It hasn’t all been nothing but opera in the week since we opened. Far from it.
I’ve returned to a few old noshing haunts and tried a couple of new eateries too.

Hemelse Modder on the Oude Waal, not far from Nieuwmarkt, I’ve been to lots of times in the last ten years. It’s always good value with decent rather than dazzling cooking based around top quality ingredients, which is just my bag. There were five of us and we all ate from the three course €29.95 menu, which seems to be the going rate for a set menu in town. I started with some duck confit; wild duck I’m guessing as the two legs were very small but intensely flavoured. Next most of us, including me, had pigeon served with a chicory gratin and proper potato croquettes. I like chicory but some of the others found it too bitter. Pudding was a small chunk of berry crumble that was nothing much to write home about. I should have had their signature pudding “heavenly mud” (the restaurant’s name) – gobs of dark and white chocolate mousse. But all-in-all a fine meal.

Reach for the skrei

My wife Lucy has been here for the last three days, which has been good for me but not so good for blogging. She leaves again tomorrow just as we have grown used to being together again. Contrary (probably) to what you may imagine, a few days if reunion isn’t like a brief honeymoon. I’m having to work during the dreariest part of the rehearsal process – stage and piano technicals, and Lucy is readying herself for her next job which starts in Geneva on Monday (a new house for her), and try as hard as we might, it is often hard to relax.

Meat and two veg

I had some of the cast, all Brits, over for a good old-fashioned Sunday lunch today. Despite having come to Amsterdam regularly for the last 21 years I’ve never done this before. There are many reasons for this.
First, for many, many years I used to fly home most weekends so it wasn’t a possibility. Second, this is the first time in a long while that I’ve done a show here with enough old friends who not only understand the concept of Sunday Lunch but who are also not flying home themselves every possible weekend. I’ve got used to spending Sundays here on my own.

Teal we meet again

My daughter Tessa is in town for a long weekend visit to celebrate her 24th birthday, along with her BOYFRIEND James. They’re staying in the spare room, door firmly shut and me wondering whether I should have bought some earplugs. So far though all has been quiet though, thank heavens.
It’s hard for someone like me with control-freak genes to let them wander the city and see what they want to see. I’m too easily inclined to say “go there, avoid that!”, though I have made my opinions clear on some things; for instance that anything with Madame Tussauds on it will be utter tripe and a waste of euros.