Home Away from Home

— Discovering New Facades of Amsterdam

Salt & Wonder

Streams of Bikes and Water
Black steel bikes whisk by, their ringing bells bounce off brick buildings, while rushing party-ready tourists fuel the city, flowing through Amsterdam’s narrow streets like veins — I guess we all have our cliché thoughts when visiting a place.

But that’s also the refreshing part ­– whether expected or not — with a free day and no plan in place, the city could freely tell its story.

Choppy January wind plus cloudy skies made for a day of sun and shade when Anna and I arrived, and our stomachs already craved a trendy Amsterdam treat. Luckily, we picked the right place for a start.

Over mushroom truffle-mayo toast and two cortados, the real Amsterdam vibe revealed itself to us right upon arrival.

Whether day or night, Amsterdam is always filled with life. It’s a stopover, a connection point, and a visitor’s destination for a good time — so we came prepared to go off path instead of competing with tourists over the Dutch capital.

Like the canals calmly make their way through the city we kept it simple this time. There was no agenda nor places we needed to see. Open to what Amsterdam put in front of us, we made a conscious decision to bail on time management for once.

We followed the stream of bikes to where we prefer to spend our Saturdays — whether at home or away -the local food market. Side by side with tourists and locals we queued for fresh Dutch oysters and a chilled sip of German champagne at Noordermarkt.

When we travel, we really want to connect with our destination, so we seek out down-to-earth places instead of newly declared hotspots. We want to get to the soil of a city, see what it’s made of and bring it back with us. Personal recommendations and spontaneous decisions always make the best guides and fulfill that craving for a sense of home while away.

So when the rain rolled in heavy later that day, De Foodhallen became our spontaneous small mecca where we finally forgot time. If you cherish a good drink and the rush of deciding what to choose from a sea of international street vendors, this renovated tram depot is definitely a must-stop on your next visit to Amsterdam. We stayed for five hours.

Sundays are for Food
We brought that belief with us to Amsterdam, but with a different spin — still with plates, fresh vegetables and herbs on the agenda — but with cameras and studio lights, too.

“These look like trumpets.” “The purple is amazing.” “How great do the sprouts look?” Just some typical conversations between culinary addicts when experimenting with new ingredients.

We believe that the creative industry works best through collaboration, not competition, and since jumping further into the production of Issue 02, we’ve really tried to pursue that with Salt and Wonder. We connected with creatives from different countries such as Ingrid Hofstra from the Netherlands, whose culinary photography and storytelling we really fell in love with and brought her aboard to work with us on our next Issue.

A month after our first call we caught up in a small studio together at Ingrid’s home base close to Amsterdam. We had a lovely time arranging, sorting, crafting and adapting with ingredients we got sent over from Iceland. During a cozy break over egg sandwiches, we dived into some of Ingrid’s photos from her trip to the island and became excited this spring, when we’ll embark on our production trip together.

We returned back to Amsterdam with a mind full of studio impressions to finish off our travels with that ultimate sense of home.

All blends together
Pillows Hotel Amsterdam definitely boasts all the amenities that rushed souls like ours need. When we entered a small desk with newspapers, candles and homemade peppermint candy as well as a coffee bar — open 24 hours — welcomed us.

Located in a historic building, the hotel concept a 100% values the historic charme and puts a very well thought of modern spin on it. Cosy corners with mermaid blue satin chairs, open fire and a big light dining/living room with a stunning view to the overgrown backyard is the social heart of the place — where you are served with delicious food and drinks all day.

Our room welcomed us with a personal note, homemade macarons and their very first hotel magazine issue. A soft color palette of blues, warm room design and in-house accessories made for a very unique stay.

We could definitely pull off the day in our room. Having a last relaxing coffee by the floor to ceiling window and street views we flicked through the adventures of the day once more on our screens and made our way to a vey good night sleep — by the great smell the hotel’s rosemary candles exhale.

Not imposed. Just deeply rooted in details. The hotel blends together into a unique harmonic charm. In the end we felt excitingly paused and in the moment especially because of the caring staff thats around all time and its very special color and interior concept that lingers.

Over a last long breakfast and views of Pillow’s overgrown backyard, we realized how we had been enjoying a different Amsterdam than the one we’d known before — vivid yet calm, trendy yet personal, narrow yet so open. We’ll definitely be back this year, when the canals reflect the summer sun again.

1 / Toki — Coffee Specialties and Tasty Bites

2 / Noordermarkt — Farmers Market on Saturdays

3 / Foodhallen — International Street Food & Drinks

4 / Coffee & Coconuts — Bali Vibes

5 / De Wasserette — Danish Feels

6 / Café Winkel 43 — Queuing for Apple Tarte

7 / Pillows Hotel — Exceptional Overnight Stay

Words: Stefanie Fellinger / Photography: Anna Sarcletti

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