Why stay on the ground when you can sleep in the trees?
You get a different perspective when you’re nestled in with the birds and the tranquility is bliss. From a romantic getaway in St Lucia, to a family-friendly treehouse in East Sussex, the nature-inspired architecture of these unique rentals is sure to leave you on cloud nine.
This exotic treehouse offers a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the top of the lush jungle canopy, overlooking the shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea. With the shore just steps away, this treehouse is a great way to experience both the jungle and the beach. It even comes equipped with a sea-view kitchenette, and a natural fresh water pool.
Stretching up to the tree tops, this impressive and unique property stands on a 50 metre-squared platform of oak trees and is powered exclusively by solar energy. The project was the first of its kind in Croatia and won the ‘Innovation of the Year Award’ in 2016. The treehouse can accommodate up to 6 people, boasting three bedrooms, one bathroom, and an expansive open air terrace to enjoy the fresh air and stunning views over Konavle valley.
Bay Treehouse is a stunning jungle retreat that boasts a five-out-of-five review score from travellers. Relax on the private sundeck with views of the beach and Laborie Bay, or scout for treetop wildlife from the comfort of your king-sized bed. The treehouse’s private plunge pool is a great way to cool off after your jungle adventures, and the experience will make for an unforgettable trip. As one reviewer noted, “A lovely treehouse amongst beautiful surroundings so close to everything but at the same time so far from the crowds. We loved it!”
This unique award-winning ‘eco-luxury’ retreat is nestled amongst rainforest with an infinity plunge pool and cosy wraparound lounge area offering endless forest views. Monkeys, parrots and toucans all frequently visit the lodge and its surrounding reserve, making you feel at one with nature. But, the most magical time of day is late afternoons where you can sit back with a glass of wine and catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife.
This romantic, picture-perfect treehouse floats above an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conveniently located just half an hour south of the M25. The bedroom features a cosy fire to keep ‘adventurers’ warm at night and a luxuriously comfortable double bed. With a terrace overlooking the treetops, you’ll feel totally at one with nature. One reviewer raved, “It is absolutely amazing, quiet woodland location, cleverly designed and beautifully built house itself is almost work of art!”
Sitting in the forests outside of Paris, this modern treehouse suspended 11 metres in the air will surely bring out your inner child. Follow the gangway to its terrace, which boasts panoramic treetop views, and is perfect for relaxing. After a day of exploring, ease yourself and unwind in a private hot tub. Breakfast is included and is set at the bottom of the treehouse in the morning; luckily, there’s a handy rope attached so guests can pull it up.
Watamu treehouse is the ultimate jungle getaway. Situated on one of the most picturesque stretches of Watamu beach and built high in the trees, its unique architecture provides a 360-degree panorama of the Indian Ocean on one side and native forest on the other. The house consists of three towers in the trees, linked by bridges, stairways and ramps.
This charming treehouse home is located in the private Coral Bay and tucked away in the Caribbean hillside with panoramic sea views. The romantic escape features a large bedroom with an outside kitchenette and a terrace that overlooks the awe-inspiring bay below.
Looking for the best beer in Amsterdam? There’s no easier way to try many at once than by going to a classic beer bar. Read on as I share my top picks for Amsterdam beer bars!
In de Wildeman
Our first stop is In de Wildeman. If you ask me, it’s the best beer bar in Amsterdam. You might be wary of it, given it’s smack dab in the center, off of the very touristy Nieuwendijk. But once you step inside, you’ll know you’ve made it to the right place. It has a very cozy, almost neighborhood feel to it, with wood painted a kitschy green and your requisite beer paraphernalia but with a slightly vintage vibe.
They have stacks upon stacks of board games and books in the corner to help you while away the hours. The building is 300 years old, and used to house a distillery – which you’ll see evidenced today by the stacks of huge barrels in the back.
At any given time, In de Wildeman has 18 beers on tap, and a whopping 250 in the bottle, offering a wide range of flavors from light and refreshing to quirky and strong. They also serve real ales from the cask, which you almost never see in Amsterdam. Keep an eye on the measurement of the beer listed next to the price – sometimes stronger ones will be sold in smaller glasses. Though the bartenders have almost always pointed this out to me. In fact, the bar staff is one of the most knowledgeable and helpful you’ll find in Amsterdam, willing to offer recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you’re more uninitiated. If you’re friendly they might even let you try a sip of something before you order.
The current bar has been here about 30 years, and is a real institution in the beer community of Amsterdam. They often host speciality beer events and tastings, such as Dutch Beer Week, the Carnival Brettanomyces (dedicated to funky beers brewed with wild yeast) and parties to launch new beers.
It’s not just beer here. They also serve some top-notch snacks: artisanal cheese, hearty sausages and the like. And if that isn’t enough to keep you in the game, you can always pop out quickly for a burger at one of the nearby purveyors before joining your friends for the next round.
Go here for: a cozy afternoon warming up next to the radiator
Beer to try: they have an impressive list of beers with spontaneous fermentation: kriek, geuze and the like. This beer gets its yeast from the air, which can lead to some interesting flavors. Try a couple to taste the whole range of possibilities!
Brouwerij ‘t IJ Vondelpark
If you know anything about beer in Amsterdam, you’ll recognize the name of the longest running craft brewer in the city. Started in the 80s in the East, it’s called a defunct public bathhouse next to the iconic windmill home – until now! In spring 2019, it opened a second location in the middle of Vondelpark, the bustling green space just between the West and Zuid neighborhoods.
Hidden among the trees you’ll find Het Blauwe Theehuis, a cute little blue affair that’s been in the park almost a century. You’ll understand the appeal as soon as you turn up; their terrace is extensive and lively, retaining the cheerful atmosphere of their original location. It’s the kind of place where you can pull up a chair and easily get to know a stranger.
So, on to the beer! As it’s their tap room, you’ll find all of Brouwerij ‘t IJ’s tried and tested brews available, like Natte, a sweet Dubbel. They also brew special seasonal beers, like PaasIJ, a fresh bok that comes around every spring. They also brew a special Pilsner you can only get at this location. The bar is small and quite busy, but as the options are straightforward any line usually moves pretty quickly.
If you’re feeling peckish, they’ve got you covered for food as well. Renato’s, a pizza place hailing from De Pijp, has set up shop here and serves up some lovely pizzas perfect for sharing.
Go here for: a lazy afternoon in the sun with a big group. If you have a picnic somewhere else in the park, stop by afterwards: as an initiative to keep the park looking fresh and clean, Het Blauwe Theehuis will give you a free beer for every bag of trash you turn in!
Beer to try: it’s hard to pick among so many classics! I usually pick whatever the special edition beer at the moment is, with the recurring Ciel Bleu IPA being my absolute favorite.
Craft and Draft
The last stop on our tours of the best beer bars in Amsterdam is just around the corner at Craft and Draft. This bar on Overtoom is home to a whopping 40 taps, hailing from around the world, and 100 more bottles. Compared to the other bars on this list, they tend to have more experimental and out-there flavor combinations.
Long story short, pretty much any beer type you want at a given moment, they’ve probably got. The bar staff is super knowledgeable here, and aren’t hesitant to give honest reviews or steer you away from beers that might not be up your alley.
One other really cool part of this bar is that they also sell growlers, which isn’t usually done in the Netherlands, even though it’s quite common in the United States. They also have a fridge full of bottles that you can take with you. Both of these make excellent options for a sunny day in the park. But if you don’t want to go too far, they also have quite a large terrace out front.
Go here for: the start of a lively night. If you’re up for a pub crawl, the owner of this bar has three others: Beer Temple, Het Arendsnest and Beer Loves Food. Drink a beer at each one and you’ll get a free T-shirt!
Beer to try: The house beer, The Big Fat Double 5 IPA, was originally brewed for the 5th anniversary of the Beer Temple by local brewery Het Uiltje. Everybody liked it so much they decided to keep it around! It’s super flavorful, and was even given the Gold medal in the Dutch beer challenge for best Imperial IPA of the Netherlands.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about a city like London is the number of street markets all over the city. Each borough seems to have its own commercial thoroughfare that’s filled with produce, street food, vintage clothes, antiques, and more. Whether you intend to buy anything or not, you can spend a wonderful afternoon perusing the stalls and shops of London’s street markets encountering items and people. We’ve outlined our top ten favorite street markets below, and you can feel free to let us know your own favorites in the comments.
Alfies Antique Market
As you might expect from the name, Alfies is full of stores that mainly focus on antiques from furniture to bric-a-brac. The market has over 75 specialist dealers, so if you’re looking for something specific odds are good you’ll find it there. Alfies Antique Market is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM, and if you get lucky, chances are good you can encounter a well-known designer or celebrity.
Columbia Road Flower Market
You might not be able to take anything home with you from this market, but the Columbia Road Flower Market is the largest of its kind in London. Lined with any number of flowers, cacti, buds, ferns, and more, the flower market even has a small number of non-floral items such as baked goods, pots, art, and even vintage clothes. As with some other entries on this list, the market is only open one day a week, from 8 AM until 3 PM on Sundays.
Acting as a border of sorts between Haggerston and Cambridge Heath, Broadway Market is one example of how London’s markets have changed over time. When it began in 1800, it was primarily a produce market, but since the late 20th Century, has branched out to include street food, vintage clothing, and other hand-made items. The market only opens on Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM, so you should make a plan to head out to Hackney if you want to see it.
Brick Lane Market
Like Broadway Market, most of the activity at Brick Lane Market only takes place one day a week, on Sunday, though the shops that line the street are open every day. Whether you’re visiting the stalls or any of the unique shops, you’re likely to find items here that exist nowhere else and at some bargain prices. Of course, the top reason to visit is the fantastic array of street food.
Portobello Road Market
The Portobello Road Market is as colorful as Notting Hill and one of the best representations of that part of London. While it has a little bit of everything, the market is mostly known today for the wide variety of antiques, and while not as specialized as Alfies, it has a culture all its own. Hours can vary depending on the day and the market’s main days are Friday and Saturday, though it operates on a smaller scale throughout the week and only closes on Sunday.
Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market is actually two markets, the Apple Market and the East Colonnade Market. The Apple Market was once one of the city’s best produce markets but now focuses on jewelry, handbags, clothing, and other unique hand-made fashions. The East Colonnade Market also offers a number of craft items and unique stalls. The markets are open from 10 AM to 6 PM Monday to Saturday and 11 AM to 6 PM on Sunday.
Old Spitalfields Market
Many of London’s current markets are hundreds of years old, but their current buildings were constructed during the 1800s. None show off this classic Victorian look quite like Old Spitalfields Market. The Homer Square and Home Buildings are Grade II listed, and the interior is full of stalls selling bespoke items as well as tasty cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Greenwich Market is one of the most eclectic in the city; it is also one of the most historic. Part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, the market is arguably the most fashionable of London’s street markets, full of designer and unique fashions and crafts. Greenwich Market is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
Brixton Village and Market Row
Brixton Market is the best of both worlds in that it comprises both a street market and an arcade of shops. The market began in 1870 and today plays host to any number of stalls and shops selling seemingly everything from food to vinyl records. It’s also one of the most colorful markets in London and is open every day from 8 AM to 11:30 PM.
Saving the best for last, Camden Market is the most celebrated in London and certainly the largest, partly because it’s comprised of several markets throughout the Camden area. Camden Lock Market, Stables Market, Buck Street Market, the Electric Ballroom, and the Inverness Street Market sell just about everything under the sun out of stalls and shops. It’s not unbelievable to think you could spend all day here and even all night as some places such as the Electric Ballroom turn into clubs after the shops close.
Find death-focused days out at Brompton Cemetery and beyond at this month-long festival of macabre
Insect Taxidermy Master the art of preserving dead insects at this fascinating workshop where you’ll learn about techniques that have been in use for 300 years. Taxidermy collector Suzette Field will walk you through the skills used in setting and pinning butterflies to create a visual display. This beginners’ course welcomes all levels and you’ll leave with your own creation. Damien Hirst isn’t the only one who knows how to get creative with a set of butterfly wings… The Dissenters’ Chapel. Tube: Kensal Green. Sat Oct 5. £45.
Erotic Death ArtJoin Dr Christina Welch – a lecturer at the University of Winchester – in the eerily beautiful surroundings of Brompton Cemetery Chapel, as she discusses erotic death art through the ages. Learn the meaning behind strange motifs of scantily clad women embracing coffins and the relationships to male figures symbolising death. Ticket price includes a welcome Hendrick’s gin cocktail, so you can raise a glass to some dead good art. Brompton Cemetery Chapel. Tube: Fulham Broadway. Sat Oct 12. £12.
Shadow Puppet show No, this isn’t a The Last Shadow Puppets reunion gig, this is an actual shadow puppet show. Go behind the shadows and watch a performance of ‘The Highwayman’ and ‘The Suffolk Miracle’. There’ll be a torchlit walk through the cemetery beforehand to get you in the mood. Brompton Cemetery Chapel. m Fulham Broadway. Sat 13 Oct. £12.
A New Way of Death: a guided tour of Nunhead Cemetery Nunhead Cemetery is one of a group of special Victorian graveyards in London known as the ‘magnificent seven’ but it’s also the most cinematic (translation: the creepiest) of the whole gang. Its nineteenth-century headstones jut out of the gnarly undergrowth, stone angels stand wrapped in tangles of overgrown ivy. Go on a tour of its gothic monuments (including one designed by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott) led by a real graveyard expert. Nunhead Cemetery. Nunhead rail. Oct 13. £12.
The Secret History of Pet Cemeteries Uncover the peculiar history of various pet cemeteries around the UK with a talk from Professor Julie-Marie Strange, author of ‘The Invention of the Modern Dog: Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain’. Find out how the Victorians sparked a trend for animal burials that left London’s Hyde Park pet cemetery overcrowded with 600 tiny animal gravestones with epitaphs like ‘our faithful little friend Wobbles’. Brompton Cemetery Chapel. Tube: Fulham Broadway. Oct 13. £12, includes a gin cocktail.
Morbid Ink: The Human Memorial Tattoo In this talk at Brompton Cemetery Chapel, Dr John Troyer – an academic who specialises in end-of-life issues – will discuss the ‘memorial tattoo’ and bereavement. You’ll hear about some next-level approaches to the memorial tat, like the practice of mixing the cremated ashes of a loved one into the tattoo ink. Heart on your sleeve, literally. Brompton Cemetery Chapel. Tube: Fulham Broadway. Sat Oct 19. £12.
‘Der Vampyr’ It’s been 200 years since the publication of ‘The Vampyre’, a short work of blood-sucking fiction by John Polidori, who was Lord Byron’s doctor. When Byron challenged Polidori and author Mary Shelley to write a ghost story, he came up with ‘The Vampyre’, and Shelley’s eventually became ‘Frankenstein’. Celebrate the book’s bicentennial at a supernatural opera by romantic-era composer Heinrich Marschner, which is loosely based on Polidori’s gothic tale. Your descent into the netherworld begins here. Brompton Cemetery Chapel. m Fulham Broadway. Oct 26-Oct 27. £15, includes a gin cocktail.
The Frankenstein Phantasmagoria The Victorians were devils for a bit of spiritualism. Before cinema, Europeans would spook themselves stupid by going to a ‘phantasmagoria’ show, a kind of horror theatre performed with magic light lanterns and spectral sound effects. The Frankenstein Phantasmagoria candlelit concert will evoke the smoke and mirrors of those Victorian days by retelling Mary Shelley’s story using magic lantern projections. The musical accompaniment will emanate from the ‘Kosmische Glass’, an instrument and installation constructed using liquid-filled glasses. Phantasmagoria will take place in an actual cemetery, making it a show for the living and the dead. Brompton Cemetery. Tube Fulham Broadway. Nov 1. £15, includes a gin cocktail.
Being a bit of an Asian food nerd, Bang Bang Oriental is a like a candy store to me. Ok, it’s north-north London location might be a trek for many but make the effort and be rewarded by a smorgasbord of specialist eateries offering cuisines from all across East Asia. This large complex is essentially a huge food court, the largest of its kind in the UK, and after getting there, the biggest challenge is deciding what to have.
Portions are all quite large so I’d recommend going in a large group and sharing. I’ll usually make a beeline to Four Seasons – famous for some of the best Cantonese roast duck in town, always glistening with perfectly crispy skin. Royal China – the revered dim sum specialists also offer their delicious steamed dumplings alongside lesser-known traders peddling Schezuan, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Korean and Japanese offerings. I love that you can mix and match such a wide variety of cuisines in one sitting.
Downstairs offers a more formal sit-down Cantonese restaurant experience and there’s a large Oriental supermarket next door for those in need of some groceries.