The old Holland chain.

In the immortal words of Rocky Flinstone: Amster-DAMN!

Sir Adam Hotel. You know you’ve picked the right accommodation when there’s a sweet bar at reception and you’ve been served three glasses of cava before you’ve even made it up to the room.

They also upgraded us to a top-floor room with a view over the city(!).

Ready to kink-shame the fuck out of this bathroom.

The whole hotel is themed around music, with record players and vinyls in every room. I don’t know if the Boy George room is reserved for gay guests or if it was purely coincidence.

Game of Thrones pinball.

So apparently there are multiple versions of the Iamsterdam sign – one of which was right outside our hotel overlooking the water.

Yarn-bombed.

Shroom raider.

I don’t even have to look for them any more – cats just find me wherever I am in the world.

Belinda left her mark.

Questionable.

Ice-cream from NoorderPrins.

Montelbaans Tower, with its clock (as we discovered on a canal tour a few days later) nicknamed Silly Jack. The bells were completely unreliable: either ringing at random times of the day or not at all for days on end.

No omo.

Not the ideal first meal in Amsterdam, which is to say: screw this entire place and everyone who works here. On arrival, we were told by a very disinterested staff member that it would be a 45-minute wait for a seat, but – on the recommendation of the staff at our hotel – thought it would be worth the wait. How wrong we were. After I got a phone call confirming a table was ready, we were seated inside, where the music was so obnoxiously loud that we could barely hear the waitress. After our order was taken, we patiently waited for our food to arrive…and waited…and continued to wait, until – an hour later (and with growing dissent from all the tables around us) – the waitress finally stopped telling us it would be “about 10 more minutes” and admitted there had been a problem in the kitchen so nothing was ready. Justifiably irate, we explained that if we’d been told that on arrival, we could have made a conscious decision as to whether we would wait for the food or go someplace else but instead, they’d effectively robbed us of almost 2 hours. She nevertheless persisted that the food really *would* be ready in 10-15 minutes and – having wasted the night anyway – we decided by this stage that we might as well stick around.

The same bored-looking employee from earlier then started to bring the food over, and literally threw one of the burgers for the table next to us all over the seats and floor (getting my jacket in the crossfire), and – without a word of apology – swanned off, returned to sweep it up, and walked off again – still without saying a single word. A replacement burger was brought over soon after, and was again flung on the table without speaking to any of the customers, though we were reasonably convinced that the replacement had been our original burger because we then had to wait another 5 minutes for ours.

John still looks marginally calm here, so I’ll assume this was during the first half of our 2-hour wait.

To their (sole) credit, the food itself was good – well, the food that landed on our table at any rate – but I was so enraged by the entire experience preceding its arrival that my hunger had long since been surpassed by my frustration. (Note also that it’s two vegan hot dogs stuffed in a croissant which would hardly have justified the initial wait for the table let alone the hour that followed.) At no point during this miserable experience did the staff offer free drinks/sides while we were waiting, or to comp any part of the meal at the end, and a further – albeit minor irritation – is that you can’t pay by cash either.

Thankfully there are other (infinitely better) vegan restaurants to recommend in Amsterdam – Meatless District, De Bolhoed, etc. – because honestly, you should avoid this one at all costs.

Mollifying factors: having this gorgeous hotel to return to at the end of it (and a free ferry shuttle that runs all night).

Talk about a room with a view!

The rooftop bar. I went to the bathroom shortly after taking this and wasn’t sure if it would be more or less awkward to tell the couple having sex on the observation deck that there was a viewing window.

I’m rarely a fan of overhead lighting but for this I’ll make an exception!

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