Like a lot of couples these days we had kids and moved in together, before we got married.

We did things the “other way” around to traditional “norms.”

Whilst our lives revolve around our kids, however, we were determined to have some ‘us’ time in the midst of Wedding craziness. 
So we planned a “Mini Moon” (a small honeymoon on our own without the kids & then we’ll have a big honeymoon with the kids) to Amsterdam.

I’ve been before with uni so it wasn’t at the top of my list but as I searched “things to do” when you’re child-free I was pleasantly surprised by all the options. And that’s not what you’re thinking when it comes to Amsterdam!

I was so nervous leaving the kids for a few nights. But that fear quickly ebbed away as I became immersed in our honeymoon knowing that the girls would be loving their break away with their grand parents in Scarborough.

Whilst in Amsterdam we checked out all the food possible as we were doing (ahem) “market research” for my husband’s new restaurant business Pop-Up North.

We loved the food, the feel of the place and we got used to the many bikes!

Here are our top 5 things to do in Amsterdam: 

1) Canal Cruise: A Hop-On Hop-off tour of Amsterdam. This place gives Venice a run for its money!

No need to book just buy your 24-48 hour tickets from one of the many bureaus in the city centre next to the canals.

It’s a great and affordable way to see the city.

2) Bols Cocktail Factory: This little gem is opposite the Van Gogh museum near the Rijksmuseum.

It was 15 euros pp for a museum tour where you’ll be sniffing your way through a long history of cocktails.

Finished off with a free cocktail at their mirrored bar. There’s even a little booth where you can learn and film yourself mixing a cocktail.

Get those juggling skills at the ready!

3) Michelin stars: My hubby Chris and I have never been to a Michelin starred restaurant before, so being kid-free, this was our only chance.

I discovered Hotel Okura just outside of the centre and, all of their restaurants have one or two Michelin Stars.

As we wanted to see the process of food being made we opted for the Teppanyaki restaurant Sazunka inside Hotel Okura.

It didn’t have the usual Teppanyaki “show” to it as the food was being cooked and served to perfection.

Chris opted for wagyu beef and other delicacies on the meat set menu and I went for the tofu set menu.

We were sat on stools around the chefs table with adult bibs on, slowly nibbling away, for the entire evening as we watched each course being prepped and cooked for us.

The food was yummy and there was plenty of it, I had the best egg fried rice I’ve ever tasted.

4) Pancakes & waffles: Now on to more food…

We also managed to squeeze in sweet and savoury pancakes for lunch (OMG… Delicious).

And a chocolate waffle from the market which you eat the plain/traditional side first then on to the chocolate… Just divine!

There’s also an array of cheese everywhere you go, alas I didn’t taste any as I’m intolerant to most cheeses.

Anyway all this food tasting MUST be finished off with a strong coffee. Everywhere I ordered coffee served me great coffee.

5) Walking: What I love about Amsterdam is it is so bike and walking friendly (probably more bike friendly though as you have to watch you’re not walking in a cycle lane).

We stayed on the edge of the city centre at Hotel Notting Hill which was a gorgeous boutique hotel located very near a tasty vegetarian Indian restaurant (food again!).

And we could walk everywhere from there. It was a few minutes to the market, 10 minutes from the Heineken experience and 5-10minutes to the nearest Canal stop.

We just loved exploring on foot.

And you can get a free walking tour from Dam Square just look out for the orange umbrellas.

We were also tempted to try the walk and dine tour but we didn’t have enough time.

We did of course wander through the red light district but during day light so it felt very bizarre. We did however find a lovely Vietnamese Cafe for a sandwich and spicy salad.

Later, we also ventured in to the Sex Museum which was like a cheap Madame Tussaud’s with a touch more of history and a lot of vaginas and penises on show. It was all quite grotesque but interesting for a 15 minute look around.

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Mini Mooning…

All in all I’d definitely recommend having a mini moon city break because it keeps you busy, interested and active which takes your mind off the kids/life and gives you and your partner just enough quality time together.

We ended our mini moon in Scarborough with the kids in a caravan so it made for a great balanced week.

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