My London - my Amsterdam (and a bit on Rozendaal) - get to know the Newsletter Editors
Akima Paul Lambert
Hogan Lovells, London
Daan Lunsingh Scheurleer
Clifford Chance, Amsterdam
Akima: Dulwich, South London. It is a quiet spot situated between the buzz of Peckham and the electric Brixton, both Afro-Caribbean bastions of culture, food and entertainment.
Daan: Rozendaal, 65 miles east of Amsterdam, near the city of Arnhem in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the smallest municipality on the mainland of the Netherlands in terms of population and it’s known for its surroundings of forests, hills (yes, we have hills in the Netherlands, albeit not too high!) and moors, which all have great natural beauty. Also, the meandering river IJssel is nearby.
What local hotels do you stay at?
Akima: My favourite is the Rosewood. My husband and I love it as an anniversary treat. Over Christmas it is particularly magical, and Scarfe’s barr has wonderful jazz and creative cocktails. I always feel grown up when I visit.
Daan: Rozendaal itself has no hotels, but Boutique Hotel Beekhuizen is located in a forest nearby in Velp. It also has a small camp site nearby where you can rent a luxury tent and which is known for its nice terrace where they serve lunch, drinks and dinner under a tarp.
Both are great places for a weekend of cycling or hiking in the surroundings. When I have to stay the occasional night in Amsterdam, I usually stay at a hotel near our offices next to the Amsterdam Central Station, which is not all that flashy but serves its purpose very well: a good bed and a hot shower.
The wider area of the centre of Amsterdam boasts a collection of great hotels for the more discerning guests, such as The Conservatorium, located in the Museum quarter with the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum all within walking distance, or The Dylan, located at the Keizersgracht in a beautiful old building with a courtyard and with the famous Nine Little Streets with their boutiques and quirky small shops just around the corner.
What are your favourite spots for a meal?
Akima: Brixton Village is one of my favourite spots for the variety. There I can get delicious food from Chishuri or brilliant Caribbean fusion from Rudie’s or Danclair’s. West African food is having a moment and a few of my other favourites are Stork and Ikoyi.
Other favourites are Padella and Som Saa for Thai.
Daan: Postelein is a small restaurant in Velp, which is adjacent to Rozendaal, and it serves great dishes with surprising mixtures of flavours and textures in a pleasantly down to earth atmosphere. In Amsterdam one of my favourites is De Kas, which is situated in a former glass conservatory and which grows its own vegetables.
Bus, taxi or tube?
Akima: I tend to take the bus as it is only 35 minutes. I use the time to read or check LinkedIn.
Daan: I commute between Rozendaal and Amsterdam by train or electric vehicle, listening to podcasts or music if I'm not in some conference call. In Amsterdam I usually take a bicycle.
What plays are you seeing this year?
Akima: Mandela at the Young Vic seems very exciting. I went to see To Kill a Mockingbird and it was fantastic.
Daan: In Amsterdam, the renowned Internationaal Theater Amsterdam will be performing a play this fall on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I suppose that’s a must-see for anyone who’s litigated one or more of the many financial disputes following that event in 2008.
Where do you work out?
Akima: On my Peloton – when I remember!
Daan: In my garden, chopping firewood or doing other gardening work. And taking long walks with the dog.
What would you do if you were mayor for a day?
Akima: Demand that all cars are electric!
Daan: In Amsterdam, works at various streets, tram lines or canals is always ongoing and often at the same time which is rather frustrating if you want to get from A to B. So: no upended streets or sidewalks for at least a week every year!
What makes someone a Londoner or an Amsterdammer?
Akima: Someone who is cosmopolitan, open to the world and who thrives on diversity and difference.
Daan: All of the above, plus that rare mixture of humour and bluntness which is typical of Amsterdam, of course.