Greenest Spaces — Amsterdam
To celebrate our 4th birthday in August, we traveled to Amsterdam, one of our favourite European cities, to explore some of its hidden green spaces. We didn’t mean it to, but our photo diary turned out almost entirely peach and green. We were on the hunt for the most inspirational green spaces in the city, and we found these hues in everything from bamboo cladding and tropical hideouts to terracotta bricks and minty velvet. Luckily, it’s a delightful colour combination.
We were over the moon to be welcomed to the newly built Hotel Jakarta, which recently opened as one of the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam.
Their epic Indonesian subtropical garden was designed in collaboration with Hortus Botanicus (you can see a previous journal post of our visit to the conservatory here), and their architecture and interior design has been recognised for its excellent approach to renewable energy sources. We were particularly impressed with their air conditioning system, which uses the cold water in the docks below the hotel to cool the air before it circulates.
We left our plans fairly open, preferring to discover new locations on bike. Rose had spied one gem we knew we couldn’t miss, though: Bar Botanique, a tropical addition to the thriving café scene in the east of Amsterdam.
Previously the location of the Dutch local hangout, De Ponteneur, it has been re-imagined by Studio Modijefsky, a female-led interior design studio who also worked on the beautiful Kanarie Club inside Foodhallen, which is the first indoor food market in The Netherlands and has satisfied our culinary ideals on previous trips to the trendy Kinkerbuurt district.
The plants inside were happily drenched in natural light, and we were particularly inspired by the custom plant stands. We stayed long enough to enjoy freshly made juices and take some snaps of the retro design. You can see more of the deliciously green interior here.
As some of you may have seen on our Instagram stories, we experienced a slight drawback when Caro had an unfortunate accident and broke her arm. Luckily we managed to shoot to A&E, get the arm x-rayed, and leave with a solid L-shaped cast for Caro to use as a handy tripod. The next morning were back on track and welcomed to the beautiful Garden Suite apartment.
Designed by the owner, Charles, himself, the apartment is placed perfectly next to Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam. With its own private tropical sanctuary and pond, giant ferns and palm trees, it cleverly uses entire walls of glass to merge the interior and exterior landscape.
Charles was busy installing the latest edition to the garden - a private conservatory - and we agreed to return once it was completed. You can book to stay in the apartment via their website.
Our final stop was out of the city centre, into the more rural outskirts where many of Holland’s best specialist plant nurseries live. We had arranged to meet our key supplier, who has helped us install some of our biggest planting projects, and were treated to an epic tour behind the scenes of their enormous conservatories.
The trip broadened our horizons in terms of what is possible with our future installs, and we’re excited to try integrating some of the larger and more unique species we discovered. You can see more from our trip to our plant suppliers in this blog post.