Brunch at Dignita, Amsterdam

dignita1A weekend without brunch is a weekend wasted. My favourite weekend activity is finding a new brunch spot, so I was happy when I came across Dignita online and quickly added it the brunch list (I know, a list? What a loser.)

Dignita’s motto is ‘Eat Well, Do Good’. Eat Well because they work with local suppliers to serve delicious home-made brunch all day, and Do Good because Dignita is part of a Not For Sale social enterprise model. Not For Sale is an international organization that provides certified training programmes and coaching; these social enterprises support a vulnerable target group of individuals, assisting them in developing greater resilience as each seeks to become reintegrated into the workplace and society. 100% of Dignita’s profits go towards supporting the work of Not For Sale.

The decor is totally Pinterest-worthy. All hanging plants, succulents, hanging lights, copper and geometric wall pieces.

imageBrunch at Dignita, Amsterdam

80% of the time, if there are pancakes on the menu then there will be pancakes in my belly, with the only exception being something with eggs. So understandably the menu had me torn between the American pancakes with fruit and the dreamy-sounding Benny Boy.

We’d had a bit of a long leisurely morning so by the time I’d washed my hair and actually got out of the door it was more like lunch time and I was STARVING. I needed some coffee and some protein so Benny Boy won and I was presented with some pretty sexy looking eggs and a hunk of potato hash.

Before and after the carnage.

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They also do home-made desserts and sweet treats. Some more saintly than others. Some proper chunky Dutch apple pie too.

imageBrunch at Dignita, Amsterdam. Apple pie.

There was a queue when we arrived and we had to wait a little while to get served but the food was well worth the wait. They do a mighty-fine cup of coffee too, as you can see from my super smug coffee face.

imageBrunch at Dignita, Amsterdam

So, if you’re looking for somewhere to eat well and do some good in the process get yourself down to Dignita.

A sunny Sunday cycle in Amsterdam

When it comes to the weather, the UK gets a seriously bad rep. Rain is up there with tea and scones when it comes to British-isms. What I didn’t realise is that Amsterdam is just as bad (it just let’s the UK take the rap).

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised on the latest trip to Amsterdam that we had glorious sunshine all week. And what better way to celebrate than a cycle you might think?

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A wonderful way to while away the day. Unless you are are me and the mere sight of a bike gives you a headache and cold ears. Alas, there is no escaping cycling in Amsterdam – I couldn’t beat ’em so I joined them.

The first hour of cycling was a complete triumph, I only cried three times and narrowly missed knocking a tourist into a canal. I was invincible.

We started our day off in the best possible way, brunch. We stopped off at super trendy Bakers & Roasters, and as all seasoned brunchers know, the trendier the place the longer you have to wait. We put our name on the list and mooched around the local shops in De Pijp, including my favourite Dutch shopping destination, Anna + Nina. Interiors heaven and an absolute Instagram and Pinterest dream. I want to buy pretty much everything.

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With our rumbling tummies getting louder we wandered back over to Bakers & Roasters and we weren’t disappointed. Seriously one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had, second only to the food in front of Matt, which I kept pinching when he was getting full and more likely to share.

Brunch at Bakers & Roasters

We eventually rolled out of the café, back on to our bikes to sight see and explore the city.

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After all that exploring we were ready for a well earned cookie break. Amsterdam has a few variety of cookies… but we settled on the gooey chocolate kind. If anybody knows gooey, chocolate cookies it’s Van Stapele Koekmakerij

VSK are THAT confident in their cookie making that they only do one flavour – hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The shop is teeny tiny and you can see the girls rolling the cookie dough behind the counter and popping them into the one small oven.

They then pop them into a little bag and seal it with a big gold sticker. Flourishes I enjoy but are probably wasted since I tear it open 2 seconds later to eat the cookie while it’s still warm.

Amsterdam cookiesVan Stapele Koekmakerij cookie

That is one clever cookie.

Another north London brunch: The Bull & Last

Outside The Bull & LastI am clearly obsessed with brunch. Either that or every Sunday morning I wake up and find that we need to do a food shop and toast just ain’t cutting it. Which is exactly what happened last weekend.

The Bull & Last is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a while and it’s only a leisurely Sunday morning stroll away. It regularly tops the ‘best roasts in London’ lists and is on the radar of pretty much everyone in the Hampstead/Highgate area.

The bar at The Bull & Last

Inside The Bull & Last

 

However, their roasts will have to wait for another post as this was all about breakfast. The Bull & Last only serve breakfasts from 9am-11am every Saturday and Sunday – that is a very small window of opportunity. I’ve done the math and that’s only 6% of the week. If you have a menu thats only available 6% of the week you’ve got to be pretty damn confident about it. And I think they are.

First thing done right is the coffee. Climpson & Sons is a coffee company in east London and my boyfriend’s fave, so once he found out The Bull & Last coffee is Climpsons he was sold. Just look at that babe’in crockery too.

Climpson & Sons coffee at The Bull & Last

Now for the main event.

Pancakes at The Bull & Last

Pancakes at The Bull & Last

I feel like I’m getting predictable in my old age, pancakes again. But not just any pancakes, these are buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, maple syrup and creme fraiche. (£8) Delicious and just the right amount.

Matt is also old and predictable and went for the biggest breakfast there was,  The Full Bull (£10). And believe me, after that, he was. Kudos for the extra crispy bacon.

The Full Bull at The Bull & Last

I’ve got my eye on the sweetcorn fritters next. I was admiring them on the table in front of us, as was this little fella.

Dog inside The Bull & Last

If you’re in the area, hungry, and want to spend your weekend morning in the company of various well-behaved dogs give The Bull & Last a go.

Outside The Bull & Last