For me, the perfect place for afternoon drinks is a place where drinks can evolve into dinner and where the dinner conversations can continue until closing time. Mata Hari is that kind of place.
Walking through the Red Light District towards Mata Hari, you are surrounded by the neon-lit sex for sale and the tourists gazing through the windows. But as soon as you turn the corner on to the dead-end canal where Mata Hari is located, you exit this world and enter another.
Apart from the sunny days when the terrace beside the canal outside Mata Hari is the obvious choice, I will usually enter Mata Hari and sit down in one of the comfortable chairs located near the window.
And when dinner time comes there are two ways to go. The first is the mezze platters, which when combined with some bread & oysters, there is no reason for them to interrupt your afternoon drinks.
If you’re feeling like having a proper dinner, you can’t go wrong either. The menu is Mediterranean, mixed with Middle-Eastern flavors. The quality of the food, just like that of the cocktails by the way, is outstanding.
The thing that sets Mata Hari apart is that though it is different from the rest of the red light district, it isn’t a hipster-reservoir for only one kind of people. The audience is mixed, and this works. Everybody is welcome, and the key to this seems to be the seemingly casual, but high level, hospitality.