TRAVELOGUE: ANTWERP

With a long weekend ahead my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to go somewhere, anywhere. Antwerp was not necessarily on the top of my list, but after snooping around on airbnb the future sights of a gorgeous art nouveau apartment convinced me to go. Hearing some testimonials about the awesome (hipster) shops around I grew more and more excited so here I’ll share my inside-outs of Antwerp!

image For someone who has never been to the city before, you’ll surely get the hang of things after a day. Most importantly is to know the districts and what to find where. Here’s a little break down: ‘t Eilandje/The Island – The harbourAntwerp South – hipster/pop-up shops, coffee, home decor, The Meir – Famous shopping street and the area around the Church – nice places to eat. 

Shopping 

To get an actual idea of what Antwerp has to offer, one has to go there for sure. There are literally hundreds of shops, ranging from big brands to concept store and pop-up shops. What I loved most about them was the eccentricity and  exclusiveness, you really had to go to Antwerp and into a small little street to find the best hidden places! I definitely think a walk along the Meir is a must, even if it is only to walk to the Central Station. There’s no harm in taking a peek in the Forever21 or the Urban Outfitters but don’t take all day, keep in mind that there are much more exciting shops to wait in one of the side streets.

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HAY – x

For a curated display of designer goodies go to Hay, I’m sure this door is already eluding enough to make you come in and have a peek! I treated myself to a very nice notebook there and then I went along to their neighboring store Moose, a very cute store filled with everything cute and ‘design-ish’ (they’re also a travel agency)

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Moose In The City – x

If you are totally into Green Design take a walk along the Kloosterstraat and go to Rewind. It has the most amazing display ever and I where I found compostable postcards (they will grow into beautiful wildflowers). It’s the ingenuity I love from people who take trash and make something new.

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Rewind – x

The School of Life is a concept I had never seen before but I wish I could find it in my neighborhood (the name just sounds so intellectual and accomplished). What you can learn here are mostly skills us westerners aren’t that familiar with (or at least do not implement in our daily lives) like meditation and mindfulness with a splash of philosophy. It offers courses and books, but you can always come by for a cup of coffee and they have an amazing gift shop. Here you can find minimal notebooks, tote bags imprinted with the words ‘Emotional Baggage’ and question cards to determine what your career path should be.

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I’m certain there are many more amazing stores out there so don’t feel discouraged and explore for yourself! Musea and activities There are a lot of Museum in Antwerp and on the top of my list was the MOMU (fashion Museum) and MUHKA (Museum of Modern Art). Last year they has a pretty amazing deal where both of these were just 1 euro to visit, sadly this year we had to pay full price. I must say the exposition on Dries van Noten at the MOMU is pretty amazing, but you’ll be out of there within 15 min.

The other museum I visited was the MAS, their exhibition was very extensive and interesting but we mainly went there to visit the FREE! rooftop to get a 360 view of the city. The museum is right next to a very nice little harbor so take a chance to look around in the neighborhood.

I would strongly suggest to rent a bike for 24 hours when you have your hotel is a bit far from the city center. Don’t be afraid to cycle to the edges of the city, when we cycled all the way north we were lucky enough to find Jardim: a Pop-up Garden in Antwerp (at night it also features a cocktail bar and dj!).

Food

Belgium is famous for it’s chocolate and waffles and we have just the address for you! I’m not sure what it was called but it is a green and yellow shop which you just can’t miss in a street next to the church. If you still have some more room for a yummy snack visit Donuts, Coffee and Culture (or was it coffee, culture and donuts?). Nevertheless they have a really wonderful selection of Pop Culture cakes (think Oreo, Kit-Kat and Rainbows with fluffy marsh mellows) and funny donuts! To our surprise there was also a food truck festival right in the center of Antwerp, Barrio Cantina, were we tried our fist *I forgot the name* cake from Gent. Basically it was a bun with butter, sugar and cinnamon with an extra topping all heated up into some ball of YUM! Recommended by a friend who has come to Antwerp millions of times is Dogma, a cocktail bar. You might know that I have wanted to learn this skill for the past year and going there only made me want it more! You will easily walk past this bar (we sure did) but once you really look at the interior you’ll be jumping to get in. Make sure you get there at a reasonable time since they do host a lot of bachelor parties. Now, let me give you a taste of the atmosphere: bartenders in white shirts and suspenders, handwritten menu’s, leather couches in a candle lit basement. You’ll surely have the an amazing evening just looking at the bartenders swirling and mixing. To start the day fresh and anew have a big breakfast at Jam. It has a feeling of straightforwardness: good food for a reasonable price in a restaurant filled with mismatched plates and a vintage feeling. The staff is happy and helpful.

Secret Spots

Here’s a scavenger hunt for you. Some impressions are best when they remain a secret, so I decided to keep some places a mystery for you to find.

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BOOKSHELFS I AM CRAZY ABOUT

A half read book is like an unfinished love affair

It’s hardwired in my brain: whenever I see a good book for a great price I need to have it. Last week I had to stop myself from buying some classics (Frankenstein, Pride and prejudice, Romeo and Juliet) I already read in high school because what’s the point of owning them then? Generally I also look for books that are pleasing to the eye, but that’s another story. Most books I can’t even seem to find the time for which means they’re dusting away in my Billy IKEA bookshelf, to be kept around until I have better accommodation for them. So here’s a selection of ultimate bookshelf I would love to have in my future house.

All over the place

Wall1 Wall2

Most houses in Delft have big windows at the street level and whenever I pass by I can’t help myself from peeking in. Sometimes I saw a house with a grand wall filled with books and I would jump with joy. I hope one day I have (and read) enough books to fill such an enormous shelf.

Spacious

squared Wall3

Use the entire wall, from bottom to top, to create almost an art installation with your shelves.

Nature inspired

Both are equally beautiful and totally D.I.Y-able. One could also make the first in a smaller version.

Out of the box (errr shelve)

The idea behind this book shelve is completely out of the box but I can see myself spend hours on fitting all my books in there.

Hanging1

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I’m still trying to figure out how these books keep in place but this would be such a great way to save space and add an extra edge to it.  Perhaps this is something ill hack together for when I leave for Denmark!

Minimalistic

The best thing about this shelf is that you can keep moving the pieces to create a different book shelf every day (not that I would do that). Rope2

At first I thought it was made with rope, but those are actually steel bars. Both book shelves are easy to dismantle and take away.

Interchangeable bits and no other fuzz… love this design.

If all else fails just try to hide your books under the bed, in the shower and perhaps in your unused fireplace? I think I would even consider crafting my own just because it looks so wicked!

Fireplace

GROWTH

Although It’s been a month since my last post and I have kept none of my new years resolutions, there have still been some exciting developements in my life. After being stuck behind the cashier at the same supermarket for 4 years I finally decided to get up and leave. Now I even managed to get a respectable job as a waiter in my favourite restaurant: Hills&Mills. I must say it feels great to go home tired but happier than ever (a big bonus is the free food and all the smoothie recipies I’ve learned so far). I would describe The Hills&Mills as a relaxed, cosy, pinterest-inspired cafe where the dishes are homely and healthy with a capital H. The restaurant is run by a big family which have taken me under their wings. Just wonderful! 

  
Other exciting news is my semester abroad. Next year i’ll be exploring Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark in my weekends (hopefully there will be enough time left to study). My minor will be focussing on Sustainable and Environmental Engineering, which is a career path I have been considering. And this brings me to another point: going zero waste. 

For quite some time I’ve found inspiration in other bloggers like Into Mind for minimalism and Inge gaat groen and Trash is for tossers for zero waste. For some time now I walked around with the intention of applying it to my life but never the courage or boldness to actually try. Well this all has now changed and I have made up my mind. Tomorrow when i wake up I’ll make my bed, meditate, do yoga, watch what i eat, think positive thoughs, get rid of it all (except my books) and just be. 

IT’S SHORT

I must admit I am quite baffled by the length of it. Something tells me that my hairdresser and I weren’t exactly on the same page but hey I can’t turn back now. Perhaps it is also a bit if the disappointment that short hair ≠ less work. It is as if I am constantly fidgeting with my hair, after blow drying it in the morning. I just say the look is kinda cute (I’m going for that Parisian style here) and edgy so I definitely don’t regret taking this leap (and it looks especially cute with my hat collection).

INSP: FOREIGN SYMBOLS AND OTHER ENCRYPTIONS

Foreign symbols and other encryptions


I think the mysterious asian symbols really given an edge to an otherwise plain white tee. Mainly because I have no idea what it says and for all know am walking around with the equivalent of “egghead” on my tee. Or is it some secret code?


Cotton tank top
modekungen.se

NIKE white shirt
€23 – mymummadeit.net

Black coat
€565 – runway2street.com

Givenchy pencil skirt
€2.260 – net-a-porter.com

Steve Madden ankle boots
€120 – stevemadden.com

Cheap Monday clutch
€35 – asos.com

Vlieger Vandam leather jewelry
€115 – farfetch.com

Olivia Burton watch
€105 – the-dressingroom.com

Illesteva sunglasses
€270 – stylebop.com

A SENTENCE A DAY JOURNAL
€9,19 – kikki-k.com

INSP: THE BOB AND THE BEAUTIFUL

Sorry for the corny title, but it does suit this dilemma: i will short hair only suit the lucky? Long, long not so long ago (about one year) I cut my hair off and it was a BIG deal. Had I tried it many times before? Had I chickened out and settled for a longer hairdo? Was I prepared to do it this time? Yes, yes and yes!

Dear me, I scheduled an appointment for next monday and I am already sketching up my escape plan. Last time I was adviced to have it a bit shorter since my hair is poofy, straight and I have the haircount of a billion. This often leads to big hair and now I am scared of what the bottom is going to look like. Hopefully it will come out decent enough without all too much hassle in the morning.

To keep the courage alive I am just surrounding myself with these beauties with a bob, and hopefully you’ll be inspired too.

From left to right: Unknown, Jenn Im, Alexa Chung, Kiko Mizuhara, Unknown

INSP: A TOUCH OF GOLD

A TOUCH OF GOLD

Striped tees and gold pieces are always a match.

 


Enza Costa short sleeve crop top
€105 – otteny.com

Adidas originals sneaker
€98 – mytheresa.com

Grafea genuine leather bag
€205 – asos.com

Olivia Burton yellow gold jewelry
€135 – asos.com

Michael Kors bracelet bangle
€130 – shopbop.com

IBB gold knot earrings
€175 – johnlewis.com

Asos jewelry
€9,59 – asos.com

Kelly Wearstler hand sculpture
€265 – farfetch.com

INSP: MISMATCHED BLACK AND WHITE

Mismatched Black and White

River Island print shirt
€39 – riverisland.com

Victoria Beckham wool peacoat
€1.555 – mytheresa.com

White skirt
youheshe.com

Windsor Smith platform wedge sandals
€155 – luisaviaroma.com

Skagen dial watch
€120 – lordandtaylor.com

Illesteva sunglasses
€275 – stylebop.com

H M hat
€21 – hm.com

A SENTENCE A DAY JOURNAL
€9,39 – kikki-k.com

INSP: A BEAUTIFUL MESS

Beautiful Mess

Kenzo purple t shirt
€130 – net-a-porter.com

GUESS denim short shorts
€65 – guess.com

Converse canvas sneaker
€56 – converse.com

Olivia Burton leather strap watch
€105 – johnlewis.com

Matthew Williamson round frame glasses
€290 – shopbop.com

Isadora gloss lipstick
€19 – nelly.com

STELLA McCARTNEY flower perfume
€68 – stellamccartney.com

It’s spring time! The sun is coming out, the clouds are staying away and at times the wind doesn’t blow. Trust me that’s a real blessing in the Netherlands. Go out and find some adventure in this sporty outfit.

INSP: CAKE FOR THE OCCASION

Mmmh, I wish I had the time, skills and tools to make all these lovely cakes. Creating beautiful things (and eating them afterwards) is something I could dedicate my life to, if only I could actually be a pastry artist… With every occasion, a cake is always appropriate, and I strongly urge everybody to have a cake for their anniversaries, parties or any day they feel like one!

Here are some gorgeous cakes I hope to be making in the near future (tomorrow is never to early):

Rainbow Doodle Cake via Sweetapolita

Naturally you can write/draw anything on your cake. I sure hope it will look as fun and gorgeous as this one.

Sprinkles make everything better. Happiness all around! (Hopefully for my next birthday)

Welcome Home Cake Topper DIY | Oh Happy Day!

Welcome home, or perhaps Bon Voyage, since I’ll be studying in Denmark next year.

This is just for the pure desire of chocolate. Dreamy and dark, perfect for a mysterious or classy party. I’m thinking: New Year’s Eve!

Hope you all enjoy some of these cakes soon.