Van Gogh? Van Go!

It’s been a while since I posted, and I apologise. But with Christmas being so hectic and having been doing a lot of travelling from here and there it’s been difficult to find time.

Firstly I hope you all had a wonderful festive season with your families, full of merriment and tasty food and presents. Christmas may not be about them, but gotta admit, we all love a present 😉

So…right now I’m in Amsterdam. I know this blog is about London but Amsterdam is incredibly easy to get to from London…and therefore I thought I could shoehorn it in! Really cheap flights from Gatwick, Gatwick Express direct from Victoria, makes it all really simple.

I’ve only been here for a day, but my other half has been five times and is taking great pleasure in showing me around. Today we headed for lunch at a brasserie, then onto the House of Bols – really interesting cocktail museum. Good to go with friends or a partner – there’s so much to see. It includes all the senses, you’re allowed the opportunity to taste and guess samples, and smell their liqueurs and guess the flavour.

There’s films in different environments which are cool, the final one with fancy seats and examples of their bottles (sadly empty) in the middle. Finally you enter a bar for a free cocktail and two tasters – in other words shots – of their liqueurs, flavour of your choice. Pick your cocktail from a space agey machine and take it to the bar!

On to the Van Gogh 3D exhibition, world premiere no less, just opened I believe. At first I thought it would be some sort of crazy 3D thing that perhaps did the practically impossible, and made Van Gogh ridiculous. Instead it was fascinating, prints of all the paintings, quotes from his letters, narrative of his life all interspersed with 3D representations of his most influential works – including an evolution, almost, of the Potato Eaters – which he did several sketches and earlier paintings of before reaching his final masterpiece.

We did a lot of wandering and mooching too. There’s The Grasshopper, with a really nice seating area outside overlooking Amsterdam Centraal (pretty at night, especially just after Christmas) – coffee shop downstairs but restaurant and bar upstairs. And by coffee shop I don’t mean and actual coffee shop, if you catch my drift.

Further to the right of Centraal station there are lots of nice little bars and pubs to pop into. The one we visited luckily had a really friendly bartender who explained the different beers to me, being inexperienced in the art of Dutch booze. Thanks to him I managed to pick out a delicious drink, and enjoyed an hour of people watching sitting outside.

I shall add photos tomorrow, and I’ll post a couple of other Amsterdam adventures…I will be back to London soon…but for now lets check out another European city 😀

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