Saturday, after a morning in the Rijksmuseum, I was fresh and raring to get stuck into some quality food while the day was still young in Amsterdam. We’d wisely booked ahead at De Belhamel on the basis of its canal-side location and good reviews. It didn’t let us down.
Despite the sun it was a bit chilly to sit outside but they’d booked us a table in the window so the view was just as good. We gazed down upon the canal, the misguided stag’n’hen parties (not all of them as festive as you’d imagine) and the passers-by. The room itself is tastefully shabbed Art Nouveau, smart without being overly formal. Just like the clientèle in fact which ranged from well-turned out locals to discerning trippers.
We took a look at the menu while we sipped a home-made elderflower liqueur (delicious, a foretaste of things to come). You can take a 3-course set lunch for around €40 but being in an expansive mood we went à la carte. Watercress soup with a sliver of brie-style cheese on the side was a good, crisp way to set up a four hour lunch without ruining one’s appetite. We demolished a bottle of Sancerre with that and waited for our mains.
Guinea fowl was a fiddly customer but came on a bed of buttery mash with a large helping of greens. The bread was very good. Not having any appointments in the afternoon we decided to have some Bordeaux to aid conversation, which is the only excuse one of our number has for asking the waitresses if they were sisters. Translated into Dutch for the whole staff to hear this provoked gales of laughter from the dining room to the kitchen, and from the volume of it possibly beyond.
Despite this provocation the service continued to be charm itself and we settled into dessert, which was also yum in three ways. Coffee to round off and we strolled out into the crowds as a trio of Halsian bonhomie.
Into the top ten dinners of 2016.
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).