Sunday, 31 July 2016

Glamping In The Brecon Beacons With Featherdown Farms

Recently we went glamping with Featherdown Farms. Featherdown Farms run glamping holidays with a range of independent farms around the UK and France. If you have never been glamping before, think luxury out door accommodation with nature on your doorstep. So off we trekked to Cwmberach Uchaf, a farm in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales.

As we ventured to our destination, the weather increasingly became worse, and fog descended on us as we drove up to the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park and the farm that would be our home for three days.



We were greeted by Mark the farmer and this lovely pony

When we got there the farmer Mark greeted us with a warm welcome. As he told us about the farm and showed us up to our tent, you could tell he had a real passion for farming and this new venture. This was only the second week that Cwmberach Uchaf had been part of Featherdown Farms so everything was new and he explained that he welcomed any feedback from us on how things could be improved.

The farm covers 80 acres and has sheep and chickens mainly and some lovely ponies. It had been in Sarah's - Mark's wife's family, for generations. 



The tent was on the top of a hill and to get the true experience we were recommended to use a wheelbarrow to transport our clothes and provisions. Mark however took pity on us and helped us with his quad bike, thanks Mark, Mr W is posing just for the photo!


As you can see the inside of the tent was truly exceptional. Gorgeous wooden floors, wooden partitions separating the bedrooms, a sink with cold running water, a wood burning stove and a flushing toilet made this a very comfortable experience.

A cool chest kept our items like milk and butter at a suitable temperature, with ice packs being available from the farm. 




The bed had a double in a master bedroom, bunk beds and a cupboard bed. We thought children would love the bunk beds especially. A sofa and table and chairs big enough for 6 were also in the tent.

Little touches make this an unique experience

Lighting was by lamp and candlelight. We were given matches, candles and oil for the lamps. A selection of wood and firelighters were made available and Mr W was soon set to work and was in his element, doing a 'real man thing' building a fire in the wood burning stove.



Although there was a flushing toilet we didn't have a shower in the tent, although some tents do, and a few in the Featherdown Farms portfolio even have a hot tub. 



The washing facilities were situated in a separate converted barn near the farm itself. This building housed a honesty shop as well as shower room with a toilet, another room with a bath, shower and toilet and a third room with just a toilet in. Considering there are only four tents here I felt these facilities were more than adequate. The bathrooms itself were of a high standard as you can see above.





The honesty shop had a selection of items you could need for your stay

The honesty shop had a selection of food, from fresh bread and eggs to pasta, condiments, soft drinks and alcohol as well as toiletries. You can order a hamper for your arrival as well as a fruit or veg box which will be left in the shop for you.

We were looking forward to the Saturday night where they have a pizza night, where pizzas are made fresh on an outdoor oven but unfortunately we didn't get to experience this due to the weather which was wet and foggy. 

What we liked about our stay

We couldn't fault farmer Mike and his enthusiasm for his new venture with Featherdown Farms, he was warm, welcoming, enthusiastic and very helpful. A phone call to him helped replenish our wood for the stove in no time.

Mark and his family

The facilities are great. It was lovely to have a wood floor, and proper beds, which were extremely comfortable. The wood stove heated up the tent and made it feel really homely, and the lanterns and candles were efficient at giving light, although not enough for reading.  

The shower and bathing area although communal were very good and the honesty shop a lovely touch. Just to know we could get essentials like bread, (and wine!) and simple toiletries such as toothpaste if we had forgotten them was very useful, and it was brilliant that it was an honesty shop and you left payment for anything at the end of your stay.

Things to do in the area

Llandeilo a pretty market town is a short drive away, Carreg Cenen Castle is about 5 miles away and Dan-Yr-Ogof showcaves is 16 miles away and is highly recommended. 

We ventured out to Ammanford to an Indian restaurant called Maheen's and another night to a pub called The Red Knight both which had good food.

What could be improved

As there was no electricity in the tent it would be lovely to have an area in the converted barn where you could dry your hair. There were plugs available but it would be great if there was a little dressing room with a mirror too. To be fair to Mark he did say they were going to make an area like this.

The stove did heat up but it took a long time to heat. In the morning if the stove was out this took about an hour to heat up and then boil enough water for a cup of tea.  We didn't cook any meals on the stove, a simple one pot meal could be made but I wouldn't say with any stretch of the imagination anything more complicated. We ate out each day.


The weather did put a dampner on our stay which was a real shame. Mark put us in the top tent so we could have a great view over the Black Mountains, but as it was so foggy we never got to see this. I think the weather was exceptionally bad for our stay in July, and no one could have foreseen this. We had visions of sitting outside with a barbecue and a glass of wine and taking in the beautiful scenery. Such a shame that we could not do this.

We would definitely stay in a Featherdown Farm again for sure, the tents are fabulous, and if all owners are like farmer Mike then you will be in for a brilliant experience, next time I hope the sun comes out!

Have you ever been glamping? Would you stay in a tent like ours in the Brecon Beacons?
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Friday, 29 July 2016

Sleuths Dinner Show Review - Orlando

We've been to Orlando and Florida a number of times. Orlando has so much to offer children and adults alike, from the Disney and Universal theme parks to smaller lesser known attractions like Wonderworks, a science centre and Ripley's Believe It Or Not on International Drive. 

On our recent trip in June we were looking for something different to do in the night and this is when I came across Sleuth's Dinner Show. Now in our family we all like a bit of murder mystery, from Sherlock to Columbo, Jonathan Creek to CSI, so this looked like something that would be right up our street.



Sleuth's is a mystery dinner show right in the middle of International Drive, close to the Orlando Eye. Their strapline is "Step Into The World Of Comedy Where You Become The Detective" really sums up what Sleuth's dinner show is all about.

As you enter the building you wait in a reception area until they take you into the theatre in groups. There is a pay bar here while you wait. All other food and drink as you enter the theatre are in with your ticket price. Then they take you into the theatre. You are seated at large round tables with other people. If you don't like mixing with others, this isn't for you, but I feel it all adds to the fun. We had a right character on our table, a man who worked in Hollywood Studios and he was upbeat and a great laugh. 

There was a stage, with scenery to set the mood and theme of the show and lots of round tables. The show we booked was called The Squires Inn. 



"You have been touring Northwest England, but your bus has broken down and you find 
yourself in Clifton, a quaint country village. The Squires Inn welcomes you and offers 
you a meal and lodging. The overly solicitous proprietor will do anything to keep you there. 
Be prepared for the unexpected. Your tour guide discovers a close relative in the Inn. 
An old pensioner has been hiding a treasure that once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. 
The offbeat antics will have you dying of laughter."

As we waited for the show to begin we ate salad and crackers with a dip and they took our drinks order. Then they came around with bread rolls and butter and our choice of drink as we waited for the show to start.



The cast on the show were brilliant. As we were seated at the table we met a number of the cast in character, who played out the first part of the show. First off they set the scene, there had been a murder, and we had to work out who had done it. I won't go into huge details here as the company want to keep the surprises for their guests but the whole thing was superbly done. Yes on times it is a little cheesy but everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy it. Audience participation is optional, but there were a small number of the audience that got involved and took it in good humour, but don't worry if you don't want to get involved they won't pick on you.

After the murder was set, we had the main courses which were good. A choice of four cheese lasagne, with or without meatballs, Cornish game hen (basically chicken), and prime rib, at a small supplement. It isn't haute cuisine but it's decent food all served up with smiles.



During dinner we had to note down questions we wanted to ask the cast. Each table had one question each to try and work out who was the murderer. After dinner one of the cast came around to ask us what our question was to give us another clue.



Dessert was then served up, a choice of key lime pie, strawberry cheesecake or chocolate cake. I had the key lime pie and it was tasty, but the strawberry cheesecake looked amazing, I wish I had chosen that!

Mr W with the cast of the show

After the dessert - it was time - we had to decide who done it, and yes we all got it wrong! 

Sleuth's is suitable for all ages, there was no blood or guts, although those who are very young may not understand what is going on. I would say if your children are 8 or above they would enjoy it.




Regular prices are Adult $61.95 + tax and Children 3-11: $28.95 + tax. Prices include dinner, the show, and unlimited beer, wine or soft drinks. If you look on the website you can get coupons for a discount for the show.

The whole experience was about 2 and a half hours and there are a number of shows you can book if you want to try more.  It certainly was different and very entertaining. We enjoyed it immensely, and my 19 year old son and husband didn't stop laughing. The comedy is slapstick on one level yet there are clever jokes woven in for those that can spot them. The main actor who played 'Connie' was really excellent. I honestly thought he was British, and only later found out he wasn't.

If you are looking for something different to do in Orlando I would say go. The wine and beer was flowing, the food was tasty and the laughs came thick and fast. Highly recommended.

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Lucky Sixpence Double Coin Necklace Review By Natural Amber Jewellery

I have to admit I have a lovely collection of jewellery, and I am just drawn to shiny things, so when Natural Amber Jewellery asked if I wanted to review an item from their website I was delighted to oblige.

Natural Amber Jewellery sell a range of unique amber pieces teething necklaces and bracelets and their beautiful lucky sixpence double coin necklace. As a person who likes entering competitions the sixpence necklace really appealed to me so I was looking forward to seeing it on.

You may have seen this style of necklace worn by Holly Willoughby who made it popular and since then a number of celebrities such as Alex Jones, Denise Van Outen and Michelle Keegan have been spotted wearing one. 

When the item arrived it was sweetly packaged with a silver ribbon tied in a bow. Simple and classically presented.



When I opened the box I was delighted with the necklace. As you can see below the double coin necklace was displayed perfectly. 


Two British sixpence coins are set next to each other and attached so they are at the centrepiece of the 18 inch necklace. The coins sit on a silver curb chain. This style of chain is well known as being strong and sturdy and I personally feel is a good choice for the coin necklace.


As you can see on the necklace above, the design is different front and back so you can ring the changes depending on how you feel.
Great care is taken to create these necklaces. Each coin is selected by hand and two soldered loops are added either side. The necklace is then hand polished so it shines and any minor scratches are removed. The coins are then plated to keep the finish and polished yet again.



The history of the sixpence coin and why it is considered lucky
There are many reasons behind why the sixpence coin is considered lucky. One reason is that is replaced the threepence in a Christmas pudding in 1551. To find a sixpence was considered extremely lucky in your pudding on Christmas day as at that time it was worth a day's work for those that were poor.
Another reason why a sixpence is considered lucky is that during the Second World War, the Royal Air Force  had the sixpence coins sewn into their wings on their uniform for good luck during their flights.
The most well-known reason why a sixpence is considered lucky is the rhyme , "“something old something new something borrowed something blue and a sixpence in her shoe”. So in days gone by putting a sixpence coin in a bride’s shoe was intended as a symbol of her future financial security and wealth. Today a sixpence is still considered a sign of good luck, health, wealth and happiness.

I am delighted with my necklace and will be wearing it on a regular basis. If you like this necklace you can buy it from Natural Amber Jewellery priced at £94.99.
Let me know what you think. Do you have any lucky jewellery or a lucky charm?
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A Day Out At Clearwater Marine Aquarium

When I was in Clearwater, Florida recently we visited Clearwater Aquarium. Those of you with kids especially will know it as the base of the film A Dolphin's Tale. The story centres on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap.  The film was a smash hit and the actual dolphin on which the film is based, Winter is still at the aquarium today.

Clearwater Aquarium's mission is based around Rescue, Release and Rehab and wherever possible sick animals are treated and released back into the wild.

As well as this they educate and inform on the environment and conservation and perform and collaborate on scientific research in animal behaviour, animal illness, treatment and the prevention of marine animal decline. It's a real working animal  hospital and scientific research unit.

The many animals you can see at Clearwater Aquarium include dolphins, otters, sharks, rays, turtles and pelicans. 

Winters Story
Winter and Hope

Due to the popularity of the film A Dolphin's Tale and it's sequel A Dolphin's Tale 2, the aquarium does have a number of attractions based around Winter and Hope (another dolphin featured in the sequel). 

In December 2005, Winter who was a baby dolphin at the time, was caught in a crab trap, rescued, and taken to Clearwater Aquarium. Unfortunately due to damage to her tale she had to have it amputated. She had to learn to swim again, and a unique plan to attach a prosthetic tail was devised. That is the true story of Winter and the story on which the film is based.

Throughout Clearwater Aquarium you can see props from the movie and re-built scenes as well as meet Ricky, who played Rufus the pelican, and of course meet Winter.

Animal Hospital


When you visit the aquarium you can see the animal hospital. Here Incendio a turtle was being operated on to have tumours removed from his body. It was interesting to see the inside of a working hospital for marine life. 

Nicholas' Story

Nicholas

In December 2002 a female Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin and male calf became stranded stranded near Gibsonton, Florida and were transported to the Florida Aquarium and then to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for long-term medical care.

As they arrived on Christmas eve, they named the cow Noelle and her calf, Nicholas. Unfortunately Noelle passed away from third degree burns and a respiratory illness. Nicholas was also suffering from third degree burns from the sun and spent months in 24 hour care being treated. Due to the length of time in captivity he could unfortunately not be released back into the wild and so he is now a resident dolphin as Clearwater Aquarium. He lacks the necessary survival skills, such as hunting and to protect himself from predators, all of which he can only learn from his mother.

They have trained Nicholas to lay still for blood samples and examinations. He also is known for doing the odd jump if he gets things right!


At the aquarium there are a number of tours at an additional price and we decided to go on the Sea Life Safari. 

Sea Safari

The one and a half hour tour which is guided by a marine biologist takes in a scenic journey to a shell island. On the way the boat casts a net and pulls it up to count and record the marine animals. This information is useful for data collection and to measure any changes in the animal life of the area. The marine life is also passed around in containers before being released back into the bay. 

The marine biologist was very knowledgable and this is excellent idea if you want to learn about the local marine creatures.  The net caught a variety of fish and even a couple of seahorses. I didn't realise sea horses are monogamous but the marine biologist said they are.



There is loads more to do and see at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and I have only have touched on a few things. 


A rescued turtle

It's definitely a family friendly place and with general tickets starting at 22 dollars its a reasonably cheap day out. With the ethos being on Rescue, Release and Rehab and the important scientific work they are also involved in it's also an educational, informative and inspiring place.


Pin for later


* We were given complimentary tickets for an honest review
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Monday, 25 July 2016

Luxury Linen From The World Of Frette

Frette is a luxury linen company that's proud of its heritage. Since it's beginnings in 1860 it's focus has been on excellence, the utmost opulence, and superb quality. Quality that you can find in many iconic luxury establishments in the world, from hotels like Claridge's to The Orient Express, Raffles to The Ritz, Frette linens have been featured everywhere. 

From duvets to bedsheets, towels to nightwear, everything from Frette is crafted in an immaculate style and finished beautifully. No loose threads, no shoddy workmanship, instead excellence at every turn. 




For its bed linen, Frette uses five major factors to determine the quality. These are count, resistance, load, stretch, and torsion. Simply put it's about the quality and composition of the threads that make the bed linen of such a high standard.

Today, Frette operates from more than 100 boutiques worldwide, retails online and provides bespoke services not only to the rich and famous but to those that don't mind paying for the 
highest quality products. Their bespoke service will even create made to measure designs for your home, aircraft or yacht. If you want a refresh of your furnishings or more complicated designs, then the bespoke service is certainly what you need.




Out of all the collections, my favourite is The Hotel Collection. There is nothing nicer when you stay in a luxury hotel than the feeling you get when you climb under crisp pristine sheets of the utmost quality. By buying Frette bed linen you can recreate that boutique hotel feeling in your own home. For that perfect staycation feeling, get your partner to set up a tray for breakfast in bed, with fresh percolated coffee, warm croissants, a healthy fresh fruit salad and a cheeky glass of bubbly.




The Porto range



The Cruise collection

I do feel you pay for quality in this day and age and these are not sheets you can buy for a few pounds, but do you know what? Frette do have regular sales, like the Summer Sale that is on now, and at these sales you can get 50% off the full price of the item. Some cheaper sheets will last a year or two, but these sheets from Frette will last for a very long time and possibly a lifetime. Frette also ships internationally too, which is useful to know.




Frette also has fluffy towels and warm cosy dressing gowns to complete the experience. 

With a heritage defined by craftsmanship and an outlook rooted in innovation, Frette will continue to dress the world’s most remarkable beds for generations to come.   Frette, luxury bedding, luxury linen, luxury full stop.

*PR collaboration
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Friday, 22 July 2016

Luxury Snow Holidays For Non Skiers

This is a post by Ski Famille; a family ski holidays travel provider. 



When you think of a ski holiday you’re undoubtedly thinking about whizzing down the slopes at a very high speed, perhaps toppling over occasionally and otherwise getting a chilly thrill from the snow. This prospect can be intimidating for people who want a relaxed and luxurious holiday.

It could be enough to put the average non-skier off going on a ski holiday. If you’re part of a family and you’re the only one who doesn’t enjoy skiing, don’t worry, you won’t be left out - there are plenty of ways you can have fantastic luxury family ski holidays as a non-skier - here’s how…

1. Relax




One of the most enjoyable things about a luxury ski holiday is that there are often numerous spa activities and treatments. The resort of Les Gets is recognised as having a particularly good spa for example.

Spa treatments may be a simple sauna and jacuzzi in your hotel, but some resorts like Les Menuires provide extensive spa facilities for non-skiers:

  1. Massage - Even if you haven’t been skiing you’re likely to want to rest and unwind after your day. 
  2. Jacuzzi & Sauna - To relax, and perhaps warm up, you can use a jacuzzi and sauna.
  3. Treatments - Body and facial treatments are available in many spas.

Spas vary depending on the resort. Something most resort spas feature is jacuzzis and saunas - the jacuzzis are often situated outside, so you get a great view of the snowcapped peaks while bubbling away in the warm water.

2. Indulge


Whether you’re interested in enjoying some beautiful food in one of the finer restaurants or just want a crêpe in between shopping trips - food, and drink, is a fantastic way for non-skiers to enjoy themselves on a ski holiday particularly in France where cuisine is generally of a very high standard.

Food and drink possibilities for non-skiers to enjoy include:

  • Restaurants - Sit down to a family meal or just have a light lunch with a fellow non-skier.
  • Out & About - Many resorts feature market stalls and other options for quick food on the go.
  • Bars & Clubs - You can enjoy a cocktail in bars and clubs in the evening.

There are many varieties of food on offer with a ski holiday - you can sit down with the skiing members of your party and discuss their adventures, or just have a quiet bite - either way, food and drink is a fantastic way for non-skiers to enjoy themselves.

3. Shop

Shopping is something you can enjoy in many resorts. Shops range from those providing simple provisions or locally sourced market foods to enjoy in your chalet to high-end designer goods.

There is something for everyone, and shopping is a wonderful way to enjoy yourself:

  • Village Shops - Many resorts have picturesque villages nestled within them, they are absolute treasure troves for knick-knacks and other trinkets.
  • Designer Goods - Some places, notably St. Moritz in Switzerland, specialise in high-end shopping if that’s your thing.
  • Markets - Whether you need some supplies when self-catering in your chalet or just want to browse the stalls, local markets are a great way to experience the local culture.

When you’re not skiing it’s very easy to wander around and browse, this can be a lot of fun in itself when coupled with the picturesque surroundings of your resort. It’s much more fun and compelling compared to your shopping pursuits back home, that’s for sure.

4. Activities

Casino, bowling, cinemas - it doesn’t matter what you’d like to do, resorts have a lot of options so you won't get bored. This is especially good for families or those with very young children who don’t ski either - it means skiers and non-skiers in your party can enjoy a good time together:

  • Casinos & Nightlife - Something for the adults - resorts often have casinos and nightlife within their hotels.
  • Bowling - Great for groups, especially in the evening time, it’s something skiers and non-skiers of all ages can enjoy together.
  • Cinemas - There are are many ways to fill your time, going to the cinema is a good alternative for families.

History and culture is also great in some resorts for non-skiers. Included in resorts like Les Gets are many cultural activities including church tours and a Mechanical Music museum. Wandering around the local areas is a great way to get some insight into how people live in the area year-round when in the off-season. 

5. Non-skiing activities


There are a lot of non-skiing activities, some more adventurous than others, that you can take part in at your resort.

Some of the more fun, luxurious and romantic ones include:

  1. Hot Air Balloons - Majestic views of snow capped mountains impart a sense of serenity and luxury, great for couples and children alike.
  2. Dog Sledding - If you’re not up for skiing then you still might like to get involved on the slopes in some way, resorts like Les Gets offer dog sledding rides which are a great way to experience the slopes.
  3. Snowshoeing - If you don’t want to ski but fancy yourself a brisk walk, then this is a great activity to go for.

You don’t have to ski to enjoy the slopes. There are plenty of options depending on your resort; these include ice wall climbing, snowmobiling and much more.

Non-Skiers Rejoice! Ski Holidays!

All these non-skiing activities are very resort dependent so it’s worth doing plenty of research to find the activities above that are most suited to you. Of course, there is also a lot of fun to be had skiing - so if you’re up for a challenge you could always book a beginners skiing or snowboarding lesson and see if you take to it.

*Guest post
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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Johnny Loves Rosie Watch Review

Johnny Loves Rosie is a fashion accessory brand that emerged from the London scene over 15 years ago. Love is at the heart of everything they do, from their cute fashion led products which are lovingly designed to the pretty heart motif that adorns many of their accessories.

When they offered me to review an item, I have to admit I took a while choosing as there are so many things I wanted from the website. After a while browsing the delights, I decided on the black strap gold midi dial watch.



When the watch arrived it came in this rather swish box below with simple understated lettering.


The watch inside the box was really lovely. A large gold coloured faced watch (34mm in size) with a simple thin adjustable black PU strap. The face had the starring role, instead of numbers little hearts decorated the watch. Whilst the hour and minute hands are a simple gold tone, the second hand is red and at the end is a little red heart.



The watch mixes classic styling with a fashion edge and looks ever so pretty on my wrist.



This watch would make an excellent gift for someone you care about and the best part is, it is only £35. That is what makes Johnny Loves Rosie special, quality accessories at a reasonable price. It even has a 1 year warranty. You can buy Johnny Loves Rosie direct from their website or from a number of stockists such as River Island, Next and ASOS.


There are many more gorgeous items on the Johnny Loves Rosie website and I really can't believe how affordable this fashion led brand is to be honest. I usually have expensive tastes, but if I can get my fashion fix at prices like this I will be very happy! Here are some of my favourite bags from the website below, let me know what you think. 


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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Amsterdam

In my opinion, Amsterdam is a very underrated city. It had beautiful architecture, stunning canals, amazing museums and welcoming people. With a flying time of just over an hour from the UK, Amsterdam is easy to get to, there is no language barrier as everyone speaks English, and it has an incredibly laid back culture. If you want to find out more about this lovely city, here are my top 5 reasons to visit Amsterdam.

Museums

Amsterdam has the most incredible museums. The Van Gough museum has many of the artist's most famous work such as the Sunflowers, whilst the Stedelijk Museum has fabulous modern art from artists such as Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso. For children, the Nemo Museum is an excellent science museum and for the grown-ups, visit the Heineken museum where you can find out about the history of the drink and have samples as you go around.  

If you like your museums' more alternative try the Cannabis Museum, the Torture Museum or the Sex Museum!

Canals



The canals are an integral part of Amsterdam and I highly recommend a canal cruise to see the city in a different way - on the water. There are many guided tours in the day but for a little extra fun why not try a cheese and wine cruise at night. Sitting by candlelight drinking wine and eating cheese and crackers, it is a romantic way to see the city. 

I found out a lot about the history of Amsterdam on the canal cruise. There are many beautiful houseboats moored on the canals and in olden days the poorest people used to live on theses as they were used for transporting goods.

Food


A speciality of Amsterdam is Indonesian food and if you visit the city try the Indonesian rice table or Rijsttafel. You get a number of small portions of Indonesian food of different textures and flavours and my favourite was the chicken satay and beef rendang. 

Other specialities includ
e the yummy stropwaffle (a syrupy waffle), bitterballen (meatballs), snert (a thick pea soup) and oliebollen (deep fried sweet dumplings). If you are after a snack, FEBO machines dispense food like hamburgers and fries whilst there are a number of excellent upmarket restaurants and organic cafes too. We had a fantastic meal at Brasserie Ambassade, I would highly recommend this stunning restaurant which is high up on Tripadvisor.

Nightlife



Amsterdam has a variety of nightlife, including cool cocktail bars and clubs to while the night away. Some of the top clubs include Escape and The Sugar Factory, whilst we found a great little whisky bar called J D Wiliam's.

You can't visit Amsterdam without having a walk around the Red Light District. The sex shops, live sex shows, peep shows and doors with the red lights where ladies entice you in, are famous around the world. Although safe at day, watch out if you are going at night as there are pickpockets and an altogether sleazier vibe.


Shopping


Amsterdam has shopping for everyone, from the large department store De Bijenkorf in Dam square, to the trendy shopping in the Nine Streets area, the vintage shops around Waterlooplein and the luxury boutiques in the Oud Zuid area.  

Souvenirs range from Delft pottery to tulip bulbs from the flower market and for the ultimate reminder of Amsterdam, lead your partner into the diamond stores for which Amsterdam is renowned. 

Amsterdam has some lovely accommodation options and the Hilton hotel group is always a good reliable and upmarket brand. They have five hotels all in different parts of the city and three in the main canal rings. For a luxurious treat next time I would try the Waldorf Astoria and with a Hilton sale on you could even grab a bargain. The Waldorf Astoria which is owned by Hilton is a beautiful boutique property with the only Guerlain spa in Amsterdam and a two Michelin star restaurant too.

So this is my top 5 reasons to visit Amsterdam,  download this useful shortcut guide to Amsterdam to take with you.

Tell me have you been to Amsterdam? If you have do you have any recommendations?



* PR collaboration
Buzzoole
Wander Mum
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