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Autumn in Amsterdam

As the ability/confidence to travel slowly returns we are reminded of the places we love and why. In London we are constantly reminded about our driving cultural heartbeat and our design heritage, to the point that we can believe the hype that we live in the very heart the creative world, we are kings.

Returning to Amsterdam this month brought back some fond memories and some reminders of our place in the world. London may have its highlights, but Amsterdam has a depth and history every bit as deep as our own. The highs may not be as high, but the consistency and commitment to quality and taste in Amsterdam is striking. The local high street, the coffee shop, the bakery, the farmers' market have a soul and a vision often missing in London.

The spectacular canal houses of central Amsterdam make way for a very restrained suburban architecture that feels safe, comforting, carefully managed and maintained. The scale of Amsterdam is more human, more lovable and literally more accommodating for the Dutch. It's relevant that at around one million inhabitants, it's a very manageable city. The North of Amsterdam is more Brooklyn, more gritty, but again a gentler interpretation of urban renewal.

Assuming the water repelling skills of the Dutch, refined over centuries, can be maintained, Amsterdam looks like a city set up for the future.

It brings us to another debate for another day – your favourite cities of the world; Tokyo, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, LA and of course London...

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