Food

Belgian Wines In Antwerp

October 20, 2015 • AntwerpFoodTravel

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last august i was happy i could find some time to swing by the newly opened wine bar BELGIAN WINES for two reasons. one, whatever JENS DE MAERE is doing these days, has my full attention. i met him while we were both ambassadors for the bordeaux wine region (remember THIS DINNER and THIS DINNER?) but he’d been running a pretty successful business since long before, bringing belgian wines to the attention of oenophiles around the world. i pretty much blindly trust his opinion on wines, but make sure to check out HIS BLOG for food and travel inspiration, too.

reason number two for my eagerness to discover the bar up close, was the fact that it was designed and created by maša and jon from KLEIN AGENCY. i met this lovely slovenian-californian couple – who came to antwerp by way of berlin and brussels – when i interviewed them about their design studio LMBRJK for KWINTESSENS magazine. over the past few years, i’ve bumped into them on several occasions, and i was always curious to get an update on what they were doing – from opening up their private dinner club (best food i’ve ever had in antwerp) to them getting married in california. they are easily some of the coolest and kindest people i know, and whatever they do, they do with such style and creativity that i’d get jealous if i wasn’t too busy being happy for them. long story short – they designed the interior of the belgian wines bar and it’s supremely beautiful.

after taking some snaps before opening hours, jens sent me home with a bottle of one of his favorite belgian wines (ALDENEYCK from maaseik) and ever since opening it up, i can’t wait to return for the full experience some time soon. see you there?

photos by stephanie duval

Elisabeth’s Brussels

September 25, 2015 • BrusselsFoodTravel

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last week i had the honor to host a delightful bloggertour around brussels for ELISABETH CHOCOLATIER. you guys might remember i hosted another workshop for them earlier this year – which was such a blast, i had been looking forward to the sequel ever since we made plans for it. the wonderful joyce from JUST LIKE SUSHI, carrie from WISHWISHWISH, céline from MILUCCIA and oliva from WHAT OLIVIA DID joined us for two days filled with fun and sweets.

our tour started at the beautiful HAPPY GUESTHOUSE, where we had some time for tea, coffee and chocolates. we then explored the four different elisabeth shops around the grand place in the center of brussels. i’ve mentioned this before, but i just can’t get over how stylish and modern these shops look compared to the other stores in the neighborhood. there’s none of that tourist-trap vibe, just great design and amazing sweets made by local artisans. every shop has its specialty, so if you’re ever around the area, make sure you visit all four to get a good idea of what elisabeth is all about.

afterwards, we had a fun chat with the lovely owner of THE GAME design store, a glass of pink champagne in the pop-up boutique of DE GREEF, which used elisabeth sweets in their fall campaign. then it was time to head over to LES FILLES. we had lunch at one of their cozy communal tables, and later headed upstairs for dessert. we were challenged to create our own creative versions of three desserts using elisabeth products and we didn’t leave the premises until we were positively stuffed.

after lunch we made the trek out to the gorgeous HELLO JAMES shop, where te owners gave us a little tour of their basement workshop and sent us home with some beautiful handmade leather accessories. a quick touch-up of our make-up was added to the program when we passed by COSMETICARY, where jean used the bobbi brown magic on us. we left all ready for our dinner plans at COMPTOIR DES GALERIES – the beautiful restaurant of the hotel des galeries (more on that later!)

the next day we headed uptown to spend some time in my favorite neighborhood around the place brugmann, and i finally got to have lunch at ICI – i’ve only been waiting for that moment ever since it opened. it was such a fun experience meeting these amazing bloggers from france, the netherlands and the uk and showing them around some true gems in brussels. it reminded me i don’t spend nearly enough time in the capital of belgium, and i need to change that, stat. hopefully this little tour will have inspired you to do the same (and definitely say hi to the great team of elisabeth for me!)

photos by stephanie duval

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.

 

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