La Tarte de Ma Tante on Ferdinand Bolstraat - a tea shop with the kitschiest decor ever seen, and magnificent multi-coloured fake three tier cakes adorning every table.
The real cakes that they serve are pretty magnificent too. This is the Barbara Cartland of tea-shops.
Head to Amsterdam on April 30 - the Dutch Queen's birthday.
With sound stages and dancing in the street wherever you turn, it’s like an urban Glastonbury, or the Notting Hill Carnival with a friendlier vibe.
It’s impossible not to have a brilliant time, even if you take a dim view of some of the ‘Dam’s more liberal trademarks - don't turn up without sorting accommodation though, or you may find yourself kipping in the same hotel (complete with rat trap under the bed) that I ended up at...
On visiting Amsterdam, via Eurostar, we were unaware that it is customary in Amsterdam to pay to go to the loo in a bar/night club, as I and probably many other Brits discovered when I barged past a Filipino lady stood near the entrance to the toilet with her hand held out.
These ladies of the toilette actually rent the toilets from the bar owner and for cleaning them charge you.
For those of you with weak bladders, this could prove expensive!
Take the kids on 5th December for the arrival of "Sinter Klaas" by boat into the city.
The big Dutch Christmas celebrations are on St. Nicholas Day. A unique experience for all the family with street celebrations, treasure hunts, sweeties from Black Pete and clogs filled with carrots!
If you want to see one of the best and most memorable art collections in Europe come to Amsterdam and catch a train or bus to Otterloo to make a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum.
It has a remarkable collection of the best of a variety of great artists. The choice of the original collection was made by a very discerning art collector. The best Van Goghs are there which you can compare with those in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.
And there are many other artist’s works and sculptures in the park set in open countryside.
After checking in, and whilst waiting to board the train, pop into the duty free shop and choose a nice bottle of champagne. The Eurostar staff seem more than happy for passengers to 'bring their own' and it makes the journey feel especially luxurious!
My tip for Amsterdam is to leave the city immediately on a local train and go to Rotterdam - almost as pretty, and minus the drunken English clubbers and 'coffee-house' tourists.
While you're there take in The Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum of Art, a marvellous collection of modern and Dutch art; go on a Wednesday, when it’s free.
Twinned with The Lincolnshire Poacher (a Tynemills pub) in Nottingham, In De Wildeman is a bar to look out for in Amsterdam. Friendly with a mixed clientèle, it serves over 200 bottled beers and 18 on draft. The only drawback is that it would benefit from a smoking ban.
1012 PT Amsterdam
If possible, avoid using taxis and take trams or walk instead. Due to deregulation, a large percentage of the taxi drivers genuinely don't know where they're going. This can work out a bit pricey for a tourist as there's a fair chance you won't know either.
The best bar in Amsterdam is the Bastille Bar near the Leidseplein, which is very popular with the locals. The downside of this is that when they're busy they take the 'members only' attitude and the doormen will turn tourists away.
It's not a bad idea to tip doormen on the way in to a club. The Dutch tend to tip doormen when they're leaving but foreigners don't, so if you want to get onside with these guys offer a few euros on the way in.
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