Antwerp

Style Inspiration At Margareta

September 13, 2018 • Style

i’m very excited about today’s story on multiple levels. first and foremost, you know i always love finding inspiring places and sharing them with you. it’s like finding a hidden treasure chest and then throwing a little party to share your excitement over it. and then there’s the fact that i grew up a daughter of two entrepreneurs and have personally experienced every dimension there is to being one, so i have a big heart for small businesses and independents. add to that the perfect combination of interior design, lifestyle and fashion and taaa-daaaah, you understand why greet from MARGARETA and i get along so well.

but let’s start at the beginning, because i know you guys are smart, critical readers and perhaps you’ve had it with bloggers throwing one endorsement after the other at your heads. i get it, i do. but as usual, this partnership was not some random match-making fluke between a business and an influencer (oh, the thousand ways in which i hate that word). i discovered margareta while i was chasing the perfect summer dress from danish brand munthe. i’d seen the dress worn by some stylish people on instagram and i had decided it was the one thing standing between me and complete happiness – as one does. so i browsed the web until i found out who distributes the brand in belgium (because whenever possible, i like to support the home team) and then i emailed them to ask which shops had bought it. so one fateful afternoon, i got in touch with greet VIA INSTAGRAM, and she was just the nicest. we messaged back and forth to discuss the color and the fit, she ended up tracking down the last one in my size and then sent it all the way to france for me. i know everyone is always talking about shopping small for the excellent service you receive, and even though unfortunately that’s not always the case, it definitely rang true for my first experience with margareta.

i started following MARGARETA ON INSTAGRAM and soon decided our long distance relationship wasn’t enough for me, so i ended up driving to puurs one day and spending such a lovely free afternoon with greet. she is as nice in real life as she is on instagram, and i loved discovering all the little wonders she has gathered in her beautiful boutique. i wish every shopping experience could be like this. isn’t it a shame we are all always so busy? because the only way to shop right, in my opinion, is spending a couple of hours browsing, trying on, browsing some more, having a cup of coffee (or a glass of cava), browsing some more and basically trying on half of what’s on the racks. i discovered so many brands i didn’t know before, tried on things that i normally wouldn’t wear, and fell in love with the prettiest items that i am so happy with (and can’t wait to show you).

greet has a great sense of style – equal parts classic-iconic and fun-and-daring – and she reminded me why offline shopping is so much better than online. she was honest with me, told me what she thought worked on me and what did not, helped me find fun combinations and dared me to think a bit outside of my comfort zone. it was all good fun and i went home realizing i understood my own sense of style a little bit better than before. so in tina fey’s eternal words – ‘i want to go to there’ and you should, too. go there for the great dresses, the super soft sweaters, the excellent products of belgian natural cosmetics brand likami or the beautiful selection of pillows, ceramics, bracelets, watches and scented candles. treat yo’self, and all. and tell greet i said hi, she might even give you a little discount if you do (insert all the high fives).

photos by stephanie duval

Belgian Wines In Antwerp

October 20, 2015 • AntwerpFood and DrinkTravel

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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

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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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