This weekend in Antwerp: 31st May, 1st & 2nd June

macaroons-1957310_640There’s a few two-three day events this weekend, and if you are a food and drink lover (that’s a polite way of saying GLUTTON)  it’s going to be a great (if expensive) weekend for you, as with a little planning you could eat and drink your way along the Schelde from Friday to Sunday (even from Thursday if you are already peckish).

Down on the Plantinkaai it’s Fiesta Europa – this is a fun mix of  on-the-spot eating, drink ing and socialising, and a market with plenty of stands selling food products to take home: European products are central, so plenty in the way of great cheeses, meats, olives, honeys and tapenades. Food and drink stands a-plenty throughout means it’s a fun hang-out if the weather is good, especially since the event is always kid-friendly (yes, there is the obligatory bouncy castle!). Thanks to reader, Arwin, for reminding me about this event!

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HAP Festival is another food festival, this one is more focussed on food trucks and hip street food. It’s on Steenplein and although can be pricey. It’s not kid-unfriendly, but Fiesta Europa is better if you have small people to consider.

Antwerp Wine Festival is also on Steenplein; this is more for the grown-ups for obvious reasons, and wines from 12 different countries form the centre of this event.

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And last, but by no means least, one of my absolutely favourite events of the year De Quaeye Werelt! In which the Rivierenhof is transformed into a bustling medieval community of  traders, knights, noblemen and ladies, and artisans of every type. Re-enactors hold a noisy battle. It’s the historical element which makes this event so special

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re-enactors at De Quaeye Werelt

(it’s 1477) as well as the good natured, enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere created by everyone who takes part. There’s loads of cheap, hearty food and affordable drinks -if the weather is nice bring a picnic blanket and settle in for the day. The kids will love the battle, the puppet show and the costumes (but the littlest ones might want ear-defenders if they are near the battle, which is very loud indeed).

Friday

If you’re worried about what all this will do to your waistline, why not join Critical Mass for their monthly bike ride through the streets of Antwerp? Assemble at 6pm at Theaterplein, with your bike as usual. I expect Critical Mass will still be riding high on the buzz created by last weekend’s fantastic Critical Mass Belgium ride, and party at Park Spoor Noord, which is captured in this footage made by Critical Mass riders from Brussels who looked as though they enjoyed themselves here in Antwerp!

 

Aper’eau will be on Antwerp’s newest outdoor party place: Operaplein from 5pm to start the weekend with their usual blend of outdoor drinking, summer cocktails and DJs.

Saturday

For a more local food experience, farmers’ market Kraakvers are in Borgerhout on the Vincottestraat from 10am-3pm.

Sunday

vegansstuffAnother healthy food option could be Vegan Vibes Picnic at Park Spoor Noord from 11am- 7pm. Food trucks and stands selling vegan only options – see the link for the exact location (it is near – but not right at – Bar Noord).

If you cannot eat another thing, maybe a browse round this vinyl market would suit you. It’s at Giraffenplein (behind of the zoo) and hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling.

Finally a reminder that it’s Sunday Shopping in Antwerp, and the regular shops will be open too, in the main shopping areas of the city, like Meir, Nationalestraat Kammenstraat and Kloosterstraat.

A warm and dry (though sometimes cloudy) weekend is predicted, with possible top temps as high as 27 degrees (Sunday).

Miscellaneous

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The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early for ticketed events that you are interested in. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

nature-4202726_640You may remember Daniel McBrearty from his fascinating guest post on Nessascityblog all about the Plantin Moretus museum. Daniel has launched a campaign in Belgium to persuade the supermarket chain Colruyt to reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics in their stores. Please support the campaign! You can listen to him explain its reasoning in this short film, and the links to the campaign are here (in English), here (in het Nederlands) and here (en Francais).

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It’s very nearly show time at BATS VZW don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual show via their website -this year’s extravanganza promises to be a riot of colour and fun.

Runners: you can now register for the Reuzenloop in Borgerhout (choose from runs of 4, 8 or 12 km; there is also a free kids’ run). This takes place on the 9th June: click on ‘schrijf hier in!’ to sign up.

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This weekend: 2nd, 3rd & 4th June

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Battle re-enactment

NEXT POST: 8TH JUNE

I am away this weekend and the thing I am most sorry to miss is De Quaeye Werelt, which is on the Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 6pm. As a family, we go to this every year. It is a re-enactment event and the year is 1477 and Sterckshof (Rivierenhof) is transformed into a Medieval Village for the weekend. It’s great to see the re-enactors in character roles and wearing their medieval costumes. There are also all sorts of stall and stands selling olde worlde food, drink, clothing and accessories. There is even a medieval apothecary. For kids, there is a puppet theatre and usually some beheading, as well as the space of Sterckshof to run around and enjoy. There is also music. One of the main attractions is a battle re-enactment that takes place at 3pm. This is very noisy and action packed. You may wish to bring ear-defenders for youngsters. It is free, and the food and drink are reasonably priced, but it’s also fine to take a picnic of your own. I totally recommend this event!

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Barrio Cantina

Also over the whole weekend is  Barrio Cantina Food Truck Festival on Steenplein, from midday on the 3rd, 4th & 5th.

HERE’S THE MAP!

 

Friday

BATS hold their regular Open Evening from around 8.30pm. This seems like a good opportunity to also plug their 60th Variety Show  at The Little Theatre, which will be a ‘Best of …’

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The BATS Variety Show: June 17th-19th, and 24th-26th

Head to the Harmoniepark for their neighbourhood party: dancing, music, DJs cocktails from 6pm…. to reserve for the BBQ go to www.harmoniewijk.be

Saturday

Dedicated followers of fashion may wish to see the Royal Academy of Fine Arts fashion students’ Graduation Show at the Paardenmarkt Campus.  Tickets are 10 and 5 euros.

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The biggest fleamarket this weekend can be found on Sint Jansplein from 10 am, while on Groenplaats there’s an Indian festival from 1pm. Find out more here.

Thrill seekers! Antwerp’s annual funfair –Sinksenfoor -opens at Spoor Oost. The Grand Opening starts at 2pm. Sinksenfoor will be there until the 9th July.

… For something a bit different – catch a brass band or two at Veemarkt from 2pm …

Sunday

First Sunday of the month means Sunday shopping and it would be a good idea to combine this with Boulevard National which takes place round the Nationalestraat and the Kammenstraat. Shops will be open but there will also be stands, food, tastings and music between midday and 6pm. Alternatively, stop for a pint and a great sandwich at one of my favourite Antwerp bars – An Sibhin.

Go dancing under a bridge at Draakplaats at 3pm, or enjoy bands for free at Borgerhout Bougeert from 4pm.

Register for The Sint Andries run in the area on the same day, or check out Ieder Zenne Meug design market on Bogaard Plein if you are not feeling quite that energetic.

Temperatures are going to be pleasant this weekend, but cooling off to the early 20s after Friday, which will be pretty hot at 26 degrees. Friday afternoon could also see some storms, and there is the possibility of light rain on Saturday at around lunch time. Sunday will be the coolest day, but should be dry all day

Miscellaneous

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

Monday is a public holiday (Pentecost) and there will be a Goegekregen fleamarket on Theaterplein, from 9am -6pm.

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

Runners -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down tower blocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This Weekend: 3rd, 4th & 5th June

(New Google Maps feature: this is in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of this post)

Friday

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The first Friday of the month is always Open Evening at the Little Theatre at BATS. Go along and meet the crew if you are interested in being involved in English speaking theatre in Antwerp. It’s also a good chance to pick up tickets for their famous Variety Show, which has a 1950s theme this year.

From 6pm it’s Streat XXL at Felixpakhuis on Eilandje -free entry.

Over the whole weekend it’s the queer arts festival Strangelove at Het Bos. This begins on Thursday –check the full program here.

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Markies Book Fair

 

 

Also over the whole weekend, opening today is a stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -open from 10am -6pm each day (and next weekend too). It’s a good place to pick up bargains and gifts, with a wide selection of books for kids. Most books are in Dutch.

 

 

 

Saturday

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De Quaeye Werelt

Today and Sunday it’s the moment to time-travel back to 1477 and De Quaeye Werelt which is a thoroughly enjoyable event for people of all ages, and takes place at Sterkshof, part of the Rivierenhof domein. It’s on from 10am – 6pm both days. Many re-enactors travel from all over Europe to pitch their heavy canvas tents and set up home, or a stall for

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A market stall at De Quaeye Werelt

the weekend. There are demonstrations, re-enactments, music, market stands and a big noisy battle to watch (14.30pm). There is a lot for kids to enjoy, and the beer and snacks are always excellent.

MARTA, the famers’ market takes place on Kattendijkdok today, near the summer bar Bar Paniek and Born In Antwerp HQ, from 9am.

Head along to Sint Andriesplaats for Brasspartij at 2pm: six cafés in the area are going to be hosting this event and there will be brass bands from Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as food and beer trucks on the square.

There’s another big fleamarket on Sint-Jansplein from 8am -6pm.

For runners, it is the Deurne 10 miles (with shorter parcours for those who don’t want to run the full 10).  It costs 10 euros to register and starts at the Bosuilstadion.

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Het Geluk at Het Paleis

If you have any energy left after that, head to Club Het Geluk for the night which starts at 10 and is free until it’s full.

For something more off-beat, head to Dark Annie for a performance of light and video projections, with music, at the Eva Steynen Gallery.

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And a special shout-out to the best basisschool in Belgium: De Bunt who are having their school fête today!
Have lots of fun!

 

Sunday

Ongoing events (see Friday and Saturday) Book market at Zuiderpershuis, Strangelove & De Quaeye Werelt.

It will be your last chance to Tango Under The Bridge at Draakplaats at 3pm, with an extra long final edition of this event that includes live music starting at 8pm.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so the shops in the city centre will be open for Sunday shopping.

More for runners: describing itself as ‘not the longest, but certainly the nicest’ the Sint Andries Run takes place today, with additional entertainment all day on the Sint Andriesplaats -be there at 11am to register at the tent. The first run begins at 1, and it is free to take part.

Catch the film Slumdog Millionaire for a mere fiver (4 euros if you order in advance) at Atlas Antwerpen at 11am.

… And Krugermarkt is taking place on the Krugerplein from midday.

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Apart from cooler temperatures and a little rain on Friday, it is mainly predicted to be warm and dry this weekend but with the possibility of a little storminess on Sunday.

(image: Pixabay)

 

Miscellaneous

*For all the locations mentioned in this post check the Google map for directions. Click on the red pins to get directions from a specific location.

*Summer bar The Next Level is now open above Coffee Labs on Lange Klarenstraat (off Meir)

*Thrillseekers -don’t forget that Sinksenfoor (fun fair) is open on Spoor Oost from midday until 23.30.

*Here’s a link to a .pdf with LOADS of sporting activities for summer 2016 

*Pictures of events in Antwerp from last weekend are now on the Nessascityblog Instagram page, with snaps of Apereau, Antwerp Strongman Run, AIS Graduation and Lambermontmartre, which unfortunately suffered due to the weather -hopefully it will be dry for this event next month.

new-instagram-logo_1-xlarge_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8If you are on Instagram and attend an event in the area (or snap a beautiful Antwerp location) -especially if you read about it on this blog -please hashtag it #nessascityblog to contribute to a stream! I’d love to see your images, as it is impossible for me to make it to everything that I feature on the weekend posts. I usually try to get to 2-3 of them though.

 

Have a great weekend!

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