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Amsterdam, Drink

Hanneke’s Boom

June 15, 2015

 

A lovely spot near Central Station (5 minute’s walk); Hanneke’s Boom may look like a little shack (built from reclaimed and recycled materials) on the river, but this is one of the best places to spend a lazy day in the sun.  It has a large terrace on the water, boots can moor along side, there’s often live music and it has a very chilled vibe. It’s also great during and after sunset, often followed with parties and DJs spinning. As with all great places, it has become pretty popular (but thankfully mainly with locals), so expect it to be busy and to wait in a queue for a while.

Hanneke's Boom

Hanneke’s Boom

Dijksgracht 4, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Drink

De Sluyswacht, Amsterdam

June 15, 2015

 

I love this traditional, wonky little black canal house from 1695, which somehow lost its neighbours and sits on the Jodenbreestraat by itself, overlooking the water.   This is Amsterdam’s answer to a cosy pub.  It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon watching boats go by on the canal on their large terrace, and drinking one of the many brands of beer on offer.  Apart from that, their savoury snacks are worthwhile too.  Too cute to miss.

De Sluyswacht

Jodenbreestraat 1, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Drink

Door 74, Amsterdam

June 15, 2015

For a while Amsterdam didn’t really ‘do’ cocktail bars, though thankfully this has definitely changed over the past few years.  But Door 74 was Amsterdam’s first speakeasy-style cocktail bar, one of the true originals which still manages to keep a fairly low profile.  Maybe it’s because the Dutch don’t like to spend money (it’s not the place to come to for a cheap beer).

Deliberately hard to find, with an elusive feel and a dark Prohibition era style interior, this place is worth waiting in line for.  They used to have a reservation only (on the day) policy, but they seem to have relaxed this.  Still, it’s worth calling/texting them (again, only on the day itself) and trying to book a table in advance.  The cocktails are expensive for Amsterdam (EUR 12 – 15) but they’re innovative and delicious.

Door 74

Reguliersdwarsstraat 74, Amsterdam

0031 (0)634045122

Amsterdam, Drink, Eat, Healthy

Lavinia’s, Amsterdam

June 14, 2015
Lavinia Good Food, Amsterdam

Lavinia is Amsterdam’s most popular ‘good food’ (as they call it) cafe.   We went in to grab one of their raw hot chocolates, but it appears that we were not the only ones in search of a post-Christmas ‘health’ injection.  It is super cosy, warm and welcoming, with good breakfast options (go for the banana pancakes), sourdough sandwiches, spelt pizzas and ‘green cocktails’ (without alcohol of course).  Highly recommended but be prepared to queue.

Lavinia Good Food

Kerkstraat 176

 

Amsterdam, Drink, Healthy

Dr Blend, Amsterdam – for the best cold-pressed juices

June 14, 2015
Dr Blend

Dr Blend is a delightful Juice Bar as well as health store, on one of Amsterdam’s prettiest canals.  They offer juices the colour of the rainbow – tonnes of healthy green mixes (I loved the sound of Dr Brockiwi – with kiwi and broccoli) but in the end I went for Dr Red (I can’t get enough of beetroot).   There is a small seating area from where you can admire the shelves of blenders and packets of quinoa, seeds and powders which gets me excited (but I am well aware this may not be everyones’ thing).  We saw sandwiches laden with smashed avocados go by, as well as delicious smelling soups and organic muffins.  Ideal if you’re looking for a healthy stop.

Dr Blend

Dr Blend

Herenstraat 23, 1015 BZ

 

Amsterdam, Blog, Do, Drink, Eat, The Netherlands

Amsterdam revisited

January 2, 2015

Amsterdam revisited.

On a crisp clear winter morning I continued my exploration of Amsterdam.  Since I’ve never lived here it is a city that I’m familiar with, but one I still don’t know intimately.   I find myself drawn, again and again, to the ‘grachten gordel’ – the canal district.   I love how the facades of the houses are all so unique and, despite their beauty, are far from perfect.  Some houses slump against each other, while others lean away towards open spaces; an indication of the age, and individuality, of these buildings.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

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First on the agenda was Foam Museum – Amsterdam’s most famous and best regarded photography museum, located on the Keizer’s Gracht.  Here we saw the exhibition of the renowned Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki – a mix of his old (and most celebrated – if somewhat shocking) work of tied up women, to his newest work of ‘Alluring Hell’.   I was not really a fan of either.  But I loved some of his other work and how he explores life and death through the lens of his camera – most poignantly shown through the photographs of his wife during day to day life, from their honeymoon through to her early death.  And a parallel series of photos of his wife’s cat who outlived her by 20 years, and whom Araki photographed vivaciously until the cats timely death. It is a moving exhibition, and a memorable one.  There is also a Vivian Maier exhibition of her street photography which I have been desperate to see, but the queue was too long for two impatient girls, so we moved on.

Foam, Amsterdam

Foam, Amsterdam

Foam, Amsterdam

Foam, Amsterdam

It seems like Amsterdam has now also caught the health bug.  Restaurants and cafes with a health focus are cropping up throughout the city.  Dr Blend is a delightful Juice Bar as well as health store.  They offer juices the colour of the rainbow – from healthy green mixes (I loved the sound of Dr Brockiwi – with kiwi and broccoli) but in the end went for Dr Red (I can’t get enough of beetroot).   There is a small seating area from where you can admire the shelves of blenders and packets of quinoa, seeds and powders which gets me excited but I am well aware this may not be everyones cup of tea.  We saw sandwiches laden with smashed avocados go by, as well as delicious smelling soups and organic muffins.

Dr Blend, Amsterdam

Dr Blend, Amsterdam

Dr Blend, Amsterdam

Dr Blend, AmsterdamDr Blend, Amsterdam

Lavinia is another new ‘good food’ (as they call it) cafe.   We went in to grab one of their raw hot chocolates, but it appears that we were not the only ones in search of a post-Christmas ‘health’ injection.  It is super cosy, warm and welcoming, with good breakfast options, sourdough sandwiches, spelt pizzas and ‘green cocktails’ (without alcohol of course).  Will need to head back there next time.

Lavinia, Amsterdam

If you want to grab something on the go for lunch, then Stach is a great option.  They offer everything from salads to sandwiches, but use seasonal ingredients and have more of a health focus than other Dutch take away shops.  It’s worth just wandering along the little nine streets to pop into a vintage shop or a cafe.  I love people watching here as it’s a nice balance between tourist and local.

Stach, Amsterdam

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For more tips on Amsterdam check out my post on the Rijksmuseum/Brunch and my Amsterdam updated post.

Amsterdam, Blog, Do, Drink, Eat, The Netherlands

Amsterdam: Nine Streets, the Hermitage and the Ysbreker

December 30, 2012

Amsterdam: Updated

Christmas in The Netherlands means I had the opportunity to spend some time in Amsterdam.  With my sister Mol now a ‘local’ there, I wanted to have lunch at a few nice places and also see a museum or two.  To keep myself – and City Turtle – updated.

Day One was unsuitably grey and miserable but Mol and I were determined to set forth on our exploration.  Word of advice:  post Christmas Amsterdam is not the ideal place to be.  It is so crowded – I’m not sure whether there were especially many tourists or whether many locals had the day(s) off and were enjoying their city.  Either way, avoid the Kalver Straat (main shopping street) – we wanted to take a quick look at the Zara sale so braved it.  Big mistake.  People were flowing in and out of the Zara in huge waves.  So we fled.

Nine Streets Amsterdam

Nine Streets, Amsterdam

The cute ‘Nine Little Streets’ (Negen Straatjes) were not much better to be fair, but they have such charm and the buzz is so infectious that it is hard to find the crowds annoying.  Our initial intention was to go to Singel 404 for ‘one of the best sandwiches in Amsterdam’ (quote unquote Mol, many local friends and even the Guardian).  But, having been warned it would be busy, were indeed disappointed to find a queue outside this small, trendy two-level cafe.  Next time.

The Nine Streets is teaming with cosy little eateries.  Screaming Beans has left but been replaced by another cool cafe.  Things are constantly changing.  We walked past the restaurant/cafe Goodies and – despite the perhaps a little off-putting name – had heard good things about it, so decided to give it a go.

Ryan Li's photo

It – naturally – was full.  But the nice waiter said we could sit at the bar and have the next available table.  We watched plates of thick, fresh and mouth-watering sandwiches go by. The tuna sandwich looked so good Mol had already made up her mind before we saw the menu.  Chicken Tikka was not available so I went for the smoked salmon.  The sandwiches (price from €4.50 – €7.95) tasted as good as they looked.  The place itself is a little cramped but with a fun atmosphere.  I liked it.

Shopping wise, the Nine Streets remains the place to be for vintage lovers.  From the more expensive designer vintage shops to the ever-popular ‘Episode’, you will not be disappointed.  Episode is pretty epic.  It has rows and rows of fur coats, denim shirts, overcoats, headbands, platform trainers and colourful dresses.  And even  though I’m not big on vintage, I still had a great time finding Rob a 1920s hat for our New Years Eve party.

episode

Day Two meant more rain and a nasty strong wind but again we were undeterred.  We set off for the Hermitage Museum – which currently has an exhibition on Impressionism (my favourite art movement) and van Gogh (while the van Gogh museum is being renovated).  The perfect combination.  We grumbled at the small queue when we arrived but were grateful to have arrived as early as we did, as 30 minutes later when I looked outside, the queue was snaking around the (large) courtyard.  The exhibitions were beautifully done, informative, but not overly so.  I enjoyed especially the Impressionism exhibit as by the time we got to van Gogh there were about seven people crowded around each painting.  We agreed this was not the way to see art.  I hate being shoved around anyway.  So after we stopped by the rather entertaining museum shop, we made a swift exit.  Definitely worth while, despite the rather high €17.50 entrance fee.

Hermitage

Lunch was a short walk away at the Ysbreker.  I absolutely loved this Brasserie.  It was renovated and more than doubled in size in 2010, yet still keeps its intimate and cosy feel.  It is almost multi-purpose.  In the summer you can come here and sit on their terrace on the Amstel river.  In the winter they have a fire place at the back with book cases and comfy sofas where you can work or surf the web.  Or you can play games.

Ysbreker

Or you can simply enjoy brunch, lunch, tea or dinner.  And don’t be worried that they are trying to achieve too much, they can handle it.  The food is excellent and accessible to all.  You can have a ‘tosti’ (cheese/hame toast) for €2.50, or oysters or delicious steak tartar.  I cannot recommend it enough and definitely intend on revisiting it in the summer.

Singel 404

Singel 404  1016 AK Amsterdam

Goodies

Huidenstraat 9  1016 ER Amsterdam

http://www.goforthegoodies.nl/

Episode

Berenstraat 1  1016 GG Amsterdam

http://www.episode.eu/index.jsp?USMID=49

Hermitage Museum

Amstel 51

http://www.hermitage.nl/nl/

Cafe Restaurant De Ysbreker

Weesperzijde 23
1091 EC Amsterdam
T + 31 20 468 1808

http://www.deysbreeker.nl/en/

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