B&B and Beyond: The Weavery, Amsterdam
This Golden Age silk-weaver's workshop has been refashioned into a stylish guesthouse, says Sarah Gilbert
Saturday 18 May 2013
It's a big year for Amsterdam: the crowning of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, the 400th anniversary of the Canal Ring and the reopening of the Van Gogh Museum (after seven months) as well as the illustrious Rijksmuseum (after its decade-long renovation). In the thick of it all is The Weavery, set in a beautifully renovated 17th-century house in the Spiegelkwartier, just a stone's throw from Museumplein and those two monumental museums. It was built as a home and workshop for a family of silk weavers, and the current owners have kept the link – you can buy (or design your own) beautiful custom-made Moroccan rugs with all profits going back to the weavers. A sensitive restoration has preserved the building's original features – steile trappen (the traditional steep, skinny staircase), exposed beams, 400-year-old floor tiles – and complemented them with a keen eye for design.
The spacious Suite and Silk Room are decorated with retro furniture, Moroccan rugs, vintage chandeliers, vases of flowers and photographic twists on Vermeer's paintings (also available to buy). Natural Coco-Mat mattresses and bedding, as well as an aromatic lavender-filled pouch, ensure a good night's sleep.
The Silk Room on the lower ground floor has its own front door while the larger third-floor Suite sits under the gabled roof. There's a sitting area with a television, vintage-style radio and iDock, a kitchenette and a small terrace. And if you're travelling with friends or family, the double-height ceiling hides a second bed reached by pull-down stairs. The bathrooms, decorated with Delft tiles, both have underfloor heating and a tub with powerful shower.
A large basket of freshly baked, still-warm bread and pastries with eggs cooked to order, are left outside your door at the time you've requested. Nespresso coffee, teas, muesli and milk are always available – all you have to do is take the yoghurt, fresh orange juice, fruit, and the platter of Dutch cheese and cold meats out of the fridge. If you're in the Suite, you can dine alfresco.
The Weavery is the project of German-born Bettina and Moroccan-born Driss, who met in Amsterdam. Bettina is a delightful host and provides a list of recommended sights, shops and eateries and will make reservations for guests.
Museumplein hosts both the Rijksmuseum (00 31 20 674 7000; rijksmuseum.nl), with itsrenowned collection of Rembrandts, and the Van Gogh Museum (00 31 20 570 5200; vangoghmuseum.nl) as well as the contemporary Stedelijk Museum (00 31 20 573 2911; stedelijk.nl). The nearby Concertgebouw (00 31 20 573 0573; concertgebouw.nl) is marking its 125th anniversary with a series of special events. A ticket for a Sunday-morning concert costs from €18 (£15) or take a behind-the-scenes tour for €10 (£8.50).
Close by, the boutiques, vintage shops and art galleries in the Nine Streets quarter (theninestreets.com) comprise the perfect antidote to homogenised chain stores. Head to De Pijp for the Albert Cuypmarkt market (9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday), with almost 300 stalls of food, clothing and more. Stop off for cake at De Taart van m'n Tante (00 31 20 776 4600; detaart.com).
For fine dining in an enormous converted greenhouse, book a table at Restaurant De Kas (00 31 20 462 4562; restaurantdekas.nl). The three-course dinner menu (€49.50/£42) has such seasonal produce as wild seabass with fennel and spinach.
In the heart of Jordaan, the intimate Balthazar's Keuken (00 31 20 420 2114; balthazarskeuken.nl) is like going to a friend's for dinner. There's no printed menu but the set three-course dinner (€29.50/£25) always offers a choice from whatever's inspired the chefs at the market that day.
The diminutive Café de Wetering (00 31 20 622 9676; Weteringstraat 37), a typical "brown" café, is just around the corner, where you can sip on a dark beer at the bar or in front of the open fire.
The Weavery, Tweede Weteringdwarsstraat 67, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (00 31 6 2412 6530, the-weavery.com). Rooms start at €140 (£118), including breakfast.
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