Friday, 5 February 2016


I have just got back from a break in Amsterdam - a Christmas present from my daughter Lizzy ( and what a wonderful present it was too!  Amsterdam is such a pretty city, great for walking around and so so friendly and relaxed.  We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel - Hotel V - right in the heart of the city, near Dam Square. I was pleased to find that it was informal and friendly and not the usual 'Boutique' experience where you feel you should have stepped out of the pages of Vogue and be at least 20 years younger!  The staff were lovely and the rooms were to die for - discrete furnishings with some great ideas to take home. I loved this mirror in particular.   

The hotel restaurant - the Lobby Restaurant and Bar - was so good we enjoyed two of our three evening meals there.  

Amsterdam is a great city for shopping with lots to offer including the usual high street stores that we are all familiar with, but what was so refreshing was to find so many individual shops that had an eclectic mix of clothes and homewares.  A couple of my favourites are here and I splashed out on some clothing in both.  The first one is Mevrouw Bouwers on Stadhouderskade where I bought a lovely lightweight coat in the sale by Carin Wester.  Bouwers bill themselves as an 'experience store' and stock clothes, handbags, food, shoes, accessories ..... the list goes on and on.  But what I really loved was the minimal vibe and classic cuts of the clothing.  

My second shopping find was Hutspot where I purchased some black skinnies by Won Hundred.  It is so nice to find new brands and this is very much Hutspot's ethos - to showcase new and interesting brands, designers and artists within their retail environment.   Hutspot is more than just a clothing store as they incorporate a barbers and a rather lovely cafe. Definitely worth a visit. 

After a heavy morning shopping we took time out for lunch at a great burger restaurant, Geftlit, over the road from Hutspot on Van Woustraat.  

We spent a lot of time exploring, including a visit to the film museum Eye, taking the free ferry from Central Station, and to Anne Franks house.  But just wandering the streets and canal sides was the best part .  It took us a while to get our bearings, but once we had figured out which way up for the map we had it nailed and made the most of the dry weather to see as much as possible.  Amsterdam is a perfect destination for a short break and somewhere I will definitely be visiting again.  

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