24hrs in Amsterdam

This past summer we had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam. We were only in town for about 24hrs but we had an amazing time.

 We arrived at 7 am from Nairobi. We were unable to check into our hostel, however they had lockers you could rent to store your stuff, http://www.durtynellys.nl/. We dropped off our bags, changed and headed out in search for coffee and breakfast. We had a great coffee and toastie, which is basically just a grilled cheese, but somehow better. It was raining and a bit cold so we decided to go to the Dam Square (main square) and buy a sweater. We had just arrived from Kenya, during their winter, and were expecting warm weather at the end of May in Europe (just goes to show no matter how detailed a planner you are, you never know what will happen on a trip!) But as the day wore on, the clouds cleared and the sun came out! A quick lesson in packing- always layer!
Traditional House Boat on the Canal

 After breakfast we wandered the streets and the canals. It was absolutely picturesque. We checked out the flower market, and had lunch at Sampurna, http://www.sampurna.com/. We had a traditional rijsttafel, which means rice table, an Indonesian dish. The way the rijsttafel works, is you get rice, and a bunch of small Indonesian dishes, curries, vegetables, sauces, its basically a family style traditional meal. It was so so so good.

After lunch we checked into our hotel, took a brief nap and headed to the Van Gogh Museum, https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en. The spring exhibit was on his Japanese art an influences. They had on display many of his works that were influenced by Japanese art, and had his private Japanese art collection. It was a really wonderful exhibit. We left the museum and found that everyone was laying out in the afternoon sun in the attached park, as the saying goes, when in Rome (or Amsterdam)...so we joined everyone for a little afternoon sunbathing. 

For dinner we went to De Silveren Spiegle (The Silver Mirror) https://www.desilverenspiegel.com/, a very high end Dutch restaurant. The restaurant itself is in an old house dating back to 1614. The restaurant serves traditional dutch food with a modern presentation.  To be properly considered Dutch-Cuisine, there are some fairly strict rules, which are, "an honest dish that mainly consists of local seasonal vegetables. Where is cooked without any artificial addition, with as few animal products as possible and according to the principles of 'head to tail' and 'no waste'. Good for people, animals and the environment." We had the tasting menu and we were blown away by the playfulness of the presentation and the delicacy of the food.

First course was made to look like a birds nest
Vegetable course served in a beautiful rainbow bowl

Finally, dessert, this was a macaron with the restaurants logo on it. 

After dinner, we did the Wine and Cheese Canal Cruise, https://www.stromma.nl/en/amsterdam/dining-cruises/drinks-cruises/cheese-wine-cruise/. It was The cruise was about an hour and a half and took you along the canals of Amsterdam, pairing local wine and local cheese. Our two tour guides were new and young, and very funny. The cruise takes you past many famous locations, such as Ann Franks House, The Holocaust Museum, the Red Light District etc. The cruise advertises two glasses of wine paired with four cheeses, however, they continually refill your wine glass, so its more like 4-6 glasses of wine! We got to see the sunset on the canal and it was very romantic.

We ended our night at Tales and Spirits, https://www.talesandspirits.com/home a super cool, speakeasy-esque bar with over a hundred cocktails. The cocktail book has different themed cocktails, such as an entire list of Star Wars cocktails, Classic Cocktails, 80s Movie cocktails and so many more. They had a great little menu and we couldnt help ourselves and split the pork buns.

La Muerta: an avocado fat washed blend of 2 Mezcals, 2 Tequilas and 2 liqueurs, topped off with a homemade soda combining Tepache, verjus, hibiscus, agave, Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole bitters and ginger

The General Lee: Knob Creek Bourbon, Knob Creek Rye, Disaronno & D.O.M Benedictine stirred with Regan’s Orange and Angostura bitters
We ended up falling in love with Amsterdam, it was a city we almost skipped, we only went because our flight to Europe from Kenya landed there. I would go back to Amsterdam in a heartbeat and would love to see the rest of the Netherlands.

If you've got any questions leave them in the comments or message me on Instagram! I love to help planning trips and have lots of tips and tricks! 


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