Serendipity in Amsterdam

Ser*en*dip*i*ty (noun)
Not finding what one is searching for, but finding something better.

Kate says: I love this word. Not only because of its dictionary meaning, but also because it sounds like the kind of life I’d like to have: Serene with a little dipity added!


(You’ll find the above lines on her blog!)

Welcome to our girls day out in Amsterdam – Kate and I.
A few weeks ago when Kate said she was coming to Amsterdam, I screamed and hollered with joy and excitement, because not only did I get to go to Amsterdam ‘proper’ (for trips to the British Embassy and the Van Gogh museum don’t count as seeing the city!) but I got to meet my Chocolate Valentine in person, one of my favourite bloggers. Food blogging can be a lonely sport. Sometimes, you long for face-to-face meetings to make that physical connection. I got enormous energy from FBC 2009 and this was a chance to charge those batteries again.
The only moment of doubt was when Kate suggested we have a picnic with my kids! Shock…..especially as I had ‘obviously’ worked out a baby-sitting arrangement with the husband. Of course, I promptly thanked her for the offer but maintained that I would be coming on my own. Phew!
Sunday came and it was lovely to finally put a voice and face to the exchanged emails and comments. We wandered round the city centre, with Kate as guide and me (the local) as tourist! She also let me play with her DSLR and if I had reservations about getting one, that put paid to such silly thoughts. Look ladies and gentlemen, no matter how high-end your point and shoot is (and that’s what I’ve got), the quality of the photos from a DSLR are a world apart. The edge definition of the images and the flexibility in the camera are they only 2 reasons you need. Enough said, I will get one. When, I don’t know but it will be sooner than previously planned!
A stroll along the canals after tea and lunch, showed boat owners and water worshipers out in full force – tribute to the extremely warm weather.
IMG_3740 IMG_3741
We even happened upon a race of sorts – very colourful men and women in equally colourful kayaks. Good on them. Me, I was happy to laze about, walking and discovering.
We walked past the ‘red light’ district and I was saddened but I won’t go  into that now. I guess we do what we have to do, and often some people have (think they have) limited choices.Not far from the street we walked down, there was a statue called ‘Belle’
A tribute!
Of course the city, like the rest of the Netherlands is beginning to go a bit orange, in preparation for Queen’s Day on April, the 30th.
We spotted Macaron shells in the window of De Bijenkorf, The Netherlands answer to Selfridges and the like.
Upscale, upmarket, that kind of thing. We didn’t purchase any though….


Instead, to satisfy our sweet tooth, we sampled some true Italian gelato, which was more than adequate to make up. After all, you got the sugar rush plus the coolness and refreshment!
I enjoyed trying to take ‘good’ photos of my reflections in window panes (quite dusty and dirty), never succeeding.
At least the photos of Kate fared much better.
We talked and talked and talked the whole day and when we didn’t, it was a comfortable silence. It was wonderful to natter about food and not feel pretentious or silly!
The huisjes were pretty, in fact, some were so pretty, they leaned. For real.
IMG_3818 IMG_3817
Some of the more notable tourist shops we came across included one opposite our gelato shop. Sorry, street name not noted.
It had funny notes clipped on its wares. From signs like this
to this
IMG_3918 IMG_3921
and this!
And to all who believe……..nothing is impossible!


I leave you with a few more photos I loved. There’s this one of 36…..and that’s not because I’ll be turning that age in June, I am a spring chicken, young at only 33, going on…..
I can’t remember ever being bold or talented enough to be part of a graffiti crew and in some ways admire those who are, and the beauty of their work.
And that’s it. I leave you with a spot-metered photo, taken in the light of day (appears as night), of ‘Dam square.
And if you want to experience the camaraderie of other food bloggers, you can at FBC 2010, which will be in London from the 4th – 6th of June, 2010.
Come if you can. Till we meet again. Much love X X X

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Serendipity in Amsterdam – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. What fun you two must of had, how great is that? I have never been to Amsterdam, my cousin is living there now. This was so enjoyable, I love all your photos. I really liked the reflection picture of you!

  2. What a wonderful day trip and thank you so much for the opportunity to tag along. I used to go to Amsterdam frequently and love that city. What a great place and your pics certainly brought back some wonderful memories.
    One of the things I love best about this food blogging is the chance to connect with other bloggers in person – its been so rewarding so it was so nice to see you had the sam opportunity. Its a wonderful thing to bring us all together.

  3. New hair-do! Looks great!

    I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam, you’ll have to show me around when I make it. I am kicking myself I didn’t go to Bruges at Easter as previously planned as we probably would have been right near each other whilst you were in Belgium too.

    Can’t wait for FBC!

  4. Thanks for your comments. Amsterdam was nice for many reasons – Kate, checkbox (on things to do before you move away), nice weather and so on!

  5. I love the tour of Amsterdam. I hope to visit there someday. I think we should have an OC food bloggers meet up at a restaurant some day. What do you think?

  6. Amsterdam looks gorgeous! I’d love to go there some day. Someone used the word serendipity on my blog today and I was only just thinking that I hardly ever hear that brilliant word! great photos too x

  7. Oh I LOVE this, Ozoz!! 🙂 I have such happy memories strolling those streets with my brother and friends, and even by myself. I’m SO glad you got a day out with your friend!! I hope your dreamed for camera arrives soon. 🙂

  8. reminds me of the lovely trip i had years ago, with my father and sister. beautiful photos and how nice that you had a visitor- a fellow foodie to show around town. x shayma

  9. It was a pleasure to meet both you & Kate in Amsterdam
    and I hope you both enjoyed my chips !!!

    I read your coments on DSLR and I quite agree. I hope that the couple of photo’s I took of both you and Kate sitting together came out well and lastly, I like the photo of the flower that was in the centre of the table that Kate took.

    Lovely website you have.

    Kindest regards & Best Wishes,

    Chris Luxton
    South Wales

  10. What a lovely day out for two lovely ladies. I really enjoyed reading this post Oz, and after your comments about the camera, I think I will need to work my way up to a DSLR…when I can afford one.(Funnily enough I have an old SLR (that uses FILM!) under the bed somewhere 🙂

  11. So happy to know that you were having a good time… and thanks for the great photos!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  12. I love seeing the difference between the photos you took and the ones I took. Different people seeing the same thing through different eyes. Where in the world was that chain with the orange?

    What a wonderful day it was. Thankyou thankyou thankyou from the bottom of my heart. We’ll do it again soon!

    • It is amazing isn’t it? The way our eyes see the same thing but are attracted to different elements. The uniqueness of these beings and strange creatures!

  13. That’s fine ozoz, I see you looked cheered from the reflection, though a little bit clouded. Hope I would visit Amsterdam again one day : ).

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