Weekend in Amsterdam – Part One
Amsterdam is not somewhere I’d considered visiting, on account of its reputation for stags and bongs. Mr.Canny assured me there was more to the city than this, and that it was a veritable cornucopia of fantastic restaurants and interesting places to visit. We booked a flight via KLM, who fly from Newcastle to Schipol. The flights were £110 return each, and included complimentary food and drinks for the duration of the journey.
Our hotel was a fantastic find on the part of Mr.Canny, although don’t tell him I said that! CitizenM is a multi-national chain of hotels which are billed as a unique blend of technology and design. It was a short train ride from the Airport, and not far from the station to walk with our bags. At the moment the exterior of the hotel is undergoing a ‘face lift’, which was a little disappointing for us. The interior was like an Ikea store with its quirky Artwork and furniture, and we really liked it. The rooms were well thought out, with an XL bed fitted with storage underneath for our luggage. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. The shower ‘tube’ in the room was very strange, and I’d say if you’re considering staying here you have to be pretty comfortable with your roomie as the frosted glass round the toilet cubicle also doesn’t leave much to the imagination!
Getting around the city is pretty easy thanks to their tram system. There was a stop not far from the hotel and we bought a ticket to last the duration of our trip. The last thing I wanted was blisters, which always seems to happen on our jaunts. Who knew Converse weren’t that comfortable?!
On our first day we made a beeline for the Albert Cuyp Market, which reminded me a lot of my beloved Quayside Market in Newcastle. It was great to walk round and look at all the food stalls, and we stopped for churros as we walked through. The lady didn’t speak any English, but thankfully some other customers helped us out!
One of our plans was to visit the Heineken Experience, which is a real draw for tourists. We booked in advance, which saved us a little money, and got there reasonably early to avoid the queues. To be honest I expected more from the tour, which was just us walking round the building and looking at exhibits. It was quite tiring, too. There were two interesting parts, however. One was the Beer Ride, which we won’t spoil for anyone planning on going, and the other was the beer tasting. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of beer, so I didn’t partake in this, meaning Mr. Canny got to drink my ‘allowance’. There was a bar where you could learn to pull the perfect pint, but it wasn’t communicated to us we needed to book to get involved. We stood in a queue for nearly 30 mins only to find the slots were already taken. I was so aggrieved at this point that we left, and I was gasping to drink something other than beer!
After a ‘manly’ experience I dragged poor Mr. Canny to the ultimate girlie venue – the Museum of Bags and Purses. I was guided my desire to try out their Afternoon Tea, which I had seen photos of on Instagram. Mr. Canny was not interested in looking round the handbags, so we were swift to get to their tea room. It is necessary to purchase a ticket to the museum to visit their cafe, so I wanted to at least look at their Hermes collection. The museum is split into the fashions from different centuries, with one of their oldest pieces dating back to the 16th century. It was great to see handbags that celebrities have used on the red carpet, like one from Madonna and another from Hilary Clinton.
Their Afternoon Tea cost us 40 Euros, which I thought was reasonable for the standard of the cakes, pastries and sandwiches we had. When we told the waitress I didn’t eat fish she brought me my own plate of cheese and rocket sandwiches. The service was slow, but we weren’t in a rush and they had free wifi! I had a lovely pot Green Tea, and Mr. Canny had Jasmine. One of the flower heads kept getting caught in the spout of his teapot, which amused us. The room is the grandest I’ve ever taken tea in, as you can see by photo. Just beautiful.
On our second day we discovered Febo, fast food vending machines dotted throughout the streets of Amsterdam. If we had been drunk and had the munchies these would have been perfect for us. The beauty of this place is you chose what you want, stick your coins in the machine and chow down. We made it our mission to try every type of food available from the machines over the course of our trip, even trying their fries and burgers which are available to order in some of the branches. The burgers were of a higher standard to Maccie D’s, in my opinion, and the fries come with a delicious mayo. This seems to be standard if you order anything in Amsterdam! See my blog about our visit to Manneken Pis, Amsterdam’s best chip shop, for further proof 🙂
My favourite was the Vegetarian Kroket, which was filled with cheese and potato. Think Findus Crispy Pancake crossed with a Greggs Pasty! They are utterly moreish, although eating too many can lead to tummy cramps on account of the fact they’re ultimately fried snacks. I felt like a complete oink afterwards.
After so much indulgence it was necessary to walk round the labyrinth of streets to burn off some of the calories consumed on our culinary trails round the city. It is packed with cafes and places to eat, and you can usually tell where the ‘green stuff’ is on sale thanks to the aroma that fills the streets.
We have more recommendations to share from our long weekend in Amsterdam, so look out for future posts.
Thanks for reading,
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