What B Saw: Amsterdam

Amsterdam canalAmsterdam rooftopsCar on Amsterdam streetBuilding on Amsterdam canalShoes at an Amsterdam marketRecords in an Amsterdam marketSunglasses in an Amsterdam marketBulbs at the Amsterdam flower marketFlowers in AmsterdamCacti at Amsterdam flower marketMan and pigeon at Amsterdam marketBoxes at marketBuilding in AmsterdamTree rootsE in the RijksmuseumBuildings in AmsterdamShop window in AmsterdamSunset in Amsterdam

I love Amsterdam –  like, really love Amsterdam

So when E and I decided to book tickets to see Kasabian on their European tour, I was more than happy to make that our destination of choice – despite having only visited 18 months earlier

I lost track of the number of times uttered the words, ‘I want to live here’ during our four day trip – and for every time I said it, I thought it at least five times over

It’s such a picturesque place, wherever you look the aesthetics are pleasing – from the piles of typically Dutch bikes to the stylishly dressed locals, from the iconic canals to the beautiful architecture

Sure, there’s some aspects of Amsterdam that I don’t find so appealing – but we had the most lovely time eating good food, absorbing art and history, browsing eclectic market stalls and mastering the tandem!

I didn’t want to leave, and I can’t wait to go back!

P.S. See E’s photos here, and read about my last visit to Amsterdam here!

Eat: Breakfast in Amsterdam

dried hydrangeaIMG_2664

Take two bloggers with a love of food and photography, stick them in a beautiful apartment in Amsterdam, and take away their usual early alarm… and what do you get?

You get three mornings of wonderfully lazy and tasty breakfasts – and daily food photo-shoots to accompany them, of course!

It was such a luxury to be able to leisurely tuck in to fresh bread and hot tea, while listening to music and planning out our adventures for the day

And, as lovely as it is to have someone cook for you, so enjoyable to feel at home and be able to wear pajamas to the table without any odd looks from other hotel guests!

fresh read from the bakeryIMG_2675

The baked goods came from the organic bakery, Hartog’s Volkoren, just five minutes walk from our apartment (we lucked out there!)

Neither of us had tried multiseed brown croissants before – they definitely tasted like a healthier alternative to the usual type – although perhaps not once we’d smothered them in honey

There was also a traditional bread baked with a sugary mix of hazlenuts and dried fruit running through it, which needed nothing else spread on it

And every day we had the creamiest greek yoghurt, which was just from an Albery Heijn supermarket but was some of the tastiest either of us had ever had

Here’s a taste of the apartment and our mornings in Amsterdam…

kettle on the stovebreakfast day 1apartmentIMG_2653IMG_2774 2breakfast day twoIMG_2682

And all excellent fuel for a day of sightseeing, shopping and tackling the tandem riding!

How does your holiday breakfast routine differ from the usual…?

What E saw: Amsterdam

bikeamsterdam in the misttulpen Hermitageamsterdam, mistpost boxesBwindowsfloral displayapartmentscanalranunculuscactusflea market findsDSC00504flea marketlibrary- RijksmuseumB in the rijksmuseumI amsterdamE + Briver amstel in the miststill life- staircasedusk- amsterdam

Oh Amsterdam, it’s been 10 years since last we met.

So, here are just a few of my holiday snaps, Amsterdam in the mist.

Quite a different experience on this occasion. In fact, as it turns out Amsterdam is a city of culture!

Four days and three nights was not quite long enough to see all the sights, we were left wanting more, which is all you can ever ask of the perfect city break.

We covered as much as we possibly could in our short visit, from bakeries to museums, via Anne Frank’s house; all mostly viewed from the seat of a bicycle made for two! (yes, we hired a tandem bike!)

We also managed to catch our favourite band Kasabian whilst we were out there too, so an all round amazing holiday!

B’s pics to follow soon…

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Just back: Amsterdam!

B&E in Amsterdam

Just a super short post to let you know we’re freshly returned from Amsterdam, where we spent four wonderful days

So expect posts on fabulous food, scenic streets and cycling in sync…!

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EAT: Hermanus

Hermanus

It’s now been a good few weeks since I returned from holidaying in South Africa with my mum, but I’m still buzzing with how amazing the whole 10 days were!

We by no means exhausted the country, or even the few places we visited, but I wanted to share some of our experiences and pass on a few recommendations for places to visit and eat

After the 11 hour flight from London to Cape Town we were picked up by car and travelled another 90 minutes to the seaside town of Hermanus

Why here you say? Because during springtime in SA it’s where you can stand on the coast and clearly see Southern Right Whales frolicking in the waves

We also thought it would be a calm location to relax into the holiday before we tackled the more touristically-demanding streets of Cape Town

So expect a post of beautiful landscapes to follow soon, but I thought I’d kick off my South Africa series with something close to my heart… my stomach!

EAT: The Eatery

When travelling I generally use two methods to find the best places to eat – search Tripadvisor for restaurant reviews and/or ask a friendly local where to eat

Beef and vegetable soup from The Eatery in Hermanus

The Eatery was recommended to us by the owner of a beautiful shop selling crafts made by regional artists

We both decided to go for vegetable and beef soup, with a thick slice of toast – delicious!

It was at this lunch that we realised just how much we were getting for our money in South Africa – two bowls of soup, two coffees and a bottle of water to share for R95 (around £2.50 each!)

EAT: The Cuckoo Tree

This was an amazing find on Tripadvisor – the kind of place you’d probably not even notice if you weren’t looking for it (in fact we struggled to find it even when we were looking – but that says more about our navigational abilities than anything else)

Lunch at the Cuckoo Tree in Hermanus

Run by a mother and daughter, The Cuckoo Tree has only a handful of tables inside and outside in their lovely courtyard, which is also frequented by lots of garden birds

We arrived for lunch, and had every intention to dedicating the next few hours to eating, drinking and chatting away

Mum went for a chicken noodle dish, whereas I went for toast topped with many of my favourite things – roasted veg, salad, goats cheese and nuts – amazing!

And for pudding mum automatically went for her favourite, lemon meringue pie, and I went for the almond and fruit tart with a side of homemade orange ice-cream for good measure

EAT: Bergundy

The fact Bergundy was incredibly conveniently located 30 seconds walk from our hotel is part of the reason we ate their twice in our three night stay in Hermanus – but the excellent food and friendly service also played a part

Bobotie at Bergundys, Hermanus

And this is where we ticked off two SA specialities from our non-existent-list – malva pudding and bobotie

Malva pudding is a little like sticky toffee pudding, but much lighter – and very tasty

Bobotie is quite difficult to compare to anything we eat in the UK – it’s basically spiced minced meat and dried fruit topped with a layer of egg, and at Bergundy it was served with a side of sweet potatoes with added brown sugar

It tasted amazing, but all the sweetness and richness soon became overwhelming and we were both forced to give in halfway through the meal – a shame, but very glad we tried it

Have you tried bobotie? What did you think…?

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