is a great walking and shopping city. I always find it such
fun to put on my sturdiest shoes, grab my backpack and just
meander -- through the bustling city center, along the many
canals and across the tiny, picturesque bridges. What a
perfect way to spend one of my travel days -- window-shopping,
popping into stores, browsing to my heart's delight, and
inevitably coming home with some very interesting and unique
It's pretty pricey
on P.C. Hooftstraat...
York has Fifth Avenue, Chicago has the Golden Mile
and Amsterdam has P.C. Hooftstraat -- home of world-class
boutiques and baubles designed to win a woman's
heart and pocket book. Expect Cartier, Bulgari,
DKNY and Hugo Boss mixed and matched with luxury
Dutch specialty stores. Located just five minutes
from the city's museum quarter, this posh area is
very easy to find and well-worth a visit. Be prepared
for wonderful people watching , terrific trend spotting
and very elegant merchandise.
exclusive are some of the shops? At Shoebaloo
(#80), a very upscale shoe emporium, kiddies
rubber boots are 180 euro a pair. Shoppers looking
for style without as large a price tag need
not be discouraged. They can head for Dr.
Adams, a shoe chain located
further up the block with much more affordable
Corner Sweers (#29) is a mini
flower shop with delightfully welcoming service.
Those in-the-know wander straight to the gift
nook in their back room. On offer are charming
and colourful items -- napkins, cosmetic bags,
candles -- each just a bit out of the ordinary,
each a wonderful household souvenir of Holland.
Looking for true
Dutch kitsch? Close by is Kaaks
(#32), an enormous souvenir emporium. Beside
the many postcards, calendars and key chains,
there are t-shirts galore ranging from tiny
to extra big, Dutch dolls in typical dress,
colourful wooden shoes and authentic Royal Delft
ware. This is chic memento shopping at very
Is your sister,
girlfriend or daughter pregnant? If your answer
is yes, I suggest a stop at Robbe
& Berking (#130), a Dutch shop
specializing in sterling silver objects. Be
sure to ask about their birth spoon collection.
This commemorative teaspoon - with handle (different
for boys and girls) - is designed so you're
able to engrave the newborn's name, date of
birth, height and weight on it. The price tag
for this elegant gift is 50 euro for silver
plate and 75 euro for sterling. Happy to report
that service in this shop is sterling as well!
If little Journey people are
high on your gift list, you'll want to make
your way to the exclusive Oilily
Store (#131-133 ) to see their
colorful children's wear collection. Founded
by a Dutch husband and wife team, Oilily's well-known
whimsical styling calls out to the rich and
famous around the world. Stockings in their
signature combo of pinks and oranges can be
had for a mere 10 euro. With these your little
darling is certain to stand out in a crowd.
||Finally, every shopping spree needs
a coffee or lunch break. For that time, Journeywoman
suggests Caffe Fiorito
(#63), where sitting outside in the sunshine is
a real treat. This unassuming spot attracts a
nice mix of locals, shoppers and tourists, and
their snack food menu is very reasonable for ritzy
P.C. Hooftstraat. Take your pick - Dutch delight
sandwich with goat cheese, lettuce, truffle oil
and pine seed on Turkish bread (7 euro) or Dutch
Apple Pie served with whipped cream (3.79 euro).
Either one will be a special treat. Travelling
with kiddies? Let them try what all Dutch children
love - white bread smothered with a rich chocolate
paste (2.30 euro). Your youngsters might give
up peanut butter forever.
girls love to shop in Holland...
to Holland? Here's a great tip! Make sure to do
your trouser shopping there. The people of The Netherlands
are the modern days tallest people in the world.
The average Dutch man is just over 6 feet, and the
average Dutch woman is just over 5 foot 7 inches.
Pop into any clothing store - they'll probably stock
your pant length in any style and color you choose.
I know, I'm Dutch and I wait until I go home to
Irma, New York City,
Exploring the nine alleys of the Jordaan