Tag - Amsterdam

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Brides Talk: Hen Night Amsterdam Weekend
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Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Brides Talk: Hen Night Amsterdam Weekend

Hen nights abroad are increasingly popular these days; there are so many great places to choose from, you can top up your tan before the big day and lets face it – you can get royally smashed without having to worry about bumping into an ex-boyfriend or your boss.

We spoke with one bride, Janine who spent her hen night in the most popular destination to do so – Amsterdam. From the crazy outfits to losing members on the group, she tells us why a hen night Amsterdam weekend will be an epic one for you.

Purple Travel: Why did you decide to spend your hen night in Amsterdam?

Janine: The second we got engaged, or at least within the minute I called Amsterdam for the hen party before Arky, my fiance, could call it for the stag do. He had been before, several times and loved it whereas I had never and, well, fair’s fair – it was my turn.
A girly weekend away with lots of booze and little or no sleep would be just what the doctor ordered to break up the long months of staying in, saving to pay for the big day.
It wasn’t so much the sampling of the smokey cafes and their exquisite muffins as much as the relaxed feel I always thought Amsterdam would have. The exact opposite of what the UK’s hen/stag hotspots have to offer (apart from the weather of course).
So, smug from “winning” Amsterdam, even though I kind of spoiled the romance of the proposal with my “Yes! I call the Dam” reply, I started to worry a little if all of the girls would be up for it, that it might be too expensive, or that some may feel it was more of a laddish venue.

Purple Travel: Did you find it was more difficult to round up your hens to travel abroad than to have a night out back home?

Janine: I actually found that the girls were VERY up for the weekend away, a couple raised an eyebrow at Amsterdam as first thoughts always turn to the Red Light District and the pot smoking reputation, but if it’s your do it’s your choice and eighteen of us travelled in all.

Purple Travel: Did your plans change when you arrived there? For example, was the Anne Frank museum at the top of your list before you arrived, but then you found you never left the cafes when you actually got there?

Janine: On the night of our arrival, Friday, we were made to feel so welcome by the locals, despite our noisy arrival. The Police at the railway station even staged my “arrest” and handcuffed me once they clocked the classy veil I was given to wear in the airport bar pre-flight. Indeed I was very well looked after in the bars that night also – if I stepped near to a bar the bartender would pour 2 shots, one for me and one for them.
The next morning the city looked so calm and classy I wondered if we would be frowned upon dressed as pixies, nymphs and fairies, but we once again felt welcome wherever we went. I just had to see the Red Light District and was surprised I didn’t feel shock, as the sights to be seen are certainly a world away from what we know. The area holds a vibrant atmosphere where you truly will meet all sorts, but everywhere and everyone were as chilled as can be, and the friendly locals and regulars were happy to direct us to the best bars and clubs where we were able to drink and dance til dawn.

I have to honest, there were no museums or homes of historical interest on the must-see list, but we did split up on the last day into smaller groups for a mooch around this beautiful city. For me this was my cafe day, dressed down and taking in as much as I could in what little time we had left. I do regret a little not finding time to look beyond the party side of Amsterdam, but that just means I’ll have to go again.

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Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Slowly, slowly the Dutch are beginning to appreciate a good ol’ cuppa. If you’re over the brownies, hate the smoke of the coffee shops and just want to enjoy a proper cup of tea, then let Purple Travel help you out.

True tea rooms are hard to find in this, ahem, coffee focused country. Too often do the Dutch serve up some questionable green concoction in place of your well-deserved PG Tips. While tea in Amsterdam is may seem like the boring option, we can safely say that the below venues are helping to polish tea’s image and finally set it free from its dull reputation.

GREENWOODS
What:
A traditional English tea room offering a selection of Grand cru loose leaf teas from De Eenhorn.
Don’t leave without: Ordering Eggs Benedict, just because you can – Greenwoods are responsible for Amsterdam’s first ever cooked English breakfast.
Best bit:
Greenwoods can provide picnic baskets for customers on request. Either take out on a hired boat for the day or impress a date in one of Amsterdam’s many parks. All freshly made on the day and with a choice to suit your tastes.
Price:
Pot for one is €4,95, pot for two is € 7.95.

TEA BAR
What:
A cute spot in Haarlemmerdijk serving up real deal teas, all arranged in transparent boxes where you can scoop the tea of preference in a little bag.
Don’t leave without: Trying at least three of their 60 flavours, which range from the standard Earl Grey to the spiced grandma’s apple-pie. This place puts England to shame.
Best Bit: The organic cookies to dip in.
Price: Reasonable – but depends on which tea you would like.

English: The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam, the Ne...

The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AMSTEL HOTEL
What: A royal setting to enjoy a proper high tea.
Don’t leave without: Getting a slice of cake too.
Best bit: The beautiful setting, the handmade shrimp croquettes and the excellent explanation provided about each of the teas.
Price: High tea will set you back a small fortune and even just a tea is pretty pricey at €7,50, but you do get a full pot..

HILTON HALF MOON LOUNGE
What: A large, traditional English-style living room that overlooks the Hilton Marina and garden.
Don’t leave without: Giving into the burgers – they’re something else, seriously.
Best bit: Proper tea with actual leaves and large sofas – a perfect place to relax, read or catch up on emails.
Price: It’s the Hilton, need I say more?

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