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!
So excited to have Christina and Rafaël in Anwerp for a few days! Sunday Rafaël had to be in Brussels, so Christina, Koen and I planned a day in the city.
Yay! My parents are in Antwerp!
Before we head off to Italy, we made reservations at Het Gebaar to have an early birthday celebration for my mom. You may remember Het Gebaar from two other posts: 9 year anniversary and when I won the free brunch. Het Gebaar is the Michelin star restaurant from Roger Van Damme. Van Damme is most famous for his desserts, so we booked our reservation in the early afternoon for a sweet lunch!
Before we leave for Copenhagen, Koen and I celebrated my birthday Little Butcher’s Summer Grill with his parents, aunt, and uncle. Such a great present from my in-laws! LBSG is a pop-up restaurant at Park Spoor Noord. Where better to house a grill restaurant than outside at a park surrounded by green grass, trees, and playgrounds?
Yannick Van Aeken was the guest cook at LBSG for two nights only! Luckily we found out early enough to book our table. Van Aeken is a former Noma sous-chef. Yes that Noma in Copenhagen, the best restaurant in the world. So perfect preparation for our trip! To accompany the food, Paul Morel was the guest mixologist for one night only. He is the former head-bartender of The Jane in Antwerp. It was difficult to chose which cocktail to take, and we wound up just sampling a little from everything.
The menu was divided into 4 categories: Snacks, Veggies, Carnivore, and Sweets. We all ordered the “Treat Me Nice”, which is chef’s choice combination from the categories. Yum! Koen and I also received compliments from Van Aeken because we were the only people in the entire place eating with our hands! He said at Noma they always like to see people getting a little messy haha.
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!
I finally found time to go to MOMU (Mode Museum – Fashion Museum) to check out the Birds of Paradise: Plumes & Feathers in Fashion exhibit! All of the pieces were so beautiful, feminine, and luxurious. It was amazing to see how the feathers were so masterfully crafted. The exhibit includes pieces from Chanel, Dior, Thierry Mugler, Alexander McQueen and Yves St. Laurent. If you’re in Antwerp before the the 24th of August, you should definitely check it out!
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!