Monday, 20 June 2011

Bags & Eating in Amsterdam, Netherlands (from guest blogger Karen B)

Over the weekend I was in Amsterdam for a friend's Hen party and I wanted to share something a little different with you rather than the usual sight seeing in Amsterdam eg canal boat, Van Gogh museum, red light district etc.  On the Friday night we went to the Supperclub, 8 mins walk from Dam Square for dinner .. not having heard of this before I was expecting a standard restaurant.  I was pleasantly surprised as this was not the case.  Our group of 11 was greeted at reception by a man wearing full "Woodstock Festival 1969" clothing (he did actually attend Woodstock at the ripe old age of 14).  I just loved his kaftan and the foliage around his neck (it grew throughout the night!).  We were informed that there was no smoking inside however, there was a separate room downstairs where you can smoke what you like. (Of course, this is Amsterdam!)
Instead of tables there are 2 large banks of lounging beds to sit on .. both have you facing into the centre of the room.  The waitress asked if anyone had any allergies, took note then proceeded to bring out the food, 5 courses in all.  When I ask what's on the menu I was told to just wait and see it's a surprise.  The food definitely aroused your senses and being with a bunch of Italians it was important for us to understand what was in these creations - food is always a point of discussion!  And yes, I can confirm that even though the food is not traditional and a little off beat it got the seal of approval from our group.  Throughout the evening house music was played (no MTV music on Friday and Saturday nights).  After the main meal there was a short show put on by two women, again something outside of the box.

Later in the evening we were asked to pay and leave the room while they prepared it for part 2.  A bar opened downstairs and at a later stage we could go back up to the room with the beds for more house music.  A little tip: when planning your outfit for the evening bear in mind that you have to take your shoes off when you sit on the bed.  So if you plan on spending time downstairs in the smoking room you have to put your shoes back on only to remove them again when you come back! (Perhaps this is where Tinks' flip flops would come into their own!!)
There is a flat charge of €70 per head for dinner (drinks excluded) Thursday to Sunday night, €65 on Monday to Wednesday night. No particular dress code as anything goes.  (

On Saturday morning we all trotted off to the Museum of Bags & Purses.  It's housed in a distinctive canal house (former residence of the Mayor of Amsterdam) with fabulous big windows bringing in an incredible amount of light to these narrow, but long terraced houses.  The exhibition itself is a history of lady's bags from the middle ages to the present day.  It leaves you wanting to make a special trip to Paris to scour the streets in search of antique shops in the hope of finding your own unique bag!  There is also a cafe and two period rooms with painted ceilings and gorgeous wallpaper - a must see before you leave the building.  Back at the entrance/exit there is a small shop selling lots of things that you would probably like to bring home to your girl friends.
Unfortunately we didn't have time but you can contact the museum (English spoken) and arrange to attend a make and design your own bag workshop or arrange a day just for your friends.  There are four types of bags you can make and the cost starts from €30 - €46.50 ... it takes from 1 - 2 1/2 hrs and it's all under the supervision of their creative instructors. 

The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm (wheelchair accessible) and the entrance fee for adults is €7.50.  It is only approx 15 minutes walk from Dam Square. (
Tram # 9 from Amsterdam Central Station can also be taken to the stop Rembrandtplein.  Tram tickets are €2.60 (valid for 1 hr) and can be purchased on board, remember to validate the ticket as you leave the tram (found on the doors).  I was surprised to see that there were plenty of middle aged men at the museum too so it is not just for the girls!

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