Tips from a local: Frances in Weesperzijde

tips from a local Frances from Abel

Frances Shoemack is a mother of two boys and the founder of Abel, the world’s first fragrance made from 100% natural ingredients. Originally from New Zealand, she and her family now live in the hip and happening Weesperzijde neighbourhood, located on the east shore of the Amstel river. We’re so happy with the tips she has given below, making us so excited to go and explore her popular neighbourhood some more!

1. Best date night restaurant: Just around the corner from home, De Ysbreeker is where Dave and I snuck away for brunch on the last day with the Kraamzorg in the house following the birth of my second son… hey, you’ve got to take your moments! It’s also a favourite for sunny days (great terrace) and business meetings.

2. Favourite family-friendly dinner spot: Dave, my husband, works right on the oosterpark, and I’ll grab the kids from daycare and meet him after work for a Pizza at the Generator hostel. It’s always bustling so no one minds a slightly rowdy child! And it’s right on the park by the playground, so perfect access if the kids want to run around.

3. Cosiest local cafe (or best place to grab a take-away!): Coffee Bru is a favourite for us all. They’ve got a nice selection of books and a mini kitchen down the back, the vibe is relaxed and the coffee is good. In the Summer a takeaway to the park is always a winner too.

4. Trusted children’s shop: Broer en Zus sits on my ride home from de Pijp or the centre and is the perfect spot for picking up something special for one of my kids or a gift for someone elses! Their own range is beautiful quality and they stock most of my favourite kids brands too.

5. Favourite women’s shop: As per the last question, I tend to head across the Amstel to de pijp if I’m doing a little shopping. Cottoncake is one of my favourites for chic and interesting womenswear (and gifts) with a side of (delicious!!) coffee or brunch.

6. Coolest local playground: On a Sunday afternoon, we love to wander down the Amstel, there’s a little playground on the Weesperzijde, just before you get to Hesp (always a good option for a beer!) which our two and a half year old just loves and there’s always a family or two from the neighbourhood.

7. Favourite food shop: The Ekodis organic supermarket on Beukenplein is a really good organic supermarket, in my opinion, one of Amsterdam’s best! Huge range or really nice products and small brands you don’t see otherwise in Amsterdam.

8. Best shop for homewares, fun finds, or special gifts: I often find myself at Hutspot on van Woustraat when looking for a gift! Lots of locally made (or designed) products, homeware, books (as well as clothing), I can almost always guarantee I’ll find something (and Dave likes to go to the Barber in store!).

9. Local activity center or museum: Considering it’s grandeur and the significance of it’s content, the Tropenmuseum isn’t often given the air time of the other major museums. Very moving and impressive permanent exhibitions are supplemented with interesting (and relevant) temporary exhibitions. It says the “junior” area is for 6-14 year olds, but our experience is always that there’s plenty of interactive, colourful and moving things to keep a toddler interested!

10. Favourite park or outdoor space: The Oosterpark is a really great asset to have nearby, especially following the recent renovations. The playground is brilliant, a giant sandpit for little ones and a jungle gym that may not pass local health and safety laws in my native New Zealand! During the summer there’s plenty of festivals, great (free) tennis courts and the paddling pool is brilliant on a muggy Summer’s night.


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