Valentine's in Amsterdam

Recently I was in Amsterdam for Valentine's Day. The hotel I stayed at, the 5 star Grand Hotel Amrath, is a fabulous Art Deco building which used to be the main offices of the Royal Dutch Shipping Lines. It has been refurbished keeping many original features, like the stained glass roof over the central staircase and original ticket offices.

The restaurant I chose for the 14th was the Vermeer and I had the 9 course tasting menu which included scallops, cod, red mullet, roe deer and more truffles than I've ever eaten.

I visited Rembrandt House Museum which he bought in 1639 at the height of his fame and by 1656 he was bankrupt and had to sell it. The Museum owns the almost complete collection of Rembrandt’s etchings which are incredible, some so small there are magnifying glasses attached to them.

I also took a boat cruise on the canals, which is worth doing even in Winter. Tucked away on the edge of the Red Light District is a 17th Century very tall and narrow canal house containing a concealed catholic church, which was built by a wealthy merchant when Amsterdam became protestant. It has been a Museum since 1888 and well worth visiting.

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