Thursday, 30 September 2010

An Oasis In Amsterdam



Looking for a nice cafe is almost invariably one of the first things that my husband and I do when we reach a new place. I sometimes think if I could teleport between cities, experiencing coffee and cake in each, I'd be a happy (if chubby) traveller...

So it was that we arrived in Amsterdam and set out, complete with luggage, in search of a nice coffee shop. That is to say, a place where we could have a coffee, not the infamous Amsterdam "coffeeshop" (all one word) specialising in a certain variety of cigarette.

And eventually, just as we were contemplating whether we'd have to turn to Starbucks or McDonalds for our caffeine fix, we found LaPlace.



Even at opening time it was buzzing with activity, but it was also the perfect oasis for contemplating the guidebook (with a little people-watching thrown in).

This isn't really a coffee shop, in any sense of the term. It's much more than that. I suppose "cafeteria" would be the closest term, but that doesn't really do it justice either. Self-service restaurant, perhaps?

Around the edges of the room (and it's a large, somewhat labyrinthine space with many edges) are different areas devoted to different foodstuffs. For instance there's a pizza section, a "grill", a salad bar, a sandwich bar. A coffee area which is where we headed on our first visit, and alongside which is a small patisserie where we were tempted into a slice of delicious apple pie. In the middle there's a large island devoted to fruit: smoothies, juices, and fruit salad.



We came back here four times in two days (though on our second visit, on the Sunday afternoon, it was so packed that we left again without buying anything... which was probably a mistake, but I'm easily overwhelmed by crowds). As well as lots of coffee and cake we had lunch one day: my husband tried a pizza, while I went for the wok option which involved filling a bowl with loads of fresh veggies and getting them fried up with noodles and spices.

What I love about the whole place is that everything is so open. You can see all the ingredients laid out, you can see that the kitchens are clean, and the turnover is so fast that you know it's fresh. All food is cooked to order (except the cakes, and you can see those being prepared through the window of the downstairs kitchen). The portions are huge and the results delicious.

If I ever go back to Amsterdam, I'll be back here in a heartbeat. And if you're ever passing through, I recommend you do likewise.

18 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Rachel, I love your review of Kindle, and I'd like your permission to share it on my Facebook page. I'll return here to read your response.

LindyLouMac said...

What a great sounding place, I can almost hear the buzz.

lostinsophistication said...

The coffe shop that sells everything from pizza to wok just has to be a winner. I could probbaly have spent an entire day in there; starting with one meal and ending with coffee until the next meal came up. (Given I drank coffee of course!)

Ruth said...

sounds like a great place...

ScoMan said...

That sounds awesome to me! I think I'd just spend the whole day there moving from food to food, from pizza to grill and back again.

Tomica Bonner said...

I wish I drank coffee. No matter how many times I've tried I just don't enjoy the taste. Following from the Nestwork.

Tomica
www.loveofbooks.net
www.mymomnetwork.com

Kazzy said...

That sounds really nice. :). Teleporting from cafe to cafe would be an awesome way to travel. :)

Louiz said...

I love Amsterdam, I think it's my favourite place to visit. Enjoy!

Bells said...

that sounds just like my husband and. It's a way of settling into a new place. Must find good coffee/tea so we can come back later on again and again.

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

Love it! That sounds like a great place. And should you ever develop the ability to transport yourself about to various coffee spots, please pass on the knowledge to me! I would love to meet you up at one!

smilla4blogs said...

My daughter was in the Netherlands this summer and later managed to 'stuff' her blog and Flickr photo stream with amazing descriptions and images of the delicious food, making me think it is time to return...it has been quite a few years! Your experience sound wonderful!

Leanne said...

If I'm ever in Amsterdam, I will surely look up LaPlace - it sounds wonderful! (Thanks so much for stopping by my blog as I enjoy time spent in Mama Hen's nest! I do remember visiting your blog once before, it's so nice to be back here.) This "coffee shop" sounds like something my husband and I would LOVE!

cornflakegirl74 said...

This place sounds amazing! And that overhead shot is making my mouth water, LOL!! Time for breakfast :)

Yenta Mary said...

You always have the most interesting adventures! I love following along, even if only from my armchair ....

Nick Thomas said...

How fascinating. Worth a trip to Amsterdam just to visit. Nice blog.

Sarah S. said...

I was just in Amsterdam this weekend, I wish I had known of this place!

Lindsay said...

I am heading to Amsterdam in a few weeks, and after reading your post I am going to keep my eye out for La Place...looks/sounds great!

Jenny Woolf said...

Thanks for the link. Oh, wish I'd found it!! It was a nightmare trying to find something kids would eat that was not just pure fat and sugar. We resorted to buying stuff from food shops and gave them picnics in the hotel, and even so, it was hard to find small food shops, just large supermarkets which took forever to trail around.

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in! I'd love to hear what you have to say, and if you leave a URL, I'll be round to visit you soon. (Comment moderation is on because the spam has become overwhelming!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...