It makes sense to get this thing kicked off with my favourite haunts and hangouts around this charming, little city that I get to call home. The places you’ll find me curled up writing with caffeine by my side, getting accidentally plastered off one too many IPAs, or simply wandering around in a daydream listening to my favourite podcast – guys, I’m really into podcasts now and I feel like it maybe makes me a tiny bit more adult? So, why not start with my favourite spot to write, not only because it may or may not be staring me in the face as we speak, but it’s actually the place where I wrote my first ever paid article in Amsterdam. Sentimentality and all that.
Idyllically located in the heart of the red-light district, Quartier Putain immediately scores points for location and namesake – because we all know what ‘putain’ means. Walking in, you’re always greeted by a friendly face behind the counter, tunes to make your ears smile, and a peek at the inspiring designs of the artist currently being showcased upstairs. Never afraid to let the exhibitions interfere with their own space, it’s not surprising that QP has quite the creative connections. Their sibling company Top Notch is a hip-hop record label that resides on the second floor and contributes to the performances that are sometimes scheduled in the upstairs café space which serves as a platform for unknown talent to showcase their skills across the diverse field of arts and design. In keeping with this, the first floor also plays host to a quirky jukebox containing hundreds of 7” records, which used to be activated by a free coin provided with your coffee but is now just free for everyone to use.
Despite all this creative buzz, my favourite thing about QP is that it still maintains a chilled and easy-going atmosphere, the service is pretty lax and it’s easy to keep your head down and work. The coffee here certainly is Top Notch with QP taking recent trips to Ethiopia, Ecuador and Columbia in order to immerse themselves in the authentic growing process, and what’s more, they describe their own equipment as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of coffee machines. With an on-going array of delightful cakes and bakes – including delicious gluten-free treats – the food was pretty limited to snacks for a while. However, soups, granola and toasties are now popping up on their ever-growing menu.
QP has several tables perfect for sitting with your laptop and there is always a power point close by. Free wifi is also offered and the, sometimes cheeky, daily password is printed on your receipt. Quartier Putain is one of my favourite Amsterdam go-to’s and the laid-back, artistic vibe always makes for a productive afternoon, even if it’s superb location adjacent to the Oude Kerk makes it ideal for prostitute… ahem, people… watching.