September 27, 2013

Amsterdam Part 3: Village Bagels

For us, no trip is complete without scouting for good coffee. I did a little research before we left and made a list of all the coffee shops we wanted to try, as we didn't want to waste precious Amsterdam time aimlessly walking around to find coffee shops. Especially since we were only there for 3 days.

Our first stop was Village Bagels, which was, surprisingly not on our list of coffee shops to try. I walked by it the first day and made a mental note to try it the next day. It was a cute little corner coffee shop and having a painted sign outside that said "Bagel and Espresso Bar", I mean, how could I not be tempted to want to try it. 

Even though the coffee was good, I wouldn't rate it top notch. My benchmark for trying a new coffee shop is a cappuccino, so that's what I had. My husband was feeling a little under the weather and had a Rooibos with Thyme tea. Rooibos! Always important for us South Africans. 

The bagels on the other hand - oh my! - so delicious. My husband went for the classic salmon and cream cheese and I went for the sundried tomato and cream cheese combination. Bagel heaven, for sure.

So if you're ever in Amsterdam and looking for a good cup of coffee and a bagel, I would definitely recommend Village Bagels any day. It's also nicely located - just outside of the hustle and bustle, but also right next to one of the canals.

Oh and hello from me in the reflection :)

September 25, 2013

Amsterdam Part 2: Dutch Bicycles

Watching Amsterdammers cycle, is the most fascinating thing. If you've never been to Amsterdam, you have to see it for yourself to understand, as just saying its cool to watch people cycle, doesn't really sum up what I mean.

I didn't have the chance, but if I did, I would have taken a photo of every single type of bike and every quirky or unusual thing I've seen on a bike.

For those of you who've never seen it, firstly the bikes are not your standard bikes - they look different too. Some of them have built in buckets front/back, they usually have coaster brakes, some have little covered seats with windows for the kids.. endless varieties. They're not really built for speed, but rather convenience and practicality. Secondly, there are more bicycles in Amsterdam than there are people (no lie) and lastly, I'll give you examples of how I have seen some of them cycle: with an umbrella while its raining, mothers with up to 4 kids on a bike, talking on a mobile phone, walking the dog, or shall I say "running" the dog next to the bike as they cycle, some with crates full of shopping... the list goes on. Come rain or shine (or snow), they will be cycling.

Everyone cycles, from 2 year olds to 75 year olds. A girls' day out - everyone on bicycles, all dressed up.
Bike lanes and bike traffic are everywhere. Cars are pretty minimal on the road.

I'm pretty sure every family has bicycle storage and bicycle history as standard. Perhaps its not the same outside the city centre, I'm not sure, but if you're from Amsterdam, let me know.

Would love to see the canals frozen and watch the ice-skating - the other activity that the Dutch were born to do, but I doubt I'll be able to handle that level of cold.

September 16, 2013

Amsterdam Part 1

Even though we had some insane downpours(reminiscent of Cape Town), Amsterdam was still charming and 3 days was definitely not long enough.

Here are some canal shots - Amsterdam is so darn pretty.
More on bikes and Amsterdam coffee coming soon.

September 3, 2013

Because I miss Kauai so much

I'm not talking about the island. I'm talking about the South African store that sells the most delicious smoothies and healthy food ever. I am still on the hunt for an equivalent store in London, but so far none that I've tried has stood up to the taste and quality of Kauai.

For now I've decided to re-create Kauai smoothies. I just miss it too much!
The Gem is probably my husband's favourite Kauai smoothie(not the healthiest on the menu, but hey). For me, its a toss-up between the Gem and Go-Goji Berry, but I've decided to create the Gem and make us both happy.

So, here is my version. I obviously do not have their recipe, I just went with it and tweaked the flavour to my liking. I don't think it's as good as the original, but hey its close enough.  And because I love almonds, I had to put some chopped almonds on top. Next, hopefully the Go-Goji Berry? Maybe.. who knows.

How I made it, if you're interested. You can add more or less of each ingredient to your taste.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)
1 banana
handful of almonds (I used more, as I love almonds)
Tbspn honey
3 Tbspns frozen yoghurt (flavour of your choice, preferably Natural, Vanilla, or Banana)
1 cup of fat free milk

Put everything in a blender or juicer and blend away.
Perfect for two small tumblers or one large glass.