Lunch at Brasserie Goldfinch in the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam


A few weeks ago I had lunch at the newly opened Brasserie Goldfinch in the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Amsterdam. I have to say, it was one of the best lunches I had in a while. Not just because of the sublime food and wine, but also because of the elegant setting, ambiance, and service. The Waldorf Astoria is located in the heart of Amsterdam on the Herengracht canal in a stunning 18th century building with marble flooring, high ornamented ceilings and dramatic stairs. Its two-star Michelin star restaurant Librije’s Zusje was an instant success and therefore the management felt it was time to open another restaurant that is more accessible. On the lower level of the chic hotel now houses Brasserie Goldfinch with a gorgeous view on the garden.

The menu is created by Chef-cook Sidney Schutte, executive chef at Librije’s Zusje. It is a selection of international classics and innovative combinations. Think starters like: Smoked Salmon Rosti, crispy fried mackerel fillet, or Kabocha pumpkin soup with coconut and green apple. The main courses are Cod with couscous, coconut and lemongras, or open lobster ravioli, and wagyu beef burger. Besides the à la carte menu, you can also opt for a set two- or three course menu.

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We were welcomed with a peach Bellini. As a starter we had a salad with pan fried langoustines, with old cheese, aubergine and smoked garlic mayonnaise, and a crispy fried mackerel fillet. The langoustines salad was to die for! As a main dish we chose the Duck pie with minced duck, hoisin, orange, potato puree and spring onion. It had a sweet and spicy flavour. We also had the crispy suckling pork laquered with clove honey sauerkraut and potato puree. Both dishes are excellent! The portions are large so next time I might just take only one main, or two starters though. IMG_4848 IMG_4850 IMG_4856 IMG_4860

The wine menu is also top notch. We opted for a 2010 Lazio Bianco ‘Moro’, Marco Carpineti, from Italy, and the 2010 Italian Promis. Angelo Gaja, from Tuscany. For dessert we had a lychee and mint shooter with a grapefruit & gin-lemon granita, and layers of yoghurt cream and fruit. My friend had the banana royal.IMG_4864 IMG_4868

Goldfinch Brasserie, Herengracht 548, Amsterdam.

starters: € 15-25, main course €30-40, two-course menu €36, three-course menu €46

10x Easter Table setting


With Easter just days away I thought it was time to share some inspiration for setting the Easter table. Over the years I have created a lot of tablesettings (see here), but since I’m not home these days and also busy with my home make-over I hardly have time to make any Easter recipes and tables. So I hope you don’t mind that instead I selected a few table settings I like from other bloggers.

To get Easter recipes, decoration ideas and more table settings inspiration, please revisit my Easter blog posts from previous years HERE. easter tablesettings 6 easter tablesettingseaster table ideaseaster table collage

 

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5 Tips to create a beautiful flat-lay instagram photo


The latest craze on instagram is to create a flat-lay photo, and I’m totally into it. As a matter of fact, I’m totally into instagram no matter what the angle is. I love to look at pretty photos by others and get inspired. The most mundane things are captured in such pretty ways, like flowers or a cup of coffee. But it is also an excellent medium to explore travel destinations. Besides browsing photos by others, I try to post as many photos on my own instagram as well, so I hope you’re already a follower?

But let’s get back to the flat-lay photo! A flat-lay photo is a picture frame taken from above with a birds-eye view, so you’re hovering above the subjects. It is especially popular to present food and drinks, fashion items, or show off your favourite objects and items like stationery or make-up. How to create an interesting and pretty flat-lay? Here are 5 tips:style flat lay

TIP 1: Choose a basic and bright background, like white or wood to make your objects stand out.

TIP 2: Differentiate in object sizes. The photo will be more interesting and in proportion when you combine larger with small items.chanel flat lay red and black

TIP 3: Leave space between the different items and disperse them across the frame, even if it means it isn’t entirely in the frame. It shouldn’t look too organised and styled.

TIP 4: Choose a theme. Decide on either a colour theme, or a popular theme like #ootd (outfit of the day), #inmybag #glam or #coffee. As you can see I have a beauty essentials theme with a black and red colour scheme. It keeps the photo uncluttered and coherent.

TIP 5: The photo should tell a story. In my case the story is ‘How to go out looking sexy’. But let’s say you would like to tell the story of a lazy Sunday morning…use a magazine, cup of coffee, croissant and white bed sheets as the background. chanelI hope my tips help and will inspire you to create your own flat-lay. For examples go to my instagram or search on instagram for #flatlay

 

A peek inside my home – make-over phase 1


When I bought my apartment 13 years ago, I knew exactly how I wanted to decorate it. Back then, colonial home decor was trendy, and since I have a lot of travel inspired objects and memorabilia from my many trips, I chose to go with the trend. I styled my home with dark teak wooden furniture and an off-white couch, curtains and chairs, animal print accessories and classic elegance. Through the years I edited my decor with different pillows and small accessories, and threw in some colour. The colonial look evolved towards a colonial-beach interior. And since I don’t pay that much value to my interior and rather spend money on travelling and experiences, I came to the point that my interior became officially dated. I couldn’t postpone a make-over any longer. So for the last few months I’ve been gradually replacing things, and improving things. I’m doing it one step at a time. [continue reading after jump]home tour - 30s Magazine

My vision is a lighter space with a 50s/60s retro elegance but with modern furniture. I’m inspired by Jonathan Adler and the Hollywood Regency style. I’m still looking for a nice reading chair in ice-blue and a glass coffee table preferably with brass details. Let me know if you see one that is budget-friendly.

I painted one wall Morning Snow white (Flexa), and the accent wall has a dramatic geometric patterned wallpaper from Graham & Brown. The cabinet is from wehkamp and although it’s modern, it has that retro Danish mid century style. Next to it you see my Safavieh white ceramic garden stool which I can pull when I have people over either as a stool or an extra table.home make-over 30s MagazineThe real eye catcher and popular among all my friends and family is of course my Safavieh sunburst mirror. Another focal point is the marble side table from Safavieh. I fell in love with it instantly because of the circular design. To add warmth to this little reading nook I bought an ikat silk pillow from Mariska Meijers. I know Mariska personally, and she is such an inspiring lady. Her flagship store is located in Amsterdam. Read and see more of her designs in my blog post about her. The three bulbs you see hanging there are design sockets by the Danish brand E-form and diamond shaped bulbs from designer Eric Therner. (via Flinders.nl)diamond lightI love to create vignettes and play around with accessories. To add glam to my space I opted for gold accents like the Tom Dixon scent diffuser, and chevron candle from H&M Home. I have so many coffee table books that I have piles of them everywhere, also on my cabinet. I’m also a fervent candle collecter. My most loved one is by Fornasetti and sits next to one mid century trend accessory that is totally hot right now: a decorative pineapple (Zara Home).marble table - 30s Magazinesunburst mirror - 30s MagazinepineappleI also like to entertain, so I created a little bar station for whenever I have guests over. Here I display my vintage decanters, cute bottles and fierce animal print glasses.bar station - 30s magazine

My latest addition is a Beni Ouarain rug from rozenkelim.nl. The fluffy sheep woolen rug is a traditional Moroccan rug from a Berber tribe. It’s authentic and handmade. I’m keeping the dark teak wooden table, but I would like to have new chairs, preferably transparent ghost chairs. I also need to paint the wall. Like I said, step by step… Above the table are design Koziol lamps I found on marktplaats. beni ouarain kleedbeni ourain kleedI’m pretty happy so far and I’m looking forward to phase 2 which is:

  • a new reading chair
  • 4 new dining chairs
  • a new coffee table
  • painting the wall

Please let me know if you know any good chairs or a coffee table that fits into my style and colour scheme. (white, black, ice-blue/vintage blue)

 

 

 

 

Surprise yourself with Bloomon flowers


I’m obsessed with flowers, as you might know by now as a regular reader. I was therefore thrilled to find out about this new service/subscription called Bloomon, that is available in the Netherlands and certain parts of Germany. It is the perfect solution for all women (and men) who adore flowers but don’t have much time to go to the florist, or for those who just don’t have the patience or talent to arrange a nice floral arrangement. But it’s also for all of you out there, just like me, who are obsessed with flowers and would like to treat yourself to an exquisite bunch of blooms you might not have picked yourself because you developed a certain style. [continue reading after jump]IMG_4891IMG_4872

What you’ll get

The hand-bound floral arrangement is always a surprise. TV flower stylist Anton van Duijn selects and designs the floral arrangements by combining seasonal flowers. The arrangements are mostly wild flowers without too much filler green, and most importantly diversified. You receive the bouquet with an instruction card and background information on the different flowers. Some of the flowers are still buds when you get them, so that you can see them opening up and blooming as the days go by.

Last week I received this stunning wild floral arrangement with blooms that herald spring. The French parrot tulips is a typical early spring flower. The bright yellow forsythia and the pink astrantia major give the bouquet that wild field flower touch and are usually the first signs of spring.IMG_4887IMG_4871IMG_4881IMG_4896

How does it work?

Bloomon is a flexible weekly, biweekly, or monthly subscription. You go to the website, pick how often you would like to receive a bouquet, and what size you would like (S, M, L). You can cancel, put on hold, or change your subscription at any time. Once you made your order, the flowers are delivered to your home on a weekday evening. Isn’t that convenient for all of us who work during the day? And if you’re not home, they’ll leave it at one of your neighbours’ in a small bucket and will send you a text message to notify you about it. [continue reading after jump]IMG_4886IMG_4878

Extras and service

One of the strenghts of Bloomon, besides the gorgeous flowers, are their ways of communication. It really makes them stand out from other flower services. After subscribing to Bloomon you receive a personal thank you note for becoming a client, including information about the service and delivery, advise on what vase to use and how to take care of your flowers to make them last as long as possible. In addition, Bloomon sends you a phone text message to notify you of the day and time of delivery, one day prior to the planned date.

Another communication tool that adds character to the Bloomon service is, as mentioned before, that each bouquet comes with a card giving caring instructions and background info about the flowers. I love the Bloomon service, the way it’s thought out, and how they make life a bit easier and more beautiful. I can imagine it would work especially well for career women with demanding jobs or for moms with a career and little time in the weekends because they have to take the kids to soccer practice on Saturday morning. IMG_4900Bloomon communicationsIMG_4879

 

Although this blog post was created in collaboration with Bloomon, I like to reiterate that I only recommend products and services I really like and feel are good for my readers.

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