The Dust Guide to...amsterdam

May 12, 2019

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THE DUST GUIDE To...
aMSTERDaM

At the end of April, I spent four nights in Amsterdam and I completely fell in love with this amazing city. I'm literally already planning my next trip back! I thought I'd create a guide to all the gorgeous places I found whilst I was there for anyone who's planning a trip. Lisa x


Where i STaYED...
                                      THE HoXToN

I can't recommend this hotel enough. It is a design lovers dream. It's in a beautiful old building literally right on the canal. The lobby, the restaurant, the rooms, even the halls and lifts have been designed to perfection. Breakfast is delivered to your room which is a lovely touch - breakfast in bed every morning! We ate in the restaurant one of the nights and it was completely delicious. Finally, all gold stars for the customer service. The staff were so lovely and friendly. We had a bit of a mix up in our room the first night but they sorted it out and gave us a free dinner and wine in the room as a sorry - can't argue with that!


Where i aTE...

I want to preface this section by saying the food in Amsterdam was really wonderful! We literally didn't have a bad meal. Even the cafes in the galleries and museums served delicious, original food. Now onto the specifics. :)

PESCa

Pesca describe their restaurant as the 'Theatre of Fish'. It's a fun experience where you go and choose your fresh fish from the counter (soft shell crab anyone?), then you go and choose your wine in the wine shop and bring it all over to the table. Food was delicious and the place is beautifully decorated. Really lovely if you're a fish lover.

CECCoNIS

As is often the case, I chose this place for the beautiful interiors, and it didn't disappoint. The service was fab too but the food was probably the least impressive of our trip. Undercooked pasta and just a little underwhelming unfortunately. Mind you, the bar was pretty high from everywhere else!

Mama kelly

Saving the best to last! We went here on our final night. I had first spotted this beauteous piece of pink perfection on Instagram about 6 months ago and have been salivating over the interiors ever since. And it was everything I could have imagined. Pink velvet, fun neon lights, pink vintage phones, it was just SO BEAUTIFUL! And did I mention its' speciality is lobster? I hadn't even thought about the food but it was totally delicious. As were the cocktails and pink wine. I will be making a mission back here when I'm next over for sure. NB: It's a bit out of the centre, over by the Olympic stadium.


What i VISITED...

HoRTUS BoTaNICUS

This wasn't on the planned itinerary, we found out about it once we'd arrive and it was such a gorgeous surprise. This is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world with a beautiful Palm house, a butterfly greenhouse and a ‘hothouse’ that emulates three different tropical environments. AND the restaurant serves gorgeous food. Win win.

One of the coolest collections of art I've seen. This museum is a who's who of modern art. Warhol, Basquiat, Hirst, Banksy, Lichtenstein and a new discovery for me, sculptor Daniel Arsham. I could post endless pics of all the amazing art but I'll settle for just these three.

When I went, there was an exhibition exploring the influence Van Gogh had on Hockney's work showing some of Hockney's landscapes (pic of one below) which was pretty special. This took the visit to a whole new level but even without this, seeing some of the Van Gogh greats like Sunflowers, his Almond Blossoms and the self portrait was really amazing. It's a really impressive collection well worth a visit.


What I wouldn't go back to

I'm not really one to be negative and I appreciate some people may love the things I've listed below but I feel it's not a fair review if I didn't include the bits I didn't find so great.

I appreciate this is mostly my fault as I didn't understand what I was going to see but this is the site that comes up when you search for tulip fields in Amsterdam and it is not tulip fields! It is (admittedly beautifully done) manicured tulip gardens with endless hordes of people arriving by the coach load. Not the romantic walk in tulip fields we had envisaged!  

This is what I thought I was going to see:

This is what I actually saw!

Again this was down to my bad planning really. I didn't research this properly and so we ended up going on one of the large company tours. It was quite a big boat and the commentary was really minimal. Didn't really feel like we learned much about Amsterdam and the commentary was pre-recorded and generic, referencing places you couldn't actually see! I would definitely go on one of the canal tours again but I'd do my research and go on one of the smaller ones. Apparently they're much more fun and the smaller boats can go down some of the smaller canals so you go off the beaten track a bit more.


And that's is everything I loved (and didn't love as much) about beautiful Amsterdam. Would love to hear your tips on any places I missed for my next trip!  


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