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Tea at the smallest house in Amsterdam

by Nikos Taskos
16 minutes read

You can’t leave Amsterdam without having afternoon tea!

Towering cake stands, delicate sandwiches, elegant pastries, and tea varieties from all over the world; that’s what a high tea looks like.

And what’s the best place to enjoy it?

The Smallest House in Amsterdam, or Het Kleinste Huis in Dutch.

Not only they will treat you to a high tea experience fit for royalty, but it’s also the narrowest house in Amsterdam.

The first floor of The Smallest House in Amsterdam is available for booking
Small, cosy & warm, what else would you ask from a tea house?

Wait, is it really the smallest house?

The Smallest House is firmly squeezed between the East India House and the gate to Walloon Church.

This three-story miniature house is only 2.02 metres wide and 5 metres deep. Like most buildings in Amsterdam, it comes with the typical bell-shaped gable on its top.

Thus, with a total surface area of just 9 square metres, it’s safe to say that this is not only the tiniest team room in the city but also the smallest house in Amsterdam!

Where is it?

The Smallest House is located in the medieval centre of Amsterdam. It’s also where the Red Light District is.

Fancy an afternoon high tea session with friends and family?
A relaxing afternoon high tea session with friends and family

High tea at The Smallest House

Once you are inside the house, you will immediately be greeted by the luscious aroma of tea.

On the ground floor, there is a small shop and on the upper floors, you can find tiny tea rooms. Each floor can only accommodate one table, so make sure to book ahead.

My experience started through a steep spiral staircase that got me upstairs. The walls were nicely decorated with pictures of the building from the past.

Once I got up I found a table filled with various sweet delights & tea specialities waiting for me!

Beautifully decorated tea pots and cute tableware in an authentic tea house
An authentic tea house full of teapots and cute tableware

Then, I selected my tea.

Niels, the owner, brought some jars from the shop downstairs and provided recommendations.

All of them were freshly brewed and smelled perfect but “the smallest house blend” really stood out.

Several traditional Dutch desserts followed; apple pie, scones with jam & clotted cream and Boterkoek (butter cake).

Everything was homemade and I literally couldn’t stop eating and… drinking.

You can have as much tea as you want!

Niels would occasionally step in for some talking, more recommendations or simply to ask if everything is good.

Foodie Tip: The apple pie was literally to die for. Don’t miss it!
Sweet and savoury delights in the smallest house in Amsterdam
Sweet and savoury delights made with love

The intimate settings of the tea room, the authentic tastes coming straight from the shop’s kitchen and the beautiful details made my visit to The Smallest House in Amsterdam a truly memorable experience.

The smallest shop in Amsterdam

The shop downstairs is a tea lover’s heaven.

It offers a huge variety of organically grown loose tea blends in all flavours, ceramic accessories and sets, packaged tea and several delicacies to satisfy your sugar cravings – fudges, honey, liqueurs, nougats and chocolate.

The smallest tea and coffee shop in Amsterdam
On the ground floor, you can find the smallest shop in the city

I found the famous Greek mountain tea, the refreshing Assam and Darjeeling teas as well as the exotic Moroccan mint and hibiscus variants.

Such unique gifts to take back home!

It is worth squeezing in?

This real-life dollhouse invites you to take some time to cool off and spend quality time with friends and family in a cosy environment.

The refreshing smell of tea and the traditional home-baked delicacies make a visit to The Smallest House in Amsterdam one of the best things to do during a rainy afternoon.

Koeckebackers – handmade cookies without artificial preservatives, a tasty Dutch product
Koeckebackers – handmade cookies without artificial preservatives, a tasty Dutch product

So, what are you waiting for?

Indulge yourself with a high afternoon tea session in a little peaceful retreat while observing the busy Red Light District of Amsterdam from above.

A unique Salon de Thé in Amsterdam
A unique Salon de Thé in the very heart of Amsterdam

Know before you go

Do you need to book in advance to visit The Smallest House in Amsterdam?

Yes, bookings are required to secure your place. Besides, the tea house only has one table per floor! Click here to learn where you can book!

How expensive is it?

The high tea costs 19.95€ p.p. and includes unlimited tea or coffee of your choice, scones with lemon curd, jam and cream, homemade cakes and friandises. Learn more here!

Why it’s so narrow?

Building houses with narrow facades was a clever way of tax avoiding in Holland. Learn more here!

Is it the world’s smallest house?

Nope, the title of the smallest house in the world goes to the Keret House in Warsaw. It has a width of 152 cm at its widest point and a floor area of just 4,1 square metres.

Ground coffee and whole beans available for sale at The Smallest House
Ground coffee and whole beans can make for such a great souvenir from The Netherlands

History of The Smallest House in Amsterdam

What this building lacks in size makes up for it in history.

Let’s highlight some key moments of this national heritage site!

The life of The Smallest House in Amsterdam began in the 18th century, sometime between 1733 and 1738.

That was the first time it was mentioned in the city’s official archives. Amsterdam city most probably used the plot to build a small flour house and paid taxes for it.

Efficient tax avoidance

Most of Amsterdam’s narrow houses were built at a time when taxes were calculated by the length of their façade. Therefore, constructing a house with several floors and a narrow facade with relatively big depth was a creative way to avoid getting highly taxed.

The gate of Walloon Church in the old Hoogstraat Str. and on the right the smallest house
The gate of Walloon Church in the old Hoogstraat Str. and on the right The Smallest House in Amsterdam

In 1742, the house was rented to the watchmaker Jan Tenking for 150 guilders per year. Having to live inside just one tiny floor must have been rather uncomfortable!

In 1938, The Smallest House in Amsterdam was the shop of an optometrist.

During the 60s, it has been transformed into a beautiful boutique called “The Little Mirror” (Het Spiegheltje).

The year is now 1991 and the smallest flower shop in Amsterdam called “The Green House” (De Serre) has taken the place of the boutique.

After about a decade, in 2002, the tiny house is converted into a residence.

Finally, on 15th June 2014, The Smallest House in Amsterdam opened its doors to the public after 276 years of life.

The current owners have done a great job converting the house to a tea room, documenting its whole history and showcasing it to the visitors.

View of the narrowest house in Amsterdam sometime during the 20th century
The narrowest house in Amsterdam sometime during the 20th century

Please note that this post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. Miles with Vibes claims no credit for any images posted on this article; they are copyrighted to their respectful owner, The Smallest House in Amsterdam.

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