This year was a special birthday for Koen’s mom, Els – she turned 60! So to celebrate it in a special way, we wanted to surprise her with a party! We were very sneaky, telling her that we planned a lunch with the children in Zeeland, but to her surprise we invited family and friends to surprise her at Sand & Pepper Beachbar in Burgh-Haamstede!
Koen, Matt and Danny in front of the Frites Atelier
After many years of saying they’ll come visit, Danny and Matt finally made it to Antwerp! I made it mission to share all things Belgian, so we at a lot of delicious frietjes, drank Belgian beer, and wandered around the beautiful city!
Butcher’s Store from De Laet & Van Haver in Hove is a meat lover’s paradise for over 25 years now. 7 years ago they opened Butcher’s Dining next door. We went with our friend Nanw and Mihai on a quest for the most delicious steak dinner. Luckily there are a lot of sharing options! We chose 4 starters to split, followed by an entrecote tasting. Well worth the drive to Hove for a delicious steak dinner!
Koen and I were invited to the Animalia Amsterdam photo exhibition opening in Amsterdam. For over a year, Isabella Rozendaal photographed the pets of Amsterdam and they’re now on display in the Amsterdam City Archives from July 14th to September 3rd. Isabella is the sister-in-law of my best friend Christina and I’ve loved all the photos she’s posted on Facebook and Instagram, so Koen and I were excited to see the prints in person! We also bought her book!
For a late Mother’s and Father’s Day, we took Dook and Els to Sir Anthony Van Dijck, where we also celebrated Koen’s birthday last year. When Koen and I told his parents where we would be celebrating his birthday, we learned that Sir Anthony van Dijck was a favorite restaurant of Koen’s grandfather. In fact when Els met Dook’s father for the first time it was at Sir Anthony Van Dijck! So this was surprise culinary destination!
If you Google Barcelona, you will definitely find your search results are filled with photos of Park Güell. You can’t really think of Barcelona without the architect Antoni Gaudí coming to mind. His distinctive style of Catalan Modernism is so unique and magical. So colorful and whimsical!
After graduation, we headed back to the apartment to shower and nap before heading back out into town. Never could and will get used to 35 degree heat, so better to be back in the airconditioned apartment during the hottest part!
We went for a walk along La Rambla, having dinner at Cèntric Raval – feasting on cocktails and tapas! It’s only about 10 minutes away from the busy street, but as you leave Las Ramblas and head toward the café you enter a more residential area and get away a bit from the rest of the tourists.
I’m a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow and love her website goop. Recently goop added a section to their website – goop city guides! I was so excited that Barcelona was one of their first guides. Suquet de l’Almirall is one of the recommendations.