Foodie, sommelier, owner of Salotto Rosso and Canal House Ambassador, Dita Guth, gives us an inside view of Amsterdam ...
Where do you live? Tell us about your neighbourhood ...
I live in the oldest neighbourhood of Amsterdam, located right in the heart of the city, De Wallen. Although the area is known to most as the Red Light District, it is full of wonderful history and architecture. There is nothing more beautiful than to look outside my window and enjoy my morning cappuccino with a view of the oldest church in Amsterdam!
What do you do on a Sunday afternoon in Amsterdam?
Sunday afternoons are usually spent in the kitchen, preparing dinner for my family. I like to make a special meal to end the week with happiness and love; and that for me is done through food.
What do you love most about the city and people?
I love that there is always something new to discover - some secret garden or a small alley where a little cafe seating only four can be found. One second you are walking along the canals and, the next thing you know, you are facing a pop-up beach across from Central Station. The people of Amsterdam are like characters of several Broadway plays put together; some are loud and boisterous, some eclectic and in their own world, some just regular, mainstream folk. We have the best people-watching here, so much so that I haven't owned a television since I arrived 8 years ago.
Best way to relax?
Spending the entire day pouring over my recipes, listening to music that inspires, cracking open a bottle of good wine and cooking up a storm. It's what moves me, what brings joy to my heart and what my husband probably married me for.
Favourite cocktail bar?
I must admit to not being a cocktail girl, being a sommelier as such. When I don't reach into my own cellar, you can find me at The Lobby. The sommelier there has impeccable taste in wine and I never bother to order as he already knows what I love and surprises me every time.
Favourite restaurant or café?
This is a difficult one as I have three which I feel encompass what a culinary experience should be; each offering something different but all delivering excellent food and service. The Lobby has been a second home for me since it's very beginning. Two new entries on the Amsterdam food scene have the wow factor I look for: Wolf Atelier and Choux. All three are examples of what and how a restaurant should be.
Best places to shop?
United Nude for shoes, &otherstories for clothing and accessories, de Weldaad for home furnishings and Serendipity Kids for children's clothes.
Describe your own personal style?
I've gone through many transformations over the years. Lately, I'm finding myself moving towards a modern, simplistic direction but with a fun little zing, as that's what my personality is like.
Top 5 things you recommend to do in Amsterdam?
1. Take your bikes, hop on the ferry behind Central Station and take a ride to Broek en Waterland, Monnickendam or Durgerdam. Talk about fresh air, gorgeous views and the feeling of freedom.
2. Rent a boat and see the city from the canal point of view as it's like none other.
3. Sit in Dam Square or Spuiplein and relish in people watching.
4. Visit the Hermitage museum and pretend you live there.
5. Bike through Amsterdamse Bos and take in the most gorgeous greenery.
Recommend something off the beaten track that tourists don’t know about ...
In an alley off Oudezijds Voorburgwal, you will find De Prael, a local brewery that brews and serves its beer in their "proeflokaal". All their beers are named after Dutch singers from the 1960's and 70's and they are, I must admit, exceptional.
Photography: Amanda Griffioen