Hotspot: De Utrechtse Boekenbar

Close to the lively Ledig Erf in Utrecht is a new coffee bar/bookshop; De Utrechtse Boekenbar. It’s a shop where you can buy interesting books and drink a cup of coffee while reading your new book purchase.

Founder Tim van den Hoed started a crowdfunding campaign to make his dream Book-Bar become a reality. Because he’s born and raised in Utrecht, he felt like this was the city where he wanted to open the Boekenbar. Utrecht is also a cultural city with many music, art and book projects. Van den Hoed wanted to create a space with ambiance where both the coffee and the book assortment were good. De Utrechtse Boekenbar is quite unique because of the combination of interesting and special books and the possibility to have a drink at the same place. You can come here for novels, travel books, cookbooks and table photo books. All are displayed with the front faced forward. 

Utrechtse boekenbar

More than just a bookstore
The Utrechtse Boekenbar is a place for everyone. You can meet up with friends but the bar is also suitable for studying. The shop is sleek, with a comfortable sitting area and a wide range of books and a simple café. Books are both available in English and Dutch and the assortment is not very standard as you may expect. Your attention is immediately drawn to all the fascinating book covers that are placed around the store.

Koffie bij de Utrechtse Boekenbar
And yes, they serve good coffee at the Utrechtse Boekenbar!

You can also buy a variety of stationary items and at the bar you can enjoy a coffee, ice tea and (homemade!) cookies and pies. Tim is at the shop six days a week and pretty much runs the shop on his own. But he’ll always goes out of his way to have a small conversation about the store, and give you the best book recommendations! So if you’re searching for a new book and combine this with a nice cup of coffee, go to De Utrechtse Boekenbar!

The Utrechtse Boekenbar
Westerkade 2, Utrecht
Website

Love,

Merel

*Merel is one of our guest editors from Utrecht and describes herself as a daydreaming student who has wanderlust ever since she traveled sround Jamaica for 3 months. She can’t wait to travel the whole wide world after she finishes her bachelor. Follow her on Instagram!

Our favourite Veggie Pita spot in Amsterdam is now open daily!

If you’ve been to a Dutch food festival or the Sunday Market, you must have heard of Vleesch noch Visch. This famous veggie stand is one of those places you keep coming back for. They started off with a tiny stand on food markets and expanded over the years where they opened a kiosk in Amsterdam West, near the Westerpark. Good news for those who can’t wait for the weekend, they are now open daily from 12 till 9pm!

Veggie pita Vleesch noch Visch
The famous Greek veggie pita 

Vleesch noch Visch became famous because of their Greek veggie pita that has people queuing up for. At the kiosk they also offer other meals such as a Mi Gado pita, fries, soups and salads. Vegans don’t worry, most meals are easily turned into vegan. There are tables and benches to enjoy your favourite meal at, and you will find that people from all over the city come here for a bite. I have been a fan since the beginning but now that more people starting to embrace vegetarian and vegan meals, this place is set to be even more popular than ever.

Happy eating!

Elke

Vleesch noch Visch
Schaepmansstraat 2, Amsterdam
Website

*Header photo source: Vleesch noch Visch

The new Corner Bakery is open and it’s amazing!

Freakshakes, healthy bowls, pancakes, colourful cakes and a brand new location in Amsterdam West. The new Corner Bakery is open and it’s awesome!

If you like taking pictures of your food, this is the place for you. The Corner Bakery already has a location near the museumsquare in Amsterdam, but because of the line of people and popular demand, they have just opened a new location across the World Fashion Center in Amsterdam West. This location is larger and spacious that includes an outside terrace.

new corner bakery Amsterdam
The interior of the new Corner Bakery Amsterdam

The interior is a combination of sweet, fruity and pastel. Pretty flowers give the location the final touch and the wooden counter makes it feel like a bar in the tropics. At the counter you can also find THE cakes. Let’s talk about this for a second. These cakes and not just any cakes. Nope, these ones are specially made by the girls of The Life of Pie. Almost pretty to eat! Almost.

The Life of Pie cakes at the new Corner Bakery Amsterdam
The cakes of The Life of Pie (source)

Coffee at the Corner Bakery Amsterdam
The coffee is great too! (a very important detail)

The New Corner Bakery Amsterdam
The Velvet Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Bali Bowl, BLT Roll, Freakshake and a Unicorn Cake

Other food on the menu consists of bread rolls with avocado, salmon, BLT or you can pick one of the salads. The best thing however, is the breakfast. You can order it all day and there are so many options! Red velvet pancakes? Eggs Benedict? Bali & Acai bowls? It’s all there. Oh, and don’t forget about those crazy freakshakes that include a sprinkled doughnut!

Be sure to reserve a bit of space in your stomach, because you are going to order more than you came for.

Love,

Elke

Corner Bakery
Koningin Wilhelminaplein 60 – 62, Amsterdam
Facebook / Instagram

 

Dr. Pieper » The Coolest Snackbar In Amsterdam?

If you’re close watcher, you might have seen this new spot in one of our articles last week where we tipped it as one of the newest hotspots for this month. A little introduction; in the Netherlands we love potatoes. I mean, seriously, love love it. We boil them, bake them, mash them and of course fry them. Fries are immensely popular with the Dutch and you can find a fry shop, as we call them, around every corner. So this is where Dr. Pieper comes in. Dr. who? Let me explain..

The Story
Dr. Pieper is a scientist who is completely obsessed with the potato. He lost both of his parents and started to dig into the mystery where his parents worked on (whatever that mystery was!) After university and part time jobs as a doctor and bookkeeper on Amsterdam’s Red Light District, Dr. Pieper left for South America. No one has heard anything from him since then. With the exception of Jelle Westland. Jelle met the scientist and discovered some of the mystery. Convinced of Dr. Pieper his own vision ‘With Quality You Will Always Save’, Westland began the eccentric fries shop on the Kinkerstraat in Amsterdam. This first branch will support the further research of Dr. Pieper, plus donates a part of the profits to Return To Sender. Westland’s dream to offer the best and most special fritters in the Netherlands (and the world!) is about to come true..

If this Dr. Pieper really exists is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure, the eccentric fries shop is open for business!

Dr. Pieper
The one and only, Dr. Pieper

Dr. Pieper
Floating potatoes and industrial interior makes the story of Dr. Pieper complete

On the Menu
Fries. Obviously, but we didn’t need to tell you this. What makes the menu extra special are the homemade croquettes, with vegan and vegetarian options. All fried in coconut oil. The sauces are also homemade and you can order truffel, peppadew, and basilicum mayonaise. Sounds good right? Well, I had a little taste and I particularly loved the vegetarian sweet pepper croquette. Meat lovers can feast on the sweet pulled chicken or Indonesian beef stew. But one of the really cool things Dr. Pieper is going to offer, is à la minute fresh nitro oxygen Ice-Cream. The whole shop looks like an experimental lab with potatoes floating around in watertanks and industrial seats. There is even a jellyfish tank and robot-like-clamps are there to hold your bag of fries.

Fries at Dr. Pieper
Hand cut fries with Indonesian beef stew

Dr. Pieper will officially open on the 14th of October but you can already walk in for a sneak peak and a little taste. Will this be the coolest fries shop in the Netherlands? I think so.

Love,

Elke

Dr. Pieper
Kinkerstaat 142H, Amsterdam
Website

Curious where those other new spots in Amsterdam are? Check it here!

Vegan Junkfood Bar

Total relaxation at hidden Spa Mika in London

Last week I traveled west, to Shepherds bush. Known for it’s amazing Westfield shopping centre and the one place in London where you can find a decent roti wrap. Right at the areas focal point lies the Dorsett Shepherds Bush Hotel with hidden gem SpaMika.

The Dorsett Shepherds Bush has that amazing Great Gatsby and Art Deco vibe, which completes a perfect London feel. Maybe it’s the fact that the building used to be a cinema, built in 1923 that gives you that royal 20’s luxury feeling. Tucked away in this beautiful 8-story hotel you will find SpaMika, where you enter a world of luxury and tranquility.

exterior
The Dorsett Shepherds Bush

Time to Relax
SpaMika is the perfect place to get away from all the noise of the city and hear yourself think again in the sauna, steam room or in one of the four therapy suites. There’s even a room for a couples massage, is it Valentine’s day yet? 
After a good sweat and steam I chilled in the relaxation room. I might have enjoyed this one the most, it’s so lovely and light and you can just relax on a sofa bed and think about how good life is in that moment. And after I had my zen-moment and cup of English tea I enjoyed the Elemis facial. Elemis is known for their luxury products all sourced from nature but with a scientific proven result. The brand is constantly evolving and researching new methods to improve people’s skin. The anti-aging facial I had made my skin soft and radiant without greasing my skin, loved it.

Spa Mika, London
Time to relax!

dsb_pavilion_spa mika_relaxation_room_2

Every girl needs a me-day every now and then, I know I do! This is my new go-to spot in the city to unwind and treat myself. Although, maybe next time I’ll bring a friend as the afternoon tea looked AMAZING ;)

*The Dorsett Spa Taster and Afternoon Tea Package is £84.00 per person and includes a 25 minute treatment, up to 1-hour access to the heated facilities and viewpoint relaxation lounge and refreshments. The facilities include changing rooms with amenities, robe, slippers, and towel with access to the Eucalyptus Finish sauna and Aroma steam rooms before your treatment. Classic Afternoon Tea serviced at the Dorsett Atrium Jin Bar.

SpaMika at Dorsett Shepherds Bush
58 Shepherd’s Bush Green, London
Website

Love,

Jantine

*Jantine is a hip hop & cheese enthusiast and a city girl with a love for everything local. After having explored everything there is in Amsterdam while living there, London became her new playground. Her best days are spent exploring the city off the grid, into neighborhoods where you can eat, drink, dance and chat with locals and become one yourself. She will write for Wander-Lust on a monthly basis where she will tip you about the places to be in London! Follow her on Instagram @jantinevanbloois.

QO will be one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe

Last week I was invited to the QO Amsterdam that is set to open at the end of this year. Fully under construction, i got an exclusive tour and even managed to see one of the finished rooms. I’ve been to many hotels in my life but there has never been a hotel I’ve looked this forward to. Why? Because it’s set to be one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe.

At the entrance of QO I meet Inge van Weert, the general manager of the hotel. She tells me an important detail. “There won’t be a reception downstairs but on the first floor”. “People don’t like to walk into hotels because too often they walk into a reception, and hotels, that’s something for tourists right? We want to change this. Our guests should feel comfortable, meet friends for a coffee or enjoy a dinner”. I can totally relate to that. It’s proven to be an effective strategy that you also see at successful hotels like the Hoxton and the W Hotel in Amsterdam.

groundfloor QO, Amsterdam
An impression of how the entrance and restaurant Persijn will look like

mezzanine-render2_tank_interior_design

QO is going to grow it’s own vegetables, herbs and even fish in the rooftop greenhouse

Sustainable, yet luxurious
The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving Aluminum panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by the Conran Design Group from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK.

suite QO Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

Raw Food & Cocktails
On the 21st floor you will find Juniper & Kin, the hotel bar that will serve cocktails with a combination of small “raw food” dishes, meaning that they are only heated up 41 degrees. The ingredients will come from the greenhouse, situated on the top floor. This will be an important element of the hotel, as they will grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and eatable flowers here. When I was there I was able to taste at least 4 different basilicum leaves, so I can only imagine what else they will grow! Besides plants they also grow fish (omega perch) in the greenhouse. This means they are growing fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial way. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants purify the water for the fish. So it is a circular greenhouse. They aim not to waste anything at the QO; so once the fish have lived their natural lifecycle in the tanks, you’ll get to enjoy them on your plate. You can’t get anymore local than this! Downstairs on the groundfloor, you will be able to enjoy an exquisite Dutch menu at restaurant Persijn. There will be plenty of vegetables on the menu that will have the overhand, with fish and meat as a side. It’s perfect for a Sunday brunch but also great for a business lunch or dinner and will be able to seat 140 guests.

QO Amsterdam, rooftop bar
Juniper & Kin

We can’t wait for this hotel to open!

QO
Amstelvlietstraat 2, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

Read about the 5 most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam here:

Sustainable hotels in Amsterdam

Parallel Amsterdam brings Spain to the city

Girls, put on your flamingo dress. Boys, practice your salsa moves. There’s a new kid in town and it’s bringing Amsterdam some Spanish passion. El nuevo restaurante Español will be located at the Overtoom where restaurant BUUF used to be. With pain in our hearts we had to say goodbye to the cozy restaurant that used to feed us the best (and healthy comfort food). But dry your tears, Parallel Amsterdam is here to make it up!

Passionate Spanish cuisine
If I say Spain, you say tapas. However, there is a lot more to discover (and to eat after you discover it). I lived in Madrid for a year and had to go on a strict veggie diet back in Amsterdam. Not because of the tranquillo culture or the whole swimming pool of Sangria that I had drunk. I just couldn’t resist the Spanish cuisine. For me it was like living in comfort food paradise and I’m happy you can soon experience the same at Parallel.

Traditional Spanish food with modern influences.

The owners Roel de Haas and Imre Swaanswijk made it their goal to show Amsterdam the Spanish cuisine is more flavorful than the well-known tapas. With a chef named Alvaro Santiago it seems quite likely they will exceed their goal and the Amsterdam inhabitants are destined to amplify their taste palette to the next level. Their promise: traditional Spanish food with modern influences. Well I say, bring it on! Cause me and my appetite are ready. They serve 3 different versions of gazpachos (cold Spanish soup), crunchy favorites like patatas bravas but also offer a croquette tasting and ceviche. There is a lot of meat and fish but they’ve added some veggie and vegan options on the menu too.

Food at Parallel

Location
Not only you can experience the Spanish food at Parallel Amsterdam, the culture is also there to taste. Wander yourself on the promenade in Barcelona on their wide terrace (definitely for Amsterdam standards). No need to cancel your trip if the thermometer doesn’t match Spanish standers, the terrace is heated.

Parallel Amsterdam

Swap your bike for a bull and let’s pray for some late mid-September summer nights (I still got hope). Parallel is the perfect spot for a Spanish micro-vacation. No heavy suitcases, you only have to bring an empty stomach and your appetite.

Love,

Eva

Parallel Amsterdam
Overtoom 495 – 497, Amsterdam
Website

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

Bakers Dough is coming to Amsterdam!

Time to indulge yourself to the max because cookie dough bar Bakers Dough is also coming to Amsterdam.

After the successful opening in Rotterdam, the insta-famous Bakers Dough is finally coming to our capital city. Never heard of this sweet food trend before? Well, it’s pretty simple; remember the dough you used to secretly eat when your mum baked a cake? It’s just like that only this is the kind that doesn’t make your tummy hurt at the end. The cookie dough is topped with all sorts of things like chocolate, sprinkles, m&m’s or fresh fruits. They even have a gluten free and vegan option!

bakers-dough

The location in Rotterdam has visitors from over the whole world and it was only a matter of time before opening up a second store. The new location is still a secret but we will let you know here first!

Bakers Dough in Rotterdam
Bakers Dough in Rotterdam

For now you can visit Bakers Dough at the Pannekoekstraat 82A in Rotterdam. Check out their Facebook Page for more impressions.

Love,

Elke

*All the images in this articles are courtesy of Bakers Dough

More lusty hotspots?

LUST Spots

 

The Dutch Weed Burger Joint

You must have seen The Dutch Weed Burger at various food festivals, markets or events. If you haven’t, you should try it because it’s one of the most innovating burgers in the world right now. You could already order the special burger at many restaurants around the country but now it’s time for the venture opened it’s first vegan-seaweed-fastfood-bar in Amsterdam West called The Dutch Weed Burger Joint.

The Dutch Weed Burger Joint, Burgers
The famous Weed Burgers Source

Sea Weed is a natural product and the food of the future

Come to this new vegan hotspot for a tasty bite with a beer in your hand and enjoy a 100% plant based menu. Besides the Weed Burger you can also order Seawharma, The Dutch Weed Dog and Wish ‘n Chips. The Joint will also serve freshly made Mylkshakes 100% vegan sweets like the Galaxy Doughnut. Sounds good!

the-dutch-weed-burger-joint
The new location. Source

So Why Seaweed?
The burger is made out of seaweed but don’t be alarmed, it actually taste very good plus there are a lot of health benefits. Sea Weed is a natural product and the food of the future. Sea Weed natural contains protein, omega 3 and minerals. Many scientists believe that this powerful plant could save the world if we run out of resources. It hardly needs any sweet water or space so it’s good for the environment. A win-win situation!

Dutch Weed Burger Joint
Nicolaas Beetstraat 47, Amsterdam
Open: wed – sun 11.00 – 21.30
Website

Love,

Elke

Looking for more tasty hotspots in Amsterdam?

LUST Spots

 

NEW! A Vegan Ice-Cream Bar in Amsterdam

When it’s hot outside, we want ice-cream. But when you’re vegan, it’s not always that easy to find the Ice-Cream you want. If you are vegan or you’re trying to cut down on dairy, you will be happy to hear that the Juicebrothers are selling amazing vegan ice-cream flavors at their new location in Amsterdam!

juicebrothers-vegan-ice-cream-bar-in-amsterdam
The Ice-cream bar at Juicebrothers Haarlemmerplein Source

In collaboration with Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream, they now sell delicious flavors like Black Sesam, Tumeric and even Spirulina! Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream is an organic brand that originated in Brooklyn New York. Besides their New York and Los Angeles stores, they are now making waves overseas. The vegan scoops are made with housemade cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, and organic carob bean. 

vegan-ice-cream-bar-in-amsterdam

 

Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream in Amsterdam
Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream announcing their collaboration with The Juicebrothers

We’ll can’t wait to try it!

Juicebrothers
Haarlemmerplein, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Wander-Lust