UK Lifestyle Blog

7 September 2014

I Love Amsterdam

I love Amsterdam. I think it's probably one of my favourite places in Europe. I know, that's a bold statement. There is just so much to do and see, we ate, drank and shopped, we saw windmills, flower shops and cheese shops. We also saw the other side to amsterdam, the coffee shops and the red light district. I love the liberal take on life that the Netherlands has. Everywhere, minus the cyclists, seems so laid back.

I'm not kidding when i say that Amsterdam is just beautiful, at first glance you assume it is like any other big city. That's where you're wrong though, it's like a cross between venice and London. There are flowers and canals everywhere, quaint bridges and winding back streets. Then there's oodles of pubs, restaurants and shops. It would really be the best place to live. The temptation to go back for a cheeky weekend is very, very strong.

So, let's talk food. When i travel i love to eat. There is a lot of fast food places in Amsterdam, one place that tickled our fancy was Chipsy King

The Chips here were amazing, cooked to perfection. That wasn't the best bit though, unlike home where you only have a choice of gravy or curry sauce here you have so much more variety. I had a peanut satay sauce that was the best thing i have ever tasted, the Mr had a sambal sauce, which was extremely spicy. There was also, curry ketchup, garlic mayonaise, ketchup and more. If there is anything our chip shops could do it is take a leaf from the Netherlands and have more sauce varities, peanut sauce get in my belly.

Equally amazing were the sweet treats.

Some of the local must eats are the stroop waffle, which is two wafer thin waffles sandwiched together with thick caramel, yum. Then there are the poffertjes, which are small extra thick pancakes, covered in sweet syrup and dusted in sugar. Not healthy in the slightest, i have some serious gym work to do, but definitely worth it. They are delicious.

As well as spending a lot of time eating we also did the typical tourist things such as visit the museums, anne frank house and the heineken experience. I must stress that if you want to visit the Anne Frank house then book in advance, we had to queue for nearly 4 hours to get in, not good preparation on our behalf so a warning to you all haha.

We also paid a visit to the lesser known House of Bols which is like the cocktail version of the Heineken experience. I personally hate beer, but the Mr loves it, so i went there and he agreed to go to the House of Bols for me.

The House of Bols shows you the making of Genver a key component in their cocktails, and is very interactive with fun taste and smell tests. Then at the end you get to choose a cocktail using their electronic system that allows you to select things you like in your cocktail such as fruitiness or spice. I went for a strawberry and vanilla concotion and the Mr had a Blueberry one. Very good indeed.

We decided to pay a visit to the sex museum just off of the red light district, just for a giggle. I will not be putting photos on here as some of it was actually quite explicit! None the less most of it was very comical and for the most part we were wandering around giggling like school girls. If you are over 18 then i definitely would say pay a visit even if it is just for a laugh. its only 4 euro entry!

Have any of you been to Amsterdam?


26 August 2014

Being Tourists in Berlin

Berlin is a treat for all senses, we ate copious amounts of food, drank a lot and saw some amazing art. What more could you want from a place?

We couldn't have been more touristy if we tried, we may as well have had our money belts and cameras strapped to us!

Of course it would have been practically criminal to go to Berlin and not visit the Berlin wall and Checkpoint Charlie, so we headed there first.

Checkpoint Charlie is what separated Berlin into the American Sector, this is made very evident by the huge sign as soon as you reach it!

 The remaining part of the Berlin wall is on the East side of Berlin, easily reached by tram. The East has a very edgy urban vibe with people everywhere sporting creative and colourful style. I loved how relaxed the place felt. I loved the colours that were splashed everywhere we went.

The Remainder of the wall had been painted/graffitied over with various designs to combat the oppression that the wall once symbolised, the colours used in the art are amazing, so vibrant and cheerful it really does make you forgot for a second what the wall actually symbolises, a country once torn apart.

There is a lot of quirky and amazing art dotted around Berlin, everywhere we went we saw something.

Whilst there we also paid a visit to the Jewish Memorial, which is a very sobering piece of architecture built to represent the number of innocent Jewish people who were killed during the war. It was quite upsetting to see and the plain solid brick reflected the mood.

You can't miss the opportunity to snap a few photos of the Branden Berg gate and after wander over to the Berlin Cathedral and laze for an hour in the gardens.

If you want a different drinking experience to your usual bar then I recommend climbing the TV tower and having a cocktail (or beer) in the Bar 203.

And we continued to eat and drink.....

Delicious. If you are as much of a chocolate lover as I am then you definitely need to go to Ritersport and Fassbender & Rauch, they are two of the most amazing chocolatiers in Berlin. It's fair to say we spent a small fortune on chocolate here to devour on our next train journey!

I'd love to return during Oktober fest as I think the atmosphere would be electric!

Have you ever been to Oktober fest?

24 August 2014

Oh Vienna

Although we had a short and rainy stint in Vienna we still managed to encapsulate how stunning the city is.

We saw the SchonBrun Palace and also the beautiful gardens. I'm sure the grass isn't real but you aren't allowed to walk on it, so we will never know. There was something unnatural about how brightly coloured it all was, especially on such a dull and dreary morning.

It's no secret that I love animals and therefore I managed to twist the other halfs arm into taking me to the zoo. Now I know that zoos are a touchy subject and that not everyone agrees with them, but a lot of zoos are open to help conserve species that in the wild may be killed by poaching. I just love to go look at all the different animals and hope one year soon we will go to Africa for a safari (cross fingers) to see them in their natural habitat.

We also stumbled across a lovely pub when we were on the hunt for dinner called Wiener Stadtbrau, although in summer it is tempting to sit outside I would highly recommend sitting inside here, its like something out of a myth with a huge tree in the centre of the room and all lights hanging off of it, very magical. We ordered a few random dishes to share which was lovely.

My travel posts are almost at an end now, just two more to share. I hope you have enjoyed them, if not then normal posting will resume next Saturday!