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Bartender’s Choice: The Negroni

Never before have we witnessed such an extraordinary moment in the hospitality industry such as we do now.

When I arrived at The Dylan in Amsterdam during the Summer of 2019, it was after tending bar and creating seasonal craft cocktails in New York City for many years. Now, almost a year later, I am writing this article for The Dylan Mag, firmly at home and regrettably away from my “office” behind the bar at OCCO. What can I say? It was absolutely prudent to act early in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all from Covid-19. But I must admit that I miss shaking drinks for our guests to sip and enjoy. So I thought it would be wholly appropriate to showcase in this space a classic cocktail recipe, which anyone can make at home—no matter where home may be.

I’ve always been drawn to the Negroni, partly for its eye-catching ruby red glow, and equally because it can be enjoyed before and after dinner. It’s also a bit of a paradox: simple to put together, but shockingly complex in its expression. A classic Negroni calls for equal parts (30ml) of London Dry Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari. Stirred over ice until nicely chilled, and garnished with a generous orange twist. But that’s only a starting point. One of my favorite riffs on this classic is to substitute the Gin with an earthy and smokey mezcal that we keep behind the bar, such as Del Maguey. The Negroni can wear many hats—you can substitute Bourbon, Rum, and Cognac for the Gin—and it will work just as well. Every time. A perfect drink for mixing at home when your options might be limited.

Another reason this cocktail is on my mind is because at The Dylan right now there is a wooden barrel behind the bar. In anticipation for Spring, I started experimenting with a Negroni recipe that showcases Holland’s national spirit: Jenever. Taking a traditional product like Boompjes Jonge Jenever, and mixing it with a very fine sweet vermouth such as Carpano Antica Formula, and of course classic Campari, this blend has been aging for weeks in that very barrel. The Wood with the help of Time adds a crucial finishing character, rounding out all the sharp edges of the spirits, and creating a little liquid harmony. It’s easy to forget but sometimes, in the cocktail world, patience is a virtue.

So together we all wait. And while we do, I look forward to seeing that ruby red Barrel-Aged Dutch Negroni in the hands of our guests after this episode is far behind us.

– Artem Derkatch

 

 

Concierge’s Choice April: Explore Amsterdam Virtually

During times like these, when the whole world is unsettled and our usual routines restricted, it’s easy to focus too much on the negative. You might have had a trip planned to Amsterdam, which you now have to postpone for the time being. But don’t despair! We have decided that for this month’s Concierge’s Choice, we will recommend virtual destinations and must-sees in Amsterdam for you to enjoy at home. Let your mind and soul travel with our selection of cultural tips below – and be sure to connect with The Dylan online, where we continue to be available for you!

Rijksmuseum Masterpieces Up Close
Visit the website

Dazzling, masterful and slightly eerie, enter the virtual Rijksmuseum for an up-close-and-personal tour of the paintings displayed in the museum’s popular Gallery of Honour. Rendered in the highest quality and complete with audio and informational details, enjoy a rare frontrow and tranquil viewing of masterpieces such as Rembrandt’s The Nightwatch and Asselijn’s The Threatened Swan. While away the hours moving from painting to painting, and fully enjoy one of Amsterdam’s most revered cultural offerings.

Virtual Van Gogh Museum
Visit the website

Pay a visit to one of Amsterdam’s most brilliant artists at his virtual home: Go online to the Van Gogh Museum and discover the fantastic selection of digital collections, fun quizzes and lesson plans for children. Print and colour in Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers, unravel the hidden layers in his paintings on the Van Gogh app and take a ‘private’ virtual tour through the entire museum. To further pass the time, look up one of the many films that were inspired by his enduring art.

Take a 360 Tour through Amsterdam
Google Street View and 360 Stories

Spring is the time to take leisurely strolls through Amsterdam’s quaint streets and over the quintessential canals. Luckily you can still do so during the lockdown: Visit famous Amsterdam attractions like the Anne Frank House through Google Street View. Continue your virtual walk with 360 Stories, where you can transport yourself to Museumplein, Dam Square, Vondelpark and many more of Amsterdam’s best places.

Keukenhof Virtually Open
Visit the website

Closed to visitors until the 2021 season, the Keukenhof flower garden still wants to share the full glory of its blooming flower arrangements and displays with you online. Under the title Keukenhof Virtually Open (#keukenhofvirtuallyopen on social media), you can watch videos of gardeners showcasing the best parts of Keukenhof and introducing rare flower varieties. A little colour is exactly what’s needed right now.

King’s Day

Arguably the most anticipated event on the Dutch calendar, King Willem-Alexander’s birthday on April 27 is the biggest celebration in Amsterdam and all of the Netherlands. Usually, revellers take to the streets or float down the canals on boats, a bright sea of orange shirts and red, white and blue flags waving happily in the air. Although this year we will be celebrating indoors, it doesn’t mean we can’t eat, drink and be merry until the wee hours of the morning.

 

 

An Interview with Sjoerd van der Veen

Maintenance

What do you do at The Dylan and how long have you been here?

I work in the maintenance department at The Dylan. My background and skills are in carpentry and that’s primarily what I do. Many people are surprised that a hotel has a full time carpenter. But in 5-star-hotel like The Dylan, there are always projects for improvement in order to uphold the standard and luxury experience for our guests. A project that I might work on is a new closet for a room or structures for the foyer, for example.

All together I’ve worked at The Dylan for six years, however I left for a while in between in order to gain new experiences and sharpen my skills.

What’s the best part of your job?
Realizing projects in my own workshop. I love when a design or planned change to the hotel is suggested and I can think about the best approach. Watching as it all comes together is such a fantastic experience.

So there is a lot of creativity involved?
Definitely, from both sides, so from management and from my end. Mixing it together and seeing the result is very rewarding.

On an average day, do you collaborate a lot or do you tend to work alone?
It’s a bit of both. The technical service manager could approach me at any time with a project that needs to be handled right away. Then of course we have longer term projects that require constant communication between teams. Next week, for instance, we will be renovating a few showers and after that some rooms are getting new floors. We are never sitting still.

What does a typical day on the maintenance team look like?
On the maintenance team we have altogether five people and we all start our shifts together, which is very nice. We start the day with a coffee and twice a week one of us goes to the bakery to get some gevulde koeken, then we share what we did the evening before, check our emails. Most of the time we know what the day ahead will look like. If there is work in the kitchen, we have to start early because at 11 am the cooks are preparing lunch.

On a normal day, housekeeping might call and report something that needs to be checked out in a room. In a hotel there is always something. But if there is nothing urgent, we focus on our longer term projects. And even then no day is the same.

How do you contribute to the mission of giving guests an unforgettable stay?
We are always upgrading the hotel, in and outside of the rooms. Together the maintenance team ensures that The Dylan looks perfect at all times. I love the building so it’s a real pleasure to uphold it.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The most challenging thing is getting a job done in time. Many unexpected things can happen that might delay a project, but we always try to turn it around in time. It’s also important to ensure that everyone is happy with a result, especially keeping the guests in mind.

That’s always challenging with hospitality.
Indeed! I actually never thought I would work in hospitality when I’m older. And The Dylan is the perfect hotel to work at.

What’s your favorite place in Amsterdam to recommend to guests?
That always depends on what they are looking for, but I genuinely enjoy every part of Amsterdam. Just cycling through the city and discovering hidden streets. In Amsterdam there is so much behind every building, every door has a story behind it. You can always find something interesting to discover. I really like this and encourage guests to just explore. The Amsterdam forest is also an enchanting place to visit, so I would certainly recommend going there this Spring.

 

 

Concierge’s Choice March: Stepping into Spring

When the days slowly get longer and the songbirds start chirping their morning melodies, then you know that Spring is waiting at the door. And there is nothing quite like Spring in Amsterdam. Watch as the city warms up and blossoms, much like the famous Dutch tulips and other eye-catching flora that are popping up everywhere this season. Below are our picks for you to enjoy a marvelous March.

Opening of Keukenhof
Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse
It’s the moment we have all been waiting for: On March 21, the Keukenhof flower garden is opening its doors once again. Known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof provides the quintessential Dutch experience for international visitors, spanning 32 hectares and over 7 million flower bulbs planted here every year. Marvel at the countless colourful tulip varieties, enjoy the imaginative flower arrangements and let the stunning tulip fields serve as the backdrop for that perfect Insta-pic.

Amsterdam Coffee Festival
Westergasfabriek, Pazzanistraat 33
Looking for a different kind of buzz? Then visit the Westergasfabriek from March 13 to 15 for the Amsterdam Coffee Festival. At this yearly event, you can not only learn how different beans are roasted or sample your way to the perfect espresso – you can also root for your favourite barista during the Dutch Barista Championships.

Open Torendag
Various locations
Do you ever look up at a tall building and wonder what the view must be like from up there? With the Open Torendag – Open Tower Day – on March 21, you will have the opportunity to peer over Amsterdam from a variety of impressive perches. Towers from the previous years included the Beurs van Berlage, the Oudekerk tower, as well as many contemporary buildings and hotels. What’s lovelier than exploring Amsterdam architecture on a Spring afternoon?

Free Lunch Concerts at the Concertgebouw
Concertgebouwplein 10
In a bustling place like Amsterdam’s museum quarter, it can be difficult to find a peaceful retreat for an hour or two. If you’re in need of a refresher, try the free lunchtime concerts at the Concertgebouw every Wednesday in the month of March (and beyond). Watch and listen as musicians rehearse for upcoming performances in the Recital Hall. Although it’s free, you still need to get a ticket to attend. The box office opens at 11.30 am and the concert begins an hour later.

HISWA Boat Show at Amsterdam RAI
Europaplein 24
Find literally anything that might float your boat at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show, taking place at the RAI convention centre in the south of Amsterdam from March 11 – 15. Get a headstart on your aquatic adventures by taking the whole family to survey the wide selection of sloop-, speed- and sailboats. Dive headfirst into the HISWA Sport Xperience, where you can test a variety of watersports such as Stand Up-paddle-boarding or wi4ndsurfing. End the day by shopping for any new parts or water accessories you might need – maybe even a new vessel!

Image: Janus van den Eijnden

 

 

Concierge’s Choice: A Fabulous February

Every year we face the same question: How to combat the lull of February? With the New Year’s excitement gone and Spring still a couple of months away, it can be a slow and challenging month. Fortunately, Amsterdam’s cultural calendar is always teeming with thought-provoking exhibitions, vitalising concerts and special ways to discover the city. As a bonus, all of our February recommendations below double as fabulous, out-of-the-box date ideas for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to mark your calendars accordingly to give your loved one an experience they will treasure forever.

“Chagall, Picasso, Mondrian and others” at the Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein 10
Every new year begins with the questioning of identity. Who am I? What do I stand for? In that spirit, the exhibition “Chagall, Picasso, Mondrian and others: Migrants in Paris” at the Stedelijk Museum for contemporary art, tells the story of otherness and finding one’s way. The exhibition curates more than 50 collection pieces by famous artists who moved to Paris at the beginning of the 20th century in order to take the art world by storm. Follow master artists like Picasso, Rivera, Chagall and Kandinsky on their journey from relative anonymity to becoming the toast of the Parisian artworld. If you’re looking for personal or professional inspiration this year, then this exhibition cannot be missed.

Valentine Classics at the Movies at the Concertgebouw
Concertgebouwplein 10
If you are tired of being accused of less than stellar date ideas, why don’t you take your sweetheart to the “Valentine Classics at the Movies” concert at the Concertgebouw? On Friday February 14, let Harry Piekema and the WDR Funkhausorchester transport you musically to the set of your very own romantic comedy. Enjoy classics by Puccini, Beethoven, and Bizet in the very building where Mahler and Strauss conducted their own compositions. A classical Valentine’s Day concert is the absolute height of romance, so book your tickets now.

Outside Fashion at Huis Marseille
Keizersgracht 401
Treat your eyes and mind to something beautiful at Huis Marseille. For the first time in history, archive material from Palais Galliera, the fashion museum of Paris, is being presented to the public in the exhibition “Outside Fashion”, in order to illustrate how much fashion photography has changed from 1900 to 1969. Feast your eyes upon never seen before photographs and magazine excerpts featuring stylish women and classic beauties in smart clothing. It’s an absolute must-see for fashion and photography lovers.

What a Genderful World at the Tropenmuseum
Linnaeusstraat 2
Love is not the only hot topic in February. “What a Genderful World” at the Tropenmuseum in the east of Amsterdam explores the popular topic of gender and gender identity. Discover the expression and experience of gender from all around the world through photographs, fashion, art and personal stories. Learn why police officers in Fiji wear skirts or why “he” and “she” do not exist in the Turkish language. With colourful, interactive and captivating exhibition spaces that are both educational and entertaining, this exhibition is the Tropenmuseum at its finest.

 

An Interview with Joeki Genet

Guest Service Assistant & Concierge

What does your role at The Dylan entail and what does your typical day look like?
I am both a Concierge and a Guest Service Assistant at The Dylan. As a Guest Service Assistant, I am responsible for the welcome, the check-in, the guests’ needs during their stay, the check-out and the goodbye. And as a Concierge, I also tend to all arrange the things outside of the hotel. These tasks are arranging private tours and museum tickets, limousine transfers, making recommendations and reservations for a restaurant, giving suggestions on how to spend the day and much more.

My day starts with reviewing the notes on guests, so who has checked in and who is checking out, reviewing what they have requested and preparing for whatever that might be. We are in touch with some guests already per email, to arrange an itinerary or any special wishes before they arrive. During the day, new things might come up, so it’s good to always be prepared for that.

You make recommendations to guests – how do you stay informed about things going on in Amsterdam?
There are always new things popping up. I stay informed by cycling around the city or talking to friends and colleagues in the business. It’s important to keep your eyes and ears open and to be curious about what is going on.

Is it challenging to give recommendations when so many people look ahead online?
Yes, it can be. Luckily I am a born-and-bred Amsterdammer. The internet is very informative, but there are some things that just the locals know, like places of the beaten path. Some people like to stick to the evergreen sights and attractions, but others want to see Amsterdam from a different angle. I try to understand each guest and what they might like and make as personalized recommendation as possible, which is something the internet cannot provide. It’s also easier to trust a local’s recommendations over an online review.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
I always compare what I do at The Dylan to professional team sports. You have to be a team player and work together to win. And you’re not going to win if you don’t work hard. It’s like playing for Ajax or the New York Yankees: You need to have professional people and you need to perform every day, day after day.
The absolute best feeling is when we do our utmost best. When guests tell us they had a wonderful stay, when they come back to stay with us or when they recommend us to others, that is motivation to keep performing at our level.

And what’s the most challenging?
To always work at 100% or higher. I believe there is always room to improve, even if it’s just in the little things. If you see something that can make the job easier or the guest happier, try to do it the next time. Always try to optimize and make your job more perfect, through communication or through processes. A little thing can make a big difference to make the guest experience even smoother.

In your opinion, what makes an excellent Guest Service Assistant and Concierge?
It is crucial to understand people, to know them without actually knowing them. To have a feeling of who you have in front of you. You have to pick up certain signals. One guest might like to go to the newest nightclub with loud music, but the other might enjoy a hidden restaurant that’s quiet and cosy. The second step is to always be a step ahead. Just like in chess.

What’s the most fun / interesting / memorable request you’ve ever had?
Every day is different and every guest is interesting. Nothing too crazy has happened yet, but there is still time for that!

What would you recommend to guests to do and see in the new year?
2019 was the year of Rembrandt, so this year I recommend visitors to also discover the smaller museums which have fantastic exhibitions. I also really hope that it will snow this winter and that the canals will freeze over. It’s such a beautiful and romantic sight, to see people ice skating over the canals. You can enjoy traditional pea soup and sip a hot chocolate with cream. January is the kick-off of the tulip season and on the 18th everybody is invited to pick their own free tulips on Dam Square.

 

 

The Dylan’s Designers

Paul Linse and Barbara de Vries
Design directors at Studio Linse

After having created interior designs for important buildings like the Rijksmuseum, the Royal Concert Hall Amsterdam and the Royal Opera House in London we are honoured to be chosen by the iconic Dylan Hotel for, initially, the new design for its brasserie Occo. Being an old-time personal favourite of mine, with its top-level service and respectfulness to the guests it felt more like we were looking for what to maintain rather than to re-create or re-invent.

To create a new design in this Golden Age monument with its rich history on the stunning main canal Keizersgracht, right in the middle of the Unesco protected old town, is not something to take lightly yet gave us as a design team the opportunity to do what we love most: creating a timelessness that respects the past and welcomes the present.
A building that ages well and succeeds to always remain relevant deserves the best. For Occo we not only cherry-picked from famed international furniture collections but also designed bespoke seating such as an oversized velvet upholstered sofa that invites and embraces, comfortable chairs and marble tables in subtle textures in natural shades.

The wonderful terrace in the historical courtyard is reflected in the custom made mirrors, doubling natural light during the day while guests are enjoying breakfast, having the best coffee, a refreshing lunch or afternoon tea. Since we believe that light is the main ingredient to influence and create the best atmosphere we designed a 5-meter brass chandelier hanging over the solid marble bar.

Its sparkling lights bring animation and joy, allowing the venue to transform into a perfect place for cocktails, bites and dinner in the evenings. The fact that the space at one point in history served as a theatre is echoed in the velvet arch, like a theatre curtain, a backdrop leading to the Michelin star restaurant Vinkeles.

From the design of Occo, Vinkeles’ new furniture and an extension into the garden we moved on to the rooms with this same design approach of timelessness and comfort. Bringing together different pieces of signature furniture in an elegant and balanced setting of lush fabrics and calming colours the design of the rooms reflects the Dylans uniqueness and high sense of hospitality and discreteness. What a pleasure to be part of the evolution of this Dutch historical icon.

 

 

Concierge’s Choice January: New Year, New Adventures

It’s a new year and a new decade at that. Each January presents the unique opportunity to boldly leave your comfort zone behind and to do something exciting and novel. Luckily in Amsterdam, there is an experience waiting around every corner. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill? Or you want to discover the secrets of the universe? Perhaps you simply want switch up your café routine. Whatever your ambitions for 2020, here are five Amsterdam places in which you can kick off the year on a bright and adventurous note.

Flo’s Appetizing
Jan Pieter Heijestraat 121
Just because you started the new year with healthy eating resolutions, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a savoury treat every now and again. Flo’s Appetizing in the West of Amsterdam offers classic bagel and schmear combinations, just like they have them in New York City. With an array of toppings, including a smoked fish selection and vegan options, it’s the bagel brunch place that we’ve been dreaming of.

Architectura & Natura
Leliegracht 22-H
With a history spanning 75 impressive years, the revered Architectura & Natura is one of the most famous bookstores in Europe. This makes it a fantastic place to stock up on reading material about architecture, landscape architecture and natural history. Choose from beautifully published monoliths as well as educational literature and add a little culture to your life (or just to your coffee table).

Ruelle Sous Marin
Stadhouderskade 60-11
“I must have flowers, always, and always,” said painter Claude Monet. We believe the cold of winter shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying their favourite flora. Enter Ruelle Sous Marin in the De Pijp neighbourhood of Amsterdam and discover flower arrangements like you’ve never seen them before. Specialising in dried flower creations, Ruelle Sous Marin is the perfect spot to find beauty that will last forever. They also host workshops, so you can learn how to make dried flower arrangements on your own.

Stargazing
Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy
Space exploration is getting more and more media attention, but what exactly is waiting for us out there? If you want to learn more about our solar system and are looking for an out-of-the-box date night idea, may we direct your attention to the Stargazing nights at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam. After an introductory lecture, you can peer at the stars through one of the centre’s two telescopes.

Baking Lab
Linnaeusstraat 99
Are you keen on developing a new skill this year? Then rise to the occasion and sign up for Baking Lab’s many bread-baking courses. Serving up workshops in both Dutch and English, take a friend and learn how fermentation works or what it takes to make the perfect sourdough loaf. Check their events page and make sure to register early: These workshops sell out quickly!

 

 

An Interview with Nick Tombokan

Front Office Manager

Where did it all start for you at the Dylan?
It’s actually a funny story. My roommate already works here at The Dylan in the sales department. So when my predecessor decided to look for new challenges, my roommate said that they were looking for someone to fill the position. I thought about it for a couple of days and then I applied. And now here we are!

So what exactly does a front office manager do?
The very basics of my job are communication, organisation and training. A large part of my day goes to coordinating my team and to see how they are doing, making sure they are in the right place and that they are taken care of.
On the guest relations side, I have the responsibility together with the duty managers to make sure everything is running smoothly. We make sure that every guest has what they need and that their expectations are met.
Occasionally projects that aren’t part of the day-to-day role come up. We recently restyled the reception area, so it took an extra bit of planning and procedure to work with that project.

Walk us through your typical day.
Every day starts off with the morning meeting, where we look at the reports of the previous day and see if anything special or noteworthy has to be kept in mind. Then I have a look at the shifts, who’s coming in and who’s going out. Same for the guests: how many check-ins and check-outs we have that day. I check the schedule to see if there are any events in the hotel. After that is done it varies. There might be some applications for new positions to go through or staff meetings to attend. I might have a meeting with the operations manager of the hotel to see how it’s all doing big picture, then together we discuss ways in which we can improve and what we can do to further enrich the guest experience.

What’s the most challenging and the best part of your job?
Most challenging is definitely managing a large group of people. I have a team of about 20 and of course everyone has their own character and ways of working. It’s challenging but also the thing that I love the most about this job. You really have to get to know the people you’re working with and then motivate them to work towards a common goal. The most rewarding thing is when everything is running smoothly and to see my team happy. Then the guests are happy as well.

What is always your dream to work in hospitality?
Actually yes. I chose to study hotel management in Leeuwarden and always kind of knew that I was heading towards a career in hospitality.

In your opinion, what’s the secret to making people happy?
Anticipation. We always try to be one step ahead. This starts the moment a taxi pulls up in front of the hotel. Someone shouts “Arrival!” and then the concierge immediately goes and picks up the luggage. Before the guest even gets out of the taxi, someone is already there. From that moment on, the guest doesn’t have to worry about a thing. They will be guided through The Dylan, starting with a drink and warm towel at reception and a smooth check-in on a tablet. Then we show them to their room, make sure they understand everything because each of our 40 rooms is unique. They can expect the same warm welcome and guidance at our restaurants. And while they enjoy their stay, we are already preparing other things in the background, to ensure a smooth departure as well. We do all of this with a lot of fun and enthusiasm, both towards the guest and within the team.

What special things does the front office team do for the holidays?
Next to our decorations, we are currently working on a small in-room surprise for guests who will be staying here over Christmas. But I won’t give too much away so that it stays a surprise!

Which places in Amsterdam would you recommend visiting, especially during the winter?
I would definitely recommend going ice skating on the Museumplein, it’s such a unique experience. My personal favourite place to be is Westerpark, where you have the Westergasfabriek and many nice restaurants right next to the park. It’s kind of an industrial area, but it’s really cosy. During Christmas time I especially love cycling through De 9 Straatjes, because it’s always decorated so nicely and it really gets you in the festive spirit. Luckily it’s very close to The Dylan.

 

 

Concierge’s Choice December: A Wonderful Holiday Time

It is, without a doubt, the most magical time of the year – and what a special treat it is to be in Amsterdam during the holiday season. Stroll along the canals with an oliebolletje in hand, marvel at the seasonal decorations, do some unique Christmas shopping and take part in the many activities the city has to offer. Discover below our most wintry picks of things to do, see and shop in Amsterdam in December.

Ice*Amsterdam
Museumplein
Pack your skates and make your way to Museumplein to do some pirouettes on the ice. Or, if you’re not a graceful ice skater, sip a hot chocolate, tug into a fluffy waffle and enjoy the general splendour of the surrounding Christmas market booths. Ice*Amsterdam presents the wonderful opportunity to enjoy a winter wonderland in the heart of the city, at the foot of the monumental Rijksmuseum.

Amsterdam Light Festival
Multiple locations
A spectacular tradition now in its eighth year, the Amsterdam Light Festival is an open-air light exhibition on the waters of Amsterdam. Snuggle up with someone special while you take in the breathtaking and pioneering installations by modern artists. With this year’s theme “Disrupt!”, you can experience Amsterdam’s canals in a whole new and exciting light. Book a canal tour early so as not to miss this truly unique event.

Christmas markets
Multiple locations
Soak in the holiday spirit at the myriad Christmas markets popping up in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands throughout the month of December. From the carnival-like Winter Paradise in Amsterdam’s south to the cosy Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt in the west, find beautifully crafted gifts, drink a cup of mulled wine and revel in the joy of the season under twinklings light and a cosy atmosphere.

Patisserie Holtkamp
Vijzelgracht 15
A hot cup of coffee and buttery, sugary biscuits are a welcome treat on any winter afternoon. If you are looking for a sweet break to pick you up on a cold day, stop by Patisserie Holtkamp on the Vijzelgracht. They have a wide variety of baked delights that make excellent hostess gifts to bring along to holiday parties. If you ask us, the classic koggetjes, nicely wrapped with a silky bow, also make for a pretty delicious present.

De Posthumus Winkel
Sint Luciënsteeg 25
Isn’t there such a charm in sending real Christmas cards? Set yourself up for card-writing success with a visit to De Posthumus Winkel in the centre of Amsterdam. Their extensive selection of rubber stamps, velvety ink pads, colourful sealing wax, intricate calligraphy pens and stationary are the tools you need to make your handwritten correspondence a hit. Keep an eye out for their collection of bicycle stamps to add an extra Dutchie touch to your letters.

Image: Janus van den Eijnden