Our first night in Amsterdam, I learned something about the city; this is a night town. It may have been a unique attribute to the neighborhood, rather than a statement about the city, but the streets were alive until very early in the morning, 3-4am on every day of our stay. The mornings, were quiet and empty. I mean EMPTY!
Here are some pictures from about 8:30am on a Thursday.
Restaurants for breakfast were difficult to find, most places seemed to open after eleven. They still served breakfast items, but opened later. I'm not at all a morning person, so I can get behind this aspect of Amsterdam living.
It was our first full day in Amsterdam, we were well rested, and ready to go furniture shopping. I bet you thought I was going to say The Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank House...nope, those could wait. One of our top priorities in Amsterdam was visiting the Timothy Oulton stores, both of them.
We are huge fans of the Timothy Oulton brand and have bought several pieces for our home. . Our immediate love for the brand has turned into quite an obsession and in turn, quite the collection. Here is a blog post that I wrote after our first experience with Oulton at H.D. Buttercup in Culver City, CA.
The weather was beautiful and Timothy Oulton was a short walk from our hotel, so we enjoyed the morning. Here are some pictures from our walk.
In Pasadena, we used to have Leonidas Pralines, which made the absolute best hot chocolate. They closed down several years ago and I was happy to see that the store still exists in Europe.
Timothy Oulton on Runstraat is the more intimate of their two Amsterdam locations. The focus is on their smaller furniture pieces, lighting, and accessories. We met with Leon, who showed us around.
We found our latest "must-have" Oulton piece...a periscope!
Although we were warned that it was quite a hike, we decided to push ahead and walk to the other Oulton store, located across town in a repurposed church. Walking is my favorite to explore the city, as I'm not a fan of bicycling, the preferred mode of transportation for locals. I've never seen so many bicycles in my life.
We cut through the beautiful Vondel Park.
In the park, we came across a costume picnic.
And some really lucky preschool kids getting a ride from their not-so-lucky teachers. Later on the trip, I saw a teacher doing this in the rain, the kids all snug under a tarp, teacher drenched.
The main Timothy Oulton store was enormous! We met with Caroline, who gave us a tour.
The Aviator Valkyrie Desk is a piece that Dan and I have loved from our first encounter with Oulton. We were talking to Caroline about the practicality of the desk as an everyday office piece and her response- "Women don't wear high heels because they're practical." Sold.
Not only was Caroline welcoming and knowledgable regarding all things Oulton, but she also helped us plan our afternoon. She made lunch reservations for us at The Conservatorium Brasserie and called a taxi to take us.
Located in a former music conservatory turned hotel, The Conservatorium Brasserie was nothing less than spectacular. The restaurant and lobby of the hotel are location in what was once an outdoor courtyard for the school, that has been covered in glass, like a enormous green house. The decor is unexpected and creative, even the bathrooms with their giant stone walls, including the doors to the bathroom stalls. It felt like dining in a modern art installation. An utterly unique and delightful experience.
The meal was one of the best that I've ever eaten, anywhere. Slight problem, each dish looked nearly too beautiful to eat. Nearly. We got over it. Check out these gorgeous plates. It's art.
After our meal, we found two Miffy statues.
Miffy is a character from a popular Dutch children's book series. I'd never heard of Miffy prior to this trip, but Miffy was impossible to miss. As part of an anniversary celebration of the books, Miffy statues were placed all over the city, each statue a unique tribute to the character. I love books, rabbits and Sanrio ( Although not a Sanrio character, she is Sanrio-esque)...so loving Miffy was going to happen. I returned to America with a ton of cheese and a bunch of Miffy products.