hotspot

Hotspot: 3FE

When you're in Dublin with a coffee snob, you are kind of obligated to go to 3FE. And it wasn't wasted on me: it's been a while that I had an espresso that good. The smooth hints of caramel went great with the brownie sugar rush. The people working at the coffee hotspot were super duper nice. What else to say..? Your best coffee fix in Dublin is to be found at 3FE. 

Sleepover: The Dean Dublin

When in Dublin, do as the Irish: drink Guinness, enjoy your afternoon in the pub and spend the night at Dean's. Or rather; The Dean hotel in the city center. This super duper fun hotel is easy going and a great stay for your fun weekend away in the Irish capital. Continue reading for the full report:

First impressions
It was my first time in the land of rugby, Saint Patrick and U2. Just a short plane ride away and you're hopping on the quick bus (757) to Harcourt street. With luck, you're ready for the first round of beers within an hour of landing. The Dean is conveniently situated near the city center and important public transport stops. The hotel has this easy friendly cool vibe, like that friends that gets along with everyone. We could check into our superoom instantly. The room, #209 on the second floor, offers a large bed, two comfy yellow chairs and fun stuff everywhere. What I especially liked was the record player and the selection of vinyls in the room. Hello classics! With the tunes of Fleetwood Mac we got ready for the rest of the day. 

Food & drinks
The Irish are serious about their food and drinks. We ordered hungry and concluded quickly that the portions are a tad bigger than we're used to at home. But who's complaining with halloumi fries and nachos? Pub food? Check! After all that food we went for some shopping cardio. Something that's easy to do in Dublin. Then suddenly it was almost time for our reservation at Sophie's; the rooftop bar slash restaurant that's on the 5th floor of the same building at Dean's. The restaurant had great views of the city by night and was packed with gorgeous girls all dressed up and men who were ready to sweep them of their feet. The food was good, the service ditto but a little slow. It was very busy though!

Home stay at Dean's
Some hotel rooms you never really experience, but in our case we made the most of it. Breakfast in bed? Check! Roomservice and Netflix? Check! Drinking from the mini bar? Check! Waterfall showers whilst dancing to some records? Check! Jumping on the bed? Check! We felt freaking relaxed after two nights at Dean's. It felt like a sleepover at your BFF's house. Well, his name is Dean..! Just don't forget earplugs your new friends is a noisey fella (it's located in the heart of the nightclub area).

I would definitely recommend staying here as it is located very central and has an easy vibe. We'll be back Dean!

Hotspot: Choux

During my last trip to Amsterdam I went for a late night dinner at Choux. The website didn't say that much, but the people around me did. The restaurant is ideally located for people from out of town, it's a five minute walk from central station. 

Natural wines with a 3 course dinner
We sat down and ordered a nice subtle red wine. Nice to know: all wines on the menu are natural wines. Since it was already past 9 PM we opted for the 3-course vegetarian flight. The tasty amuse with fennel was a great way to start our appetites going. As it should be. 

The entree 'green leaves from the garden' had a nice balance between oils and crunchy vegetables. As the main dish we enjoyed something the waiter called "a vegetable bouquet of bitter vegetables". These kind of dishes I always enjoy a lot. Simple, tasteful, playful. The dessert was an interesting choice. For us, it felt more like an entree than a dessert. Probably because of the beetroot. Espresso and some chocolate to call it a night. 

I'll be back
Choux has a nice casual atmosphere with dito staff. We paid 125€ including tip, which I found was neat pricing for the quality and quantity. I will definitely come back another time to taste some more and make my final decision about where this restaurant fits in my list of Amsterdam tips. 

(Honestly, after a day of working, walking and wandering I didn't write down all the menu details. That doesn't matter all that much, it's the overall experience and vibe that matters. Emotions over facts. I'll do better next time!)

Hotspot: Bar Botanique

It's been all the rage on popular blogs and social media. Bar Botanique in Amsterdam. So when I scheduled a work meeting in the capital, it was easy to pick a spot. Bar Botanique is located in a cosy area of the city. The exterior looks inviting and the interior does as well. The entire place, it's a little crowded, is filled with plants and eye for design. 

Salted caramel, do I need to say more?
The menu had many options, but since I wasn't that hungry I just went for something sweet: the salted caramel pecan brownie. Divine! My table partner had a burrata sandwich that was looking mighty fine. Our wines didn't disappoint either, I know.. work meeting but it was three 'o clock on a Friday and they had a chilled pinot noir. 

Service-wise there's a lot to gain. It felt the ladies weren't on top of it and everything went wrong, and not only on our table. The upstairs area was still closed so I'm curious how they will manage if the entire space is full. 

Green oasis
Altogether Bar Botanique is a nice home-feel spot where you can work a little, eat a little, drink a little and enjoy a green environment in the middle of the city. Have a look yourself next time you're in town!