Where we stayed, where we ate and what we did...
Our fifth time in this lovely city, I enjoy having this annual trip booked every January. The same weekend for the past couple of years and it's not even that bad when it's a tad chilly. When January feels like the worst month and then bam you have this city trip booked to make it not so bad.
We pretty much know Amsterdam like the back of our hands now, well I was surprised at myself for knowing the directions between two places without google maps! I was the only girl with a bunch of guys and it wasn't as bad as you'd think, but obviously be prepared for questions like "are you the mother of the group"... ew.
Stay - CityHub
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay at this modern hostel/hotel called CityHub. The privacy like a hotel and the communal feel of a hostel, a brilliant idea for travellers of all ages. We arrived in the morning and put our bags in the lockers provided then came back around 12am to check in (thank god for the 24/7 check in!), we were greeted by Sem one of their friendly hosts. We were given a wristband that acts as a key fob for the hubs/lockers, and allows you to pay at the self service bar and vending machines which is a really nice touch. There are 50 sound proof hubs situated in a spacious hall, the glass ceiling made for a bright and airy feel. After checking in we headed for our hub and we were amazed at how big they are once inside. Once settled in I spotted matching 'CityHub' robes great to snuggle up in after a long day exploring.
The hubs being soundproof meant we could connect our iPad to the surround speakers via bluetooth which is one of the best features for me as I love listening to music (yes I played a bit of Justin Bieber whist Rakesh showered). A new feature to CityHub is a downloadable app which will allow you to access a control panel for your hub, to change the mood lighting, music and alarm clock. Not forgetting a sweet interactive city guide. Oh I mustn't forget the showers... they were a huge treat. Considering the great price point the facilities are fantastic, showers had great pressure and a lush smelling body wash too. Towels and hairdryers are complimentary which is a big tick for me (i'm sure all girls would agree!).
The lobby/reception area was perfect, it was visually pleasing to look at. Booths upholstered in a mustard coloured corduroy fabric (I love mustard), wooden chairs, books, a huge bar with leather bar stools. From the flooring to the decorative plants, they had all the details on point, a very photogenic hotel! You can stay here for around £50 a night per hub, and it's worth it.
CityHub thanks for hosting us, we will be back!
Eat - Café George
One of the popular cafes of Instagram - Café George, a naturally lit dining hall with minimal décor. I made a quick decision and went straight for the eggs Benedict for brunch but of course Rakesh was torn between this and the Reuben sandwich, I'm nice so I swapped one of my eggs for half a Reuben sandwich. Both were delicious and we could have easily ate here more than once on our trip! (thinking about it now, I wish we had because I'd have liked to try their mussels!)
Eat - Nacional
It took us a while to find it but this was truly a brunch dream, the boys were happy enough with the menu and went for dippy eggs, eggs Norwegian and chilli scrambled eggs. I went for the 5 stack of fluffy pancakes with vanilla mascarpone, which was a great choice (even if I was envious of their runny yolks!) The décor reminded me of a Paris restaurant it was visually pleasing with plants, a huge bar and nice booths for sitting comfortably.
Eat - The Breakfast Club
Compared to our other meals in Amsterdam this was probably the most expensive for what we got, 16 euros for a London breakfast which did include a glass of fresh orange juice and a cup of tea though. The boys weren't too impressed but of course their plates were wiped clean! I enjoyed mine but the only complaint is that one of my slices of toast was very very hard! The inside had a quirky theme and cute details scattered around.
Eat - Burgerfabriek
Eat - Metropolitan
Again another gem on our favourite street, we went here last year for some treats, macaroons! and had to return, twice. We bought Harry a slice of red velvet cake for his birthday and took it to a restaurant and it was gooood and then a few hours before our flight Rakesh went there and bought me some macaroons and himself a brownie. Great goodbye treats I'd say!
Do - Coffeeshops - La Tertuila
Light and spacious and sells organic weed.
Do - Coffeeshops - De Graal
A three floored gem, a great tea selection and a bit of a reptile zoo.
Do - Coffeeshops - Dolphins
Strict staff (no taking pictures and no shoes on seats which is probably a good rule), underwater themed, we wouldn't recommend Dolphin Haze and they have their own homemade vaporisers.