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
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