PHOTO DIARY | Amsterdam

Hi there, long time, no write (again!)
Life has been getting in the way as per usual, I’ve been undergoing my training to become a Secondary School English Teacher and that in itself has been a whole bag of mixed emotions, driving me away from my hobbies and of course, my blogging.
Now, with the whole Coronavirus pandemic – 2020 really shook things up here – there’s this eeriness present in the World where literally everything and everyone is coming to a halt, something that myself and I bet many of you thought we would never witness in this generation.
With this, of course jobs, careers, schools have all been effected in some way and therefore, has interrupted my life schedule too. I was supposed to be on a School placement for the rest of this academic year, that of course has come to a standstill and now, the whole of mankind is just sat here in this weird limbo of not being able to do much “until further notice.” Scary times. However, the purpose of this post was not to actually talk about the pandemic (we get enough of that on the news and social media) but this time off actually allowed me to catch up on blog posts that had been sitting in my drafts folder since last year that I thought to finish…and it’s nice to actually reflect back on times where Coronavirus was just a Black Mirror episode or movie blockbuster.
Hope you enjoy…

From July 2019:

Were our eyes deceiving us? For once in our drizzly, downpour of a country, England was finally able to enjoy a proper Summer!! Literally, from viewing people’s Instagram and Snapchat stories, I legit could not tell if they were abroad or just chilling in their back gardens with a barbie.

Throughout this blooming gorgeous chapter of sunshine, my siblings and I flew a little ways down south of the Globe for a little weekend getaway to Amsterdam! So, I thought I would share a little photo diary of what we got up to, along with a few little tips you may want to know if you’re planning a little visit over there yourself…

Day 1

We set off early from Manchester airport and as soon as we landed in the Netherlands, we stepped out of the airport and our priorities straight – checked in at the hotel and headed for FOOD!!

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PANCAKES AMSTERDAM
So, courgettes, smoked chicken, coriander all embedded into a sweet pancake batter and cooked like a crepe…also not forgetting a mango chutney dipping sauce – this was a combination of ingredients I wouldn’t have even dreamed about putting together, but oh my word, it was actually amazing!! The perfect balance where sweet meets savoury, my sister opted for the full sweet taste of Nutella and ice-cream (and I personally feel like she massively missed out!)

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And then we swiftly moved on to see some sites!!

Canal Boat Ride

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Day 2

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CAFE WINKEL 43
Best Apple Pie in all of ‘Dam…
…Oh Winkel, firstly, what a name! But my oh my, for a girl that is not a usual Apple Pie kinda lover, Cafe Winkel 43 managed to convert me. Shoutout to my girl May (AKA Doddsy, AKA Mad Dodds, AKA Legend) who was lucky enough to live in Amsterdam for a while and recommended this little gem to us.

Day 3

Happy Tosti
The cutest (and most healthiest) breakfast place I ever did dine at…

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MAMA KELLY AMSTERDAM

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Some Trip Tips

You need to Pay to Pee…
…in majority of places. Even the Mcdonalds we went to had a wee lil’ turnstile to get to the loo, so I would definitely advise to always carry some spare change around.

Check the Weather! And dress accordingly…
…or should I say, check the weather again! We had checked what the weather would be roughly a week before we had set out to leave and it was forecast rain and lots of clouds. It lied, the weather channel lied to us. Thus bringing me to my next point….

Don’t peddle boat in 30 degree weather (in a denim boilersuit!!)
…emphasis on the ‘boil’ because heavy perspiration was an un understatement. It worked off all the food we ate though!

Anne Frank…
…She is one VERY popular gal. Although viewing the Anne Frank Museum was one of the main activities we had set out to do, our little unorganised selves weren’t aware that tickets were only available online now! There is an extremely slim chance to book tickets on the morning you wish to visit as they keep a percentage of tickets available to buy but of course there’s an online queue and it’s basically impossible. So, learn from our mistakes and book 2 months in advance!

Bikes, bikes and more bikes
…Throw your green cross code out of the window here because you never know when or where one of these little buggers will pop out from and clip you out of nowhere. It made trying to get an insta photo hella hard I’ll tell you that!

Funky smells
…for obvious reasons you may or may not already know, as marijuana is legal here. If you would like to avoid getting high, do not visit any places labeled “coffee shops” for coffee, stick to cafes and restaurants 😉

If you would like to watch a little video I put together of the trip, you can view it here…

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Keep safe,
I x

Breakfast Week

Not a morning person? But LOVE breakfast? Oh, the irony!!

Okay, so maybe your like me, you love getting up to a full blown English brekkie but too lazy to actually get up out of bed and make it yourself? Sound about right?

Never fear, breakfast cafe’s are here! I still remember the first time I had breakfast that wasn’t in my house or anyone  else’s. I’m about to take you into a little venture of my past… *strum of harps  that indicate a flashback scene*

05:10 am | 26th December 2008 – It was a biting, cold and chilly Boxing Day morning. The sun wasn’t awake yet but we were. Why? Because the major, mega, massive boxing day sale that NEXT held every year was about to break loose at Middlesbrough’s shopping centre (we stayed over at Middlesbrough for Christmas) and we – my cousins and sisters and I – wanted to be one of the first ones there! I’ll spare you the  cramped, stuffy, claustrophobic details of what went on inside the store, but it got to around half 7 and we were done! Next stop, breakfast at Milligan’s (which I recently found out has been shut down for years!)

And thus was the place I had my first breakfast in an outside place! Remember, I was a young, naive, thirteen year old who got easily excited with food (I still do) so this was a pretty special moment for me – it was also the first time I had poached eggs! Deprived! I know!

But now, it was only until very recently that I realised my love for eating out for breakfast still remains and it’s something I do a lot of! Luckily most places now serve breakfast up until noon, so I don’t have to wake up mega early to go. When I do go because of the time I would probably class it more as having BRUNCH than breakfast!

But anyhoooo…. you’ve seen all the fashion weeks from Milan, Paris, London etc. But prepare yourself for…Iram’s Breakfast Week! I’m about to show you my favourite places to eat breakfast (or brunch), so if you’re within the regions of Doncaster or York, I think you’ll like this!

NYC Bar & Grill, Doncaster – A 5 stack of pancakes, drizzled with chocolate sauce and sliced bananas in each layer! This was love, I’m telling you! A side of hashbrowns and orange juice served in jam jars – all in a New York diner style setting! It doesn’t get better than that!

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Cafe 68, York – It’s small, quirky and is right down the road from my university! Poached eggs on toasted bread baguettes topped with hollandaise sauce with a side helping of smoked salmon – lush! Oh, and a good ol’ brew of Yorkshire tea, staying true to the Brit stereotype!

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The Perky Peacock, York – You may have seen this before in a previous post in a Hot Chocolate Hotspot piece but it’s here again (because it was that good). Slightly similar to Cafe 68 of poached eggs, but these toasted pieces of artisan bread were much bigger – win! But it could have done with some hollandaise sauce too! Nevertheless – it was scrumptious!

Frankies and Benny’s – Okay, so this is the one I suppose everyone can enjoy. Because their food is just too good F&B have like a gazillion other branches in the UK. Lauren and I were lucky enough to go on such a gorgeous day so we sat outside on the patio area soaking in the sun! Lauren got The Works Scrambler and I opted for a fluffy cheese and tomato omelette and drowned it in baked beans! Gobbled up the whole lot! But that wasn’t enough for us, oh no, we then shared a blubbery waffle, with blueberry sauce poured over it with ice cream! And yes, you guessed it, blueberry flavoured of course! Who said dessert is just for after dinner?

(I was slightly obsessed with the plant pots they had on the tables, which would explain the random image of one I have included in there –  sorry, not sorry!)

And there you have it! If anybody has ANY suggestions for great places to eat breakfast! Send them my way please!! Comment, email etc… you know the drill 😉

x – Iram

THE PERKY PEACOCK

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As promised we now begin our Hot Chocolate Tour within York – first stop, The Perky Peacock.

I’ll just dive straight into it:

First things first, there are two Perky Peacocks situated in York, myself and a friend of mine (Harpreet) visited only one of them (the address I’ll place at the bottom of the post). So, as we entered the small cafe, an instant aroma of coffee surrounded the air. The atmosphere was a quiet one, yet buzzing with small, intimate conversations at each table – there was the effect of this being a popular coffee hot spot! The staff welcomed us as though we were already a member of their Perky Peacock family, awww!

We seated ourselves upon a high top table upon some high wooden chairs, each furnished with a different coloured cushion.

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There was no need for menus, the whole thing was right up on the wall that substituted as a giant chalkboard! – How CUTE! Everything handwritten added character and personality to the place plus there was an adorable coat stand (which we didn’t even use!) Also, as you can see the cafe was infested with book nerds – not that I’m complaining about that! But serious bookish vibes were ongoing in here!

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A stack of books next to me for me to take at my own will to read whilst I eat/drink! Very considerate! I did get my read on…

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Then we ordered, since it was nearing up to lunch time and I didn’t eat breakfast, I felt a nice BRUNCH was also in order! We got up to order at the wonderfully stocked counter with cakes, cakes and more cakes! – All homemade too!

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As we seated ourselves back down the food and drinks did not take long to come! But as we waited we had time to appreciate the interior a little bit:

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The lonesome lightbulbs were a favourite of mine 🙂 It gave an urban, fresh theme to the place.

And now, I present to you…my brunch!!

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Poached Eggs on toasted artisan bread – absolutely delightful! The bread was crispy and soft, the eggs perfectly poach-y ! To cut it short, there was nothing left on the plate by the time I was done! 😉

Harpreet decided to feast upon a slice of Banoffee cake, and she detailedly described it as:

“The cake was very delicious with a very strong flavour of banana, the added sweetness from the toffee combination was a stroke of genius. The balance of the flavour was impeccable and really went well with the hot chocolate which can usually be overpowered in a combination of other sweet desserts, but in this case it was prefect!”

What can I say, the girl really knows her cake! 😀

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Now speaking of hot chocolates – let’s move on to them!!

Aaaah the sweet, sweet aroma of chocolate, deliciously melted and combined with bubbling hot milk to serve our chocolate craving needs! The Perky Peacock served us theirs with cute little marshmallows too!

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The hot chocolate was a perfect drinking temperature, the chocolate not too overpowering however, in my opinion I could have done without the marshmallows. Their sweetness sunk into the rest of the drink, putting off the taste of the chocolate but overall, The Perky Peacock is a MUST-VISIT kind of cafe! And, I intend to visit the other one soon!

Hope you guys found this helpful! To find out even more information about The Perky Peacock I have listed more details about them below:

The Perky Peacock,
74 Gillygate,
York

Website: http://perkypeacockcoffee.co.uk/#home
Twitter: @ThePerkyPeacock