Monday, May 17, 2010

City report: Trip to Antwerp

Last Thursday we decided to go on a one-day-and-night-trip to Antwerp, Belgium. For us just 2 hours drive by car. We especially enjoyed the culinairy food, historic atmosfere, and the boutique shopping.

Just opened is Graanmarkt 13. Spread across three floors, the homey boutique brings together a curated world of fashion, furniture, jewelry, and design objects, from producers ranging from established houses to cutting-edge designers. On the first floor there was an exhibition of jewelry artist Bibi van Velden. We lunched in the restaurant we highly recommend. The restaurant serves up the culinary creations of renowned chef Seppe Nobels.

We stayed in Bed and breakfast Camesina. The Camesina, or Mozart House, as it is known, is a charming mansion dating from 1900 and has a beautiful location. Nestled in the heart of the city, close to the Harmoniepark, this guesthouse is home to three attractive suites, named Josepha, Konstanze and Aloïsia. Each of the rooms and all of Camesina is uniquely decorated with unique artpieces that Hugo and Greetje have collected over the years from their travels and friends. We have stayed in Camesina 3 times before and its almost our second home in Antwerp. Thanks to Greetje who made each our stay very pleasant.

The Pomphuis situated at the entrance of the “port of Antwerp” and just a stone’s throw away from "het eilandje". Was, after the completion of the construction works of 1920, the "pump house" responsible for pumping dry the largest dry-dock of Europe. The building, which was placed out of service in 1982, was regarded as a monument in 1996 by Monumentenzorg (Department of Conservation), and was reopened in 2002 as a restaurant. We enjoyed the French cuisine and the fantastic industrial building.

Best shopping streets:
  • Kloosterstraat: vitage shops
  • Schuttershofstraat, fashion shopping: IKKS and Essentiel
  • Steenhouwersvest, fashion shopping: Stills and Filippa K
  • Nationalestraat, interior accessoiries: Access and fashion: Dries van Noten.

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