Monday, 31 May 2010

love Amsterdam

I spied this with my eagle eye the other day as I was walking through the Jordaan. Very sweet.


Friday, 28 May 2010

parklife

Westerpark. It's a stone's throw from my house and it's a swell park. Something for everyone. There's heaps of cafes and bars like de Bakkers Winkel, among others. You've got art...More art. And secret hideaway cafes like the Wester Gasterrace below.
And lush lush green. Look, there's a waterfall in the distance there. Kid you not.
A pedestrian/bike/dog-walking path that circles the park is a lovely way to stretch the legs. In the middle of the park there's a children's petting zoo. How cool is that?! Kinderboerderij Westerpark: Overbrakerpad 10 Amsterdam. Tel: 020 682 2193. Entry is free.
A nature reserve in the wetlands is a gorgeous place to get lost amongst the giant reeds and plants.
Or just sit and watch the day go by. Paddling pool for the kids and lots of green. Not a lot of trees and thus shade, be warned.
The original and oldest part of the park is really beautiful and in full bloom now. Zoe loved this pool.
All this, right on our doorstep. Lucky old us.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

chocolate for breakfast

Ok, not literally chocolate for breakfast, though I have been known to... but the Chocolate Bar in the Pijp, what does a mean scrambled eggs. Nice menu, but I always seem to stick to the same: breakfast of scrambled eggs, with toast, crisp bacon, croissant with butter and good jam. And Coffee. Must not forget the coffee! Good wholesome start to the day. Lovely place to sit outside and watch the buzz of Albert Cuyp Market on a Sat'dee.
Chocolate Bar: 1e van der Helststraat 62a. Tel: 675 7672. Open: Mon-Thur, Sun 10am-1am; Fri, Sat 10am-3am. FYI: No credit cards.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Italian today

Today is not sunny. But last Wednesday was and a few of my colleagues and I jumped in a boat and went on a little lunch time cruise. Why? Just 'cause you can in Amsterdam! We headed to de Pijp to visit an Italian restaurant and take-away: Today's.
Sourcing their produce from their homeland the store is filled to the brim with beautifully packaged tins and packages and jars of yumminess. Italian food as you've never experienced it! The delicacies are just delectable!Mouth watering lasagna, pastas, stews, fresh baked breads, and divine cakes.
So the next day the weather looks like it's going to glorious, hop in your boat and swing down to de Pijp and grab some of Today's treats. Really, just look at all that grub! Get your laughing gear around some of that!
Today's - Saenredamstraat 26 HS, 1072CH Amsterdam.
Tel: (020) 7370870. Email: eatitalian@todaysamsterdam.com


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Grace Kelly - style icon

'The thing that made her stand out is what we call 'style''. Said McCall's magazine, 1955, of the divine Grace Kelly. Style, class and glamour, the new exhibition at the V&A is dripping with it. It a great journey through her life from actrice to princess. The photos aren't great, but it gives you a hint.
I would love every and any of these pieces. And aside from the clothes there were stunning shoes, bags, hats, gloves and sunglasses on display also. I was drooling by the end.
The V&A says: 'The spectacular wardrobe of Grace Kelly is on display...tracing the evolution of her style from her days as one of Hollywoods most popular actresses in the 1950s and as Princess Grace of Monaco, the display presents over 50 of Grace Kelly's outfits together with hats, jewellery and the original Herm├Ęs Kelly bag. Dresses from her films, including High Society, are on show as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar award in 1955. These are accompanied by film clips and posters, photographs and her Oscar statuette. The display also includes the lace ensemble worn by Grace Kelly for her civil marriage ceremony to Prince Rainier in 1956 and 35 haute couture gowns from the 1960s and 70s by her favourite couturiers Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Yves St Laurent.'

Pictured above: Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, 'High Society', 1956, Eric Carpenter/MGM (Kobal Collection). And the real deal, below:

Above: Portrait of Princess Grace on her tenth wedding anniversary, 1966 © Howell Conant/Bob Adelman books. Dress below:Erwin Blumenfeld, Portrait of Grace Kelly, New York, 1955. © The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld 2009 (click image for larger version).
And after all that fashion you'll need to refuel. Go through the courtyard to the cafe where there's an incredible decorated room where you can sip your tea and scoff a scone with jam and clotted cream. Yum-o.
Grace Kelly - style icon
V&A
17 April - 26 September 2010
Fashion, Room 40
Admission charge will apply

Monday, 24 May 2010

zetter and the modern pantry

The view from the Zetter window. Great little hotel in the East of London.
And after a big night out what you need is a slap-up breakfast. And just around the corner from the Zetter is The Modern Pantry. A really cosy space with, indeed, a very modern fresh menu.
Loved the decor, especially the etched tables.



Friday, 21 May 2010

Heusden

Saturday and we're off on a day trip! After finding some lovely new furniture for our house man and I headed to grab some late lunch in a town the store owner recommended: Heusden. The town was very very green. And very very Dutch. Windmills and the whole sh'bang.
This is the shape of the old fort town. Quite nice to walk around the edges.Little alleyways through all the streets.
Nice unicorn sign.
And below, the oldest and more lovely fire station I think I've ever seen. Built in 1775!