‘Dam fine weekend!
I love the Eurostar! Ebbsfleet International station is less than 15 minutes drive from mum-in-law’s house which means hubby and I can leave the boy with Nana while we head off on a weekend break to the continent… it’s much more green than flying and so much more relaxing! Last weekend’s trip to Amsterdam was my first night away from Ryland for six months so I was well prepared for a good night’s sleep or two. Of course, I forgot that you need to get to bed early for that….duh. I won my train tickets to Amsterdam in a creative comp on the Eurostar Facebook page last year, you had to suggest a fitting event for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. I suggested thousands of people dressed in coloured lycra suits making up the Tube map, standing in the middle of the Olympic Stadium. Then the music kicks in, and they all conga to the exits. Needless to say, thisparticular tiebreaker was inspired by a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, but someone must have liked it because I won! And boy will I be exited if this crazy conga actually HAPPENS on the big day…
Rob and I arrived in Amsterdam on Friday lunchtime after a change in Brussels, and went straight to the tip top Okura Hotel (I hugely dislike having to pay for such trivial things as a bed, but got a good deal online!) for a late lunch at the beautiful Serre restaurant:
A bottle of wine ensured a good siesta so we were ready to take on the evening ahead – meeting up with some Nottingham friends – at Canvas bar. It was quite a sunset from the roof terrace…
A few beers were enjoyed and we ended up back at Steve’s apartment eating guacamole, playing ‘Draw Something’ and listening to LPs of BBC Sound Effects…. and celebrating Sarah’s 41st birthday!
Next day I had something unheard of – a lie-in until 10am – what the….? After a lazy brunch we checked out the FOAM Photography Museum and their excellent New York Times exhibition, then caught the ferry across from the station to the striking new Eye film museum. The angular building was the perfect location for a photoshoot for the ongoing Travel with Stabilo competition, where you upload photos of your Stabilo to win stationery goodies weekly, or the grand prize of a 500 Euro holiday voucher!
In front of EYE is a big ‘I amsterdam’ sign, so I popped my head through there for a photo with my Gem106 flag – our local East Midlands radio station is giving away a pair of flights to Paris or Amsterdam if you upload a photo of your Gem flag on holiday this month.
On Saturday night we had a couple of amazing martinis in the hotel bar before treating ourselves to an epic tasting menu at Ron Blaauw, a 2 Michelin starred restaurant. Because we also had the wines to accompany the meal, my memory of what we ate is a little fuzzy, but here are some nice photos. I particularly liked the four leaf clover made from basil; it was almost as if they knew I was Superlucky Di (Rob only got a three leaf clover on HIS plate…smirk!)
After dinner we tipsily made our way to the Blue Teahouse in the Vondelpark, where Steve (alias Can’t Mix Won’t Mix Allstars) was DJing to a room jam packed with people, playing REAL VINYL records (and also the occasional horse sound effect). Nice to hear the Beastie Boys, but I wasn’t convinced by Dire Straits Steve!
I must admit I can’t recall much of what happened after that, but I definitely remember not being in bed till 3am and my KG boots being covered in mud in the morning. Must have been a good night!
Sunday morning we took our hangovers home with us on the 10 ‘o’ clock train home, leaving the rest of the Netherlands to prepare for their big Queen’s Day party.
Thanks loads to Eurostar for our free tickets – we had a fantastic weekend!