Reading: Countdown to Party: Amsterdam’s King’s Day
Countdown to Party: Amsterdam’s King’s Day
While tourists were busy gawking in the red-light district and chowing down on Bitterballen, the Dutch capital’s easy-going urbanites were busy turning to the city into a vibrant, top class metropolis. Amsterdam is transforming historical buildings into sleek hotels, revamping the relaxed restaurant scene and dressing to kill. Fear not. Just because Amsterdam is cleaning up its act doesn’t mean there isn’t a delightful amount debauchery to be discovered.
STAY – Hotel De Hallen
Drop your bags amongst the contemporary art collection and sleek Scandinavian furniture of the former tram depot – cum – boutique hotel. Wash away your jet lag in bathrooms equipped with whirlpool tubs. Luxurious linens are so inviting that there is no shame in taking an afternoon nap before heading out for a night on the town.
WORTH THE HANGOVER – King’s Day
April 27, 2016
Every year on King Willen-Alexander’s birthday the Dutch forgo the pomp and circumstance of a typical royal party and paint the town orange. To truly celebrate like a King, opt for a boat with a private DJ. Easily the best Dam party you’ll ever go to. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget, or completely remember.
EAT – Morgan & Mees
Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat 2
When the chic crowd get hungry they head to culinary hotspot Morgan & Mees. Taking up residence in a rather unusual location (a refurbished 1880s girl’s orphanage), the restaurant fuses quality fare with lush garden views. Feast on a plate of oysters or for something slightly more filling order Spaghetti cockles with sundried tomatoes, prosecco, chili, garlic and coriander.
DRINK – Door 74
If you’re looking for easy drinking that’s hard to find, this speakeasy is literally a hidden gem. Behave like a gentleman and order an innovative cocktail served in antique barware, or (since you’re behind closed doors) let the dice fall where they may with a board game that doubles as a menu.
For those seeking something a little more casual, Regular and Jack is about as unpretentious as a bar can get. The lighting is dim and the Bloody Mary’s are served straight from a slushy machine.]
VISIT – Ketel One Distillery
If a windmill fully stocked with premium Vodka isn’t your thing, you’re in the wrong country. Located on the outskirts of Schiedam the Nolet Distillery is an impressive blend of heritage and innovation (the windmill actually produces 20% of the distillery’s energy while the first and oldest copper pot still – “Distilleer Ketel 1” – is still hand stoked.) Ketel One is a family legacy you’ll want to be a part of.
SHOP – Denham
This high-end retailer stocks the kind of indigo that makes discerning denim lovers lose their shit. The concept store is in good company, nestled amongst the cobble stone streets of P.C. Hoofstraat (Amsterdam’s equivalent to Rodeo Drive). Slipping into the store for a coffee made by a charming, denim-clad barista is the easiest way to cure the blues.
Air Canada’s continued international expansion now includes direct flights from Toronto to Amsterdam. From their signature Maple Leaf lounge and right into Schipol airport, enjoy your flight with a pre-Dam cocktail or two in the comfort of Air Canada’s business class recliners.