A Day Out in Amsterdam

So many people have an incredibly one-sided view of Amsterdam as a city. Those people, in my opinion at least, can only be missing out on an incredible place with so much to offer culturally, gastronomically, historically - the list goes on. We spent four days exploring the place, staying on Amstel, and it was the area to the West of Singel which became my absolute favourite. The streets Herengracht and Keizersgracht, and those that link them (more specifically the Jordaan District and Nine Streets). This is where we found all sorts of incredible design stores (check out 360volt), independent clothing brands, perfect bakeries to pick up morning treats, and delicious restaurants to spend our evenings in. 

Our first full day we grabbed a snack and made our way over to the Anne Frank house, which we'd been told attracted epic queues from the early hours. Luckily we'd made it just in time and took our tour. Whilst listening to her story we gazed into the the tiny place where Anne cohabited in secret, humbled by the whole thing. It's hard really to say much about this, it's something that you have to experience for yourself and photos are not allowed. 

We then wandered before ducking into what seemed to be a very non-de-script sandwich shop but it quickly became obvious how lucky we were to have done so, and how popular it was. I indulged in a soft goat's cheese and chorizo baguette... before we made our way down to the river and enjoyed a canal boat tour with history attached. Finally to end our day we meandered to the Jordaan which I had been itching to discover. It used to primarily be a working class, residential area but has blossomed into an artistic hub, alongside many independent stores and eateries. We ducked into the following cafe full of sparkling lights, with people sitting outside under blankets sipping away at their coffees. In particular I liked the wine pumps, and we noted that Bill and Hilary Clinton themselves had visited and sat at the bar. 

We weren't quite hungry yet and who can resist a chilled glass of wine by the river? Not me apparently. We enjoyed watching a young woman indulge in a slice of Dutch apple pie and a glass of wine, simply taking in the evening's atmosphere and proving there is absolutely no reason one cannot dine alone. Our tummy's eventually rumbled meaning it was time to return to a pizza spot we had noted earlier, still in the Jordaan. On arrival we discovered it had rapidly filled up and (luckily for us!) grabbed the last two seats on the end of a long table which was hosting a birthday party. One member of the party asked where we'd heard about the place. When we said we'd just stumbled upon it she looked surprised, explaining she had asked because it was renowned for being the best pizza place in Amsterdam! As my meal came, I could easily see why... 

That would be buffalo mozzarella, caramelised onion and brick oven roasted pig from Ariccia.
(The one in the background is buffalo mozzarella, tender anchovies, olives, capers & garlic.)

We ate pizza at: La Perla, http://www.pizzaperla.nl/
Drank wine at: Cafe Sonneveld, http://www.cafesonneveld.nl/
And had our coffee at: Cafe Papeneiland, http://www.papeneiland.nl/en/

Who else has adventures of Amsterdam to share? M x

1 comment:

Lance said...

Great post - really enjoyed the pictures. Amsterdam was my first European city and I still have a fond place in my heart for the canals and quiet streets. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!