Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a lovely destination year round, but from mid-March to mid-May the tulips are in bloom, making it the perfect Springtime getaway. Amsterdam airport is one of the busiest and most efficient in Europe, so it is quick and easy to reach the city from any major city. Hop on a flight after work on Thursday and enjoy three whole days in The Netherland’s capital.

Pulitzer Amsterdam

To Stay

The Pulitzer Amsterdam – This stylish hotel opened its doors in the summer of 2016, after an extensive renovation of the 25 connecting Golden Age canal houses which make up the property. The bold colour design and thoughtful touches make it a wonderful place to stay for a special weekend in Amsterdam.

The Hoxton Hotel, Amsterdam – The Hoxton brand is setting trends in every city it settles in. Affordable and fashionable this photogenic retreat is the perfect (centrally located) hotel for your romantic getaway.

Amsterdam food

To Eat

Choux – Choux was once a pop-up establishment but due to popularity opened in it’s permanent home at Spring House in 2015. The kitchen particularly excel with vegetarian dishes.

Guts & Glory – Every three months the Guts & Glory team pick a new theme for their rotating menu. I tried an inventive 3-course Dutch-inspired menu of delicious delicacies prepared and presented with care. A great restaurant for an affordable and exciting culinary adventure.

Bak Restaurant – Located in a cool industrial building, in the recently re-developed “Westelijk HavengebiedBak” area, Bak initially gained a loyal following as a pop-up before opening it’s permanent site a few years ago. With the constantly changing menu chef Benny Blisto showcases his favourite seasonal ingredients, the dishes are bold in flavour and appearance. There is also a range of great natural wines to accompany your meal.

Van Stapele – Pick up a snack at Van Stapele, the historic shop which only sells one thing… double chocolate cookies with an oozing white chocolate centre. Delicious!

Jansz – The pretty in pink dining room at Jansz is easy to fall in love with but it is certainly not style over substance at this eatery.  The classy restaurant is found in the Pulitzer Hotel, the service is friendly and efficient and the menu is filled with irresistible classic dishes. Don’t miss the meatball starter!

Breda – This modern eatery showcases seasonal ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques. Choose from the 3, 4 or 5 course menus and a mystery series of delicious food will be delivered to you at your table.

Amsterdam coffee

To Drink

Lot Sixty One – This boutique rustic cafe is located in Amsterdam West. The coffee is roasted daily and has a lovely rich taste. Sit and relax in the industrial-chic cafe while enjoying a warming coffee.

Bocca – Bocca was the first major speciality coffee company in Amsterdam, and with a big brand new flagship cafe there has never been a better time to visit. Bocca roast their own beans, supply a number of cafes and make a great range of espresso and drip coffees in their cafe.

Tales & Spirits – Sit at the bar in Tales & Spirits, one of the world’s 50 best bars. This dark and cosy bar is always full of cocktail fans. If you like a strong drink order the ‘Bartender’s Ketchup’ cocktail or let the master mixologists make you up something delicious off-menu.

Toki – Coffee Fans should not miss Toki (the word for your local hangout). The small but chic cafe has a team of expert baristas on hand to make you the perfect flat white. If you are hungry there is a delectable display of cakes and pastries.

Scandinavian Embassy – If you find yourself in the de Pijp district this small cafe is the best place to stop for speciality coffee. As the name suggests Scandinavian Embassy use a fine selection of Nordic and Swedish beans, and they also have the best cinnamon buns in town.


To Do

Rijksmuseum – After an extensive 10 year renovation and restoration this magnificent museum has reopened, and should be the first stop on any cultural itinerary for Amsterdam. The huge historic building is dedicated to Dutch art from the Middle Ages to the current day. Most lovely perhaps are the Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings found in the Gallery of Honour. (Try to visit the museum on a weekday, as the weekends get very busy).

Canal Boat Tour – Some hotels have their own boats for private tours, otherwise you can book the Canal Cruise Ticket online and have instant access to the canal boat tour of your choice when you arrive in the city.


To Shop

Indianaweg 10 – A retro emporium selling handpicked vintage clothing, charming homeware and quirky accessories. Indianaweg 10 is found in the trendy de Pijp area where there are a number of great shops and cafes.

Gather Shop – An aesthetically pleasing shop, with a carefully curated range of homeware, accessories and books arranged in a simple and clean way. The store Gather Shop is a great place to pick up a one-off gift.

Wildernis – A plant lovers dream shop, Wildernis stocks all kinds of pretty indoor and outdoor plants and accessories from watering cans to gardening tools, books to greeting cards.

Sukha – This beautiful shop on Haarlemmerstraat sells a range of natural, eco-friendly products such as handmade wool scarves and cardigans. The products are sourced from around the world, but you can also browse their Atelier Sukha label, sustainably made in Nepal and India.

Restored – Restored focuses on representing talented designers and small labels and offering them a platform to bring their products and visions to a wider audience. In the shop you can find are beautiful garments, accessories, and desirable books and magazines.

The Florist, Bristol

It seems that the restaurant scene in Bristol is evolving faster than anywhere else in Britain. This week, The Florist opened on Park Street and is a pretty place to enjoy expertly mixed floral cocktails and delicious, comforting food.

The Florist

I visited the Florist last weekend for the opening party events. The restaurant is modest from the street, aside from a stunning floral mural painted on the exterior brick wall. Inside an abundance of whimsical flowers decorate every corner and artwork by local Bristolians Gemma Compton and Jodie Thomas hang on the walls. On the first floor one area is completely taken over by climbing ivy… sure to be a hit with the instagramming community.

The FloristThe Florist

We were greeted by smiling staff, who seemed as excited as the guests to be involved in Bristol’s hottest new restaurant opening. Beautiful Bloody Mary’s were being made, adorned with Tabasco, celery sticks, sprigs of rosemary and wedges of lemon. Before long I had also tried other drinks from the floristry-inspired menu… the aromatic ‘Oak Moss Gin Old Fashioned’ and the ‘Violet Daisy’ (a subtle and fragrant concoction) – both drinks were as tasty as they looked.

The Florist

It took a while to explore all the different rooms at The Florist… I’m sure locals will delight in finding their own favourite space, whether it’s for a quiet business meeting, evening cocktails or a fun weekend brunch. I particularly loved the top floor dining room, with its glass roof and amazing views over the city.

The Florist

After a quick cinemagraph masterclass in the bar we headed up for lunch. The menu at The Florist features Deli boards and nibbles for sharing along with more substantial main courses and hot pots that showcase seasonal produce. On Sundays they offer a hearty roast… which I was lucky enough to sample when I visited. The irresistible scent from the kitchen made me even hungrier and I watched enviously as other diners received their plates of happiness. Soon it was our turn… generous dishes of roast beef and pork belly arrived steaming hot and glistening with gravy. The meats were delicious, organic, high quality and cooked to perfection. Accompanying the meat were fluffy light Yorkshire puddings, sweet glazed carrots, crispy roast potatoes and colourful broccoli and red cabbage. Along with the main courses we tried a few of the sides which included wonderfully garlicky spinach and indulgent cauliflower cheese. I’m usually not much of a fan of roasts outside my family home, but have to admit that The Florist ticked every box with their decadent Sunday offering.

The Florist

Before heading home to London there was just enough time to taste the desserts… vegan-suitable Elderflower meringue and caramelised peaches was a light and summery choice, while the Baked white chocolate cheesecake with ginger biscuit was a more greedy option.

The Florist

As Spring approaches and the daffodils arrive it seems fitting that Bristol welcomes The Florist to its restaurant scene. I was impressed with this creative space… with thoughtful details throughout. And after trying the food and drinks can assure you that this is one eatery that is definitely not style over substance.

More information and book a table here:

Address: 69 Park St, Bristol BS1 5PB. Follow The Florist on Instagram here.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Florist.

A Day Trip to Soho Farmhouse

I seem to know a lot of people who are a member of Soho House… which means I hear a lot about Soho Farmhouse, the group’s countryside retreat in Oxfordshire. Last week, finally, I had the opportunity to visit this much-loved property for a day exploring the facilities.

Soho Farmhouse

Driving in through the grand entrance gates I was struck by the sheer size of the estate. 40 cabins, a four-bedroom cottage and a seven-bedroom farm house are set amongst 100 acres of lovely English countryside. Once inside the Soho Farmhouse gates, the most difficult decision you’ll make is where to enjoy your morning cappuccino.

The spa is particularly spectacular, with an indoor pool and heated outdoor pool, steam room and sauna, high-tech gym and a wide range of Cowshed spa treatments.

Soho FarmhouseSoho Farmhouse

There are numerous spaces for relaxing and working, and I can only imagine how the outdoor areas come to life in the summer. We sat for a while in the main barn, where the sofas are topped with plumb velvet pillows, there are cosy log fires offering warmth and staff are on hand to bring you whatever beverage or snack you desire. I also loved the Farmshop & Deli, a perfectly quaint space with tiled floors, delicious delicacies and wholesome lunch options.

Soho FarmhouseSoho Farmhouse

I spent a while wandering outside too… as guests rode by on their branded bicycles I went to say “hello” to the horses at the stables and visited the greenhouse and gardens. Kids can roam free in the Soho Farmhouse grounds, and with so many different activities there is always something to entertain them.

Soho Farmhouse

Hungry from the intake of fresh country air, we headed back to the Main Barn for lunch, though I was tempted by the Japanese cuisine at Pen Yen. The food is simple, wholesome and comforting, whether you want something indulgent like the house cheeseburger, or prefer to choose from the healthy salads and soups. We nearly opted for the Spit roast Springfield Farm chicken for two with pork stuffing and potato & onion bake (which felt fitting in these surroundings) but decided to choose an assortment of dishes from the main a la carte menu… wood oven margarita pizza, wonderfully creamy burrata and delicious charred roasted cauliflower with onion.

Sadly, after lunch it was time to return to reality and drive back to London, but not before a quick pitstop at Bicester Village… just 15 minutes drive from Soho Farmhouse. It is yet another reason to stay at this British countryside sanctuary.

More information and book a stay at Soho Farmhouse here.