Little Collins, Amsterdam

Little Collins is my favorite brunch spot in Amsterdam. Instead of sporting your typical pancakes and bacon, their menu features a delicious range, from traditional to trendy, with items such as thick, homemade sausages and mouth-watering sweet and sour pork belly. Their meals are hearty, filling, and quite honestly, served by some of the nicest wait staff in Amsterdam.IMG_7024 Little Collins is located a block from my flat in de Pijp, so I end up sipping mimosas on their terrace in the sun at least once a month (twice if we’re being honest). I’ve never blogged about Little Collins before, because they’re such a ‘usual’ on my brunch-list. In my mind, they’re a delicious and reliable Sunday spot – not a new and newsworthy experience to share. But my blasé perception of Little Collins is incorrect, as they truly do serve some of the best brunch food in Amsterdam. Continue reading

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Game of Thrones Exhibit, Amsterdam

Four years ago, I read a fantastic book series by George R.R. Martin. I was immediately enthralled with the characters, the fictitious lands, and the juicy plot lines. I started scouring online forums for spoilers, theories, and other fan fiction. To say I was a Game of Thrones geek would be an absolute understatement. I was Daenerys Targaryen, Robb Stark, or Cersei Lannister, pending the day and my mood. Never did I imagine I would get to see some of my favorite characters come to life on HBO.

At first I resisted watching the TV series. I’d read the books and didn’t want to fumble through inaccurate plot lines and poorly portrayed characters. But come the third season, I could’t resist. I didn’t have to backtrack, because, hey, I’d read the books! And George R.R. Martin had made it abundantly clear that The Winds of Winter (the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series) would not be coming out for quite some time, so I needed a Game of Thrones fix in between reads. Truth be told, HBO did not disappoint. The acting is superb, the costumes and set designs are mind blowing, and the plot lines are equally alive. So when HBO asked if I wanted to attend the Game of Thrones Exhibition in Amsterdam, my answer was not ‘yes’, it was ‘HELLLLS YES!’

IMG_7929The Game of Thrones Exhibition is an international, traveling event, featuring costumes, props, and interactive installation. Continue reading

The Keukenhof, Holland

I’m sorry for going quiet these past few days. There are ebbs and flows in blogging, and this past week has definitely been a photo-taking, e-mail-answering, event-attending week. So I neglected the blog space slightly, for which I am sorry! To make it up to you, I would like to share the most colorful post of all time :) One of the reasons I’ve been preoccupied lately is because I’ve had a slew of guests visiting over the past few weeks. First my two best friends, Katie and Amie, came to town. Then my Mom. And then two good friends from college. So now springtime is coming to a close, and I truly feel like the past month has flown by in a blur. I took two weeks off from work, and there have been numerous long holiday weekends this month as well. As you can imagine, with so many guests, I’ve been constantly on the go, super social, and doing tons of cool things in and around Amsterdam! One sunny day while my Mom was here, we headed over to the stunning Keukenhof to admire the endless flower gardens (I’ve mentioned the Keukenhof before here, in my Amsterdam city guide!)
IMG_7168I really have no words that could compare to the beauty of the Keukenhof . . .  Continue reading

Museumplein is Under Water, Amsterdam

Last night I got a text from my friend Jess at 11:45pm that read, “Meet me in Museumplein in 5 minutes.” It was late and I was already in my pajamas, but Jess and I often hang out at unconventional times (Sunday night cups of tea at 10.30pm are kind of our thing), and to be honest, I didn’t have much else on my Tuesday late-night agenda other than sleep. So I threw on my Chucks and grabbed my camera, intent on photographing the cute Miffy Bunnies currently residing in Museumplein. Little did I know, something a way more photo-worthy was in store. As I rolled up to the Rijks, the sky was illuminated by a blanket of blue.
IMG_7299I called Jess right away, wondering where she was and what the heck was going on! Apparently, the Rijks has just purchased a new painting, titled ‘De doorbraak van de Sint-Anthonisdijk bij Amsterdam’ which roughly translates to ‘The breakthrough of St. Anthonis Dike in Amsterdam’ which was created by 17th century painter Jan Asselijn. Continue reading

The Best Nachos in Amsterdam

A few months ago, I got a major craving for nachos. Unfortunately, Mexico is quite a ways away from Holland, so there are very few Tex-Mex or authentic Navajo joints sprawling about the city. Luckily, I’m a member of the Sid Lee Supper Club, and therefore have several culinarily inquisitive friends. Together, we decided to embark on an epic Mexican adventure – a quest to uncover the best nachos in Amsterdam. We famed our escapades the Nach’yo Average Pub Crawl, and mapped out several local Mexican haunts to visit around the city. Armed with score cards and sombreros, we kicked off our escapades on a sunny day, in search of crispy chips, melted cheese, and cool, creative toppings.IMG_6865

We planned to visit six spots around the city that served nachos – de Biertuin, Agabi Santa Maria, Cafe Harlem, Los Pilones, Waterkant, and Cannibale Royal. Some we’d been to before, some we’d heard good things about, and others we’d found on TripAdvisor.  Continue reading

Sofar Sounds, Amsterdam

I very selfishly don’t want to tell you about Sofar Sounds. Each month, Sofar Sounds host secret living room concerts. The gigs are intimate and the musical acts are fantastic, so as you can imagine, the waiting lists are long! Unfortunately, the more people I tell about Sofar, the more people I have to fight for a spot on the guest list. So while it’s in my very best (selfish) interest not to tell you about Sofar, the concept is such a gem, I would feel guilty not reporting back on my new favorite Sunday evening activity.
IMG_6463If you like beer, making new friends, sitting cross-legged on a stranger’s floor, and rocking out to live music, I guarantee you will love Sofar Sounds too!

Continue reading

Baked, Amsterdam

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I did not take this photo, it’s from the Baked website: http://baked-restaurant.com/

I want to caveat this entire post by telling you that I’m not your cliché Amsterdam tourist. I don’t spend my weekends in coffee shops, I can’t remember the last time I went to the Red Light District, I’ve never seen a sex show, and I most definitely could not stomach a whole weed brownie. Aside from the occasional white wine or vodka soda, my vices are quite limited, and while I love Amsterdam’s liberal mindset, I very rarely indulge in the leniencies allowed. However, on occasion, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself . . . and in this instance the opportunity was an invitation to Baked, a fancy six-course tasting menu served with lots of love and a sprinkling of drugs. The Baked website will tell you that this dinner is a ‘tasting trip’ where haute cuisine meets natural highs ‘from Marijuana and Hashish to more esoteric psychoactive ingredients such as Syrian Rue, Magic Truffles and Kanna Extract’. Do I know what all of these things are? No. Was I intrigued? Ohh yes! Several of my colleagues were also interested in becoming gourmet psychonauts, and so last Saturday night a big group of us booked in for an out of this world // mind // body drug dinner extravaganza. Continue reading

Rembrandt Canal Cruise, Amsterdam

Hello blog friends! It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper catch up, so I wanted to make this next blog post extra pretty for you! This past weekend, I was invited on the Late Rembrandt Canal Tour. I booked into an early morning cruise, intent on capturing the quiet beauty of Amsterdam before the masses came alive. After grabbing a coffee from de Wasserette, I biked over to the Rijksmuseum to catch the Rembrandt tour boat. I expected it to be a relaxing morning, floating around the canals, sipping coffee, and taking pictures. And while the canals were as beautiful as ever . . . .
IMG_6185It turned out to be a not-so-quiet morning . . . .  Continue reading

Monkeys at Apenheul

I meant to tell you about the monkeys at Apenheul ages ago! However, I visited Apenheul right after my USA summertime holiday, and the monkeys ended up getting put on the back burner in lieu of more exciting, warm weather content (re: beachessunshinefriendship fun-times). However, last night I was doing a little clean-up of my computer, and I stumbled across the monkey folder. In the dead of winter, I thought some sunshine and chimps might be appreciated on the blog :)
20140921Apenheul-21So here’s a little look at one of Holland’s coolest attractions – the first and only zoo in the world where the monkeys live free in the forest, and roam around at will with the visitors. Continue reading

Supper Club: The Seafood Bar, Amsterdam

There’s a new club in town and all of the cool kids are joining. Membership is granted based on two simple criteria. 1) You have to work at Sid Lee. 2) You must eat. As many people at Sid Lee enjoy the fine art of eating, we soon had a supreme group of folk enrolled in the Sid Lee Supper Club. And so we kicked off our new initiative with a big, family-style dinner at Restaurant Blauw. The evening was a huge (stuffed, roll-home) success, and a second edition of the Supper Club was scheduled for soon thereafter. Enter The Seafood Bar, one of my favorite dinner spots in Amsterdam. I’ve been going to The Seafood Bar a lot lately (remember this heavenly Instagram photo?!) and was excited to share one of my beloved Amsterdam restaurants with the club. IMG_5812Hands down, The Seafood Bar has THE BEST raw seafood platter in town. Continue reading