Sometimes you discover a hidden gem that you actually want to keep to yourself, but also want to take your friends to because it is so great. De Cantina is such a place: singing birds, cosy corners everywhere, delicious fresh and homemade food from their own garden… You are surrounded by nature, and that on the outskirts of Amsterdam!
De Cantina is part of Het Rijk van de Keizer and located in De Tuinen van West; both worth to tell a bit more about.
De Tuinen van West is an area on the west side west of Amsterdam between Osdorp and Halfweg. Although it’s in development it’s already a unique and multi-purpose recreation area. In De Tuinen van West you can cycle, walk or take your kids to a large playground. There is a wide range of local products; from a brewery and beekeeper to different gardeners where you can pick, taste and buy. Regular activities are organized such as a trunk sale, harvest feast and culinary walks.
Het Rijk van de Keizer lies in De Tuinen van West and is a creative and inspiring event location. If I ever get married (talking to you Mr G. ;-)) I would love to do that in a place like Het Rijk van de Keizer. Nature, beautiful buildings, calm and relaxed atmosphere, good food; that has to be a great party! Besides getting married and partying Het Rijk van de Keizer is also available for business meetings, catering and cooking workshops.
And of course for lunch or drinks on the terrace of De Cantina! The terrace is nestled between the green, you need to cross a little bridge to get there, which shows the unique atmosphere of this location. Wooden pallets with large soft pillows, a hammock, long tables with wooden benches and even a half car: choose your favourite spot in the sun or shade! Order a glass of blood orange- or ginger lemonade, a fresh salad or tasty sandwich at the “gypsy wagon”; mostly organic and all fresh and homemade.
So here you go: I have revealed my hidden gem in Amsterdam… Don’t escape the busy city centre all at once now ;-). To give you a little taste of the atmosphere at De Cantina I share my recipe for homemade ginger lemonade, almost as good as the one they serves ;-).
Makes 1 litre
- 2-3 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 tbsp.)
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Honey to taste (I used a little more than 1 tbsp.)
- 3 sprigs mint
- 1 litre of boiling water
- Put the grated ginger with mint, honey and lemon zest in a saucepan
- Pour the boiling water into the pan, stir well and leave to infuse and cool
- Strain the lemonade when it is cool, pour into a sealable bottle and cool very well in the fridge
Serve like this or add an extra sprig of mint and a slice of lemon to each glass. Is it really hot outside? Ice cubes make this lemonade extra refreshing. Prefer fizzy lemonade? Use 250 ml of boiling water instead of a litre. Let all tastes infuse well and add 750 ml of sparkling water to the cooled “syrup”.
What is your favourite drink when it’s hot outside? And what is your hidden gem? I’m curious, just leave a message below?