LUDDITES: a new book shop & wine bar on Hopland, run by Richard & Jorien.

Hi Richard! Can you start by telling us about Luddites -where and what it is?

We’re at Hopland 34, which is in the city centre; the street that goes by the back entrance of Stadsfeestzaal. We’re a bookstore, wine bar, and hideout from the modern world, all rolled into one, and lodged in a beautiful 1902 townhouse.  We have classic wooden bookshelves and no wifi; hidden just upstairs is our wine bar, where you can lounge and read a book or converse with your friends and family over one of our delicious wines. The idea is that if you buy a book, or make any purchase of €10 or more, that first glass of wine becomes half-price. I find that wine drinkers get excited about that deal, whereas book readers are more indifferent and, if you are both, then you are over the moon.

Also, our book selection is about half Dutch, half English. We have about three thousand titles, so if you are looking for a book in English, look no further.

Luddites4
Luddites can be found at Hopland 34


What about yourselves? Where are you from and what’s your work background?

I moved here from New York, but grew up outside of Philadelphia, and studied mainly Classics and Literature. Naturally, there’s not much of a market for that, so I turned to contract killing. It worked for a while, but suddenly I was getting too much heat from the Feds, so I had to move to a city no American could point to on a map. Antwerp was an obvious choice. I had so many friends back home congratulate me on my big move to Germany.

Jorien was a librarian in a small Flemish town for a number of years, so she is keyed into the Dutch book scene, and has been dreaming about opening a bookstore since she was an adolescent. 


Ja, Antwerpen ist sehr schon: what do you like about living and working here?


It is cosy, perhaps sometimes too cosy. The city has this way of sucking in unsuspecting people, such as myself. I was only supposed to spend two years here, and when I first moved to Antwerp, which was during the winter, I didn’t think I would make it that long. But then the summer hit, and I experienced the beauty of the city: the long, warm nights sitting with friends on terraces, the thriving arts and music scenes, all of the great restaurants and shops. You could feel the collective sigh of relief from everyone after the first rays of the spring sun hit—followed, of course, by a mad dash to the closest terrace to bask in them. I realised that the city had been hibernating all winter, and that I had to re-evaluate everything I thought I knew about it. Now, it has been six years.


What do you read yourselves? Any good book recommendations for us to keep usLuddites3 occupied during lockdown?

Well, we try to cater book recommendations to the tastes of our customers; Jorien is exceptional at that because of all of those years working as a librarian. Personally, the last book which struck me as poignant and left me wanting more was Paul Auster’s 4321, in which he examines the four vastly different arcs one character’s life can take, based on small decisions by his parents. The first one hundred pages are a bit of a struggle, but then you get hooked (I guess I have a type). At 880 pages it is a whopper, so it is great if you are stuck inside with nothing to do. Perhaps also Crime and Punishment? We have this lovely Norton Critical edition of the novel, which provides a lot of footnotes and makes the classic much easier to digest. Now, I think, is the time to read those long books that have been on your list forever—those books that are marriages rather than flings—because if you don’t read them now- at this perfect moment for them- when will you? 


5) We can’t -unfortunately- avoid mention of the C word. It must have been gutting for you to have to close so soon after opening, because of Covid 19. How are you planning to cope over the next few weeks, and are there still services you are able to offer?

Good question! I’m frantically building a webshop (update: it’s now live- see links below) at the moment, but that probably won’t be up and running for another week or so. In the meantime, people can still inquire and order books (and wine) from us through our general email address (hello@luddites.be). We offer free delivery within the city of Antwerp, and delivery at cost everywhere else in Belgium. I’m also in discussions with a couple food delivery services, so in a few days you should be able to order our wines through your favorite food delivery app.

Luddites5

Lastly, if you want to support us now but would prefer the full Luddites experience, you can order gift cards through that same email address, and come visit us when our doors are open again.

 

 

Links & Contact


Website: https://luddites.be/

Webshop: https://shop.luddites.eu/

Facebook                                   Instagram

Email: hello@luddites.be

All images in this post courtesy of Luddites.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

 

This weekend in Antwerp: 14th & 15 March

UPDATE: Stad Antwerpen closes museums, libraries, sports facilities (including pools), community centres and all non-essential services from Friday 13th March until the end of the month. Here’s the update from the website

From midnight 13th March – Belgian schools suspend lessons -some are staying open to provide care if needed for the children of essential workers) until 3rd April; as well as cafés, restaurants. At the weekends, shops (apart from pharmacies and supermarkets) will close.

March is Black History Month in Belgium. Here is the agenda, where you can search for events near you. The theme of Black History Month 2020 is “The Roots Of Our Health” and it will be explored through events such as debates, movies, exhibitions and performances.

If you have a young reader, then you may also know that March is “Jeugdboekenmaand” (Youth Book Month) which means that there’s plenty going on in Bib Permeke for children and young people throughout the month. The theme this year is ART.  See the Permeke library website for events, activities and exhibitions taking place there, or the search the complete agenda on the Jeugdboekenmaand page.

Next Tuesday is St Patrick’s Day, and we wish our Irish readers a wonderful day! Although, it looks as though some celebrations around the world will be cancelled due to the corona virus, let’s hope that the Irish pubs in Antwerp are able to keep their doors open for what is always a fun night/ weekend in the city.

Saturday

Screenshot 2020-03-11 at 17.31.27
An Sibhin

Antwerp has four Irish bars: An Sibhin, Molly’s, Kelly’s and The Irish Times. All have celebrations for St Patrick’s Day planned, but they’re clearly over-excited at Molly’s on Jesuitenrui, who are kicking off already with live music, promos, sport & giveaways, and at  An Sibhin on Nationalestraat (pic right) with the 6 Nations Finals on today, (and a breakfast on Sunday).***CANCELLED

It’s Retro Day in the second hand stores (‘kringloopwinkels’) around Antwerp.

CANCELLED *** Beer lovers who look forward to MEUG festival will also be getting in the mood at Bar Chapel with a one-night pop-up bar, opening at 7pm – register on the link, for a free drink. ***CANCELLED

Sunday

Screenshot 2020-03-11 at 17.27.09
Plantin Moretus

CANCELLED *** One of my favourite museums is having a birthday party. After all, it’s not every day you turn 500, like Christoffel Plantin. The Plantin Moretus Museum on Vrijdagmarkt will be celebrating with a few different events, but starts today with a party, taking place both in the museum and on the Vrijdagmarkt: here is the agenda for the day. You can read more about the museum and Christoffel Plantin on this excellent guest post by Daniel McBrearty, from last year. ***CANCELLED

If you see runners in unusual places around the city today, that’s because it’s the Antwerp Urban Trail. You can register for this event until the day before. Register here. There are 7km and 12km runs, which go through famous Antwerp buildings that will be opened especially for the event, and you can view the routes here.

And if you see some well-fed looking oxen on Grote Markt, that’s because of an old Antwerp tradition called (literally translated) Weighing The Fat Ox which starts at 2pm. This dates back to Napoleonic times and you can see the animals being weighed on the traditional scales. Here’s an explanation of the history behind this tradition:

bull-3541819_640“In 1795 the French occupation put a stop to Antwerp’s butchers’ guild. The Vleeshuis then closed its doors and new covered market halls sprung up in its place. Butchers started organising themselves by market hall. Those from Sint-Jan founded an annual weigh-in for the fattest ox on the Grote Markt in the middle of the 19th century. The market hall no longer stands but the weigh-in still takes place. It is a remnant of what, for a long time, was a daily sight in the city: cattle wandering around.” (source)

It’s Boekenplein on de Coninckplein in from of Antwerp’s Permeke library. The monthly second hand book market returns after a cancellation last moth due to storms. The book market will be on from 10am -4pm.

After a grey and dreary week, there might be some improvement in the weather, although Friday is likely to still be rainy (mainly in the morning). Saturday and Sunday will be brighter, with a much lower chance of showers. Top temps on Sunday – around 14 degrees.

Miscellaneous

hand-washing-4818792_640If you are concerned about the corona virus, this page will keep you updated about the current situation in Belgium (or via the Federal Health Department on Twitter). The situation is subject to change, and I will attempt to update if any of the events listed here are cancelled. At time of writing, larger indoor events (over 1000 people) are likely not to go ahead -if you have plans or tickets for such an event, check the event organiser or venue website.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

This weekend in Antwerp: 31st January; 1st & 2nd February.

Friday

cycle-path-3444914_640Critical Mass Antwerpen returns for monthly rides throughout 2020. Assemble on Theaterplein from 17.45 pm for an hour’s cycling en masse through the city. The theme for this month’s ride is reflection and visibility, so make sure you are there with your bike lights and reflectors working.

 

Saturday

patisserie-1575070_640Today is the start of Antwerp’s annual Pateekes Week.  Lovers of cakes and pastries can sample them at a discounted rate at participating bakeries, cafésand chocolatiers. To enjoy pateekesweek, you need to get a sheet of 10 vouchers (Pateekespass) for 10 euros. You can get these from the Visit Antwerp outlets at Central Station and on Grote Markt. They are already on sale.

For a philosophical discussion (in English) head down to Den Hopsack bar on Grote Pieterpotstraat for 2pm for their Philosophy Café. You can even email questions for discussion in advance: philosophycafe@protonmail.com

At Kavka on Oudaan there’s a plus-sized clothing closet sale. fIt starts at 1pm and sizes 44- 54 will be on sale.

meir

Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of the month so the shops are open in the centre of Antwerp and on other shopping streets too, for Sunday shopping.

Temperatures may rise slightly this weekend and it should feel a little less chilly, but -as well as bright spells – there are showers likely over the whole weekend.

Miscellaneous

BEOstaffCheck out this recent guest blog post by Grade 10 students of Antwerp International School who visited the Beo Versmarkt (pic right) on Lange Leemstraat to find out about making sustainable choices when grocery shopping in Antwerp.

Chinese New Year celebrations may have concluded, but the Legends of Liondance expo is still on in Permeke library, and this weekend is your last chance to catch it (until Sunday)

 

LOL4_Facebook_cover
image from Legends of Liondance Facebook page

This week I discovered this useful site: Toerisme voor autisme. This site helps you plan autism-friendly activities, visits and holidays in Belgium, to ensure full participation and inclusion of autistic visitors. The site includes destinations and activities which take into account the need for predictability and structure which visitors with autism often have.

Header Toerisme voor Autisme 2

As the UK drifts out of the EU with a whimper rather than a bang, British passport holders who are interested in retaining the advantages of European citizenship by becoming Belgian may find this recent article from The Brussels Times of use.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

Guest post by Grade 10 students of Antwerp International School: Environmentally Friendly Shopping in Antwerp

Where do you buy your groceries in Antwerp?
This blog post is about two different types of grocery shopping in the city, and will be of interest to you if you are keen to reduce your carbon footprint when you make your shopping choices.
By Vasco, Charlotte, Hendrik, Yumiko and Michelle 

Antwerp International School Grade 10 students went on a trip on Wednesday the 8th of January by train to the BeO Versmarkt and a Delhaize grocery store to contrast and compare them with one another: to study the pros and cons of both stores, and to also get a better understanding and learn new things based on what it’s like to shop in them. In this blog post, we will focus on the differences and similarities in looks, packaging, prices, and transport to, later on, conclude and give advice for more sustainable meal preparation.  We are studying a sustainability unit in our language classes so this experience connects to that topic.  

The Set-Up 

roots&grnaatappels
photo by Charlotte

When we first walked into the BeO store (image left), it was noticeably different from the grocery stores we are used to.  It was refreshing not walking into a store where you have to walk around for hours before finding the thing you were looking for. The store was really organized compared to normal grocery stores, partially due to the fact that there weren’t as many products and as big of a range of brands. The store wasn’t as big as Delhaize (grocery store) so there weren’t as many staff working, but that was no problem because it was easy to find staff if you needed help. the fact that almost nothing was wrapped in plastic and the food looked different from the processed food we are used to eating was a real eye-opener. You could tell that the food was organic by the way it was clearly not meant to look ‘perfect’, but instead looked like it came fresh from the farm.  The boxes that the food was placed in indicate where the food came from blue if the food was Belgian-made and in a different box with the name of the country on the label if it wasn’t domestic. But still, 90% of the non-Belgian-made products were produced in Europe. 

Packaging 

nutsandseeds
Differences in packaging. Image created by Charlotte & Michelle

One of the bigger differences were the packaging: for the Beo store there were containers filled up with all kinds of nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, spices, and pasta but for the Delhaize store they were all in plastic bags.  Which after visiting the Delhaize store seemed very unnecessary, as so many plastics were being used for proportions not everyone wants. The BeO store had an amazing self-service system, you could bring your own glass containers or buy one in the store and fill it up with oil, vinegar or honey. This way you don’t spend money on the extra packaging while also being sustainable. A lot of other products also had a self-service system, such as nuts, pasta, and seeds. It was a really innovative system, you can buy as much as you need and not waste any food.  

Prices

kerstomaatprice
Top: Delhaize; Below: Beo

We did pricing exercises for similar products in both the BEO V and the Delhaize. The products we’ve compared are simple and well-known, such as red tomatoes and eggs. We saw a big price difference between the tomatoes. The tomatoes in the BEO cost € 3.45/kg, which is € 1.14 more expensive than a kg of tomatoes in the Delhaize, which cost € 2.59 (pic left, by Charlotte). There is a big difference in price between tomatoes, but luckily it’s not the same for the eggs. A box of 6 eggs in the BEO cost € 2.28 as you can get the same amount in the Delhaize for € 2.35, that’s € 0.07 cheaper. So, the idea that eco-shops are always more expensive than regular ones is not true.

In the picture you can see both the difference between the tomatoes in the Delhaize and in the Beo store. 

Transport

Did you know that food production is one of the main causes of CO2 releases in the world? 

Most eco-friendly stores are spread out around the country than the normal stores. The number of eco-friendly shops is significantly smaller compared to the average supermarket. All these factors lead to fewer people going to these shops and when they go they might need to travel longer distances which produces more CO2 pollution.

If there is not an eco-friendly shop near you, you could go to the Exotic Market that opens on Saturdays from 8AM to 4PM in Theaterplein which offers natural products from nearby farms. The products in this market can sometimes be cheaper than in the eco-friendly store. All this contributes to not polluting our environment because the products don’t travel long distances and the customers that use that market can bike there.

BEOstaff
Staff at the Beo Versmarkt

Conclusion

We concluded that the Beo shop that we visited is more eco-friendly than the Delhaize; a regular supermarket. For some people, it might not be the most convenient for them,  since it can take more time, money and transport to get to the few environmental stores depending on where you live in Antwerp. However, despite the challenges, a suggestion from us would be to do your groceries on a Saturday. You could look up ways on how to store and keep your products fresh for the week. You can prepare your meals so you don’t have to worry about having food on the table during weekdays. Also, you don’t have to do all your grocery shopping at an organic store, but every little step helps!

Could you take the time to make your shopping more eco-friendly?

Let us know in the comments!

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

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

edf_soft
Winter in Antwerpen- Wishing Wall

Saturday & Sunday

Winter In Antwerp is now open: this is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

There’s a smaller market on over both Saturday and Sunday at Wintar – the winter bar on Boomgaardstraat 17 (near the de Koninck brewery).

Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 13.58.47On Saturday the Vlaams Tram & Autobus Museum rides the Christmas tram to and from the Christmas Market for free. The route is Groenplaats – Bolivarplaats – via the new Line 1 to P+R Luchtbal – back to Nationale Bank – Groenplaats (for times see pic left; taken from the Vlatam website)

Book browsers can get away from the Christmas rush on Sunday by heading for de Coninckplein for the monthly second hand book market from 11am-4pm.

Also on Sunday this Arts & Crafts market called Winter Mart from 2pm -9pm at Koolkaai, near the river, in the old town.

Sunday shopping -because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

It’s going to be a bit rainy this weekend unfortunately, although on Saturday and Sunday the rain should have cleared up by the afternoon.

DiscoveringBelgiumLogoMiscellaneous

If you are looking for Carol services in Antwerp (or even elsewhere in Belgium) over the Christmas season, see this post full of handy information on Discovering Belgium, which is always an absolute treasure trove of information for English speakers wishing to get to know Belgium better, whether as visitors or settlers.

And looking ahead to next year, why not finish the festive season with a trip to the annual BATS panto, which this year, is Sleeping Beauty? Tickets via the BATS website.

BATS-carrousel-SB2020
Sleeping Beauty (image from BATS VZW website)

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 10.56.17Next week it’s the Warmste Week -a week of charity events and fundraising across Belgium. You can search for activities and good causes in your area here. Look out for the flame logo which accompanies De Warmste Week events (pic right taken from the Warmste Week website).

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th December

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 15.49.40The  Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on FridaySaturday and Sunday.

It is Sinterklaas avond in Belgium on Friday.

Saturday

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 18.05.46
Christmas wheel

Winter In Antwerp starts today with a special opening celebration from noon. This is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

Before the Noorderlijn events  on Sunday, come and see the Kipdorp Nocturne . The programme starts at 6pm and it will be the last chance to see this archaeological site, which will be specially illuminated with lights and projections.  There will also be a food truck selling hot snacks and drinks.

operaplein
Operaplein

Throughout December, look out for local winter festivities such as this one in Deurne: Deurne Wintert, which starts at 4pm – and which take place in different neighbourhoods around the city.

Sunday 

On Sunday the first trams will run on the Noorderlijn and the metro station Opera will re-open after four years of intensive construction works.  You can check out the pdf programme for the opening party here. There will be entertainment for the opening on and around Operaplein (also at Kinepolis and the Haven huis)  from 10am -6pm and a chance to ride the new tram routes (1 and 24).

On Kloosterstraat there’s a special Christmas edition of Markt van Morgen from midday until 6pm: locally and hand made fashion, jewellery interior and graphic design goods plus hot soup and glühwein for added warmth.

MVMxmas
Markt van Morgen (image from Facebook)

From 11am -7pm at Plein Publiek there’s a vegan Christmas market featuring food trucks, and a market of 40 stands of vegan and eco-friendly products.

This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright again with the possibility of some light showers on Friday evening.

Stadsfeestzaal
Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

Miscellaneous 

Test your festive knowledge skills at the An Sibhin Quiz Night next Friday -participants should pre-register. It’s a general knowledge quiz for teams of maximum 5. Entry 5€ per person. Prizes for winners, fun for all! Reservations a must -via the Facebook page.

Throughout December, the shops in the city will be open on Sundays , and again on January 5th 2020.

Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17,  near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

This weekend in Antwerp: 29th, 30th November, and 1st December

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 15.49.40
book browsing at Zuiderpershuis

There are three events over the whole weekend this weekend firstly – the  Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if you don’t get the chance to go this weekend, it’s also on next weekend too).

Steez Festival is a free festival of urban arts, music, dance DJs and even a skate zone at de Studio on Maarschalk Gérardstraat 4 from 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

And for Lego lovers, there’s Brickmania at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday (ticketed).

 Friday

At 6pm it’s the monthly bike ride with Critical Mass Antwerpen – assemble as usual on Theaterplein with your bike for a kid-friendly hour’s cycling en masse through Antwerp, returning to Theaterplein for 7pm. 

If, like me you are somewhat averse to the whole concept of the annual grabfest horror that is Black Friday, you could head instead to the Kringloopwinkels (second hand shops) of Antwerp to check out their deals (there will be 50% reductions on many items), or to the  Kammenstraat fleamarket (cash only).

sdr_soft
Antwerp Zoo

The Jungle Book Light Festival  begins at Zoo Antwerp this evening and runs until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!
Saturday

LoveislandAntwerp artist Sacha Eckes opens a new exhibition at Shoobil Gallery so why not take the opportunity to slip away from the increasing busy-ness of the town centre, to view works characterised by skill and humour inspired by the theme of reality TV?  Love Island opens at 2pm with a vernissage (Museumstraat 4).

If you have children who want to see Sinterklaas, then you can find him at Grand Bazar shopping centre from 1.30pm, but be aware that this can be popular and there is sometimes a queue.

missiontoseafarersxmas

If you are more organised than me and ready to make some Christmas purchases (or just to enjoy a traditional British-style Christmas Bazaar) then head to the Antwerp Harbour hotel between 11am – 4pm and check out their Christmas goodies and treats, while also supporting the Mission to Seafarers in Antwerp.

Sunday

If you’re still missing hanging out at Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord, head to Goegekregen second hand market which takes place in the shelter there this Sunday from 9am -6pm.

For those who can’t get enough of the high street, there’s Sunday shopping in the city from midday. If you have little ones who are excited about Sinterklaas, you may well catch a glimpse of him on Meir this afternoon.  And because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 16.01.36Sinterklaas (due to an uncanny ability to be in more than one place at a time) will also be at Wintar (see below) from 2pm enjoying waffles and other treats.

This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright with the possibility of some showers on Sunday morning.

Regular readers and wine- fans may remember this special blog post about Antwerp start-up Fine Wine Junkies. On Sunday they are holding a pop-up event to celebrate their first birthday and to invite wine lovers to taste and purchase some of the specially selected wines which they offer.
fwj

Miscellaneous

Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17,  near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.

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 next week.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

This weekend in Antwerp: 1st, 2nd & 3rd November

Thursday 31st is Hallowe’en of course – for Hallowe’en fun you will find plenty going on at Antwerp’s Irish bars, all of which like to celebrate this date, with drinks promos & gamesdress-up parties and quizzes.

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is underway in Antwerp Expo and continues over the weekend. 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.

boekenbeurs2019

Dia De Los Meurtos (Mexican Day of The Dead) is also marked here in Antwerp: last weekend I went to see the beautiful altars on display in MAS museum, and this weekend parts of that exhibition move to Permeke Library. You can see the programme here.

Friday

dayofthedead
Day of the Dead in Antwerp

Friday is a public holiday in Belgium (All Saints Day) so most shops will be closed, but Goegekregen are holding a holiday Rommelmarkt on Theaterplein.

For kids interested in Day of The Dead festivities there is a programme of events at Zuiderpershuis for children from midday until 5pm. This costs 5 euros (family discounts available) and there are workshops, make-up, snacks and activities throughout the afternoon.

In the afternoon/ evening (3pm-8pm) it’s the last chance to catch Dokmarkt at Eilandje for this year.
Saturday

If you are interested in trying vegan food and products, or would like to get information about including less meat, fish and dairy in your diet, the health-food shop Natuurhuis on Otto Veniusstraat are holding an in-store info day in conjunction with Try Vegan and EVA, from 10am -4pm.

Look out for the Royal British Legion selling poppies on Meir between 11am- 4pm. Poppies are worn annually as an act of remembrance of those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world and those who have been killed as a result of terrorism. Additionally the poppy represents the contribution of families and of the emergency services.

Sunday

Screenshot 2019-10-29 at 14.52.31
Antwerp Cathedral seen from Suikerrui

On the first Sunday of the month you can hear music for free in the Cathedral at 4pm. NB: it’s only free for locals, or kids aged 0-11, so bring your ID to show that you are an Antwerp resident, otherwise it’s the same price as the usual entry cost to the Cathedral (6 euros; 4 euros concession).

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops are open from midday on various Antwerp shopping streets.

Weather is not looking great this weekend -bring an umbrella with you, as rain is expected on and off over the whole weekend. It’s not going to be very warm either, with top temperatures of around 13- 14 degrees.

Miscellaneous

Screenshot 2019-10-23 at 17.00.19

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.
Look out for a special Nessascityblog post on Monday – a picture post featuring photos taken by people who have come from all over the world to live in Antwerp.

photo-camera-1241441_640

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

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

Nessascityblog: A Market Edition

It seems to be market weekend in Antwerp so keep reading if you enjoy food markets, retro markets, browsing  for second hand goods or visiting lifestyle markets: there’s loads to choose from this weekend. And if you need to stop for a snack, Smaakmeesters 2019 Food Festival -a two week food event at various locations around the city- finishes up this weekend.

What’s your favourite market? If I’ve missed one, let me know!

DOKMARKTF
Dokmarkt

Dokmarkt is the market where you can also start your weekend: food and drink stands

sell everything from curry to cavas for consuming on the spot with friends, but a number of stands offer local products to purchase and take home. My favourites are the pickles and chutneys from Spijs & Valies, and gin from Save The Queen.

Saturday

The Mega Grote Rommelmarkt on Sint Jansplein from 10am- 6pm is indeed mega-big: you can find anything here, from clothing to bikes to electrical parts. It’s a busy, local market in a diverse area of the city. If you’re stopping for a drink after the market, I recommend the bar Rode 7 which is also on the square, and also serves good, fresh food. Rode 7 supports local artists by displaying their work.

Screenshot 2019-10-09 at 16.17.23
Sint Jansplein

Back in the city centre, Swan Market is a totally different type of market: the stalls are held by individuals, start-ups and local creatives, some of whom come from The Netherlands, where Swan Market also hold events. Swan Market is hip, and always insta-ready. You can find stationery, accessories, clothing, jewellery, household items and food stands. There’s usually music, and it’s quite kid-friendly too. Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am- 6pm.

Foodies will also enjoy Kraakvers on the Sint Andriesplaats from 10am -3pm. Kraakvers also sells locally made food products -including beers, preserves and bread – as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

beetroot-3490809_640
Sunday

Cyclists will enjoy this small bike market on Giraffenplein (behind the zoo) from 10am- 5pm. Hosted by Vitesse Coffee Bar, you will be able to browse vintage bikes and pick up any spare parts you need for your bike.

Markt van Morgen is a little like Swan Market, but I like it better -it’s smaller and less busy and stressful, but does a great job of packing in a wide variety of nice products into a small space. The location is also nice, and many of the shops along Kloosterstraat are worth browsing while you are there, especially if you like antiques.

MvM13oct
Markt van Morgen (image source Facebook)

Lovers of all things retro should make their way to The Vintage Market Live -6th Edition at the Sint-Jan-Evangelistkerk (aka De Peperbus Kerk) in Borgerhout. Vintage clothing, toys, design and furniture will be for sale. This is the only market that isn’t free, but it’s only 2 euros to go in.

Goegekregen is one of the best known providers of second hand markets in Antwerp, holding frequent events across the city. This weekend they can be found along the Singel (Desguinlei/Kielsevest) from 9am-6pm. This is always a big market offering clothes, toys, furniture and household goods. There’s always a stand selling food and drinks at Goegekregen markets too, and a friendly atmosphere.

We could see some scattered showers on Friday, but temperatures will rise on Saturday (18 degrees max) and Sunday (23 degrees max) when it should also be dry (though cloudy).

Miscellaneous

For details of other regular Antwerp markets see  Visit Antwerp

Screenshot 2019-10-09 at 16.24.35

English speaking bookworms: this reading club has just begun holding sessions in Permeke Library. Meet at the main desk at 10am on the dates listed on the link. It’s free and you don’t have to register, but it’s recommended that you do via info.permeke@antwerpen.be or tel: 03 338 38 00

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

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

mechelsepleinfeesten
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.

Screenshot 2019-08-28 at 17.56.31
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

Screenshot 2019-08-28 at 17.51.51
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.

Screenshot 2019-08-28 at 17.48.54
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).

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

The Big Fat Summer Post 2019

Summer is underway!

frog-897420_640

Well, I am taking some time off now, for a month or so, so here’s a grab-bag of useful links and information for a great Antwerp summer. I will be back in August. Until then, additional events will be posted on other social media, listed at the end of this post. For Antwerp pictures, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Thank you for reading and following  Nessascityblog; do please keep sharing it with anyone who might find it handy to have this information in English, especially if they are arriving new in the city this summer -WELCOME!  -and have a fabulous summer 2019 in Antwerp.

Eat & Drink

… at Dokmarkt every Friday from 3pm until 8, and if you want to stay out later, you’re very close to summer bars like Jardim, Sommar and Bocadero -all of which are along the Schelde.

Check out Café Capital in the Stadspark if you haven’t already done so. It’s great if you IMG_20190718_174847_resized_20190718_054908004are taking kids to the play area; for an evening out try Bar Jeudi on Thursdays.

Fiesta Europa is a popular, diverse and accessible five day food festival on Groenplaats which is on until Sunday 21st July.

Flying Pig are on Steenplein on the 2nd August; drinks, music, food trucks and general revelry from 5pm.

Bollekesfeest is an annual Nessascityblog not-to-be-missed favourite, celebrating our local beer: de Koninck, or Bollekes as it is known once served in its distinctive bow-like glass. Bollekesfeest is on the 16th, 17th and 18th August, and like other Stad Antwerpen events will be cashless this year. As well as the local brew there will be lots of other foods and drinks to enjoy. If you have kids to entertain (or are hungry) then the Steenplein is the best location for you -there you will find the Kids’ Village and all the food stands.

Screenshot 2019-07-18 at 11.43.04
Bollekesfeest on Steenplein, next to the river

Visit

Experience the excitement of going around Antwerp’s best museums throughout the night on Museum Night on the 3rd August, and don’t forget that Stad Antwerpen museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month.

Screenshot 2019-07-18 at 18.02.46
MUHKA is Antwerp’s museum of contemporary art

Enjoy Lambermonmartre the largest open-air local art market: on Leopold de Waalplaats (in front of KMSKA) on the 28th July and the 25th August. For the other regular markets in Antwerp, here’s a useful list.

Take a stroll along the renewed Scheldekaaien – the banks of the river from Sint Andries to the south of the city have been renovated with open spaces, places to sit, stroll or for kids to play (pic below).

TzuidFKids

If you are scratching your head looking for something cheap and cheerful to occupy the kids on their summer holidays, then have a look at Speel-O-Rama at the Zuiderpershuis, starting next week: it’s on from 15th July -9th August and costs only 2 euros per day, per child. It’s for kids aged 7-13, and offers workshops, activities, creative play, theatre and water games.

These Antwerp Sports Activities are for children aged 6-13. You need to register your child for a place on an activity. These usually mean a week sport sessions (Mon- Fri) in your chosen sport.

Bookish and creative kids might enjoy Bibfabriek at the Permeke library, on Wednesdays at 2pm during July.

belgium-flag-1332904_640Neighbourhood parties and festivals

The 21st of July is Belgium’s national day. Here are a few places which will be marking the formation of our relatively youthful nation.

BibpermekePride
Antwerp Library Cafe wearing Pride colours on De Coninckplein

You can find all you need to know about Antwerp Pride, which is celebrated in Antwerp from the 7th-11th August. Of course there will be loads of Pride-related events taking place around the city, but for many the most important is the Pride Parade which takes place on Saturday 10th August, starting with a pre-parade event at midday. See here for the details, including the route of the parade.

Also taking place during Pride week (and continuing until the 18th August) is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. For a great general guide in English to LGBT+ life in Antwerp see this guest post from last year by Timothy Junes.

linkerwoofer
Linkerwoofer

Sfinks Festival (25th-28th July) and Linkerwoofer (2nd -3rd August) are two popular Antwerp music festivals. Sfinks is a free four day festival, Linkerwoofer is ticketed. Both events are child-friendly.


Browse, buy & sell

Antwerp regulars-  for those in search of a second hard bargain- include Goegekregen rommelmarkt (28th July) and Permeke Boekenplein (21st July)

You can go Sunday Shopping in the shopping areas of the city on the first Sunday of the month.

Handy summer links

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

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 11.47.07

Summerbars.com is a really useful link with the details of all the summer bars in Antwerp for this season.

And there are a couple of open-air swimming pools in Antwerp, which can be found here.

Find & Follow NESSASCITYBLOG

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

 

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!

fiestaeuropa2019

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.

antwerpwinefestival

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

WP_20180603_13_05_01_Pro
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

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 11.47.07

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).

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 19.28.55

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.

Find & Follow

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram