INTRO March 27, 2016


Amsterdam is a Designers paradise. As soon as I arrived and stepped out of my hotel I was in ore of the beauty of this city. Having wanted to visit for some time, I can say my first visit outweighed my expectations and I can't wait to get back. Vibrant, happening, chic and classy are just a few of the words that describe what may be my new favourite European city!

I stayed in the fantastically located Hoxton Hotel, situated in the Nine Streets neighbourhood - fashionable and with an authentic village atmosphere, this area is complete with canals, bridges and cobble stone streets. The 17th and 18thC Architecture of terrace style houses, which overlook the canals, made me want to pack my bags and move into one of these exquisite homes.

Amsterdam's history is also rich, with an abundance of museums and galleries and the famous Anne Frank house. Predominately a rainy city we lucked it with the weather and had crisp and sunny days in the middle of March.

My insider tip is… Do some research before you go and pin point where you want to eat and what you want to see. I highly recommend booking restaurants and tickets in advance, especially for the Anne Frank House - if not you will be in a queue that spans the city!

You will need… To feel comfortable on a bike. This is a bike city and best seen on the saddle. If not, watch out!! They sneak up behind you when you least expect.

I indulged in… great coffee.

BD_01_AMSTERDAM-GUIDEPhotography © Studio Arrc By Sophie Carr.

THE HOXTON Herengracht 255, 1016BJ Amsterdam. The Hoxton, Amsterdam opened its doors in July 2015. Made up of 5 canal houses this elegant building was once home to the Mayor in 17th century. Now it houses 111 rooms spread across 5 floors and includes the place to be, LOTTI'S - run in partnership with Soho House & Co. This hotel could not be in a more perfect location, situated in the Nine Streets neighbourhood, you are amongst the some of the cities best boutiques and restaurants. There are many great perks to this hotel and I loved the touch of the 'Breakfast Bag', delivered to each and every room daily, you get a yoghurt with granola pot, banana and OJ. And one last thing -  you are sure to get a good night sleep here, the beds are the most comfortable I have slept on.

PLUK Reestraat 19, 1016 DM Amsterdam. A light, bright & healthy spot in the 9 Streets! Famous for their fresh cold press  juices & some of the best treats in the area, stop here for breakfast or lunch and try their fresh salad bar or one of their must-try sandwiches. You are sure to leave feeling replenished!

MAISON RIKA Oude Spiegelstraat 9, 1016 BM Amsterdam.  This petite guesthouse is located in the 9 Streets district and is a home away from home for anyone who appreciates a warm, intimate reception and gorgeous design. This traditional three-story townhouse, formerly a gallery, houses two bedrooms with views over the historic Herengracht canal. If you like boutique living whilst away this is the place for you.

DR. WONAN Hartenstraat 27, 1016 CA Amsterdam. A boutique Interior and accessories store that will have you wanting more. Small in size but a beautifully curated collection of furniture and accessories.

BOCCA Kerkstraat 96HS, 1017 GP Amsterdam. When I visit a city and it's said to have good coffee - I do my research! Bocca beans have been around for some time however they have just opened the doors to their sleek and modern cafe, complete with teaching facilities. Stop here for one, two or maybe three!

LOVE STORIES Herengracht 296, 1016 BX Amsterdam. This boutique is full of delicate and exquisite lingerie, designed to be mixed and matched.

HOTEL PULITZER Keizersgracht 224, 1016 GZ Amsterdam. Elegance best describes this hotel. From the moment you enter you can appreciate the scale and sheer beauty of this newly refurbished masterpiece. An intricate maze of 25 connecting Golden Age canal houses filled to the brim with curiosities everywhere you look. I could wander the ….

JANSZ Keizersgracht 224, 1016 GZ Amsterdam. Jansz is an effortless yet upscale all-day dining restaurant that respects the simplicity of quality ingredients. Connected to hotel Pulitzer, its no doubt the food is as good as the interiors.

LOT SIXTY ONE COFFEE Kinkerstraat 112, 1053 ED Amsterdam. Yes another coffee destination, located around the corner from De Hallen this 'Aussie Made' masterpiece is another one to try (YES, Australians are the kings of coffee). In 2013 Adam Craig and Paul Jenner opened Lot Sixty One which endeavours to be the Netherland’s finest coffee bar and roastery - I concur.

DE HALLEN Hannie Dankbaar Passage 33, 1053 RT Amsterdam. Located in the newly hip Oud-West area of the city, De Hallen is a brand new centre for the arts, crafts, fashion and food in a recently refurbished industrial building dating from 1902. De Hallen houses a cinema, independent stores and a boutique hotel, as well as the impressive Food Hallen – a food and drink heaven where visitors can munch their way through a selection of upmarket street food from one of many vendors located around a central bar. If you prefer more of a restaurant vibe then visit Meat West.  

BERRY Bilderdijkkade 27, 1053 VH Amsterdam. A short walk from De Hallen, Berry is a great place to stop for breakfast.

LION NOIR Reguliersdwarsstraat 28, 1017 BM Amsterdam. An eclectic restaurant, great for dinner or a cocktail. In the warmer months enjoy the large courtyard.

SAN GEORGE Stadhouderskade 7, 1054 ES Amsterdam. Two of my favourite things, Amsterdam and Venetian cuisine, plus the interiors are just as delicious as the Menu! The team at Framework Architects blended industrial cool with 1950s glamour - complete with deep green velvet and leather seating, graphic floors, brass details, photography by Slim Aaron and vintage light fixtures by Serge Mouille. The perfect place to settle in to an Italian Feast!

THE ROAST ROOM Scheldeplein 4, 1078 GR Amsterdam. The name says it all, literally a meat lovers heaven and everything else is about art - from the dishes being served to the interior with all its beautiful bronze details. For causal dining enjoy the ground floor, complete with share tables shaped as carving boards or to experience their fine dining, book upstairs at the Rotisserie.

DE PLANTAGE Plantage Kerklaan 36, 1018 CZ Amsterdam. A destination in itself, enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in this impressive space, and you can't help but be impressed by the central Fiddle Leaf Fig!

MORGAN & MEES Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat 2-6, 1052 LC Amsterdam. A brand new hotel, restaurant and cocktail bar situated in a completely renovated historical building in Amsterdam West. Sophisticated and flooded with natural light this is a boutique experience worth having.

HAY Spuistraat 281 abc, 1012 VR Amsterdam. The name doesn't need an introduction - this store has all your favourite furniture and accessories from the world renowned brand, and when your worn out shopping sit down in their cafe! 

MARIE STELLA MARIS Keizersgracht 357HS, 1016 EJ Amsterdam. Having started with purified water and the belief that everyone should have access to a source of clean drinking water, the founders of Marie Stella Maris have now developed the brand into a care line of 100 products for beauty and home and with every per chase a percentage goes to clean water projects.

BD_02_AMSTERDAM-GUIDEPhotography © Studio Arrc By Sophie Carr.

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