La flâneuse in... London

13.12.14

Last month I spent three beautiful days in London with a friend. The sun was shining and the city was bustling - time went by too quickly. Can't wait to go back...


Discover/ Up-and-coming Shoreditch is my favourite neighbourhood. Start the day with a coffee and croissant at Fix Coffee. Check out the shops at pop-up mall Boxpark. Have lunch at Albion. Try on the beautiful clothing at The Goodhood Store. Take home some timeless, functional products for home, kitchen and garden from Labour and Wait.

Drink/ A perfect cup of coffee at Soho Grind or Shoreditch Grind. The cute baristas make a mean cup of coffee from their house blend. The Soho branch has a cool basement where they serve cocktails at night - the Espresso Martini is pretty good. 


Visit/ The Victoria and Albert Museum. It was my first visit to the V&A and I was impressed. The exhibitions were well-presented, the gift shops had a nice variety of items and the free tours make it possible to discover every nook and cranny of the vast museum.

Eat/ The best burgers and fries at Byron Burger - I went to the restaurant in Fulham, but you can find their hamburger joints all over town. Another favourite is Comptoir Libanais. Eating on the go? Visit Borough Market and buy something tasty at one of the food trucks. Didn't get there this time, but Ottolenghi and Wahaca are on the list for my next visit - I get rave reviews from friends.

Buy/ Beautiful artbooks and fashion magazines at Artwords Bookshop. I bought the biography of Vivienne Westwood and a copy of So It Goes magazine. The big department stores (my favourites are Liberty and Selfridges) are good hunting ground for unique gifts, beauty products and - this time of the year - Christmas knick knacks.

Stay/ This time round I stayed at a friend's place, but for my next visit I want to book a room at the ACE hotel in Shoreditch. The boutique hotel has beautiful rooms, a juice bar and a modernist brasserie. One can happily stay in the building for days...

My favourite online gifts

9.12.14

'T is the season... The Christmas tree is decorated, I just need to buy a bunch of presents to put under it. If you're anything like me and you don't feel like venturing outside in the cold, you can search the world wide web for beautiful gifts - here are my favourites...

1/ for your mommy friend: the resurrection kit from Aesop for some well-deserved me-time
2/ for the girlfriend who loves Paris: a Chanel lipstick in a classic red
3/ for your fashion friend: this biography of fashion icon Loulou de la Falaise 
4/ for Mr Greenfingers: a cool concrete flower pot from HAY and a fig tree
5/ for yourself: a girl can dream... a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag would make me very happy
6/ for your mother: this tweed grey wool from Wool &  The Gang - maybe she'll knit you a scarve?
7/ for the friend who hates the cold weather: this pair of leather gloves from COS to keep warm
8/ for your travel buddy: this pair of beautiful Komono sunglasses - perfect for your next exotic adventure
9/ Diptyque candles are simply the best... and just about everyone would be happy to find one in their Christmas stocking

Happy shopping!

Relax, take it easy

19.8.14


The past weeks have been super busy... No out of office for me, but a load of work to finish before my impromptu mini-break to Mallorca. Yesterday I booked a quick getaway to the Spanish island - the best incentive to keep me going at warp speed for the next 12 days. 
There are other small things that brighten up my days - simple moments that make me happy and can't be bought in a store... My top tips that will bring a smile on your face are...
/getting 8 hours of sleep - or on the weekends: taking a nap
/waking up to the sunshine and blue skies 
/having a girl's night - eating junk food, like the best falafels in A-town or my all-time favourite 'frietjes'
/reading a magazine or the newspaper, without watching the clock
/taking a long, hot shower - using the most deliciously scented bath products (like my favourites ones from &OtherStories)
/going for a cup of coffee, or two...
/getting together with your friends for a movie night - popcorn mandatory
/painting my nails a bright red - for fiery fingers
/kissing, lots of kissing - a great way to kill stress :)

Weekend wanderlust

8.8.14

love the beautiful selfies of Daria for clothing brand Equipmentthis print would look great on my living room wall/ let's go shopping: this boyfriend jeans has my name written all over it/ check out the Carter Family Portrait Gallery - hilarious!/ wouldn't mind a holiday at this waterside cottage near Stockholm/ I'll visit this photography exhibition in Gent next weekend - anyone want to come?/ baking this weekend - this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs

La flâneuse in... Cologne

28.7.14

Last month I travelled to Cologne to visit 'le bloc fashion festival'. After spending the first day of my trip wandering around the 'Belgisches Viertel' - shopping, watching the fashion shows and meeting up with other bloggers - I spent a Sunday exploring the city by the Rhine. Here are my top tips:

Visit/ Museum Ludwig. This museum is home to the largest Pop Art collection outside the USA - explore the exhibition areas, have a drink on the lovely terrace and get a perfect view of the city from the roof terrace.  

Eat/ If you love a good burger: check out the Beef Brothers' menu. My favourite lunch spot is Salon Schmitz and at Hallmackenreuther you can have a nice meal or some drinks in a cool retro interior.

Discover/ Street art in the Ehrenfeld area. This lively neighbourhood has large-scale murals and public art pieces from street artists around the world. In September, the annual City Leaks-festival organises urban art tours and exhibitions.

Drink/ A perfect cup of coffee at Milchmaedchen. With or without a slice of cake, croissant or tasty snack.

Buy/ Cool clothes, accessories and shoes for men and women at Magasin 2. Store owner Barbara sells a great selection of European brands - I fell in love with the striped shirts and found a perfect pair of jeans.

La flâneuse in... Paris

30.6.14

Paris has always had me under it's spell... The grandeur of the buildings, the river Seine meandering through the city, the sparkling lights of the Tour Eiffel, the bistro's with their wicker chairs, the beautiful parks and green balconies, the delicious scent of croissants and baguettes in the morning, the style and elegance of the Parisians and so on... I try to visit my second hometown (or so it feels) at least once a year for a couple of days at a time.

The past years I discovered many favorites in the city and I scribbled them down in my Paris notebook. On this map I share my favourite shops, cafés and eateries with you. Let me know when you visited one - I would love to hear about your experience...

Label love... Jimmy Fairly

17.6.14

Let me introduce you to French brand Jimmy Fairly - a label I discovered during my week in Paris. Searching for a new pair of sunglasses without breaking the bank? Or want another pair of prescription glasses? Look no further! Jimmy Fairley has more than 40 styles of glasses and each one can be made to order with the lenses of your choice. The best part? Each pair costs only € 99! Moreover, for every pair of glasses you buy they give one to someone in need. Cool glasses for cool people as they like to call it...
Visit their shop and try on their different styles if you're in Paris, or shop online. My favourites? The Gene in 'ecaille caramel' or the Saint-Honoré in 'noir antique'.

Rue Vieille du Temple 64

le bloc

10.6.14

When I was invited to visit Cologne by Thalys and Köln Tourismus, I had no idea what to expect. My last visit to the city was more than ten years ago and didn't make a lasting impression. Travelling high-speed by train has been my favourite means of transportation for a while now: Paris, Amsterdam and London are but hours away, I can read or make use of the WiFi, catch glimpses of the changing scenery outside and to top it off - it's better for the environment than taking a plane. So I jumped at the chance to visit Cologne during 'le bloc', a fashion festival in the Belgian Quarter of the city.

The 'Belgische Viertel' consists of a dozen streets where small boutiques and young designers found a home. During 'le bloc'-festival more than 70 shops, bars and galeries open their doors, plus there are fashion shows, pop-up stores, concert and workshops to discover. It felt like all of hip Köln had come out to celebrate - the Brüsseler Platz was packed with young people sharing beers...

Here are a couple of my favourite shops in the Belgian Quarter - check them out if you're in the city:
/Boutique Frau Kayser, Maastrichter Strasse 40-44: gifts, kids toys, accessories and gadgets
/L'éphémère, Maastrichter Strasse 46: clothes by Sessun, accessories and handbags
/Liebling, Limburger Strasse 2B: clothes by Attic and Barn, Mes Demoiselles and Wildfox, vintage fashion, perfumes, accessories and paper goods
/Magasin Populaire, Brüsseler Platz 8: clothes by Sessun, mbym, Animo and more, accessories and shoes
/Boutique Belgique, Brabanter Strasse 29: concept store - clothes, gifts, accessories and beauty 

More on my trip to Cologne coming soon...


La Favorite

7.6.14

Although I visit Paris at least once a year, I still have adressess in my notebook where I haven't been before. La Favorite was one of them. This bistrot is located on the Rue de Rivoli, with a beautiful view of Saint Paul's Church. The décor has a vintage, industrial feel which makes you think of New York. 
Try the 'Omelette de La Favorite' with tomatoes and ham, a galette with salmon or one of the many pizzas and hamburgers on the menu. Drink a coffee on the terrace among the hipsters and tourists, while indulging in my favourite passtime in the city: people watching.

La Favorite, Rue de Rivoli 6

La vie parisienne

5.6.14

The past week I got to call Paris my hometown - a dream come true. Grocery shopping, going to the post office and the florist, ordering a 'café au lait' at the bistro on the corner, sitting on a bench in the park reading - just for a week pretending to live in the city by the Seine. 
Stay tuned for my hotspots in the city: where to go for a good cup of coffee, a delicious lunch,  nice selection of clothes and accessories, afternoon tea and more...

& Other Stories

15.5.14


Last year I got to know & Other Stories, the premium high-street brand from the H&M group. With ateliers in Stockholm and Paris and designers that worked for APC, Acne and others - this is high fashion for those on a budget. I especially love their bath products (Fig Fiction is a favourite) and make-up. No wonder if you know that MUA Lisa Butler and perfumer Ben Gorham (founder of Byredo) developped it. 
Last night I went to the opening party of & Other Stories Antwerp. And I wasn't alone... the beautiful shop (700 m²!) was crowded with about 400 happy shoppers. I took home a bright red lipstick, a bottle of nail polish, a basic t-shirt and grey sweater. Think I'll pay them another visit next week - still have some items on the wishlist...

& Other Stories, Korte Gasthuisstraat 17, Antwerp

La flâneuse in... Leuven

13.5.14

I picked a rainy day for my visit, but rest assured that Leuven is a beautiful town come rain or shine...

Visit/ Museum M. Renowned Belgian architect Stéphane Beel converted a historic building into this museum - explore the exhibition areas, shop, café, workshop spaces and a roof terrace with perfect views of the city. 

Eat/ The best pasta in town at Metropole. Feel like eating Mexican? Go to Donki and pick 'n mix your favoriete ingredients to make a killer burrito or taco. 

Discover/ Perfect table settings at De Tafel van Feliz. Nice tableware, candles and table linen - here you can find everything for a festive table. 

Drink/ A perfect cup of coffee at bookshop De Dry Coppen. This quiet place in the city centre has comfortable sofas and a nice offer of literature, travel guides, cookbooks and fun gifts. 

Buy/ Scandinavian furniture and accessories at Design District. I fell head over heels in love with a lounge chair from HAY... No need to regret you didn't buy something from their cool selection, they have a webshop. Need a bit of help? Guido, Marijke and Jolien will gladly come to your home and help you a hand with the interior design. 

Noen

9.5.14

Every once in a while I spend a day wandering around Mechelen. This quaint city between Antwerp and Brussels has been my home about ten years ago and I still have friends and family living in the area. The town has changed over the years - lots of young, creative people settled here and the city centre has been undergoing some major building projects. There's a new walking route following the river Dijle through the city, the station is undergoing renovations and different squares have been given a facelift.
On my recent visit, I decided to have lunch in Noen. This breakfast&lunch bar opened in April and is already a new hotspot. Homemade food, a cosy interior and outside seating in the sun - what more could one want? I opted for a pizzette and homemade lemonade, but also stole a bite from a chicken curry sandwich. Everything was delicious, next time I'll definitely try their signature deluxe breakfast... Check out Noen's website for their special events - how about getting your hair cut while drinking a cup of coffee or listening to live music during breakfast?

Noen, Leermarkt 24, Mechelen

Weekend wanderlust

2.5.14

photos
Doing absolutely nothing this weekend. Hanging around the house in a pair of jeans, a tee and sneakers - my favourite combo. Baking a batch of berry and hazelnut cakes. Checking out Gaia Repossi's Paris apartment as featured in Russian Vogue. Dreaming about the day that my hair will be long enough to make a top knot - only some 48 cm aka 3 years of growing to go. Staying a whole day in bed reading. Because those simple things bring great joy. 

How to eat

28.4.14

photo via kinfolk

The past two weeks were crazy busy. Work, play, projects, birthday celebrations - there were nights that I would sit on my couch, unable to move. My healthy diet got totally ruined - sugary snacks here I come! My absolute low: the night after a bad day at work that my dinner consisted out of a tub of Ben&Jerry's cookie dough ice cream. Needless to say, I can't keep on eating like that. So here are some quick, tasty and healthy alternatives I found...

*jus jus: organic cold-pressed raw juices - perfect for a juice cleanse (check out their tips) or as a vitamin-boost in between meals.
*don't know what to cook? check out this Dutch cooking blog, you can select recipes by indicating which ingredients you have tucked away in your kitchen cupboards or fridge.
*smartmat: no time to go grocery shopping? Get a week menu delivered to your door, you just have to cook it. There's also a veggie and quick&easy menu, so something for all tastes.
*breakfast is the most important meal of the day: discover some delicious breakfast recipes on Lucy's blog or on my all-time favourite breakfast blog.
My ultimate tip: food tastes better when it's shared. So put together a salad, a quick stir-fry or easy pasta dish and invite some friends over. Drink a glass of wine, share something chocolaty for dessert and have a laugh - no better way to beat stress.

Weekend wanderlust

18.4.14

photos via pinterest, garance doré & badlandsblog











So happy it's finally friday night, ready for a long weekend... My birthday weekend. I'm hosting a birthday brunch on Sunday, will take time for a coffee break, I'll be wearing my new marinière top, start reading up on Paris - counting the days until my next trip in May - take a nap or two and stroll through the archives of my new blog love. Happy weekend y'all! 

Spring clothes

17.4.14

photos via cardiganny, blackmnml, bleachnoir & frenchvoguettes
I have nothing to wear... Sounds familiar? Think I might go shopping later today... It's almost my birthday, so I deserve a special outfit. No?

La flâneuse... Lucy Chadwick

8.4.14

photos via garance doré, vogue & backyardbill
Gallerista Lucy Chadwick has it. Based in NY, but born in London town - she combines British quirkiness (those cool cat eye glasses!) and American tomboy style. She loves wearing jeans, a simple white shirt, chunky knits and wears her hair in a messy top knot. Clean, simple, effortless and never overdone. I would love to have her wardrobe...

The Selby made a film of her in her Brooklyn home and upstate refuge - a converted barn - for ZARA, click here.


Birds of paradise

26.3.14

The weekend is fast approaching... Looking for a nice way to spend your Saturday? Why not visit Antwerp and go see the new exhibition at the fashion museum aka MoMu? I had the pleasure to preview 'Birds of Paradise' last Thursday and really loved it. Feathers, fluff and plumes - the haute couture on display showcases them all. From Marlene Dietrich's unique coat made from swans down to soft Chanel dresses and an intricate Dior dress with rooster feathers. Our guide knew the ins and outs of every design - who knew the art of 'plumissage' makes ordinary chicken feathers look like something from another world?

Time left? The Nationalestraat, where the museum is located, is lined with some really nice shops. Visit bookstore Copyright, next to the museum, or wander down the street and pop in Garderobe Nationale, Access, Dries Van Noten and Filippa K.

Weekend wanderlust

14.3.14

Here's some inspiration for the weekend: a beautiful campaign starring Erin - sexy tomboy roaming the streets in Malta - these abstract colour clouds by Kim Keever and The Shape of The Season - an online shopping guide combining the best clothes e-shops have to offer. Weekend dilemmas: thinking about letting my hair grow into a blunt bob, just like Jessie. And what about white nailpolish? Yay or nay? Have a nice weekend!

Kitchen krazy

14.2.14

photos via myscandinavianhome, elleinterior, frenchyfancy, blackbirdstyle & trendenser
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I like to cook, try out new recipes and love to discover food blogs. So two years ago, when I bought my apartment, I thought a lot about what my perfect kitchen would look like. The kitchen area is rather small, so had to be designed ultra-practical. I chose for white kitchen cabinets with drawers and a light oak worktop. My pots and pans, tableware and provisions just about fit - a good reason not to buy more cute plates and bowls. 
Now it's time for part two of the kitchen renovation: the walls above the cabinets were left bare and I would love to put up some shelving and a magnetic knife rack, paint the walls a dramatic colour as backdrop, install better lighting and get a marble tray to display kitchen utensils. The pictured kitchens all have elements I would love to incorporate in mine: a great use of colour, an interesting copper pot rack, herb plants and a collection of chopping boards. Time to go shopping - to be continued...

Diamanti per tutti

11.2.14

70percentpure by Stephanie Duval - take a peek behind the scenes
A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Belgian lifestyle blogger Stephanie Duval for a dinner party. She was hosting an intimate soirée for her favourite bloggers to celebrate the jewelry line she created for Antwerp brand Diamanti per tutti. Normally I'm not easily persuaded to attend blogger events, but I really wanted to meet Stephanie and was curious to get to know the people behind the brand. 
And I didn't regret it... Not only did I have a nice chat with Stephanie and the sweet people from Diamanti per tutti - I ate some great food freshly made for us by food blogger Louise and got to know my fellow Belgian bloggers. The dinner took place in the Diamanti-shop and when all of the tarte tatin was eaten, we got to try on all the jewels in the store. Diamonds everywhere, like a dream come true... This brand knows their stuff: modern designs without a hefty price tag, each jewel is handset with certified authentic diamonds and all diamonds are conflict free.  
Check out their e-shop, or better yet visit their store and try on the goodies. Love at first sight for sure - my new diamond moon ring hasn't left my finger since I got it...

Thanks again Stephanie, Edward, Steph and Floris for the invitation - and for the beautiful diamond ring you gifted me!

Enfants terribles

31.1.14


Totally in love with the lookbooks from French online magazine and shop Pictoresq. Real people (the founders' friends), enviable clothes without a hefty price tag and beautiful locations in Paris. What's not to love?

24 hours in Paris

30.1.14

This Saturday, I'll be spending the day in Paris. A bit decadent, I know... but I'm in need of a visit to my favourite city. So how do you spend a perfect day in the French capital? Here are some of my favourite things to do:

1/ first stop - getting a caffeine kick. Paris has a lot of cool coffee bars all over town. Try Merce and the Muse in Rue Dupuis, Coutume Café in the Rue de Babylone or Café Madam in the Rue Saint-Denis. Fancy a healthy smoothie? Bob's Juice Bar in the Rue Lucien Sampaix has great juice combinations.

2/ time to shop - à la française. Score great basics at Uniqlo Opéra and American Vintage in the Rue des Francs Bourgeois. Beauty products at Aesop in the Rue Vieille du Temple and perfume at Diptyque on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Books and magazines at Ofr in the Rue Dupetit-Thouars and at Shakespeare & Co in the Rue de la Bûcherie. Don't forget to stop by Le Bon Marché - and discover the world's finest food in La Grande Epicerie.

3/ hungry? let's lunch - eat healthy salads and tasty quiches at the Rose Bakery in the Rue Debelleyme. Visit the market stalls at Le Marché Des Enfants Rouges or opt for a bento box at Nanashi. Another favourite is Mamie Gateaux on the Rive Gauche, in the Rue Cherche-Midi.

4/ how about sniffing up some culture - and not at the usual suspects. Paris has some of world's most famous museums, some take days to explore. Keep it cosy and special by visiting one of the lesser knowns: Hôtel de Ville hosts free exhibitions right in the middle of the city, in the Musée de la Vie Romantique you discover the Romantic era and can have tea in the garden and at Hôtel Carnavalet you explore the city's history in one hundred rooms. 

5/ want to beat the afternoon slump? Find a tranquil spot in one of the many jardins, close your eyes and listen to the sounds of Paris. My favourite quiet corners are found in the Tuileries, the garden of the Musée de Cluny, the famous Jardins de Luxembourg and the Parc André Citroën.

6/ let's have a romantic dinner - Hotel du Nord has a candle-lit dining room and a tasty menu. At Bozart Bistrot you can get the perfect glass of wine to complement your menu choice and La Cocotte is renowned for it's delicious dishes in stoneware 'cocottes'. On a budget? Order a pizza at Pink Flamingo and eat it on the borders of the Canal Saint-Martin.

7/ the end - a stroll at the Champ de Mars with views of the Eiffel Tower, wandering along the Seine and perhaps eating an ice cream at Berthillon on the Ile de la Cité. Sweet dreams!

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