London Baby Yeah!

London Baby Yeah!

Good evening! I spent a few days in London, fully focused on food and art this time. Want to know what my trip was all about? Read on!

A R T

Tate Modern

Have you visited the new extension to Tate Modern?

I stopped by and ‘discovered’ the works of Wifredo Lam, the exhibition runs until 8 January 2017. No pictures allowed, so you’ll have to go and judge yourself. Cuban gone cubism, you’ll love it.

Asian Art Weekend

The yearly gathering of Asian Antique conoisseurs was a nice opportunity for me to have a look behind the ‘scenes’ of world’s most renowned fine art brokers. The first weekend of November is a gathering of antiquairs from all over the world. I was lucky to be able to join one of them during visits to Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Christie’s.

Asian Art Weekend at Sotheby's

Asian Art Weekend at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s – David Bowie Auction

David Bowie was obviously a big fan of Damien Hirst and admirer of the Memphis style, judging from the large amount of Peter Shire and Ettore Sotsass designs displayed. Besides that, works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Patrick Caulfield and many others.

One of my favourite design items – a radio phonograph by the Castiglioni brothers – was sold for a ‘modest’ 257.000 GBP. I was 1.000 GBP short, ahum! ūüôā

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

 

Radio Phonograph by Castiglioni

Radio Phonograph by Castiglioni

S H O P P I N G

Liberty 

In the mood for Christmas? Liberty’s fourth floor has everything to make your Santa loving heart smile!

Getting into the Christmas mood at Liberty

Getting into the Christmas mood at Liberty

I N T E R I O R  D E S I G N

Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon’s showroom is a well hidden gem. The road the store is located on, Ladbroke Grove, seems endless, and the entrance to the shop is a little hard to see from my rainy cab window. The flagship store is spacy and light flooded though, and has everything you didn’t even know Tom Dixon has to offer. Think furniture, lamps, as well as small gifts and accessories. Hard to leave without buying, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Tom Dixon's showroom at Portobello Dock

Tom Dixon’s showroom at Portobello Dock

Jimmie Martin

Looking for bold colours and explicite messages? Then Jimmie’s is your place for painted chairs, pillows and mannequin-slash-floor lamp designs. Rock ‘n’ Roll baby!

Jimmie Martin store

Jimmie Martin store

Jonathan Adler

One of my favourites on Instagram since I’ve visited his store in New York City. Organic shaped objects, bright colours, gold plated finishings, … You name it, he’s got it. I don’t like ALL of his items, but he sure understands what eclectic feel is all about. Totally losing it while strolling through his store? Ask for a Xanax. Really. He has them on sale too. That is, if you like yours gold plated of course. The Conran Shop and Michelin House are right across the street by the way, go and have look there as well.

Jonathan Adler on Sloane Avenue

Jonathan Adler on Sloane Avenue

E A T I N G  O U T

Black Roe

Silence is golden, or pink!

Silence is golden, or pink!

Black Roe was a first timer to me, and I absolutely loved it.

The music can seem a bit loud, but the food is so nice that you’ll know what the ‘enjoy the silence’ thing is all about. There are some nice ceviches, as well as the mac&cheese lobster, a true ‘pi√®ce de r√©sistance’ ūüôā

It looked good and it tasted even better!

It looked good and tasted even better!

Joel Robouchon

First course at Joel R.

First course at Joel R.

Main dish at Joel R.

Main dish at Joel R.

Dessert at Joel R.

Dessert at Joel R.

 

Sketch

Been here before for brunch, but never for dinner. The Gallery remained on my to do list for a very long time. Not in the least because of the interior design by India Mahdavi. Think Pink!

Little early for dinner? Find yourself a place at the Sketch Bar for a nice cocktail. Don’t forget to visit the ‘capsule’like restrooms, they are one of a kind!

The spacy restrooms at Sketch

The spacy restrooms at Sketch

 

Sketches by David Shrigley

The Gallery – Sketches by David Shrigley

 

That was London for this time, can’t wait to be back!

x x x

Pretty Paris

Pretty Paris

Hi there! I just got back from the city of lights! Although I cannot remember how many times I’ve visited this gorgeous place, it is difficult to list up all places I’d recommend. Here’s where I’ve been hanging around the past few days:

S H O P P I N G 

The window at concept store Colette is dressed in Coach, the current photo exhibit is from Arthur Elgort. Have a look at some of his work.

elgort

Kate Moss by Arthur Elgort

While you’re there, you might as well stop at H√ītel Costes’ flowershop. Think roses, roses and roses all over the place.

Roses Costes

Roses Costes

Second on my list is Le Bon March√©, an iconic place, if you have a look at the escalators you’ll instantly fall in love with this department store!

escalator view at Bon Marché

escalator view at Bon Marché

B O O K S

Don’t forget to visit the Assouline bookshop in St Germain area. Karl Lagerfeld’s 7L is nice as well, but the range is much smaller. Do not expect a trendy interior design eiter, you’ll be disappointed.

Cosy corner at Assouline

Cosy corner at Assouline

 

I N T E R I O R  D E S I G N 

When in Paris, do not forget to visit India Mahdavi’s store in Rue Las Cases! It is a MUST when you love bright colours, friendly shapes and eclectic designs. Recognize the cosy pink chairs from Sketch restaurant in London?

India Mahdavi store

India Mahdavi store

Inside India Mahdavi's store

Inside India Mahdavi’s store

F R A G R A N C E S

If you are looking for a new signature scent for the coming months: Colette has a nice section of perfurmes and candles. They stock brands such as Lola James Harper and Diana Vreeland.

Lola James Harper at Colette

Lola James Harper at Colette

Louis Vuitton recently launched their perfume range as well, Le Printemps displays them in a splendid way. Go and see for yourself!

Louis Vuittton's new perfume range at Le Printemps

Louis Vuittton’s new perfume range at Le Printemps

When you are looking for something a little more exclusive, go to Rue Cambon. After drewling at Chanel’s, stop at Memo. I’ve had the chance to meet CEO and co-founder John Molloy, who talked passionately about the Memo brand he launched with his wife Clara.

The exclusive brand bases its products on travels abroad, the store is a luxury train – mind the shopping window and suitcase-like counters – that takes you on a pleasant journey. My favourite is Granada – my mother orginating from that Andalusian region is probably just a coincidence?

Memo at Rue Cambon - interior design by India Mahdavi

Memo at Rue Cambon – interior design by India Mahdavi

C O F F E E  B R E A K  &  S N A C K S 

I found this cute little coffee shop near Place de la Republique. Perfect place for a cappuccino break!

Contemporary wire chairs and old fashioned bistro tables at Grain

Contemporary wire chairs and old fashioned bistro tables at Grain

For a New York feel in Paris: Frenchie has a yummie pastrami sandwich for you. The place is tiny and gets packed around noon, so make sure to make it on time.

A quick coffee or yummie lunch at Frenchie

A quick coffee or yummie lunch at Frenchie

 

Signature pastrami sandwich at Frenchie

Signature pastrami sandwich at Frenchie

 

E A T I N G  O U T

If you’re visiting Paris for the first time and looking for a trendy hotspot, you’ll surely want to visit the iconic Buddha Bar or H√ītel Costes.

I decided to opt for a classic address on the first night and a more trendy place in Batignolles to end my stay in Paris.

If you’re a wine lover like I am, ‘Les 110 de Taillevent’ is where you’ll feel like a kid in a candystore. The food is great and the wine list seems endless.. Or as the French would say ‘l’embarras du choix’.

The second night I was out in Batignolles area in the 17th district. I was intrigued by Coretta, a hipster restaurant named after Martin Luther King’s spouse. Picture neon lighting outside, wooden touch, marble tables, and green details all over the venue. Sit back in your EMU chair and enjoy a night of great food and excellent service. Coretta is a winner!

Coretta neon light

Coretta neon light

Green setting the tone at Coretta

Green setting the tone at Coretta

coretta-dish

 

 

A R C H I T E C T U R A L  M U S T-S E E

Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation is a haven for art lovers, and the Bois de Boulogne is a calming setting for a long walk after the museum visit.

Frank Gehry's Louis Vuitton Foundation

Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation

Still in the mood for culture? Centre Pompidou is worth your time. If you’re in need of a break after that, Place Stravinksy is just around the corner; plenty of brasseries in the Les Halles area will welcome you the parisian way.

Place Stravinksy

Place Stravinksy

I am already looking forward to my next trip to Paris, as this city never gets boring! Paris, je vous aime!

A Day In The Hague

A Day In The Hague

S H O P P I N G

Looking for an avant-garde clothing shop? I can highly recommend Concrete. There are 2 locations in The Hague, the one on Papestraat is my favourite.¬†If the clothes don’t get your attention, then the lighting sculpture from Ilze Buziau surely will.

Concrete

Concrete

My favourite concept store in The Hague is Collectiv.¬†Clothes, accessories, gifts, home deco.. they’ve got it all. So many stuff to look at, the only problem is: where do you start? After your treasure hunt, you can have a drink¬†in the inhouse coffee corner.

Collectiv Conceptstore

Collectiv Conceptstore

N E E D  A  B R E A K ?

For those tea lovers out there, there is a cute little address named Hug The Tea. Japanese blends and tea accessories is what you can get here, don’t forget to check them online too!

Hug The Tea

Hug The Tea

Perfect cappu’s, breakfast and lunch are served at BLT. The former office supply shop on the corner of Dennenweg opened three months ago and has a industrial feel and friendly atmosphere. Speciality of the house? The BLT of course!

F E E L I N G  A R T Y  F A R T Y ?

The Hague based artist Emiel van der Beek showed me around in his studio, where he talked about his never ending thrive to perfection. His contemporary artwork is very versatile, his sources of inspiration are endless. When in The Hague, be sure to check out whether he’s around. The appointment is worth your time. Interview online soon.

Cirkels - Collection of circular artwork by Emiel van der Beek

Cirkels – Collection of circular artwork by Emiel van der Beek

Emiel van der Beek in his studio

Emiel van der Beek in his studio

Emiel van der Beek

Emiel van der Beek

H U N G R Y ?

Since I didn’t have much time, I went for a portion of French fries at Frites Atelier. If you like junkfood gone posh, then this is the place for you. Brass, marble and mosaic tiles is not exactly what you’d expect from a french fries shop. But you can expect it from Sergio Herman and his favourite¬†designer Piet Boon. Sergio is Michelin starred Masterchef and owner of Pure C (Cadzand, The Netherlands) and The Jane (Antwerp, Belgium). The shop opened last June, and there are more selling points to follow soon – my hometown Antwerp is next! ūüôā I’ve tested AND approved the french fries with truffle mayonnaise. Yummie!

den-haag-03-frites

Frites Atelier

Frites Atelier

frites

French Fries with Truffle Mayo

O N E  F O R  T H E  R O A D ? 

If you like to end your afternoon in style, head over to the Hotel Des Indes, The Hague’s best known luxury hotel.¬†There is a small terrace in the front, but the salon inside is truly royal. No better way to end a day in The Hague before heading home.

hotel-des-indes

Hotel des Indes – picture taken from www.hoteldesindes.nl

Zaha Hadid It Again <3

Zaha Hadid It Again <3

22 September was a day with mixed feelings for my architecture loving heart.

On the one hand, I was truly¬†thankful¬†to be part of the official inauguration of the¬†new landmark to my hometown. But on the other, rather saddened by¬†the recent passing of the architect herself, only a couple of months before the construction of the actual Havenhuis was completed. What an honour it would have been to be able to meet one of the world’s most renowned organic architects.

zaha-01

Reflections in the faceted windows

Zaha’s masterpiece in Antwerp – headquarters to the Port of Antwerp – is a tribute to the city and its international port, with a building in the shape of a ship. For those taking the time to have a closer look, the building also refers to Antwerp as a diamond city.

The design is already a very bespoke topic in Antwerp and beyond. The contrast between the former fire station and the newly added Hadid architecture is very particular. You either hate it or love it, but the thing is.. Almost¬†everyone knows what the Havenhuis looks like, that’s for sure!

The inauguration was preceded by a few speeches, one of which was held by Patrik Schumacher, business partner and fellow architect to Zaha Hadid’s Studio. He took over the lead since the unexpected death of Hadid in March.

In honor to Dame Hadid, the square in front of the Havenhuis was renamed ‘Zaha Hadid Square’.

A guided tour took us from the open space ground floor to the upper floor offices, which boast an amazing skyline view.

inside-03

Palmberg work tables and Kinnarps office chairs in front of an amazing skyline

inside-01

Ground floor

inside-02

The river Scheldt under my feet

Inside Havenhuis

An office with a view

After the visit all the guests were kindly welcomed on board of the Ocean Diva for a reception and walking dinner.

Around 8 PM, the ship took us to a tribune on the other side of the waterfront, from where the view to the Havenhuis was excellent.

An astonishing light show was what followed. A choir opened with ‘O Fortuna’ from Carmina Burana, which obviously always is a winner. While the building was being dressed up in the most beautiful colours, music changed to the more uptempo beats of Basto and a fabulous finale. After the show, the party continued until late that night.

Returning home¬†after several hours in Hadid’s Heaven, with a mini Havenhuis-snowglobe in my goodie bag, I smiled and thought: unique architecture can serve as a¬†great consolation. Thank you Zaha!

Havenhuis by night

Havenhuis by night

40 Years Memorial Van Damme

40 Years Memorial Van Damme

On Wednesday 7 September, the Koloni√ęnpaleis in Brussels hosted a splendid gala dinner on the occasion of the 40th Memorial Van Damme. The Memorial is a yearly athletics competition and part of the IAAF Diamond League. The event was hosted by Memorial organiser Wilfried Meert and former Miss Belgium Marl√®ne de Wouters.

menu

Chocolate inspired menu by Robrecht Wolters, in cooperation with Galler

I was thrilled to be amongst the 150 guests that evening. The crème de la crème of athletics gathered together for a chocolate inspired dinner, sponsored by world famous chocolatier Galler. The menu was developed by chef Robrecht Wolters.

Robrecht Wolters and Wilfried Meert

Robrecht Wolters and Wilfried Meert

Sebastien Coe talked about his Memorial Van Damme experiences during an interesting speech.

The catwalk in the middle of the palace was conquered by female athletes, showing the designs of Elodie Ouedraogo’s collection of sporty chic clothing brand 4254 Sport.

An artwork showing the late Ivo Van Damme was auctioned later that evening for 4.500 euro.

Artwork picturing Ivo Van Damme

Artwork picturing Ivo Van Damme

Me

Me at the Gala

Viva Valencia – 24 hours in the city of Calatrava

Viva Valencia – 24 hours in the city of Calatrava

M U S T  S E E

Ciudad de las Sciencias y las Artes

Contemporary architecture lovers can eat their heart out with Santiago Calatrava’s masterpiece @ Ciudad de las Sciencias y las Artes. Situated in the original riverbed¬†of the river Turia, this is an incontestable must-see when in Valencia. The surroundings are spacious and bright, Calatrava’s organic designs jaw-dropping.

cala

Ciudad de las Sciencias y las Artes

Port of Valencia

If you like the contast between old and new, go out and discover the port of Valencia. You’ll find old restored Tinglados (hangars) as well as the modern Veles e Vents building. The layered architecture of David Chipperfield’s Veles e Vents was built to host the¬†Port America’s Cup 2007 and offers nice views over the port. Unfortunately it is currently not in use nor open for public.

One of the Tinglados in the Valencian port

One of the Tinglados in the Valencian port

Veles e Vents

Veles e Vents – image taken from www.velesevents.es

 

E A T I N G

El Mercat

Curious about what the local market has to offer? Step into El Mercat and you’ll instantly will get the munchies. A large range of fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables can be found here. If you want to make yourself a paella valenciana, this is where you should get your ingredients!

el mercat

El Mercat

Jamones

Jamones

Mercado de Colon

The absolutely beautiful building hosts shops, bars and restaurants.

The marketplace is situated in a quiet area and has nice terraces overlooking the square.

Mercado Colon

Mercado Colon

When in Valencia, don’t forget to try the non alcoholic ‘horchata’, a milky and almond based drink, typical for this region.

Vuelve Carolina

You couldn’t get a reservation at the Michelin starred El Poblet? Cheer up, coz this is when ‘Vuelve Carolina’ comes in. Situated on the same address as her starry brother, Vuelve Carolina (‘Come Back Carolina) is a one of a kind gastrobar in the middle of the city centre. Indulge in their high end tapas and their exquisite wine list. Feeling hot? The Scandinavian inspired interior will cool you down, that is, if you don’t mind the moose staring back at you. I still don’t know who Carolina is, but I’ll be waiting for her, sipping from my glass of Spanish wine.

Vuelve Carolina - picture taken from www.vuelvecarolina.com

Vuelve Carolina – picture taken from www.vuelvecarolina.com

 

C H I L L A X I N G

Marina Beach Club

marina-beach-vista-aerea_love valencia website

© Love Valencia

 

A C C O M O D A T I O N

I’ve stayed at the recently refurbished El Balandret on Passeo Neptuno. The beach is right in front of you, public transport just around the corner and the Marina on walking distance.

http://www.balandret.com/?lang=en

 

balandret

Lobby of Balandret