If you've been reading In Search Of for a while, you probably have noticed that I'm really into cultural exchange, trying new foods, and the sharing culture that comes with travel (e.g., Airbnb, cooking classes, and more). So of course, when I had the opportunity to collaborate with BonAppetour and Trip101 during my recent trip to The Netherlands, I jumped at the idea. Looking at dates and times that worked for us as a family (late dinners don't often work with a toddler), I selected a walking tour given by an artist with a light lunch at her house.
A bit about BonAppetour
BonAppetour is a service that connects friendly hosts in countries around the world with food-loving travelers. Just like using Airbnb, you can search hosts and meals in different cities and make a reservation for an available meal. I found that prices are reasonable (some might be the same price as a meal in the restaurant, while others only slightly more expensive than a meal in a restaurant) and there are options for everyone.
Most experiences consist of meals at a local's home, walking tours with some element of food, cooking classes, or more. BonAppetour believes that connecting travelers with locals creates lasting memories and allows for cultural exchange, which is ever so important in this day and age. I completely agree with BonAppetour's mission!
For me, the highlight of the tour was being introduced to some of the gorgeous, but less crowded streets in Amsterdam. We started the tour at Museum Square and strolled down (I think) Van Breestraat, which had cool art shops and antique stores. My favorite bit was walking along the streets that are collectively called the Nine Streets (three parallel streets with cute shops and cafes). Along one of these streets, we popped into a cafe for a coffee and delicious piece of lemon cake. We also walked along a portion of the Red Light District and China Town, and saw the oldest church in Amsterdam.
Then we walked, and walked, and walked to a recently built section of the city to our tour guide's flat. This isn't a part of the city that we would have explored on our own, so it was neat to see it and hear about the other artists living there. As I mentioned above, our tour guide is an artist, so she briefly talked about her art while she prepared a simple lunch of meat and cheese on white bread. I did like seeing our tour guide's art and I liked trying the typical Dutch lunch.
Unfortunately, I can't recommend taking a tour with our guide. She walked so quickly that we could hardly keep up and I had to abandon taking photos entirely after a while (several of the photos in this post are from the following day when J and I slowly walked these streets). I also would have liked for our tour guide to have told us more about the streets we were walking on and the lunch that she made. However, this was only our tour guide's first month of giving tours, so perhaps she will improve with time. Despite this not great tour, I would absolutely try a BonAppetour experience again, although I would read reviews.
Looking for more like this? Check out the posts below:
Eating at a local's home in Madrid
Eating at a local's home in Athens
Licorice tour in Copenhagen
Have you enjoyed dinner in a local's home? Are there any similar experiences that you'd recommend?
*This post was created in collaboration with BonAppetour and Trip101. I received a free tour in exchange for this review, but as always, opinions are my own.
I'm linking up with Wanderful Wednesday.