I'm back! And I survived! In fact, I didn't even get a real hangover... okay, I was a little bit tired on Sunday but nothing too drastic, which is surprising given this was how things were looking at 1:00pm on Friday:
After a hiccup with my train and jumping in a cab to the airport last minute with a friendly stranger, I made it in time for pre-flight Champagne to start the weekend in style.
We also enjoyed the Prosecco deal on the flight out to Amsterdam and stocked up at the supermarket on our way to the apartment we rented for the weekend.
This Wild Pig Sauvignon Blanc was good - would buy again. There was a shortage of glasses but it tasted just as good from my Holland-themed mug.
The night went: local pizza (good), local bar (fun), busy central bar (expensive), Red Light District for a peek (depressing), back to local bar, which was really the most fun. I bailed early, around 12:30am, but the girls did us proud until 4:00am.
Amsterdam by day on Saturday! So pretty.
After a much-needed brunch in a local cafe, we strolled to the Noordermarkt. Lots of yummy food treats and cute stalls.
We enjoyed a hot chocolate and some complimentary apple pie in a cafe, then headed to the centre and went to the Sex Museum. Basically, lots of pictures of peoples' bits. I was worried I'd be seeing them in my sleep after all that exposure!
The local speciality, chips and mayonnaise, brought me back to earth. Phew!
We needed an, ahem, stiff drink after all that and found another really cute bar to hang out in. I'm not a beer drinker, but when in the 'dam... This went down very nicely, thanks.
For pre-dinner drinks, we headed to the House of Bols - "The cocktail and genever experience".
You found out the history of this liquer and genever (me neither) company and, most importantly...
Drank cocktails. This was Rach's Dark and Stormy.
I had a strong lemon based one and butterscotch and cherry brandy liquer chasers.
Amsterdam was all dressed up for Christmas, which made for a pretty walk home to get ready for dinner at Beddington's after more wine.
No pics of dinner - I wanted to be in the moment. We had a lovely three course meal of scallops, followed by sea bass and creme brulee. The waiter recommended the bar on the corner, where we danced the night away and entertained the crowds. We headed back around 1:00am, dropped one girl home, two went for one more drink and two for food. Guess which camp I was in?!
Much needed morning capuccino on Sunday in another cute local place.
And a desperately needed salmon and avocado sandwich.
More mooching around town looking at wonky buildings.
Another sandwich, cheese this time, then a couple of these gorgeous walnut-stuffed dates. They were HUGE!
Andy very kindly picked me up from the airport when we got home and whisked me straight to Nemrut, our local Turkish restaurant, where I tucked in to aubergine dip and bread followed by a prawn guvec (like a stew). Comfort food at it's finest.
And, bonus, my new coat had arrived! Miss Selfridge, £62.10. Slippers not included.
Desperately trying to pump vitamins back in to the system come Monday.
A fabulous weekend and a gorgeous city. Can't wait to go back. Happy birthday, Rach!