Now playing: “Better Off Without You” by AQUILO
This week I was whisked away (oh how glamourous I’ve made it sound) to the city of Rotterdam, the second biggest city in The Netherlands after its capital, Amsterdam. Whilst the city doesn’t hold a huge range of tourist attractions, it was nice to get away for a city break.
Flattened during the Second World War, I could tell that Rotterdam’s served as a kind of playground for architecture. One place I’d highly recommend you visit if you’re stopping by the city is the Markthal Rotterdam. Located in the city centre and just a two-minute walk from where I was staying, a series of flats and offices arch over a plethora of cheese stands, charcuteries, patisseries and trendy bars, whilst a massive, oddly psychedelic mural encloses you in the markethall. A four-storey raspberry tumbles over a fifteen-storey lily. Square windows are scattered randomly, ingrained against the cave walls. Rotterdam’s Markthal is basically the bloody Sistine Chapel of fresh produce. Stop by to sample and indulge in a number of Dutch treats.
Another one of the highlights from my visit was dinner at Hotel Bazar, one of the most popular and renowned attractions in Rotterdam. The combined hotel and restaurant is bang in the middle of Witte de Withstraat, a street lined with trendy bars and restaurants. What I’d call one of those hip, trendy boutique hotels, the interior is absolutely beautiful, heavily inspired by the flavours, colours and designs of the oriental, Middle East and Africa. The food, primarily Middle Eastern, is generous and absolutely delicious. Plus, you’ll never see Bazar empty, a great, buzzing atmosphere is always guaranteed.
No holiday would be complete without scouting for the best shops (fellow bloggers, you hear me?), whether it be the big names or trendy, individual boutiques. Every city has its gems – I happened to stumble across a beauty of an individual concept store called Margreeth Olsthoorn, a sort of discount boutique that holds a number of avant-garde European designer brands – Ann Demeuleester, Maison Margiela’s MM6, Phoebe English, Comme Des Garçons…I could go on. You know when you find the perfect store that perfectly caters to your aesthetic? That happened. The window display of creepily-realistic mannequins looked as though they were styled by the Olsen twins themselves, and what they had in store was a gorgeous hand-picked selection of clothes in a palette of black, white and muted tones like khaki and grey.
Unfortunately, the pricing was a little bit dear for little ol’ me, so instead I had a field trip at Swedish brand Monki. Well, I didn’t go crazy, but let’s just say I literally bought the same top in three different colours. Black, white and grey ribbed short-sleeved turtle necks are essentials, right? As the description says, “Crisp, tight, light and just right” – rightly said!
Inevitably, with my growing fixation on Mac lipsticks (something that is becoming a fatal flaw in me), I somehow came up with another excuse to go and treat myself at the Mac counter in De Bijenkorf, a major Dutch department store. Again. Help me.
I’ve recently been looking for a sort of muted terracotta- / brick-coloured matte lipstick, and took a shine to Mac’s Retro lipstick. Described as a “muted peachy-pinky brown” on the website, the lipstick has a Satin finish – so, to make it more matte to my liking, I’ll apply it, blot with a tissue, gently dab a transluscent powder all over the lips (I’m currently using Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder) with my trusty Mac 217 brush, then apply the lipstick over the powder setting. It works a treat!
Okay, I’ve realised that Retro is a lot less terracotta than I thought – it has more pink undertones than orange/ brown. Still, Retro kind of gives me that 90’s makeup vibe. I’m not complaining. I’ve also noticed that Retro is a sort of deeper version of Mac’s Mocha (one of my favourite lipsticks).
I also want to check out Nars’ Pure Matte Lipstick in Amsterdam – from the looks of things, it seems to be the perfect matte terracotta! Have you tried out Amsterdam or do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
So that’s pretty much it for my Rotterdam round-up. I’m having trouble uploading a couple of pictures, so apologies for the general lack of photos at the moment. Hope you enjoyed reading!