The Old Bell, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I was still getting my bearings around Rembrandt Square when I noticed The Old Bell which turned out to be a traditional English pub.

I wandered in for a drink primarily and ordered a pint of Kilkenny.

I looked at the menu as I was drinking and saw that they offer the usual burgers, steaks, fish and chips, a roast, ribs but also Seasonal Sausages. Today the sausage was Pork & Leek which I ordered with salad and chips.

While I was waiting for my dinner to be cooked I ordered a pint of Murphy’s Irish Red.

My freshly cooked sausages arrived and devoured the tasty devils quickly. They were really good!

Prices for the beers and food were spot on.

I visited a second time an afternoon later on in my stay in Amsterdam sitting outside in the now warm weather. Started with an Amstel pint to re-hydrate I then tried a couple of other local dutch brews. Next I tried a Skuumkoppe and lastly a Natte. My favorite beer of the afternoon was the Natte.

The beer list can be found at http://www.oldbell.nl/drinks/.

Eden Hotel Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Eden Hotel Amsterdam is in a perfect location on the Amstel river and just a couple of minutes walk from Rembrandt Square and the tram stop. Pretty much right outside the front door of the hotel is the dock for the Hop On-Hop Off canal boat.

There are heaps of restaurants and bars within a stones throw and it’s an easy walk to many attractions.

Check-in and check-out were both fast, and the concierge was great in pointing me in the right direction and buying me tickets when I needed them.

The hotel itself is a quirky collection of buildings that have been joined together to produce a sprawling hotel complex. My room, which was in an annex in the easternmost part of the hotel had a noticeable downhill slope in the hallway that lead to my room. The Rembrandt Square Hotel Amsterdam is also part of the complex and you can enter the Eden via the Rembrandt Square front door on Amstelstraat.

My room was very small (smaller than the one I had at the Crowne Plaza in Kanazawa) and now takes the prize as the smallest hotel room I’ve stayed in to date. That said, the room was functional, and I got used to the size.

Given the good location, and the ease of access to transport, attractions, restaurants and bars I would probably stay here again.

Here are some pics.

La Luge, Saint Michel, Paris, France

For my final dinner in Paris before heading off to Amsterdam I wanted to dine at a French restaurant that had mostly good review so I chose the close by La Luge.

Walking in about 6:30pm I was the second table to be seated, with only a small trickle of others coming in over the next 90 minutes.

I wanted to make sure I had a typically French meal for my last Paris dinner, to this end I ordered my first Quiche Lorraine for the trip, a main course of Coq Au Vin followed up with a desert of Chocolate Cake with Grand Marnier.

The Quiche Lorraine starter came out quickly and was very light and fluffy and very, very tasty.

Next came my Coq Au Vin. I really enjoyed the taste and made sure I mopped up all the magnificent sauce with the yummy bread.

The Chocolate Cake with Grand Marnier was a perfect desert to complete my last dinner in Paris for this trip.

To drink I had a nice bottle of red from Saint-Hilaire-d’Ozilhan.

All in all, a great dinner before departing the French capital.

Le Bar Du Marché, Paris, France

After a morning walking tour around Le Marais with Paris Walks I headed over to Robert et Louise for lunch only to find that they weren’t open for lunch on Tuesday.

Dan, a Fedex pilot who I met on a couple of the walking tours, was with me so we decided to meander along to see what was open on this May Day holiday.

About a block from Robert et Louise we found Le Bar Du Marché, a typical french sidewalk restaurant.

Paris still wasn’t warm, but it was warm enough that we were able to sit outside.

After much umming and ahhing I ordered the Duck Confit, Dan ordered the charcuterie plate.

To drink I ordered a half litre of Cote du Rhone. As Dan was scheduled to be flying that evening he had to watch me drink my wine while he drank water. He wasn’t overly happy with me 🙂

The meals arrived and I must say they were both magnificent. The duck was cooked superbly, almost falling off the bone. The charcuterie plate was huge, too much for one person, so I dug in after Dan was finished chowing down in great salami, prosciutto and other goodies.

A decent place for a lazy lunch.

Le Saint Séverin, Saint Michel, Paris, France

In Saint Michel you will see the name Severin everywhre… streets, a church, restaurants. Severin was a hermit who lived on the banks of the Seine and the current day Church of Saint-Séverin is built over his tomb.

After a big lunch, a couple of beers, and a crepe & wine for afternoon tea I wasn’t ready to venture out for dinner until quite late. So it wasn’t until about 8 that I stepped out into the cold and darkness to find a meal.

I’d originally planned on going to La Grange Saint Michel but that was boarded up tight. Further down the street was a restaurant that was packed so I had a quick look at the menu and decided to dine here. it is called Le Saint Séverin.

Stepping inside I found a vibrant french restaurant and I was seated beside the front windows that allowed me to see the throngs passing by on the street.

I ordered the standard French Onion Soup for starters and, as I’m always a sucker for duck, ordered a Duck with Pepper dish. For drinks I ordered a half litre, well 460mls actually, of the Castle of Corcelles Beaujolais.

My wine and bread was delivered while I waited for my soup. I wolfed down the bread as it was just so tasty.

Soup arrived, pretty good. Decent taste but much like all the other French Onion Soups I’d had so far.

However, the duck… my, oh my, that was a good dish! The duck was perfectly cooked and came on a bed of the best roasted potatoes I have ever had! I’m guessing that the potatoes were first boiled to soften them, then cut into slices and then smothered in duck fat while they roasted. The result was a crispy potato slice that were fluffy inside! Just magnificent.

Given how much I’d already eaten today I didn’t partake of any desserts.

Service-wise the place is just ok… several times I tried to get their attention to be told that they weren’t my waiter. And at the end of the meal when I asked for the bill that took way to long to arrive. Maybe I just hit the place at it’s busiest time.

You’ll get decent food, I hope you get better service.