Amsterdam

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This was my second trip to the beautiful city of Amsterdam and it was just as brilliant as the first time!

Bustling with a ton of culture, a gazillion bicycles, the home of the red light district, waffle houses on every street….Amsterdam is one city you can never get tired of.

We booked ourselves into the Ramada Apollo and couldn’t have been happier with the hotel. Not only did we get a bargain on the room through booking.com but the staff were amazing in helping to plan a surprise for my best friend’s hen. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious, the tram stop is a 1 min walk – 10 mins into Dam Square and the hotel comes with a brilliant rooftop bar.

The city has a brilliant tram system and is super affordable for you to get from one side of the city to the other. A lot cheaper than the TFL, a tram pass in Amsterdam is 8 euros for 24 hours or 3 euros for 1 hour!

Top Things To Do in Amsterdam:

Museums: 

Amsterdam is full of weird, quirky, totally bizarre but SUPER interesting museums. You could easily spend a day going around them. Here’s the ones you cannot miss…

1). Anne Frank Museum. The museum gives you a detailed insight into Anne’s life. Whilst it’s an amazing place to visit, it is also very very sad to see how her and her family coped in the tiny house. It’s worth the experience, to see photos and her diary, the tiny staircase and more. If you want to visit you HAVE to book online in advance to avoid the horrendous queue. Book your ticket here.

2). Van Gough Museum. I was really excited to visit this museum as I had learned a lot about Van Gough during Art GCSE. Here you’ll get to see the famous painting such as Sunflowers, Starry Night, a self portrait and many more. Tickets are 17 euros. Book online or you can queue.

3). Banksy Exhibition – Moco Mueseum. Now this one you do not want to miss!! I loved it. The exhibition is home to Banksy’s most famous artwork as well as host to pieces by Dali, Warhol, Kusama and more. 4 floors of fabulousness make sure you buy your discounted tickets online for 11 euros and skip the queue! Be quick though, the Banksy exhibition is only on until 30th September!

4). Museum of Prostitution. In the heart of the Red Light District, this museum will walk you through the legal trade of prostitution in Amsterdam. You will hear real life stories from the women and see the set up of their homes and where clients are taken. If you’re a bit freaked out about seeing women in windows, this museum walks you through the normality of it in the city and how they live a normal life. You can buy there for 11 euros.

5). Rijksmuseum – Tbh…we only went to have a look at the building. Inside it’s beautiful but we didn’t pay to go see the exhibition as we weren’t that bothered about it. If you’re interested in the artist then you may want to.

6). Sex Museum – Just a walk away from Amsterdam Centraal, this museum is full of the weirdest sexual facts from around the world, dating way back to the early ages. Just watch out for the flashing old man and the farting ass!!!

Red Light District:

You can’t go to Amsterdam and not go to the Red Light District! The area is most alive and buzzing during the weekends however, during the week there is still much to see. Some may find it seedy and some just accept it for what it is – women in windows. What they don’t tell  you thought is the windows with blue lights. We tried to spot these but don’t think we were in the right location. Whilst the red lit windows have some beautiful women, there are blue lit windows with transvestites and dwarfs. There’s a dark side to the city but it’s worth learning about.

Along the same stretch of the red light district you have the sex shows. YES – sex shows. You watch people having sex on stage. To be honest I found it hilarious and intriguing at the same time – not sure if it was a nervous laughter but it’s worth the experience.

Bloemenmarkt:

The floating flower market. 15 stalls full of beautiful flowers and of course the home of the famous Tulip.

The Bull Dog:

Listen….if you’re here to judge then just go!!! Smoking marijuana in Amsterdam is LEGAL and the place you want to go……THE BULLDOG! You can openly smoke in Amsterdam and literally no one gives a shit, it’s great and life is great! (I am not writing this whilst I’m high). The Bull Dog has been around for years and is pretty much an empire in Amsterdam. The menu is pretty extensive, you can buy pre-rolled joints to make life easier. Joints of all flavours and so on. Just go for it.

Where To Eat:

I never thought Amsterdam would be an amazing city for food, but it is…it’s amazing! The first place you want to get yourself to is FoodHallen. If you’re a foodie you will want to get your butt to this food market. Full of amazing cuisines from around the world and an amazing gin bar!

The Avocado Show If you follow me on Instagram, you would’ve seen my slight obsession for this place. Another must visit when in Dam. There’s 2 of this around the city. It may sound simple and pretty obvious to what’s served but JESUS the avocados are so perfectly ripe and tasty. The food is brill but the customer service crappy. Thank god we had 1 waiter towards the end of the visit who saved the crappy customer service.

The Breakfast Club: Another great little find, just behind FoodHallen. This little place gives you total Shoreditch vibes. With amazing buttermilk pancakes, oat milk lattes, amazing bread. It was just a huge shame that the experience was ruined by a spider in my pancakes…..which the staff so casually shrugged off. Tbh the kitchen is super cleaned so hopefully it’s a one off. But the moment I took that first bite of pancake I was in heaven.

A FusionAn amazing (seriously SO good) sushi & grill restaurant. Everything about this restaurant was perfection. The decor, the food, the wine, the service. I have never tipped so much in my life, but the team fully deserved every euro!! You cannot miss it due to the yellow door and when you enter the interiors and decor is so dreamy. The sushi is delicious and not forgetting the house red!

OmeleggIt’s true, they are the best omelettes in town. You will have to queue, but not for long if you get there early! But it’s totally worth the wait! 

Manneken Pis: Yes, they are the best frites in Amsterdam!!! Thick, fluffy, hot chips covered in cheese sauce. On the same road as Primark, C&A and right opposite the huge department store. Expect there to be a queue, but you will NOT be disappointed!

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There are still some places that I didn’t get to check out, so I’m hoping the next time I am there I will get the opportunity to. But if you’re planning on going or you’re already in Amsterdam let me know if you’ve been to:

Mama Kelly Amsterdam

PolaBerry

Happyhappyjoyjoy

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels

Also, it’s pretty easy to rent a bike and cycle around the city. For 14 euros for the day you can explore. Best thing is cyclists have their own separate lane alongside cars and the tram.

Hope you enjoyed the Dam post.

P x

Leicester’s Beauty Haven…Amelia Nour

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If you’re local to Leicester, you’ll know that Francis St in the area of Stoneygate is becoming quite the place for niche independent boutiques.

This weekend I visited the gorgeous beauty boutique – Amelia Nour.

Founder and owner – Meesha Kanadia, started her dream project 3 years ago and has built it into a beautiful beauty boutique full of luxuries to bring your senses alive. From the minute I stepped into the boutique all I could think of was ‘oh my god it smells amazing in here’. Thanks to the Coco Luxe candles she stocks.

I was greeted by Meesha and her mum with open arms and was taken on a tour of the store. I had been looking forward to this since Meesha had asked me to pop in for a visit. So getting a personalised tour and finding out all about the products was super exciting for me.

Amelia Nour stocks a range of products that will leave you glowing, relaxed, balanced and just wanting more for your wellbeing. Brands include:

  • Oskia
  • Coco Luxe Australia
  • Bali Balm
  • Neom
  • Wild Nurition
  • Mauli Rituals
  • Sister & Co
  • Sirocco Teas
  • MOA
  • Ila

…….plus many many more!

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What was so wonderful to see was Meesha’s passion and knowledge about the brands she stocks. It’s clear that the products at Amelia Nour are carefully sourced and considered. Only products that Meesha truly believes in, are ethical and that really make a difference in your wellbeing will be stocked. That’s when she had my attention and I knew this was a store I would become loyal to. AM1

Meesha was kind enough to gift me some products to try. Obviously as a total beauty junkie, I was over the moon and so grateful she took the time to make me a little goodie bag (FYI….recyclable bags)!

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From a range of body scrubs, to bath oils, hand and foot creams, to the AMAZING Moa beauty balm and Mauli hair strengthening oil I cannot wait to start using these beauties! I really got to know the products and their benefits because of Meesha. Understanding the history of a product and it’s life cycle from conception to actual product is what makes me fall in love with it. Who doesn’t love a good little story behind the products you’re using right?!?!

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One of things I absolutely loved about Amelia Nour was the relaxed ambience. Usually when I walk into small boutiques I feel pressured to buy as I feel like I’m being watched. But not here. Whilst Meesha showed me around and introduced me to the brands, there was no pressure to buy. I was happily left to wonder and really enjoyed the experience. If I could, I would’ve happily spent the whole day there!!

Meesha and her mum are absolute beautiful people and so admirable too! Meesha on a day to day studies law however, has always loved beauty and dreamt of having her own place. 3 years on and here she is totally bossing it with a gorgeous apothecary in Leicester.

Her website stocks all the amazing brands and she’s also working on a blog which I’m excited to see. Amelia Nour’s instagram page will fill you with beauty luxuries and you’ll be able to see what’s new. She also hosts events in the store which I look forward to attend.

Definitely give Meesha & Amelia Nour on Instagram a follow and be sure to pop into her beautiful boutique.

There’s something there for everyone. From premium to luxury products for women, men and even for your home. The experience is totally worth it! You’ll be going back for more, trust me on this one!

Thank you to Meesha for inviting me in! I’m looking forward to seeing your dream grow bigger and celebrating your success with you!

P x

 

 

 

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