1953 Retro and Chic
Someone's strange house full of dolls
The Darling Boutique and Cafe
Fairytale Gypsy Village
Ahhhh, Amsterdam, you were not what I expected. I thought I would see ladies of the night and 'lads on tour' and general red light hideousness. Yes, I did see all of the afore mentioned, but luckily they are confined to only a small area. The rest of Amsterdam is dream of beautiful cobbled streets with canals, lined with little boutiques and design stores and bizarre little shops. It was a delight.
Day one was spent wandering the Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets), a grid of independent shops and bars. We stumbled across 'The Darling', a very sweet clothing boutique with a little upstairs cafe serving tea and cupcakes. The walls were adorned with teacup lampshades and hyacinths and beautiful vintage furniture.
We visited the Postzegelmarkt, a market for medals, coins and stamps, where I picked up many early stamps of the Queen. The streets nearby were lovely to explore, especially Rosmarijnsteeg which was full of antique book and stamp shops. We also made it to Antiekmarkt De Looier which was an indoor antiques market full of interesting bits. The Otherist was quite a sweet little shop full of curiosities, and Kitsch Kitchen made us smile with its garish colours and plastic tat.
After accidentally exploring a gypsy village, Day Two was spent wandering Waterlooplein Flea Market, in my opinion the best of the bunch and Boekenmarkt, a little alleyway of books, maps and prints. We found 1953, easily the best of the vintage shops were stumbled across and we feasted on sumptuous chocolates at Puccini Bomboni.
Other lovely activities worth a mention across the rest of the trip included the best hot chocolate at De tart van m'n tante, an outrageously camp cake shop which had a 'Kate and Will' cake exhibition followed by lots of relaxing in the Sarphatipark.
A marvellous trip.