Last weekend saw the opening of our new office in The Bank on Rembrandtplein. Family and friends were invited to join in the fun and there were activities throughout the building, including cupcake decorating, face painting and Bollywood and Hiphop dance workshops.
Unfortunately, my lil family was absent due to an over-tired toddler and husband, so I adopted another family for the afternoon (thanks Miek and Danny!) The mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, opened the building and did a speech, which included 3 mentions of the word “arse”. After which, lots of blue and white balloons were released into the sky, which looked pretty cool.
Watching tired but happy children leaving with new designs painted on their faces, and holding their cupcakes, it was safe to say the day was a success and despite missing my lil one, I had a nice time busting some Bollywood moves.
To make up for her no-show on Saturday, Lola took me out for some quality time on Sunday afternoon. First stop was the English Bookshop, where children’s writer, Hennie Jacobs, read from her book for bilingual children Thuis bij Betty & Cat.
As she was about 2 years too young for this storyreading session, Lola instead indulged in her newfound passions, climbing stairs, nicking toys from other children and yelling across the room at me. Throughout this experience, I wore my serene “yes my child, I’m lovingly listening to you whilst wishing a hole would open up in the floor below me” expression.
After the reading was over, Lola had a great time in the book/toy corner (well, she was already loudly doing that, but it was a bit less socially awkward after that). The ground floor of the bookshop really is a cosy place to help get young children into reading.
After the almost-success of storytime, we ventured to Pancakes! Amsterdam on Berenstraat for, well, pancakes. I’d read that it was a child-friendly place, but as is the case for many cafés in the 9 straatjes, it’s a pretty small space too, especially with a stroller and being surrounded by concerned diners, worried that their peaceful Sunday brunch is about to be tantrumed on.
The staff, however, were amazing. They helped stow away the stroller, made some space upstairs and brought us a high chair and some plastic cutlery for the Lil Miss. They were also just very friendly, which was refreshing for a busy café in the town centre.
Whilst she was settling in, Lola did what she would normally do to bring in the crowds – a bit of chucking of things onto the floor accompanied by cries of “oh-ooooooh” and some random chatter at fellow diners. All those endearing things that the general public just love to deal with during brunch….
After a while though, and with the promise of pancakes, she was relaxed and happily scoffing away and it felt more like I was having lunch with a surprisingly young friend rather than my daughter, and I started thinking of all the other adventures we were going to have in the future. Exciting times!
We ordered pancakes with natural yoghurt and strawberries (sneaky mama’s came with sugar whilst lil one’s was without…while I can still get away with it, ahem), and they were heeeeerlijk!
After lunch, the staff helped Lola into her stroller whilst I paid up. The tip was well-deserved and I definitely recommend the place.