Category archives: The Netherlands

Breakfast with Friends | Kaffee Peijnenburg

I love long leisurely breakfasts with friends, it is one of the things I miss most about the US where I met friends for breakfast a few times a week.   Here most of my friends have different schedules, it is more of a treat.  Our breakfast at Kaffee Peijnenburg during our stay in Geldop was one of the best breakfasts I have had in ages.

me playing around with Thea’s camera, Thea and Anne.  Fortunately the cafe was not too crowded, because 3 bloggers at a table means 3x the photos of food and each other- people would have really thought we were crazy.

Thea had to explain to me what these “Hagelslag” sprinkles were, which are basically nutella in sprinkle form. I brought a box back for Andreas but I can’t really stay away from them, because they taste just as good as you would imagine. The Hagelslag paired with the fried egg topped with cheese and ham and fluffy bread made up our “Dutch Breakfast” and it was delicious, but huge (we shared one breakfast between the three of us).

Kaffee Peijnenburg
Heuvel 1b
5664 HJ Geldrop

Hotel Nijver | Geldrop, The Netherlands

When Anne, Thea and I started planning our trip to The Netherlands for Hello Etsy, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  Over a Skype call one morning, Anne and I were scouring the internet for design hotels in Eindhoven, we stumbled upon Hotel Nijver in the small neighboring town of Geldrop.  Although the hotel’s site is only in Dutch, after one look at the images we knew we had found our place (and yes, it is very important for hotels to be photogenic).   The hotel is even more lovely in person, and the all the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly- after 2 meals a day in the attached café, we got to know most of them quite well.  The owner Hans Snoeijen designed the newly opened hotel himself, celebrating Eindhoven as an emerging design hub as well as the city’s industrious past.  As a photographer I obviously loved the photo covered walls.  The small hotel has 19 rooms and 4 long stay apartments and a beautifully designed and delicious cafe next door, Kaffee Peijenenburg.  Normally I am more of a city girl, but we all fell for little Geldrop and the charming design hotel.

Hans was so nice and even made us a special breakfast when we forgot to order one ahead of time. He described his boss, the other Hans, “as the nicest boss in The Netherlands” and said working at the hotel is a joy.

The honeymoon suite’s walls were covered with images of families and some famous couples on their wedding day.

I loved this pink tiled bathroom and the rubber ducky perched by the tub. Our room had a lovely mint green tile.

I stay in a lot of hotels during my travels for work and usually I can’t wait to get back to Berlin and my own bed (and of course Andreas and Hazel!!), but this time part of me didn’t want to leave Hotel Nijver.  Good thing we are already planning our trip to Dutch Design Week in 2013 so we have an excuse to come back!

Hotel Nijver
Heuvel 1a
55664 Geldrop
The Netherlands

Check out Anne’s post about the hotel and Thea’s hotel post on the sisterMAG blog and on her personal post about our breakfast at the café.

A big thank you to Hotel Nijver for hosting us during our stay in Geldrop!  I always try and maintain full transparency here on Chasing Heartbeats, although we partnered with Hotel Nijver and stayed free of charge, the content of this post is my own, honest opinion.  We had a fabulous stay :)

Dutch Design Week

On the way to the train station, I may have made Thea and Anne throw leaves up in the air solely so I could take some photos :) Being the lovely friends they are, they didn’t call me weirdo- I love fall.

a lovely light lunch at Ketelhuis with Anne

I loved these ceramics which are made by hand in Vietnam, and these gorgeous lamps made by a local Eindhoven designer.

Just a few photos from our time exploring the last day of Dutch Design Week in the Strijp S area of Eindhoven.  Anne and I were quite smitten with the former factory town and the old Philips buildings which are now the center of the city’s bustling design scene.  To be completely honest, I did almost no research before our trip about Eindhoven so I really had no idea what to expect.  Sometimes I prefer to travel that way, especially for really short trips like this one, because I feel like I am better able to form my own opinions about a place and I somehow absorb more.  Not sure if that is weird or not, but this trip it completely worked in our favor because we spent our free day just sort of roaming around, exploring and taking lots of pictures.  We were also quite lucky that the owner of our hotel also gave us some great tips for Dutch Design Week- thanks again for that, Hans :)

In addition to the fabulous offerings at Dutch Design Week, Anne and I stumbled upon two great restaurants in Strijp S, both of which I would highly recommend:

Radio Royaal
Ketelhuisplein 1
5617 AE
Eindhoven / Strijp-S

Ketelhuisplein Eindhoven
Ketelhuisplein 10
5617 AE
Eindhoven / Strijp-S

Hello Etsy 2012

Satish Kumar, former monk and editor-in-chief of Resurgence Magazine, spoke on living our passion, being happy and making the world a better place. His enthusiasm for life lit up the room.

Anne brought lots of tattly tattoos back from New York with her. I had the camera, obviously :)

I spent last weekend in Eindhoven to attend both Dutch Design Week and the Hello Etsy Conference with Thea and Anne.  Just as expected, we had a great time together and got the chance to catch up with friends and meet some new people.  Hello Etsy was inspirational and focused a great deal on achieving your dreams and helping grow your small business.  Everyone from Etsy was ridiculously nice, as were the speakers I got to chat with during Happy Hour.  The event was held in Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek‘s beautiful event space which was furnished with some of his unique designs.  Known for his scrap wood furniture, Piet Hein Eek has turned a former Philips factory building into a stunning design space, housing his studio and workshop, a restaurant, and event space.  Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to visit his studio, but I am loving the photos Janine Vangool blogged on the UPPERCASE blog.  It was such a great weekend in The Netherlands, stay tuned for more photos from Eindoven and Dutch Design Week!

You can watch the conference online here – now, go get inspired!

On a different and more important note, I am so thankful to know my family and friends on the East Coast are safe and sound, but the images of destruction are completely heartbreaking.  Sending prayers and love to all of those affected.

Droog | Amsterdam

Travis, Randall and I spent a the majority of one of our mornings in Amsterdam oohing and aahing over everything at Droog– it is one of those stores where I literally one of EVERYTHING. While we were there we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at Hôtel Droogwhich will open its doors later this week. The term hotel is used a bit loosely, as this hotel has only one guest room, but there is a beauty salon, cafe, art gallery, and fashion boutique all housed overlooking the Fairy Tale Garden. The concept is best described by the co-founder and director, Renny Ramakers:

“The concept of a hotel has been reversed. Whereas a hotel is usually mostly about sleeping, here we have enlarged and emphasized all the aspects that many hotels also offer and made them central to the hotel experience— and it even has a room to sleep in.”

It was still a work in progress back in June when we were visiting, but I am headed back to Amsterdam next month and a stop to check out the finished hotel is definitely in order.

Droog | Staalstraat 7A | Amsterdam
Hotel Droog opens September 16th :)

an Amsterdam video

I put together a little video from our trip to Amsterdam back in June.  I am having the best time playing around with video, and learning how to edit in Photoshop CS6.  I just need to try and remember when I am out and about that my camera does more than just take pictures- I guess I sort of need to retrain myself to not just see the world as still images, but also as moving pictures.  I also need to learn to hold the camera a bit more still while filming video ;)

Thanks again to House Trip for hosting our Amsterdam trip!  The sunset shots were taken at the amazing apartment we stayed at.

More Amsterdam posts:

High Tea at Gartine  |  Instagram Amsterdam  |  Amsterdam

Our Amsterdam House Trip Apartment

I have stayed in many vacation rentals before, but dare I say this was the very best of them all?  I always love the experience of staying in an apartment rather than a hotel when we travel to other cities because somehow I feel more like a local (and you all know how I cringe at feeling like a tourist!) This trip to Amsterdam was unlike other visits to the city I had taken in the past and I think a lot of that had to do with the fabulous apartment we stayed in.  I partnered with House Trip for our getaway and when I saw the images of this apartment on their site I knew I had to stay there (and photograph it!).  The apartment is located in the North-West area of the city- I loved staying a bit outside of the city center (but it is still only a 10 minute walk to the main train station) and getting a much better feel for the life of the locals.  The street itself it a pier that juts out into the harbor and the view from every window in the building is spectacular.  I could have sat for hours watching the boats pass by our window, one morning we awoke to an enormous cruise ship passing by- as I have never been on a cruise ship and or seen one up close before, it was quite the sight!

In addition to the amazing apartment, the owner was incredibly generous and welcoming. He shared some the names of his favorite restaurants around town, and even picked us up from the train station- on top of that, the beer waiting for us in the fridge was a definite bonus after a long train ride from Berlin :)

House Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment Amsterdam

House Trip Apartment Amsterdam

Nespresso might just be the key to my heart :)

House Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment Amsterdam
House Trip Apartment Amsterdam

just a cruise ship passing by our window

House Trip Apartment Amsterdam

all the hallways in the building are painted a different color

House Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment AmsterdamHouse Trip Apartment Amsterdam
House Trip Apartment Amsterdam

we went shopping at Marqt one night and bought an array of cheeses, olives and bread back to the apartment and watched the clouds turn pink as the sun set from the picnic tables in front of the building- it was lovely.

House Trip Apartment Amsterdam

I know I went a bit photo crazy, but I was feeling SO inspired by the building and apartment for more info about the building check out the silodam site And for the full apartment listing, click here and for more Amsterdam apartment rentals, House Trip has a page just for Amsterdam flats and surely a flat for every budget :)

Thanks again to House Trip for a wonderful stay in Amsterdam!

I always try and maintain full transparency here on Chasing Heartbeats.  Although our stay in Amsterdam was sponsored by House Trip, the content of this post is my own, honest opinion.  :)


I just returned from a few days in Amsterdam, where we met up with two of my friends Travis Jay and Randall who are making their way around Europe- and they arrived in Berlin this morning!!!  Andreas had never visited Amsterdam, and even though I had been there a few times before, this trip was different.  We stayed outside of the city center (in an AMAZING apartment- more pictures to come soon) and we spent most of our days just walking around exploring (and eating a LOT of delicious food) and I have to admit I fell pretty hard for this charming little city.  I have not even had the chance to go through my pictures yet, but hopefully these instagram shots will fill the void until I can write a proper post.  I hope you all had lovely weeks!  Thanks for the sweet comments about my little video from the other day- I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, but making little videos has been great fun so far.  Stay tuned for a little Amsterdam video next week :)

from the top left:  the outside of our House Trip apartment– it had the most incredible views of the water
a window front that caught my eye  |  soup and branches at Gartine
black painted brick is my new obsession  |  pancakes at Pancakes! 
mint mailboxes
>and last but not least, my dear Travis Jay in his teal hotel suite– life is more fun when you match, right?