This weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November

For Kunstendag voor Kinderen last weekend the smallest and I ended up in Museum van der Bergh and then Plantin Moretus Museum; these are beautiful Antwerp museums and well worth a visit. Coincidentally, these same two museums are together holding a Breugel Weekend this weekend so this would be an opportunity to visit both.

Foodies -it’s Week Van De Smaak, which continues until the 24th November: food related events taking place across Flanders which centres colour as its theme for this the 13th edition of the event, so there’s a food photography contest for those who can capture #kunstopmijnbord [“art on my plate”] on social media – tag @weekvandesmaak. Here’s the  program which comprises workshops, tastings, reading and more.

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Saturday

There’s an ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market in the lovely setting of Den Beulebak from 11am -5pm for bookish browsers.

Sunday

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Today is Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) across Flanders: see up-to-the-minute science in action via workshops, readings, activities and demonstrations for young and old. Our family have really enjoyed Dag van de Wetenschap in the past and I recommend it.

Here’s a selection of events taking place in and around Antwerp.

At De Roma theatre there’a special children’s rommelmarkt (fleamarket) just for kids’ toys and clothes. It starts at 1.30 and it’s just 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.  The theatre’s café will also be open throughout.

Miscellaneous

Stad Antwerpen have released the Winter in Antwerp programme! #WinterinA starts on the 7th of December and will be featured on Nessascityblog in more detail over the coming weeks

WallsofBohoStreet art fans will be interested in the Walls Of Boho project (pic left from Walls of Boho Facebook page) which was unveiled last week: five striking new murals on display in Borgerhout. Look out for them when you are in the area, or get on your bike and see them all.

Belgian children like to write letters or send their pictures to Sinterklaas -each year Bpost enables kids to do this, and this year is not exception: your kid(s) can send a letter to The Sint  until 29th November. Write the sender’s name and address clearly on the back of the envelope, in order to receive a gift in return.

It should be slightly less cold this weekend (10-11 degrees) and dry with bright spells.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th &10th November

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is on for the second (and last) weekend for 2019 in Antwerp Expo. This is a vast bookfair whose history stretches back to 1932. Most books are in Dutch, but there are stands with English and French books.

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The Irish Times pub on Grote Markt is the venue for this Language Swap Event Hosted by The Irish Times and by swaplanguage.com it’s a chance for international people from all walks of life, to meet, network, socialise and broaden their understanding of other cultures and languages. Swap Language starts at 7.30pm.

Saturday

Local producers’ market Kraakvers is on Sint Andriesplaats today from 10am -3pm. Kraakvers also locally made food products -including beers, preserves, honey and bread – as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Along similar lines, there is more good news for local, organic and sustainable shoppers in Antwerp: The Bio Barn (pic below, courtesy of Bio Barn) opens its doors for the first time, on Verlatstraat at 10am this weekend. The Bio Barn already has branches in Brussels, and is coming to Antwerp too -it’s a covered market selling fresh and local sustainably- sourced produce, with less packaging.

biobarn

Sunday

Full Circle Antwerp is a one day and night festival in Antwerp. It is ticketed and there are still some tickets remaining which you can order here. With day and night programmes, Full Circle hosts events at 12 venues across the city. This vinyl market at de Studio is a free event, however.

Brrrr …. it’s definitely getting chillier now that we are into November. Temperatures will be no higher than 10 degrees this weekend, BUT at least it looks like it will be dry this weekend.

Miscellaneous

This week I published a special post featuring photographs taken by people like myself who are not Antwerp born-and-bred but who have made their home in Antwerp: check out these beautiful images of the city.

Monday 11th November (Armistice Day) is a public holiday in Belgium and Goegekregen vintage and second-hand market will be on Theaterplein.

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De Grote Schijn takes place each evening until 11th November (ticketed) – it’s a special route through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 13th, 14th & 15th September

There are a three fun festivals taking place over the whole weekend this weekend. They are Ramblas AntwerpenZuiderburen and Part of Antwerp. Las Ramblas in particular is lots of fun and very family friendly -the food, street theatre, and music which form this big neighbourhood event reflect the variety of communities which can be found around this part of town, and it’s really a great street party. It starts at 6pm on Friday, and the full list of events and performances can be found on the site if you click on “programma”.

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Ramblas Antwerpen

Zuiderburen takes place on the other side of town, in the area in front of the Gallery of Fine Art (aka. KMSKA). It’s on over Saturday and Sunday. The full programme is on their site under “Timetable”.

Screenshot 2019-09-11 at 18.24.41Part of Antwerp is a five week festival celebrating the harbour, and Antwerp’s status as a port city. It’s a mix of free and paying events and continues until next weekend.

And Comic Con Antwerp 2019  takes place on Saturday and Sunday (this is a ticketed event) for lovers of sc-fi, manga, comics, fantasy and cosplay.

 Friday

Start the weekend at Antwerp’s most sky-line altering building: it’s Aper’eau on Zaha Hadidplein from 5pm, or not far away at Dokmarkt near MAS (from 3pm).

Saturday

Saturday seems to be market day in Antwerp this weekend: as Part of Antwerp, there’s this retro and vintage market from midday until 6pm (again on the Zaha Hadidplein) and also offering food trucks and live music -all with a retro feel.

Over in the Dam area of the city from 8.30am Damsefeesten Rommelmarkt will be one enormous second-hand trading area, as this market takes up a number of streets: Twee Netenstraat, Lange Lobroekstraat, Rupelstraat, Demerstraat, Dijlestraat and Weilandstraat -all car-free -until 5.30pm

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Rommelmarkt in the Dam area

Kraakvers is a local food market for fresh and homemade produce. Find them on Sint Andriesplaats between 10am and 3pm, and if you are recently arrived in Antwerp, you will want to know about the biggest weekly food market in Antwerp, weekly on Saturdays on the Theaterplein and Oude Vaartplaats.

If dancing and coffee are more your thing, check out this Antwerp Underground festival organised by Viggo’s coffee car on de Coninckplein. I like this coffee shop, so this might be fun -mainly electronic music, and some food, from 2pm -10pm
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There’ll be another fun party happening at Molly’s -one of Antwerp’s Irish bars (on the Jesuitenrui) as the pub celebrates its 30th birthday from 2pm. Swing by if you are in the old town; the Jesuitenrui is always car-free, which means space for revellers on the street. Enjoy plenty of music and food: the party continues until the taps run dry.

 

Sunday

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de langste veggie tafel

Every year, Antwerp holds a car-free Sunday (it should hold more of these) when locals can claim the streets for their own activity, and also explore alternative forms of personal transport in a fun way. There is a variety of events and activities on around the city, including on Groenplaats, Operaplein, and the Kaaien. Do not try to drive into the city between 10am and 6pm. If you have kids to entertain the Schedekaaien will be the best destination for you; cyclists will enjoy the bike based activities on Operaplein, but there are many, many additional activities which are listed hereI definitely recommend the veggie table (pic left) on Grote Markt for foodies.

There’s more street theatre and entertainment for children from Sinjor Circo: this weekend on Sint Andriesplaats from 1pm -6pm.

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Antwerp City Park (stadspark)

There’s also the monthly second hand book and magazine market on de Coninckplein from 10am until 4pm, or another enormous second hand market as Goegekregen bring their usual neighbourhood mix of selling and socialising to the Stadspark from 9am- 6pm.
The weather is not looking too bad; after a week which saw some distinctly autumnal temperatures, it should be mild and dry, with Sunday seeing an upturn in sun and warmth with top temps of 25 degrees.

 

Miscellaneous

 

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Bike path on Linkeroever

Last weekend I rode my bike with my daughter, simultaneously with women riding in the UK (a female peloton), to support The NIA Project -an organisation which provides essential support and services to women and girls who are victims of violence. The Ride For Murdered Women was organised by UK feminist and campaigner Jean Hatchet. We rode from Opera Plein in a circular route which took in Linkeroever and we saw some surprising sights on the way (see the Instagram shot below). Violence against women and girls is a problem all over the world. I do not ask for any donations to this blog, not do I make money from it but if you have some spare euros I would encourage you to donate to this to support the services we rode for last weekend, via Jean’s Just Giving page .

The peloton might become annual; give us a shout if you are a woman aged 18+ and you’d like to help make the Antwerp branch of the ride grow, by joining us next year.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 30th & 31st August, 1st September

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Mechelsepleinfeesten. pic by Stephanie Hughes

The Mechelsepleinfeesten is a fairly new annual event, which unsurprisingly takes place on and around the Mechelseplein. It’s free and is on on Friday and Saturday. You can see the full programme for this kid-friendly neighbourhood party on the Facebook event page. Look out especially for the London Calling set at de Pallieter!

Part of Antwerp is also underway. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.

Friday


There’s a special edition of Critical Mass this Friday -Kiddical Mass! Critical Mass is always a kid-friendly event, but this one particularly centres children. Small people should assemble with their bikes and their grown-ups at 6pm on Theaterplein, as usual, for an hour’s biking around the city.

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Theaterplein

Also on Theaterplein, it’s Antwerp favourite, Apereau, with their usual offering of DJs, food-trucks and summer cocktails to start your weekend.

Last weekend I made it to Friday Regular, Dokmarkt where Mr Nessascity and I ate delicious Pakistani and Indian food for 15 euros (yes, that was the bill for the two of us). at the Ballywood stand, which is definitely my recommendation if you are at Eilandje for Dokmarkt. They don’t serve beer, but have no problem with you bringing one from the guy serving beer on the stand just opposite.

Discobar Galaxie is this week’s “Free Friday” offering at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm.

Saturday

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The famous Zaha Hadid Port of Antwerp building

Goegekregen/ Snitt brings you the Rommelmarkt (second hand market) for the day, at The Market on Scheldestraat from 11am- 6pm

Fans of street art should check out this Street Art Parcours. It’s one of the Part of Antwerp events (see above). Reserve your tickets for this guided walk here (€ 13).

Jazz fans should also head to the Eilandje area for Jazztemblieft 2019 -a free jazz festival on Goedfriduskaai taking place at two venues, from 2pm until midnight. See the fiull programme on the Facebook events page.

Sunday

More free music, but of a different sort on Sint Jansplein at this free open-air classical music concert from the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, starting at 6pm.

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Dageraadplaats

Head to Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg) for more second hand bargains at the Dageraad Rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm. If you’re newly arrived this summer this is a very nice square to discover.

Last chance to visit the Zomerbar: Zomer van Antwerpen wraps up this weekend.

Swan Market is another Antwerp regular, and it’s on Grote Markt this Sunday from 11am -6pm with the usual trendy stands offering clothing, accessories, jewellery, gifts and hand-made items, as well as food and drink and a kids’ area.

Shops are open, as per usual on the first Sunday of the month in Antwerp, for Sunday shopping.

It’s going to be really warm again, with top temperatures on Saturday (31 degrees) and then cooling off significantly on Sunday, when it will still be dry, but much milder.

Miscellaneous

BATS1Please read and share a special blog post which I pressed last Monday: it’s all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God)  in their current home on Paardenmarkt will go on sale very soon via their website.

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).

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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 in Antwerp: 3rd, 4th & 5th May

There are a few things taking place over the whole weekend which you might like to have a look at:

For foodies, it’s Antwerpen Proeft in an around Waagnatie. You can buy tickets in advance (cheaper) or on the day.  It takes place on Friday (5 PM until 12 midnight (food until 10 PM)), Saturday (12 noon until 12 midnight (food until 10 PM)) and
Sunday (11 AM until 8 PM)

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pics by Kringwinkel Antwerpen

If, like me, you love finding unique quality items of secondhand, retro and vintage clothing, you will be pleased to know that the Kringwinkel (recycling shop; pic above) is opening a new and spacious new branch, just off Meir on Otto Veniusstraat this weekend: and is marking the occasion over the whole weekend.

Why not have a look at this exhibition on Markgravelei? Offering painting, graphic work, ceramics, photography and jewellery, it’s hosted by Collegium Artificium which promotes the work of artists of various disciplines in the area. It’s on until 12th May. Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 20.51.36

Friday

HURRAH! We have a SPECIAL OFFER – just for Nessascityblog readers – from Antwerp Ghostwalk!

When making a booking for this Friday’s Antwerp Ghostwalk -which is in English –
don’t forget to mention “as seen on nessascityblog” in the remarks field and you will get
€2,5 reduction on each ticket that you reserve. 
The Ghostwalk begins at 21h on Steenplein (by the Wapper statue).
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Saturday

Today is  Free Comic Book Day and Antwerp’s best know comic & graphic novel shop Mekanik Strip on Sint Jacobsmarkt (and easily recognisable from the Spiderman climbing the wall above the door) will be taking part. So swing by to pick up a free comic from the range available for Free Comic Book Day.

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Marnixplein

At the Kringwinkels (thrift stores/ second hand shops) across Belgium it’s Dag van de Gever -a special day dedicated to those who donate to Kringwinkels, so it’s a good day to have a clear out and bring your unused clothes and items to your local branch. This .pdf shows participating shops in the Antwerp area and the special activities and offers which are taking place in-store. If you donate items to the store at Sint Jorispoort, you will receive a discount and a surprise offer/ gift.

 

It’s the annual Marnixfeest on Marnixplein in the trendy Zuid, from 2pm. Expect music, DJs, and food & drink from the bars and restaurants in the area, until midnight.


Sunday

Ringlandaffiche-05What is the Ringland Project? Well, if you have seen the logo and the word but wondered what it is, here is a useful explainer in English and there is also a chance to find out more at The Ringland Festival today on Conscienceplein, from 2pm- 6pm (pic right).

 

Popular Swan Market takes place on Grote Markt from 11am- 5pm with its usual array of stands offering homemade food and locally made products, such as clothes, stationery, jewellery and accessories, from small businesses and local creators.

As it’s the first Sunday of the month, it’s Sunday shopping in Antwerp with shops on Meir and beyond opening for business from midday.

The weather looks like it will be changeable, with both bright spots and showers, but also the possibility of storms. Temperatures around 10-11 degrees.

Miscellaneous

If you’re a runner enthused by the Antwerp 10 Miles last weekend, you may want to sign up for the annual Silver Run but be warned -this is no ordinary run: it consists of running up and down 1-3 tower blocks. Think you’re up to it? You can register here

WwelcomelogoTwo recent special Nessacityblog posts are available now: one about The Chef’s Cut, for foodies, and one about the VZW Wwelcome, which has a variety of services for newcomers to the city, to help them settle in and integrate into local life.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 26th, 27th, 28th April (& May 1st).

There’s a three day festival over the whole of this weekend on the Moorkensplein (Borgerhout). The Fiesta Fortuna starts on Friday at 17.30h and continues until Sunday night. Here’s the full programme. This event is hosted by arts organisation Madam Fortuna which is based in Borgerhout and celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

Friday

The last Friday of the month means Critical Mass: assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm as usual for an hour’s cycling through the city.

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Bar Paniek

And perennial summer favourite Bar Paniek on the Kattendijkdok re-opens for summer 2019 at 11am.

Saturday

On Sint-Jansplein there will be a great big fleamarket from 10 – 6pm. I like this part of town and my favourite bar on this square is Rode 7 -check it out, for reasonably priced, tasty home-cooked food and a friendly atmosphere.

From 1pm community centre coStA Sint Andries celebrate their 25th birthday on Sint Andriesplaats with the Fiesta de San Andres -expect live music, food, and entertainment until 11pm (free).

fiestadesanandres

At Permeke Library there’s a story-telling festival from 10am – 6pm, which takes place every two years and has a programme for various age groups. Here’s a general overview of the programme, and here you can find links to programmes and events for the specific age groups.

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The Rubenshuis (on Wapper, off Meir; pic right) has renovated the museum garden and is open to the public from 12 -5pm for an Italian Garden Party. It’s free and there will be characters in costume, guided walks, games, workshops and music. The museum will also be free. You can bring your own picnic to enjoy in the newly restored gardens.

dance-310022_640If you are more of a dancer than a reader than check out Dag van de Dans which is today. Here’s a .pdf of all the events (Antwerp events can be found on pages 4-5). Four performances will be held in MUHKA.

Down at Eilandje on the Napoleonkaai, there’s a vegan street festival from 10am- 10pm: speakers, street-food, drinks and music.

swaajplogoAnd Swaajp offer their unique brand of improvised comedy and storytelling at BATS Little Theatre with Swaajp Invites -this time with a whole gang of guests for their two-hour show, starting at 8pm. Tickets here.

Sunday

Today is the Antwerp 10 Miles & Marathon -have a great run if you are taking part. Here a Google map of the route if you are planning on cheering on the runners, and there’s an NewLogooverview of times and info here.

If you need to relax after running, or a busy weekend, you might like to check out two workshops held at the Biologisch Dynamische Bakkerij Lapin on Mechelsesteenweg 72, run by Mindful Thinking at Play. Each workshop costs 10 euros, and is in English. To register, email Kym@mindfulthinkingatplay.com   

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 22.18.12And if you want more dancing -there’s free Salsa dancing at Bar Noord from 3- 10pm.

If you’d like to learn more about repairing and maintenance, head with your broken or faulty items to Plein Publiek at for FIXT!- Bike Maintenance & Repair Café -free from 11am- 4pm.

After last weekend’s tropical temperatures, the weather will be a bit of a disappointment. Friday should be nice but there are strong chances of rain on Saturday and Sunday (less so). Top temps of around 15 degrees. There will be some bright spells too though.

May 1st -Public Holiday

May 1st (Labour Day) is a national holiday in Belgium: there will be a Labour Day Parade, which starts on Leopold de Waalplaats (from 10am in front of KMSKA), and makes its way to Grote Markt for 1pm, where there will be music and kids’ entertainments on Grote Markt until 5pm.

Also on May 1st there will be an extra ‘Holiday Market’ (Feestmarkt) on Theaterplein from 8am -6pm.

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Whilst over at Park Spoor Oost, Goegekregen/ SNITT will be holding their usual brand of retro/ vintage/ secondhand rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm.

I was recently contacted by Sharifa from ITAKA language school. They are holding a fun open day on 1st May (see poster below). As it’s a holiday, it would be a good chance to go and find out about the work that they do offering language learning for people who are over 50 years of of age, including  Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Art History in Dutch. See the website for more information, of have a look at their Facebook page.

affiche tuinfeest ITAKA 25-1 (1)

Miscellaneous

Two recent special Nessacityblog posts are available now: one about The Chef’s Cut, for foodies, and one about the VZW Wwelcome, which has a variety of services for newcomers to the city, to help them settle in and integrate into local life.

tapwaterI recently saw this interesting campaign to encourage Belgian restaurants and cafés to serve tap water. Being forced to pay for bottled water in restaurants and cafés is something I resent: I consider it an unnecessary cost to both the environment and myself. The page offers these template letters in French and Dutch which you can C&P to establishments which refuse to serve tap water, and this Google map enables you to see which places do serve tap water, so that you can make a more economical and environmentally-friendly choice of watering-hole, should you wish to do so. You can also find them on Twitter and Instagram.

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The Chef’s Cut: culinary adventures in Antwerp

Tell us about when and why Chef’s Cut was established?

Established in 2012, The Chef’s Cut was set up to cater for a very specific niche of the culinary market: foodies and professionals alike, who like to travel to the foods’ places of origins, and to cook with the locals.

What services do you offer?

We offer culinary tours, professional cooking courses, barista courses, wine evening experiences and culinary consultation.

chefscut2I hear you have started offering some experiences at a more accessible price – can you share some information about these? 

We have identified a more moderate, differentiated niche for wine lovers. We have therefore decided to offer two types of wine evening experiences: the exclusive wine evenings, starting from € 85.- p/p; then the moderate wine evenings, starting at € 35.- p/p

Do you think that food and drink has a special role in bringing people of different backgrounds and origins together? 

Not only do we think so, but we have some clear cut evidence that indeed this is so! 

Tell us about the experts who lead guests through the food and wine experiences? 

Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 18.35.02On our web site you can see a short CV of each our sommeliers:  https://www.thechefscut.com/en/wine-tasting/wine-tasting-evening/ 

We are now in the process of bringing on board a Spanish Sommelier for our Spanish wine collection, and a local Belgium sommelier who will talk about our unique Eastern European wines.

To what extent does Antwerp have a good culinary scene for “foodies”? 

Very much so. Antwerp can pride itself on having numerous restaurants and offering a very multicultural cuisine (it’s the city with the highest number of restaurant per capita in Europe). It has always been a hub where culinary trends are set.

chefscut1An Evening At The Chef’s Cut

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to a Chef’s Cut wine tasting last week. I should probably be clear that although I regularly enjoy wine, I don’t really know anything about it, so it could be that such an evening would be an intimidating experience, however this was not the case. The sommelier (Alexis Caraux; pic left) was very relaxed, informative and hit precisely the right tone for this occasion, clearly reaching both inexperienced tasters like myself, and those present who knew a bit more. The evening was held in English and those present came from a variety of places.

The food provided to enjoy with the wines was really delicious. I’m vegetarian so didn’t take the meat, but my partner assures me that it was good, and I certainly enjoyed the cheeses.

The costs of this evening is 35 euros, which is a bit more than events and locations I tend include on this blog. However, I think this was great value, given that the price includes the aforementioned foods, a knowledgable sommelier to talk you through the experiences, and the chance to try seven different wines; ones which it is unlikely that you would ordinarily have the chance to taste, since they were described as a little “off the beaten track”.

If -like me you- don’t know a great deal about wine-tasting events it’s an accessible and informative introduction, and a chance to meet some new people. If you have a date that you’d like to impress or treat, this would be a classy way of doing so.

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Images: my own and one selected from Pixabay.

 

This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th & 10th February

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“Pateekes [patisserie] Week” is underway in Antwerp already, and continues until the 10th. Pateekes Week is perfect for sweet-toothed Antwerp-dwellers and their guests: you buy your ‘Pateekes Pass’ at the tourist info on Grote Markt, for a tenner and the 10 vouchers enable you to get a patisserie and/ or a drink at participating bakeries and cafés, which are listed here.

 

Saturday

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The Chinese New Year is already underway, but do not worry if you missed out on celebrating: here it Antwerp there will be a celebration in the streets of Chinatown on Saturday, with a program of events to for all ages, and including the colourful and exciting dragon parade which takes place every year (Van Wesenbekestraat).  If you have kids, they can be kept busy in the Permeke Library from 11am, where the film ‘Mulan’ is being shown (at 11). This film is free, but you need to register your child(ren) here beforehand.

There will also be a New Year’s Market with food stands from 11.30am.

Legends of Liondance continues until Sunday 17th (it has been extended!) at Permeke library, as part of the Chinese New Year festivities. This is a colourful display of the lions used in Chinese Lion Dances, and is free. The New Year Parade features both dragons and lions (but mostly lions).

It’s the Year of The Pig this year and we wish a very Happy New Year to all  of those celebrating!

Sunday

Cafe Kamiel is holding a Winterfeest   from 3-8pm. Get your gluhwein, hot chocolate and warming soup. This is a nice café, and in good weather is very kid-friendly as there is a leafy park and playground (Hof van Leysen) in front of the café’s terrace.

hearts-37308_640At Rivierenhof, there is a Valentine’s run  which starts at 11am  on Rivierenhof Parkweg / Ruggeveldlaan in 2100 Deurne (facilities open from 9.30am at Sportpark Ruggeveld, Ruggeveldlaan 480 in 2100 Deurne). You can register in advance here, and run for free, or turn up on the day itself and join in for 5 euros.

Also with an outdoorsy theme there is this tree walk at 2pm starting at the Panamarenko statue on Sint Jansplein at 2pm. You can register in advance here: wandeling@natuurpuntantwerpenstad.be
The walk ends with drinks and a Q&A about plants and trees.

Temperatures this weekend will reach a blistering 8 -9 degrees. It should be mostly dry, but there is a chance of showers on Saturday around midday, and Sunday afternoon.

Miscellaneous

wine-1543170_640This week I published a special post by Bart Meeus of Fine Wine Junkies -an local start-up, sure to be of interest to readers who enjoy unusual wines, not available from the supermarket.

 

Strikes are set  to affect transport on 13th February (also some flights at Brussels Airport) so check your travel plans in advance.

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Special post: Buon Appetito!

 

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Pasta dishes prepared by Whisk & Scoop

 

 

In this week’s special post I had the chance to pose some questions to talented cook, Luisa Melandri, co-founder of Whisk & Scoop  with Alessandra Bianco who brings authentic tastes, aromas and gastro- experiences all the way to Antwerp, from her home country of Italy- delizioso!

Hi, Luisa! Where are you from and what brings you to Antwerp?
I’m from Ravenna, a small city in Emilia Romagna.
I arrived in Belgium almost 10 years ago with my family, accompanying my husband who came to work here.

I know you have always been a food-lover. But when and why did you decide to turn it into a business?
I’m definitely a food lover, especially good food! My family and the people in my life – in Italy and Belgium – have always appreciated my cooking style: simple and traditional. Living abroad, I couldn’t help but notice that even what was branded as Italian was not always truly so. So, I asked myself why not try to share my simple and traditional approach with others?

One of the things I’m known for is my ragù; commonly known here as Bolognese sauce. This is actually what started it all. I make it for others like I would do for my family: fresh, simple, flavourful and full of love – the qualities which make Italian food so good! So, when I met Alessandra, who also  shares these values, we thought why not spread the love? And that’s how Whisk & Scoop was born!

Lu&AlF
Luisa (left) & Alessandra in the kitchen

Tell me about what Whisk & Scoop does.
Whisk & Scoop is how we bring a little bit of Italy to our community, and we want everyone to know what that’s like! While I (the scoop) mainly deal with savoury dishes, Alessandra (the whisk) does desserts and sweet treats. She’s quite the artist, making beautiful and delicious cakes, pastries and cupcakes. My specialty is lasagna, which at this point in the year will warm your heart and your belly.


heartdessertFOur main activity at the moment is preparing food on request. Lately we have also organised small lunches and tasting sessions where we show our customers how to prepare simple,  traditional dishes from various regions of Italy. We began by preparing pasta with pesto and farinata from Liguria. Our next session will be inspired by Piemonte, as Alessandra is from Torino. We’ll be preparing bagna caudia and porcini risotto. All the recipes we prepare have been passed down from generations, and with Alessandra’s roots from Campania and mine from Toscana, we can guarantee authenticity and tradition.

Do you think food has a special role in bringing people together? How does that work in expat communities?
We say that people are happiest at the dinner table with good food, good company and good wine. I believe food brings people together, which is the basis of our culture and many others and this is what we want our customers to experience. Especially in expat communities, it is the elements of assimilation and cultural exchange that allow others to get to know a little more about yourself and vice versa. What you like says a lot about yourself and -as the saying goes- you are what you eat!whisk&scoopF

Which of your dishes are especially popular with customers?
My specialty, as mentioned, is lasagna while Alessandra’s is crostata, a jam tart. What’s also very popular at the moment are her egg-free treats.

If you could choose one dish that you love, or which represents you, what would it be?
The dish I love most is rigatoni with a good tomato sauce because it’s simple, nourishing & filling.

Give us a quick, easy recipe to enjoy over the festive season!

flag-1486376_640Nonna Leon’s Pasta ai Fagioli
1. Finely minced parsley, 1 garlic clove and half an onion and fry them in 3 tbsps of olive oil until golden.
2. Add half a can of borlotti beans, 1.5L of water and 3 tbsps of tomato paste
3. Cook for 30 minutes on medium-high heat
4. Using a hand-mixer, blend until smooth
5. Add the remaining borlotti beans and Maltagliati pasta and cook for 10 minutes
6. Season to taste and plate up!

                                             & ENJOY!

All pics courtesy of Whisk & Scoop

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This weekend in Antwerp: 5th, 6th & 7th October

All weekend

There are a number of events which are on over the course of the weekend; both on Saturday and Sunday. In fact, whatever you like to do, there’s something for everyone on this weekend….

modestebeerfestFor beer lovers: The Modeste Beer Festival 2018 is free and takes place for the 8th time over at the de Koninck brewery on Saturday and Sunday, from 11am -7pm. Over 25 small brewers will be present at the festival, offering tastings for a euro each (+ 3 euros for glass hire)
For fashion lovers: Antwerp Fashion Weekend is always fun. Check the program
for fashion related events, shows and promos in various stores around the city. Key areas to check out include: Meir, Grand Bazar, Kammenstraat, Nationalestraat & Kloosterstraat.

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For foodies: Smaakmeesters 2018 The old town, Eilandje and the Zuid are the key areas for this festival of food, which has an extensive program (see the Smaakmeesters link) of markets, activities, food orientated guided walks and exhibitions

For shoppers: Weekend van de Klant means lots of promos and offers in participating stores (this coincides with Antwerp Fashion Weekend)

For party people: The re-opening of Plein Publiek (new location). This restaurant/ bar/ night venue was previously in the Sint Andries area, in the centre of the ‘Fierensblokken’ and hosted a variety of events. It’s relocating to D’Herbouvillekaai 19 (just south of the Kaaien) and the opening festivities will take place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

pleinpublicre-opening

Friday

Head to the Brederodefeesten for this weekend’s Saturday street party

Saturday

Sint Andries Harvest Festival is a new event on Sint Andriesplaats -a relaxed, community-focused square near the Kloosterstraat and Nationalestraat. From 1pm there will be music, drink, snack food and a bouncy castle for kids.

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Swan Market on Grote Markt

Sunday

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11- 6pm today, with its usual offering of stalls selling products such as jewellery, stationery, accessories, and hand-made goods. There’s also always food, drink and a kids’ area.

If that’s not enough consumerism for you, then -being the first Sunday of the month – it’s also Shopping Sunday in Antwerp (this coincides with Antwerp Fashion Weekend).
The weather looks like it will be pleasant and dry this weekend (especially on Friday and Saturday, but remaining mild for Sunday too).

For a more relaxed Sunday try Ecodroom at Riviernhof: info stands, workshops, a repair cafe, and a second hand market -all focused on the idea of a greener way of life.

Miscellaneous

Think Pink’s “Race For The Cure” last weekend was a busy and lively event. There was a multi-generational effort from my family (my mum, myself and my son) who crossed the finish line.  Congratulations to all who ran. If you’d like to donate to this great cause click here to make a contribution.

If you would like to get involved with BATS VZW -Antwerp’s English speaking theatre group, now might be the time! BATS do a panto every year in January. This year it’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and auditions take place soon.

I’ll be away this week in London. If you’d like to follow via Instagram, check out the hashtag #nessascityblogLondon Next week’s Antwerp post will be a brief round-up, as I won’t be here, or have much time on my hands, as I will be hoofing it round some London galleries supervising an Arts trip.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 11th, 12th & 13th May

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Right once again I am trying to efficiently bring you a decent pick of events for this weekend, in a hurry as I am back to the UK this weekend to attend the party of the century -literally: it’s my grandmother’s birthday and she is 100 years old.

Anyway, for those of you not attending this once-in-a-lifetime event, here goes with your quick weekly Antwerp run-down:

Foodies – it is Antwerpen Proeft all this weekend, at Waagnatie: food suppliers, food trucks, brewers and wine merchants will be the stall holders for offering meals and samples of their wares all weekend. Tickets via the link for single days, or for the whole weekend.

Saturday

Saturday is likely to be dry and warm, so you may want to head to the other side of the river for kid-friendly Left Festival on Linkeroever. This is a free festival offering food, music, a fleamarket, kids’ entertainment and sport tournaments all in one location

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Alternatively, there’s the Laar Bazaar (pic, left) in Borgerhout, also offering an extensive fleamarket of secondhand goods including clothes.

Achterklap do city tours of Antwerp. This one, starting at 5pm, is in English.

Sunday

It’s Mothers Day today, and there are two more second markets open, courtesy of SNITT and Goegekregen: this one along the Singel and this one at HAAR on Montevideostraat.

Round off your weekend with a classic 1960s film:  Easy Rider at Cinema Zuid

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from weather.com

 

The weather should stay nice up until Saturday. Sunday will be cooler, with the possibility of showers.

 

 

Miscellaneous

PoSc

“Pint of Science was created in the UK in 2014 to make science accessible to anyone interested, including people without a scientific background, and kept growing ever since. Last year, 81.000 participants attended the festival across 10 countries . This year there are 21 countries taking part across the globe, including Belgium, where more than 1.500 participants are expected. ” (Pint of Science website)

Science fans – combine your enjoyment of a beer with your interest in new scientific research at one of the Pint of Science talks taking place in Antwerp next week on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday in bars around the town. Talks are in English and Dutch -check the website to find a talk near you.

Have a look at Stad Antwerp’s Baroque Antwerp a season of events and activities which celebrate the Baroque character of Antwerp, and the work of Rubens.

I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published last week on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …

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Open- air swimming pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from  midday until 6pm.

Summer bars now open: Bar Jardim and Bar Paniek.

 

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