If you stay in a beautiful hotel in a new city, you have to hit the snooze button and make the most of it.
Luxuriate in those crisp hotel sheets, maybe order a little room service, spoil yourself.
Especially on Sundays.
Which is just what we did, and after a slow start we popped out for a slow wander.
Silk shirt dress
Nude Chanel bag // Nude suede shoes
Drifting off along the canals for a spot of sight seeing, people watching and window shopping.
Followed by a lazy lunch.
At the somewhat confusingly named…
Ron Gastrobar Paris.
Ideally located for anyone thinking of exploring the best of Amsterdam.
It’s a little French bistro serving up Parisian classics with a hip, young Amsterdam style.
Tiny sapphire ring
Pink – White – Blue
We opted to share a few nibbly bits.
Smoked salmon and horseradish cream.
Prawns and lemon mayo.
All washed down with champagne and a good chin wag.
After lunch we popped over to Rijksmuseum.
A must visit – book tickets in advance.
And a stroll around the gardens, currently bursting with 50,000 tulips.
Not that the sculptures are too impressed.
They leave that to giddy tourists.
The gardens are a marvellous spot for an ice-cream, a tipple and a chance to put your feet up.
Nearby you’ll find P.C. Hooftstraat, the shopping street.
Complete with shiny new Chanel shop.
Designed by Rotterdam studio MVRDV, the facade blends classic Dutch architecture with the new new. Terracotta bricks dissolve into glass bricks, held together with glue.
“After developing the concept, the studio worked with specialists to develop the technologies to make it a reality.
Researchers from Delft University of Technology partnered with engineering firm ABT and contractor Wessels Zeist to test structural solutions and fabrication techniques.
A team of Poesia glassmakers in Venice cast the bricks from solid glass, while German company Delo Industrial Adhesives provided the high-strength glue.
High-tech lasers and laboratory grade UV-lamps were required in the manufacturing process. Milk was also used, as its low transparency made it useful during the levelling of the bricks.
“Six to 10 experts worked every day for a whole year in a place that bore more resemblance to a laboratory than a construction site,” said MVRDV in a statement.
The firm sees Crystal Houses as a starting point for reimagining the future of glass in construction.
One of the main advantages is that the material is completely recyclable. During the installation, several imperfect bricks were melted down and remoulded – in fact, the entire facade could be reformed in the future.” More here.
It certainly made this hardened shopper stop and take stock.
After a brief but monsoon-like downpour (during which we hid out in the Taschen store), we went across town to the old Latin Quarter.
Previously home to penniless artists and students living in each other’s pockets, it’s now home to hipster cafés, great little restaurants and more vintage stores than you can shake a pre-loved walking stick at.
Take a stroll around the hood, do a spot of shopping – ^ this places buys and sells by weight!
Then grab a table outside at De Wasserette.
It’s a good spot for a sandwich and a cuppa, but that’s not why you’re here. Pop in and order an espresso.
While it’s brewing, pop next door and order a scoop of your favourite gelato (ask to try a few before you choose, they don’t mind at all).
Then make your own heavenly dessert.
I’m sure this has a name… but affogato.
On the way home we picked up the papers and made ourselves very much at home on the hotel’s terrace.
Whiling away the little time we had left before jumping on a plane home.
I could certainly get used to this slow living!