When we left the UK for good, we spent about 6 months living on a houseboat on the Amsterdam canals. We adored both the Amsterdam lifestyle and living on a houseboat so much we intend to go back to that as much as, and as soon as we can. Sadly, last year’s plans ( 2020 ) to live on a houseboat for 4-6 months were scuppered by the coronavirus.
We still have family living there though, so have our little physical link into the local scene. We explored as many restaurants, coffee shops, and markets as possible and look forward to sharing everything with you soon. We’ve added Gouda to the title here to remind us to tell you also about the great farmer’s cheeses in the Netherlands.
Popular food and drink
First thing to know is that it´s not all about pancakes – you´ll see a lot more Dutch Stroopwafels. You´ll learn a lot on the tours, but if you´re living there you might just start sprinkling chocolate bits on your bread at breakfast. You need to know what KIP means in Dutch as it seems everyone survives on a kip sandwich for lunch.
You´ll find everyone snacking on licorice drops, which is a bit of an acquired taste… but Speculaas cookies we love, and you can even buy it like a cookie dough spread ! A lot of the favourite foods are fried – see more details on the food tours section below.
For dinner, try the famous kapsalon if you´re really hungry and want your kebab and chips and veggies all in a pile – topped with cheese and garlic sauce. Other popular food and drink that might feel like it´s been borrowed from somewhere else – ´French fries with mayonnaise´, Belgian beer, and make sure you know where your local Indonesian takeaway is ! It´s a real formula dinner – fabulous tasting and great value – don´t forget to get the egg on top.
food & recipes
Our favourites from when we live in Amsterdam. The abundance of Autumn pumpkins and the pepernoten spice mix inspire this first recipe.
Dive in and learn about the pickled herring, the local beers and snacks that go with it like Bitterbollen. The fried quick meals like Kibbeling or Frikandel. Stampot stew, Apple tarts, the Winter Olibollen.
Places to stay
Personally, we think a house boat is the best place to experience the Amsterdam canal life ( but anywhere a bit different yet still luxury is good for us… we love experiencing new places and like to be close to nature). We spent just under 6 months on a houseboat. You´ll get to know the local swans and coots and passers-by on the water, and they often stop for a gander ! Meet one of our regulars in the image below.
We´ll take you to the lovely guys that we rented ours from.