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A true taste of Amsterdam

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 by Irene Hoofs



Truly amazing. Food is no longer just about eating. Sound, atmosphere, styling, an inspiring crowd and much more. Marije Vogelzang is food designer and invented Proef. Proef means 'taste' and gives new meaning to the word restaurant. A whole new eating sensation, stimulating all of your senses... Imagine eating your plate for desert, don’t worry it is made of sugar. Only eating stuff your body reacts favourably to. Seduced by colours, texture and design. A special breakfast that will ignite you with energy, pushing all the right buttons to get you started for your Amsterdam weekend escape. And it’s all healthy too. No more boring Dutch staple dishes (remember Van Gogh’s ‘potato eaters’…?). Proef gives a fresh impulse to both Dutch cuisine and design. Marije also did some marvellous projects for Droog Design and Hella Jongerius.


And it gets even better. Proef is located in the 'Westergasfabriek', a former industrial park which has transformed to Amsterdam’s newest signature piece. A creative and cultural melting pot. Merging artistic entrepreneurship with commercial enterprise. This is ‘New Amsterdam’, putting you right into our next ‘Golden Age’.

You will find special events, theatres, bars and restaurants. The area is wrapped in a beautiful park. Take a sharp right when you leave Central Station (after visiting a new wing of the ‘Rijksmuseum’ which is located within the station). It is just a fifteen-minute walk away.



{ps. should you end up in Rotterdam by mistake, don’t panic, Proef also has a tasting oasis in the centre of this harbour city which is definitely worth a visit!


When Analik opens her new Miauw suites this March there will only be one place for you to stay in Amsterdam. Analik is famous for her outspoken fashion designs but that is not all she has been up to lately…Check into Miauw, and you may never leave again… Beautifully located at the corner of ‘Keizersgracht’ and ‘Harte Straat’ in the heart of an area called ‘nine little streets’. The extremely spacious and modern styled suites (70 square meters!) are open concept, have a small kitchen and come with all sorts of complementary goodies. You will feel right at home. Overlooking one of the best parts of the canal area. Just pick a floor plan, make an on-line reservation, and you are all set for your spring visit.


Miauw combines suites with Miauw shops and projects. No ordinary hotel lobby. The ground floor is occupied by Analik's boutique where she shows her latest designs and some handpicked other labels. Special projects include photography exhibitions. Our lucky ‘Zuiderburen’ in Antwerp (a friendly nickname for our Belgian neighbours in the south) have enjoyed Miauw's hospitality since a few years already.



All a girl could ever wish for…

Looking to shop in style, listen to newly released music or browse magazines surrounded by contemporary furniture and art exhibitions? Look no further. Head straight for SPRMRKT. My friend Nelleke started SPRMRKT only a few years ago. It has really taken off since. SPRMRKT is not a store. It is all about how you have always wanted to spend your city weekends. Submerged in all good things life has to offer. SPRMRKT is setting the pace for others, but this time keeping up might just not be that easy… Nelleke chose a fabulous collection of niche fashion labels. You will also find rare pieces of vintage furniture and other special items. I especially like the collection of leather bags that are designed by Nelleke herself.


Not exclusive enough for your taste? Enter SPR+, a boutique within SPRMRKT, for those of us looking to go all the way and know how to spend it… SPR+ was designed by XandL. Say hi to Nelleke for me when you’re there!





Beyond snap shots

My interest in photography only started a few years ago when I was working part-time for Nel’s photography agency. I continue to be amazed by what some people can do with a camera. A great place to satisfy your appetite for photography is Foam. Yes, it is a museum…Foam is all about photography ‘now and then’. An absolute favorite among ‘Amsterdammers’. You can easily spend an entire afternoon in Foam, drinking your latte, having lunch and enjoying images from all over the world. Check Foam's agenda on-line for exhibitions that interest you. Located on a beautiful canal, just minutes away from the Amstelveld where on the other side of the water you will find Bebob for vintage furniture.




Visit Droog

No further introduction needed… I just wanted to give you the address of Droog Design's showroom if you do not have it bookmarked already. Go to ‘Staalstraat 7b’. How to get there? Follow the crowd or check out their website.



{Droog Design: table setting by Arno VerhoevenChair by Tjep,  Table Cloth: Fold to fit by Chris Kabel}



Neighbourhood love

Just around the corner of my old place. Never could resist going in when walking by. Studio91 was started by Hester Slaman, Roos Arends and Marc van der Voorn. Jewellery, fashion and custom made lamps. All collector’s items. And there are more things happening on ‘Elandsgracht’, so many new boutiques and other fun stores have opened since I left almost two years ago. Let me know what you have discovered when you get back.





I love Mondays!

Just in case you missed your plane on Sunday… get an early wake-up call and rush for the 'Noordermarkt' on Monday morning. Make sure to get there early enough to scoop your vintage cloths, bags and pottery and furniture. Visit 'get back design' for more details.




Peek view

A brief note on my old neighbourhood the ‘Jordaan’. It is in the heart of the old city and canal area. My old place is on the ‘Looiersgracht’ where in the old days you would find the city’s leather sweatshops. These days are long gone. The area is now densely populated and has some of the greatest shops and restaurants in town. The 'nine little streets' (technically not the Jordaan…) is my favourite area for just wandering around the canal area. The area is pedestrian (and bicyclist) paradise, you don’t need a car to get around, you just start walking... Here are some pics of my apartment and studio in Amsterdam. Carme from Barcelona now lives there. She calls it her ‘new home’ which is a great compliment and (still) makes me feel proud of my hometown.


I hope to see you in Amsterdam soon!
{big kiss again for Rik.} {originally posted in January 2007}

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