Last Monday I explored Amsterdam again. I love to spend my day off alone, just wandering the city (any city, actually) hearing the hustle and bustle of how a city life can be on a Monday morning. Yes, my day off is Monday morning. So when everybody hate Monday, I tend to, well… love it. I went to Amsterdam Zuid yesterday and found some hidden gems that I want to share it with you.
I travelled from Eindhoven by car and parked it in Amstelveen, a cosy suburb outside Amsterdam. From Amstelveen centre I took tram number 5. This tram goes to Amsterdam central station and is a very handy public transportation to explore Amsterdam centre and Zuid (south) because it stops in many touristic places and famous streets, like the Museum Quarter (Museumplein), Leidse Plein, Koningsplein, Spui and De Dam.
It was 11 o’clock in the morning and my tummy rumbled a little bit. Outside was 6 centigrade and suddenly from a far I saw a Starbucks sign. Luckily the tram was stopping at the moment so I rushed to get out of it. I did it just in time! Phew! “Coffee!” I said to myself. … and a slice of red velvet cake!
As I sat down at Starbucks sipping my vanilla latte and munching my cake I stared out the window and saw the lively street in front of me. From where I sat I saw a few bakeries (and when I went outside the smell was… oh so tempting!) a supermarket, a lovely tea shop, another coffee shop, a gelato bar, a hotel, a travel agency, a few perfumeries, brasseries and some clothing shops. “Wait a minute, this is nice! They have all kinds of things here!” I thought.
I was at the Beethovenstraat. A famous street in Amsterdam Zuid where the residents of this lovely part of town spend their time to chat, shop, drink coffee and eat. Many expats live in this neighbourhood because it is quite near the city centre and business places (for example: WTC Amsterdam). The vibe is very different than the crowded city centre. It’s my type of city corner!
All Kinds of Things: Children clothing shop
There I discovered a very cute children’s clothing store: All Kinds of Things. I suddenly thought of my daughter. So I went in and was greeted nicely by the owner, Jeannet. She asked politely what I was looking for and I said that I would like to take a look around. I was not looking for something specific but I was pretty in awe to see how lovely the store was and starting to say to myself, “oh, that’s cute! Oh, that would be great for X-mas! Oh, she would love that one!”
I then caught myself in a very pleasant conversation with Jeannet. She is the owner of the shop and has been busy running it for almost thirty years now. It used to have another name (A Dutch name: kinderkledingwinkel) and since recently All Kinds of Things. They not only have baby and children’s clothing line from Name It, they also have, books, handcrafts toys, bags, cuddly toys and basically all kinds of things! It is a perfect place where you can buy some gifts for children’s birthday parties, baby shower, Christmas, Sinterklaas (5 december) or for some unique souvenirs for your family and friends back home.
All Kinds of Things for the boys and girls
This lovely shop has three floors. The basement is for the boys, the ground floor is for baby and girls stuffs and the first floor is for products on sale and a place to sit and drink your coffee or tea. On the basement I saw some terrific presents for my daughter, the little adventurer: the Atlas and a children history book. Since I have studied history, I have been looking for a children history book like this for a long time and finally I find it at All Kinds of Things!
For older children there are lots of jigsaw and other fun handcraft and activity books to buy. What I also find interesting was the food dictionary. Children can learn the names of food in six languages! Hopefully I still could buy that one the next time I drop by.
All Kinds of Things for adults
“Would you like to taste this?” asked Jeannet. She gave me a chocolate candy ball thing with a surprise in it: liquorice! I usually do not like liquorice, but coated with chocolate? I can go with that! That candy is Lakrids, a famous candy from Denmark. Apparently a lot of expats living nearby know what that is and it has become a favourite in All Kinds of Things. Be sure to get one for your guilty pleasure. I have tasted the salty caramel chocolate coated one, but apparently the cherry chocolate coated one is also delicious.
I ended up taking home a few books with me not only for my daughter but also for myself. This shop has a lot in store for children and adults. So when you visit Amsterdam, don’t just go to the centre. Go to Amsterdam Zuid, to the Beethovenstraat, where it is cosier and vibrant. You can indulge yourself or your love ones there and buy unique souvenirs in shops like All Kinds of Things.