One of the country’s biggest cultivators is in Vogelenzang which is open to the public from March to May. Other bulb fields are to be found in the west between Haarlem and Den Helder and around Enkhuizen. Amsterdam has a floating market on the Singel canal.
The place to stay is the Pulitzer Amsterdam on Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal): not far from the Anne Frank House, the canalboat and canal museums, the Van Gogh Museum and tulip musuem. The area comprises 25 sixteenth and seventeenth century merchants’ canal houses and visitors can take a canal cruise on the hotel’s 1909 ‘Tourist’ saloon boat in which Churchill toured. With its polished teak, marble and bevilled glass, it’s slightly more upmarket than a pedalo.
The hotel is in the middle of the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) shopping area, and near the Dam and Jordaan districts. Built by Peter Pulitzer, grandson of Hungarian-born Joseph who founded the Pulitzer literary prizes, the iconic hotel has a modern art collection (look at the plastic spoon petals in the foyer) and a piano suspended over the entrance commemorating the annual concert on the canal. There are trumpets in a room inspired by the local record shops and the entrance to the Restaurant Jansz, famous for executive chef Jereon Robbegt’s lobster risotto and hanger steak, has medicine jars harking back to its time as an apothecary. Here bartender Andrei Talapanescu offers twelve cocktails such as Silver Medal (Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, Quinquina tonic) inspired by Ernest Hemingway who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. So far, Hemingway hasn’t had a tulip named after him.
The hotel is unique for offering concierge walking tours which tell you all about tulips, as well as the 350th anniversary Rembrandt route taking in Oude Kerk, his home between 1639 and 1658 where he married Saskia van Uylenburgh, The Blue Bridge (De Blauwbrug) which he painted, Westkerk where he is buried with his lover Hendrickje Stoffels and the Rijksmuseum, home of The Night Watch and other works.
Along with concierge Ron, you can also visit the city’s old pubs or bruin (brown) cafes, its space cake and hash brownie coffee shops, the House Of Bols, The Heineken Experience, its flea markets, the arts and antiques district of Spiegelkwartier, the Diamant Museum, sample Gouda and Edam cheeses, even indulge in some whole body cryotherapy with three minutes at a temperature of -110˚C before exploring the nineteenth century Plantage and luxury shopping museum district around Van Baerlestraat and P.C. Hooftstraat.
Not to mention the Red Light District where you can window shop 24/7 all-year-round. The bulb fields’ window may be smaller. But it’s far more spectacular. essence info
To book a visit to the Bulb auction, visit www.royalfloraholland.com