A Weekend in Glasgow

Although Glasgow is one of the largest cities in Scotland, it isn’t one that I frequent often. I suggested a visit for the weekend to see what we could get up to, so we booked a few nights and travelled the 3 hours to Glasgow!

We arrived at the Citizen M hotel in Glasgow which is a hotel we always enjoy staying at. We arrived late so quickly ate some food and headed up to the room. The room is controlled by an iPad where you can control the lights, television and blinds. You can even choose ‘moods’ for the room such as ‘relax’ or ‘romance’, these change the mood lighting and the TV provides music and videos that are associated with the mood. You can also choose any colour you want from a colour spectrum and Jamie spent a while changing colours and checking out the movies. Each room is provided with a full set of movies to choose from, from Dunkirk to the newest Beauty and the Beast movie, there were choices for everyone and they were pretty recent releases too. Each time we stay at the Citizen M we always feel like we know what we will get (which we like) and it’s fun to play with the lights every time!

Day 1

Since we arrived late the night before, we decided to wake around 10 to make sure we had enough energy for the day ahead. If you set an alarm using the iPad at Citizen M, you are woken by the lights gradually turning on, the tv quietly making sounds and eventually pictures on the screen. It’s a nice way to wake up since you can choose how gradual and noisy the alarm system is. So we chose a gentle wake up since it was the weekend!

Once we were ready to leave, we walked to the The butterfly and Pig Tea Rooms which I’d found online to get brunch. When we walked inside I wasn’t disappointed, the tea rooms had a vintage feel with china plates on the walls and mismatched cups on the tables.

Entrance Hallway

The people around us had ordered what looked like an amazing afternoon tea, but there was no way we could eat that much as our first meal of the day! I chose to get the french toast and Jamie ordered a full Scottish breakfast. The tea was served in a vintage teapot with china cups. I wanted to just take everything home with me!


The customers who sat next to us had ordered afternoon tea for 3, sadly I didn’t take a photo but their tea was served in a cat shaped teapot! Despite us not being given a cat teapot I loved our experience and the food was lovely. If you’re in the city I would recommend this place for brunch!

Ground Floor Dining Room

With full tummies we took a taxi (to save time) to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, I hadn’t realised but the admission here was free which was an added bonus! We walked around the park and decided to visit Kibble Palace first.

Eve in Kibble Palace

The huge glasshouse was opened all the way back in 1873 and was filled with tropical plants and ferns. The room was hot and humid which was nice considering how cold it was outside. We felt like we were in the rainforest when we reached the centre of the building!

Tropical Flowers

Above is one of my favourite plants, the leaves were covered in a silver tint. It looked as though the leaves had been covered with silver paint! I haven’t seen this plant before even though i’ve visited lots of botanical gardens.

Once we’d finished we visited the remaining glasshouses which were separated into different rooms. From orchid gardens to desert plants, there were over 10 gardens which showcased a huge range of plants. I loved seeing all of the beautiful flowers and it was fun moving from one glass house to the other. You could feel the extreme changes in environment by going from hot humid rooms to arid desert like rooms!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Since we were on the right side of town, we decided our next stop would be the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. That was until we reached the museum and realised we were opposite a perfectly placed Brewdog bar.

View from Brewdog

Jamie loves Brewdog beer which is why we decided to stop off (even though I don’t usually drink beer!). The staff were great and let me try as many beers as I wanted before I picked one. They even offered me wine incase there was nothing I liked too!

After a brief break we headed over the road to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. When you walk into the museum you immediately notice the organ in the entrance hall. We had missed it, but each day there is a short concert with the organ at 1pm (so make sure you head there earlier if you want to see it). The architecture in the Kelvingrove was beautiful and the decor made the building feel even grander.

Kelvingrove Organ

Inside the galleries on one side of the museum were hundreds of animals. We really enjoyed this aspect of the museum which was focused on nature. There were a few interactive exhibits and a section on Ancient Egypt which I found really interesting.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

On the opposite side of the museum were art and culture based exhibits including some Macintosh work. This side was interesting, but not as fun as the other!


Once the museum closed, we had an hour to kill before we went for dinner. Naturally we went to find a bar and stumbled upon the Kelvingrove Cafe. Since it was after 5pm it was busy, we only just managed to get a table. We enjoyed our drinks but felt like the place was too cramped. We paid our bill at the bar and left, when unexpectedly the manager ran after us and asked us to pay.. which we already had! I think that showed how busy the bar was!

Before we arrived in Glasgow, I decided to search TripAdvisor to find somewhere nice for dinner. One of the most highly rated places was Number 16. Described as a small restaurant with great food, I couldn’t resist booking a table.

When we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff and taken to a small upstairs area where we could pick our own table. We were given menus and the highly knowledgable staff were able to recommend food and wine based on our tastes. We chose a bottle of white wine (Reisling) and I picked Smoked Salmon to start.

Number 16 Starters

The Salmon was mixed with orange flavours which i’d never had before, but I loved it! For main I had a venison dish which was paired with parsnip and potato. My dinner was so good that Jamie admitted (first time ever) that he had food envy and wished he had ordered the same main!

Number 16 Mains

Despite the food envy, all of our dishes were amazing. I really hope that we can go back to Number 16 again and try another menu. The choices are seasonal (including the wine menu) so in a few months there will be a new list of foods!


Day 2

We decided to head out for brunch again, our hotel offered a continental style breakfast but it was £14 per person. We figured we could go out and get hot food for a similar price! I found Hutchesons Grill  using google maps and was able to book a table online that morning. It took us about 20 minutes to walk there and we got to see George Square along the way.

The restaurant offers a Prosecco brunch option where you can get a bottle of prosecco with orange juice, croissants and two hot breakfast options which was a great deal. We chose to opt for a Peach Bellini and Bloody Mary with breakfast instead since we had eaten a huge meal the night before.


I really enjoyed the pancakes, but I did prefer The Butterfly and Pig. I think I may have been easily swayed by the cute decor and cakes though!

After another good brunch, we walked to Glasgow Cathedral to see the beautiful architecture.

View from the Necropolis

After a walk around the Necropolis we visited the cathedral and I was surprised by how beautiful it was inside. The gothic exterior meant that I hadn’t noticed the amazing stained glass windows which lined the building.

Stained Glass at Glasgow Cathedral

The cathedral is huge, with us spending about an hour walking around the ground floor and underground crypts. From the tiles on the floors to the arches and windows, there was something to see at every angle. I was really glad that we walked to this side of town and finally got to see the inside of the cathedral!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Inside Glasgow Cathedral

Although the weather wasn’t kind to us, we decided to walk around the city and admire some the street art in the rain. Walking around Glasgow you can’t help but notice the huge murals and art on the sides of buildings. I’ve included a few photos of some of my favourites below.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset


We also saw a huge nature based piece which may have been my favourite.


Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

After our small walking tour we went shopping before heading to the hotel and getting ready for dinner. Within a 5 minute walk from the hotel we arrived at the Mussel Inn for some seafood. We were taken upstairs where a few tables were filled. I have to say that the food here was amazing but the service was awful! I had a pasta based dish and Jamie had a seafood platter which was amazing. I think we would give the place another chance since we enjoyed the food, but the service was unbelievably slow. When we were ready to order the waitress asked us to wait because the kitchen was busy. Our drinks took a long time to arrive and the staff were constantly rushing around us. I feel like the restaurant mustn’t normally be this chaotic, since there were good reviews online. Next time we may have to visit the Edinburgh restaurant instead!

To finish off the night we went back to our hotel and visited the bar. The bar had a new cocktail menu with Glasgow themed cocktails and we were able to relax after a day filled with walking!

Citizen M Decor


We had a great time in Glasgow even if it was a packed two days! If you have the chance, even spending one day lets you see a few of the big sights. Which other attractions are great in Glasgow?

I’m now waiting for my next Scottish mini-break to Edinburgh in a few weeks!

My Last Week in Edinburgh

Over the past 3 years I have moved 6 times, now i’m heading to flat number 7.

In that time i’ve lived in Leeds, Cheshire, Edinburgh and as of this week Aberdeen.

With only a few days left in my favourite city, I decided to try and experience some of Edinburgh’s highlights. We tried to visit new restaurants and a few attractions alongside our packing to make the most of our time.

5 days until moving

Although our first day was filled with packing, we decided to head out for lunch and walked into Leith. Just a 10 minute walk from our flat, we reached The Shore and walked along the Waters of Leith.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Waters of Leith

We knew that before we left Edinburgh, we needed to visit our favourite cafe. So we decided to have a spontaneous afternoon tea at Mimi’s Bakehouse! If anyone is in the area, this is a cute, homely cafe with homemade cakes and food. This is were I always took my family when they visited and it was our favourite brunch spot.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Afternoon Tea at Mimi’s Bakehouse

As you can see we had sandwiches, rolls, scones and lots of different cakes. There was no way we could finish all of this! So we got a small box of cakes to take home. After our afternoon out, we went home to pack up as much as we could. Thankfully with our cakes to give us some extra energy!


4 days to go

After an evening of packing the night before, we only had two rooms left to sort through. We chose to head out for the day, so walked to the Fountainbridge area of the city to visit Loudons. This is a popular cafe, which when we arrived was already full of tourists. The cafe is spacious and a great place to work if you’re a student. We hadn’t visited since I lived at my previous flat 1.5 years ago which was just around the corner.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Breakfast at Loudons

I had a very sugary french toast with bacon and Jamie had a full English breakfast. Once we had finished, we were full of energy and decided to walk to the nearby Grassmarket area. My favourite bookshop in Edinburgh was along the way, so we had to make a pitstop! Armchair books is filled to the brim with every possible kind of book. From modern literature to hardback poetry and bibles from the 1700’s there is genuinely something for everyone. All books are second hand, so cheaper than usual and as soon as you walk into the shop you see that every inch of the walls are covered with books.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Armchair Books

I think we must have spent over an hour in the small store, looking at all of the titles and peeking into some of the really old books! The shop is just next to Grassmarket where we could admire the castle and got the chance to see some of the cats from Maison de Moggy peeking out of the cafe windows.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

We finished our walk by heading up Victoria Street (one of the most photographed places in Edinburgh) where there are lots of antique and independent shops to look in. Turns out being a tourist in Edinburgh is really fun, especially without the hoards of Fringe tourists from summer. Walking through all of these beautiful places made me even sadder about leaving the city!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Victoria Street

3 days to go

With only a few days to go, today was mostly filled with packing. We did however manage to leave the house to see the day light and walk along Princes Street. At this time of year, some of the flowers have been replanted with the gardens undergoing their spring transformation. Princes Street Gardens are crazy busy in the summer, I love walking through at this time of year when it is much quieter.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Princes Street Gardens

For dinner, we wanted to head to Lian Pu which is an asian restaurant split into two buildings. On the ground floor an express restaurant serves bento boxes and noodle dishes. But the best food is found in the basement – a Korean barbecue and hotpot restaurant allows you to cook your own food.

We chose to use the hotpot to cook our noodles, vegetables, tofu and pork using a half chicken, half hot and spicy broth. We had so much fun spending the evening cooking and for £16 you can eat as much food as you want!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Hotpot at Lian Pu

2 days to go

Today was one of my favourite days in Edinburgh. Mainly because I finally got to visit Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe! This is officially my favourite place in the city!

Sadly since we are renting our flat, we have to get our dog fix from the Chihuahua Cafe instead of at home. When we arrived we were greeted by super friendly staff who introduced us to the cafe and the rules (there aren’t many). After taking off coats and bags we could choose where to sit whilst the dogs tried to get our attention. We were super lucky, only our party of 3 were in the cafe, so we had freedom to choose where we sat and all of the dogs to ourselves!

There are 8 Chihuahua’s in total, each one completely adorable and a lover of cuddles.We sat on the sofas and the dogs kindly separated themselves equally so that we each had two dogs on our laps. (This was completely by chance!)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Ama and Duchess

The puppies were chilled out when we arrived and were happy to sit, getting attention without us needing to run around and play!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Sleepy Duchess

The staff were really friendly and supervised us whilst making us feel comfortable. I spent the whole time talking about wanting a dog and discussing whether I could get a secret pet without my landlord knowing (If my landlord is to read this, I have NOT got a dog, I promise!). My favourite puppy changed every time a new dog looked at me, but I decided that the two that chose me had to be my favourites.

Faery looking Thoughtful

We had a total of 50 minutes with the dogs, during our time only two of the dogs were in their beds (you’re asked not to bother the Chihuahua’s if they are in bed so that they can have some privacy). This meant that 6 puppies were happy to spend time with us throughout our visit.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
5 out of 8 puppies

I had the best time visiting the Chihuahua Cafe and have already booked in for another visit next month! The staff, the puppies and the experience were all amazing! If you love dogs, then you need to visit. I promise you will have a fantastic time!

Since we were near George Street, we booked in for dinner in the Grill Room at The Dome.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
The Dome Bar

Before dinner, we wanted to sit in the bar to admire the main room. If you take a trip to Edinburgh, a visit to The Dome (at least for a drink) is a must! Outside the architecture is lovely and inside the decor is beautiful.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

After our drink, we were seated in the Grill Room which is just behind the bar. The service was wonderful and we really enjoyed our experience, the meal wasn’t cheap but it was worth the expense!

Moving tomorrow

The day before our move we needed to leave the house for an end of tenancy clean. We decided to head to Edinburgh’s highest rated afternoon tea (according to TripAdvisor) to give it a try before leaving. We walked along the Royal Mile and stopped by St. Giles Cathedral before heading for lunch.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
St Giles Cathedral

Arriving at the Signet Library, I was struck by the beauty of the building. The entrance room was decorated with paintings and grand staircases, where we were greeted by the maître d’. We were quickly shown to our table in the library which was beautiful!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
The Signet Library

We were given a menu and opted for the Fizz afternoon tea which included a glass of Cava alongside the preselected afternoon tea menu. The staff were extremely polite and the guests were smartly dressed. Being here felt like a special occasion!

The amuse-bouche was a thai sweet potato soup which was perfect considering we had just walked through a snow covered Edinburgh. As we warmed up we could see outside the old fashioned windows as the snow got heavier. It was so picturesque and made the experience even more perfect!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Our cava was followed by coffee (or tea) and I wanted to try a Bellini too! We spent time between courses trying to read which books were on the shelves. Many of them were from the 19th century and somehow in perfect condition.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

With our (unlimited) tea and coffee we were given our savoury tray which included mini pork and apple sausage rolls, ox cheek pies, fish cakes and some finger sandwiches. Everything tasted amazing, with the tiny sauces and toppings adding lots of flavours to the dishes. We were starting to feel full once we had finished our savoury dishes but thankfully we were given a break before our sweets were served.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Savoury Selection

Our selection of sweets looked fantastic! I may be biased considering pink is my favourite colour, but I loved them!

Scones were on the bottom tier, with blood orange jelly, honeycomb mousse and raspberry macarons higher up. We struggled to finish the desserts but weren’t rushed by staff and spent over 2 hours there!

Sweet treats

After all of this food, we were given a small lemon sorbet to finish. I don’t know how but we both managed to eat everything we were given!

I have to say that the Signet Library has created the best afternoon tea I have ever tried! From the amuse-bouche to the finishing sorbet, we were provided with a crazy amount of food and loved everything.

Moving day

Waking up to the beast from the east wasn’t ideal. We packed up the cars as quickly as possible but my phone alerted us to the red weather warning we needed to face to reach Aberdeen. The snow was heavy and the temperature was below freezing, but we had to leave the flat.

After witnessing 3 near crashes and trucks stranded along the side of the road, after 4 hours of driving we thankfully made it to our new flat in one piece.

Edinburgh will always be a special place for me. It was where I became an adult, got my first ‘real’ job and met some of my best friends. I would love to live there again one day, but for now it’s time to make the most of Aberdeenshire!


6 Days in Amsterdam (Days 4-6)

Half way through the trip, I was loving Amsterdam and wished we had longer to explore! When we arrived I made a list of places we really wanted to visit, but there was no way we had time to complete it.  We tried to prioritise since we didn’t want to spend our days rushing across the city.

This far into the trip, we wondered how we had managed to avoid a cycling related accident. We hadn’t actually rented a bike, but we didn’t understand the rules of the road! Cyclists were joined by motorbikes and tiny cars on the pavements. People could travel in any direction and even though we tried, we were never sure which way traffic was travelling. I had taken to running across roads (particularly since motorcyclists seemed to ignore red lights) and when it was raining/snowing I would put up my hood and trust Jamie’s judgement.

Thankfully, we took out travel insurance so we didn’t have too much to worry about..

Day 4

On our fourth day we decided to visit a new area, we took the tram and arrived at ARTIS Royal Zoo. Along the way we had the opportunity to see the more residential areas of Amsterdam. If anyone wants to travel outside of the city, I would recommend the tram, it’s clean, fast and you get to view the scenery (unlike the metro which is mostly underground).

We made it to the Zoo and were immediately greeted by camels and llamas. No glass or mesh separated us from the animals, just a small moat of water. This meant nothing obscured our view making us feel closer to the animals. Our first stop was the Forest House where uncaged animals climbed trees around us, I was amazed! Small monkeys, lizards, bats and birds were loose. Over our heads tiny monkeys were climbing, the temptation to touch them was crazy especially since they were so cute!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Spot the Lizard

As we walked further into the Forest House, it became the Aviary and we reached the tropical bird sections. Desert owls were sitting on cacti and one bird took a particular dislike to us and patrolled his ‘area’ any time we got close to him. I couldn’t believe how close we were to these animals and the best was yet to come!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
You can see on the ground where he had been patrolling 

The layout of the zoo doesn’t make for easy navigation but we used the map to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We visited various monkeys (my favourite), lemurs and deers all living on islands surrounded by water. Then we reached Lemur Land, as you can see from the photo below we got to sit with the Red Ruffled Lemurs! Each of them were jumping around and seemed quite comfortable among the humans. We loved being so close to such a cute animal and the staff were happy to tell us more about them. My favourite was a grumpy Lemur who sat alone and refused to look at cameras!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
My Spirit Animal

Towards the back of the park we visited the wallaby walkway. We hadn’t expected it, but we could walk inside the enclosure to see the wallabies eating and relaxing up close! This was next to the butterfly pavilion where as you might have guessed a building was filled with butterflies free to fly past us.

From elephants to penguins, we saw all animals I could think of. There were so many interactive and up-close encounters at the zoo, we left loving our experience! I still can’t believe how close we were allowed. At the time we commented that the staff seemed to trust visitors not to get too close (something which doesn’t happen in the UK) which made us enjoy the visit even more. I would love to go back since we didn’t get time to visit the aquarium. The zoo grounds were huge and there was even a planetarium show included in the entry price. We could have easily spent the whole day here!

Once the zoo closed we walked next door to Micropia, this was one of my favourite places to visit. We were transported upstairs and greeted by bubbling flasks, electron-microscopes and cultures of microbes. Micropia cultures its own microbes and bacteria to showcase to the public, if you love science, you will love this place. From Fungi to viruses, we were able to use microscopes and view live cultures.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Each microbe had its own station were we could view cultures, use microscopes and collect a stamp which would be useful later. There are even more interactive exhibits once you’ve seen the cultures and the lab where they are grown. There was a machine which reads how many microbes are on your skin (not sure how accurate that is!) and if you visit with someone else, you can kiss and see how much bacteria is transmitted (not sure how this is worked out either, maybe the amount of time you spent kissing?).

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Apparently 167 Trillion Microbes Live on Me!

After seeing how much bacteria was living on me, I felt like I definitely needed a shower. This wasn’t helped by an exhibit which swabbed everyday items such as toothbrushes, bus hand rails and pet paws. The microbes from loads of everyday objects were collected and you can see just how dirty everything around us really is. We were amazed/disgusted by how many microbes there were – even on washed hands!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Cultures from Everyday Objects

Downstairs we were able to see how microbes are used in industry and how dangerous diseases are spread. There was also an exhibit where food was allowed to decay in jars (I know this sounds weird). Foods from over a year ago had been sealed so we could see how they broke down over time. Turns out a pineapple from last February is now a yellow blob whereas McDonalds fries from a year ago look just like ones I could buy today. Think that says a lot about the quality of some food!

Before we left we used a machine to see how many stamps we had managed to collect on our visit. We did pretty well (24/30) so if you go, see if you can find more! We left Micropia just as it was closing, going in the early evening meant there was never a queue for the microscopes or interactive exhibits which was great. We could have done with an extra half hour to read everything though!

For dinner, we chose to visit Moeders to try out some traditional dutch food. Moeders is dedicated to Mothers, with every inch of the wall covered with photographs of mum’s! When you visit you can even take a photo of your own mum to add to the collection!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Moeders Restaurant

We loved the decor (which needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated) and had a great visit. From the mismatched plates (which were brought to the restaurant by the first guests) to the tin of biscuits you are given with your coffee, Moderes feels like home.

We ordered the Dutch Ricedish (20 euros per person) which was a combination of different dishes to try and share. Stews, mashed potato, cabbage and apple sauce were all included and we were surprised by how much we enjoyed the traditional foods. I loved how unique the restaurant was and the staff were really friendly. We will definitely be back again!

Day 5

Since this was our last full day to explore, we travelled to Amsterdam Centraal and chose where to visit once in the city. Turns out this was also the first day of half term which we realised once we arrived at the NEMO Science Museum. We walked up to the first floor where all of the exhibits were interactive and decided to go get a coffee in the cafe instead – the place was unexpectedly filled with children on holiday.

On the top floor we found the main cafe and were able to go outside to a viewing point. Outside it was peaceful and the views of Amsterdam were amazing. We happily had a break here before inside where there were too many children running around.

View from NEMO Science Museum

Although busy, we had lots of fun at the Science Museum, from strange exhibits about puberty to getting to surround ourselves with bubbles. I think the museum lets you unleash your inner child while you actually do learn some new scientific facts. We spent about 3 hours at the museum before we decided to head for our boat tour.

Included with our trusty IAmsterdam city card (promise I don’t work for them) was a free boat tour. There were a couple of companies you could choose from and we chose Lovers Canal Cruises since we had seen them around the city over the past couple of days.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Our Boat Nemo

We walked down to the dock and waited for Nemo to arrive. The tour even included an audio guide which told us about lots of different attractions along the cruise. Our guide was funny and made the experience more enjoyable, so this seemed like a good company to choose. We cruised for over an hour along the canals and saw some beautiful places we had missed when walking. I’m still surprised the boat didn’t get stuck in some of the small canals!

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
On the Canals

We were booked in for dinner back at our lovely hotel, so just had time to grab some stroopwafels before we headed back. These pretty ones were from Van Wonderen (be warned if you are looking for this place it is only small so you may walk past it a few times like us!)


Day 6

I was sad to leave so soon and was already planning where I would visit on my return trip! We took advantage of our last hotel breakfast and filled up before packing away our room. I said goodbye to the resident cat (who can just be seen on the chair in the photo below) while Jamie checked out of the hotel. From Amstel Station we took the Metro and Train to Schipol before boarding our flight. We loved staying at our hotel and would recommend it to anyone who is happy to be slightly outside of the city. I loved the decor so had to share a photo!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Hotel Lobby

We realised once we made it through airport security that we had not tried McDonalds whilst in Amsterdam (cue us rushing up the escalator to see if there was anything new or weird on the menu). Aside from 3 different beef burgers we didn’t see anything different, but were excited to try an unknown dipping sauce with chicken nuggets. Somehow chicken nuggets taste better in Amsterdam, i’m not sure if it’s a different recipe or just the excitement of trying food in a different country? I like to think the McDonalds bridged us back to British culture slowly, from days of fresh Dutch cuisine to the lazy fast food we would want after flying back home.

We relaxed in the airport loungers and watched the planes as we waited. When I boarded the plane I had mixed feelings, sad to be leaving but happy about the amazing experiences we had. I hope these two posts sum up our trip to Amsterdam well, we had the best time and I can’t wait to visit again!

6 Days in Amsterdam (Days 1-3)

After months of wanting to visit Amsterdam, we finally decided to book our tickets and head to Holland!

We took a 6 day trip and wanted to explore as much of the city as possible. Since we had such a great time, I decided to start a blog to share my stories.

Day 1

Travelling from Edinburgh to Amsterdam only takes an hour, which is a relief considering flying isn’t my favourite pastime. Thankfully we landed without issue and even managed to arrive early. When we got out of the airport I was excited to explore, we spent an hour travelling via train and metro to the hotel which was outside of the city centre in Amstel. Getting off the metro provided me with my first new experience, I got over excited and used a vending machine to get a hot snack. Unsure as to what any of the foods actually were (this was the first place where signs hadn’t been translated to English), I chose a breaded oval which thankfully turned out to be a breaded cheese stick. It gave me high hopes for the non-instant dutch restaurant we had lined up for later.

Instant Hot Snacks

Just a few minutes from Amstel station we arrived at Hotel V Fizeaustraat where I was greeted by the (temperamental) resident cat in the Lobby. The staff were lovely throughout our stay and when we first arrived they provided us with insider knowledge to help us visit places outside of the usual attractions. Jamie checked in while I spent some important time with the cat – until it got grumpy and I ran away. Our room was complete with a Nespresso machine (something which immediately perks me up after a long journey) and we chose to have a glass of wine and watch some Dutch TV before dinner. Turns out english cartoons are dubbed in Dutch, so we watched Scooby-Doo in a language we don’t understand while getting ready for dinner.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Hotel V Fizeaustraat

Outside of the hotel was a small flower shop displaying the bouquets of tulips I was hoping to see. The shop meant that every morning I was happy to be out as we walked between the tulips! That night we walked along the frozen rivers to Park Frankendael where I had booked dinner in a large greenhouse. Restaurant De Kas is a self-sustaining restaurant where the greenhouses are filled with home-grown foods. Diners eat from a constantly changing set menu. We arrived not knowing what would be on the menu, but were treated to 5 delicious courses with wine pairings. From Carrot salad to Fried duck breast, the meats were sourced locally and all fruits and vegetables were grown in the restaurant. I would recommend De Kas to anyone visiting Amsterdam (as long as you don’t mind having your food picked for you). In retrospect it was my favourite foodie experience and all of the dishes were both pretty and delicious.

Restaurant De Kas

Day 2

We started early, with our hotel providing breakfast (amazing french toast and pancakes included), we activated our IAmsterdam cards which give free entry to over 40 attractions and included unlimited transport for a chosen time period. We took the metro to Centraal station and began our full day of tourist activities. We started at the station and walked to the Sexmuseum. For only a few euros, it’s worth a visit to see some of the bizarre collections. It only took around 45 minutes to explore the whole place. But it’s a must-visit when seeing the city for the first time.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

When we had finished at the museum, I wanted to see the famous canals of Amsterdam, we walked for around an hour, exploring all of the narrow streets and ended up in the Red Light District. We stumbled upon the Museum of Prostitution which was an eye-opener. From seeing the rooms in which prostitutes work to hearing their stories first hand. It provided us with the chance to learn about why women would choose sex work and gave a real insight into their experiences. Although it was around midday, the district was already filled with tourists. We decided to leave and try a Dutch snack, so chose to visit Pancakes for some traditional dutch pancakes. I chose apple with bacon which was advertised as a ‘traditional topping’ and it was surprisingly nice, considering I wouldn’t have paired the two together myself. To make the experience even better, our waitress gave us a clog keyring before we left to remember our visit.

We were fuelled again and visited the nearby Body Worlds exhibition which displays real human specimens in artistic ways to educate the public. The exhibition was centred around happiness, starting on the top floor with the brain, we travelled through six floors of body systems. The final floor was an interactive level where people who had lived to over 100 years old shared their secrets to happiness. If you’re interested in biology in anyway, this is a place you will love. It was amazing to see human bodies displayed in and artistic way. It was fascinating and fun, but if the photo below makes you squeamish maybe you shouldn’t visit!

Body Worlds

Once leaving Body Worlds we decided to explore the shops and canals as we wandered west to the Anne Frank House. Our time in the Anne Frank House was different to everything we had experienced in Amsterdam so far. Once inside, no cameras were allowed and an audio tour meant most people were silent through the exhibition. Walking through the front of the building we heard about the start of the war and laws implemented to limit Jewish activity. Through the bookcase and into the Annex, we saw the rooms in which Anne, her family and others were confined to for two years. Hearing about their ultimate deportation to Auschwitz and movement to other camps was particularly sad after reading how a young child like Anne saw the world. In spite of the sadness, it was empowering to see how the words of a young girl were able to change the world. I think the Anne Frank House is widely known to be a great attraction, my one tip for visiting the house would be to book tickets online! The attraction was unbelievably busy and due to renovations, only online reservations are accepted.

After hours and hours of walking we decided to find a restaurant. Restaurant Anna was a modern central venue we happened to find as we searched for food. The menu was small, but the open kitchen made us want to try everything! We enjoyed watching the chefs at work while we got to rest with a Dutch beer. The food was fresh and the wine list was extensive, so we loved every minute.

After a busy day, we were somehow still awake and decided to see the Red Light District at night. There were more people than I had seen in any area of Amsterdam that day. The lights were bright and groups of friends were laughing and cheering. There were lots of couples which made us feel comfortable and we decided to truly experience Amsterdam by visiting Casa Rosso. This was a busy sex show, with a large seating area and one stage. It felt like you were at a normal concert until the acts started. The seats were full, again lots of couples laughing at the acts. Groups of men and women were also there with two free drinks on entry enticing larger groups. We stayed for 1.5 hours with the shows repeating after that (we saw each show once and the cycle begins again). From seeing women smoking cigars to volunteers eating bananas we saw a number of shows I didn’t need to see twice. I’m glad we went, but by the end I felt desensitised to everything!

Day 3

After a packed day yesterday, we decided to take our third day at a slower pace. We were booked in to jump the queue at the Van Gough Museum at 11am (thanks to our IAmsterdam cards) and spent a few hours learning about the man who famously cut off his own ear. We learnt a lot, in particular I found out that Jamie doesn’t appreciate art as much as me. By the second floor he was aimlessly looking around as large crowds gathered around the most famous artworks.

The hours of walking resulted in us resting in Museumplein, the park in front of the infamous Rijksmuseum. We saw first hand how busy the IAmsterdam sign is. There must have been 100 people crowded around the sign trying to take photos and climb over the letters. The park was beautiful and I was dogspotting as always. The ice-rink had just been removed with small chunks of ice still in the rink. We got lucky as the sun came out for a while, we were able to get a short break from the sub-zero temperatures.


We didn’t have anything else scheduled until Dinner that night, so decided to walk to the Heineken Experience. We hadn’t pre-booked so had to queue for around 45 minutes in the freezing cold. But thankfully the experience was worth the wait. We had a great time learning about how the beer is brewed, its history and how to correctly pour a pint. We were taught how to taste beer correctly (with our first free drink) and were led through lots of interactive exhibits, photo opportunities and got to record a karaoke video on a bicycle! Even if you don’t enjoy beer, I think the experience would still be fun! The brewery tour ended with a trip to the in-house bar to claim two more glasses of heineken each. The bar was fun with lots of free drinks being handed out, the staff interacted with visitors and encouraged us to pour our own drinks.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Heineken Experience

After filling up on beer, we had booked  dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe which was a short walk from the brewery. We arrived early and took advantage of the bar, then explored the memorabilia around the restaurant. Once seated, we ordered burgers and were lucky to get a table with a canal view. At this point Jamie had decided he couldn’t stray from heineken so I tried a few cocktails for the both of us.

Once we left it had begun to snow, although cold, the city looked beautiful and we decided to explore the lit up canals, looking in shops and getting lost in the streets. It was nice being slightly outside of the main city, it was a Saturday night but we managed to avoid the large drunk crowds. It made for a much more romantic evening out!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset