Last week I went with my friend Fiona to Antwerpen (for those who don’t know, that is in Belgium) which is really only a very short ride away. Yes Christie… you can get to another country from here in about two hours… 🙂 We were quite lucky with the weather as it had been rainy the entire week but as you can see from the above photo we had lovely weather. Still a bit chilly but sunny enough to do some serious shopping!
Fiona had her mind set on buying a chandelier. She is moving back to Scotland (where she comes from) and wanted to have one of those ones for her new home. Now we had anticipated heavy traffic on our way to Antwerp, but funny enough, had none, so we were in the city around 9.15 am. Far too early and most shops where still closed!
We did manage to find a coffeeplace that was open so we could wake up a little and wait for the other shops to open in the meantime. Ofcourse coffee would not be complete without a lovely bit of apple cake
The good thing about us having to search for a coffee place was that we found magazine heaven! Oooo my goodness, it is a good thing that this shop is so far away as I would gladly spend a fortune everyday there just getting my favorite magazines all in one place! I should have taken a photo of the store but completely forgot since I was browsing the magazines. Imagine a huge store, entirely filled with magazines from every country in the world. Ordered by subject. So obviously I went straight to the cooking section and bought loads of cooking magazines! I mainly buy UK magazines as those are – besides the dutch ones – readily available here. So that is Good food and Olive. But here they had separate additions and o, too many wonders… 🙂
Fiona was worse though. She spend 200 euros on magazines in that one shop! We had to go back to the car straight away as all those magazines weigh a ton of course. Imagine…. we had to go back to the car to drop of our purchases after having been in the city for less then an hour. Quite the accomplishment I would say. Anyway, having dropped of our load we continued down the streets in search of antique shops where the chandeliers would be. It was a bit of a walk from the center so we got hungry on the way and had to stop for lunch in a lovely little cafe. I chose the Tuscany platter with bread, parmaham, parmezan, pesto, ricotta and some salad. Basically making your own sandwiches from the ingredients on the plate. It was lovely!
You see I also got to play with my new toy. Since we will be going to Indonesia in August, I have bought a little camera that can also go underwater. I chose the very new Canon Powershot D10. I haven’t tried it underwater yet, but the photos on this blogpost have all been taken with this camera. It’s an OK quality for a compact camera and will certainly do well for snapshots on holiday! Can’t wait to test it underwater though!
We found the antique street and there was so much choice in chandeliers that it was hard to pick one, so Fiona ended up wanting two, but unfortunately one appeared to be broken so in the end she bought only the one beautiful chandelier. Now I am not a chandelier person and the chances of finding one in our home are non-existent, but some of those old ones are quite pretty and if you have a house to suit the lamp it can be quite pretty. (I am thinking old castles now, mind you!)
Since we were done at about 6 pm with shopping we figured we might as well have dinner as well before heading back to Holland as we would otherwise just be stuck in traffic forever. Unfortunately; Antwerp is also quite a touristy place so finding a good restaurant can be very tricky. We were deceived by the good looks of the exterior of the place and as it turned out the food was crap. We both had no starter (we just had icecream before so felt that would have been too much) but just a main course. I had an entrecote with Gorgonzola sauce and as you can see from the photo the meat is huge.
Getting large chunks of meat is normally not my thing. Tom is the big meateater in our household, so this was just too much for me. The veggies that went with the meat; I am not sure what they did with it but it was horrible, horrible… Sour almost and completely overcooked. The meat was too stringy and just really not tasty at all. So that was a bit disappointing really. Fiona and I both like a good meal and we go out for dinner on a regular basis and normally we pick really good restaurants but this was just bad. So bad even that we decided to not have coffee there either, but somewhere else.
So that was a slightly disappointing end to an otherwise fun day. Traffic on the way back was also moving along nicely so all good!