Even though we had landed in Amsterdam just a couple weeks ago, I was anxious to get back and spend a proper full weekend there while the weather was still sunny and warm. So we rented a car and drove from Hannover to Amsterdam for the last weekend in August! We had the best weekend getaway. Since food is our love language, our travels usually revolve around a great food and wine experience. We had two amazing meals during this trip and did lots of walking around and shopping. Amsterdam also has a flourishing fashion and design culture, and I loved getting inspired by it all.
We had dinner at a French/Flemish restaurant called Rijsel, which came highly recommended by my Father-in-Law who claims to have had the best rotisserie chicken of his life there! This is a man who has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best restaurants, so that is no small statement. And it did not disappoint! The food was absolutely incredible with amazing wine pairings. The service was super fun and friendly, and really made the whole experience special for us. This restaurant was truly right up mine and Zane’s alley, incredible food and wine but with a very cool, fun and laid back vibe.
We spent Saturday morning walking around the canals and making our way to our lunch destination, the next big food experience on our itinerary. It was chilly and while we were peaking into stores along the way, I bought this wool scarf that perfectly matched the colours of my dress. It’s a danish brand called Épice and I just loved the pattern and colours. I live for discovering new brands and styles while travelling!
Amsterdam is such a beautiful city to simply walk around in. The views along the canals are magical! We liked imagining what it would be like to live in one of the house boats. I was also fascinated with all the crooked houses and architecture.
We booked a lunch reservation at Restaurant de Kas, a garden conservatory restaurant that serves organic food grown on site. It was a set menu, but they gave us a little menu card with the ingredients that we would be having listed in no particular order. It was really fun seeing each dish and thinking about what ingredients we were eating off the list, and then figuring out what was next and guessing what it could be! We also had wine pairings and I have to say, when I tell a sommelier I am into funky wines and they know exactly what I am talking about, I know I am in the right place! The restaurant is beautifully situated in the middle of a park, and you can tour the greenhouses and grounds after your meal. This was such a lovely way to walk off an amazing lunch see where the food we ate was grown. You vote with your dollar when travelling, and I was so happy to give our vote to a place like this. This was an experience I don’t think should be missed!
After lunch we walked back towards our hotel and did some shopping. One of my favourite things about Amsterdam is all the amazing vintage and antique shops, it’s a serious mecca for that kind of stuff! My favourite street for vintage clothing and jewelry is Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, which is also famous for its antique shops. A few weeks before when we were in Amsterdam, I had seen this beautiful, fur collar vintage coat in Droomfabriek de Groot & de Jong. This is one of my favourite vintage shops in the city. They mainly sell vintage luxury jewelry (tons of chanel), and have the most amazing collection of vintage Hermès scarves and designer shoes. But they do have a small collection of vintage clothing and I could not stop thinking about that coat, so we went back and got it after lunch! The owners are a lovely couple and so interesting to talk to as well, they have such fascinating stories of travelling all over the world. I will definitely be coming back here time and time again.
A canal cruise should be at the top of everyone’s list of things to do when visiting Amsterdam. They have so many different options to choose from, but I decided to splurge a bit and booked us on a private canal tour, aboard a historic wooden boat built in 1932. I booked it through Rederij De Jordaan and it was worth every penny. They have two boats, and we were aboard the Welmoed. The captain picked us up near our hotel at 6pm and we had an hour tour. We left it up to him to show us around as we had nowhere in particular we wanted to go. We got the most wonderful tour of the canals, learning a bit about the history of Amsterdam while sipping champagne in the sunset. It was so dreamy and perfect!
Afterwards we went to dinner at GlouGlou, a natural wine bar that I was so eager to try, since natural wine is my very favourite! We were still full from our big lunch so just had some local cheeses to snack on while sipping vino. It was a lovely, laid back evening after a big day.
I’m wearing this Reformation linen dress, that I am totally obsessed with! Such a great piece to wear for that transition from summer to fall.
After our big day on Saturday, we decided to take things slow and easy on Sunday. We slept in late (so unlike us!) and went out get coffee along the canal. We then went to check out one of my favourite furniture and design stores, The Frozen Fountain. We probably spent an hour looking around this store, I love their unique and colourful collection!
After picking up some stuff for our apartment (we got some of those cool candlestick holders in the photo below), we went back out to find a spot along the canal to people watch. One of my favourite things about Europe is the sidewalk cafes. So we ordered some Heinekens and enjoyed the early afternoon while admiring the Amsterdam street style, which lies somewhere between edgy and put together and is just dripping with cool. Afterwards we walked around some more and saw the Anne Frank house too. We didn’t go in this time as I wanted to save the museums and galleries for our next trip here, when it is sure to be colder and rainier. After having lunch at a casual spot we found along a canal, we headed back home in the late afternoon.
Amsterdam is one of those cities that you can fall instantly in love with, as happened to me. I love the restaurants, shopping, style, culture… everything about it just hits right for me. I’m looking forward to many more visits to our neighbouring city!