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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Exploring The Distillery District, Toronto

The Distillery District, Toronto

Tucked away in south-east Toronto is collection of old industrial buildings that were once known as the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, now home to a community of creatives, one-of-a-kind small businesses, galleries, studios and the only place in Toronto you can ride a Segway!

It’s amazing how as much as it feels like stepping back in time when you arrive in the Distillery District, Toronto – it also feels like the most innovative and design-led area of Toronto. Head turning art peeks out from behind 19th century brick, making you look twice as what is peering at you from down the street. The Distillery District is definitely one of the most instagrammable areas in Toronto, full of murals, sculptures and beautiful displays of flowers.

The Sweet Escape, Toronto

Best Places To Eat Distillery District Toronto

Best Breakfast Distillery District, Toronto

We started our day there getting lunch at The Sweet Escape Patisserie with the sunshine bouncing off the original wooden beams while I sipped a mint mocha and filled my belly with a bacon grilled cheese, while Stu choose what I can only describe as a bacon and egg bread pie!

Independent Shopping in Toronto

Instagrammable Spots In Toronto

Art and Sculpture, Distillery District, Toronto

We wandered the streets of the Distillery District, finding cool clothes and homewares in shops that we could never dream of affording until we stumbled across a warehouse full of shops, studios and galleries. Toronto is home to some of the loveliest people in the world, chatting with us about our journey and travel plans while we perused some art.

I fell in love with the most adorable robot guy in Mehoi, who snuck into my suitcase home with me and I chatted for what seemed like a lifetime with the lady that owns Lilith’s – a bohemian treasure trove of one of a kind clothing, scarves and jewellery designed and customised in house while you wait. More on that to come!

Independent Shopping in Toronto

Case Goods Warehouse, Distillery District Toronto

Shops, Studios, Galleries, Distillery District Toronto

My other favourite shop was Fluevog Shoes, enticing me inside with a sign that read “no, you’re weird” and kept me browsing with it’s crazy floral leathers, chunky heels and kooky sole designs.

Fluevog Shoes, Unusual Clothing Toronto

Local Beers in Toronto

We left the Distillery District feeling full to the brim, but not before stopping at The Beer Store Boutique to pick up some local Toronto beers for back at the apartment. You can also book yourself on a Segway tour in the Distillery District, the only area of Toronto you are allowed to ride a Segway – after my introduction with Fat Tire Tours in Paris I highly recommend a Segway tour as one of the best ways to see a new place!

The Distillery District, Toronto is located within walking distance of Union Station.

Loves x xx

posted by onetenzeroseven in Toronto,Travel and have No Comments

How To Do Amsterdam Like A Local with ClinkNOORD

Amsterdam like a local

Despite the title of this blog post being ‘Amsterdam like a local’, I’ve heard a lot of Amsterdam locals rarely even venture into the Noord – which I find incredible, because it is hands down the most beautiful and my most favourite part of Amsterdam. Just a two minute (free!) ferry ride from Amsterdam Centraal train station, the Noord is home to a creative, wholesome, natural loving community – the perfect area for vegans and vegetarians!

Where to stay in Amsterdam - Clink Noord

My lovely friends at ClinkNOORD invited me back to stay at their home-from-home hostel so they could show me how the locals do Amsterdam and  encourage folks to see more of the hidden parts of this amazing city. I stayed at ClinkNOORD earlier this year when I tested out how easy it was to see a gig in Europe vs London – if you missed it, pop back and see how awesome our stay was!

This time I stayed in a 4-bed dorm room with three other bloggers, two of which I had never met before, to get the full hostel experience. The rooms at ClinkNOORD, while compact, give you plenty of your own space. We had lockers for our suitcases (bring your own padlock) and our own night lights which we left on in the evening in case we had to stumble back in the middle of the night and find our bed in the dark. If you need more space for working or just hanging out, ClinkNOORD has loads of communal areas to have a drink, enjoy a coffee or sit with your laptop which is really what makes it such a home from home.

Boat Trip Amsterdam

Bright and early we had breakfast at ClinkNOORD, who offer breads, spreads and some hot food. I was mostly interested in making a cup of tea though and I took my own Yorkshire tea bags with me. From breakfast we headed out into the most beautiful September day with not a cloud in sight.

Private Boat Hire Amsterdam

Best Things To Do in Amsterdam - Boat Tour

Our first stop was a relaxing cruise along some of Amsterdam’s canals with Pure Boats Amsterdam, an unusual boat trip that matched the homely feel of staying at Clink to a tee. Pure Boats offer a private boat tour for up to 6 people for €250 on their beautiful boat with other options coming soon. One of their pick up points is just outside ClinkNOORD too! Not to leave you wanting for anything, they even have a beautifully stocked bar so we enjoyed some Dutch gin & tonic with our 10am ride through Amsterdam’s waters. I have never felt so relaxed while travelling. Pure Boats was one of my favourite things of the whole day, check back for a full blog post about our cruising coming soon!

After the boat trip we headed up A’dam Tower, just a few steps away from Clink, to check out their 360 views of Amsterdam. Unfortunately due to an emergency situation we were evacuated before getting chance to ride the highest swing in Europe, situated at the top of the tower, so I am still yet to check that one off my Amsterdam bucket list. However the views from A’dam are stunning and again, the fresh air and city views up there make me feel so chilled. A++ recommedation! You can even get discounted tickets from ClinkNOORD reception!

Hiring A Bike Amsterdam Like A Local

We grabbed 5 minutes for a pick me up coffee (Dutch coffee is soooo good, like most of Europe) before heading to TIP Noord to get on my first bike in fifteen years!!! To say I was terrified is an understatement! The bikes laid at TIP were absolutely gorgeous classic bikes, the type that you see being ridden around in films with a well dressed lady carrying fresh bread in her bike basket. In that moment I wanted to be one of those ladies so much, so I sucked it up and mounted the bike… I was dreadful.

I just couldn’t get going and when my legs finally did co-ordinate enough to cycle I was wobbling all over the place and terrified I was going to fall into another person or a bike. Every so often I would panic and stop, then not be able to get going again. As we got to the actual roads I became more and more nervous and almost let my anxiety get the better of me, feeling panic creeping up my spine. I stopped at the side of the road, had a drink and took a moment before we headed off to lunch at De Ceuvel.

I was exhausted by the time we parked our bikes in the bike racks and sat down wanting a beer more than I ever remember wanting an alcoholic drink in the middle of the day.

Lunch at De Ceuvel, Amsterdam Noord

Best Vegan Lunch in Amsterdam

Lunch was the absolute polar opposite to my bike journey, sitting outside on long wooden benches as the sun blazed down, chatting with my new pals and having a refreshing beer. We started with a spicy soup, served in a glass topped with herbs. It tasted even better than it looked and I realised I was starving. For main course we were served a selection of open topped sandwiches with sweet potato paste and lentils, alongside a beautiful salad. The food was so fresh, I wished someone would come home with me and cook like that every day.

After lunch we wandered around De Ceuvel, a former shipyard that now hosts an incredible creative community. On such a beautiful day, I could see how you would want to spend your whole life living out of a house boat, painting and creating all day long. In fact, even with the rain drumming on the old windows, I bet it’s the picture of a perfect life.

De Ceuval, Amsterdam Creative Community

Getting back on my bike after lunch I was a changed woman, it really is like riding a bike as they say and I was off without a hitch, keeping up with the group and feeling the wind in my hair – God damn, it was one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time. We cycled through NDSM Werf, my favourite part of Amsterdam, which was a brilliant way to see such a huge area. Cycling through the shipping container was so much fun and if we had the time, it would have been the perfect moment to park up our bikes and have a drink at Pllek right on the river.

NDSM Werf, Street Art Amsterdam

Cycling in NDSM Werf Amsterdam

After we found one of the few actual windmills in Amsterdam, we headed for a tour round the Noord. Riding past some abandoned petrol stations that now house live music events and through Buiksloterweg, a quaint village bursting with kooky homes as the sun rays painted the street a gorgeous golden hue – I immediately wanted to move there and I think I still do. If you’re unsure about riding a bike in Amsterdam, start in the Noord – a much more relaxed area with very little cars and bikes on the road and I must say that I never even came close to falling off despite my shaky start!

The View From Pllek, Amsterdam Noord

Windmill Amsterdam Noord

I reluctantly returned my gorgeous mint green bike, feeling very much like I’d seen Amsterdam like a local and we headed back to Clink for the evening for a very special surprise.

ClinkNOORD is just across the river IJ from Amsterdam Centraal Station and beds start at €17 per night.

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Amsterdam,Travel and have No Comments