We went on a wonderful buying trip to Amsterdam recently. Staying on a house boat in the peace and quiet of Javakade on the upper East side of the city was the perfect antidote to the busier side of the city. We hired big black traditional bikes that were a joy to ride on the network of cycle paths not least because cyclists are given right of way. Our days were full of joy and of cycling along canals, looking into the windows of canal side houses, shopping at flea markets and going to buying appointments and ending with supper on deck. We loved the interior of our boat with vintage light fittings, dark wooden walls, floral oil cloths, embroidered and lace linen and the grey blue painted floor boards.