The Neighbourhood Food Market

The Neighbourhood Food Market

What are sundays for, I ask you!

For food markets.

Last weekend, we headed back to a previous blog location, Westergasfabriek, for a thoroughly food based affair. We were greeted by the infamous Iamsterdam sign, which has been jumping around on the West side (Yep, it moves!)

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And parked up, heading towards the Westergassterein, the area that stretches out before Westerpark.

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Springtime!

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You arrive the foot of the imposing Gasometer building (also a location for some pretty insane raves while we’re on the subject) and find yourself in the market!

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There are numerous stalls, all displaying delicious creations from foodmakers in Amsterdam and further afield in the Netherlands. Everything is made with real authentic ingredients, and it is the perfect opportunity to experience some new tastes.

Rollende’s Pizzas, made using a wood oven.

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Wraps from Wrap n’Rolling.

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The little-known grain, Spelt, is very popular in Holland.

Rolls filled with Fresh Salmon and Mussels from ‘CuliShop’

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Smoothies made freshly before your very eyes!

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POWER Falafel! Served in a bun or as salad.

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Cactus Wraps….if that ‘tickles’ your fancy.

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Freshly baked Foccaccia sandwiches with tomatoes, cheese and salad.

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As you can see, there was so much to choose from, but luckilly you could try before you buy at nearly all of the stalls.

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Indeed, we were cajoled into trying pieces of smoked eel by a very assertive stall holder. No regrets though- it was ‘eely good!

People sit out on hay bales and deckchairs, drinking beers and chatting about their findings.

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But we weren’t ready to open our purses yet, so we headed to the indoor part of the market to continue exploring.

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You enter the Transformatorhuis and hear the sounds from the DJ, playing mostly upbeat remixes of 70s/80s classics.

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And wander around more intriguing and tempting sights.

The Taco Gallery.

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Nico’s Cakes.

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Freshly steamed dumplings.

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Cheese and charcuturie.

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Some very impressive arrangements:

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Accompanied by some food for thought!

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And to a stall that was made for me: The Paleocave!

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The ‘Paleo’ diet means eating only things that a paleolithic person would have eaten- so nothing processed.

We had sussed out what we wanted by now, and settled down to enjoy it. The building is filled with long antique style tables, as well as armchairs to lounge in.

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Feelin at home!

The market had the most wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, and you can see people of all ages enjoying their sunday with family and friends.

Issy went for the cactus wrap; mackerel, red onion, lettuce and cucumber.

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And I had the Paleo taster:

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Sweet potato crisps, ‘Zuchinni flower’, slow-cooked beef stew and Walnut orange salad. It tasted far better than it looks!

Daytime drinking is not unfamiliar to Amsterdammers, and the indoor bar was heaving both with wine, and with delicious looking pressed Lemonades

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We then headed outside and saw the tastiest looking chicken on a spit:

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Which I had to try! They did a selection of wings with different sauces like paprika and piri-piri, both were delicious, although your mouth does get a little (alot) painted in the process!

At the end of the market, there were big cushions by the water, perfect for afternoon lounging for both the fresh-feeling and those who had come to try and take the edge off their hangover with a nourishing lunch!

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We relaxed for a while and before we knew it it was time to search for pudding. Funny how time flies, isn’t it!

Emer went for Lottie’s fresh handmade doughnuts, which were reported to be very good.

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And Issy and I found ours at the Sharp Sharp stall.

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They sell gorgeous cakes and brownies, made with no gluten, dairy or refined sugar.

Issy went for the Millionaire Caramel shortbread

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And I went for the Chocolate Pistachio brownie with rose water, unbelievably yet entirely sugar free!

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These guys are based in Rotterdam, but I think I will defintiely be tracking them whenever they are in town!

By the late afternoon it was time to head home, dozy and relaxed.

The market is on every month, usually on the 3rd or 4th Sunday, and the next one is on May 24th. It really is an afternoon well spent, as the vibe is seriously chilled and you can be as leisurely as you like while soaking it all in. You are guranteed to try or see something new, and the “line-up” of stalls is different eachtime. You also have Westerpark at your fingertips if you want to make a real picnic of it, and the other attractions of Westergasfabriek all around. I will most definitely be heading back!

That’s all for now,

Love O

xxxxxx

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De Pijp

De Pijp

De Pijp is probably my favourite neighbourhood in Amsterdam.

Literally meaning “The Pipe”, it probably takes it’s name from the long, narrow streets that run through the area like pipes, although nobody really knows, and it is the city’s old working-class district and Latin quarter.

In the mid-1800s, the population of Amsterdam exploded, and De Pijp quickly became the vibrant home to the artists, students, prostitutes and traders. The Dutch painter Mondriaan even lived there at one point!

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As you get closer to the centre of De Pijp, the streets start to feel more bohemian, with plants all over the streets, and eclectic objects scattered outside houses.

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The quieter streets are home to Aladdin’s caves, like this one I stumbled upon, filled with exotic Eastern lamps..

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De Pijp is a very multicultural area, home to over 150 nationalities, and this definitely doesn’t go unnoticed in the personal touches of the buildings as you explore.

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You pass some grafitti and street art (very widespread in Amsterdam, and loved, not disapproved of)

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And find yourself on the bustling van der Helststraat.

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The swarming throughfare of bikes and wanderers beneath the awnings is contrasted by the relaxed cafe dwellers, sitting outside and soaking up the atmosphere.

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De Pijp appeals to all ages, but it noticeably attracts hip 20-somethings, who lounge outside any of the cool cafes and eateries, like there aint nothin else to do!

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At night the atmosphere is incredible; it is near impossible to find a seat at the end of the week if you turn up after 11, and it feels like you could see anything, meet anyone, on these streets.

Things are equally appealing indoors!

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There is Yoghurt Barn, which is like a Froyo place, but with more substantial options.

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Or you can shelter from the sun in one of the stylish, chic boutiques

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Or just don’t shelter from it!

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At the end of Eerste van der Helststraat, you meet the Albert Cyup Market.

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This famous market sees over 20,000 visitors a day, and is open every day from 9:00-5:00. It has a wonderful buzz, and is always teeming with both locals and tourists.

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Come for your tulips (the Dutch flower), or your cheese (the Dutch diet staple!)

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And grab yourself some new pieces for a/w!

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Or watch some waffles being made from scratch. It doesn’t matter how messy it looks, stroopwaffel syrup smells delicious!

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Breakin’ my heart
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I think I owned this 10 years ago.

After all that market excitement, there are many ways to get some respite in De Pijp.

Head to Sarphatipark, the beautiful oasis in the middle of the neighbourhood.

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Tribute to Samuel Sarphati, Jewish doctor and philanthropist, from whom the park takes it’s name.

There is a children’s playground, so you see LOTS of these:

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This is how the Dutch kids get around, and I adore seeing them. My friend commented last week, as I rode home on the back of his bike clutching him tightly, that Dutch girls can sit on the back of bikes without holding on with total ease. They’ve literally been flying through the air since day one!

You see lots of artistic types reading, maybe penning some poetry, and couples lounging under the trees.

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Just outside the park, there is the award-winning Scandanavian Embassy coffee house.

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This place is a grail for coffee bucketlisters and generally people who are serious about the beans, as it claims to be the best in the Holland. It has a very cool vibe, with Swedish trance music playing lightly as the waitress bops her head by the machine.

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A truly Scandanavian menu too; Granola and goats yoghurt, Danish Rye with poached eggs and Swedish caviar etc. As a coffee drinker nomore, I ordered the Lemon ginger honey infusion but without honey, however the guy for some reason gave it to me anyway. I have felt weaker ever since, as I am still that sensitive to insulin. Very frustrating!

Slightly marred by that experience, I left the Scandanavian Embassy for my friend’s coffeeshop (not coffee house!) of choice: Katsu.

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I would say Katsu’s vibe is a mix of Bob Marley, flower power and the pyschadelic, and you see lots of interestin types in here!

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So that’s an afternoon in the fantastic De Pijp, but as I mentioned, it is an amazing place to be at night as well as having multiple brunchtime attractions! It feels very intimate, as there are barely any canals around to create a sense of space, and you can imagine what a melting pot of culture it must have been a 100 years ago. It is definitely worth checking out!

That’s all for now,

Love O

xxxxxx