Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s NeighbourFood Market

In an attempt to lift us out of our post holiday slump, we ditched our usual lazy Sunday routine and headed out for a long cross town bike ride to the NeighbourFood Market in Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek. The lovely weather, delicious food and cozy atmosphere definitely helped boot out our end of summer blues. 😉

First stop, burgers and beer :)

First stop, burgers and beer – with some stuffed Greek grape leaves on the side 🙂

Hazelnut, Limoncello & Honey and Thyme truffles for dessert :)

Hazelnut, Limoncello & Honey and Thyme truffles for dessert 🙂

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The market is open one Sunday per month and offers enough sweet and savory treats to please almost any palate.

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Post food stroll through Westerpark

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To keep the spirits lifted as the cooler weather undoubtedly approaches, we’re determined to fill the calendar with as many fun activities as possible for the next few weeks. This weekend we’ll be heading to the popular Grachten Festival (canal festival) in Amsterdam.  With boat filled canals, live music and a fabulously festive feel- it’s quickly become one of our favorite summer send offs. 🙂 

Why I love summer

There are about a million reasons why I love summer, actually why I’ve always loved summer, but now that I live in Amsterdam (a city notorious for its lack of warmth and sunshine), I’ve grown really thankful for the few days a year where “we” Dutchies can shed the layers, dust off the sunnies and cycle off to the nearest terrace to soak up the good ol’ Vitamin D.

Date night downtown :)

The warm weather isn’t likely to stick around too long, but while it’s here, Sebastiaan and I are determined to enjoy it as much as possible. We’ve had picnics in the park, dined alfresco here, here, and here and enjoyed a few too many cocktails outside with friends. Basically, we’ve remembered what it is we love so much about this city. Although a common expression among expats in Amsterdam is, “No one moves to Amsterdam for the weather” 4-5 months of rain and clouds can get even the peppiest of travelers down.  balcony bbq!

Luckily, we’re jetting off to Greece next week just as the weather is expected to turn. We’ve both been working like crazy over the past few months so we’re really looking forward to 8 days of much deserved rest and relaxation (accompanied by fabulous food, drinks and views!).  Happy feet :)

Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying the warmer days, after all,  before we know it we’ll be bundling up for fall. 🙂

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Easter Sunday

This year on Easter Sebastiaan and I woke with a little extra ‘spring’ in our step so we decided to take advantage of a rare plans-free day out on the town.

We began with an extravagant and delicious 5-course brunch at Quatfass. It was our first time there and definitely won’t be our last. With the friendly staff, delicious food and reasonable prices, I think it’s fair to say we’re likely to frequent this one!

After 2 hours of eating, drinking and chatting, we left completely stuffed satisfied and headed out into a brisk but sunny (!) Amsterdam. We began with a stroll through a little neighborhood festival, then headed to an organic street market followed by some delicious wine and cheese at this chique little wine bar downtown.

And, because we obviously hadn’t eaten enough for the day, to top off  the evening we headed for Ethiopian food here. (surprisingly messy when eaten with the hands!)

Although today my pants are feeling a tad more snug than I’d like to admit, it was definitely worth the splurge for the picture perfect Easter Sunday in Amsterdam! 🙂

Amsterdam <3

Amsterdam ❤

Spring? Are you out there?

Complaining about the weather is a common pastime in Holland, but I have to say, this latest ruse played by the weather gods is just plain cruel. It’s Easter weekend and it was flurrying last night. (?!) With temperatures well below freezing  through the week, it’s definitely time for a little pick me up.

Inspired by this blog post written by my best friend, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite spots across Amsterdam that I just can’t wait to visit if once this lovely Dutch weather decides to cooperate… 

        Sipping cocktails at the floating swimming pool on the Amstel river

                                                 A BBQ in the beautiful Oosterpark

                                            A day of sand and sun Zandvoort beach

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                                  My first trip to the famous Wadden Area of the Netherlands

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                                                 Dining al fresco at Pata Negra

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                                    Our annual trip to the beautiful Keukenhof gardens

I’m not sure if that made me feel better or worse… Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Spring will show its gorgeous face soon! 🙂

Searching for Sugarman

Last weekend Sebastiaan and I went to see the multi-award winning documentary film,  Searching for Sugarman, at a little independent movie theatre, De Ballie, in Amsterdam. I had only heard a little bit about to movie before we went, but as soon as the film started, we were absolutely transfixed by the powerful story of Sixto Rodriguez.

Without giving too much away…

The movie is about an American musician in the early 1970’s, Sixto Rodriguez, who, despite his obvious talent, was unable to achieve any musical success in the States. However, thanks to a bootleg copy of his record that made its way across the Atlantic, Rodriguez’s music reached incredible popularity in South Africa where his songs became almost an anthem for the anti-apartheid movement. The film documents a literal ‘search’ for the mysterious Rodriguez who despite the odds, remains unaware of his fame across the world. 

It was one of the best and most moving documentaries I’ve seen in a long time and definitely the type of movie you just can’t stop talking about. If you get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it! 🙂

Little Collins

This Sunday Sebastiaan and I woke up with a taste for a good old fashion American brunch. Although Amsterdam is home to many of Europe’s great restaurants, I have to say, the brunch scene is lacking a bit… Coming from D.C and NYC, brunch capitals of the US,  this has been pretty hard to do without.

So, on Sunday, without anywhere in particular in mind, we decided to just grab our bikes and stop off when we found something that looked appealing. While usually this is a pretty good strategy around Amsterdam, luck was not exactly on our side to start. When hunger got

The food looked about as old as that tablecloth...

The food looked about as old as that tablecloth…

the best of me us, we finally stopped off in what looked like a cute corner bakery/café. One glance around the “restaurant” I knew there was no way in hell I was going to eat anything prepared within the confines of this god forsaken place (ok, maybe I was in a bit of a mood at this point…).

For some reason we felt compelled to order a cup of coffee, which I sipped (while occasionally shooting daggers at Sebastiaan) and proceeded to look up nice places for brunch on my phone. Thank goodness (for everyone involved) I came across Little Collins. I called them immediately, made a reservation and told Sebastiaan to chug his cappuccino and meet me outside.   

Little Collins is fairly new Australian owned restaurant in the heart of Amsterdam, and although it’s picked up some great reviews around town, we’d never had to a chance to check it out. Wow, I am glad we finally did!

As soon as we walked into Little Collins (well, after I had a delicious bloody Mary in my hands) I knew we were going to be in for a treat.The friendly (albeit slightly hungover) staff quickly made us feel at home as we  drooled watched mounds of food leave the beautiful open kitchen. We both threw our new “healthy habits” to the wind and splurged on some much needed comfort food.

The Original Bloody Mary

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Stan’s Bangers and Mash

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Coriander and Corn Fritters

The food was absolutely delicious and definitely worth the drama wait. Although we were rushed out a bit at the end of our meal, we’re already looking forward to our next Aussie inspired brunch! 🙂 

 

Pasta e Basta

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Happy 21st Birthday Kai! ❤

This week Sebastiaan and I celebrated his little brother’s 21st birthday. Aside from making us all feel really really old, it gave us a great excuse to go out and try a new restaurant in the city. I’d heard great things about Pasta e Basta, most notably that the staff is actually filled with professional singers that will break into song at various points of the evening. Although this sounded slightly cheesy, I’m always a fan of a good sing along so when Sebastiaan’s mom told us that’s where we were eating, I have to admit, I was pretty excited.

We arrived at what looked like an old Italian wine cellar decorated in just enough gaudy fabrics to make the place teeter on the line between overdone and cozy. We sat down, ordered a delicious bottle of Chianti and toasted to what turned out to be a wonderful evening. The food was wonderful and made even better accompanied by a sudden aria, pop song of musical number sung by a member of the incredibly friendly staff.

 

While I wouldn’t exactly say that it was Broadway quality entertainment, it definitely made for some great mid-week fun! 🙂