Photograph credit: express.de
The rain, I think, has finally stopped...although it could start again at any moment...it is truly a wet summer, but I will try not to moan too much about this. To escape the blues, I am heading into Germany, taking in the sights of this fave of mine, in the hope of casting an eye on the world famous cathedral and sample some of the hospitality and beer that this city is famous for...
Photograph credit: express.de
What is it about this city that seems to produce such fashionable and elegant people? Case in point, Karlien, who was dressed to the nines, but with ever-so-cool sneakers. With a satin jacket and linen trousers, she was pulling of some serious statement pieces...and this at work! Just goes to show, the motto 'dress for the job you want, not the job you have' is still alive and kicking!
On the south side of the central station in Antwerp, you will find a bistro that could have been taken directly from the film, Amelie. It is filled with bits and pieces collected at random and in so doing, it has a flair that cannot be found elsewhere. It feels like you are visiting that old aunt who collected porcelain, records, picture frames, mirrors and wonderfully retro light fittings. With this atmosphere, it is no surprise that this establishment is a mecca for tourists wanting another side of the otherwise-fashionable Belgian city.
We had breakfast (massive portions), served on 60's style crockery. The food is proudly simple, offering basics with no surprises. It is unpretentious, a gem for all those who love vintage, with pleasant service and affordable food...go there before it becomes too trendy!
Take a minimal outfit and make it work...sounds easy but, in fact this is not so simple as it seems. Making it seem effortless like Victoria Beckham is an art and our new face had a definite talent for making her simple outfit pop out of the background. Love the heavy biker jacket teamed with the simple dress and almost nerdy flats. No need to overdo the make-up, so she decided to keep it all laid back, making the entire look speak for itself. No signal lips needed at all...or designer bag. Both thumbs up, Joyce, for this!
Het Gerecht is a small restaurant on Amerikalei, run by Wim Mertens and Peggy Wouters. It is a fine dining location that has all the right dishes (menus of four dishes priced at 56 euros, and five dishes priced at 68 euros for dinner and let's not forget about the well-priced lunch menu at 30 euros), prepared to perfection and served in an intimate dining area. From the great cucumber starter, to the lamb main, to the banana-inspired dessert and the elegant cheese, this kitchen knows how to serve the best ingredients with a great twist. Thank you for a wonderful evening...we will be back!
I caught her on her way back from the airport, with a suitcase trailing behind her...but she was kind enough to stop and allow me a few minutes of her time...thank you for that, Nathalie! Love the jumpsuit and of course the sky-high heels that only a few women can pull off. With a head of hair made for the silver screen and maxi earrings, Nathalie packs a punch, showcasing her city, Antwerp, in true style.
There are those days where luck just smiles on you and you are fortunate to come across someone very special who can only add such another dimension to the blog. This was meeting Cindy in Antwerp, while she was busy cutting hair in a busy salon. With those tattoos and of course the shaved head, you would be quick to draw conclusions, but she is such a warm-hearted and open person, that snapping her for Dashing George was indeed a pleasure. So often we judge people by their look or how they choose to represent themselves and this can lead to so many judgements that are totally unnecessary. Here was the prefect example of chic meets urban punk, with enough personality to light up the city centre. Love the brooch, the blouse, the torn jeans, the wild tattoos and of course, those ice blue eyes. Thank you, Cindy, for brightening my day in your amazing city.
What a wonderful way to be greeted by England again...Manchester is a city offering a lot and you can do it all just by walking....always a plus for any tourist. This way I got to see a lot of the city and locals. From the hip and trendy Northern Quarter, to the business district of Spinningfields, Manchester offers enough old school charm with a twist of the whimsical, and let us not forget about the amazing cuisine! It was an Indian food overload, but more about that later...the cherry on the cake was a fly by tour of Llangollen, a small town in Denbighshire, on the river Dee...more about that in upcoming posts....so, have a good start to your Monday, folks!
A few steps from Marnixplaats, you will find a bistro that has no frills...it is called Meat and Eat, the brainchild of Mo Aoulad, an entrepreneur with a dream of changing the restaurant scene, not only in Antwerp, but the world...and what a meal we had! Here you get what you order, wothout any gastro surprises. You will find firm favourites like tartar and burgers, along with carpaccio and good steak...this is a restaurant for meat lovers, with a menu focusing solely on beef, veal, lamb and poultry. From the wonderfully aromatic carpaccio, to the steak (served with cabbage!), I loved this no-fuss appraoch to food where so much goodness can be lost in translation. True, there are fine dining restaurants galore in a city like Antwerp, but it is refreshing to have something down-to-earth prove to the gastro scene that good, honest food can appeal and surprise nonetheless.
Opening Photograph appears courtesy of antwerpen.stappen-shoppen.nl