Monday, 27 May 2013

Some Favourite Dutch Treats

Last Friday, 24th of May, the company I work for paid me for the day to loiter at Heathrow aiport. At least that's how I threw a ray of sunshine on my nearly botched attempt to fly out.

My good friend invited me to be the emcee for the launch of his magazine in Amsterdam on the 25th of May, as the person he originally asked couldn't make it. I've been thinking of revisiting Amsterdam anyway, so it was an easy yes. I then requested for a day off work.

I prebooked my tickets to Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, and Anne Frank House. The latter has been in my bucket list since reading her diary as a 12-year old. The queue was so long the first time, I prebooked this time to make sure I get in.

On the day I was flying at 9:55am, my flight was rescheduled for 12:55pm. Then it was again moved to 4pm. And I finally left at nearly 8pm and arrived in Amsterdam centre by 9:30pm. I waited for more than 12 hours at the airport for a 40-minute flight!

If you live in Europe, it was on the news that airport officials suspected a flock of birds was sucked by a plane's propeller, causing the engine to malfunction and setting fire on the wing. Passengers had to be evacuated at the runway. A security alert at another UK aiport prompted a shut-down.

The short of it was I missed my flight, the prebooked museum trips, and a day out in Amsterdam while it was sunny. 

The following day, I didn't wake up to my alarm clock and missed the trip to Anne Frank House. The afternoon was reserved for my hosting job so I wasn't going anywhere.

Needless to say, I felt like a reporter sent to an assignment and came back with no scoop. 

I did manage to walk around on Sunday though before my 7pm flight, which by the way, was nearly delayed again, but only by 20 minutes this time around. As another friend said, I really had Murphy's Law gunning for me.

I'll be sharing with you the few beauties I saw on my Sunday walk, which may be of interest to those who haven't been to Amsterdam and are thinking of visiting one day.

But first, let me share with you what I wore and accessorised with on the day of the magazine launch. I left my dressy trousers in London, but luckily the black jacket saved the day.

MsMadge with a hangover

Please excuse the sunglasses. Anna dello Russo's front-row rules say DO NOT wear sunglasses indoors if you're not a celebrity, but I was mistaken for a has-been, so technically that counted, and I took it as a compliment.

In keeping with my theme, I posted a photo of myself wearing old and new favourites. The GAP boyfriend jeans are a new wardrobe staple. They're very comfortable and goes with heels and block-heeled ankle boots. I consider my black Gucci Malibu slingbacks as one of my best buys. They're classic, goes with anything, and don't cause injury. The bamboo heel gives it a twist. Five years down the road from the shop and we're still together.

 Now, moving on to Amsterdam, the common international knowledge about this little place in Holland is public spliff-smoking and its ignominious red-light district. 

But it has its otherworldly and old world charm I favour going back to. 

The secret garden at the back of the b&b I stayed in. I thought the lamp post and the blooms were delightful.

Ok, this one's not old world, but I love a good cup of coffee especially when I'm away. This one at my b&b was so user-friendly, all I had to do was press a button and voila, I had it ready in seconds, and I was allowed to have as much as I wanted.

The canals are one of the most distinguishing features of Amsterdam. I'd love to live by the water so I do feel a little envious of residents here. I didn't get the chance to take the canal cruise this time. I thought I'd save it for a sunny day.

A castle in the middle of a square, part of which was turned into a restaurant. It's located just outside my friend's b&b.

The Amsterdam Floating Flower Market is the only one of its kind in the world. My friend Chris took me there before I flew back to London. He couldn't believe it that I haven't been there. I promise to go back on my next trip. If you google it, you'll find beautiful images when the shops have more bulbs and flowers on display and for sale. Unlike seasonal or annual flower shows, the market is open all-year round.

The only building I've seen in Amsterdam so far with that wooden type of windows and balcony doors. Chris says the lion seal on top of the building may mean it was owned by a royal.

My friends Chris and his partner David own a b&b opposite a canal. Tulip of Amsterdam b&b (one in the middle with the off-white front) is a lovely little gem in the heart of Amsterdam. Click above to find out more about their b&b. I strongly recommend them should you find yourself in Amsterdam.

His name is Loytje. He's Chris' and David's cat. He owns a little spot by the window of the b&b. Named after their friend Eloy (shortened to Loy), David added the Dutch word for a smaller version of something or someone which is tje. So Loytje is the smaller version of Eloy. Loytje gets every passerby's attention, so C & D decided to set up Loytje's own facebook page! You can find him via He can be your first friend from Amsterdam. He just knew I was about to take a photo of him. Look, he's so on cue and obviously used to posing like a model with that pout.

Amsterdam's wonky buildings. My other favourite bit aside from the canals. Such gives character to Amsterdam's architectural landscape. They look like misaligned teeth requiring braces. An OC's nightmare. There are lots of them around, and I thought that the structures were so opposite Vienna's which were very symmetrical, it translates into both cities' antipodean cultural outlook.

A bag lover's haven, the one museum that even locals haven't heard of, it made up for the other museum bookings I missed.And boy I found it after trying on tons of vintage dresses in a nearby vintage shop.

I do wish to see Amsterdam one fine sunny day. Next
 post, I'll show you around the Museum of Bags and Purses and we'll be going through some treasures I found. 



  1. I adore Amsterdam. It gets some tarnished publicity with its marijuana joints and sex trade but what city doesn't have that? I love the vibe there and those fries with mayonaisse! If I do go back I will definitely check out that b and b out! Thanks for the tour and although the delays was a shame, remember safety first!

    1. I love the vibe too! You can have wine delivered to your doorstep in a few minutes. It's just like having chinese or curry delivered but faster!

      Yeah, you must check out their b&b. Very central. Everything's so close plus you'll meet Loytje. He's a nice cat and he loves girls :D

  2. Amazing pics.... great location!!!!
    I love Amsterdam!!!
    Kisses honey!

    1. Thanks Paola! I love Amsterdam too, and hopefully when I get back I'll be able to check out the museums I missed, among other things :D

      Look forward to your next post :)

  3. I have always enjoyed Amsterdam, it's such a beautiful and historic city. So sad about the delaying part of your trip, but glad that you seem to have enjoyed yourself. xx/Madison

    1. Thanks Madison!

      I really did enjoy myself and would be going back for more. I'd love to see Amsterdam though when it's a bit sunny.

      And hopefully no more delays xx

  4. I was there a couple of months ago and thought it was fab. Very relaxed and so pretty.I couldn't persuade Mr Sulky to go into the handbag museum so I'm looking forward to your photos. You look great in your outfits but Loytje is stiff competition!

    1. Thanks for the compliment SK!

      It's interesting coz the museum was full of couples. Even the men were enjoying looking at the exhibit. Some were left in the cafe though, which was a really lovely place in the building.

      Loytje is a male model indeed! I could learn some catwalk tricks from him :)

      Photos very soon!

  5. oooh noo, I can't believe you got off to such a bad start at the airport and with the alarm clock, forgive me that I chuckled slightly when I read it - things like that are just typical aren't they?!

    I've been to Amsterdam a couple of times, it's such a beautiful place. I just love looking at the canals and architecture because you don't get much of that in Birmingham so it is refreshing. The last time I went, it was for a hen weekend, so needless to say I didn't too much sightseeing - my head was killing me ha ha

    I'd definitely go back especially as it is less than an hour away - not overly impressed with the shopping though.

    Loving those boyfriend jeans girl!!

    I enjoyed reading your answers to my questions on my blog - thank you! x

    1. Hahahaha...I had to laugh also Colleen! I didn't see my friends for a long time so we did have lots to drink the night before. And all they could tell me was not to worry because Anne Frank House will still be there when I go back.

      There was a hen do close to the bar where we were, and my friend, gay as he was, and wearing pink like the girls, joined them! Hahaha...

      I'm going back too! Might even see you there! In which case, we must have a drink. Or 2. Or 3. Naughty.

      Yup the bf jeans are my new bestie! Thanks!

      You're welcome! I've answered all if not for my hangover still :)


  6. The pretty secret garden caught my attention and the colourful flowers. I love the muted shades of the wonky buldings too. However, as a 'bagaholic', I'm looking forward to a trip around the Museum of Bags.

    1. Yeah, didn't know there was a garden until I came down for breakfast (arrived at night).

      Lots of wonky buildings, I swear I can do wonky-building spotting for a day.

      Yup the bag photos will be served soon! x

  7. Just a Kiss darling. Tnx for lovely comment!

  8. Hi honey, I come back again, becouse your comments make me smile.... I love them!!!!
    Tnx so much, kisses!

  9. You are no "has been"! Silly Ms Madge. I spent a lovely Easer week in Amsterdam once. Slept so well on/in a canal boat hotel!! Lovely that you were the emcee...what did you say? The handbag museum is fabulous! I collect vintage bags...but you my dear have the Kelly bag I covet!
    Love you Ms Madge!

    1. Hi Kelly!

      Thanks, but you know what? I actually didn't mind being mistaken for a has-been because I'm a fan of the woman they said I share the same aura with :)

      The organisers prepared a script for me so, so I just had to follow that and I did some adlibs. Learned how to say good afternoon in Dutch. It was a lovely time!

      Maybe you can contact the museum and loan one of your bags?

      Thanks again Kelly!

      Have a lovely week! x


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