Amsterdam Weekend Guide September 2019

Usually, we publish a monthly event calendar, but because of our busy schedule these couple of months and because there is sooo much to do this coming weekend, we have created a special weekend guide for you guys. From music events, to food & drinks and markets. Enjoy the Amsterdam Weekend Guide for September 13th – 15th.

Frits Borrel at IJver

When? Friday 13th of September, IJver
We recently checked out IJver and we can tell you that this is the perfect location for an after work Frits Borrel! Located at the NDSM Werf in North, it is a huge location where they will have a DJ, cocktails and a lot of beer!

West Beach Film festival

When? 13 – 22 September, Sloterplas
From today until the 22nd of September, you can sit down at this wonderful but small film festival located next to the Sloter beach on the Sloterplas for movies, music, children’s activities and much more. Entrance is free! Check the link for all the movies and times.

Weekend Guide September

Amsterdam Beer Festival

When? 13th – 15th of September from 12pm, Marine terrein
Beer has never been so popular as it is today. Forget about the simple Heineken, this festival is serving you the best brewed beers there is. There will be music, tasty food and more than 50 beer taps to enjoy. Whether you like beer or not, this is set to be a lively place to visit on Saturday!

Raindance Project

When? 14th of September from 12pm till 9pm, Vondelpark Theater
Non-profit organisation JustDiggit has just announced that they will host a free concert in the Vondelpark Open air theater on the 14th of September 2019, starting at 12:00. Artists will include De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Joost van Bellen, Akwasi, Donnie, Naaz, Flexican and many more. Justdiggit ambassador Floortje Dessing and Tess Milne will be presenting. At the same time, The Raindance Project in Africa will be held in rural and drought-stricken areas, to inspire and activate the farmers who are implementing re-greening and rainwater harvesting techniques and spread the word.

Raindance Project Amsterdam

Tuinen van WestFest

When? 15th of September, Tuinen van West
This festival on the Polderheuvel, in the middle of the Tuinen van West is for young and old. Poetry, puppet theater, circus workshops for children, making workshops with artists, fair food from the local harvest and throughout the day there are various bands and artists that fill the garden with great music. Learn, play, discover, pick, taste and experiment with a real festival vibe!

Amsterdam City Beach Festival

When? 14th of September at DOK
A dancefloor, DJ’s, dancing in the sand, karaoke or drinking and eating on a pop-up bar. Or chilling in a hammock? this will be all possible at DOK, in Amsterdam East. Tickets are 5 Euro. More info here.

Kids Music Festival at Tolhuistuin

When? 14th & 15th of September, Tolhuistuin
In previous years they hosted successful editions at Ruigoord, but this festival strikes down at the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam North this year. There will be a lot of different music that your kids can listen to or even play themselves. Kids under the age of 2 are free.

September weekend Guide Amsterdam

Enjoy your weekend!

Wander-Lust

Germany has Islands! | We visited Norderney

Did you know that Germany has beaches? In fact, they have more than 10 islands located on the North shore that you probably haven’t heard of. We took the boat to one of the larger islands; Norderney.

Norderney is quite a popular island amongst Germans that are looking for that seaside breeze. But for many Europeans, this island still remains pretty lowkey. Although I had never heard of the German islands before, I was pleased to receive an invitation to discover Norderney.

How to get there

From Amsterdam, you drive up to Norddeich which takes around 3,5 hours. You can park your car at one of three parking-lots that will cost you 5 euro per day. From here you take the ferry. Tickets are available online and for a return ticket you pay €22,-. You can also bring your car, but you won’t really need it on Norderney. The journey only takes 50 minutes, and there is plenty of space to sit or buy something at the ferry café.

Ferry to Norderney

Norderney will surprise you

In all fairness, once you set foot on the island, you will notice that 80% of Norderney visitors are above the age of 50 plus. Although this may be true (and there is nothing wrong with that). Therefore I expected the island to be a bit dull and outdated. Boy, I was wrong. To beging with, the architecture looks amazing. For example, you’ll notice the many white stylish buildings and houses. Not to mention the chique hotels and café’s and the many amazing restaurants for you to try out.

Norderney Beach chairs

Where to stay

In general, there are plenty of guesthouses and hotels to choose from, but I stayed at one of the coolest boutique hotels on the island. In fact, Hotel Inselloft is more like a modern style apartment complex that includes a restaurant (Esszimmer), bakery/café, shop and spa. Even the reception area isn’t what you would normally see. The vibe here is lowkey, even though everything looks neat and stylish thanks to high-quality materials, cool brands and fine fabrics. I was lucky enough to stay in one of their lofts, a room with an equipped kitchen, large bathroom, outside terrace and 2 bedrooms, one of which was located up the stairs.

Hotel Inselloft Norderney
Loft room at Inselloft Norderney

Inselloft Norderney

Food & Drink

If you stay here, you must try to have dinner at Esszimmer, the hotel’s restaurant. Chef Felix Wessler, that cooks everything from the open style kitchen, changes the menu per season. Most of the ingredients are local, which you can definitely taste. In the morning, the restaurants operates as the breakfast room where cooking is done at the stove in the evening, guests can help themselves to a rich buffet in the morning. The bakery next door is great for a barista-style coffee and people from the whole island literally stand in line for their freshly baked bread.

Inselloft

Breakfast Inselloft, Norderney
Breakfast

Esszimmer, Norderney
Restaurant Esszimmer

Things to do

During the summer months, Norderney has plenty of events, including a music festival. But there are a few things the island is famous for which we listed down here.

Enjoy the 14 km stretch beaches

The best way to discover Norderney’s beaches is by bicycle. Cycle past the Northern beach and continue through the beautiful dunes. In between, stop at several beach houses and café’s for a drink or delicious lunch. If you like skinny dipping, you can do this at the Oase beach, which is also one of the nicer beaches. If you feel more comfortable with your clothes on, you should try Weisse Duene (hence the name) or the far East beach on Norderney. The only way to get there is by foot and is quite a nice walk for 7km that ends at a shipwreck.

Norderney beach
Nordstrand

Norderney beach
Oase Beach

Relax at the Badehaus

There is no place like it. This infamous pool & spa is known for its diversity in bath temperatures and the natural salt water. From sauna’s and dark salt baths, to ice-cold rain showers and jacuzzi’s. I enjoyed a signature schlick body wrap, which is basically mud from the sea that smells like a fish market but is great for your skin! Next to that, there is also a family swimming pool with a laser light waterslide that I couldn’t get enough of. Check www.norderney.de/badehaus-norderney to book an appointment.

Watch the sunset at Milchbar

If the weather is nice, Milchbar is packed with people that sip on cocktails and watch the sun set in the North sea. We don’t blame them because it really is the best spot on the island to do so. Milchbar also offers cakes, salads and more.

Sunset
Sunset at the Milchbar

Have lunch at one of the many beach bars

Funny enough, Norderney has many café and restaurants that are stylish and trendy. Some of my favourites are the lowkey Surfcafé,and Weisse Düne, upscale Strandpieper and of course the chill Milchbar for the best Aperol Spritze.

Beach chairs Weisse Duene
Weisse Düne

Surfcafe Norderney
Lunch at Surfcafé

Shopping

Although Norderney isn’t comparable to a city, there are surprisingly plenty of cobblestone streets with boutiques stores plus small eateries. Must try: Matjes fish on a bread roll.

cycling Norderney
Explore the island! Bicycles are available for rent at Hotel Inselloft

My verdict:

All things considered, Norderney is probably one of the biggest surprises of 2019 for me. The Frisian island is for suitable for families, pensioners but also couples will love this island if you are looking for an easy going vibe, long stretch beaches and great food options. I’m curious to see the rest of Germany’s islands!

Exclusive Offer!

If you book a stay of at least two nights at Hotel Inselloft and enter the code WANDERLUST when making your reservation, you will receive a 30 EUR voucher for Restaurant Marienhöhe directly opposite the hotel on arrival. Valid for reservations between 1. October 2019 and 31. March 2020. Please Note: Restaurant Marienhöhe is closed between 1. and 26. December and a voucher for this period is excluded.

Happy travels.

Elke

Jacobsz, the restaurant in Amsterdam that sticks around

As you know, Amsterdam has countless so called “hotspots” that are poppin’ up like mushrooms. Some are trendy for a bit and disappear quite quickly. But some restaurants are here to stay. Jacobsz belongs to the ones that stick around, and we’re going to tell you why.

Jacobsz is located right on the corner of the Middenweg/Ringdijk in Amsterdam’s Eastside. The restaurant is situated inside a monumental building and thanks its name to the architect that designed the building many years ago.

Legend says that Napoleon received the key to the gates of old Amsterdam right here, 200 years ago.

Ever changing menu

There is no easy way to describe the menu at Jacobsz because they change it about every 7 weeks, but we can best describe it as good, honest seasonal food, accompanied by the best wines. Ordering is pretty simple. You can go for a 3, 4, or 5-course menu that includes carefully chosen wines from different regions. If you are up for it, you can also opt for the 6-course menu, which is only ordered per table. If you know me, you know I went for the last option. Wow. Even the amuse with mushroom and cream made me talk about Jacobsz for the next 2 weeks.

Jacobz Amsterdam
One of the current dishes at Jacobsz

I have to admit, I didn’t understand every ingredient that our waiter explained, but I didn’t care. It suited perfectly with the wines they served with each separate dish. Because I am a vegetarian I was a bit worried that I would get less better version of what my man had, but no. You couldn’t even compare the dishes he had.

Wine at restaurant Jacobz
Every bottle is suits a different dish

It might have something to do with the fact that most ingredients at Jacobsz are seasonal and local.

Menu Jacobsz

The Ambiance at Jacobsz

When I visit a restaurant, the ambience is just as important to me as the food. Needless to say that the interior at Jacobsz is simple but warm. Filled with people from all walks of life. Young professionals, couples, business partners or grandparents with their children. They all come back here to taste their ever changing menu. For those sunny days you have Bolder, their private terrace that you can book for gatherings and parties.

Jacobsz
Simple, but stylish

In conclusion, Jacobsz is here to stay and has officially been crowned one of the best restaurants by us and the people of Amsterdam.

Let us know when you are planning to go!

Love,

Elke

Jacobsz
Ringdijk 1, Amsterdam
Website

Restaurant Nul Twintig | good food on the coast of Curacao

Restaurant Nul Twintig is the Caribbean sister restaurant 212 in Amsterdam. Chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot have worked together for many years in Michelin star restaurants and made their dream come true in 2017 by jointly opening the first ‘no table’ restaurant in Amsterdam. But Restaurant Nul Twintig on Curacao is a little different.

As soon as I entered the big front yard of newly opened restaurant Nul Twintig the beautiful green color of the building and the white window frames caught my eye. You can just feel this is a building with a lot of history but now completely redesigned with a new purpose. A piece of tranquility in the turbulent Penstraat, just what we needed on Curacao!

020 Curacao

Restaurant Nul Twintig

Located in an old country house at the coast right between the lively Pietermaai neighbourhood and the touristy Mambo Boulevard. This country house served for years as a residence and it was then also used as an event location. After that it was empty for a long time and completely neglected. It has since been refurbished and transformed into a modern restaurant with a beach vibe interior.

Bar restaurant 020

Pleasant music, amazing sea views and delicious drinks to cool you off

Interior

When you enter the restaurant you have the option to sit inside in a small intimate space with a view of the open kitchen. Due to the white walls and the use of natural materials like wood and rattan, this part of the restaurant looks very light and spacious. But if you really want to enjoy the view and hear the sounds of the sea crashing into the rocks you need to take a table outside. Pleasant music, amazing sea views and delicious drinks to cool you off, if this doesn’t get you into the holiday vibe I don’t know what else will.

restaurant nul twintig curacao
The Nul Twintig kitchen bar

Food

The menu is compact and straightforward and filled with known dishes but with its own twist. Think of dover sole, grilled cod and veal cheek combined with garlic cremolazta or coconut and lime sauce. They are planning to expand the food menu further but for now I chose the Caesar style salad with red miso and white pepper shrimp as an appetizer. A light and fresh salad with a nice bite thanks to the tasty shrimps. I then treated myself to roasted cod with baby squid and a celeriac puree. This is really the perfect dish to eat for lunch while sitting the sea. It is not too heavy and a good balance between sour and salt. Highly recommended if you like fish!

restaurant Nul Twintig

Lunch at restaurant 020 Curacao

All round location

Curacao is a small island where lately more and more new hospitality initiatives have emerged that will make you happy. Restaurant Nul Twintig is certainly one of them. What I like about this new spot is that it is an all-round meeting point: you can have a lovely lunch, a romantic ocean front dinner, afternoon drinks with friends or just relax *poolside. Furthermore, this is a wonderful location where they pay a lot of attention to good food and great service, something that both tourists and local people can appreciate. Soon they will be open 7 days a week from 12pm till 10pm so you basically can spend your whole day here. Something I definitely wouldn’t mind!

Sea view

Love,

Gala

Restaurant Nul Twintig
300 Penstraat, Willemstad, Curaçao
Website / Instagram

*Note: work is currently being carried out on the realisation of the swimming pool and the outside bar, which will probably be finished by the end of 2019.

The Raindance Project | The concert that matters

This September you can enjoy a free concert in Amsterdam, Tanzania and Kenia that will be streamed all over the world, in order to raise awareness about climate change. It’s called the Raindance Project and includes a pretty impressive line-up artists and musicians, dancers and speakers.

Non-profit organisation JustDiggit has just announced that they will host a free concert in the Vondelpark Open air theater on the 14th of September 2019, starting at 12:00. Artists will include De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Joost van Bellen, Akwasi, Donnie, Naaz, Flexican and many more. Justdiggit ambassador Floortje Dessing and Tess Milne will be presenting. At the same time, The Raindance Project in Africa will be held in rural and drought-stricken areas, to inspire and activate the farmers who are implementing re-greening and rainwater harvesting techniques and spread the word.

It will be the mini Live Aid for climate change that we’ve been waiting for

Raising Awareness

This event is now more important than ever, while the Amazon is blazing on fire at the moment. Desertification is one of the most urgent threats to mankind, causing food and water scarcity, poverty, climate change and millions of climate refugees. The Raindance Project aims to create awareness but also celebrating the re-greening successes so far. But most of all demonstrate the urgency of climate change and promote one of the major solutions, nature.

If we can warm up the earth, we can also cool it down

A continues project

The Raindance Project is a true decade plan 2020 – 2030 and an open invitation to the rest of the world to join. Together with international partners such as the UN Environment it is the time to change the course of our narrative. Dutch radio station 3FM is official partner of The Raindance Project and will livestream the entire event. The event can also be followed via the official socials of Justdiggit, The Raindance Project and 3FM.

Check the full line up here:

The Raindance Project

One thing is for sure, you want to be there on the 14th of September. It will be the concert that can change your life.

Wander-Lust

Find out how you can reduce your ecological footprint during your travels!

Compensate Your CO2

NEW HOTSPOT | BENJI’S TOKO AMSTERDAM WEST

Meet your new best buddy in town: Benji’s Toko. The culinary Indonesian side of Benji’s. Not to mention that this new addition will take you right to the tropics with a jungle vibe in the middle of Amsterdam West. Located next to a waterfront with a handsome, sun-kissed terrace. 

Time to expand

Proud. Flattered. The owners are grateful they got the change to open a second spot. A toko driven by their roots, Indonesian food heritage and a cosmopolitan twist. Almost three years ago – oh baby, time flies – I wrote an article about Benji’s. Such an addition for Amsterdam Eastside. And where the norm seems to be to open a spot in West firstly, followed by a second spot in the upcoming, vibrant Eastern part of Amsterdam, they have done it exactly the other way around.

Benji's Toko

Needless to say, that I was very-very curious about the newest creation. A concept inspired by the tropical spheres of Bali. With a two month workcation on the schedule this winter on this island, this absolutely was already the best preparation. Hello gorgeous! Benji’s Toko is a place where you can escape from the high-paced city life and find yourself in a peaceful, green oasis. Lots of plants, steel, rattan, other natural materials…and more plants.

Breakfast at Benji's Toko Amsterdam

All Day Indonesian Food

Once you set foot in this green-overloaded place your guts tell you that there’s Indonesian blood flowing through the toko. They life to eat. They adore the food moments. Sounds familiar? Maybe there’s a little Indo in you as well, who knows! Because of this food-is-the-Indo’s-number-one-spirit, Benji’s had to come up with an all-day food concept. So, Benji’s is the one with the all-day breakfast, Benji’s Toko with the all-day brunch menu and in the evenings shareable street food.

Beji's Toko Amsterdam

What.A.Menu!

It contains an abundance of tastebud-tempting dishes. Normally I have to cherry-pick between at most two alternatives. But at Benji’s Toko my belly was in for almost 90% of their pampering menu. Even the salads caught my attention. And to think that I sort of have a love-hate relationship with those green basterds. Thumbs up for you little Benjamin!

Benji's

Expect some happiness on your plate

Bali Inspired

As a matter of fact, the menu at Benji’s Toko would not be out of place at Bali. Easy-going. Photogenic. Bursting with passion. Açaí bowl, raw rainbow noodle salad, rendang fries, rainbow buns, satay, gado gado rolls, lava cake. And, of course, colourful cocktails and delicious coffee on the side. One by one tropical treats. Another reason to stop by is the crew. Equally important, they offer genuinely hospitable service. Let’s call it ‘joyful enthusiasm.’ With flair and a tiny pinch of craziness, but without fuss and fakeness. Love it!

Instead of taking a 15 hour flight, you can get the same vibe just around the corner at Benji’s Toko. Who’s in for a breakfast, lunch or dinner date at this mouthwatering newbie?

Selemat Makan,

Sharmaine

Benji’s Toko
Baarsjesweg 188, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram

Opening hours: Tuesdays till Sundays 10:00 – 24:00
Mondays closed

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

More Tasty Hotspots?

 

 

 

Coal Drops Yard | London’s newest place to be

Kings Cross has a few claims to fame – it’s known for platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter) and for being the gateway to the continent as the home of the Eurostar Tunnel. Having recently had a £100 million investment, the area has been reimagined. Particularly the Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square area.

Set amongst Victorian-era buildings (two long former coal sheds and one granary building), the area is steeped in history. With humble beginnings set firmly during the industrial revolution the area originally served as a coal dispensary. Fast forward a century, the Coal Drops Yard has been used for film sets and hosted some of the biggest rave parties in London before it was repurposed into a multi-experience destination. 

Coal Drops Yard

Complete your culinary journey with a cocktail on the terrace bar at Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard

Your every day spot

Billed as a modern-day public gathering spot, dining options are a plenty! Whether you’re after a grab-and-go coffee, a mid-afternoon aperitif or a casual dinner with friends. Barrafina is worth a look in especially if you’re on the lookout for a perfect lunchtime tapas menu. Daily specials serve up fresh produce but it’s the pureed beetroot gazpacho with quail’s eggs that are one of the highlights. Another hot spot is Coal Office – a food and design playground offered up by chef Assaf Granit and British Designer Tom Dixon. You best book ahead at Parrillan as this is one of the most popular hotspots which won’t disappoint due to its stunning views of Regent’s Canal.

Parrillan London
Source: Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard | Wander-Lust

Combining shopping, culture and culinary options that now stands triumphantly in North London.

Artisanal, independent and luxury shops aim to appeal to all consumers who come by. Brands such as APC, Aesop and Bonds. But it’s concept store Wolf and Badger which takes the gold medal with carefully selected home-wear, need-it-now fashion and accessories. The store also boasts a florist, cafe and raw juice press. The top floor also offers up Michelin starred Hicce – a meat-lovers paradise with food cooked over holm oak charcoal. Sit inside for an atmospheric meal or outside if you’d like to watch the world pass by.

Florist Coal Drops Yard

Nearby Coal Drops Yard

In addition, stumble out of Coal Drops Yard and you’ll meet the impressive Granary Square which has also undergone somewhat of a makeover in recent years. Home to Central St Martins art college, the area is frequented by the well-dressed youth of London. During warm weather, the paved area becomes a play area with jets of water rising from the ground keeping everyone cool. Nearby, you can grab an ice-cream and sit on the steps for some people watching. And if the weather permits a morning yoga class is also sometimes on offer here too. Furthermore, if you’ve room to eat, Caravan serves up an impressive dining menu as does Granary Square Brewery. But it’s The Ligherman which offers up a perfect al fresco experiencing with panoramic views from all three floors.

Coal Drops Yard London

Coming soon..

But also, Kings Cross is set for even more change in the coming years, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Modern, luxury housing programs are popping up offering state-of-the-art living solutions. Not to mention, the Standard Hotel is opening up its first European outpost in the area too later in July. Google HQ will open here next year, and Universal Music recently moved in too making it fast-fast-becoming one of the most creative areas in London. Find out more about Coal Drops Yard here!

Love from London,

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries. Follow her on Instagram

12 x Tips for a Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht

Last midweek we traveled to Maastricht and its surroundings. Let see what the city that almost hosted the 2020 Eurovision is all about.

We Dutchies are globe-trotters with a capital ‘G’ and an exclamation mark. Our travel-around-the-world-craving seems to become bigger and bigger, year after year. But besides all the international magic, did you know our own country has just as much to offer as the most distant destinations? A nice side note: you save yourself a pricey ticket and killer jetlag (here’s how to avoid one). Hello Maastricht!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht in a nutshell

Would you like to experience life like the Maastricht citizens do? Drop by on a Sunday afternoon till Thursday and you’ll get that slow living, enjoyable feeling! No hustle and bustle, just everything at ease. The authentic atmosphere of Maastricht made me feel like I was on a laid back mini vacation abroad – and that wasn’t just because of the lovely spring sunshine, cold beer with Italian nibbles and a hospitable community. There is so much to explore, let’s zoom in on a few highlights and to do’s I’ve tried & tested.

Where to Stay

In my opinion the best district to stay is without doubt the hip and lively district ‘Wyck’. Extra plus: it’s near the train station, which is super convenient. Let me give you three really cool hotel tips for your citytrip in Maastricht:

» The Student Hotel: The Student Hotel has become a household name in this city. Besides housing students with a home away from home, the building also provides guests with a playful decor and spacious rooms. The monumental building is the perfect match for that TSH vibe, which stands for playful, creative and community. Next door you can find The Commons, a nice restaurant that guest and outsiders can use for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Keep an eye out for more Student Hotel locations, they plan to have 41 properties in European cities by 2021! Book your stay here.

TSH Maastricht
The Student Hotel

» The Dutch: The colourful, trendy design with international allure would certainly not be missed in Amsterdam, London or Barcelona. I’m in love with their breakfast bag, which they hang on your door in the early morning, so cute. Food allergy, vegan or other wishes? No problem for the genuinely friendly staff! www.hotelthedutch.com

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch
The Dutch, one of my stays during my midweekend citytrip in Maastricht

» Kaboom Hotel, are you smart, worldly-wise and a tad of a rebel? Did you hear yourself saying three times ‘yes’ than you definitely have to stay here. Rewarded as the best hotel concept in 2015 according to Entree Magazine, good job! Oh and they’re nice for your wallet: budget-friendly without feeling cheap. Book your stay here.
» Townhouse Hotel. They want to give you the feelin’ like home-away-from-home experience: rent a goldfish for one night – how funny is that! – and enjoy their homemade soup or a little alcoholic drink in one of the comfortable, retro sofas. If you prefer a pure and ‘down to earth’ hotel, this is your match! Book here!

Townhouse Hotel
The Townhouse Hotel

Where to Eat

Oh Yes, we have arrived (figuratively  speaking) at my favorite chapter: Food! During my citytrip in Maastricht I spotted many pretty new hotspots.
» Mr. Smith, Say hi to this new kid in town. A stylish cocktailbar of two hipsters. This cocktailicious hotspot is one you need to know, otherwise you will spontaneously go along. Press the bell and a small-scale, hidden cocktail heaven will open in front of you. Go for their fresh GT’s or ask the staff for a tasty advice. In advance #sorrynotsorry for your hangover. mrsmithmaastricht
» De Poshoorn, on Sunday evening I went to the well-known De Poshoorn. In the past a brown, tiny unobtrusive pub, nowadays a vibrant beer café with a fresh, contemporary atmosphere. Sixteen beers on tap and hundred on bottle. Go local and try the ‘Mestreechs Zoervleis’, a local food specialty. In spite of the fact the Maastrichtians see this dish as something unique, for this girl from above the rivers it’s a look-alike of the meaty hachee, so delicious! www.poshoorn.nl
» De Tapijn, is a very cool 4-year catering project in a former barrack. Relaxed location near the park, welcoming staff, a huge terrace and yummy food. I love the fact they know the origin of the fresh, local ingredients. This alone makes the food even better. Lunch, dinner or a Friday drink with friends, this hotspot in Maastricht has it all! www.tapijn.nl

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Jack White’s, one of the hotspots I’ve tried during my citytrip in Maastricht

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Never mind the beer! 😉

What To Do

Boy o boy where to start, there’s so much to do during a (mid)weekend Maastricht and other parts of South Limburg! Here are my favorite highlights:
Let’s start with the city walk through the urban part of Maastricht. Honestly, the excitement of the guide is essential for making or failing it, but luckily I had an amazing time with Lianne Schuuring, credits for her. She showed all the interesting ins and outs of Maastricht from the history till today. Bucketlist proof!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Sightseeing Maastricht, a must do during your citytrip!

Midweekend citytrip to Maastricht

Get Active

If you’d rather ride a bike than walk, rent a mountainbike and work on your condition in this hilly area. There’re so many bike routes. I cycled to the newly opened ENCI-quarry, a wonderful spot for a swim in summertime. Just a guess, I think you’ve never thought about a kickbike tour in the caves of Zonnebergust. In the Maastricht underground nothing is too crazy. Although I do not have much with visiting caves, the whole new experience ánd power chick Niké Hermans made it really enjoyable. See the Southern part of South Limburg from a fascinating, different angle. Are you claustrophobic? Let shake hands…but I can tell you this wasn’t too claustrophobic for me, so don’t worry.

dsc_0918
Entering the cave

Herbal walk?

A herbal walk in Maastricht or other parts in South Limburg, have you ever done it? Come one, once has to be the very first time. Definitely book it via the enthusiastic master herborist Anne van der Linden. She’s is a running encyclopedia, she really knows everything about herbs and their special function: tea of nettle for blood purification, the juice from the dandelion for drying out annoying pimples and so on, and so on. If you’re very interested in the history of historical buildings go to Abdij Rolduc in Kerkrade and book a tour. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite, but I can imagine you don’t want to miss it during your midweekend in Maastricht and surroundings. Afterwards you can have some food in the Brasserie or have a quick look in the microbrewery, a hidden gem!

dsc_0939

Maastricht

An information overload summarised in a city guide for you, you’re welcome 😉 I’ll definitely go back to the south if I need a mini-break!

Love,

Sharmaine

Read more of Sharmaine’s foodie tips here!

Konstanz City Guide

Berlin, Hamburg or München. All cities that you have heard of. But today we want to introduce you a lesser known German city that deserves a mention; Konstanz.

Located next to Lake Constance (Bodensee) and near the border of Switzerland, Konstanz is a great option if you want to combine more destinations in a short period. It has the charm of a German city, yet it feels more like a southern holiday destination, especially during summer. The easiest way to get here is by train or car because it doesn’t have an airport. That saying, it depends on the destination you’re traveling from of course.

City Guide Konstanz

Konstanz can be described as a peaceful city where people enjoy the outdoors and enjoy long summer evenings with friends.

Where to stay

Hotel prices can be quite expensive in Konstanz so it’s great to have an option that is reasonably affordable plus comfortable. We stayed at ibis Styles, which is playful, stylish and low key. You’ll find all sorts of travellers here. Families, couples, old & young and even business travellers. Every ibis Styles hotel is unique and has its own style and theme. Because Konstanz is located next to the water, it was no surprise that the hotel played into that.

ibis styles Konstanz
The bar at ibis Styles Konstanz

Our Room

We stayed in a family room on the top floor which was perfect because it had 2 separate parts but could also be transformed into one large area. This meant our little boy could sleep peacefully while we watched our favourite series. It includes a small kitchen with a fridge and a bar.

Ibis Styles Konstanz
ibis Styles Konstanz

Breakfast was actually surprisingly good! Croissants, crunchy bread rolls, fruit and healthy oats could be found at the morning buffet. Nice to know: they are currently refurbishing their garden that will feature a Jeu de Boules area and plenty of space for outdoor seating.

WIN WIN WIN

Because we are this years ibis Styles ambassadors, we can make ONE lucky person happy with a free night for 2 people at an ibis Styles Hotel of choice, located in the Benelux! Your free stay will include free wifi and a good breakfast of course. All you need to do is, comment below or below our Facebook post about Konstanz and tag the person you want to take with you! *Please note, that travel cost are not included.

Konstanz City Guide
Yes, that’s me swimming in the river of Konstanz

What to do

  • Schänzle
    Locals enjoy the sunset here and socialise with friends. Locals come here to relax, eat and drink.
  • Bodensee Therme Pool
    If you have kids, you should visit this fun and beautiful outdoor swimming pool. Next door is a therma bath which you need to pay extra for if you want to use it, but you can also swim in the lake. Plenty of slides and a kiddies pool fo the little ones.
  • Strandbad Horn
    Right next to the pool, there is a free sunbathing spot that is lovely. You can swim in Lake Constance and there is a sandy area, plus enough space.
  • Mainau flower island
    Just offshore from Lake Constance you’ll find this very special island with greenhouses, rose gardens, and acres of other beautiful flowers. Because of Konstanz semitropical climate, some of the most stunning flowers grow here.

Swimmingpool Konstanz

Konstanz, Germany
Shopping at Das Voglhaus

Where to Eat

The most important thing about a travel guide is the food right? Konstanz has plenty of choice, but there are some that stand out from the bunch.

  • Holly’s
    Such a nice place by the water with friendly staff and plenty of food choices! The interior is funky stylish, plus they have a huge outside terrace. Oh, and they also have an ice-cream bar that is just too good to skip. hollys.de
  • Wohnzimmer
    Translated to living room and that is exactly what the vibe is. Comfy chairs and sofa’s make it feel like you are stepping into your mothers living room. They mainly serve meat but also veggie burgers. Facebook
  • Das Voglhaus
    This all vegetarian and mostly vegan spot has been around for over 20 years! You can get healthy juices, good coffee, homemade cake and lunch here. Sustainability and animal wellbeing is key here, but they mannaged to combine that with a modern style which turned Das Voglhaus the hotspot of Konstanz. If you walk to the downstairs toilet, you end up in their next door gift shop which is also worth a visit! www.das-voglhaus.de
  • Hafenhalle
    Next to the harbour of Konstanz, you’ll find this traditional Biergarten, bar and restaurant. The food is local and mostly homemade. Come here and stay until the stars appear. www.hafenhalle.com

Hollys Konstanz
Holly’s Konstanz

food and drink at Kon
Veggie hotspot Das Voglhaus

Das Voglhaus Konstanz
Vitamins at Das Voglhaus

In short, Konstanz is a great alternative for a city trip if you are planning to travel through Germany or Switzerland!

Love,

Elke

*This article was written in collaboration with ibis Styles

 

The Manchester Weekend Guide

Manchester is one of the, if not the most, fastest-growing cities in England. Below, we have handpicked and tested some of the newest restaurants and stayed in the snazziest new boutique hotel to make sure your next city break is nothing but top-notch.

Whether you are travelling from within the United Kingdom or further out, Manchester is pretty easy to get to by both train and flights – no excuse not to visit it. If you are not yet convinced about visiting this North-Western city, see here for five reasons why it’s better than London

All the up and coming places in Manchester for your next city break

Where to stay in Manchester

The chic hotel chain Dakota has recently opened its fifth hotel in the country right in the centre of Manchester. It is a maximum five-minute walk from Piccadilly train station. Whilst there are plenty of hotels in Manchester, Dakota is probably the most elegant one you’ll find. I felt like an A-list staying there and that is no exaggeration. Before you even step foot into its front doors, you are greeted by the brightest of smiles and throughout your stay, the staffs are attentive without being intruding, which I find can sometimes be the case with other hotels. Book your stay here.

Dakota Manchester

Breakfast Manchester Guide
Breakfast at Dakota

Where to eat in Manchester

Generally speaking, the food scene here in Manchester is pretty impressive. I’d say its variety of restaurants is almost as competitive as London. Many chains had their first restaurants in London have now made their way up to the North, starting right here in Manchester, and Dishoom is no exception. The menu at this Bombay restaurant works just the same as the ones they have in London, with a few dishes that are exclusively available in Manchester. This includes the delicious and generously portioned Chef’s special and the spicy chilli chicken. Go there for a meal or even just for drinks at night before you hit the clubs next door!

Manchester

But first..

For a nice cup of coffee, head over to Over Under for your caffeine fix. This chic new place in town is a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night. You know who’ll be staying there all day!

Enjoy the creative spin on the modest English dish, fish and chips.

If you’re feeling fancy, indulge in a meal like no others at Six by Nico, a fabulously new restaurant open by the Michelin chef Nico Simeone. While fine dining can be intimidating, Six by Nico makes the experience accessible to all, in its concept and price, and super enjoyable. The six-course meal is the chef’s creative spin on the modest English dish, fish and chips. There’s also an option to take it up a notch by adding an expertly paired wine to your six-course meal for only £26. For those who have to be more cautious with their diet, 3Squared is the first Free-From restaurant in town, serving deliciously good food with care and without 9 of the inflammatory ingredients that are known for causing some of the most common allergies.

Six by Nico Manchester

Worth a mention

While this isn’t exactly a new spot, I couldn’t not give Brewski a shout out – they do the best mac and cheese in town and also a selection of brunch food, coffees and alcoholic beverages! Go there and see (and try) it for yourself! Don’t want to limit yourself to just one cuisine? Make sure you check out the biggest and apparently, the best street food fair every Friday and Saturday at Grub. They also do Plant Powered Sundays with a selection of vegan food for grab with live music. Perfect place to spend your sunny weekend!

You can find beautiful handmade crafts and vintage clothes every first Sunday of the month

What to do in Manchester

To begin with, make your weekend a fun one by challenging your friends to a game of minigolf at Junkyard Golf or a few rounds of darts at Flight Club. This isn’t your usual pub game. This is the most innovative and thrilling game of darts you will ever play, trust me! Can’t decide between shuffleboard or beer pong? In this case, go to Roxy Ball Room on Deansgate and do both!

Markets

Since you’re there for the weekend, why not check out the weekend markets in town? The Makers Market happens twice a month in Manchester. You can find beautiful handmade crafts and vintage clothes every first Sunday of the month in the big open space at Great Northern. Secondly, on the second Sunday of the month on the other side of town in the Northern Quarter, you’ll find everything from freshly baked goods to arts and crafts. For all other Sundays, smell your way to the street food market up in the Piccadilly Gardens

Manchester Guide

What are you waiting for? Book your next weekend getaway to Manchester right now and let us know if you try any of the recommendations above!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

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