiny, newly painted window frames.
Hofkwartier is not too far away from De Passage as well, where Akkerman’s store resides. The staff in the store is very helpful and patient -even for people who cannot decide, like me. I always pass by their window to check out what they have, and even though it’s a bit of a travel to go there, I try to buy from their store instead of ordering online and say hello. While you’re there you can buy your own Hofkwartier Groen in its special little bottle. Akkerman’s bottles are super pretty, and kind of fun to use. You have to flip the bottle to dislodge the marble ball from the neck, and then put it upright again, so that the marble ball holds some ink in the top reservoir. Then you can dip your pen and fill it to your heart’s content. It always feels like a special occasion to fill from that bottle, to slow down for a moment and play with a beautifully crafted object.
I wasn’t so sure about the ink colour in the beginning, as I tend to stay away from very bright colours, but this ink won me over. Green is my favourite colour, and Hofkwartier is my favourite neighbourhood in Den Haag. Next time I’m there, I’ll make sure to take my journal and my bright green inked pen, and sit down at The Bookstor café.
Thank you for reading!