Amsterdam is obviously well known for its coffee houses and crazy cakes but not the type you’ll find in ‘De taart van m’n tante’ 

Translated ‘My Aunties cakes’, this tea room is not a place you could easily walk by and miss. The floor to ceiling old style windows are crammed with crazy kitsch objects, colour,  pattern and most importantly cakes which pull you in and lead down the culinary path of no return. 

The interior has evolved over twenty years into a wonderful ecclectic mix of old and new, plastic and leather, flat colour and busy pattern.  Walking into ‘De taart van m’n tante’ from the cold wet street was like falling down a rabbit hole (often happens to me) and waking up in another world, I didn’t know what direction to turn, where to focus my attention first. In every direction there were towering cakes in colours and patterns I had never imagined, collections of strange and amusing figurines, objects and furniture from every decade. The interior design plan:  as long as it passes the kitsch test, it gets in.

It shouldn’t really work because it’s all so mismatched and crazy but it does. I reckon it must be the more relaxed attitude of the Dutch towards creativity which allows them to pull it all together and get away with it. They seem to be able to go with the flow and enjoy putting interiors together without becoming too purist and serious about it all, it makes Northern Irish cafes seem so terribly staid! 

The cakes themselves which are all created in the family bakery, display a slightly unhinged but absolutely glorious attitude. They shout freedom, fun and party on! if you’re going to have a big sugary monster of a celebration cake why opt for muted colours and dainty rose petals like everyone else? 

On Sunday afternoon the tea room was buzzing, it’s obviously a popular spot with families and especially ladies! What lady does not appreciate a spot of tea and a decent chunk of attractive looking cake! I, myself could not resist the most colourful item on display in the chiller, I never could steer clear of contrasting colours! Swedish Princess cake, with a delectable surface of smooth deep green marzipan decorated with raspberry pink swirls. I didn’t expect it to taste good, having been hooked on looks only but it turned out to be equally wonderful though not as colourful on the inside. 

At the very back of the tearoom grouped around a retro ceramic coffee table sat two big studded leather armchairs, one in mossy green. The sofa was covered with wildly mismatched crochet squares, the area brimming with colour and pattern to a bursting point. The only improvement which could have been made to this area would have been to have a few kindly grannies permanently parked on the sofa to offer friendly advice and give knitting lessons (now there’s a new business idea, anyone?)


‘De taart  van ma tante’ can be found near the beginning of Ferdinand Bolstraat close to the henniken factory. They also have a bed and breakfast above the shop aptly named  ‘Cake under my pillow’ which looks equally intriguing.  www.detaart.com

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