This is a few days late, but… merry Christmas from Tala, Marlon and me!
Our first Amsterdam Christmas was surprisingly… merry. Tala fell ill with the flu and I was walloped with a weepy case of homesickness leading up to Christmas Eve. For a few very tough days, I thought Christmas was going to be miserable. But that’s how it is when you have a sick child.
Fortunately, Tala recovered just in time for our Christmas lunch at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam on the 24th of December.
Having been reared on many a Christmas at the Manila Peninsula, I feel that a spectacular hotel Christmas tree and live carols in a beautifully decorated lobby are essential for the holiday season. The Waldorf Astoria holiday decor, like all things Christmas in Amsterdam, is a bit… understated. But it was lovely all the same—and I got to sing along with the pianist playing carols in the lobby.
I wanted to fill our calendar with fun Christmasy things to do to keep myself from moping and obsessively checking Facebook to see how everyone else was celebrating back home. I learned the hard way that Christmas hotel events in Amsterdam are few, expensive, and fill up fast!
Most of the things I was interested in, like Christmas brunch at the Art Deco-style American Hotel, were already fully booked as early as the first week of December. Fortunately I managed to get us a table for a lunch at the Waldorf Astoria’s Goldfinch Brasserie.
The Waldorf Astoria also offered four, five and six-course lunches at the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, Librije’s Zusje. But with Tala to consider, we opted for a shorter, more casual four-course lunch.
The food was excellent and Tala was on her best behavior! This really isn’t something we do anymore, so it was a real treat. If you know anything about two year-olds, you’ll know it was a small miracle that we managed to have a fancy four-course lunch without any messes or meltdowns. It was the perfect Christmas gift from her to us!
On Christmas Eve, we put on our ugly Christmas sweaters and sat down to an early Noche Buena.