We decided to wander round the local Jordaan district of Amsterdam on our last morning. Our Secret Amsterdam book had lots of suggestions for off the main tourist route places of interest. These ‘Secret’ books published by JonGlez are great for when you know a city well and want to see something different to the popular sights.
Zonshofje – hofje of the sun – in Prinsengracht was once a well hidden Mennonite church dating from the 17th century. They were a branch of the Protestant church allowed to practise only if the church didn’t have a frontage on to a public road. The hofje is therefore accessed through a long narrow passageway through a front door – you would have no idea what’s behind from the road. It was beautifully peaceful. No one around but two cats! We moved on down the road to the Van Brienen Hofje. When a baron’s prayer to God was answered he fulfilled his promise to give thanks by building homes for poor Catholic couples.
It was too early for apple pie – we’d just had breakfast -but we passed Winkel, one of the best cafes for buying it and one I used to go to a lot. There was such a big queue it’s obviously still very good.
We wanted a light lunch before heading to the airport so we went to another of Nicola’s favourite cafes just of Prinsengracht, ‘t Smalle. It’s such a typical Amsterdam cafe and lovely inside, although many people has grabbed canal side tables outside.
We enjoyed a typical Dutch lunch of tostis – toasted sandwiches – and poffertjes, little pancakes tossed in butter and sugar. These are gorgeous little treats and sometimes sold from stalls in markets.