Huddled among unsightly industrial buildings on IJ waterfront, this refurbished warehouse in the north of Amsterdam possesses an air of effortless class. Its stripped back interior is elegantly shabby, with exposed rusty beams sitting comfortably alongside a glassy grand chandelier and white tablecloths. The fare is fresh and substantial with a focus on French cuisine and a changing seasonal menu served up by a laidback, yet attentive, staff dressed casually in T-shirts and ripped jeans.
Hotel de Goudfazant (and, no, there aren't any guest rooms, despite the name) has started something of a trend for warehouse dining amid the blustery urban expanses fo Noord. One pretender to the throne is nearby Restaurant Stork, which specialises in fish, but Goudfazant's founder Niels Wouters has already moved on to pastures (or car parks) new with the opening of Cafe Modern in the up-and coming Van der Pekbuurt to the west. Confusingly, this venture does feature rooms. 'I think the local government is really encouraging entrepreneurship here,' Wouters told Monocle magazine of Noord's culinary transformation. 'But when I opened my first restaurant in 2006, my friends thought that I'd gone mad. Now it's perfectly normal for locals to catch a ferry over here just to eat.'