There aren’t many places around Amsterdam that make me feel like I’m at the end of the world. Holland is well designed, everything has its place and sometimes nature seems to be literally engineered. That and the fast pace of the booming city can be tiring which has brought us to a perfect afternoon escape on…
Vuurtoreneiland – Lighthouse island
As you might realize by its name it’s a tiny, tiny island with not much more than a lighthouse. It’s close enough to Amsterdam to reach it by boat in less than an hour but it’s also far enough to forget that there even is a city nearby.
The secret of its beauty is simple… there is just not much there. In such a densely populated country with almost all the areas carefully planned it’s an achievement to find gems like this.
Except for omnipresent sheep, there is just one house, fort leftovers and a stunning glass house that serves as a restaurant. That brings us to the essence of our journey there.
Why go there?
Vuurtoreneiland offers a unique dinning experience. It all starts with a boat journey that shows you Amsterdam and the surroundings from a completely different perspective. First, we got to see a bit of the modern parts of the city spread along Zeeburg and IJburg and then a bit more the rural parts. Already at departure we got a basket with some snacks for the way and some aperitif. Honestly, it’s not much so joining the experience on a completely empty stomach might be a bad idea.
After arriving on the island we had some time to walk around, sit by the water or go straight to the restaurant. Luckily the boat carries maybe around 30 people so it really doesn’t feel crowded in any of the spots.
Since we managed to visit the island in the summer season we could eat in a beautiful modern, glass building. From every side we had a view on the surrounding water or the lighthouse. It was just beyond beautiful especially during sunset. Since the kitchen is open and in the middle of the restaurant we could not only see how all the meals are prepared there but also estimate when was the right moment for a walk in between the courses.
In final end it’s a dining experience and so the main highlight is the food. It’s all freshly prepared on the spot. It’s cut, smoked, cooked and fried using the best local produce with lots of greens and love. We especially enjoyed the smoked turbot and sautéed chanterelle. But don’t get your hopes up on those since the menu changes all the time and you never know what you’re going to get until you’re there. The only thing you can be sure of is that with every dish there will be a delicious glass of wine 🙂
How to get there?
You can only get there with one company that organizes dinners, lunches etc. For summer season you really need to book immediately when they open a certain date (especially during weekend) which is 2 months in advance. For winter arrangements it’s less crazy but then you eat in the underground bunker. It's not a cheap entertainment but its uniqueness is well worth the price.