Somehow despite drinking a bucketload of booze I awoke feeling fresh and with the sun peaking through the curtains, my boyfriend and I decided to get up early and make the most of the break in bad weather. Our friends…well they were a little more delicate and decided to skip breakfast for a bit longer in bed.
Our apartment which we’d rented through Air BnB (you can check it out HERE) had a great location on the edge of the trendy Jordaan district. We took a stroll in the sunshine towards the Noordermarket which we knew had a farmer’s market on that day (we stayed very near here the last time we were in Amsterdam and had an amazing meal at a restaurant called Bordewijk which is on Noordermarket square). With the sun in almost full force Amsterdam looks completely different and stunningly beautiful.
Yes…I realise my sunglasses are a tad wonky. That’ll teach me for keeping them loose in my bag.
Once at the Noordermarket we took our time taking in all the colourful offerings. Obviously I’m used to all the great markets in London so there was nothing totally new about this one but it was the perfect start to our day and helped us work on our pancake appetites.
Pancake appetites at their peak we headed off in the direction of Berenstraat 38 once more (the pancake house we went to the last time we were in Amsterdam), however on the way we spotted the Pancake Bakery. As it was nearer and with no apparent queue we thought we’d try our luck. Once again service was a little slow but we sat down and I eyed up a few nearby tables to see how the pancakes fared – I also played with the big pot of syrup that was on our table because despite being in my mid twenties, I’m still a total child.
However when the waitress came to take our order we thought we’d check whether their American pancakes were thick and fluffy like at Amsterdam Pancakes. Sadly we were informed they were thin crepe like pancakes. Not good enough for my man! So we ordered a latte each with the very bemused waitress…
…before packing up and heading further down the road to join the queue at Amsterdam Pancakes on Berenstraat.
The queue was actually longer than yesterday’s but we were determined to get our fill and were pleasantly surprised to be in and seated within 10 minutes.
The boyfriend went for classic American, stacked with maple syrup and bacon whereas I had my savoury favourite, cheese, bacon, tomato and a dash of crème fraiche, all washed down with some fresh OJ.
The bill was around 20ish euros so not exactly cheap but well worth it – plus I got ANOTHER clog keyring which was great as my old one is a bit battered from an impromptu drinking game that’s a whole other story.
After pancakes we took a stroll along the canals…
And saw this dapper lot cycle past us…
Before then deciding to go in search of the Sex Museum (ooooh naughty!) via a wander around the infamous Red Light District…
Sadly we didn’t manage to locate the Sex Museum despite walking in circles for 20minutes. So instead we stopped for a beer only to be joined by our pals Brad and Viv who had finally surfaced from their hangover hell.
Beers sunk we took a stroll back through Dam Square to our apartment…for a rest.
Later, in the evening, we went to a very tiny Italian restaurant for dinner, which we found through TripAdvisor. It was called Il Pacioccone and hidden down one of the alley ways not far from Central Station.
We walked in to find just one waiter serving around 8 tables of between 2-5 people. We waited, for what felt like an age, before finally helping ourselves to a table…and then menus…and then an even longer time later the waiter finally made his way over to us to take our orders.
The menu is small and (what I think was) very Italian – i.e. we couldn’t understand a thing on it. Which meant, us stupid Brits thought that the selection of starters were in fact pizzas so ordered the Battuta Al Coltello thinking it was meat, mushrooms and truffle oil on bread.
When it arrived it was literally raw beef with mushrooms, parmesan, a lot of garlic and truffle oil, basically a tartare. The boys really weren’t keen but Viviana and I enjoyed it more and more with every mouthful.
For mains I ordered the Penne only to be told they’d run out of Penne so would Ravioli be a suitable replacement. Luckily I love Ravioli so really didn’t mind. My boyfriend ordered the Lasagna but they’d run out of that too so he went for the Penne…oh no, sorry…Ravioli because there was no more Penne…duh! Not exactly ideal restaurant behaviour.
Still when the food arrived the conversation tailed off to murmurs of satisfied delight.
Il Pacioccone also have a fantastic selection of wines. They’re not cheap with the least expensive bottle starting at around 25 euros and the most expensive red was over 100 euros but if you’re into your vino this would be a great restaurant to go to.
For us the bill only came to around 40 euros a head which was even cheaper than the night before and we had, had two bottles of plonk (and no, not even the cheapest stuff) starters & mains. The now, thoroughly charming waiter came with the bill and offered us a free shot of either Limoncello or this odd homemade bazil brew that was in a rather ominous looking bottle – I’m think the orange warning sign on it was probably the most off-putting thing.
…still we downed our free shots and agreed that after a slow start we were eventually impressed with Il Pacioccone before heading off into the night to cause some more AmsterDAMAGE!!!
We made our way to a much livelier part of town (read: more touristy) and downed enough drinks to sink a ship…we danced to some questionable tunes (Gangnam Style anyone?)and then made our way home to carry on the party!! By that I mean all pass out in various states of undress around the apartment. (fully clothed and face down on the sofa.)
The next morning was our last so we dragged our lazy butts out of bed, packed up our belongings and waved goodbye to the apartment. We nipped round the corner for a quick breakfast at Stout. I had a classic Eggs Benny while my man went for a Dutch delicacy, braised beef croquette wrapped in bread…it looked like it was rolled up in a little duvet.
We then hopped in the car and set off for Belgium where we had a night booked at the Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof…but that, of course, is another blog post. Oh and lastly; on the way out of Amsterdam we passed some Hare Krishnas. These guys put the London lot to shame – they had a full on wagon and were really going for it! Absolutely brilliant!
And that concludes the Amsterdam part of my bank holiday. I’m more in love with the Dam than the first time I went and I vigorously encourage you all to visit – as I always say, there is so much more to the city than hookers and hash cakes (although parts of those can be fun too!) and it’s a really lovely, relaxed city to spend time in. Very easy to navigate and excitement around every corner.
Thanks for reading! 🙂