Since my local airport introduced cheap and regular flights from Amsterdam I’ve been going on a yearly basis. It’s a city that I have absolutely fallen in love with. I’ve found that it’s suitable for anyone; girls trips, boys trips, a couples holiday or even a family trip. Here are my top recommendations on what to see/do!
1. Chipsy King
I’m not entirely sure what it is but these chips from Holland are far superior to both the American french fry and chunky British chips. There are two shops to choose from (Muntplein 5 or Damstraat 8). You can choose a variety of sauces, so far I’ve only tried garlic, ketchup and mayonnaise. Ketchup is by far my favourite and not your traditional Heinz taste. This place is perfect to stop into for a takeaway snack to enjoy whilst exploring the city.
2. The Resistance Museum
As a lover of history this was one that I ticked off of my list surprisingly late but I am so glad I have finally visited. The Resistance Museum follows the history of the Dutch resistance during World War Two and the unsung heroes that helped to fight against the German occupation. Audio guides are available, which I would highly recommend. The visit is emotional and informative conveying a side to the war that is not often heard about but deserves to be told.
3. SkyLounge Amsterdam / Hotel DoubleTree
This is my absolute favourite place to stay when I’m in Amsterdam. The hotel is really modern and the rooms come with a Mac for all of your internet, television and room service needs! Even better is the free warm cookie you receive on arrival. The staff are incredibly attentive and will do everything possible to make your trip as perfect. Tip: their car service provides an incredibly luxurious way to travel.
Additionally, this beautiful hotel comes equipped with a rooftop bar suitable all year round and providing the best views of the city. The bar is open to non-guests too so anyone can make the most of their cocktails and sushi platters. To top it all off, the hotel is a three minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station so you don’t even have to worry about lugging your suitcase through the city!
This is the most unique dining experience I have ever had, I think it’ll deserve it’s very own blog post because there is so much to be said. A refined synopsis: a 5 course secret menu with surprise entertainment all in the comfort of a bed. This does not do it justice at all – keep your eyes pealed for another post soon. For now, all I can say is book a bed and expect the unexpected.
5. The Red Light District
I think that the best advice I can give anyone is to just wander around and get lost because you’re bound to stumble across something brilliant. Some of my friends have been apprehensive of the Red Light District but it is so much fun to explore. Around that area is one of my favourite dessert places, Metropolitan – you’ll smell the rich chocolate aromas before you see it! I’d also recommend checking out the Bulldog Souvenir shop for the comfiest hoodies and jumpers in the world – ideal if you’re visiting during the Winter.
& that’s it – my top 5! (cheating a little bit with number 5 but what can y’do..) Here’s a video I made years ago to get you in the mood to book a trip to Amsterdam:
The current humidity is not helping but I am facing mahoosive sleep issues at the moment. My university final grade is out next week (at 4pm on my birthday of all days) and I can’t stop fretting over it!
I’m trying my best to keep myself busy during the day but I still have millisecond panics with a precise countdown to receiving my results. This is made 10 x worse at night and I’ve found myself only being able to sleep after a long Netflix binge. My family & friends are trying their best to help me but sometimes their advice is SO frustrating. Just to clarify, I know I am being completely irrational but this is the stress talking! So here is a little list of the most infuriating advice to receive:
- “It’s not long to go then it’ll all be over!”
I don’t care how long there is to go. Whether it’s one minute or three months – I am going to stress. Time isn’t a factor in this because the stress comes in waves. One minute I can be in a “I’m sure it won’t be bad” then the next minute I’m thinking of so many bizarre scenarios; “maybe I wrote the wrong student number on my exam and I’ll end up with a 0? Perhaps I accidentally google translated my entire dissertation into Spanish so it’ll be impossible to mark?” Minds can play tricks. A steady stream of stress would be manageable, it’s the unexpected stress over any time period that is difficult.
2. “There’s nothing you can do about it now so just forget about it”
Oh! Thanks so much, Susan. I didn’t realise I should just forget about it – stress gone! This would be dream advice if it was actually possible to do. Having someone casually disregard your stress and suggest that it can be pushed away is somewhat damaging and makes you feel even more irrational about being stressed.
3. “I’m sure you’ve done fine, you did your best”
BUT DID I?! Or did I go to a party when I should have done my essay? Did I buy a kitten two weeks before three deadlines? Results stress even makes me question the times that I did work hard, “yes I worked hard.. but could I have worked harder? Did I really need to sleep and shower?”
4. “I know you’ll get a first”
Spoiler: It is now mathematically impossible for me to achieve a first so I know that won’t be happening. It’s incredibly flattering having close friends say this one but when I know the expectations are so high it’s actually adding more pressure because whatever I now get will be disappointing (not to me personally, a 2:1 will have me singing on the rooftops). I know people have good intentions but I’ve had this since GCSE’s when the pressure to get A*’s & A’s was suffocating.
Are any of you in the same boat as me and waiting for results or are you one of the lucky ones that has been able to enjoy their summer with their results in hand?
Ever feel as though you need a television series to reassure you that life isn’t perfect and that you’re not the only person lost in the middle of it all? Then this is for you.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whom you may recognise from Bad Education, plays the lead character (whose name we never find out so we shall refer to her simply as ‘Fleabag’). From calling her step mum a c*** to breaking up with her boyfriend so he’ll clean the flat, Fleabag is the ruthless, witty, sarcastic and selfish person that we all secretly want to be. As a viewer, you can’t help but find her somewhat charming due to her honesty and “fuck it” approach to life.
I won’t go into the plot because I don’t want to give away any spoilers but over the six episodes it’s easy to relate to Fleabag; her strong relationship with her best friend Boo, awkward sexual encounters, struggling with a career and a disorganised family dynamic. You’ll laugh, cringe and cry. Whilst being hilarious throughout each episode, the entire series deals with grief and guilt in a beautiful and elegant way, if a little frightening due to the accuracy. Small and seemingly irrelevant moments transport Fleabag into a flashback from a happier time and the true impact of dealing with grief is portrayed.
Above all, its painfully honest. Take this quote, for example:
“You know that feeling when a guy you like sends you a text at two o’clock on a Tuesday night asking if he can come and find you, and you’ve accidentally made it out like you’ve just got in yourself, so you have to get out of bed, drink half a bottle of wine, get in the shower, shave everything, dig out some Agent Provocateur business, suspender belt, the whole bit, and wait by the door until the buzzer goes?”
We hate to admit it … but it happens.
Fleabag’s subtle asides and raised eyebrows straight into the camera lens give an Office-esque feel and fully engage the viewer. I’d recommend this to every 20 something trying to find their way in life.
Say my name
Let it roll, let it roll off your tongue
Let me know, let me know what you want
Wear it out like a sweater that you love
I’ve found a song to ease me into the summer time! Upon hearing this initially I wasn’t entirely blown away but now I have it on repeat aaaaall day and I am absolutely loving it.
Tove Styrke isn’t someone that I had heard of before but it’s safe to say she’s a pretty big name in Sweden having been a runner up on Sweden idol in 2009 and having her debut album go Platinum. I would be incredibly surprised if this song didn’t make her a popular figure around the UK and US. With it’s catchy lyrics, visually appealing video and upbeat pop vibes it’ll be a welcome addition to anyone’s music library.
Get downloading now!
Love food, hip hop and bottomless cocktails? Then this is right up your street!
Hip hop brunch is the greatest day out and by far the best brunch you will ever attend. 12pm – 1pm consists of bottomless cocktails. There were two to choose from and oh my they certainly knock you off of your feet! I can normally comfortably consume around 6 drinks before feeling a bit dizzy but after three of these cocktails I was ready to get up on the table and start dancing (which I did).
From 1pm onwards you are served a three course meal, with each course being more delicious than the last. A particular highlight was the brownie for dessert – it was even better than my own Mother’s recipe, sorry Mum! I was incredibly impressed by the quality of all three courses.
Between the main course and desert everyone seemed to liven up and began dancing around to the awesome selection of hip hop tunes provided by what can only be described as the coolest DJ on this planet. The music varied from throwbacks to current hits and it became difficult to pull ourselves away from the dance floor for bathroom breaks. The hip hop aspect is what makes this brunch stand out from the crowd – I don’t think I’ll be able to attend any other brunch because absolutely nothing will beat this one!
Tickets are £45 each, including the bottomless cocktails, three course meal and incredible atmosphere. To be honest I think this is a bargain, I’d pay more for the exact same experience! The location isn’t announced until the Tuesday before the event – an extra added touch to ensure that each experience is different from the last. Currently you can attend a brunch in London and Berlin.
Check out the website here and have a browse at their Instagram to get a feel of what to expect.
Happy hip hopping!
On Wednesday I found out my ESTA application was successful and I am free to venture to the States for the next 2 years!!!
Last year I had the choice of going to Japan or America and ended up visiting Japan then venturing to Australia. America is somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go – I have family out there and my Grandad always returned from visits with the most amazing stories to tell so that’s massively inspired me to add it to my bucket list. But I wanted to do America with no budget restrictions and no time limit.
I studied the War on Terror for my dissertation subject and am so excited to explore the places I’ve only read about in books and journals. Equally, I’ve been closely following US politics so, as nerdy as this sounds, I’m interested in watching the news from the perspective of a US citizen. Typing that has made me realise how much of a loser I sound but I love getting immersed in a different culture. Also, I can’t wait to venture out into the US comedy scene – American humour differs from British humour but I find it absolutely hilarious.
Ahhhh I am so so excited!!!! I’m staying in New Jersey with my brother and cannot wait to venture around one meal at a time. I lived with my brother for a month in Sydney and we had the best time ever – he’s the only person I can spend that amount of time with without having any quarrels at all.
I’m planning a long road trip next year but for now I’m going to only go for a couple of weeks. If any of you have any recommendations with places to go around New Jersey/NYC then please do let me know! I’m also planning on flying to Florida whilst I’m there so also let me know anywhere I should check out there – it’ll be highly appreciated!
This weeks carpool Karaoke with James Corden & Ed Sheeran has put such a smile on my face. I used to think that there is nothing better than a drive around with friends listening to good songs but a carpool karaoke trip would top that!
Imagine being able to drive a talented musician around for a sing-a-long! It’d be even better if I could cram the entire cast of Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast in my car for a Disney theme. Or I’d bloody love to drive about with a rapper, far too many to choose from though so I’d have to set up a medley..
Who would you guys pick to carpool with?