Discover Spui and enjoy high tea at Gartine, Amsterdam

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Discover Spui and enjoy high tea at Gartine, Amsterdam

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 artist’s 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, there’s 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 painter’s Nicolas Lancret’s artwork.

Yet the most enchanting and focal aspect of Gartine’s 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, it’s just the place to enjoy a considered breakfast, lunch or high tea. It’s 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 Gartine’s debut cookbook.

Bon apetit!


Image credit: FaceMePLS

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Jen Marsden is a respected eco lifestyle commentator who regularly writes on fashion, beauty, homes and family. Jen is currently Editor of, the leading daily eco glossy. She is also a regular contributor at Sublime magazine. An organic advocate, she is Chair of the Health Products Standards Committee at the Soil Association, the UK membership charity that promotes sustainable food and farming through the use of local, seasonal and organic systems. A keen traveller, she has lived abroad and worked on various charitable and sustainable business projects in India and Kenya. Jen was recently recognised in the Future 100 Young Entrepreneur 2009 Awards. Jen’s former roles have included Editor at New Consumer magazine, and Home & Lifestyle Editor at Green Guide. Jen is the author of Green Guide for Weddings, published by Markham Publishing.
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