i-escape – you find part one here – and there is still so much to share with you. Not only do I love the design hotels, culture and coffee, but I also love the food and shops too.
On waking from our gorgeous loft suite at the Hotel V Fredericksplein, we packed our bags ready to make our way over to our next bolthole, its luxury sister Hotel V Nepslein, just a short tram ride away. As we headed into the centre and wandered down a small cobbled lane filled with colour we found a discreet sign alerting us to our destination, as we stepped through the door a stunning tiered floor to ceiling chandelier greeted us and immediately I knew we were in for a treat.
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Our room wasn't quite ready to check in but reception happily took our cases, leaving us free to explore. After grabbing a quick coffee from the super cool Betty Blue we made our way through the canals over to the Waterlooplien Flea Market which is open all week except Sunday. I waded through the bazaar of bric-a-brac and clothes, hoping to find a treasure but soon got distracted by our rumbling tummies.
We decided to check out the dutch designed Hotel Droog and its Room Service Cafe, which is sandwiched between the ground floor design store and the only hotel apartment above. I instantly loved the concept of this, once textile guild/STD Clinic now turned uber chic space. The arty design emporium houses a wealth of beautiful products worth drooling over and the interior of the cafe is fab, with its clean modern interior and delicious food. Where else can you get a green smoothie served with a golden spoon.
We were really keen to visit the Rijksmuseum but once again we were caught of guard with huge queues lasting over an hour – *tip one: buy your tickets online and then join the collecting ticket queue as it is much shorter – and instead opted for the Stedelijk museum. Much to our amusement as part of valentines day you had to kiss in front of the ticket desk to get a 2-1 entry to the impressive collection of modern art where we spent a good hour or so taking it all in.
After we were all art'd-out, I was keen to return to the beautiful Hotel V Nepslein and take a peek at our room. Situated on the third floor, in darkened corridors lit with one of my current design crushes, we nestled into our double room, each part carefully considered and perfectly formed. I instantly loved the flocked mustard wallpaper and huge leather strap Adnet design mirror reflecting our soft bed. The parquet floors are a nice touch too and we quickly got washed and changed before attempting to find somewhere to eat – *tip two: When looking to eat out on Valentines always book in advance! – which after wandering for 30 minutes we came across a small Thai restaurant who thankfully took pity on us and gave us their last table due to a no-show.
After wine, delicious food and giggles, we eagerly headed back over moonlit bridges to the hotel bar where the staff had kindly reserved us a space by the fire in the restaurant. Clearly the food here must be popular as it was super busy, with a mixed crowd from tourists, to arty types to young couples all enjoying the experience. Some champagne and rum cocktails later, we stumbled upstairs to the comfort of bed before drifting off, ready for our last day.
So that was the end of our valentines, keep a look out for our final day and our surprise breakfast. Thanks for reading!