Within the heart of Amsterdam Taksteeg (near Spui) lies a little haven for Slow Food supporters, called Gartine, just singing out for a weekend visit.
The perfect cycling-friendly city break, the experience begins upon your arrival where you discover a 16th Century monumental building placed within the gorgeous architectural playground of Spui, which includes the Helios building, Arti et Amicitiae, an artists society and art gallery, and the Medieval courtyard of Begijnhof.
Known for its arty, literature vibe with its weekly Friday book market and generous spattering of bookshops, theres much to soak up.
The creative spirit continues when you enter Gartine, which is lovingly and abundantly decorated with antique tableware from both Amsterdam antique markets as well as from further afield. Of particular note is the gorgeous Portuguese chandelier, as well as inspiration from the Rococo era with French painters Nicolas Lancrets artwork.
Yet the most enchanting and focal aspect of Gartines enterprise is its kitchen garden, boasting a greenhouse, herb garden and even an orchard of varieties of apples, plums and pear. All the produce is grown and then lovingly used within the dishes delights. Herbs include wild garlic and Roman chervil, while the greenhouse enjoys growing a variety of tomatoes, peppers, chillies and cucumbers, and the garden focuses on forgotten vegetables. Meanwhile, its fresh eggs come from the local Adopt a Chicken foundation.
Whilst a simplistic, down-to-earth approach, its just the place to enjoy a considered breakfast, lunch or high tea. Its quite in character to do as the locals and imagine away the hours with your nose in a good book. Naturally, all the patisseries and cakes are homemade, and bread comes from the honest, artisan bakers of Vlaamsch Broodhuvs.
If you are Dutch speaking, you may also wish to duplicate the wonderful recipes by buying the Gartines debut cookbook.
Image credit: FaceMePLS