I’m so happy my best friend is married to someone from the Netherlands. That means every once a while she’ll be closeby and we can see each other! Antwerp/New York City is a long distance, but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed!
Every winter I look forward to the Kerstmarkt, or Christmas Market, in Antwerp. As an American, it is still such a new, exciting experience because we don’t have anything like it – or at least not in Georgia!
In my Roger Van Damme, Part One post I mentioned that Koen and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary at Het Gebaar, from Roger Van Damme. It was the best meal I’ve ever had, and I was lucky enough to win a 9 course brunch/cooking presentation with none other than Roger Van Damme!
The contest was set up by Flamant, who supplies all of the interior decorating for Het Gebaar. Luckily Flamant is only a 3 minute walk from our apartment, and Koen and I were able to wake up and go straight to brunch! After 9 delicious courses and a few glasses of wine, we walked a little bit slower back home and took a long nap!
This summer there was a traveling food truck festival throughout Belgium – Barrio Cantina. Of course Koen and I didn’t want to miss out on the Antwerp edition!
The location was perfect. More than 40 food trucks organized on the Steenplein, so we could enjoy our food with a view of Het Steen and the River Scheldt.
One of my favorite things about Antwerp in December is the Christmas Market. There are lights everywhere – whether hanging from the streets or in the trees. I like to walk around and see everything that’s for sale and enjoy a warm cup of glühwein. I like to go every year and this time Koen and I went on the last day, on a Sunday afternoon. It had snowed the day before, so it was especially cold!
Tuesday night USA played against Belgium in the World Cup. This was a match I couldn’t miss! Koen and I watched the game at the Grote Market on a big screen. Of course I’m American and was cheering for America (but not too loudly haha). The energy was high and infectious. Definitely an experience I’ll remember!
I had recently read an article about the revival of cocktail parties. I shared it with some of my classmates at the United International Business Schools, Antwerp and it was decided for me that I’d host one myself. It’s always fun to entertain, so I didn’t mind. As for cocktails, we provided the essentials for gin and tonics and Cuba Libres – for the rest everyone brought their favorite drinks and mixers. To pair with the cocktails, I made two sweet and two savory options. For the sweet tooths, I made mini pecan pies and coconut macarons (lactose-free option). Personally I like something savory with my drinks, so I made a garlic-free guacomole (it is a party afterall!) and quinoa cups with spinach and bacon. We had a lot of fun and it’s always nice to see everyone in another setting!
A special thank you to Diana and David for the invitation to come see the Longines Global Champions Tour 2014, formally known as Jumping Antwerpen! Last year I went with Koen and really enjoyed it. This year I invited Hannah to join me, because she does some jumping herself. Such a good choice for a guest! I was able to learn a lot while we watched. Enthusiasm is also contagious, so being with someone who loves horses made the event that much more fun! The venue is beautiful and located on the dockside of Antwerp’s Scheldt River with a view of the cranes.