Looking for all the latest openings this May? Karin Engelbrecht's monthly roundup is always packed with Amsterdam's most exciting new additions, launches and seasonal offerings. Interested in a broader list of places to eat and drink? Explore our comprehensive coverage of bars and restaurants in Amsterdam.
Shop local & international names at the city’s newest flagship stores
Local women’s fashion label Cotton Club has opened its second location in Amsterdam (Kalverstraat 125). Known for its muted colours, feminine silhouettes and wearable prints (in sizes XS to XXL) the latest collection breathes Ibiza boho with beachy kimonos (€35) and floaty maxi dresses (€69.95). Meanwhile, LIEBESKIND BERLIN’s first flagship store in the Benelux is located in one of Amsterdam’s busiest shopping areas (Koningsplein 11). Shop the German accessory label’s limited editions and latest collection, including everything from cardholders (from €29.90) and pendant phone cases (from €79.90) to cross-body bags that marry practicality with style (from €99.90). And, the international mega-chain TK Maxx is opening its largest store in the Netherlands on 12 May. You’ll find well-known fashion, beauty and homewares brands – for up to 60% less – spread across 5 floors at the centrally located 4,400 m2 store (Damrak 79).
Say hello to the latest spring & summer scents
French niche fragrance house, BDK Parfum has launched a richer, more intense version of its bestselling fragrance. Gris Charnel Extrait focuses on the warmer facets of the fragrance with extended head notes such as cardamom and black tea and base notes such as patchouli, sandalwood and cedar. Now available in the Netherlands via Retreat.nl (€260). According to Chiara and Andrea Valdo, creators of Jusbox Perfumes, their latest fragrance Spring Dance was inspired by “the open countryside” where “a riot of colourful flowers” and “butterflies, birds and bees whirl joyfully in an endless dance” (€135 via The C of Cosmetics). It’s the essence of the season, bottled. Launched by renowned indie parfumier David Frossard, Obvious Parfums is a new line of “green and clean perfumes” that “combine simplicity with elegance and respect for the environment”. Une Figue (€110, via Retreat.nl) is our favourite from the 7-strong line. “A Corsican fig tree stands with its feet in the water and its head in the sun,” says Frossard. It’s a sublime summer scent, with juicy fig, mandarin and bergamot, cooling eucalyptus, vetiver, some marine notes and a woody base.
Get a taste of spring with new seasonal menus
As terraces go, Restaurant Rouhi (Spui 10) has one of the prettiest in town and it’s now open for the season. Situated on a leafy square near Amsterdam’s busiest shopping street, this is prime people-watching real estate. The new menu offers fusion joys such as Filipino-style oysters with Japanese citrus and sweet and sour onions (€4), giant prawns with langoustine mayo and togarashi spice (€12 for 2), and sukade (slow-cooked veal) with duxelles, ginger and a sambai vinegar sauce (€19.50). You could also treat her (or yourself) to a cocktail by “the Netherlands’ best bartender” Najade Bijl (according to the Dutch hospitality industry’s annual Entrée Awards 2021) at nearby Pulitzer’s Bar (Keizersgracht 234). The new cocktail menu was inspired by the stories behind the Pulitzer Amsterdam hotel’s 25 interconnected canal houses. The Rose Garden Margarita (€15), a perfect marriage of rose petal infused Don Julio Blanco, apricot, lime and Peychaud’s Bitters is a fitting tribute to the courtyard gardens while the Chocolate Factory Martini (€15) with Tanqueray Gin, dry vermouth, white chocolate and lavender is a nod to a confectionary factory once housed on the premises.
Enjoy springtime in a glass
If you love citrusy liqueurs like limoncello, why not try a local alternative? Made with orange peel, Orancello by De Jongens van Oud West (€19.95) has a pleasant bitter-sweet taste that’s great on its own or in a cocktail or spritz. B-Liv, the affordable vegan wine brand from Chile, which claims to be “one of the most sustainable wines in the world” is now available in the Netherlands (€6.79 via Jumbo supermarkets). The 100% organic shiraz rosé, with notes of raspberry, cherry, grapefruit, redcurrant and green herbs, is an accessible choice for warm-weather wining. Or, spice up your spring drink routine with BATU Kombucha’s two latest flavours: Buddha’s Hand with fragrant fingered citron and, ahem, Satan’s Anus with fiery Carolina Reaper peppers (€1.99 via batukombucha.com). Like the rest of the Dutch brewer’s offering, it’s all slow-brewed, organic, and sugar-free.
Protect your skin with the best new SPFs
Never mind the sticky, greasy, spot-inducing SPFs of yesteryear or the early organic varieties with their uncool white cast. There’s now an everyday SPF for everyone and we’ve rounded up a few of the latest that you’ll want to wear whatever the weather. The Amsterdam-based natural skincare company Witlof Cosmetics has just launched a tinted day cream with SPF 30 (from €14.95 via witloftskincare.com). Its 3-in-1 formula protects with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, evens out skin tone thanks to yellow and red iron oxides and nourishes the epidermis with rosewater and hyaluronic acid. For lovers of Korean skincare, Beauty of Joseon (€21 via Haru Haru Beauty, Hartenstraat 4) introduces a chemical sunscreen with next-gen UV filters that goes on easily and contains skin calming and brightening ingredients such as rice extracts and probiotics. Designed with men in mind, Jaxon Lane’s results-based skincare has been wowing skin-savvy bros from California to Seoul. Their award-winning Rain or Shine SPF 50 is a 2-in-1 sunscreen and moisturiser that goes on smooth and dries clear with skin-improving Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, green tea, liquorice root and ginseng. It’s now available in the Netherlands via The C of Cosmetics (€34). Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, BEACH-STREET Cosmetics was created by a Dutch-Australian surfer who was looking for a natural, reef-safe option that offers high-performance protection without making her hands greasy or her eyes sting. Now available in the Netherlands, her hero product is an SPF 30 Mineral Sun Protection (from €24 via beach-street.com) that combines pure shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and non-nano zinc oxide.