With heatwave temperatures of up to 36 degrees on certain tube lines (Central, we’re looking at you), it’s no surprise that Londoners have been dodging the sauna vibes and opting for open-air jaunts instead. So much so that Santander Cycles just had the busiest month since it began in 2010. The city’s self-service cycle hire scheme was used 1,188,428 times in July 2016, but July 2018 weighed in with 50,000 more hires at 1.2 million. Not a bad way to celebrate your eighth birthday, eh?
Launched on 30 July 2010 with 400 docking stations and 6,600 bikes, the network has now spread to cover 100 square kilometres with 11,000 bikes and 800 stations, making it the largest cycle hire scheme in Europe. One customer is so cycle-savvy, they’ve clocked in at 573 out of 785 docking stations (that’s just under three quarters). Bizarrely, the most popular route is not even a route at all – it’s actually a round trip starting and ending at Hyde Park Corner, proof that we all love a bit of pedestrianised pedalling.
Ticking the boxes for both visitors and commuters, we can only hope for more two-wheeled wonders and docking stations around the city. Ealing, Hammersmith, Fulham and Newham are next to get a slice of the cycling action, as new cycle routes open later this year. Bin your Brompton, this summer belongs to Santander.
I’m very excited today to have Laura from Wander with Laura sharing her travel guide to Liverpool with us. I went to Liverpool University and I absolutely loved this colourful and creative city. The main thing I feel about Liverpool is that it’s a fun city. No one takes themselves too seriously and there’s a…
Heading to Amsterdam? I bet you’ve already made a list of all the Dutch cuisine you can’t wait to try. Chances are herring, gouda and stroopwaffle are all on that list (and for good reason – they’re all delicious!) but you might know less about the abundance of Surinamese food in Amsterdam.
What is Surinamese Food?
To answer this question, we need to take a look at its history. If you’re sitting comfortably, I shall begin.
Bordered by French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south, the South American country of Suriname is a former Dutch colony. After the abolition of slavery in 1863, Dutch plantation owners in Suriname needed a new source of labor, so they encouraged workers from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) to start a new life in South America. Today 14% of the Surinamese population are Javanese – Java being the fourth largest island in Indonesia. This is the reason you’ll often see Surinamese cuisine listed alongside Indonesian.
It’s because of this colonial past, that Surinamese food is hard to define. The people are some of the most diverse in the world. Suriname is a melting pot of Indian, African, Javanese and Chinese settlers – and you’ll find all these influences in the country’s cuisine. Here’s a list of our favorite Surinamese restaurants in Amsterdam followed by a handy guide to Surinamese food so that you know what to order when you get there!
After a walk through De Pijp’s Albert Cuyp Market head here for lunch. This restaurant has been serving up quality Surinamese / Javanese food since 1978. The restaurant is small but very popular and they don’t take reservations so expect a bit of a wait if you head there on weekends. Look forward to generous portions and reasonable prices!
A perfect place to grab lunch or dinner to go. The tiny hole-in-the-wall owned by Henk van de Weerd and Juliet Chang specialises in Surinamese-inspired sandwiches, snacks, roti, rice and bami/nasi specialties. You can visit Swieti Sranang on both our Jordaan Food Tour and our Jordaan Food & Canals Tour – you’ve got to try the satay!
Tokoman specializes in traditional Surinamese dishes. This is where you need to head if you’re looking for a quick, tasty and fresh lunch or evening meal. They serve delicious sandwiches, as well as rice and noodles with meat or vegetables.
Named after a town in Suriname, this simple restaurant serves up a mixture of Surinamese and Chinese food. It has friendly staff and is excellent value for money. Try the Tjauw minh (thin noodles with meat and vegetables) and the gado gado (vegetables smothered in peanut sauce).
According to locals they serve the best Roti dishes in town – and you have the option of meat or vegetarian versions. Don’t miss your chance to try the traditional Surinamese soda called “Fernandes” if you stop by this popular eatery.
The Globe tavern is positioned right in the middle of London’s Borough Market, offering perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy food market, which can be quite overwhelming after a while – oh, the stresses of finding the perfect balsamic vinegar/artisan loaf of bread!
This pub has thankfully managed to avoid becoming a chain and the lovely frontage to this old fashioned pub will easily lure you in. Once inside you’ll be faced with a mishmash of chairs and tables in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. The drinks are reasonable and the service is with a smile. The pub is steeped in history and as the plaque on the front of the pub states, it was actually named after the globe theatre and for some time it was believed that Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre had been on this very site… sadly they’d got that all wrong…but obviously the name stuck.
Since realising their geographical error the pub has had its own real connection with the entertainment industry and features as the pub that Bridget Jones lives above in the film. If you don’t get a chance to pop in next time you’re in Borough for the market I recommend you try to pop down on the first Friday of the month to their vintage RnB and northern soul night -Burnt Toast- with the DJ mixing only the finest in 7″ vinyl from the era, great for a boogie!
If you are living as an expat, what cuisine do you miss the most from your home? As an American living in London, I have learned that the idea of BBQ is one of the highlights of US cuisine. While growing up in America, I didn’t appreciate it the way I do now. So, when I heard a Porky’s BBQ was opening in West Hampstead,