How long have you lived in ”your” hometown? Fourteen years. I moved there during my studies and except for a year in London to study fashion journalism, I never left.
What do you like about it? The quality of life and ease and size. Where else can you go from one side of town to the complete opposite side, on your bicycle, within 25 minutes? And I like the mentality of people, I guess. We are quite enthusiastic.
Why should we go there? For a long weekend break with all necessary ingredients. Some shopping, museum visiting, cycling of course and some drinking, preferably in that order.
Describe the vibe in you hometown? Easy-going, happy, open,
Describe the residents in your town? They work quite hard, but they also value quality time when not working. The typically Dutch word for having a good time surrounded by others ‘gezelligheid’ is found everywhere, especially when the sun comes out and everybody comes out to play. Plus, they are active. Everybody always seems to be out running and cycling.
How fashion savvy are the women in your city? Increasingly so. But is it not a dressed up city. We do jeans and sneakers very well, the women are good looking and don’t require much hair and make-up. It is a very casual, and natural aesthetic, but I think we get away with it. And women are increasingly enjoying and appreciating making a real effort sometimes.
Bar: Café de Pels. An old and typically traditional Amsterdam ‘bruine kroeg’ with a talkative bartender and loyal customers. Go there for a nice cold beer and hot ‘bitterballen’.
Hotel: Conservatorium Hotel. When stars come to town, this is where they stay. I go there for coffee, a glass of wine or gin and tonics. It feels like the most luxurious place in town but still modern. The Akasha spa and swimming pool downstairs are also nice on a Sunday.
Restaurant: De Goudfazant, De Italiaan. De Goudfazant is in the North so you need the ferry but it is always worth it for a great night out. I never had a bad meal in this huge restaurant with super simple decoration. Also, I like to have pizza on a summer night surrounded by trees in leavy Bosboom Toussaintstraat. They also do gluten free pizza that is actually quite nice.
Café: Coffee & Coconuts. Open daily from 7am till 10pm. For me this feels like little Thailand, they have the best juices, fresh coconut, nice salads and the service is super friendly. Plus, it is very spacious, something quite hard to find in this area of the city.
Breakfast/brunch: Buffet van Odette, de Wasserette. I am not very patient, except on Sundays, when I can easily waste away hours drinking another coffee and eating a huge breakfast whilst wearing sunglasses and watch other people do the same. Both Buffet van Odette and de Wasserette are excellent for this pastime.
Club/nightlife: A nice concert followed by dancing at Paradiso. Everybody plays here. Roisin Murphy and FKA Twigs are the last on my list to see.
Fashion store: van Ravestein, Maison Rika.
Van Ravestein sells brands like Dries van Noten and Balenciaga. On Saturdays the open the basement with heavily discounted stock of previous seasons. You can always find something down there. Maison Rika is the store of Ulrika Lundgren of the brand Rika. I like her own line a lot, but here she also sells Delfina Delettrez jewellery and clothing from Alexander Wang etc.
For shoes, I like Shoebaloo. They have everything from Gianvito Rossi to Saint Laurent.
Beauty store: Skins Cosmetics. When I am in need of a new Fréderic Malle perfume or Laura Mercier concealer and Aesop soaps, this is the place to visit. I usually leave with way more than I intended.
Department store: De Bijenkorf. All the big brands under one roof, this iconic department store is expanding to include an ever bigger selection of nice brands. Plus – it is one of the only stores in Amsterdam where they sell Céline accessories.
Accessories store: I like vintage accessory shopping. At Episode for hats and scarves, and jewellery store Lyppens for a mindblowing selection of rings, bracelets and earrings.
Food store: Marqt. Locally sourced, organic, amazing tasting and expensive food shopping at various locations throughout the city.
Home/interiors: A A Knoop. A treasure trove of antique furniture, fabrics and home decoration that is easily overlooked and also sells the most luxurious scented candles of Cire Trudon, exclusively in Amsterdam. It is tiny, but hard to leave once inside.
Culture (museums/galleries etc): Rijksmuseum, Ravestijn Gallery
I like the Museum quarter as it is commonly called, and do a quick round of Stedelijk Museum for modern art, Rijksmuseum to pay respect to the old masters and van Gogh, to admire a still very modern man. I also like the Photography museum Foam on the canals for well curated works and Ravestijn Gallery. A friend of mine owns this photography gallery and he has an amazing eye for talent.
Attraction: Vondelpark. It is a cliché, but it is still the city’s nicest park and not to be missed. Summer barbecues, cycling, running the 3.3km round on a Sunday morning if you need the pleasant distraction of people watching or just going for a coffee in one of the three cafés.
The place tourists never find (but should visit): A place I only discovered last year during a very hot summer day when I was desperate to leave the city. We took the ferry to the North, only two minutes, and cycled along the IJ tot find the Nieuwedammerdijk. The scenery and houses there are like time stood still. You are in a village but can still see the city on the other side of the water. One day I want to buy a house there, ever since.