Stepping through the sliding doors at Heathrow, it all came back to me… the rush of arriving at the airport, the excitement of stepping on the plane…the thrill of travelling.
It had been nearly two years to the day since I last stepped on a plane but finally we were bringing travel back. So it might be the shortest flight ever (circa 45 minutes) but it was still a foreign country. And Mr S and I were super excited to go on a child-free weekend for our friend Jo’s 40th. It was the same group of people that we went to Berlin with, so we knew we were in for an absolute blast!
Our friends were coming in from Manchester on a different flight so four of them were already there sitting in the bar at our hotel – including the birthday girl. Surprise the Silvers are here too!! Suitably surprised Jo was very excited for the fun ahead. But before ordering our bottle of prosecco and bucket of Heineken, Mr S and I went to check into our room.
The Sir Adam Hotel was accommodation of choice, a perfect hotel for a group of friends and an absolute design and music lovers dream. An experience premiered by the choice of lift – there’s the kareoke lift or the disco lift! Located in the revived Noord district in the A’dam Toren skyscraper, the hotel boasts incredible view over the IJ river and the city centre is a (free) ferry ride and a twenty minute walk away.
Our concrete-chic suite had an industrial vibe that kept up the music theme with posters on the wall, a Gibson guitar and a retro Crosley record player. Best of all it boasted the most amazing panoramic view with windows all the way around.
Our room also had a huge walk in shower and free-standing bath.
Downstairs is the hotel’s Hub – a brilliant bar kitted with plenty of tables for meeting and drinking and retro arcade games.
It’s also the location for the BUTCHER Social Club, the hotel restaurant. You don’t have to stray too far from the hotel for more restaurants and nightlife either as the A’dam Tower is a creative hub, home to revolving restaurant, Moon, and Shelter, one of Amsterdam’s top night clubs. Not only that, it’s the location of Sony Music Entertainment and global music agency MassiveMusic among other cool creative brands.
After checking in and catching up with the gang it was time head for our night on the town. As you leave the hotel you get a great view of the hotel – check out the swings at the top! It’s super easy to get the ferry straight across and then you’re right be Centraal Station.
From here we walked to Cecconi’s our dinner venue. The restaurant was beautiful and had just the vibe that we were looking for. Cecconi’s is part of Soho House Amsterdam but is available to non-members and so we could go there as a group of six. Though I’m a member, I can only bring three guests in.
The food was great too – there’s a sharing concept so we all dug into burrata, calamari, pasta and pizza before heading back to the the Sir Adam for the night.
In the morning after breakfast in the Hub we decided to make the most of our location by heading to A’DAM lookout at the top of the building in which our hotel was housed. Here there’s a bar with an amazing panoramic view of the city as well as a VR experience. You can head outside to the very top for ‘Over the Edge’… now as someone who is very afraid of heights this is something I wouldn’t do in a million years. But four of our six strong group decided they would take a ride on the tallest swing in Europe!
Honestly, just seeing Mr S and my friends on this swing made me feel sick and even they admitted that it wasn’t a particularly fun experience that they’d like to repeat!
After their heroics were were rewarded by a lovely lunch, we headed to Jansz, a beautiful restaurant in the Pulitzer Hotel. Mr S and I ate there last time we were in Amsterdam so I knew it was good and that Jo would love it.
Serving modern classics with a Dutch twist it was the perfect 40th birthday lunch. The restaurant is named after 17th century craftsman Volkert Jansz who loved luxury and decadence but believed everything was better and most enjoyable when shared. Having visited the Pulitzer before, I knew they have a boat that you could book and I thought that would a wonderfully special thing to do for Jo.
The Pulitzer’s saloon boat is called ‘Tourist’ and having been built in 1909 it’s seen a lot history. Winston Churchill even toured in this boat in 1946! The boat itself is all out luxury with polished teak and brass, carpeting, marble, leather and original bevelled glass. There’s an inboard cash bar fully stocked with wine, beer and champagne and guests can help themselves to coffee and soft drinks for free. I had also arranged a little onboard picnic of smoked salmon and cheese for us to nosh on as we sailed through the canal.
As soon as we arrived Jo had been saying let’s book a boat trip so I was so pleased we’d organised this as a surprise!
The trip was so wonderful and relaxing with our marvellous captain pointing out sights of interest… the ninety minute journey went by in a flash, we could have gone for twice as long. I honestly think sailing down the canal is the best way of seeing Amsterdam.
By now it was getting on in time so we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening and have some drinks before dinner. For dinner we had booked Lotti’s, again a restaurant I’d visited my last time in Amsterdam but I’d specifically chosen places I’d been to before that I knew would be good for Jo and the rest of our group. Lotti’s is a fun and trendy place that’s relaxed and casual with great food!
After dinner we went for an evening walk through the city… I honestly find Amsterdam such a bizarre place as on the one hand you have beautiful tulips, canals, windmills and stroopwaffels and on the other you have legal prostitution and drugs. It’s safe to say that you have to be careful where you walk as you might stumble into the wrong neighbourhood!
The next day we said goodbye to our friends – the trip had gone way too quickly! With a few hours left before our London flight, Mr S and I headed to Soho House Amsterdam, it wasn’t open the first time we visited so we wanted to check it out and have lunch. We ordered meatballs, mussels and pitta to nosh on while we relaxed in their comfortable seats. You may think it’s kind of boring to sit somewhere and
stare at our phones relax and talk but honestly as parents of a crazy toddler, we just don’t get to do that at home so it really was wonderful. Soon we were on our own flat and back with our little bean in our arms!
We had the most wonderful time and Amsterdam was the perfect place with a short flight to celebrate Jo’s birthday and to settle back into travel!