Harvest and Company Vintage reimagined featured

Part vintage furniture store, part gallery and part project hub, 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.

SLA Eat, share, live

People are becoming more and more discerning concerning what they decide to chow down on these days. The age of the Big Mac has bitten the dust and nutritious nosh is back on the menu. Tangible proof, perhaps, that maybe we humans aren’t so intent on ploughing headlong into an early grave after all. On a mission to nurture these late-germinating seeds of conscientiousness is the green-fingered, organic eatery SLA.

A carefully curated mish-mash of vintage re-used furniture and custom-made pieces on the inside (look out for the neon-topped greenhouse), the space radiates a healthy vibe as well as offering healthy eats. And what about those eats? Lip-smacking DIY salads are the name of the game here, created from a diverse selection of organically-sourced fruit, veg, meat, fish and cheese that lines the monstrous metal-rimmed salad bar. And if you feel like you have to supplement your wholesome meal with a beer, at least you can feel content in the knowledge that it’s organic too.

Battalion Boutique Art imitating life

Part showroom and part boutique, Battalion is an interactive art gallery and shop in the Westerpark. In an instance of art imitating life, the imaginative renderings inside Battalion walk the fine line between mainstream appeal and underground edge. The gallery’s two floors are flooded with light as its walls and shelves pay homage to inspiring and innovative design.

Small World So small, after all... featured

They weren’t kidding when they named this place. The tiny facade of this catering company and cafe belies the huge range of tasty treats designed to have you dabbing at the corners of your mouth with a napkin.

Standard, fresh fare including house made lasagnas, sandwiches and salads are spruced up with thoughtful ingredient combination (such as tuna, tapenade and arugula foccacia), while grilled vegetable dishes, quiches and sumptuous cakes will surely have you pondering over one course or two.

Australian-owned, the cafe is frequented by ex-pats and Amsterdamers alike, creating an intimate, international atmosphere. Be warned: with such limited space and so many fans, it can get crowded and waiting is, at times, inevitable.

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.

Blijburg Welcome to Happyville featured

This extremely cheerful restaurant/café/party place is uniquely located on an artificial beach in the far northeast of Amsterdam. With lots of quirkily decorated parties in the summer, and a roaring fireplace and live performances on wintertime Sundays, it’s a perfect city getaway all year round.

Surprisingly the food at this alternative beach-club is great (thank chef Rene Pronk for that). And though the service can be slow, the retro-hippie atmosphere more than makes up for it.

Allowing both swimmers and those who prefer not to get their hair wet to dry off or warm up in front of beach bonfires amidst, Blijburg always attracts interesting crowds rarely found in town.

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