10 Hours of Dutch Night Culture amidst a winter night

Amsterdam Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 11 › view all entries
What a happy bunch

It all began in the day with me insisting that Agnes call Manuel since he  had given her his contact the night before. She seemed uncomfortable with the idea of calling a stranger she had met for just one night. To ease her discomfort I dialled the number and once Manuel answered, I passed the phone to Agnes who with no choice had to talk to him, she politely invited him to join us that evening at our hotel. I had agreed to join Wendy and Lynn for dinner at the Movenpic Hotel because Lynn did not want to go out on her last night in AMS.  However once Manuel arrived at the hotel, he had an idea that made all prior arrangements rather faliable. The place he planned on taking us to was a traditional Dutch brewery that only opened until 8:00 p.

m. so dinner would have to wait. As we agreed to go, Wendy called to confirm that we were having dinner and I informed her that we would like to do the 'Dutch thing' and their company would be an exciting addition for the evening. But this plan did not work as Lynn was in no position to go out due to exhaustion: I politely declined dinner in anticipation of experiencing more of the Dutch Culture, besides we had a willing Dutch tour guide (Manuel).

We started at Wijnand Fockink a traditional Dutch Brewery/ Distillery having been dropped  a few minutes away from the actual location by the cab driver. It was a small dingy place with shelves on either sides of the room, each shelf holding small irregular shapped bottles that looked like they were from another century (indeed they are, as Manuel confirms the store is from the 1670s).

Jenever
The room was packed and we practically rubbed shoulders trying to get to the bar to order our drinks. Manuel of course not only entertained us but taught us history right along with the entertainment, I must add I was impressed with his command of the English language let alone the history of his people and Europe as a whole, Kudos Manuel. This dingy little place was originally a tarven built earlier than the 18th century (well in the 1670s), I can't remember if this was a family business passed down but it seemed that way. After two glasses of jenever the special distilled  gin "the juniper-flavored and strongly alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France (Nord département), from which gin evolved" according to wikipedia, I began feeling a little happier than usual, lol!  And no this was a regular Cafe' not a coffee shop heheee!

My darling friend Agnes,  was so happy and seemed to forget dinner for the while we were in there, but hunger was impatient and I needed to eat if we had to go about drinking and experiencing the Dutch culture.

Our kingly dinning at the Tara
Manuel suggested the Tara next door to the Irish pub which was right down the road: The Tara was our eating place and the service was absolutely charming given that our waiter new a little more culturally than many other waiters we had encountered. The seating arrangement was so comfortable, it felt like dinning in a rather kingly fashion with the sofas meticulously tailored in gold. Their burgers and soup were delicious and the waiter wa this handsome cross of a Scottish and Dutch mix with the charm of a gigolo, he was cut. With our stomachs filled and the gin cleared from my head, I was ready to move on to our next destination: the Belgian pub which Manuel swore was a great place to be. Unfortunately the Belgian Cafe was filled to capacity, we did not even get to go through the door.
Dancing at the Cooldown Cafe night club
Agnes had one look and I don't think a million dollars would have persueded her to go through those doors. Manuel had to think quick at this point since he had no plan B. I suggested dancing instead of another cafe/ pub/ store or whatever they call them.

We took a stroll down the cilly road, it must have been below zero because the canal water was frozen and the sparkles of frozen waters on the roads caused such lovely reflections. We ended up at what Manuel called the hardcore Dutch music pub, he pre-warned us of how loud and Dutch the cafe would be. True to his word the cafe was LOUD! LOUD! LOUD! I would do it all over again if I had the chance, it was great to keep up long after the owl is asleep.

 

Transitory says:
Did you bring back the waiter?
Posted on: Jul 29, 2009
Orkide48 says:
LOL:):)
Posted on: Jan 14, 2009
Africancrab says:
Yes darling but we know the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed has to go to the mountain huh! Thanks Susan, you crack me up, hahaaaa!
Posted on: Jan 14, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Happy you think?

It was crowded only because the room was so small, there were barely 15 people and we were rubbing shoulders. This distillery has been preserved in it's original state since the 1600s I, was told. Manuel was the historian for the night and seemed to comfortable with his knowledge of his home town. He said we would not find Jenever like we find here, anywhere else in Amsterdam. Wijnand Fockink is actually a distillery in the early years it was a tavern. Manuel ordered the special drink(Jenever) which turned out to be a special gin brewed right here since the 1670s when the distillery was opened. 

Manuel ordered the gin with a glass of special beer called De Ryck, you have to try this, he said he was in the habit of drinking Jenever with De Ryck, so I did the same thing he did. At this point Manuel told me there was a special way to drink the Jenever; I had to bend down at the table and drink the top of the gin from the glass that had been filled to spilling point. Incredible experience I, had and the feeling was great, the happy mode instantly began and I felt like I was on a high I had never been on (smile!). 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.

What a happy bunch
What a happy bunch
Jenever
Jenever
Our kingly dinning at the Tara
Our kingly dinning at the Tara
Dancing at the Cooldown Cafe night…
Dancing at the Cooldown Cafe nigh…
Happy you think?
Happy you think?
Can you tell he is a beer drinker?
Can you tell he is a beer drinker?
She was not really drinking
She was not really drinking
Now this here is happy
Now this here is happy
Manuel & Agnes
Manuel & Agnes
OMG cant recall what I was doing
OMG can't recall what I was doing
You go Manuel . . .
You go Manuel . . .
I was happy with a tangelo, talk o…
I was happy with a tangelo, talk …
This dance place was no Pandoras …
This dance place was no Pandora's…
Amsterdam Nightlife & Entertainment review
Original 1600s Dutch Distillery
This is not your typical night-out venue/bar or club. Not a regular store and does not have the typical items found in a liquor store nor beer that on… read entire review
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou