Antwerp & Brussels

Posted on by pmd

I know, I know, what is the point of having a blog if one never posts things to it? How do regular bloggers do it I ask? Sadly I never seem to have anything worth noting in my life but for once I actually have managed to get enough content together to get one meaty (well…rather pescatarian) post written.

Last week I was lucky enough to find myself in Belgium on a research trip with work. Between meeting with various inspirational design agencies in Antwerp and Brussels I got to see some sights and partake in a wee bit of shopping (please do not tell the manager of Halifax, Bloomsbury S’il vous plait).

As I finished the book I was reading on the Eurostar on my outbound journey (an awful thing to happen to the single traveling lady) I spent much of my time off wandering on my own and taking snaps with the trusty Crackberry.

Antwerp city is about the size of Dublin and best explored on foot. I took the map in –hand that my wonderful hotel supplied and set off bravely to put a days work in. Walking the city was the best thing I could have done. I especially loved the harbour area around the new Strom Museum where I sampled one of the best coffees I have ever had at a place called Breor Bretel. Here the helpful owner also directed me to the best shopping area Kammenstraat and this is where I found myself at 5.30 once I had finished my last meeting. With half an hour of unadulturated shopping to fit in I did what every self respecting girl would do and bought a pair of shoes in the 1st shop I stepped into. Then it was onto sample some of the many vintage stores dotted along the street. PSSSSSSSST London Vintage Stores such as Rokit et Al…Antwerpian Vintage stores CLEAN their merchandise. Yes CLEAN them – that equates to no horrible vintagy smells, no moth ball odours and no scarves that smell like they have been used as bedding for my long departed terrier/jack Russell cross Sooty (Yes I do mean used by her after she was long-departed). Here I purchased a super soft silk polka dotty beige top for a purse friendly 11 yoyos. I will never buy vintage in London again.

Next day I found myself in Brussels where mum was meeting me to spend the weekend. Brussels is the ideal place to bring your mother. It has just the right balance of beautiful architecture and beautiful beer to keep both mum and daught sufficiently happy. We spent Saturday and Sunday wandering the quaint streets, having coffee, cakes , ice cream and arguments. They weren't awful arguments mind, just cute arguments involving my mothers refusal to admit to her blindness whilst map reading and my refusal to admit to having to map read at all. We made up over a chocalat chaud in the very 1st Le Pain Quotidian (I know unfort I didn’t take a photo) and all was fine and dandy.

One of the highlights of the trip was going to the Horta Museum – it’s tough to get to but well worth the trek. This museum isn’t actually really a museum but the Art Nouveau Architects family home. Growing up in this space must have been like growing up in a fairy tale, it really is the most enchanting house I have ever had the pleasure to be in.