Viktor & Rolf's Amsterdam

25 May 2011

Amsterdam-based fashion house Viktor & Rolf is the eponymous label founded by designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, whose stylish collections have been met with acclaim since they showed their first range of clothing 20 years ago

‘When people think of Amsterdam, they think of a twee city that's all canals, cycling and clogs. And let's not even mention tulips. Of course, some of these traditional must-see sights are amazing — the Van Gogh Museum has the world's largest collection of the artist's paintings, and the Anne Frank House is truly uplifting. But the city also has a cool creative side that we love.

‘Contemporary art space Galerie Diana Stigter is always thought-provoking. And the concept store SPRMRKT really pushes the envelope. It's a converted supermarket at the heart of the city and sells a fantastically edited collection of fashion, accessories and furniture, as well as showcasing a series of one-off projects. Our favourite womenswear store has to be Van Ravenstein and for men's clothes Didato is an essential stop.

‘The contemporary architecture at and around the World Trade Centre is really inspirational. In contrast, the wide green space of Vondelpark in Oud-Zuid has a film museum, an open-air theatre and is always full of life. We also love the auction house De Eland, which sells beautiful vintage pieces.

‘There are lots of cool places to hang out. Minibar is a new kind of bar where you never have to wait for service. You simply check in with the concierge who provides you with a key to one of about 40 different mini-bar fridges stocked with drinks and snacks and you help yourself. Door 74 is probably the best cocktail bar in town. It's deliberately hard to find — just a mysterious black door with a tiny bell on it. But you can't just turn up. Entry is by reservation only and it's notoriously difficult to get a booking there.

‘Another secret place we love is Inez Stodel's store. She is an art, jewellery and antique dealer on the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, which is a lovely road filled with antique shops — you can find some real gems there.

‘When it comes to eating out, we often have lunch at Café George, a charming brasserie that's very New York in style. It's near our offices on the Leidsegracht, so we like to walk there with our dogs. For something a little more glamorous, though, Toscanini is a fabulous Italian restaurant in the De Jordaan neighbourhood of Amsterdam. It's rustic and chic at the same time.

‘To dance the night away, the dramatic looking Paradiso is the best place for music in Amsterdam. It's in a converted church and has club nights and live bands. We've been going there for years.'