OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD IS THE BEST.
we’re just back from holiday with muggy heads tired bodies tequila soaked livers and a shit ton of ideas + inspiration. i’ve not felt so motivated to make change + do the dreams (whatever we decide they are) since my hashtag 2016 phase. + before that, amsterdam (the barshopbistropubconceptstore city of beer fogged dreams). when this jet lag is over. . there will be no stopping. but for now i’m trying to get ourselves tidied up back into the real world. working washing decluttering + for john, starting a new job. the week is going too fast. on a slow speed setting.
so im going to just settle into that. not ask too much. sleep when i need sleep. and make lists + plans for when said motivation life change energy kicks right in and i can be bothered with it.
lists always help. hank helps. sofa helps.
on a side note* im so aware that im shite at blogging. and i’ve decided im ok with that. in the words of john in canada > when i do i do. when i don’t i don’t.
such is life.
is was my childhood hero* and on saturday night i went to a special 35th anniversary screening of indiana jones : raiders of the lost ark in kelvingrove art gallery – a MUSEUM.
words. can’t. (i’d be having an emoji shit-fit on here if this was a phone)
lets all just take a minute to appreciate harrison ford please.
+ thank you glasgow film festival. a highlight of my glasgow life so far. true.
*childhood hero no.2 : john mclean. more on him another time.
i first found F F O R E S T on instagram – i think via e r n e s t j o u r n a l – and initially i thought it was just this wonderful shop for adventuring people selling beautiful welsh wool blankets & pen knives & socks & all of these perfect pieces to fill your fjallraven kanken backpack..
F F O R E S T is a farm, in wales, run by a most inspiring family, who wanted to create a space for people to enjoy the simple things in life – outdoors, adventure, food & company. i can’t even begin to explain this place – there are so many spaces, different accommodations, places to share food, adventures to go on, paths to walk, workshops to try, land to explore, creative gatherings to attend, beautiful things to buy …. the website is a wonderful place, their story inspiring & the concept a real beautiful thing.
s l o w + s i m p l e l i v i n g // that’s the dream.
find out more here.
i’m spending my saturday looking at the diary & monies to figure out & justify booking another 2015 holiday …. a trip to fforest would definitely be good for the soul.
that’s a perfect excuse no?
enjoy your weekend all – c x
our city guide | part 2 | day 3 + 4 ….
(part one here)
wednesday : my diary says here long lie & sausage dog breakfast. i do not know what that means so i’ll skip to late morning & ALBERT CUYPSTRAAT MARKET. 100 years old (so i read) & the largest street market in the netherlands. fruit & veg, fresh squeezed juice, rotisserie chicken, tacky clothes & home wares, phone cases, cheap shampoo & a wee man on a stool playing the harmonica terribly, smack bang in the middle of it all. go here for a wander & to buy a dirty dutch retro comic book.
again, this is right in the middle of DE PIJP & just off the street-of-many-a-cool-place as mentioned in part one, eerste van der helststraat. such as…. FLAMINGO – a tiny bar with good beer & good style. go.
next … MASH – on gerard douplein, just across the road. with the best exterior – all white tile – and an interior made completely of plywood – this super tiny bar was some serious hipster-cool shit. with more good beer & a bar snack menu of small plates – which they buy from next door to order – more B I T T E R B A L L S+B E E R. yes.
dinner was at PIZZAKAMMER – on tweede van der helststraat – just up the street. not somewhere on our to go list – but we were hungry & happy to just cross the street on a bar mans recommendation. we walked in and sat right down only to realise that they weren’t open yet and the staff were all having dinner. but – no they didn’t mind. ever accommodating & merry are the dutch hospitality crowd. brilliant pizza and yes, more good beer.
thursday : the morning of OMLEGG. we were desperate to try this place. and it happened to be a 5 minute walk away from our airbnb. a g a i n ! this little cafe serves omelettes. all the omelettes. every omelette. sweary good omelettes. again with an open kitchen & all wood furnishings – decked out in greenery & plants, OMLEGG – on – ferdinand bolstraat – is the best. please go. they are nailing eggs. & it will cure your hangover.
we had planned our last days meals carefully – all our top picks. a full day of eating & drinking only. for lunch we took a tram across the city to DE FOODHALLEN. (head west on tram 17 to ten katestraat). a huge indoor food market inside an old tram warehouse. this place was a m a z i n g . with almost too many street food vendors to choose from & 2 bars in the middle to drink from – you could spend a whole afternoon here eating small dishes, drinking and wandering around. we tried VIET VIEW – super delicious pork belly summer rolls – more bitter balls from DE BALLEN BAR (shrimp, veal & beef – all amazing) – & pies from WILD MOA PIES.
there is n o t h i n g like this in scotland and it is an absolute must-go if you are in amsterdam and like your food. a brilliant brilliant place.
we also bought a box of cakes & tarts from THE LITTLE PATISSERIE which we took to meet pals back in the centre at THE DAMS SMALLEST PUB – go here just to go, and be careful on the worlds narrowest steepest stairs to a toilet.
for our last night, i had picked the restaurant. i had been desperate to try this place. and it turned out to be, again, not far from our airbnb – DE CRAZY KREEFT. you’ll find this place on ferdinand bolstraat. you’ll look at the cartoon branding on the menu , & website, and you’ll maybe think nah, doesn’t look great. john did the same. but i was adamant. and you are all wrong. this place was the shit. a pop up LOBSTER RESTAURANT. serving genuinely delicious & a f f o r d a b l e lobster. cool decor, lovely staff, great menu, amazing food. go. go go go.
friday : we had sore heads & soggy clothes. and the sun was out. typical. but fine. whatever. amsterdam is obviously great whatever the weather.
we went to an amazing new space C T COFFEE + COCONUTS – on ceintuurbaan – built within an old 1920s cinema house called Ceintuur Theater – various floors of perfectly styled seating areas, art & plants. i loved it. so hard. and the coffee was perfect. (read a bit more & see inside over on petite passport)
back to DE WASSERETTE for our last breakfast – then a tram into the centre for a walk around dam square & the canal before our flight home.
there are a huge number of places that we didn’t get a chance to try on this trip. and i hate that we don’t have more photos! it’s so unlike me, but due to the weather – we just didn’t take our camera out. n e x t t i m e !
amsterdam is a really buzzing, forward thinking city – creative people doing some brilliant things, new shops & concept stores opening all the time, & the restaurant/bar industry doesn’t seem to be having any trouble whatsoever. people are out socialising all the time it seemed – and those places doing what they do well, looked to be busy every day. we were there mid-january, the weather was utter crap, most of the tourists seemed to be kicking about the city centre, and yet everywhere we went had a great atmosphere & a crowd. be it a tuesday morning or a wednesday night. very inspiring.
we will definitely go back. we have a list of places to try that we missed – (LE COQ, LOT SIXTY ONE COFFEE &, DE PLANTAGE to name a tiny few) – an airbnb apartment which we would definitely stay in again, & now know that easyjet do some super cheap flights (ours cost £50 each all in) – whats not to go back for!
GO TO A M S T E R D A M ! – c x
*i like to have some places in mind to try before we go to a city – places to eat mostly – walking around you can stumble on some amazing places – but we don’t like to miss out so i used these 2 BRILLIANT blogs to get some ideas beforehand –
YOUR LITTLE BLACK BOOK
both travel & city guides absolutely f u l l of info, cool spaces & new spots to check out. big thanks to you ladies for the tips!
and .. be sure to get yourself a herb lester pocket map too!
finally getting round to sharing our favourite places & spaces in amsterdam. the city we fell head over beers for at the start of the year. staying in an amazing airbnb apartment, in the coolest area, de pijp, for a mon-fri holiday. i would go back r i g h t n o w .
the airport was the first thing i loved in amsterdam. then soon after, the architecture. as soon as you walk out of central station you see just how beautiful a city it is. the centre is great – we spent hours walking around over the few days we were there – down as many streets as possible .. and into as many pubs.. it was pissing rain so half hour pit stops were absolutely necessary on every corner – bad weather is s u c h a great excuse for being drunk on holiday.. during the day..
monday : we arrived afternoon time – chatted to some lovely folk about how to use the trams & headed out to our airbnb – which turned out to be less than 10mins away .. and in the B E S T area ..
perfect mix of quiet streets & busy corners – all of the shops, pubs & restaurants we had on our list turned out to be 5 – 10 mins walk from our apartment.
so we went for a beer, chatted to bar person Kitty about the whats & wheres over a strong pint, took a wander and over our 2nd beer, decided we want to live in amsterdam. the city swept us off our drunken feet within a few hours.
dinner that night was at CAFE PAR HASARD – on Ceinturbann – home to the B E S T B I T T E R B A L L E N we have ever tried and the cutest, friendliest, most helpful waitress called Barbara. who i’m going to go and give some big love to on trip advisor. this restaurant is found within the newly established friterie – FRITES UIT ZUYD. super cool chippy – just walk through to find the restaurant. i definitely recommend an early dinner here one night.
in the city centre we stopped in at 2 very old school beery pubs – CAFE DE STER, on martelaarsgracht, which was busy & brilliant & just 5 mins from central station – & CAFE MOOY. where we ended up staying all night – something to do with the amazing bar lady, Joke, & the gift of dropshot (a strong salty liquorice flavoured shot) from the kind older gents at the bar.. it was pretty vile & we got pretty drunk. right in the city centre, next to hotel inntel, where our friends were staying, this little pub claimed to be the oldest in amsterdam & was warm, friendly, traditional & an absolute hoot. Joke (pronounced yoker .. ?) taught us the various glass sizes to order our beers in Dutch & even danced with the husband when he became overly merry.
pay a visit.
tuesday : we were hungover. so we walked. & walked. DE PIJP is perfect. stylish & laid-back – bars, restaurants, cafes & concept stores on every corner, down every street. & all those fecking beautiful buildings.
we had breakfast in YOGURT BARN – on eerste van der helstraat – every style of yogurt, with every topping you would ever want & house blend teas, which you pick and scoop yourself. i had some crazy strawberry vanilla smokey fandango which i doubt i will ever find or enjoy as much again. super friendly staff – which by then we had worked out was standard in amsterdam – and a comfy space to spend a morning, all cushions & concrete & wood.
next door is COTTONCAKE – a beautiful beautiful cafe & shop with an ever changing stock of quality clothes, handmade jewellery & up and coming art. a bright, white space, styled & curated perfectly. (read a bit more about cottoncake here – super helpful city blog!)
on albert cuypstraat, we found CIRCLE OF TRUST – a concept store which after starting as a jeans brand now sells a whole range of items appealing to a general sense of lifestyle – from fashion, to beauty, homewares & paper goods . a beautiful, super cool space which i was desperate to instagram the shit out of. & spend all my monies…
& on gerard doustraat – ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD – a shop filled with home wares & gifts – from furniture to jewellery – all styled so perfectly i wanted to work there. & again spend all my monies… another one of my favourite concept store finds in a city of many.
DE WASSERETTE for brunch – on eerste van der helststraat. quite possibly our favourite cafe of all time now & so far. perfect breakfast/lunch menu, amazing coffee, very cool space, laid-back, efficient staff, open kitchen & a busyness you only get from being good at what you do. always packed (we walked past this place a lot as so close to our airbnb) this place had v i b e s. & fecking good eggs.
back into the city – walk & explore. eat a febo. stop for a beer. walk. stop. beer. febo. etc. it was still pissing down so all the beers & vending machine croquettes were necessary.
across the pavement from where we spent the previous night – on kolksteeg – is IN DE WILDEMAN. a unique &, what we took to be, authentic beer tasting bar. with literally h u n d r e d s of beers & the most friendly & knowledgable bar staff you could find. the service over there puts us to shame in the uk. ( the main man remembered john from the night before when he apparently grabbed him outside the pub for a song – and this guy didn’t even mind! ?!?) i couldn’t choose a beer, so i told them what i liked and they choose me some crazy dark & beautiful thing which will be forever in my memory. definitely pay this place a visit. it is absolutely rammed at night & we could see why.
that night we strolled the red light district, i saw my first rubber vagina, & we ate in a tiny Tibetan restaurant which i cannot remember the name of but would recommend if i could.
stopped in for a beer at the SAILOR BAR – another traditional & super busy little place on the canal which i would definitely go back to just for the atmosphere – before we found our stay place of the night – CAFE CUBA , on nieuwmarkt. c o c k t a i l s. just try the cocktails.
look out for part 2 of my amsterdam city guide later in the week!
i could go on about this place for way too long … – c x
**to get to DE PIJP from the centre takes under 10mins on the tram. take a 4,16 or 24.
if you choose not to stay there – definitely go for a visit at least!
this is me after a week of trying to lead a balanced lifestyle & going to bikram yoga*. now i’ve got a crazy busy weekend & i’m tired and unorganised. wtf.
healthy living is time consuming. everyday is now a bad hair day. bring back the balanced unbalance, i say.
but um, happy friday to you all! – c x
* if you’re thinking of trying it – and live in glasgow – bikram yoga south side is a lovely studio with a good rep. i’d recommend it.
image AGAIN from that Jen Gotchs pinterest.
so. last night – i dated the husband & went to the cinema & for some wee beers. tick. TONIGHT – i’ve got a date with oor gill* & emmy the great. HEAVY DATING THIS WEEK.
have a good thursday night pals – c x
ps. image found on pinterest via Jen Gotch (follow her there & on instagram for shit tons of colour & hilarity)
*gill – oor regular contributor & taste-maker checker – owns the glasgow wedding collective & loves gold shiny things. also lives with hanks best pal bert.
amsterdam, we are going to eat in all of your best restaurants & drink all of your beer.
reminiscent of our ‘moon in may 2013 – spent wandering the streets of paris, prague, berlin & barcelona – but this time with almost 2 years worth of married-life adventures in the bag & a herb lester city guide in his back pocket.
i’ll be sharing our favourite finds, places & spaces when we get back.
happy our-holidays to you all – c x
**birthday dog , aka hank, turned one this weekend. he is our crazy handsome pooch who features mightily on my personal instagram, pure loves getting his picture taken & is our best pal. his birthday is a big deal.
the husband and i are off to amsterdam in a couple of weeks. can. not. wait.
and on looking for trip-inspired festive gifts –
i found herb lester:
based in london – herb lester are map-makers. taking an old school approach to writing a city guide, using cab driver recommendations & general walking & finding, & with wall-worthy design style – these wee guys are a perfect travel guide, small enough for a husbands pocket even, and ONLY £4 EACH. wtf.
font, colour & layout P E R F E C T I O N. there isn’t a design i didn’t like. and you can buy them in bundles that they call collections. they even sell an ‘everywhere box’.
the website is a lovely place & the map paper is 100% recycled. WIN.
if your going somewhere get one.
& i’ll let you know how it does us in amsterdam through our no doubt bleary eyes…
– c x