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Inside De JarenCafe De Jaren is one of those special places that could only have been constructed by slipping some mad architect a few million guilders, giving him the guts of a grand old three storey bank and telling him to get on with it - the only stipulation being that there should be no interior walls and a maximum of wood and glass. The result is a magnificent use of space and light accentuated by a fantastic staircase to the upper mezzanine that could have been the prop for a Hollywood film.

Outside De JarenThe fact that it's built into a little bay of the Amstel at the mouth of the canal that leads up to Nieuwmarkt - giving it a particularly prominent watery vista - means that the few million gilders were well spent and the cafe would have been a success even if the food was horrid.

However the food is good - a very nice plus in a world of mostly minuses - and the ambience cosily non-pretentious which is quite a surprise when you think of what the same thing would have turned out to be in London. But this, of course, is Amsterdam where life is nothing but a series of surprises.

Café De Jaren
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20
Tel: 020-625 5771


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