Why We Love Amsterdam in Autumn

Anytime is a great time to visit Amsterdam, but we think autumn is a particularly beautiful season to visit this vibrant Dutch city. As the weather cools the city’s tree-lined canals take on a golden glow of orange and red autumn leaves. The restaurants and cafes become warm, cosy havens that entice you inside with the sweet smells of hot chocolate milk and warm apple pies. Autumn in Amsterdam is best described with a unique Dutch word; gezellig. An astonishingly inclusive word that translates to something which is cosy, enjoyable, friendly, homely, intimate, and engaging! All of which perfectly sums up this great city in the cooler autumn months

  

Stay in Luxury

We recommend the Breitner House – Luxury Art Hotel as the place to stay when in this beautiful city. Breitner House, in the centre of Amsterdam, was built in 1882 and was the home of cultural bohemians who often hosted Dutch artists including George Breitner and Issac Israels. Now this monumental home has been turned into a luxury accommodation that perfectly reflects the romantic atmosphere of this city. The light and spacious rooms where artists once painted are now luxury suites and the emphasis of this hotel is on the artistic history of this house. The suites are adorned with artworks, traditional fireplaces, Italian chandeliers, and romantic canopy beds. Wake up in luxury and enjoy the same amazing panoramic views out over the city’s parks that have inspired artists for more than a hundred years.

 

Engage with the Masters

No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a trip to the magnificent Rijks Museum. This spectacular museum is home to an impressive collection of artworks. Highlights include two of the most famous Dutch artworks ‘The Night Watch’ by Rembrandt and ‘The Milk Maid’ by Vermeer.

For something more modern, just a short walk from the Rijks Museum is the Van Gogh Museum which features the largest collection of the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh including one of the most easily recognizable pieces of art: ‘Sunflowers’.

 

Get Cosy with a Home Away From Home Lunch

When it is time to stop for lunch we suggest The Bakers and Roasters café. This cafe is a fine example of everything we love about the multi-cultural mix that is Amsterdam. Founded by a Brazilian and a New Zealander who met in New York, this little café was created as a home away from home to be shared with everyone. The menu incorporates tastes they missed from their homelands, including their mother’s recipes and their favourite comfort foods. We think you cannot miss out on trying the Portobello on Rewena toast or the Barbie (BBQ) Salad Plate. Complete your meal with one of their great fresh beetroot and ginger juices, which is guaranteed to replenish your vitamin levels for the day.

Meander Through The Shops

Shopping in Amsterdam is a joy. The shops of this traditional trading city were always filled with the best products from around the world and, luckily for us, this has not changed. Here are our picks of places to find something special to take home.

The Floating Flower Market

A huge variety of flowers and bulbs are on sale in this traditional market set on floating barges. This market is also one of the oldest in the city with fresh flowers arriving daily since 1862 from the large Dutch market gardens located outside of the city. Wander through the impressive display of fresh flowers and perhaps treat yourself to a bag of bulbs to take home and plant.

Sukha Amsterdam

Bringing together joyful eco-chic items from Asia and the Netherlands, this lovely shop is worth a visit. Sukha, meaning ‘joy of life’ in Sanskrit, is a fitting name for a shop that offers sustainably produced, unique handmade items all made from natural materials. For autumn we love their over-sized cardigans made ‘from the wool of happy New Zealand sheep and hand knitted by a women’s Fair-trade empowerment group in Nepal’.

De Negen Straatjes in the Jordaan (The Nine Streets)

The Negen Straatjes are nine traditional lanes in the centre of Amsterdam that have been home to cafes, shops and artisanal businesses for the last 400 years. This is the place to get to know Amsterdam personally by wandering through the lanes discovering hidden cafes, speciality boutiques, antique shops and unique clothing stores.

Chocolátl

Filled with an eclectic mix of premium chocolates from around the world. This little chocolate gallery is a treasure trove of exotic chocolate treats. We suggest you step into this little shop to warm up with a cup of their famous Madagascan Hot Chocolate.

X Bank

This boutique gallery and event space is the place to find emerging Dutch talent in art, fashion and design. Filled with desirable, innovative and unique designs from the best talent in The Netherlands, this is a great place to find that perfect gift for yourself or someone else.

Dinner with Stars

Librije’s Zusje at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is our pick for dinner when in Amsterdam. This fabulous two Michelin star restaurant is guaranteed to impress with a menu that combines the best local products with exotic ingredients and influences. We suggest starting with the Black truffle pumpkin and artichoke with apricot cream. For the main course try the blackberries and shitake mushrooms on chickpeas. Finish your meal with the avocado sorbet of apple and cucumber yoghurt.

Illuminate the Night

Finish your evening in style with a relaxing candle-lit canal cruise through Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals. Experience the magic of Amsterdam at night as your boat moves quietly through the illuminated canals and bridges of this old glorious city.

Amsterdam will win your heart at any time of the year. The history, the culture and the canals are just some of the reasons why we absolutely love this picturesque European city, especially in the most gezellig time of the year; autumn.

 

 

 

What We Are Reading – Our Diverse List of Recommended Books

We are a diverse group of people behind the brand ILNI, with many differing interests, as you will see from the list of books we are reading and enjoying right now. We decided it would be great to share what we are reading with you too.

 

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian is a confronting fictional novel about quiet resistance and its consequences. Set in Korea, this story questions the idea of conformity by displaying the two sides of human nature; one part greedy and primal and one part accountable to family and society. The heroine of the story, Yeong-hye isolates herself trying to turn into something without meaning and completely ignoring the norms that are required of her by society. This provoking novel is well worth a read if you are looking for a fiction read that will get you thinking too.

 

 

 

 

 Jesse Livermore – Boy Plunger: The Man Who Sold America Short in 1929 by Tom Rubython

Jesse Livermore is the man who made the most money ever over seven days on the American stock market. In 1929 he sold $450 million shares short and made $100 million. He is also considered to have singlehandedly caused the two great Wall Street crashes of 1907 and 1929, making his fortune from both and gaining him the name Boy Plunger. Livermore was the richest man in the world with a fortune over $150 million and is still known as the greatest investor and commodities trader that ever operated on Wall Street.

 

 

 

 

The China Study – The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health by Dr T. Colin Campbell

A highly readable book about the stunning findings of Dr T. Colin Campbell into the relationship between diet and disease. In this book, Dr Campbell explains the dangers of a diet high in animal proteins making a strong connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The China study lays out his findings and highlights the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet. Considered one of the best books on the relationship between what we eat and our risk of developing a disease, this book cuts through the maze of misinformation in the diet world sending a clear message to anyone concerned about their diet and health.

 

 

 

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

‘There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…” This is the story of 18-year-old Nella who receives a most unusual wedding gift in the form of a cabinet-sized replica of her home from an elusive miniaturist. The miniatures reveal unexpected secrets about their real-life counterparts and the threat of danger to them all. A suspenseful and beautifully written story guaranteed to keep you intoxicated to the end by the evolving storyline.

 

 

 

 

 

Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Harari takes you on a journey to the beginning of human history to discover how we won the battle for dominance over other species, why we created cities and how we came to believe in gods, nations and human rights. Dr Harari then examines what in our nature has led us to become slaves to bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism. This book asks the important question of what will we be like in another millennium. Recommended by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg and Barrack Obama; Sapiens is bold, provocative and calls into question almost everything we think we know about being human.

 

 

 

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil

We live in a world where algorithms are increasingly responsible for making many decisions about us. The underlying assumption being that mathematical models make things fairer for everyone, by judging us all with the same rules and eliminating bias. But, as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this book, often the opposite is true. Many of the mathematical models used today by big business and governments are unregulated and often reinforce discrimination. This is the dark side of big data being used in the wrong way creating algorithms that can impact our lives without us even realising it. Weapons of Math Destruction challenges us to start asking the right questions about how our personal data is used and who is ensuring it is used in a way that is fair.

 

 

We love that we are a diverse group of people here at ILNI and we hope you have enjoyed our diverse list of book recommendations. After all, without diversity, life would be very boring.

A lot of different flowers make a bouquet” – Muslim proverb

 

 

 

Our All-Time Favourite Autumn Recipes for Sharing

There is something innately comforting about cooking and sharing a meal with friends and family on cool autumn evenings. We have put together our favourite autumn recipes to cook and share with those you love.

Jamie Oliver’s Pumpkin and Ginger Soup is top of our list. This soup is easy to make, and the combination of pumpkin and ginger smells amazing as it cooks away on your stove. Make some easy garlic bread to go with it, just indulge in this gorgeous pumpkin goodness.

One of our go-to recipes, when we have a crowd to feed, is Vegan Shepherd’s Pie. This dish is always guaranteed to be a success. As good as, if not better than, the traditional Shepherd’s Pie, this vegan alternative is full of flavour that will satisfy everyone. Rich with hearty vegetables and topped with fluffy sweet potato this is the ultimate comfort food for a cool autumn night. Be sure to make a large amount, because this is one dish everyone wants a second helping of!

For a seasonal autumn meal that will also impress, we suggest Pappardelle with Truffle. Pappardelle is simply delicious Italian flat pasta that tastes incredible when cooked with truffle pesto, mushrooms and a little truffle oil. Easy, impressive and with a little Italian romance, this recipe is perfect for cooking on a quiet night in, with someone you love.

No autumn evening would be complete without a warm dessert and we can’t go past warm apple desserts. Here are two of our favourites that are ideal for the harvest season.

Treat your family and friends to a helping of Warm Apple Crumble with Star Anise. A traditional British dessert, this Apple crumble is made more special with some Star Anise. The combination tastes perfect and the aroma of apple and spice will ensure your kitchen smells divine.

Being that ILNI is based in Den Haag, we couldn’t resist adding one of our Dutch favourites; traditional Appeltaart (Apple Pie). Be warned, one taste of this delicious treat and you may be hooked for life. It’s a goodie!

New seasons are the best time to try something new. We hope you are inspired to try one of two of our suggestions as we predict these easy, delicious dishes will quickly become your autumn favourites too.

9 Fashion Trends We Love This Autumn

It’s officially autumn and, as always, we’ve been keeping an eye on the runways for the up and coming trends of the season. We wanted to share the standout autumn trends we are getting a little bit excited about as the weather cools.

 

Big Bold Animal Prints and Faux Furs

This is the season for donning full-length faux fur coats and dressing head to toe in bold animal prints. The whole animal world is represented with faux fur and animal prints of every variation; tiger, cheetah, bear, snake prints and more. We love that these faux fur coats haven’t hurt a fly and that they will ensure we are warm, cosy and stylish all winter long.

Modesty Dressing

Modest or not, we do love the new season’s trend towards longer hemlines and higher necklines. This autumn we will be layering up to keep warm in style. We especially love the Victorian style collars, especially when paired with the more tailored style of this modest trend.

Let it Shine

This season is all about fabrics with a glossy finish and a high shine. Designers have incorporated every kind of high gloss fabric in their autumn lines. High shine latex, vinyl and plastic all come out to play in this season’s coats, jackets, pants and boots.

Heritage Chic

This autumn it is time for the classic heritage style tweed to make a comeback. Tweed skirts, over-sized tweed coats and wide-leg tweed pants keeping us warm this season, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Keep it classic with the original blues and greys or brighten up with plaids, tartans and checks in vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. This versatile trend is the easiest way to add a little bit of colour and classic cool to your wardrobe this season.

Wild West Style

If classic plaids are not your style, the Wild West trend might get you a little more excited. Designers have gone all whimsical Wild West with cowboy boots paired with flowing prairie dresses. We think this style is perfect for those autumn days before the winter really sets in.

Brown is the New Black

This autumn you have permission to wear head to toe brown. Mixed shades of brown, from tan to glossy dark chocolate are paired with crisp white or cream for classic suits and outfits that promise to overtake the blacks and greys as your main wardrobe staple. This is chocolate indulgence without the calories.

Check and Checked for Men

We haven’t forgotten about the trends for men this autumn. There are a few upcoming styles that we are really on board with and the classic hounds-tooth revival is one we love. Tailored suits and blazers in this classic fabric are perfect for these cooler months.

 

Classically Tailored Menswear

This autumn the trend brings out the more impeccably dressed man in an artisanal jacket and perfectly fitted pants. Perfect for the man who can wear a classically tailored suit with an air of nonchalance. This is a trend we could all fall in love with.

  

Every boy wants to be a Cowboy

The casual cowboy Western look also trends big for men this season. And, dare we say it, denim on denim never looked so good. Well-cut darker shade jeans paired with classic light denim shirts are making us swoon for this modern cowboy look.

 

90s Throwbacks can go back

To finish our round up of trends, we felt the need to add the one trend we think needs to go back to wherever it came from. In our opinion, this season’s 90’s sportswear revival can stay in the locker room. We just do not love the look of those shiny nylon tracksuits paired with white sneakers and retro styling this season.

Luckily, we have enough fantastic trends that we do love to keep us all warm, cosy and stylish in the coming cooler months.