Amsterdam X Bloomon- I Daydream Of You Amid The Flowers

This week I've been a busy traveling bee again! For my last post I spoke about one of my all time favourite cities, Rome and this week I was lucky enough take a trip to yet another destination at the top of my "cities I've fallen in love with" list, Amsterdam! I've been to Amsterdam on a number of occasions now but always in the winter months when the city is awash with autumnal hues, the streets are paved with fallen leaves and there's a real cosy feel to it's ornate lamp lite canals. When the fabulous folk at Bloomon invited me down to Amsterdam in August, the height of summer, to attend their Flower Festival and visit their picturesque flower fields, I jumped at the chance. The city did not disappoint in summer, embracing the season with the same relaxed, effortless, yet incredibly stylish approach it has in its winter months. The cosy lighting and rustic tones were now replaced with beautiful greenery, lining the streets and climbing up the mismatched, marzipan like houses. Bright flower boxes decorated the canal rails and potted plants dotted along the stairways, the city was know doubt in full bloom... Was there ever a more apt time to attend a flower festival?

Where I Stayed

So first and foremost I need to tell you guys about where I stayed just because it was so bloody amazing, super sleek in its design and I would highly recommend! It was a hotel/cafe called Zoku, which from the outside looks like any other apartment block but once inside and on the sixth floor your opinion is completely transformed. The sixth floor is at roof terrace level and the entrance is lined with allotments full of foliage and plant life. I feel like if you ever needed a place to just clear your head... This would be paradise. The hotel as a huge open plan cafe space with work stations and pods; a must destination for any aspiring cosmopolitan freelancer... Cue Amsterdam's version of Sex And The City any day now (erm... wait maybe not, given the city's most infamous district). 

My room was designed as a studio apartment but I can't help but think that label really down plays it. This wasn't JUST a little studio apartment, this was a cosy space of of your own whereby you could feel right at home. Within about five minutes of being there I; A) Felt much less cooler than and completely inadequate for the room I was standing in and B) I planned a whole new life in Amsterdam involving plans to move in on a permanent basis (whilst also thinking of ways I could become equally as cool). This hotel is well worth a visit or a stay if you're after that authentic, laid back Amsterdam attitude. Totally unassuming but incredibly inspiring.

What I Did

Ok so firstly I need to be 100% honest with you and tell you I've never actually been a shameless tourist in Amsterdam and so high on my agenda was a trip to the Van Gogh Museum (when I say high on my agenda what I really mean is I pre-bought tickets, printed them out and had the cash ready to by a souvenir tee... I was keen. Pre-booking however is advised, queue are lengthy), followed by a visit to the Moco Museum where they were holding a temporary Banksy and Dali exhibition... I figured that as I was in Amsterdam courtesy of Bloomon and I was there to see all things floral, it seemed only fitting I paid a visit to the most famous sunflowers in the world. I loved it. Both Museums are worth a visit and I'd advise catching the Banksy exhibition whilst you can!

After my day of being the biggest, most geeky tourist of them all, I returned back to my "too cool for school" room and got spruced up for the prettiest festival EVER hosted by the lovely Bloomon Team, complete with the most aesthetically pleasing flower wall I think I ever have laid/ever will lay eyes on. We enjoyed floral based cocktails, hand massages, nail pampering and the piece de resistance, a flower crown tutorial in which I learned I have a natural gift for floristry... Debatable. Completely subjective and highly unlikely... But I tried and that's the main thing. I couldn't have asked for a more lovely night, in such a lovely city celebrating the wonderful flowers it produces. 

On the second day Bloomon took us on a trip to visit their flower fields just south of Amsterdam so we could see exactly where their beautiful bouquets start life. In total we visited three fields, all owned by family run business and cultivating flowers on a large scale. It honestly was as insightful, as it was photogenic visiting the fields. Seeing just how a business like Bloomon runs from start to finish has given me a new found appreciation for a beautiful bunch of my favourite flowers. Oh and one of the fields uses rescued battery chickens to help weed the ground... Slow clap for that field please.

What I Wore

Ok so there were three outfits in total on my trip BUT after a 4am start on the Wednesday I didn't exactly feel enthusiastic about having my picture taken so please excuse me, you're only seeing two. Now I've actually spoken about Amsterdam style in a previous blog and I stand by my analogy. This is a city with such a laid back, simple outlook on dressing and it's so refreshing. I think every time I go, I never ever feel self conscious about what I'm wearing. In fact the first outfit was a Topshop Boutique polka dot midi dress and surprisingly I felt over dressed... If you know my style well, you know over dressed doesn't really ever come into it! I did however give my midi slip a slight Amsterdam twist, teaming it with some beautiful albeit very androgonous looking victorian black boots and a simple red lip. I absolutely loved this look, I find "dressy" dressing so difficult and way out of my comfort zone. Giving a feminine dress a playful, boyish accessory is the perfect compromise for me (See every tea dress and Converse combo I ever worn for more details).

Next I wore a Broderie Anglaise, vintage inspired smock dress from Joanie Clothing... I can't help but feel Broderie Anglaise is perhaps THE most perfect fabric to wear whilst running around in flower fields (the idea of this sounds a lot more romantic in your head). It's one of my favourite types of embroidery, forever giving any item of clothing a vintage, Lolita-esque feel. I teamed it with my trusty Converse, Exhibit B on my need to make anything girly just a touchy boyish too!... I rest my case.

After the flower fields, I waved goodbye to Amsterdam in summer more then certain I'd see it again soon in winter and made my way back to Manchester. It was such a joy to see such a disarming city, I love so dearly in full bloom and to have such a lovely brand as Bloomon show me the best flowers the city has to offer. With the next Bloomon bouquet to arrive at my door, I'll be sure to think of the pretty fields I know they've traveled from and smile...

Oh and of course I'll think of the chickens too...

Visit their site now to see their full bouquet collection:

Sophia x

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