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?

 

 

 

The Legendary Supperclub Amsterdam is back with a new concept!

If you know your way around the nightlife in Amsterdam, you must have heard of the infamous dining club. With extravagant acts, overwhelming visuals and a grand 5-course menu, Supperclub has been able to surprise its guests since 1993. But from the 1st of July, they have updated concept with a changing theme every 3 months. We booked a dinner on one of their signature white beds.

The Concept

To begin with, Supperclub offers a unique dining experience that in our opinion you must experience at least once. Famous for their white interior and shared beds, you can enjoy an extravagant show curated by creative manager Marc van Loon. This results in a night full of surprises and because you are on a bed next to people you don’t know, it’s a great conversation starter!

Supperclub Amsterdam dinner show

Dinner in bed

You start off with a cocktail in the bar downstairs and you will be called over when your bed is ready. To begin with you will need to take your shoes off and get comfortable on the all white bedding. Your Supperclub host will be there if you want to order cocktails or if you have any questions. You don’t have to wait long for your first course because you can open the surprise box located at your table that includes pieces of sushi, bread & butter, crayfish and cheese. Obviously, the menu keeps changing, so you never know what you will get. Tip: If you have special dietary requirements, tell them when you make your reservation and upon arrival.

Supperclub food

In between the courses the resident DJ plays the best funky tech-house tunes and you will get to enjoy a total of 4 performances during the evening. What the show exactly consists off will be a little secret, but we can tell you it’s worth your while. (we especially loved the last part!)

Cost & Verdict:

Dinner is €69,- for 5-courses of exotic eats with culinary arts. Drinks are settled with you on the evening itself. Be sure to order one of their in-house cocktails! At Supperclub you don’t just come for the food. You come here for the whole experience. In short, we think Supperclub Amsterdam is the perfect place to bring your date. And with the new changing theme, you will never get bored! Are you ready to dream with your eyes wide open?

Love,

Wander-lust

Supperclub Amsterdam
Singel 460, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram

Read all about new hotspots in the Dutch Capital!

 

The Avocado Show Downtown | Open Soon!

After the first Avocado Show opened in De Pijp and their second extension The Avocado Show To Go on the Willemsparkweg in Amsterdam, The Avocado Show completes its formula when the new Avocado Show Downtown opens from 11th of July. 

Last night, the first lucky few could taste the menu of the brand new Avocado Show Downtown

It’s pretty healthy food

As with all other locations of The Avocado Show, every dish at Downtown is made with love from sustainable avocados – with a focus on taste, presentation and originality. Healthy dishes that also look nice on the plate. They call it pretty healthy food, and let’s be honest, it is! This results in classic dishes with an avocado twist like the bun burgers are also on the menu. But also innovative dishes such as avocado fries and vegan peanut butter avo ice cream. Every dish is carefully styled for color in order to make breakfast, lunch or dinner not only healthy but also pretty. Both at the table and at delivery or takeaway.

The Avocado Show Downtown food

On an iconic location, The Avocado Show Downtown serves a new dinner experience alongside the well-known breakfast and lunch dishes, including spectacular poké bowls, salads, burgers, avocado fries, tacos and truffle guacamole.

From waiting in line to reservations

While you still have to stand in line at the Pijp location, the Avocado Show Downtown location on Keizersgracht makes it easier than ever to score a spot. The sunny terrace and the restaurant with the signature interior, offers more than 100 seats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As always, walk-ins are welcome, but at this location it is also possible to make a reservation via the website.

Avocado Show Downtown Amsterdam
Pretty food at the Avocado Show Downtown

The avocado style

In addition to a menu of pretty healthy food, juices and cocktails, guests at The Avocado Show Downtown also find the entire lifestyle collection of merchandise, cookbooks and own food items. Thanks to a flexible event space, developed in collaboration with MADE.COM, it will soon also be possible to attend avocado cooking workshops and celebrate special moments.

The Avocado Show Downtown
Keizersgracht 449, Amsterdam
Wesbite / Instagram

IJver Amsterdam | Opening soon!

There is a new restaurant striking down in Amsterdam North we want you to know about! Located in the former Scheepsbouwloods at the NDSM wharf, you will find IJver.

Location & Interior

Where the IJhallen flea market is held every month, an eight-meter high restaurant with a large terrace is being build. Entrepreneurs Reinout Ezinga, Sikko de Jong, Tim Jongens, Herman Klukkert and Arne Kleijn, together with their designers, combined the authentic and industrial elements of the robust building with bright colours, plants, comfortable furniture and special objects. For a rugged look, the walls are covered with cold-rolled steel that has been manually worked with a gas burner. The restaurant space has a flexible layout so that costumers can have meetings, presentations and host parties from 5 to 500 people. Good news; there will be an outside terrace too!

IJver interior
Interior IJver Amsterdam

Quirky dishes

The menu at IJver is a fresh mix of Dutch and French cuisine, compiled by chef and culinary adviser Herman Klukkert. Herman uses ingredients from Dutch soil, with a nod to the quirky of Amsterdam. Beer is an important ingredient, in the bar and in the kitchen. Think of a Weizenbier stew in, a fresh hoppy IPA dressing with young veggies and a slush puppy made from cherry beer.

Menu ijver Amsterdam
Food at IJver

In addition to cooking on the charcoal grill, IJver distinguishes itself with special snacks: from authentic curry sausage to jerk chicken, from home-made piccalilly with old cheese to Dutch-made charcuterie. In addition, IJver has a selection of pickled, preserved and preserved fruit and vegetables. Not only to uphold the Amsterdam tradition of investing, but also to make optimum use of what the season has to offer.

Beer & Wine

IJver has 34 taps(!), serves beer cocktails and has around a hundred different bottled beers. Wine lovers will also find what they are looking for with a wonderful range of wines from a local wine supplier.

The building work is done, they are now looking for a great team to run the place! Are you still looking for a job and are you a beer lover that likes to work in a cool industrial ambience? Sign up: werken@ijveramsterdam.nl

IJver 
Scheepsbouwkade 72, Amsterdam
Website 

Love,

Elke

The Rum Club Utrecht | New!

Utrecht is another hotspot richer. The Rum Club is opening this week and offers costumers a tropical experience with food, drinks and music.

Relaxing, chilling, enjoying life to the full, that is the art of ‘liming’. It’s also the philosophy we want to transfer to our guests

Tropical Vibes

So why the Rum Club? Rum is a drink that people drink at the most tropical destinations in the world and translates to enjoyment, being with friends and relaxing. And they hope that you want to belong to their tropical club, in Utrecht.

Rum Club Utrecht

The Food & Interior

When we think of a tropical cuisine, we think of bright colours and sweet and sour flavours. This is exactly what the Rum Club is going to offer its guests. Tropical food inspired from Hawaï to the Caribbean or Brazil to Mexico. The interior will give you the feeling as you were on holiday with a cocktail in your hand. What we have seen so far is good, we are exited!

Rum Club Utrecht food1
Colourful displays at the Rum Club in Utrecht

The Rum Club Utrecht

Is this going to be the next Streetfood Club?

Rum Club
Oudegracht a/d Werf 111, Utrecht
Website / Instagram

Love,

Wander-Lust

Yuan’s Hot Pot | Traditional Chinese Fondue

Preparing food in a hotpot is a traditional Chinese cooking method where a simmering pot of Chinese soup base fills the middle of the dining table. During dinner, guests drop their favourite fish, meat, frogs (oh yes) or veggies in the bubbling hot pot (Chuan Chuan Xiang). You can compare it to a traditional fondue, but better and also a bit healthier because you are not frying your ingredients. Yuan’s Hot Pot is the first of its kind based in Amsterdam. 

Yuan's Hot Pot

How it works

You start off by picking the base of your soup.Tip: be careful with your choice in the level of spice. These levels are curated on the tongues of the Asians, therefore, the half-half spicy is already very spicy! You can try it out anyway if you’re a bit stubborn, they can also make it less spicy by adding some more cooked water. Whatever you’ll choose, there are enough ingredients to choose from. At Yuan’s Hot Pot, you order your favourite dishes and drinks on a tablet and add them into your digital basket. Very 2019. What you order arrives at the table on bamboo skewers. The hot pot keeps simmering while you place the skewers into the soup and wait a couple minutes until it’s cooked and ready to eat.

Yuan's Hot Pot Amsterdam

Bring your friends!

In my opinion Yuan’s Hot Pot is not the kind of restaurant you’ll bring your date to, but I’ll leave that up to you. The interior doesn’t scream “Instagram hotspot” but this is what makes it authentic and traditional. As a result, you will see a lot of Asian customers and this is always a good sign! You’ll have more fun with family or friends around the table and time flies by while the soup boils. It’s also nice to reserve a table with more people than two, because you will be able to try and share more. This way you might be brave enough to order the frog legs, which are a real recommendation! Another option and less scary than the frog legs: shrimp dumplings (we ordered this up to five times). If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you have plenty of choice too!

Yuan's Hot Pot Vegetables

Yuan’s Hot Pot is the first restaurant in Amsterdam with this Hot Pot concept.

Why visit?

In conclusion, at Yuan’s Hot Pot, you’ll experience the real authentic taste of the Chengdu Hot Pot. This is the first restaurant in Amsterdam with this Hot Pot concept. They pamper their customers with much kindness and their secret family recipe and dishes. Sounds good right? A recipe that has been passed down from generations must be good!

Yuan's Hot Pot

YUAN’S HOT POT
Rijnstraat 51, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram
Monday – Sunday: 12:00 – 22:30

Love,

Larissa

More Tasty Spots in Amsterdam?

These are the Top 13 Beach Clubs in The Netherlands

In the Netherlands we needed to wait a while before spring/summer knocked on the door, but she’s here. Finally! When the sun is out, people want to escape the hot city and go to one of the many amazing beaches. The Netherlands offers a few long stretched beaches with pretty amazing sunsets. Beach Clubs are all part of the fun and come in all sorts of sizes Each one has something special or authentic. To clear things up for you, we’ve made a selection of our top 12 beach clubs in The Netherlands.

Tulum, Noordwijk

This newcomer opened last year and is a big favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum beach bar Zandvoort Netherlands
Pretty Tulum

The Fat Mermaid, Scheveningen

Not new, but a breath of fresh air in Den Haag. Located on the busy promenade of Scheveningen beach, The Fat Mermaid is quite busy on sunny days, but we still recommend you to take a look while you’re around. Even though they don’t claim to be fully sustainable, they try to offer as many organic and local products. For example, they serve fish from local fish shop Ben de Lange and the meat is from the wonderful Lindenhoff farm. Therefore, families, couples, friends and dog owners all love it here. www.thefatmermaid.nl

The Fat Mermaid beach Bar Netherlands
The Fat Mermaid. Photo by Floor Boers

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan zee

6km from the hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So they’ve opened a beach club called Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. Will this become one of Hollands best Beach Clubs? www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming Beach Bergen aan Zee

De Branding, Noordwijk

Voted as the best beach club in The Netherlands 2016, this beachclub is very popular indeed. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at this trendy place. The white decor set’s away beautifully at the beach. Enjoy good drinks and music whilst people watching. www.brandingbeach.nl

Beach Club de Branding
Branding-Noordwijk

Pepper Beachclub, Zandvoort

When you get to Pepper Beach Club you immediately feel that Ibiza vibe. The dream-catchers, colorful cushions and summer cocktails will make you stay until sunset. They describe themselves as hippie Chic, laid back, with good music, good vibes! www.pepper-beachclub

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Source: Pepper Beachclub

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee

When we visited this beach bar a couple of years ago, it felt like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order the famous Dutch Croquette on bread to keep you grounded. www.timboektoe.org

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Source: Timboektoe Instagram

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande

If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach.
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers or close your eyes and pretend you in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

Elements-beach Netherlands

Club Zand, Castricum

The Netherlands is lucky with a beach bar like Club Zand. Not only do they have a great relaxed location in Castricum at sea, they also hosts outdoor cinema nights with free popcorn! Their latest edition will be on the 2nd of May, so reserve your spot! Every Friday there is live music from a DJ or band, so there is something for everyone. The other thing we really like about this beach bar, is that they support sustainability. They are hoping to become the greenest beach of the Netherlands and they do this with several projects like reducing gas by 50%. Take a look next time you’re around Castricum! www.clubzand.nl

Hippie Fish, Zandvoort

Like Tulum, this beach bar has a vibe that takes you to another place that looks more like Mexico or Ibiza. It’s not large, but super cute and the food is tasty! Come here when its less busy, like a midweek or morning. This way you can enjoy Hippie Fish to the max. www.hippiefish.nl

strandtenten in Nederland hippie fish zandvoort
© HIPPIE FISH

Woodstock ’69, Bloemendaal

It’s an oldie but for people that are not from Holland, this one should definitely be on the list. This place will take you back to ’69 and brings out your inner hippie. On Sunday’s and when the weather is good, this is the place to be. People from all over the country drive up to Bloemendaal Beach to dance to the beats of some of the most talked about DJ’s of the moment. www.woodstock69.nl

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Dance with your feet in the sand at Woodstock

Beachclub Perry’s, Scharendijke

All the way in the south of Holland, you will find this fine beach club that’s been around for over 25 years. They have a North African atmosphere and serve dishes such as Tajine Casablanca and killer pancakes. Above all, it’s a great place to relax in their beach chairs overlooking the sea. www.beachclubperrys.nl

Top 10 beach clubs Netherlands
Arabic style Perry’s


Not at sea, but still worth a visit:

Down Under, Nieuwegein

This beach bar/restaurant has a few things that make it special. Besides the restaurant and bar there’s so much you can do. Wakeboarding, waterskiing, indoor bodyboarding and floating golf are just some of the water activities you can participate at Down Under. Besides this, there is a large grass and a sand area where you can sunbath. It’s perfect for families with young children, for instance, they have many kids activities. The beach club area can also be hired for business or private parties. Down Under is situated near Utrecht, right in the heart of The Netherlands. www.downunder.nl

beach club Down Under
down under

Key West, Utrecht

Situated next to one of the bussiest highways on The Netherlands, is the Key West Beachhouse. Okok, it’s not a real beach but it’s besides the “Haarrijnse Plas” where you can safely swim. It’s the perfect spot for a business lunch or lovely dinner. They cook with local and fresh products and as a result the menu changes per season. www.keywestbeachhouse.nl

Key West Netherlands

In conclusion, this list will give you enough choice to enjoy the Dutch beaches this summer!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Café Cliché Amsterdam

Memorable evenings don’t have to be made at the other side of the globe. Sometimes you can create them just around the corner, like I had at Sidney Schutte’s culinary living room Café Cliché in Amsterdam. Labelled as the ‘brasserie of the hood’ with lots of surprising nooks and corners. One to keep in mind due to their extraordinary ambiance, dishes and service.

Café Cliché, anything but cliche

The talented creator of edible artworks Sidney Schutte is a renowned name in the gastronomy. A man who loves his job to the moon and back. Sometimes his culinary magic doesn’t stop at two Michelin-starred restaurant Spectrum. Also at home the cooking hobs aren’t save from him. Being the home chef brought him the idea to start a new adventure. The super hot summer of 2018 reached the boiling point when Schutte’s daydream of creating a new hospitality concept came true. However, this is not your usual hotspot in Amsterdam. His friendly right hands David Baxter (chef) and Berber Vergeest (host) are running the place. And they do it with verve.

Bar Café Cliché

Café Cliché isn’t cliche at all. But I totally understand the choice of name

Café Cliché, your second living room

At entrance you’ll immediately notice that Café Cliché isn’t cliche at all. But I totally understand the choice of name. A place where the master chef and his crew can leave out all the decadent, gastronomic fuss. Time for some all-time classics, oldtimers which have proved themselves in Sidney’s kitchen. Expect a menu placed in plastic with not so picture perfect food photos, just the typical old school way. Normally I’ll become so disenchanted with such a menu, but at Café Cliché it has its astonishing charm. Skimming through it, the out-of-the-box, ‘Mokum’ names of the dishes will appear a little smile on your face. Pikketanussie, Gleuvenglijder, Blufkikker, Hittepetit and Lellebel. Those creative outbursts don’t have anything to do with the dishes, but the idea deserves douze points.

Café Cliché Amsterdam
Feeling right at home

Café Cliché, your new second home

A sincere hand shake on arrival, a happy jungle wallpaper, blue checkered tea towels, as much chitchats you would like between the courses, and the professionalism of a Michelin-starred restaurant. Expect home-away-from-home portions, aka bang for the buck. Although I can eat a lot – ask my loved ones if in doubt – those portions where massive. I’ve been feasting enormously with a food baby as a result.

Food at Café Cliché
Café Cliché’s Asparagus, Bordeelsluiper and Dijenkletser Lovely table setting

Really give their Dijenkletser (carpaccio), Bordeelsluiper (DIY tuna-seaweed package), Zwijntjesjager (vegetarian ravioli) and Blufkikker (entrecote). Hear you thinking: lots of meat. You’re right. Let’s say it’s almost 50/50 meat and fish with one or two vega(n) starter and main course options. It’s up to you whether you go for the 3-course menu (€39,50) or only for a starter and main or main and dessert or…mix and mingle whatever you prefer.

Main course Café Cliché

Kids can enjoy the same flavours in smaller size portions

Last but not least, you can easily bring your kid(s). Usually, a kids menu offers fries with chicken nuggets or a simple pasta. Not at Schutte’s place. He believes it’s essential to tickle the taste buds of the mini-you’s. That’s why they serve the same delicious, just like home dishes for them, but half-size portions. A great way to stimulate toddlers to become anything but fussy eaters.

Dessert at Café Cliché

Worth the try bon vivants!

Love,

Sharmaine

Café Cliché
Middenweg 35, Amsterdam

Website
Instagram

Opening hours: Wednesday till Monday 17:00 – 22:30
Tuesdays 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!

6 beach clubs in The Netherlands you should visit this summer

The Netherlands is famous for its long stretch beaches and endless amounts of beach clubs. So many that sometimes is a bit hard to make the right choice. Where will the food be the best? Where do they have the best ice-coffee or ambiance? We’ve listed our 6 favorite beach clubs of the season.

Tulum, Noordwijk
This newcomer opened last year and is a big beach club favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum Beachbar Netherlands

Bries, Noordwijk
This beach club is situated in Noordwijk. You can enjoy a Mediterranean menu with Asian influences where you can taste several fresh fish dishes. If you like meat you can go here for the steak market on Sundays. On other selected days you can even enjoy yoga classes or massages! Not sure if the weather is good enough? Check their live webcam to see if the sun is shining! www.briesnoordwijk.nl

Beach bar bries
Source

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee
Probably the most chilled out beach bar in the Netherlands. It feels like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order a famous Dutch Croquette on toast to keep you grounded. A big plus is that parking is free at Wijk aan Zee, so if you get there early, you can get a great spot near the beach! www.timboektoe.org

Timboektie beach bar

Unbuntu Beach, Zandvoort
It’s Sarah’s favorite beach club, and even though this one has been around for ages, it never get’s old. So why do we love it? The food is good, the service is great and they have swings (I mean, hellooo). Time to visit this all time favorite. www.ubuntubeach.nl

Unbuntu Beach bar Netherlands
Source

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan Zee
6km from the lovely Blooming hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So last year they opened beach club Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming beach bar

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande
If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach. 
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers. Or close your eyes and pretend you’re in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

 

Elements beach bar
Source

Love,

Elke

The Leeuwarden Guide 2019

Leeuwarden was voted the culture capital of Europe last year, and since then the city has been buzzing. New restaurants and shops pop up like mushrooms which resulted in more visitors than ever before. Time to check out the city of Fryslân everyone is talking about!

Bye bye hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, hello hello fresh air, calmness and…sugar bread! 

What to do in Leeuwarden

Street art tour Leeuwarden
A noteworthy tip is the street art tour in Leeuwarden. Great way to start your day, especially after a heavy breakfast. In 1,5 hours, you learn more about the interesting city background. We love the fact the talk was a perfect combi of historical and temporary facts. Guide Henk Leutscher and his team make so much fun of it! Check it out: a Guide to Leeuwarden.

a-guide-to-leeuwarden-street-art-tour-saskia-van-uylenburg-by-klaas-lageweg
Street art Leeuwarden style, love it!

Shopping
This fashion, flower and interior stores will pleasantly surprise you. It wouldn’t be out of place in Amsterdam. Lots of trendy stuff to pamper yourself, be prepared shopaholics! The Kleine Kerkstraat was even voted the best shopping street of the Netherlands in 2010 and 2013! Check out Scandinavian style concept store Nørd pictured below.

Leeuwarden shops

Blokhuispoort
Back in the days this used to be a prison, but now houses different business and eateries. Worth checking out.

Rent a boat
You can rent a boat at Greenjoy to see Leeuwarden from the water. Boats are available from about €25 euro.

 

Leeuwarden: a natural beauty
And if you want to escape the city for a while, please, please, please explore the raw and wonderful natural surroundings of Leeuwarden! Next time, I definitely want to have a pitstop there.

leeuwarden-emmakade-winter

In 2018 Leeuwarden-Fryslân was crowned the cultural capital of Europe

Where to Eat in Leeuwarden

Stek
This cute restaurant used to function as a bridge house and people actually lived here. If it reminds you of the popular brunch spot Pluk, you got it right. Stek is run by the previous co-owner of Pluk, which she started with her sister and brother in law. After a move back to the city she was born, she decided to start Stek and with great success. The food is lovely, and the coffee is good. Stek has an outside terrace overlooking the water. A must visit if you visit Leeuwarden.

Stek Leeuwarden

Lazy Lemons
If you have kids, you are going to love Lazy Lemons! Then again, you are also going to love it if you do not have any. Why? The food is simple but the portions are big, the service is good and there is enough space for families, friends and lovers. Upstairs you can find a large play corner for kids, which means a undisturbed lunch or dinner for the parents. We wished we had more of these in Amsterdam!

Lazy Lemons Leeuwarden

KB Food and Drinks
If you want a menu full of choices and options, you are at the right address at KB. Their formula works like this; you order a main and you can pick 2 side orders plus a saus of choice. The service here will make you happy and its no problem if you want to bring your kids. KB has a garden area, so you can enjoy those summer evenings. Fun fact: the building used to be a video library! www.kbfood.nl

KB Food and Drinks Leeuwarden
Dinner at KB food & drinks

Roast Leeuwarden
Must-try hotspot Roast Leeuwarden. Located in the middle of the city centre, this recently opened cozy lunch, dinner and drink spot is one to remember. Really like the fact they’ve put together a very diverse and continually changing menu for every budget. Their signature dish: chicken. But no worries veggies and vegans, there’s also so much appetizing food for you. If you can fit it, try the chocolate overloaded dessert, which is so yummy. Oh, and they’ve got two really cool tables with table taps, a perfect way to trigger your inner bartender haha! roastleeuwarden.nl

Roast Leeuwarden

 

De Neushoorn
My guide Henk told me about this must-visit…and he was right. It’s kind of a magical and vibrant place where music meets dance meets film. Visit one of the performances or feel free to pop by for a laid-back beer.

Moon
An Instagram dream with pink/purple walls, marble tables and a menu that you just need to take pictures of. It’s no surprise that you can order a matcha, beetroot or turmeric latte here. Get your freak on with a freakshake or go healthy with avo on toast. Yes, this place was made with the intention of being a hotspot. www.moonleeuwarden.nl

Moon Leeuwarden

Also worth mentioning:

  • Dr. Plant: vegan take-away restaurant in the heart of Leeuwarden.
  • Fruitbar SIS: the green and healthy hotspot with vegan cakes.
  • Blikspuit: a concept store with a kiddies corner, so great for parents.
  • Speelcafé: this café is made for kids and you’ll love it if you are a parent. There is a slide inside and countless toys. They serve great tea and homemade cupcakes.

Where to stay in Leeuwarden

Catshuis Boutique Hotel
We love boutique hotels and this hotel is certainly one that you want to check out. Located in the heart of Leeuwarden, it is the perfect place for couples. Beautiful rooms, lovely and always included breakfast and a stylish interior. At the hotel you can also book a high tea, great for friends! www.catshuisleeuwarden.nl

Post Plaza
In case you’re thinking about a citytrip to Leeuwarden, definitely book a room at the charming Post Plaza****. They invited me to stay and for sure I said ‘yes’. To be honest, I’ve nothing but praise. Especially the hospitality and extravaganza wakey wakey breakfast with everything a sweet tooth with a bit of a sleepyhead wants.. sugar bread. Do we need to say more?

Post Plaza, Leeuwarden
Hotel Post Plaza

Van Der Valk Hotel
We like this hotel because they have the BREEAM-NL certificate. This means that they are putting a lot of focus on being sustainable. For example, the heat from their restaurants is collected and re-used for the meeting rooms and kitchen. They have also installed bee hotels and a harbour to maintain biodiversity. It’s also a great hotel for families with kids, due to the family rooms and possibilities. Book your room here!

Van der valk hotel Leeuwarden
Van Der Valk Hotel

Explore the Friesland region and Leeuwarden if you get the chance!

Love,

Wander-Lust