Amsterdam City Blog restaurants, shops, people and life in Amsterdam


Good food, fast: Bar Lempicka

Bar Lempicka on the Amstel in Amsterdam

Bar Lempicka on the Amstel, across the street from the Amstel Hotel has a classy Art Deco vibe. The staff is friendly, attentive and competent. The food is good and reasonably priced, with mains like a juicy Black Angus rib eye for E19,50. Or a vegetarian ravioli dish for E13,50 (small) or E19,50 (large).

If you've got tickets for Carré and are looking for a good restaurant to have dinner before your show, this is the place to go. Tell the staff when your show is due to start and they will try their utmost to get you to the theatre in time.


Bar Lempicka
Sarphatistraat 23
1018EV Amsterdam
tel: 020 6220209

Open 9 AM - 1 AM
Fridays and Saturdays until 3 AM


Good samaritan, good karma

We were in a restaurant in Amsterdam East yesterday and as we were getting ready to leave, I checked my keys and realized they were not there. Or anywhere. Had I...? Yes, I believed I had left them in the lock of my bicycle. As we were parking our bikes, Levi berated me for not placing mine close enough to his to allow him to put his lock through both our frames. So I left him to it, and thus completely forgot to lock mine. Not just my bicycle keys, but also my housekeys were on the ring. Oh no...

I ran out of the restaurant to my bike. But I could see as I approached it, that there was no key in the lock. I started to doubt myself: had I locked my bike? But no, I was sure I hadn't. Had someone taken the keys??? But even if I had been stupid enough to forget to lock it, it was still attached to Levi's, there was no way anyone could have taken mine without a hassle.

Then it occurred to me that someone may have noticed... And might not have taken them but perhaps had hidden them? I shook my bike to see if it jangled and sure enough it did. The keys were safely tucked inside the bicycle bag. What a relief! I am so glad that there are still good people in the world.

Thank you good samaritan! May you find good karma on your path in your future.


Hotel Arena: gorgeous and affordable

bedroom at Hotel Arena, photo by antidigital_daMy friend Jay came over for a visit from London with his girlfriend. She's allergic to cats and so they looked for a nice hotel somewhere, rather than staying with us in our flat. Besides, it was their anniversary weekend, so the idea of sleeping on a mattress on the floor wasn't all that romantic. They ended up in Hotel Arena in Amsterdam East.

Hotels in Amsterdam can be really expensive. Hotel Arena is a ways from the centre, but it's gorgeous! And surprisingly affordable to boot (Jay said he only paid 51 pounds per person per night, not bad eh?). We rented bicycles for Jay and his girl, so the distance from the city wasn't a problem and the weather was great.

Fun stuff in Amsterdam east
The hotel is close to Oosterpark and the Artis Zoo. But with bicycles at our disposal, it's easy to go anywhere really. So we went to the clothes market at Waterlooplein and had quiche and pie at De Laatste Kruimel (one of my favourites!) on Saturday. Jay and Sarah had a lovely dinner at Café Maxwell on Sunday. Levi pointed him in the direction of that little gem. Jay was so enthusiastic about the place, I'm dying to go there too now.

Jay told me to tip you guys this site for cheap flights to and hotels in Amsterdam. I've never heard of them before, but Jay's usually good about doing his homework.

Chandeliers at Hotel Arena in Amsterdam East, photo by antidigital_daBathroom at Hotel Arena in Amsterdam, photo by antidigital_daUpstairs hallway at Hotel Arena in Amsterdam East, photo by antidigital_da

Hotel Arena
's-Gravesandestraat 51
1092 AA Amsterdam, Nederland
+31 20 - 850 24 00