WINTERLICHT AT PAMPUS ISLAND | UNUSUAL DINING

A gem with a capital ‘G.’ An UNESCO World Heritage place with a lovely scenery and a surprising pop-up restaurant. Get ready for an incomparable culinary experience. 

Ever heard of the annually recurring dining experience Winterlicht on fort island Pampus? (you can also exclusively camp on the island during summer) It’s one of the most special hidden gems of Amsterdam.

Winterlicht, a super exclusive concept

With the festive season full of fabulous foods, blinking lights, a dose of youthful memories and lots of snow (fun) – OK we wish we had that last Christmassy one – behind us, it’s high time for some New Year’s good-for-you goals. What about enjoying life more? Having more special and, above all, unforgettable moments together with your loved ones, for example. 

Fort Eiland Pampus

Restaurant Winterlicht deserves a spot on your bucket list for 2020.

For those who’ve never heard of Winterlicht. It’s a full evening’s culinary adventure on Pampus Island. An experience that deserves the claim ‘one size fits all.’ Firstly, it’s a perfect getaway for a social gathering with friends or family or for a heartwarming date night for two. However, we didn’t know what to expect, so with expectations on mode zero we jumped on the cosy clipper Sailboat. And so the 5-hour Winterlicht adventure begun!

An unforgettable culinary experience

Together with all the other guests you sail from IJburg, Muiden or Almere (depends per date) to Pampus around 18:00 p.m. You’ll set foot on the island in approximately 30 minutes. Expect a warm welcome from the Winterlicht crew, some ins and outs about the night and a short tour through the half-hidden historic fortress. After the historical walk and talk through the enlightened fort corridors, it’s time to find two of your not so ‘cheesy’ starters in this charming atmosphere: a hot steamy Dutch cheese fondue and mini pancakes overloaded with…well see it yourself. On the other hand; don’t overeat yourself with this heavy kickstarter. Just sayin’!

Oilcan with fire

Sneak peek of what to expect at Pampus’ Winterlicht

Around 20:00 you’ll be warmly greeted by the crew of the islands’ pavilion. A surprising seasonal 3-course dinner – fixed menu – is waiting for you. It’s lovely to hear they cook exactly the same as they did years and years ago: as sustainable as possible, eye for superb quality, and they make use of local products. For the vegetarians, vegans or the ones with a food allergy, don’t you worry. Although they serve a fixed menu, suitable alternatives without juicy meat, lactose or whatever you prefer aren’t a problem at all. Share your preferences in time, and you’ll be pampered. Mark my words.

Winterlicht menu

And what about the ambiance? Well, it’s exactly what you want during the wonderful winter time: a cosy, warm, laidback and welcoming vibe. Everything but pretentious. Looking sharp or comfy, come as you’re. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it?

Winterlicht knows how to pamper their guests after short river crossings

toetje Winterlicht

Winterlicht versus Zomerlicht

Although Winterlicht is hibernating for now, they’ll be up and running again every Friday and Saturday between the 21st of February till the 28th of March. Can’t make it this winter? No worries! During summery days there’s also ‘Zomerlicht’, Winterlicht’s little sister. Instead of fire baskets, lovely red wines and X-mas carols, you can have a cosy outdoor escape with a picture perfect picknick, summer breeze and tropical drink on the side. All things considered, for the exact information, please check out the up-to-date information on the website, or keep an eye on their socials. Claim your spot before it’s go go and get enchanted by the overload of charm.

In essence, we thank Winterlicht for having us, it was an amazing experience. Let’s forget the humdrum of daily life, make beautiful new memories and jump on the Sailboat soon!

Winterlicht
Pampus Island, Amsterdam
Website 

Package price €67,50 (crossing, culinary tour through the fort, a 3-course dinner and contribution to preserve the historical heritage.)

*Photo’s by Tony Perez

Cheers,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest editors from Amsterdam 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!

 

 

A WINTER CITY TRIP TO ZURICH

Do you know a heavenly feeling? I had that sensation when I got the sympathetic invitation from airline SWISS to discover Zurich.

OK to be honest, I’ve seen a lot of our beautiful world, but I ‘used’ Switzerland only as a handy transit country. Why did I never go there for a holiday? Maybe because of my prejudices: ‘Oh boy, it’s far too expensive, too quiet for me and perhaps more fun for the elderly.’ I grabbed the opportunity to uncover if those ideas were real and flew to Switzerland for a city trip to Zurich (and if the chocolate is that yummy!)

Zurich in a nutshell

Where Amsterdam is full of hipsters, clumsy tourists on bikes and busy city sounds, Zurich is a bit of the opposite. It’s as big as our intimate Utrecht. When I arrived in the afternoon I was surprised by the calmness in the picturesque downtown streets. But when it became dusky and when the festive Christmas lights went on, Zurich seemed to awaken. One moment I thought I stepped into a scene, loved it! Not even to mention the cute Christmas stalls with the mulled wine and raclette smells throughout the city. Add the majestic buildings to that and you’ll get a very nice winter holiday feeling.

The town of Zurich
The cutest streets

Where to sleep?

After an active day full of impressions there’s nothing as good as ‘coming home’ in a nice boutique hotel room. My amazing, stylish room in the Marktgasse hotel did it for a 100 procent. I don’t know what it is, but I’m in love with boutique hotels and this great, tad upscale place from the 15th century has captured my heart. Nice to know: try the handsome cocktail bar on the ground floor. Tell the cocktail shaker what you prefer and he’ll blow you away with a custom made mix, just do it! www.marktgassehotel.ch/en

eten-drinken-en-slapen-in-zurich-6

What to do

So just so you know, I had less then 24 hours discovery time, but I can tell you that Zurich is very suitable for short city trips. Recommended is to do the traditional culinary Gourmet Tour or learn more about the interesting stories of the old city with the Old Town Tour, like I did. For sure they also have a lot of cool shops, like grocery shop Schwarzenback or taste the best sausages of Zurich at Sternen Grill.

Where to eat

I know it’s not my best kept secret that I’m a food lover, sweet tooth and gourmet to the max. Not so surprisingly I was so excited to discover if the Swiss had a good flavor…no doubt they have! I had my lunch break at Baltho Restaurant & Bar – it’s part of the Marktgasse hotel. My gosh, it was a food walhalla to share that opened in front of me: falafel with homemade baba ganoush, juicy Boeuf Bourguinon, bang-bang chicken and so on. You name it, we had it. Mouth watering, right?

Food at the Marktgasse Hotel
Typical Swiss food at the Marktgasse Hotel

Another food tip:

HILTL. According to the Guinness Book of World Records they are the first registered vegetarian restaurant in the world and nowadays they’re even the supplier of the vegetarian meals on SWISS flights, how cool. HILTL started more than one century ago with this very trendy and successful concept. In addition to their à la carte, they also have a buffet. Although ‘buffets’ often haven’t the best associations for Dutchies, I gave it a try. Wow, I’ve never seen something like that before – fresh, veggie food all over. Funny fact: they let you weight your food on a large scale as you know it from the supermarket. You pay a certain amount per 100 grams, as they want to avoid food waste. Good thinking!

Breakfast tip

Delish is the other restaurant of Marktgasse Hotel. The crew is so enormously hospitable – Amsterdam can learn a lot of this welcoming, pure people – plus my poached eggs with avocado where very tasty. Give it definitely a spot on your food bucket list!

delish-salad-selection_print
Salads at Delish

My Verdict

So this was exploring a city trip to Zurich through the eyes of a 26-year-old ‘wanderlust’ enthusiast. It’s a city that I would visit once in about five years again. For this it’s perfect. Big pluses were the fresh food and the hospitality in every shop, restaurant and bar. But one side note for your wallet: please be aware of the enormously high prices. I paid almost 11 euros for a healthy, takeaway shake at Juicery21 << hotspot alert >> So my prejudice about it’s far too expensive became a harsh reality, but the yummy Swiss chocolate made me forget it for a sec.

Juicery 21 Zurich
Juicery 21

wander-lust-friends-in-zurich
The blogger crew in Zurich (Sharmaine 3rd from left)

Love,

Sharmaine

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

Sharmaine flew to Zurich in style! Check her review here:
Swiss in the sky

FACTORY GIRL AMSTERDAM

What would you think of a stylish Berlin breakfast and lunch spot that spreads her wings to the Netherlands? Nine years after founder Sofia Sözen started her culinary journey in the capital of cool, she proudly popped up a second ‘+Factory Girl.’ This time in another trendy district: De Pijp, Amsterdam. A youngster with a lot of potential!

Treats for belly and eyes

Let’s be honest, breakfast is the best meal of the day, right? So, it won’t be a surprise Factory Girl’s all-day breakfast concept immediately grabbed me. A spot with lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free delights. The idea of this boutique brand was born and raised in Berlin. I know what you’re thinking. Why ’Factory Girl’ and a ‘+’? Sofia’s first store had an architectural factory texture. The place where she created the magic. And the plus sign? It’s a creative outburst to show the simple extensibility of the concept. A concept that can be seen as a small package which you can unpack everywhere. In every country, every city. Because Sofia admires the open-minded and vibrant lifestyle of Amsterdam – feels like home -, she had to listen to her gut feeling. And so her second shiny food spot was a fact.

Food for thought at Factory Girl Amsterdam

+Factory Girl is situated nearby the slightly touristic Ferdinand Bolstraat. You must have heard about this lady otherwise there might be a change to miss this cool tasty hotspot. And hidden gem it is. A modern venue designed to ode to the ever-growing healthy eating culture and to revitalise the ‘all-day breakfast concept.’ A very welcoming, friendly environment jam-packed with comfort and bliss. The atmosphere bursts with warmth, charm and friendliness. Upon entry you’ll be surprised by the spatial and urban, industrial vibe. Without too much fuss, but with an eye for details.

Lunch at +Factory Girl Amsterdam

+Factory Girl: 0% bullshit, 100% goodness

+Factory Girl is the perfect place to pamper yourself. The place where you can begin or break your (work)day in style, or only to drop by for a kaffeeklatsch. But treating yourself doesn’t mean lots of needless E numbers, unnatural ingredients and very few nutrients. Their raison d’être? The +Factory Girls believe in a healthy lifestyle with a planet-friendly attitude. That’s why the concept provides daily fresh, healthy vegan and vegetarian food with an infinite amount of ingredients, spices and herbs. Distinctive recipes but still conventional tastes. And above all, running business with a BIG smile!

Pancakes for breakfast
Factory Girl’s pancakes, yumminess to die for!100% goodness captured in this ‘egglicious’ shot

How lovely if you can mix the tasty with the healthy? +Factory Girl is here to impress you with an abundance of goodness. Goodness without bullshit. Mix and mingle whatever you prefer. Start daydreamin’ about some of their pieces of happiness: fit & sexy mueslinola, not benedict like benedict, three brothers no sisters, the Dutch senator sandwich and Sofia’s salad. Not to mention their…pancakes with chocolate drizzle and some little dark chocolate chuncks inside. Genius! A delicious fresh ginger tea on the side, and they had me. Even the most fussy eaters will fall in love with this super tasty concept. An everyone’s friend. Still thinking of skipping a wakey breaky? Think twice! This venue knows how to rumble, aficionados.

Factory Girl’s signature dish, a must-try!

Meet your new addiction: Coco Anjéla

Coco Anjéla, remember that name. Even if you only can make a very short pitstop, please promise that you’ll try the Coco Anjéla. Coco whut? It’s +Factory Girls’ signature dish. I can tell you, my first rendez-vous with this finger lickin’ good treat tasted like more. A healthy, addictive delicacy created by Sofia herself. Pure vanilla, a pinch of gluten-free flour, a little coconut sugar, vegan cream and cookies. Mouthwatering! It’s kind of an Italian panna cotta in different flavours. Let’s say the healthy, vegan little sister. Did I mention you have to try this pretty girl?

In short, +Factory Girl really is a culinary escapade for the non-vegetarians and non-vegans. But I can tell you, a world is opening up for you! Discover meatless treats, and whole new taste variations which will saturate all your morning and lunch craves. Absolutely worth the try both for the light ánd more dark green eaters!

Love,

Sharmaine

+Factory Girl
Saenredamstraat 32, Amsterdam
Opening hours: every day from 9:00 am till 5:00 pm
Website

THE BEST OF DOHA, QATAR

Doha is considered the pearl of the middle east that set itself on the map after being elected for the 2022 World Cup. Time to find out why it’s good to travel to Doha now, before it’s becoming the next Dubai.

The city of Doha has many amazing sky scrapers, entertainment, shopping, glitch and glamour, yet it still offers an authentic culture and history. We were invited by Qatar Airways to see the best of Doha.

HOW TO GET THERE

Given that Qatar Airways is officially the best airline in the world, I was happy to fly with them for the first time. Luckily, I was upgraded into their QSuite (O Em Gee), which has been voted as the best business class by the Yearly World Airlines Awards, the oscars of aviation. For someone with a fear of flying, this was the most relaxing flight I had ever experienced. A direct flight to Doha takes about 6 hours, so that’s pretty reasonable. Qatar Airways for that matter, is offering Doha as a stopover, which you can add to your booking. As a matter of fact, if you fly with QR, you can get a discount on hotel prices. 4-star hotels are available for as little as 23USD! Nice to know: Qatar Airways offers all passengers 1 hour free wifi!


Business Class Qatar Airways
Enjoying the QSuite

THE STORY ABOUT QATAR & DOHA

First thing to remember is that Qatar is a reasonably small country which makes it fairly easy to travel around if you want to. You can actually drive from North to South Qatar in approximately 3 hours. As you may have heard, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world due to their gas & oil, but it wasn’t always like this. For centuries, pearl harvesting used to be the main source of income for Qatari people. But due to the great depression and competition, pearls lost their value and the country needed to find other ways to earn a living. The pearl however, remains an important symbol of Qatar until this day.

Baskets at Souq Waqif

Doha on the other hand, is only 40 years old, which explains the modern vibe and ongoing construction. People often compare it to Dubai, but the people who live here, find Doha to be very different. For one, Dubai is all about entertainment, luxury and shopping. While Doha is certainly up there when it comes to luxury hotels, restaurants and bars, but also offers culture, sports and traditions.

GOOD TO KNOW

The best time to visit Doha is from October until the end of April. It must be remembered that the weather is undoubtedly less hot during those months with temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees. While this still seems quite warm, during summer period it can get up to 50ºC! It also has to be considered that Qatar is a muslim country, so dress accordingly. This means long dresses or trousers and try to cover your upper arms. On the contrary, you can wear pretty much whatever you want in most hotels. Alcohol is not served in public spaces, but only inside some restaurants and bars. That being said, I never heard a police siren while I was there, something I haven’t experienced in a city before.

Skyline

WHERE TO STAY

In general, there is enough choice when it comes to accommodation in Doha. For the most part, there are many big hotels, but the city also offers boutique style hotels and homestays. The best place to stay in Doha is in the West Bay area. Here you are near the airport, museums, and Souq Waqif. During my three-day trip I stayed in the following hotels.

  • Mandarin Oriental

    Brand new in Doha so modern and stylish. The rooms are truly exquisite and spacious. The hotel has an outdoor pool, 3 restaurants and a spa. Their latest gastronomic addition is Mosaic, an international kitchen with an Arabic twist. The location of the hotel is recently build, so taxi drivers may not find it that easily. On the positive side, Mandarin Oriental is located at walking distance of Souq Waqif!

Hotel pool

  • Marsa Malaz Kempinski

    In contrast to the Mandarin Oriental, Kempinski is more classical and larger. The entrance is quite impressive and the hotel offers a large pool area and a beach. They have a very cool must visit rooftop bar named Secret Garden and club that is only accessible via the parking lot. Bare in mind that the dresscode is smart/casual and visitors must bring their passports. Ask the reception for all the details.

Hotel bed

Kempinski Hotel Doha

The above mentioned hotels are both amazing but understandably not for every budget, so you are best to compare the best rated hotels online.

WHERE TO EAT

Luckily, Doha offers a wide range of cuisines and flavours. Even vegetarians have plenty of options! Here is a list of some must try restaurants.

  • Al Mourjan Restaurant offers some of the best Lebanese food in Doha. From the outside terrace you have an amazing view. Try the lemon/mint juice, amazing!
  • Nobu Doha is famous for sushi, but the same goes for their good service. The Japanese chefs welcome every new customer with a traditional greeting while working their magic behind the counter. Upstairs you can enjoy a drink at the bar, which overlooks part of Doha’s skyline. Nobu is part of the Four Seasons Hotel, due to open in early 2020.

Mezza in Doha

  • Apparently, Spicemarket is the best rated Asian restaurant in Doha. The restaurant which is located in the W-hotel, takes you on a journey across South East Asia and brings the authentic flavours to the table.
  • If you are a brunch person, go to Arc Brunch Eatery! Apparently they serve a killer coconut latte.
  • As previously mentioned, Mosaic is the newest restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. They offer a variety of Arabic food with a twist!
  • Spots like Soul Bowl and Evergreen Organics are made for those that crave something healthy and vegan. Plus both locations look cute!

Mosiac

Nice to know: Little did I know, but coffee is a thing in Doha! You’ll find many trendy coffee bars around the city and our favourites café’s are Flat White, Cue Café, Fleurs at Café, 20 Grams Coffee Bar, MIA Café and Tea Garden.

Coffee bar Doha
Cue café, in the Pearl (source)

CULTURE & TRADITIONS

You may not expect it, but Doha is full of culture and traditions. For example, the falcon, Qatars symbol and bird, is still as important as centuries ago. Some falcons even travel first class with their owners! At Souq Waqif you can find a falcon market where the birds are sold and traded. There is even a falcon hospital to keep them in good shape. The traditional Souq itself is also worth a visit. During the evening it gets more crowded but if you come between 7:30 – 12:00, you can take photo’s without hardly any people. They sell everything from handmade baskets, colourful carpets, spices, sweets and tools. The souq is also the best place for traditionally Arabic food, but you can also find Indian, Lebanese and Iranian food here.

Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif during the day

Doha Falcon

Museums

I never expected to find the best museum I have ever visited in Doha, but I did. The National Museum of Qatar is truly impressive. The design – inspired by a desert rose, is incredible. But once inside, NMOQ is curated beautifully. It takes you through the ancient times, including the amazing displays of  different species that live in Qatar. How pearls came and went, war and traditions. Not to mention that kids will love the interactive and playful set ups, while adults enjoy the beautiful indoor architecture and information.

NMOQ in Doha
The stunning National Museum of Qatar

But this is not the only museum Doha has on offer. MIA (Museum of Islamic Art) is also one of the city’s pride and joy. The building portraits a Qatari woman wearing a bourqa. From here you have a stunning view of Doha’s skyline. If you like modern art, check out Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art. With new exhibitions each month, Doha also has many galleries. Find out more here.

MIA Museum in Doha
MIA Museum

THINGS TO DO IN DOHA

Equally important are the activities Doha has on offer. A unique selling point has to be the desert with one of the world’s natural wonders; the inland sea. Next to Namibia, Qatar is the only place on earth where the sea reaches the desert. You can book several tours that will take you dune bashing. If you come in the beginning or end of the month, the sea will reach the sand dunes completely, otherwise the sight of it may be a bit disappointing.

Desert Qatar
Me, in the desert. Photo by Roel van der Krabben

Desert and sea
Camels standing at the inland sea

Visit Banana Island

Besides the thrilling desert of Qatar, you can also spend an afternoon at the luxurious Banana Island Resort. From Doha City you can take a ferry in just 35 minutes that will take you to the man-build island. There are a few restaurants, pools and beach area for visitors to enjoy the day. If you want to stay the night, you need to bring your credit card, because it ain’t cheap! Even so, it’s perfect for honeymooners or to escape the city.

Banana Island entrace
The entrance of Banana Island Resort

Katara Cultural Village

What’s more, a whole village was build to bring different cultures together through art and creativity. There are shops, restaurants, theatre, exhibition area’s and festive events. Doha is full of expats and they love to come here to listen to familiar sounds and meet friends. There is also a stunning mosque which was designed by a woman, which is quite special.

Mosque
The Mosque at Cultural Village

MY VERDICT

Having experienced Doha for a few days, and can say that it’s the perfect city for a stopover before heading home or continuing your trip. With this intention you can truly enjoy the best of Doha. In short, the capital of Qatar can be quite expensive indeed, but if you if you want, you can go all out here and treat yourself to great food, sunshine, glitch and glamour. Hop from hotel bar to beautiful restaurants or experience rich culture the sand dunes and meet some of the nicest people as a bonus, both expats and locals.

And remember that Dubai once started out as Doha. Quietly and full ambition. I think it’s time to visit this relatively unknown destination and enjoy it before it becomes a place where you’ll become just another tourist.

Love,

Elke

 

 

 

 

These are the best lunch spots in Antwerp

Sometimes you don’t want to reveal your best kept secrets but then again.. we didn’t start this platform for no reason! We travel to Antwerp at least once a month (for work or pleasure) and we found some quirky lunch spots we want to share with you!

These are our top lunch spots in Antwerp.

1. Native

This hidden pearl is by far our favorite lunch spot in Antwerp. This bistro serves fresh, original, and good quality food. It’s organic, locally produced with sustainable ingredients, this is Native! Vegan and organic food lovers will love this place! During the summer they open a very nice terrace.

Native

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Muntstraat 8, 2000 Antwerp
http://www.nativefood.be/

2. De Broers van Julienne

When we need to grab a quick and healthy bite, we go here. In a side street of the Kammenstraat – with lots of boutiques – you will find this small cute little restaurant. You can take away the best quiches, soups,  salads and other warm healthy dishes. Besides that, they sell oil, wine, coffee, juices and other delicatessen. They  also offer catering and cook workshops.

vega_Juliette_Puur_Antwerpen-548x360img-4775
Source; http://www.lusterweb.com/nl/blog/vegatarische-restaurants-in-vlaandere

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Kasteelpleinstraat 45-47, 2000 Antwerp
http://www.debroersvanjulienne.be/

3. Foodbar Cordoba

Cordoba is situated in a dockside area called Het Eilandje (the little island). We love this area in Antwerp, this is where the locals come to eat breakfast and lunch. Don’t forget to stop by Cordoba, a lovely cozy place where you can easily stay for the whole day! Order the homemade ice tea with red fruit, the soup of the day with bread crumbs and their famous toast with hummus and grilled vegetables.

Cordaba

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Napoleonkaai 1, 2000 Antwerp
https://www.facebook.com/foodbarcordoba

4. Chick Pea

This cozy Mediterranean/Israeli restaurant offers a specialty that we really like: hummus. Next to that – they offer hummus in 5 varieties, with chickpeas and mushrooms – they also serve delicious salads, Italian coffees and fresh juices. We definitely recommend this place; The restaurant is situated in a lovely area, the owner is very friendly and the food was damn good!

Checkpea

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Oudaan 4, 2000 Antwerpen
http://www.chickpea.be/

5. Crumbles & Beans

This place, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and pastries in the afternoon, really surprised us. First of all the owners select their product with great care; bio croissants, fresh milk, wood roasted coffee beans van Antica Tostatura etc.  Besides, the vibe is awesome – warm and comfortable –  the restaurant looks great and the owners are so sweet, the food is cooked with love. Try their quiches and home made cakes!

Crumbles & beans

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Lange Dijkstraat 16, 2060 Antwerp
http://crumblesandbeans.blogspot.nl/

Now you know where to find us! Do you want to know more about the city? Check out our complete Antwerp City Guide!

Love,

Sarah

Tapperij de Eeuwige Jeugd | For Beer, Cocktails & Games

If you like beer, cocktails, good food and snacks, you’re going to love this new place that has just opened its doors in Amsterdam.

Tapperij de Eeuwige Jeugd is much more than a place to drink beer. In essence, it’s the perfect place for those that want to keep playing, no matter what your age.

A Dream | Tapperij de Eeuwige Jeugd

A little less than a year ago, the men behind the famous Dutch Eeuwige Jeugd brewery decided to start a new adventure. They accepted the challenge of turning a monumental building on Linnaeusstraat in Amsterdam-East into a place with four different rooms. The 477m² area is subdivided into different spaces that are arranged according to the characters of beers flavours served in the restaurant. Café de Lellebel for example, is feminine and sweet, with its own entrance and tap perfect for birthdays, graduation drinks and company outings. A few steps further, you can go for board games or a game of dart and you can go all the way down at the Gluiperd.

Livingroom

De Eeuwige Jeugd Amsterdam

We don’t stop playing because we get older, we get old because we stop playing

Beer & Food

Of course you will find the usual beers from brewery De Eeuwige Jeugd on tap, but also other special beers from other breweries throughout the Netherlands. Have you ever heard about beer cocktails? At Tapperij de Eeuwige Jeugd they will serve these and more. To satisfy your hunger, a menu has been chosen with something very special on it. In addition to your favourite bar snacks, they also serve poutines here. You can order these organic fries with different types of toppings. Furthermore, they serve delicious pancakes on Sunday!

Pancakes on Sunday

The Tapperij de Eeuwige Jeugd will be open from Monday to Sunday. During the week from 3:00 to 12:00 and on Fridays and Saturdays the tables are set aside and dancing is possible until 3am!

Tapperij de Eeuwige Jeugd
Linnaeusstraat 37A, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram

The Paris City Guide

With Paris so easy to reach via train and car, it is no surprise that the French metropole is one of the most visited cities in Europe. 

We created a brand new guide that you can use for your next trip to Paris, France.

WHERE TO EAT

First thing to remember is that you may come back from Paris with a few pounds extra. But who cares! When you are in the city of love, you will have many amazing places to choose from. These are by far our favourites!

  • Terrasse de l’Alcazar

    This is by far one of the best locations in Paris. Tucked away in a side street of the 6th arrondissement, is this trendy restaurant has an indoor garden and international cuisine. They do Sunday brunch and cocktails.

Terrasse de l'Alcazar Paris
The amazing Terrasse de l’Alcazar

  • CoCo Paris

    Undoubtedly, CoCo is one of the most impressive spots located in Paris. Relatively new, they opened in the summer of 2019, next to the Opera. Inside you’ll find palmtrees and a luxurious setting. 

  • Daroco

    Located in Jean Paul Gaultier’s former flagship store, right next to Galerie Vivienne, a beautiful arcade built in 1923. The decor is aaa-mazing, and they serve traditional Italian food.

Restaurant Daroco Paris
Daroco

restaurant CoCo Paris
CoCo

  • Dalmata

    On the other hand, if you like to keep it low key and casual, check out this pink pizza heaven. These Italians are doing it right.Their concept? 202 pizzas maximum are served daily (101 at lunchtime and 101 at dinnertime) to enjoy on the spot or to take away. To get an idea of how many pizzas are left, a counter has been put at the entrance of the restaurant. Brilljant and we are loving the no waste policy!

Dalmata Paris
Dalmata

  • Maison Sauvage

    Regardless if you like hotspots or not, this place looks damn cute. With two floors and an outside terrace, this restaurant makes it work in busy Saint-Germain-des-Prés. They serve healthy comfort food, juices and coffee.

  • Peonies

    Unquestionably, Peonies is our happy place and belongs in this Paris City Guide. They are a café and florist combined and serve a killer Matcha Pink latte including beautifully made pastry, whilst surrounded by fresh flowers. 

Maison Sauvage Paris
Maison Sauvage

  • Café Berry

    Besides being a café, this self-entitled wellness café, has an in-store beauty and nail bar. Needless to say that they are located in the trendy neighbourhood of Le Marais.

Colourful lattes Cafe Berry
Source: Café Berry

  • LouLou

    This Australian lunch spot is always buzzing and serves delish bowls, salads and sandwiches. Furthermore, the service was good and friendly while I was there.

  • Le Pavillon au Canaux

    When you enter the spacious terrace, it is hard not to fall in love with this place. Calmly situated next to the canal, the restaurant has a unique design. If you like, you can dine in a bathtub not to mention the bedroom next door where you can drink your coffee. 

Cafe Paris
Le Pavillon au Canaux

  • Kozy Paris

    If you like pretty food to pimp up your Instagram account, the 3 locations of Kozy Berry will do it for you. 

  • Le Potager de Charlotte

    Vegan or not vegan, you will appreciate this amazing dishes at Le Pontager de Charlotte. Our guest editor Chantelle reviewed them and other vegan restaurants in Paris when they recently opened their second location. Therefore we highly recommend this place to anyone that loves belly friendly foods.

Vegan food in Paris


WHERE TO DRINK

Paris is full of amazing cocktail bars and places where you can drink wine alongside a delicious French cheese platter. These are the best places to do it!

  • Candelaria, 52 rue de Saintonge
    On first sight, you think this is just a tiny taco bar with nothing more than a few tables and a bar. But behind the white door is a secret cocktail bar that takes you down into a Mexican allure with candle lights and an amazing vibe.
  • Comptoir Général, 80, quai de Jemmapes
    This bar has been features in almost all best-bars lists, that being said, it totally deserves to be in those lists. It can be busy during the weekends!

Secret cocktail bar
Just a taco bar?


WHERE TO STAY

Because Paris isn’t the most affordable city, we decided to stay just outside the centre to see what it was like. Surprisingly, the centre of Paris was only a 20 minute metro ride, plus I got to see a more local side of Paris.

  • ibis Styles
    Located at Mairie de Montreuil, the place where the art of cinema started in the early twenties. At first, you may feel that  you are miles away from the heart of Paris, but as shown above, the metro that is located almost next to the hotel, takes you to the city pretty fast. Hotel ibis Styles is the more playful & creative sister of the Ibis you may know. In particular, this hotel has recently been renovated and like all other ibis styles hotels, it took on the theme of the neighbourhood, in this case cinema.

ibis Styles Marie de Montreuil

Given that ibis styles is for every budget, don’t expect anything too fancy. However, the beds are really comfortable and the shutters in the rooms make you sleep like a baby. All rooms are equipped with a flatscreen and designed to match the film theme of the hotel. The breakfast buffet is filled with French pastries, fresh orange juice, cheeses and baguettes. If you want, there is also a fresh authentic bakery across from the metro station that is wonderful. 

Bedroom ibis styles Montreuil

Around the area

The area has a few shops, florists, bakeries and an amazing organic supermarket with options to go plastic-free. You can refill almost anything from oils, coffee, tea, nuts, seeds and even washing detergents! There is also a nice sushi restaurant on the corner from the hotel. Rooms at ibis Styles Paris Marie de Montreuil are available from 120 euro per night.


WHERE TO HANG OUT

As you may know, Paris is huge! That being said, there are a few places we have lined up where you can relax and chill after walking around the city of love all day.

  • The parks in Paris
    There are many parks in Paris but check this overview that we made for you last spring to find the most pretty ones!
  • Anywhere along the Seine! 
    There are many benches around the seine for you to enjoy passing boats, or seeing oil painters creating art in front of you. Crab a baguette and enjoy Paris.
  • Le Marais
    In our opinion, one of the best area’s in Paris. In either case, you will find many café’s, shops and restaurants where you can hang.

Parks in Paris

Paris in a nutshell

In summary, Paris can never be summed up into one city guide as it constantly evolves. However, these places in the French Metropole makes us happy, and we hope they do the same for you.

Bisou,

Elke

Amsterdam’s Best Apple Pie

There is one place in Amsterdam, where the Apple Pie is so famous, people line up for it. 

Where can you find Amsterdam’s best Apple Pie?

Well, it’s in central Amsterdam and right across from where the Noordermarket is based. The always busy cafe is called Winkel 43 alongside the Westerstraat. Be warned; you won’t be the only one trying to taste this amazing apple pie. Don’t worry though, there is always some pie left as they continue to bake them all day long! Besides their pie, they also serve lunch and dinner. Combine your visit with the Noordermarkt on Saturday and sit outside when the sun comes out.

Winkel 43 Amsterdam
Source: Winkel 43 Facebook

Secret Recipe

Their famous Apple Pie has been voted the best of all by several magazine and online platforms. The secret? Well, it’s crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside with some delicious whipped cream on top. When you take that first bite, it takes you back to your monthly visits at your granny’s house on a Sunday afternoon. 🙂

The only way to find out if it’s indeed Amsterdam’s best Apple Pie, is to try it for yourself! Be sure to visit Winkel 43 on your next visit to Amsterdam!

Winkel 43
Noordermarkt 43, Amsterdam
www.winkel43.nl

Love,

Elke

WesterVilla Amsterdam | Boutique Hotel & restaurant

Tucked away in a hidden, yet beautiful part of Amsterdam, you can find the newly opened WesterVilla. A luxurious building that will feature as a hotel, restaurant and bar.

The villa, that dates back to 1896, is located next to the Vredenbrug cemetery and has been completely refurbished. Westervilla is now ready to receive  its first guests.

A PLACE FOR EVERYONE TO UNWIND, WHERE COMFORT IS KEY, AS IS HOSPITALITY.

The Restaurant

For the purpose of all day guests, WesterVilla has build the restaurant area in the glass veranda. This results in a wonderful view and the perfect place for breakfast and lunch if we may say so. In total there will be space for about 70 guests, a large terrace, plus there will be a private area big enough for 50 people that will also be used for the cemetery. The menu will mainly consists of international dishes with Italian influences, which is good news for food and wine lovers! (who doesn’t love Italian food, right?) On the breakfast menu you’ll find avocado on toast but also vegan pancakes or granola. For lunch you can feast on burrata, antipasti, sandwiches and much more.

Lunch WesterVilla
Not the best presentation, but it was tasty!

WesterVilla Restaurant

The Hotel

In total, the hotel has 7 beautiful rooms, all designed with classical features. The interior has been designed by House Your Brands in collaboration with stylist Sanne Uivel. Rooms are not available to book yet, but we will keep you posted on that one.

Bedsheets Westervilla

In essence, WesterVilla is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

WesterVilla
Haarlemmerweg 369, Amsterdam
Open from 8AM- 10PM

Website / Instagram

Wander-Lust

More Amsterdam?

6 x NEW AMAZING ASIAN RESTAURANTS IN AMSTERDAM

We have a weakness for Asian destinations and Asian food. It may have something to do with the fact that I have Indonesian roots and growing up with eating various spices and herbs. This always results in sheer joy when I hear about a new Asian restaurant opening in Amsterdam. These are some newcomers we want you to hear about.

Intisari Bistro Indonesia, Balboastraat 24

If you know the Dutch, you know that Indonesian food has always been important. Most people know their way around with GadoGado, Saté and Nasi Goreng. We’re happy to mention that Intisari Bistro Indonesia recently opened its doors and the reviews are praising positively. www.intisari.nl

Asian Newcomers in Amsterdam

BAOHUIS,Van Limburg stirumstraat 115

This Asian street food newcomer has opened as of early summer and is partly run by renowned chef Justin Brown. The serve no nonsense bao buns (with pulled pork or veggie), cocktails, finger licking Asian bites and Asian beers! They are close by the Westerpark, and have an outside terrace with plenty of seats. baohuis.nl

Benji’s Toko & Benji’s Bro, Baarsjesweg 188 / Maassluitstraat 243

After the success at Benji’s East, they quickly made plans to open a second café. This time, with Indonesian flavours. During breakfast and lunch you can enjoy healthy Bali style dishes such as Buddha or Acai bowls, but at dinner the real Indonesian flavours come out. You can order a mini “rijstafel” for meat, fish eaters or vegetarians. In addition to these, there are also Indonesian side orders are available. The toko is a place where you can drink Bali style cocktails at night and cool events with DJ’s will follow. The interior is amazing and the staff is friendly. Benji’s is not wasting any time and opened their 3rd location in Amsterdam New West, Benji’s Bro, which will also become a co-working space. In conclusion, you will see us here often!

Beji's Toko | Asian Newcomers

Boi Boi Southwest, Heemstedestraat 27H

Some say that Boi Boi is the best Thai restaurant in Amsterdam. They established back in 2015, but recently opened a new place near Hoofddorpplein in Amsterdam New West. To begin with, they serve the best Thai dishes we love to eat in Thailand. We can’t wait to try it! www.boiboi.com

Koma House, Krugerplein 2

This small Vietnamese restaurant has been getting amazing reviews by many customers, as well as from Asian influencers and trendsetters. The food is just as good as the ambiance, plus the staff is lovely. The owner is also Vietnamese so they know what they are doing. From rice bowls to buns, salad and catering, they do it!

Best Asian newcomers in Amsterdam

Paku Paku Amsterdam, Beukenplein 3H

Besides being the first Japanese fondue restaurant is the Netherlands, Paku paku is also a language bar where expats can meet to learn and speak Dutch to and from each other. What better way to get to know the Dutch culture then by sharing food and meeting locals! During dinner, guests drop their favourite fish, meat or veggies in the bubbling hot pot. You can compare it to a traditional fondue, but better and also a bit healthier because you are not frying your ingredients. 

Paku Paku Amsterdam

So which of these Asian Restaurants are you going to visit first?

Enjoy the spice!

Elke