Well what a busy couple of weeks it’s been – what with numerous birthdays (mine being the most important, obviously), social events and feeling a bit under the weather. However, I’ve finally found some time to pick up my laptop and tell you about the amazing interiors and delicious food that we discovered on the surprise birthday weekend away to Amsterdam which my other half organised for me.
We flew out on the Saturday morning after my birthday (25th Feb) in the middle of storm Doris and arrived at lunchtime which gave us a full two and a half days to explore the stunning city of Amsterdam. As our taxi took us on a scenic route from the airport and approached the hotel, I’m not sure which I fell in love with more, the quaint and picturesque city or the super cool hotel, which oozed Shoreditch vibes and retro Dutch style.
We stayed at Hotel V Fizeaustraat, marketed as a 4 and a half star hotel situated just a stones through from Amstel station and the newest addition to the Hotel V group. As I took in the surroundings it certainly conjured up memories of the Ace Hotel Shoreditch.
We were welcomed by a sea of candles on each table which lit the otherwise dark lobby area. This soft lighting set a very calm and relaxing environment as we walked towards an imposing desk adorned with a dramatic vase filled with giant pampas grasses
(an idea I couldn’t wait to try in my dining room at home). The reception area was dressed with a relaxed olive leather sofa and wicker chairs, whilst a heavy gold coffee table sat effortlessly on a natural Aztec rug, complimenting the polished concrete floor perfectly. The reception area was lit by an opposing floor to ceiling heavily beaded chandelier which injected glamour into the vintage interiors.
After checking in we made our way back into the subdued green walled lobby and through to a long hallway which led us to our room. The walls were wallpapered with a polished concrete effect paper with embossed groves in a geometric formation to give the effect of tiles. The striking hallway was lit purely by wicker wall lights, evenly spaced to give the effect of a never ending hall. It looked like something from the Hotel Cortez in American Horror Story – dark and dramatic glamour.
As we opened the door to our room we were met by a daylight that flooded in from the fully glazed wall looking out onto the river. The light bounced off the perfect stark white walls, dark wooden floor and polished concrete ceiling of this industrial style room which was softened with hints of gold in the lights, shelving and tables. The hospital style bed (albeit kingsize) kept with the industrial theme, however the rest of the furniture softened the room – a curved wicker chair, bottle green buttoned sofa and heavy thick green felt curtains. Every detail was perfect, giving you that enviable ‘I wish this was my house’ feeling. Talking of feeling at home, they had even thought about my home comforts – a complimentary birthday bottle of Prosecco on ice and a Nespresso machine. They hadn’t however, taken into account my love for a cup of tea (but thankfully I’d come prepared with a stash of Bettys Tearoom Blend in my suitcase!).
The rest of the hotel didn’t disappoint either; The vast dining room, lit constantly by candles night and day, was large but strangely cosy with full golden wood panelled wall, vintage teak g-plan sideboards and a mixture of green, grey and chartreuse chairs. Moreover, wherever you sat in the restaurant, you were assured a view of the calm open kitchen and the bar beyond it.
Often in hotels I get the ‘it was lovely but….’ feeling. Not here! Every part of the hotel complimented the design of the room before and so if you’re thinking about a trip to Amsterdam and need a hotel recommendation, be sure to check this place out – especially if you’re a fan of beautiful interiors.
As beautiful and as tempted as I was to just stay there the whole time and not move, we managed to fit in a lot of exploring, walking over 55,000 steps over the two and a half days (and only 47,000 of those were spent trying to find a cup of tea which came with milk and not cream!). Talking of tea, we stumbled upon a lovely little tearoom called Beems Brasserie, located near Dam square, and so stopped off for an earl grey and macaroons whilst watching the hustle and bustle outside. However the best culinary experience would definitely have to be Restaurant C where we went for a birthday meal on the Sunday evening.
Restaurant C is all about providing quality food cooked in the right way and at the right temperature to really enhance the flavours (with the C standing for Celsius). The menu is split into sections, divided by the temperature at which each dish is best cooked and, whilst the food was very rich, it was perfectly created to enjoy every flavour. We chose 2 plates each with the steak being my favourite.
Overall I’d say Amsterdam is definitely a place I would both recommend and revisit. The city is so pretty and lively with lots to do – we did everything from the Tulip museum to the very humbling home of Anne Frank. I would love to hear your top tips for Amsterdam and the places you loved there and I’ll be sure to factor them in to my next visit!