Harvest and Company Vintage reimagined featured

Part vintage furniture store, part project hub and part artisan coffee bar, Harvest and Company has come to market in a big way in Amsterdam’s Oud West. Throwing accepted notions of interior goods shops out of a very high window (so that you wouldn’t be able to recognise them even if they survived the fall), they went back to the drawing board to create a bold new breed of design boutique.

The white-walled and polished-concrete floored space (dotted here and there with potted plants and cacti) plays home to a curated collection of wall decorations, custom-made tables, and industrial lights and chairs—all more than worthy additions to even the slickest of pads. And if the burden of browsing has left those eyelids drooping, you can kick back for a caffeine hit courtesy of the several specialty blends available from the in-house coffee bar.

&Foam Life through a lens featured

For those who’ve been to the cutting-edge contemporary photo gallery Foam and considered taking the hit of a lengthy jail term to take something off the walls and home with them, &Foam is the ice-cool all-legal answer to your problem. The retail extension of the gallery proper, it stocks boutique photography magazines, limited editions of Foam’s exhibitions, photographic prints and the odd piece of up-and-coming designer clothing as well. Also a gallery in itself, &Foam’s carefully designed matte-grey warehouse space has become one of Amsterdam’s main creative hubs for the city’s lensheads; holding quarterly collaborations that explore photography’s interplay with other creative disciplines and throwing many an exhibition launch bash.

Puccini Bon-very-bon

Ladies (and gentlemen) who are either self-confessed chocoholics or may have forgotten an anniversary and are looking to overcompensate should look no further. Puccini is to chocoholics what humans are to zombies: a mere whiff can drive addicts into a bloodthirsty frenzy.

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but these hand-crafted delicacies are very fine indeed. The chocolatiers use the best cacao and fresh fruits, spices and liquors to create their bonbons, and more exotic variants have tamarind, thyme and rhubarb flavors. Puccini also has an Italian espresso bar where scrumptious cakes, pastries, rolls and coffee are available. It’s all a bit pricey, but the quality is stellar.

Paradiso In the temple of pop featured

This former church located near the Leidseplein was turned into a youth center in turbulent 1968 (partly through the intervention of local legend Willem de Ridder), becoming one of the headquarters of the hippie and provo movements, and one of the first places in town where the sale and consumption of “soft” drugs like hash and marijuana was tolerated, if not downright encouraged.

While the countercultural flag has been passed to other locations throughout the city, Paradiso remains one of the best places to catch a live show: all the big names have performed here, from The Rolling Stones and Nirvana to Pink Floyd, but this hasn’t gone to the venue’s head, any young upstart still gets a chance.

The Noodlanding (“emergency landing”) parties are more or less the after school parties of the nearby Barlaeus high school, but if you you don’t mind hormone-addled teenagers (or paying through the nose for a flat Heineken beer), you could be in for a wild night.

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