Remember a time when we travelled freely? From California to Croatia, the world was our oyster. Personally, I have never been rooted in one place for this long. In the past six months, I was to have been in Amsterdam, Paris, Chicago and Rajasthan. In that order. But… we all know how that story is going.
Which has led to the genesis of this series of armchair travels. If we can’t travel the world, let the world come to us. From a slice of Parisian life via your local cheesemonger to California’s cool ocean vibes bottled up in fragrant jars, let’s transform our homes into their very own vacation spots. What say?
How to bring Amsterdam into our homes!
Let’s start with Amsterdam, a city that I would personally move to tomorrow, if possible. What’s to love about this Dutch fairyland? The canals. The storybook houses. The flowers. The museums. The food. The pottery. The people. Honestly, Amsterdam has THE friendliest, most helpful people in all of the world.
And there’s no better person to bring Amsterdam into our own homes than Kim van Haaster, co-founder and CEO of Dutch-inspired beauty brand Bloomeffects.
Kim moved to Amsterdam (actually Haarlem – the land of tulip fields, which is about 25 miles outside Amsterdam) two years back and fell so in love with the place that she wasted no time in adopting its culture.
So deep was her passion that she founded an entire beauty range that’s steeped in Dutch heritage. Not only does Bloomeffects draw upon tulips for its proprietary ‘Dutch Tulip Complex’, bringing to its products the yet-unexplored skincare benefits of tulips (read all about them here), it also calls upon the very Dutch concepts of sustainability and circular farming.
And there’s so much science and tradition behind Bloomeffects that Kim even received two grants from the Dutch government to study the formulations.
The result? A super-effective, super-successful beauty brand that brings home a bit of Amsterdam every time I open the pretty blue, Delft-hued bottles.
And a woman who is best placed to take us on an armchair vacation to Amsterdam, wherever we may be right now.
So, here are Kim van Haaster’s tips on how to travel to Amsterdam, without the flight ticket.
1. Get creative with a Delft tile painting kit.
2. Taken in the beauty of the tulips with a 360° tour through Keukenhof!
3. Have access to world renowned artwork through Van Gogh museum’s virtual tour.
4. Listen to one of the world’s most famous Dutch DJs at home – Martin Garrix Live Stream from his roof in Amsterdam.
5. Read about the Dutch’s philosophy of self care in Niksen: The Dutch Art of Doing Nothing by Carolien Janssen.
6. Munch on some Stroopwafels with tea – Walmart sells the classic Daelmans ones.
7. Put on your chefs hat and make some Poffertjes (Dutch Mini Pancakes). You will find an excellent and easy recipe here! And you can buy the poffertje pan on Amazon.
8. Put together a Dutch inspired cheese board – stock up on Gouda, Edam and Leerdammer. Add some nuts, fruits, chutney, crackers and meat cuts.
9. Go for a countryside bike ride!
10. Treat yourself to a Dutch-inspired spa day with Bloomeffects products!
Did you enjoy your armchair travels to Amsterdam? Which city would you like us to cover next for a full sensory immersion?