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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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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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: Fine Wine Junkies -An Antwerp Start-Up

By Bart Meeus, founder of Fine Wine Junkies

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Bart Meeus

If you love Antwerp and you love wine, then we have good news for you!

At the end of last year I launched a new wine concept called “Fine Wine Junkies” which could become a new standard for how to consume and experience wine in the Antwerp region.

Fine Wine Junkies is a start-up which saw the light after I experienced that acquiring the right wine at the right moment was not always easy. As a matter of fact, the lack of services enabling enjoyment of a fine wine, stylishly presented and brought to your home (or other location) at the right temperature, made it clear that there was a gap to fill in Antwerp: bringing fine wine to fine people’s homes!

finewinebagsFine Wine Junkies aims to stand out by offering clients a wine list which is far from what they may have previously experienced: no big classic vineyards or big names; a very limited French range of wines; a focus on new world wine countries and last -but not least – competitive pricing form the core values of FineWineJunkies. The wines offered originate from countries like Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and of course Belgium. Belgians -due to their modesty- often overlook the fact that that we ourselves can and do make great wines, right here in Belgium .

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Genoels-Elderen

Fine Wine Junkies is above all an Antwerp brand, but also a proud Belgian company, and thus offers some of these fine Belgian wines. At this moment we partner with Genoels -Elderen, one of the better-known wineries here in Belgium. We offer their complete range of white, red and bubbles. But there will be more: as we speak, we are working out new partnerships with a range of smaller and less well- known wineries in Belgium. We expect to offer some very exclusive and difficult-to-obtain Belgian wines in the near future. As the seasons change throughout the year, so the menu will also change in order to offer wines appropriate to each season.

The next question is: how do we bring fine wine to fine people’s home?

Fine Wine Junkies is available via both UberEats and Deliveroo, and customers will have their fine selection delivered to their door in under thirty minutes.

Alongside the direct-delivery service,  Fine Wine Junkies runs a regular webshop: www.finewinejunkies.com, where larger quantities can be ordered and delivered within three days.

In 2019 Fine Wine Junkies will further explore B2B concepts on which we are presently working. Those new concepts will offer a diverse range of services perfectly fitted for B2B purposes to companies.

Broadening our market with direct-delivery, regular e-commerce activities, B2B concepts and even a wine tasting bar, should mean that Fine Wine Junkies becomes a byword for fine wine in Antwerp.

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Find Fine Wine Junkies on Facebook and Instagram
(Images for this post provided by Fine Wine Junkies)

 

Starting up in Antwerp?

Well, naturally, you will need an idea: a product, a service or a combination of both; a financial plan to cover the start-up phase; a marketing plan (most probably based on market research you did) and a commercial plan regarding how to sell your products or services to your clients.

Cities like Antwerp are happy with people who want to translate their creative ideas into businesses. It’s good for the image and the well-being of the city. If you are interested, begin your start-up journey at Ondernemen in Antwerpen.


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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th, 17th & 18th March

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Antwerp Wine Festival is on all weekend at the times stated on the days/ times below. You can get tickets here and the event is held in the Park Loods sport hall in Park Spoor. Noord. As well as wines from around the world, the event promises music, wine workshops/ masterclasses and a kids’ space.

Here is the GOOGLE MAP for this post.

Friday

There’s also Aperotime After Work for free from 5pm at Park Loods; held in conjunction with the wine event (Antwerp Wine Festival from 16h- midnight).

Het Roze Huis holds their regular free film evening at 8pm. This time showing the film Three Generations. No entry charge, and no need to reserve.

Molly’s Irish Pub are warming up for St Patrick’s day with a pre- St Paddy’s Night promising live music & Irish food, plus Guinness & Jameson Promos from 7pm. Then they will be starting up again with more of the same at 11am on the day itself (Saturday)

 

Saturday

irish-845398_640Happy St Patrick’s Day!

An Sibhin on Nationalestraat will kick off at 11am with an Irish Breakfast, and there will be Oysters, Irish Stew, Guinness, and Irish Music all day long. Punters are urged to dress up in your finest green and put your dancing shoes on!

Also at The Irish Times they will be celebrating; music, promos and the Six Nations games on the Big Screen.

Closer to the station there is Kelly’s on the Keyserlei, where they will also be partying, and where the Red Hackle Pipe band will put in an appearance.

Check the Google Map -if you are determined, you can do all four of Antwerp’s Irish bars (Kelly’s, Molly’s, Irish Times and An Sibhin).

BATS vzw (British American Theatre Society) are revamping their open evenings which used to be held monthly. They are now seasonal, so if you are interested in any aspect of theatre production head along to the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 5pm to find out more about what they do, take part in the quiz, hang out at the bar or even do a workshop on stage lighting.

Antwerp Wine Festival from midday -midnight

Sunday

 

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Jeugd Boekenmaand at Permeke

It’s Boekenplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month in Antwerp. Come and browse second hand books, magazines and graphic novels on de Coninckplein from 10am, just in front of Permeke library.

There are still some places left in workshops and activities for the Children’s University at the University of Antwerp. See what’s available for free for kids aged 8+ and enrol here.

Antwerp Wine Festival from midday – 22h.

 Miscellaneous

The weather could be quite changeable, with a mild (but possibly showery) Friday, and temperatures dropping for Saturday (also showery) and Sunday (cold, but dry & bright)

Youth Book Month (Jeugd Boekenmaand) continues until the 25th March and has a science & tech theme this year. Here’s the information for related events in Permeke Library.

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Check out this month’s agenda for Colectivo Amorika for March (left). They provide cultural and language activities for Spanish speaking families in the Antwerp area, and those with an interest in understanding Spanish culture and language.

If you are a runner, you can register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April.

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April 29th, 30th & 1st May

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Image from Vakantie op’t Zuid Facebook page


Vakantie op’t Zuid takes place over the whole weekend on the gedempte Zuiderdokken, and promises four days (it opens today, Thursday, at 10am) of speciality food stalls, drinks, entertainment, music and kids spaces (think bouncy castles).

Friday

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Sacha Eckes

Just back from exhibiting in Detroit, Antwerp artist Sacha Eckes opens her Imposter exhibition at 7pm. This is on at the Life Is Art gallery on Sint-Jorispoort until mid-June. You may be familiar with her weekly cartoons in Week Up. The works exhibited will be available to buy.

 

 

There’s also a vernissage at Design Center Winkelhaak. It’s free and starts at 7pm and features the photography of Jasper Léonard and his Antwerp Resized exhibition.

It’s the last Friday of the month so bike riding advocates Critical Mass assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm for a bike ride through Antwerp.

Plein Publiek reopens, following a hiccup with its license. It is open over the whole weekend, starting on Friday night at 8pm with aperitifs and a DJ.

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Plein Publiek

Saturday

30th April is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day. If you are interested in taking part, head to Steenplein between 10am and 4pm for the Antwerp event.

Park festival (free) takes place in Koning Albertpark from 2pm -11pm, and there is an afterparty at Het Bos.

If you have a bit more cash to spare, then beer, whiskey and wine lovers should head to the Zuiderpershuis today for the Meug festival starting at 2pm. It’s 10 euros to get in (+ drink costs) and promises over 120 different beverages to taste. Tip: you can get an 8 euro ticket using the promo code Meug2016 via this link. (NB -this is a temporary offer, for the first 100 tickets only).

 

Sunday

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image courtesy of ABVV

The 1st May is International Workers’ Day (AKA Labour Day) and is a public holiday in Belgium and in many countries around the world. In Antwerp there is a May Day Parade, going from Leopold De Waelplaats (that’s just in front of the Fine Arts Museum) to Grote Markt. It will depart at 11.15 and proceed through Leopold De Waelstraat, Volkstraat, Lange Vlierstraat, Kloosterstraat, Den Oever, Sint Jansvliet, Ernest Van Dijckkaai and Suikerrui, before arriving at Grote Markt around 1.30, where there will be bands, and rides for the kids.

There is a fleamarket on Sint Jansplein from 10- 5pm. And Krugermarkt is on in Borgerhout on the Krugerplein.

… And a holiday market at MAS.

 

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A-Tower

 

 

You must know the Antwerp tower on the crossroads between Keyserlei and Meir. On the 1st May it opens it doors until October with a series of summer events, expos and pop-ups. A roomy bar on the 4th floor will be a fixture throughout.

It’s the first Sunday of May, so many shops are open for  Sunday shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

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Moderate/ cool temperatures expected this weekend with the possibility of light rain on Friday, and heavier showers on Sunday. Hopefully no hail …  :-/

 

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Finally, thanks for reading.

I have had loads of positive responses to the blog lately, which is really rewarding. If there is anything you would like to suggest or contribute, please comment (I have adjusted settings to make commenting easier). I also very much appreciate a like, share or retweet :-).

 

(image & weather image: https://pixabay.com/)

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Next post, next Thursday.

Have a great weekend!

 

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