I recently went on the ‘Come away with us’ luxury business summit to Amsterdam, run by the super talented and lovely Pamella Dunn.
After a lovely relaxing flight and a not so relaxing trip through passport control where I was pulled to one side and quizzed about my visit (they eventually told me I looked like someone that they are looking for!) I arrived at the uber stylish Conscious hotel in Westerpark, and was already super excited for the few days ahead. This was helped a lot by the glorious sunshine surrounding the park, if you haven’t been to this area of Amsterdam before, I highly recommend it, it's super relaxed and beautiful, with lots of lovely little restaurants….more on them later!
After checking in I headed to the bar to meet Pam, who immediately wrapped me up in the biggest hug if you ever have the pleasure of meeting Pam, she is super friendly and makes you feel relaxed straight away. She’s fab! I also met Mirjam who was the Amsterdam wedding planner who helped with the logistics of the trip.
The rest of the evening was spent relaxing in the sun eating Bitterballen (the most amazing little-fried balls of thick roux, Mirjam told me they are a very popular snack over there), they are so delicious!! However, it was at this point of just beginning to relax that we found out there was a suitcase drama!….
Earlier in the day Pam had already checked in, but was having trouble opening her case, after about an hour - and lots of you tubing, the hotel eventually managed to open it for her - PHEW! We joked about how bad that could have been bad as the wedding dress was in there for the shoot. We are laughing this off as we are relaxing in the sun, we decide to freshen up and head out for some drinks elsewhere when Pam comes down from her room and says…….”Its not my case”!!
After a few phone calls, the best route seemed to be to take the case back to the airport and HOPE that the right case was there, and after a bus and tram ride back to the airport low and behold there it was in a cage with a tag that said “possible bag switch” between me and my Dutch criminal doppelgänger and Pam’s criminal bag switching, we made a right pair!
The next morning was another beautiful sunny day! Which instantly set the spirits high for our shoot at the flower farm. The model arrived at our hotel where my previous life took over, and I did the bridal makeup for the shoot. We then met my the lovely Lisa of Simply Lush Events who kindly drove us to the farm.
I can’t begin to tell you how breathtaking the flower farms are, I’ve never been to anything like it. It smells totally gorgeous, and there are just rows and rows of lush pink tulips. We started to set up the table for the shoot, and have a play with all the flowers that Fam Flower Farm had put out for us to use! Once the shoot concluded we set up the very same table for our networking lunch, at this point around 16 or so of Amsterdam’s wedding industry professionals joined us for a wonderful meal provided by Lekker Wine Bar. In the afternoon Pam delivered a very informative Instagram masterclass, in which I realised my social media game is weak! Working on that now 🙂 - she has given me so many hints and tips to up my game!
That evening we headed out to an old pumping station for dinner, it was a massive space, and very industrial - right up my street. We had the most fantastic meal, and we would have NEVER have found it as it was tucked up a little side street. This is the perks of having a local guru like Mirjam.
On Tuesday we had the morning to ourselves, I took advantage of a rare child-free morning and had a lie in a late breakfast and then a little stroll around the park in what was another sunny day! - Everyone told us that this was highly unusual for there and that they had similar weather to England, I wasn’t complaining though!
In the afternoon we headed off to the funky Rijks Museum to see the High Society exhibit - it was four centuries of glamour and fashion of the time, as well as how they spent their money, and how excessive they were in life; I found this so interesting. So many fabulous characters, so outgoing and bonkers. Nearly all of them were into gambling and spending their money on fashion. Made for some fascinating stories. My favourite was of Marchesa Luisa Casati she used to walk the streets of Venice with live snakes as necklaces, just one of the many crazy things about her!
That night we went to a Mussel and Gin bar where we had…..you guessed it - Mussels and Gin (and Oysters actually), and they were lovely!
Wednesday - Last morning in Amsterdam today we headed out to a lovely 5-star hotel in which we had intensive business coaching with Pam. It really helped me to focus on the goals for my business. We followed up with a Michelin star meal on the river with a few cocktails.
I am fortunate to get to be involved in such a wonderful trip with the rare opportunity to do a styled shoot in a flower farm.
Can't wait for the next one!