This past weekend, I took a much needed break from Boston and took the train to Manchester-by-the-Sea with my friend Shawn. When we arrived, we immediately sought out a good place to eat. After some deliberation, we ended up at a great spot called Superfine. I don't have any shots of the meal but it was delicious! I had the fish burger and Shawn ordered a vegetarian reuben sandwich. After eating, our waiter pointed us in the direction of Singing Beach. This is one of the few beaches in the world that has singing sand that basically produces a sound when you walk on it. There are very specific conditions that have to be met for this to happen (see the wikipedia link). We ended up spending most of the day on the beach since it was so beautiful there. As evening approached, we headed back towards the train station but not before briefly stopping for ice cream and sorbet at Captain Dusty's!
The Pulitzer Hotel
If you're anything like me then you live for breakfast. When my mom came to visit me abroad, she stayed at the Pulitzer Hotel. This was by far one of the nicer hotels that I have seen. It has huge skylights that let in a lot of natural light as well as a beautiful outdoor garden. It's an eclectic mix of traditional Dutch design with more contemporary design pieces. It also happens to have a great breakfast menu. Usually my mom can't eat a lot of regular breakfast stuff like waffles because she's gluten free. This is often a downer because eggs benedict is one of our mutually favorite foods. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that rather than serving the egg and smoked salmon on top of an english muffin, the Pulitzer served it on a hash brown. It was a little heavy on the hollandaise sauce but still delicious!
During my time in the Netherlands, I went on a lot of day trips to cities outside of Amsterdam. I frequently found myself under-caffeinated before catching a train from Amsterdam Centraal. In my search for coffee, I found Mr. Sister which ended up becoming one of my favorite cafés. The building itself is situated behind the station right on the water. It has a spectacular view of Amsterdam-Noord and the EYE Film Museum. There's outdoor seating in the summer but I would suggest sitting inside in the back room with the panoramic windows. The room gets a ton of natural light and it's fun to watch boats drive by. The sandwiches here are pretty good and the coffee is great. The only thing I would warn about is the service. Every time I went, it was pretty slow. So if you're in a rush, it's probably better to grab coffee to-go somewhere else inside of the actual station.
Bakers & Roasters
This has been rated one of the best places for brunch in Amsterdam and for a good reason! I ate here multiple times because the food was so great. Bakers & Roasters was started by two guys, one from New Zealand and one from Brazil. As a result, the menu is an interesting mix of classic brunch dishes with some interesting things thrown into the mix. Not only that but the atmosphere here is great too. The staff are super friendly and helpful. Bakers & Roasters has two locations; one is in De Pijp and one is more north-east on Kadijksplein. The De Pijp location gets super packed, even on weekdays, so definitely expect a decent wait before you are seated. The Kadijksplein location also gets busy but not as bad as the De Pijp one. It's a little smaller but they have a ton of outdoor seating in the summer. My favorite dish here is by far the huevos rancheros. It's served on a crunchy tortilla and piled with tons of different salsas and sauces. Also pictured below is the acai bowl which is a great way to start your morning off if you're craving fruit.
The Amstel Hotel
This hotel is located right next to the Amstel river. It has incredibly views of the water which is what drew me to it in the first place. Be warned, it is quite expensive. I probably wouldn't eat here regularly since it's pricey but it's a beautiful place to get a before-dinner drink. They have a huge patio with comfy wicker chairs under umbrellas. Like Mr. Sister, it's fun to watch all the boats go past the hotel. The drink menu itself is actually pretty interesting. They have monthly cocktails and signature cocktails that are named after different the different parts of the city. They use all sorts of different flavors like smoked rooibos, thyme, elderflower and maple syrup to name a few. When I went here, I stupidly stuck to the basics and ordered my favorite drink, an aperol spritz, rather than something special. It still was pretty good but when I go back, I will definitely order a more unique cocktail.
Distilleerderij 't Nieuwe Diep
Last but not least, this distillery is one of my favorite spots that's hidden away in Amsterdam. It's in the middle of Flevopark, which is between Amsterdam-oost and the Eastern Docklands. The building is a quaint little white house that's right next to a large pond. It has tiered seating that feels almost reminiscent of the Italian countryside. The distillery carries some beers, ciders and wines but the highlight of their drink menu is the huge selection of liquors that they make themselves. Their particular specialty is jenever, a Dutch liquor that is similar to gin. They make a lot of different flavors like lemon, raspberry and vanilla to name a few. The straight jenever is very strong but the likeurtjes (liqueurs) are more sweet. When I went, I had no idea what to order. The bartender was so kind and let me sample a variety of different flavors before I decided on a raspberry liqueur. It was incredibly rich but amazingly unique!
a day trip to the beach
Packing for Amsterdam was no easy feat. After going through my entire closet, I settled on bringing a various assortment of black articles of clothing. Fortunately for me, a lot of the people that I've encountered here so far also exclusively wear a variety of neutral tones.
In the midst of stressful packing, I somehow forgot to bring a scarf with me. I got this camel colored poncho at Samsøe & Samsøe on my third day after cold weather got the better of me. It's a really great day to night piece because it doubles as a cozy blanket for evenings in my cold apartment.
Despite my scarf dilemma, I did remember to pack about 30 size 0.38 pens from Muji. These pens are great for literally everything. For me, it's reached a point where they're the only thing that I can take notes with in class. I also brought three sketchbooks that are designed by the Princeton Architectural Press. The design of the sketchbooks is unique because every page is laid out with a different grid that you can work with while drawing or choose to completely ignore. I love this because working in them never gets boring!