Amsterdam and I, we have a difficult relationship.
I appreciate the pretty canals and canal houses, but I do not feel much love for the overcrowded, touristy areas, not to mention the overload of hen- and stag do’s taking place here in weekends. I desperately try to avoid all that to give the prettier places of Amsterdam a fair chance. I must say, it has started to grow on me lately. I have even found an area that I like and have visited repeatedly now. It’s called the 9 Straatjes (nine little streets) and that is where it’s at.
9 Straatjes is in the heart of Amsterdam, consisting of nine side streets of the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel, all part of the ‘canal belt’ with its stately canal houses. It doesn’t get more quintessentially Amsterdam than this.
Add to that an eclectic mix of small, unique shops, and I’m sold. You will find organic juice & food shops for the fitgirls among us, but the wine & cheese lovers won’t be left out either (imagine if you’re a fit wine lover! Heaven! 😉 ).
And so is interior decor, and one shop in particular. The hobbit is really missing the UK lately, so when we went to Amsterdam this weekend to shoot my boots, he wanted to visit Timothy Oulton as he knew he would feel a little bit at home between Union Jacks, Chesterfields and other Britishness. We went over to Runstraat where Timothy Oulton has one of their Amsterdam shops.
Timothy Oulton is a one-of-a-kind shop where you will find unique handcrafted decorating pieces for your house, that quality bag you were after or even a new sofa.
The highlight at the Runstraat gallery is the leather bag collection.
You’ll even get a cuppa if you want, but a glass of Veuve Clicquot will do nicely too.
On Union Jack napkins of course. The only thing missing now is a fireplace.
The hobbit started to feel better and decided to bring a bit of Britain home with him.
There is a gap in the right upper corner for a reason; the British flag that was hanging there found a new place to live on our bedroom wall.
The brand Timothy Oulton is undeniably British with a gallery in Harrods,
yet internationally orientated with stores all over the world, and flagships in Dallas, Hong Kong and Amsterdam. You can read the full story of the brand on their website, it’s quite remarkable. Every single item they sell is handcrafted, made by craftsmen who know their trade and who work only with the best materials.
In case you wonder, this is not a collaboration or anything. I was just so happy to find a place that gave my man a sense of home in my home country that I wanted to share it. I’ve never lived abroad (yet) but it can’t always be easy. Sometimes you just need to feel close to home, or for something to give you that feeling. The shop assistant looked at us and fully understood someone needed comforting, so she was giving cuddles like they were going out of fashion. Meet the cutest dog ever. I’m in love.
The atmosphere of the shop with the robust wooden tables, chunky Chesterfields and fluffy pillows made me crave for autumn even more. I can’t wait for cosy dark evenings, the smell of fallen leaves, the lounge lit up by candles while it’s getting colder outside. Anticipating on this, we treated ourselves to a lovely scented candle that makes our home smell like a crisp autumn day after a rain shower. It’s called ‘royal garden’ for a reason, and it definitely lives up to its name.
I left the shop inspired and with a happier hobbit. Win-Win I’d say.
If you are visiting Amsterdam anytime soon, make sure you stroll through the 9 Straatjes and pop in at Timothy Oulton (if only for their splendid choice of champagne).