I recently returned from a long weekend away with my Mum and Sister in Amsterdam, a really beautiful city in the Netherlands – and not at all what I expected.
Being a little judgemental, I thought it would be full of lads on stag-dos for a bit of a drug-and-booze fest, but this really wasn’t the case! While there are certain areas in which you will find that sort of thing, the city is full pretty canals and lots of lovely little streets with plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops. As a place to visit, I’d highly recommend it – especially if you have any form of allergy or intolerance, as the city’s many supermarkets and eateries are generally excellent at catering for those with a range of dietary requirements.
I was only there for a short while, but I thought I’d share some of the best places to go in Amsterdam if you’re lactose-free!
Just three minutes down the road from our hotel, Hotel Sebastian, was Lieve; a really trendy restaurant serving Belgium cuisine. The restaurant is divided into two separate sections each with a distinct dining style, the first being ‘Belgian baroque’: three courses of hot, cold and sweet dishes for the table to share, priced at €33.50 per person.
My family and I chose to sit in the other section – ‘Madam Champoepel’ (Mrs. Bubbles) – which I would personally recommend. In this area, you have the freedom to choose any dish and the number of courses; one course is €16, two for €22 and three for €27.50.
But the absolute the best bit about this restaurant is that they offer a full lactose-free menu – with dessert choices too! You can view their menu on their website; try the link at the bottom of this page. It’s virtually identical to the standard menu; some dishes are altered slightly, and a few are absent. You first select your main dish, and then add your side dishes.
I chose the ‘fried eggplant (aubergine) cakes’, with a ‘salad of beans and spicy tomato salsa’. My family each ordered their own dishes, and we shared some chips and mixed vegetables as sides. The eggplant cakes were essentially four mini vegetable burgers; overall very nice, and the salsa tasted great with it.
But let’s get to the most important bit… DESSERT! Yep, they actually offered lactose-free dessert options. Now, to be fair there were only two options, but that’s more than usual, and the most of anywhere I’ve been! I could pick either an assortment of sorbets, or carrot cake with coconut icing. Naturally I had to try the carrot cake as it’s one of my favourites!
Despite my excitement, I have to say I was a little bit disappointed. The icing was absolutely delicious – not too sweet, nice and smooth, with a good dusting of cinnamon on top and a subtle coconut flavour. The cake part itself however was not so good; it was quite stodgy, and more like a bread pudding in consistency. It was just too solid and heavy. It did taste like a carrot cake and had all the right flavours, but just an odd texture. I couldn’t finish it all, but made an effort to scrape off all the icing – that bit was delicious! I’m definitely going to have to try and recreate it for my own carrot cake!
Find out more about Lieve at: