I haven’t been to Amsterdam since college and remember it so fondly. Much has changed since then, so I thought it would be a good time to check it out again with my hubby and almost adult children. (Legal in Europe) I have been interested in Antwerp, Belgium too (for it’s high design and fashion sense) and so we decided to start off there.


In Antwerp I found a house on the travel website boutique-homes called the Antwerp Design House and I wanted to stay there sooooo badly. But it was a little out of the budget. A shot here from the site. Wow.


So we stayed at the Hotel Julien instead. Which I, and the whole family, loved! Beautifully designed in the center of Antwerp. Set in two 16th century properties, the hotel is thoughtfully restored with authentic features combined with contemporary furnishings. So up my alley.


The stairway was divine.

Lots of quiet spaces to sit, relax and read design books!


So many amazing touches and very wintery moody.


The bar area here. Drink or coffee served all day and night.


Our room had a bathtub, which I made sure of because we went in the coldest time of year and I really felt that I needed a bath to warm up in. This one was fab.


First stop frites! When in Belgium!


The “Cathedral of our lady” in the Grote market area. Amazing.


Guildhouses at the Grote Markt.


We celebrated Mose’s 18th birthday with dinner and champagne! Fiske Bar a must!


We partook in this thing called Belgian waffles, too.


We only spent 2 days in Antwerp, but I would really like to go back. It had amazing shopping( Graanmarkt 13 my fav) and a very refined sensibility. Some graffiti art I found.


So on we drove to Amsterdam. We rented a house from Kid and Co. It was a very cute townhouse style in the very nice Jordaan. 5 floors. It was great for us. Everyone had there own bedroom. (although Mathilda’s was a toddler bed OUCH! and Mose had the top floor which was a step up from an attic. Freezing!) However, the rest of the house was great. A bathtub for me because (see previous Antwerp) and it had a fireplace too. A must in winter! It wasn’t on the canals, but one street off and in a great neighborhood for walking, eating, shopping and seeing most of Central Amsterdam. If I go back (and I will!) I would probably stay at The Hoxton. Great location. Here is Mj in front of our rental.


So, 5 days in Amsterdam. First, the food tour with Hungry Birds. We love food tours wherever we go. This one was so much fun. Josh loving the plate of herring.


And the tray of poffertjes. Tiny Dutch pancakes with butter and sugar.


The Dutch Canal houses all one cuter than the next.


This one! Ahh!


This one!


We didn’t really do a lot of touristy things in Amsterdam. But we really enjoyed just walking around.

Van Hallen market was a favorite, It had great food stalls and great shops. And the fancy street (where Josh and I had dinner by ourselves (The Seafood Bar, so good) where festive holiday decor was, let’s just say “masterful”.

We did a night canal tour with Those Damn Boat Guys on New Years Eve. It was a little rainy so we had to have the top up. But got to see a lot of the holiday canal light show. The 9 bridges in the distance.


Canals are lovely in Amsterdam any time of year.




The Moco had a Banksy exhibit that was really cool.

And some Lichensteins too.

We hit the Stedelijk Museum too.

With this Barbara Kruger exhibit. Amazing!


Loved the concept shop/hotel

X Bank

We went to The Anne Frank House, took in some high design at Frozen Fountain and the Moooi shop. 


For food we loved Kantjil for Indonesian, but Restaurantblauw is supposed to be great too. As is Pllek (they have live music) and De Kas (fresh local menu housed in a greenhouse).


Walking was our thing tho. Record shops.

And street art.


It was a great town for us. We all got to do our thing.


And on New Years eve was watched with all the Dutchies, the amazing fireworks display on every street corner in town. So cool!

I said goodbye to the family in Amsterdam and went to London for a couple nights to see the Basquiat exhibit at the Barbican. Very inspiring.

I just walked London’s East End and looked.



I hit Dover Street Market. The best shop.


And decided last minute to see a show. I walked up to the musical The Grinning Man and there was a women out front who saw me looking at the show poster. She had an extra ticket and gave it to me. So perfect. Great show!

I stayed at The Ace Hotel which was in a great spot in the East End. It was a fab few extra days for some me time.

The End. Cheers.





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