Monday, August 7, 2017

The Antwerp Trip 2017

A week after I got back from my trip to London it was time to pack my passport again. This time I went all the way to Belgium to visit Antwerp. I have been to Belgium a couple of times but Antwerp never made the cut so I was excited to discover everything the city had to offer. Especially the food hotspots, because I had been stalking Instagram a few weeks prior to the trip. Food is an import life essential you know.

That morning I took an early train to Amsterdam to meet up with my friend and from there we boarded the train to Antwerp. It was actually quite easy and because we still had our student travel card (you can travel around the Netherlands for free if you are a student) we only paid for the train in Belgium which ended up being around €8. Insane if you think about it.

The first stop on our list was Barchel, a hip food and coffee bar. It's a 15 minute walk from the train station and as always, Google Maps is my best friend on these kind of trips. There were plenty of seats available but we decided to go sit on the terrace in the back. The pretty garden lights surrounded the white walls and it's one of those places that would be awesome on a hot summers day. 
I kind of stalked their menu before so it didn't take me long before I knew what I wanted to order. And since it's me we're talking about, it had to be something sweet, so I went with French toast and tea. The food was really good and the staff was friendly as well. Definitely recommend this place if you ever visit Antwerp.

After that delicious pick me up we walked towards the 'Meir', the main shopping street in Antwerp. We popped into a few shops but I didn't see anything I liked until we went into this shop called Habitat, which is heaven for home accessories obsessed people like me and to make it even better they had 50% off all the products. 
We came back later that day to buy a ''few'' things, because otherwise I would walk with those heavy bags all day. But OMG they had the cutest causer and cup sets and I bought a dinner plate too. Bit of advice, don’t ever leave me alone in a store like that.

After all the excitement about cups we fancied something healthy so we took out our pal Google Maps and followed him to Divers, a healthy vegan hotspot with the most gorgeous interior and yummiest smoothie bowls. We actually sat here for a bit to charge our iPhones -Google Maps is very handy but takes up way too much battery-. Later we went on to another hotspot which turned out to be closed due to the summer holidays. A lot of the places that we wanted to visit were closed, which was a bit of a shame, but we still enjoyed ourselves. Another advice: look up if places are closed or not, it would save you a lot of walking.

One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Antwerp was Hoeked Dougnuts, a café with squared doughnuts. I love doughnuts so I was excited to try one out. It was very busy at Hoeked since more people have heard about this phenomenon. Do keep in mind that you bring cash because they don't accept foreign cards, which I found a bit odd. Luckily I still had some euros in my wallet so that saved us from a trip to an ATM. The doughnut itself was really nice and fluffy and I kind of want one right now.

As promised we walked back to Habitat to pick up all my cups and we also made a pit stop at the nearest supermarket because I was hoping they would sell salt & vinegar crisps, which they sadly didn't. I love those SO MUCH so whenever I am in London I always buy a pack. I did buy macarons and two bottles of Fiji water so that also made my day. 

Before we hopped on the train back to Amsterdam we crossed one more hotspot of our list: Manhattn's Burgers, a cool and hip burger place in the center of Antwerp with the same concept as Shake Shack and Vapiano. I went for a plain burger with fries and a lemonade. The food was really good, but I always hate it when the sauce and stuff goes everywhere. I'd rather eat my hamburger and fries at home when no one can see me smearing the hamburger sauce all over my face. Yes, it was THAT bad this time. After I washed my hands and fixed my chin with some concealer I was all good though. Ready to walk in public again haha.

And that concludes my first but definitely not last trip to Antwerp. The city itself was not that exciting for me, but the food hotspots made it worth visiting. There are so many more places where I want to eat at so I will 100% go back someday.

What is your favourite thing about Antwerp?


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X Marjolein

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