top 5 and three quarters…Antwerp

Making the most of living on the continent, bf and I jumped on a train Saturday morning and headed to Antwerp. As soon as I arrived in Amsterdam all the women I met told me that the shopping is Amsterdam is crap (true) and that I’d be much better off going to Antwerp (interesting…). When I realised that Susie Bubble was a big fan, my curiosity became too much and I planned a trip. Quite unexpectedly, it turned out to be the ultimate shopping paradise. Everything, and I mean everything is there and right next door to each other. Yohji Yamamoto has his international flagship store there (which was THE most intimidating place I have ever been). Everything from Sonia Rykiel and A.P.C  stores to All Saints and Filippa K and even New Look. Plus, there are incredible vintage, (and I mean proper vintage) stores in the antiques part of the city. Having had a bit of a shopping drought in Amsterdam, I almost fainted! The shopping mall was beautiful; a grand 19th century building covered in gold and very clean, with a beautiful champagne bar on the top floor. With the prestigious Antwerp fashion school and the  fashion museum, MoMu to hand as well,  it is no doubt a place definitely worth visiting if you like looking at dresses.  The lack of pretension, compared to Paris or London, was a welcome breath of fresh air. Even in the trendy restaurant Chez Fred (where I saw the equivalent of Nate Archibald and his (not broke) mother doing brunch) people were friendly and chilled out, and all the time in such a pretty, old city that looks like a Stella Artois ad. So, when in Amsterdam save your pennies and when in Antwerp spend, spend, spend!

Antwerp, May 2009 009   Antwerp, May 2009 002

Antwerp, May 2009 017     Antwerp, May 2009 042

Antwerp, May 2009 022   Antwerp, May 2009 056

From left to right.:1. The gorgeous champagne bar in the shopping centre -Whiteley’s eat your heart out. 2. I’m wondering if all of these will be enough to get my shopping back to the hotel. 3. The beautiful Dries Van Noten store. 4. A big, impressive building with lots of flags, clearly had my mind on other things like… 5. My new dress. 5. Our hotel. 3/4.

AMS

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