Let me introduce myself: my name is Anaïs (30), Lou’s mom (21 months old) and I work at the sales department of fashion company Hop Agenturen. I have been living in beautiful Brabant for five years now, with Han. But as a true Antwerp girl, my heart still skips a beat for this beautiful city along the Schelde. That’s why you can find me there almost every week, cause it feels like coming home every time!
The last few weeks I have had so little time for myself and my friends that it was high time for a little ‘me’ time and quality time with my girls. Christmas is coming, so it’s the perfect time to go to Antwerp alone: meet the girls and catch up, but also a good time to nose around for the Christmas shopping.
Here and there are Christmas stands where you can buy all kinds of delicacies, the Christmas lights are hanging, the Christmas trees are popping up everywhere and -my favourite- the Christmas windows are ready.
When I was younger, I loved to wander through the streets on my own with a coffee-to-go and watch where the most beautiful windows were displayed. High time to pick up on that old habit and watch how the coolest child boutiques are looking.
We meet at TINSEL at the Vlaamse Kaai (which is convenient, free parking). A reasonably new hotspot where you can have a lovely breakfast or brunch in cafeteria-style. You write your order on a notepad yourself and drop off in the kitchen. Some time later you will be served super fresh dishes. Afterwards, definitely try one of their displayed sweets, they are all YUM. Have a macchiato with it, cause I rarely have ‘m as good as here.
TINSEL | Vlaamse Kaai 40 Antwerp
TINSEL | Vlaamse Kaai 40 Antwerp
A few doors next to TINSEL opened Espoo Butik this weekend. A great store where you can only find Danish and Swedish design & home accessories. Be sure to have a look if you can’t get enough of the pure lines and simplicity of Danish design.
On the IJzerenwaag HAY opened their doors a few weeks ago. 100% Danish and the place-to-be to shop for the newest and hippest home accessories. Danish design is very hot and happening lately in Antwerp and we LOVE it.
Espoo Butik | Vlaamse Kaai 49 Antwerp
Christmas shopping in Antwerp: forget the Keizerlei and the Meir. The place-to-be for me is the Schutershofstraat en Huidevetterstraat, but even more the streets behind them: Lombardenvest, Korte Gasthuisstraat, Groendalstraat, Kammenstraat en Steenhouwersvest (the Nationale Straat is a street that’s being upgraded and looks great too nowadays!). The street scene is characterized by all kinds of cosy boutiques and bars and as a true Antwerp’ girl you always meet an old friend: all so enjoyable!
Absolute best of the little boutiques for kids are: de Groene Wolk, Marcel & Brussel. Especially the latter is an absolute heaven for the fashionable kids of the city. You’ll find loads of Belgian brands such as: Aymara, Lion of Leisure, Simple Kids, MAAN, Gold, Anna Kurris, Max & Lola… But you can also go there for the latest collections of Stella McCartney, Bobo Choses, Finger in The Nose, Milk on the Rocks, Dou Dou, Kidscase, Stella Cove etc. If you unleash me there, I go crazy J
Apart from the charming little boutiques you will also find the separate stores of Belgians best such as: Van Hassels, Fred & Ginger, Bellerose and my absolute favourite for the kids: American Outfitters. AO is a 100% Belgian brand that continues to be innovative and continues to surprise the customer with their fantastic prints, super finishing, top fitting and quality. Very much worth the trouble to walk in for a Christmas gift for your kids or for yourself (because they have a women’s collection as well!).
American Outfitters | Groendalstraat 22 Antwerp
Fred & Ginger | Lombardenvest 54 Antwerp
Van Hassels | Steenhouwersvest 51 Antwerp
Brussel | Lombardenstraat 10 Antwerp
While getting back into the car I’m having trouble leaving the city and my girls, for the first time in a long time. Let’s say it’s the time of year. At Christmas I always realize how happy simple things can make me and how very glad I am with such amazing friends! Let the season be Merry and 2014 awesome!