spotlight on alistair sutherland | amsterdam.

Name: Alistair Sutherland 

Age: 35

Star sign: Libra

Hometown: Melbourne, AU

Where do you live now? Amsterdam, NL 

When did you move here? And why? I moved in early 2013 with my company. After setting up the AU branch of Dutch digital agency, I relocated to head office for a bigger role.

And what now keeps you here? There's something charming and inspiring about this city and the vibe here. I always said I'd stay here until I got sick of it, and that hasn't happened yet!

Describe yourself in 3 words or less. Relaxed, fun, passionate.

Describe Amsterdam in 3 words or less. Progressive, creative, cool.

What does a normal day entail for you? I'm now in early stages of launching a digital business, in conjunction with doing boat tours on the Amsterdam canals. So I'm either sitting in a cafe with my laptop, or sitting behind the wheel of my 'sloep' (canal boat) trying to be entertaining while not getting lost.

What makes Amsterdam so special? There's a million people living very much on top of each other here which gives a real community feel, and transport only by bike means that everything is a bit more social. There's also an understated cool attitude of the people and a creative energy here. 

Favourite coffee spot? Cafe De Jaren is becoming my new workplace, with great atmosphere, coffee (or beer) and free wifi. And they're cool if you stay for hours!

Where can we find a good Aussie-style breakfast? Aussie and Kiwi cafes are starting to dominate here.... Little Collins in de Pijp (where I live) does great all day brunches, including a nice range of bloody marys.

Best place for:

- Local food. The Dutch aren't known for their food, you can try raw Herring at any of the street markets... but I wouldn't recommend it! 

- Pizza. La Perla in the Jordaan and De Pizzakamer (The Pizza Room) in the Pijp both have AMAZING pizza!   

- Middle eastern. Bazar in the Pijp and Beyrouth in the Kinkerstraat are really good. 

- Asian. Surya, an Indian restaurant in the Pijp, is my all time favourite.

- Burgers. Sonny's falafels near Sarphartipark are the best in town.

- Beers. Het Paardje (The Little Horse) in the Pijp is tough to beat on a nice afternoon. 

Where do you take friends who are visiting from out of town? I always take friends biking down the Amstel river to the south of Amsterdam. The quaint little villages, tiny pubs and picturesque countryside along the way are spectacular.

Best spot for a Sunday arvo drink? My favourite place in Amsterdam is Roest. An old formerly-squatted building, now serving as sandy outdoor/indoor bar which is super chilled place to hang out. Hannekes Boom and Cafe de Ceuvel are other worthy mentions.

Any other secret finds we should know about in Amsterdam? The Dutch invented Gin and have their own traditional recipe called Jenever, which the world needs to know more about. There's still a few of the originally distilleries and tasting rooms available to visit in Amsterdam. If you order a Kopstootje (translated as 'Little head but') you'll be served a Jenever along with a beer. As the name suggests its quite strong, so don't order too many!  

Where is your next holiday...? I love being so close to everywhere in Europe. Italy is my favourite and planning another short trip there soon - lots of eating and drinking.

What are some of the quirky things you always do when travelling? I get plenty of practise at long-haul flights... my earlier formula of scotch and sleeping pills, has now been superseded by a really nice pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones - they've changed my trip completely.!  

What's an interesting fact about you that most people wouldn’t know? I enjoy cooking and I'm not bad at it. Lasagna and various pie recipes are my speciality. 

What's on your stereo? Flume is a lock on my playlist. I also love an eclectic mix of artists like Radiohead, James Blake, LCD Sound System, The XX and Johnny Cash. And I also still love INXS, which is my karaoke go to.! 

Who is inspiring you right now? David Beckham. I've been watching his films about life after football lately, and he's just a legend.

Words you live by… I don't really have a slogan, but try to follow the mantra of doing what you want to do, rather than what you should be doing. That and karma