Last week was pretty busy what with our flying visit to the Edinburgh Fringe and then three days in Amsterdam.
Our Dutch adventure began far too early in the morning with a dash to Stansted for our flight to Schiphol. Mercifully security were not too bad, although I really felt sorry for the guy who got busted for having the inappropriate stupid little liquid bag. He was given the choice of having his toothpaste and shampoo confiscated and destroyed as a terrorist threat or having to buy the right kind of bag for a quid, before he would be allowed into that vast shopping concourse packed with litre bottles of flammable liquid in packaging that shatters into razor sharp shards. I can only imagine that the idiots who make the inflexible security rules have never seen one of those movies where Lee Marvin goes into a bar in a navy uniform!
After an uneventful journey we arrived at Schiphol and after seemingly walking halfway to Amsterdam from the arrivals gate, got the train into Centraal Station for a mere €4.20. Naturally on arrival in a foreign city my first thought is where can a I get a drink and in Amsterdam that’s easily sorted, because on Platform 2b the old First Class waiting room has been converted into the rather splendid Eerste Klass restaurant.
Although it is a bit pricy it’s definately worth dropping in just to see the Niewe Kunst (Dutch Art Nouveau) interior and sample what Mab decided was the best chocolate cake in the world.
And you know what? She was right, it was gorgeous. Eerste Klass is also famous for this chap
who I was delighted to see, after our two years away, was still running the place.
So suitably refreshed we discovered that the city Metro was being refurbished. So we got the tram to Waterlooplein to drop our bags at the Hotel Falcon Plaza before looking for some lunch. Now despite being dog tired it was still only 12 in the morning so it was too early for our favourite Amsterdam boozer, de Sluyswacht to be open (boo) so we wandered down Waterlooplein until we fell into Pashouderbon (403 Waterlooplein) . However the restorative power of beer and some very good steaks, beefburgers and chips (meal with drinks for three €65) soon had us all fancying a bit of siesta and as luck would have it by the time we got back to the Falcon Plaza we were able to check in to our somewhat overpriced room (€222 a night)
Now I don’t know what it is about hotels that makes them try guests out with the crap rooms first, but it wasn’t long before we were back in reception demanding a room without water damaged ceiling panels, cobwebs and a cracked sink. Fair enough it got changed for one where the door spring was the only broken item, still it was somewhere to catch a quick snooze before heading back to De Sluyswacht (Jorddennbreestraat 1) to watch the sunset over a few beers, an old Jenever and a plate of Bitterballen (Pint between €4.5 – €6.50, Jenever €2.50).
Sun down we trekked down to the Tujah Maret Indonesian restaurant (Utrechtsestraat 73). This is another old favourite haunt and it does a staggeringly good rice table meal of 25 different dishes ranging from the mild to the ferocious,
all for €27.50 a head. The wine list is a bit limited though it’s either red or white. so suitably stuffed we headed out into the night for a night cap before turning in for the night.