Today’s hotel of the week – the Dylan – claims the coveted spot with hands-down-the-best-reason ever: a Michelin-starred dining boat. Oh yes.
As you may already know, this historic theatre-cum-hospice and former Anouska Hempel temple on Keizersgracht in Amsterdam has an acclaimed restaurant, Vinkeles (not to mention beautifully designed bedrooms, a fleet of Johnny Loco bicycles to borrow and a peaceful inner courtyard). But now, this Amsterdam boutique hotel also adds a floating fine-dining string to its bow in the form of Vinkeles on the Water – a private-dining experience on board their specially fitted-out 19th-century saloon boat, the Muze.
Up to six people can wine and dine as Muze cruises Amsterdam’s canals. Vinkeles’ chef Dennis Kuipers (left) consults with guests beforehand to find out their food fantasies (easy tiger! We mean likes and dislikes, of course). Then he prepares a six-course tasting menu on the actual boat for you (essentially it’s like a floating chef’s table). The restaurant’s maître d’ Casper Westerveld comes too (pictured below), to host and inform – he told us he loves being able to give such ‘personal attention – we can fully focus on just one table and make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience’. We collared Kuipers – also a guest judge on Top Chef (Holland’s answer to Masterchef) – to give us the inside scoop:
Is it difficult to create a Michelin-starred meal from scratch on board?
There is limited space and different equipment, so of course it’s not easy, but that makes the challenge for me!
If you could host anyone on the boat, who would it be and what would you cook them?
Alain Ducasse: in March 2011 we only met for a split second and he only tasted my canapés; it would be great to serve him more of my signature dishes like the Langoustine, Pommes Tsarine and Anjou Pigeon, while showing him the typically Dutch surroundings of Amsterdam’s canals.
Oh yes, we’re big fans here, too (check out our interview with Alain Ducasse). And if you could invite any chef to cook for you?
Sergio Herman, an extraordinary and inspiring chef – and at the same time a very warm and friendly personality.