Feed your passion for pastry in Amsterdam
Last week I received an email from the Director of Sales and Marketing at Accor’s Sofitel Legend The Grand Hotel in Amsterdam, Mr Kees Hogetoorn. In his email, Kees detailed local and popular cake and pastry shops, bakeries and their specialties, especially those close to the hotel.
Now, you've heard me say I'm not a "foodie". By that I mean I'm not food-driven; I don't savor the dining experience the way many people do. I eat to keep my human machine fueled. Cooking is not my favorite thing to do. I do love to bake, though, but I don't do it much anymore. Why? Because I'd have to eat said goodies and I'm pretty much anti-sugar. I indulge if a special something calls my name irresistibly. I believe after reading Kees' email, that many such somethings are alive and well in Amsterdam. Allow me to capture a few of those tempting treats here.
Amsterdam’s “Patisserie of the year” in 2006 was Pastisserie Kuyt. They also won the prize for the best apple pie in the city and it’s only a 15-minute walk from the hotel. That should be enough of a walk to work off the pie, no? While there, do some shopping at the nearby boutiques before taking the picturesque walk back to the hotel. Make sure you stop for a photo-op at Rembrandt’s statue.
Patisserie Holtkamp stands in a location that has housed a pastry shop since 1866. Before Holtkamp was located there, another bakery was at the same address. Located at Vijzelgracht 15, it’s only a few canals (or a few minutes by metro) away from the hotel. Holtkamp has a very large selection of pastries, pies, cookies and even chocolate in the shape of the Amsterdam canal houses, and savory goodies as well: Croquetten (kroketten /croquettes) and bitterballen, and another Dutch classic: the tompouce.
Et CLAIRE’s pastries are more in the French style, showcasing their passion for the finest viennoiseries (French pastries originating in Vienna), in France. Besides the well-known éclairs, there are also freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolat, and savory options like muffins with truffle and parmesan, called cruffins. Sit and savor your freshly baked pastries in the atmosphere of their store while having a view of the city. Et Claire is located in de Beethovenstraat, which is a popular shopping street with a lot of history; it’s also called the delicacy street, since there are plenty of luxurious stores like a wine store, cheese store, fish store, butcher and more.
Bakery Saint-Jean, located in one of Amsterdam’s oldest neighborhoods, Jordaan, specializes in 100% plant based delicacies. Made-fresh-daily offerings you’ll find tea, designer cutlery, cups and house-made granola. Cakes are a specialty here. In-store seating is limited but how about this for marketing - they have their own Spotify playlist: go to Spotify and search for Saint-Jean x Elisa Batti #1. This bakery is close to Amsterdam Central Station, so grab a lovely pastry to before you hop on the train to your next stop.
Not into cakes and pies (say what??), then maybe cookies are your style. The bakery Het Koekemannetje (Koek means cookie in Dutch, and mannetje means little man), makes their own fresh cookie dough every morning without artificial flavors and coloring. The cookies stay deliciously fresh for five days but you can refresh them in the oven should you not consume them in time. These folks also have very nice cookie jars, many seasonally decorated, and you can bring the empty jar back to the store and get a discount on your refill of the jar. I like that!
More cookies? If you’re fond of stroopwafels then van Wonderen is the place for you. A stroopwafel is a typical Dutch cookie, a “syrup waffle”: two thin wafers with a sweet syrup/ caramel filling. Van Wonderen creates them with a lot of toppings, and you’ll have to try them all. Van Wonderen is only six minutes away from the hotel and from there it is just a few more minutes to Het Koekemannetje. Both of them are in the middle of the city. You can tell yourself you deserve all this deliciousness after a day of sightseeing, because as Kees remarked “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.”
As if all that is not enough (or maybe you simply can’t decide) the hotel serves afternoon tea in its library, near the beautiful lobby. Imagine relaxing in the luxurious, lovely and calm atmosphere of this gorgeous hotel, which has their own professional tea sommelier to explain as much as you want about the different teas, and why it is the perfect match with the sweet and savory delicacies on your plate.
Okay, I have to stop now, but you get the point: go to Amsterdam! Yes, that was my point. You might not have thought that “baked goods” was a reason to visit a place, and it might not be, but when you think of all the possible reasons there can be for traveling, I bet there are many that are more obscure than pastry. Whatever your reason, let’s make it happen.
By the way, my company’s host agency Gifted Travel Network, is a member of Accor’s invitation-only preferred partner program. This program allows exclusive amenities for my clients that have been tailor-made to ensure that you receive best-in-class experiences at over 220 luxury, premium & lifestyle properties. The Sofitel Legend The Grand Hotel is one of those properties. All that, PLUS your exclusive Virtuoso benefits, PLUS mouthwatering pastry – click the green button!
'til next week.
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