When Morgan Lang of jewellery brand AGMES told RUSSH she was headed to Antwerp, we asked her to send us postcards.
The city has long been a hotbed for design, with some of fashion's most boundary-pushing creative forces hailing from the Belgian capital. We're talking Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons, and more. Despite this, it's hardly the first destination many of us think of when someone says "European holiday".
Below, Lang shares her top recommendations for eating, shopping and sightseeing if a trip to Antwerp is on the cards.
Normo. It's a super cute coffee shop at the north end of the city. Aside from a delicious cup of coffee, it's fun to take a seat on outdoor benches to observe people sketching, reading, spending time with children, etc.
My favorite meal was at Camino. Natural wine, casual good vibes, and amazing asian-inspired street food. Also, Le Pristine is great for lunch – a beautiful Michelin-starred restaurant but at lunch they open up the bar for a la carte. Amazing pastas!
Chocolates! Belgium is known for chocolate – and we went to so many different chocolate shops to taste them all. Overall, my favorite is Pierre Marcolini for pralines but the Chocolate Line had some incredibly inventive flavors and larger scale works of art made out of chocolate.
Visit Copyright Bookshop for their impressive selection of art, design, and fashion books from both independent and bigger publishers. I could spend hours in here!
A visit to the Diamond District is also encouraged and the Saturday farmer’s market bring together so many different vendors than I’m use to at my local market. Aside from that, biking, walking or a morning run is the best way to soak in the city – you can get from one end to the other in roughly 30 minutes.
LA Collection is beautiful shop with all natural materials and meticulous tailoring. Other standouts were Graanmarkt 13, Christian Wijnants, Dries van Noten and Ganterie Boon, a family run traditional glove shop for over 120 years and 4 generations with 10,000 pairs of gloves in stock. You come in and they immediately size you up and bring out options.
Layers and always have an umbrella handy. It rained a lot – the weather was very similar to the UK.
We stayed at the Botanic Sanctuary, a converted, renovated 12-century monastery. When the monastery was in operation, it had a reputation for healing; the abbott maintained a robust herbal garden, providing natural remedies for various illnesses. The new hotel operator intentionally maintained that same ethos with its incredible spa and wellness program.