When we booked Amsterdam, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Actually, to be honest, I was a little skeptical. The second we arrived in the city that completely changed; I’ve actually never been so instantly in love with a place (there really is so much more than the red light district!) It is so well-kept, so charming, so clean and so beautiful. The people were extremely friendly and the city feels so quaint and laid-back. We ate our way through and enjoyed every second. Below are some recommendations on what to do, see, eat and drink!
S T A Y
The Hoxton, Pulitzer, The Dylan, Conservatorium
E A T
Ivy & Bros (lunch), Gartine (breakfast/lunch), De Kas (dinner), Singel 404 (sandwiches), Pluk Cafe, Buffet van Odette (breakfast), Lot Sixty One (coffee), Balthazar’s Kitchen (dinner), Winkel 43 (incredible apple tart), Foodhallen, Mossel & Gin, Van Stapele Koekmakerij (best chocolate cookie ever), Pllek (outdoor bar & restaurant if the weather is nice!), Confectionery Lanskroon (classic stroopwafel)
Walk, walk, walk! Visit the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House. Go antique shopping, eat in the Foodhallen, Take a Canal tour (Those Damn Boat Guys)
We spent the last few days of our time on the French Riviera in Antibes. Staying at Hotel du Cap Eden Roc was an absolute treat and, although a splurge, it is definitely recommended. You won’t want to leave the hotel, but the town of Antibes is darling and certainly worth wandering around. Definitely book a table at Michelangelo for dinner – it’s a classic!
Saint-Tropez was a very last minute add to our trip and it ended up being one of our favorite places. Because it was such a late add, we didn’t have much time to think about or pre-plan our stay there which made for some fun surprises. I did get a few great recommendations from a lady I know in London who grew up on the French Riviera, but we otherwise explored on our own. The Port of Saint Tropez reminded me of Capri because of the abundance of high-end shopping and incredibly charming streets. It was beyond picturesque and full of color (pastel-colored shutters on every single building!) We shopped, had some delicious dinners, watched the sunset on the harbor, and walked the streets of this quaint little town.
I would recommend booking at room at Hotel Byblos, which is right in town. It was unfortunately sold out by the time we booked, but it’s a darling spot in an ideal location. We stayed at Mas de Chastelas which we also really loved. It’s incredibly peaceful, has a beautiful pool and excellent service.
When you’re not shopping in town, you’ll want to be at Plage de Pampelonne, Saint-Tropez’s crown jewel of beaches, where you’ll find bright blue waters and famous beach clubs. We went to Restaurant Tahiti Beach and Le Club 55 and I cannot recommend Le Club 55 enough. Live music, amazing service, charming blue and white décor, perfectly chilled bottles of rosé, fresh and delicious food… all on a vine covered patio overlooking the glistening blue water. Before and after your lunch, you can retreat to your reserved bed on the beach. With a restaurant, darling boutique and lounge chairs on the sand, it’s a perfect spot to spend your entire day. (happy people watching!)
After a few days in Paris, we took the train down to Provence and stayed in Gordes. It’s apparently known as one of the prettiest villages in Provence and it was easy to see why. The views of the village when you’re driving in are incredible, and the village itself is so quaint and charming. We stayed at Bastide de Gordes, an amazing hotel right in the heart of the village. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a relaxing getaway. We went wine tasting, explored Gordes and Menerbes, wandered through the incredibly charming cobblestone streets that make up Lacoste, enjoyed a delicious provencal dinner at Bastide de Marie, and relaxed by the pool. On our way to the coast, we stopped in Aix and had fun walking the streets filled with shops, outdoor markets and places to eat. It really feels as if time stands still in Provence…
We just spent a long weekend in the Cotswolds and I felt like I had died and gone to English heaven. I had high expectations since I had heard and read so much about the English countryside, but I was still blown away. It feels like fairy tale land out there… it’s so incredibly charming and the views EVERYWHERE are breathtaking. Driving around the whole area was such a treat.
We rented a darling Airbnb cottage in Ampney Crucis and really loved the location as it’s close to some very quintessential English villages. Barnsley was one of our favorites. If you go, check out Barnsley House to stay overnight or just to dine. We ate dinner at The Village Pub just down the road from the Barnsley House and loved it. The second night we ate at The Wild Duck which I’d also highly recommend – really delicious food and wine and such a charming setting!
We drove through Bibury to see Arlington Row which seemed like something out of a fairytale. We then worked our way up North and stopped along the way in Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Upper Slaughter, Moreton-on-the-Marsh, and finally to Daylesford Farm in Kingham which was absolutely incredible. An organic and seasonal stop for groceries, picnic supplies, sweet treats and wine. They have two restaurants, a cookery school, a beautiful home store and garden. They also have cottages to stay overnight and a relaxing spa to enjoy. We grabbed a bottle of rosé and some bites and took ourselves outside in the sun.
The next day we drove down to Castle Combe which is known to be one of the prettiest villages in all of England. It’s incredibly charming and quaint and a definite must-see! We then drove down to Bath to walk around the town for a bit before we worked our way to Lucknam Park for afternoon tea, stopping along the way to enjoy the incredible countryside views. Lucknam Park might have been my favorite part of the weekend. The grounds were absolutely breathtaking.