December felt like a short and hectic month, mainly thanks to my finals, dinner parties, events, Christmas and moving out of my flat in Antwerp. I tried to make the most of my last weeks living in Antwerp so I crammed as many activities as possible. I also spent 3 days in Brussels, one day in Lille and one day in Amsterdam. I somehow managed to take over 900 pictures this month (not counting my camera photos), so it's going to be a longer diary this time!
On my way to class with a nice cup of coffee from Caffenation // Went to get passport pictures made and this photo shop had a little resident cat, so cute!
The Chinese light festival at the Antwerp zoo looked pretty cool in contrast the central station, especially at night! Did any of you go see it inside the zoo? // Cute little light boxes with Christmas quotes, a nice alternative to classic decorations (you can also change the messages so you can keep it all year round)
It's very dangerous to have a fry shop just opposite your building. But I behaved and went to get fries here 3 times in the 3 months I lived there. // Hummus on anything was my go-to snack this semester. Super lazy but nutritious!
Sun set run with two friends, such a beautiful location even though it was freezing cold after the sun went down // My sister put up the cutest little tree with vegetable ornaments (from Sissy Boy)
Sinterklaas (the Belgian version of Santa Clause) came by our class and left some candy for us! We were meant to find it in the next morning but we had a late evening class that day so we were pretty high on sugar during the statistics class ;) // My favourite coffee!
I did a secret santa together with my classmates, and we all to buy our Secret Santa a Christmas ornament. Urban Outfitters had some really cute and fun options. I received an avocado, super cute! // My go-to winter outfit: Acne jeans (I live in those), turtle neck sweater from Zara, Topshop boots and my cosy teddy coat from Massimo Dutti.
Antwerp was so beautifully decorated this Christmas! I'm going to miss those fairy lights. // Tried out a new spot in town called Flaneur. You can choose from 3 kinds of pasta, so it's a pretty simple concept. It was good, but honestly I can also make pasta like that at home, and much cheaper..
Went to St. Vincents to browse around for Christmas gifts, it's such a nice shop and actually the perfect work space. // Love this building, I wonder what it used to be? It would be perfect for a hotel or department store.
Got some coffee at Sébastien. I used to go here all the time last winter and I hadn't been at all this winter, shame on me ;) Their coffee is pretty good but not the best.
Met my sister at Barchel for brunch! We shared our food, it was so tasty. I really want to try the pancakes and french toast next time. // I think the National Bank is my favourite building in Antwerp, I probably took hundreds of pictures of it already.
This quote feels kinda right! // Vegetarian sushi from Kaizen (take-away), super tasty and not very expensive.
Had to stop at Graanmarkt 13 on my way to uni to take a picture of their beautiful Christmas tree. It was probably the best one I've seen, with thousands of little lights in it. // Tried some stuff at Mango but only went home with a pair of boyfriend jeans. I kind of liked this jacket too!
Hosted a brunch at my place for my class mates. It was a lot of work and I tried to make something everyone would like. So I made: a fruit salad, 3 kind of fresh juices, avocado, banana pancakes, buckwheat crepes, poached eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, sourdough bread and different cheeses. I think they loved it :) // My pretty street right at sundown.
I was invited by the Comité Champagne for a tasting at Graanmarkt 13 and for the announcement of the winners of this year's Champagne prize (winners: Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen)
Tasting champagnes all night, not the worst job ;) // I also got interviewed about the event, and I get to super nervous in front of the camera. It's not really my thing!
One more pic with the Christmas tree :) // Sunrise in Antwerp. Even when I'm in a rush to get to uni on time, I'll always stop for a picture if I see something I like.
The week before Christmas was pretty hectic because I had my final exams, and had to go to Brussels three days in a row. This meant 5 AM wake-up calls, ahh I'm NOT a morning person. But when I have to do it, I don't snooze and I just get up.
After my morning appointment, I went to treat myself with a yummy brunch. I'll post about this place this week. // It was kind of nice to explore Brussels a little bit since I rarely go.
After my big avocado toast, I found out that The Loving Hut truck was standing close to the station. It was kind of sad I had just eaten because I've wanted to try this vegan food truck for ages. I only bought a blueberry muffin for later in the day which was really tasty and not too sweet. // Back in Antwerp ♡
I do this too often: procrastinate my run until it gets too dark to run. But I went anyway and it felt good! // I tried this recipe for crispy potato stacks and it was a big success!
Went to the gym more often in December which felt good. I feel like my legs got stronger again, and I've created a new routine now with mostly free weights. (you can find some of my favourite exercises here) // Antwerp by night, so sparkly.
I saw the cutest stickers ever at 't Stad Leest (a super nice bookshop) but they were ridiculously expensive. // Got this BENY book for Christmas which I can't wait to read, it's kind of a guide for New York.
Stopped for a coffee at Caffenation. Together with Butcher's Coffee, they serve the best flat whites in Antwerp in my opinion. Since it was on my way to uni I sometimes stopped here for a coffee to-go. // I want all the T-shirts from Baby Beluga, especially Zoe Karssen's Lioness tee!
Had my last lunch in Antwerp (I finished my semester at uni and I moved out of my flat! I'll tell you soon where I'm going for my next semester). This was a total vegan lunch at Juno. // One more Otomat pizza before leaving Antwerp, yummm.
My mom picked up my stuff from my studio, and I took my bike home by train. Here's my and my bicycle in the elevator. There's a first time for everything! // Went for a 10K run before Christmas dinner, which went quite well.
Little Biba // Christmas day dinner was my responsibility, so I made something light but flavourful. Check it out here.
On second Christmas day we visited Villa Cavrois near Lille in France. It's a modernist villa and although it wasn't my taste, there were some details that I really liked. And this bathroom was just #marblegoals
My sister and I in the Begijnhof in Kortrijk, such a cute little place. // Discovered a cool interior shop called Byttebier.
I watched some pretty bad Christmas movies this year, and I skipped my favourite one, Love Actually. Next Christmas another chance! // Nocho and Puma are so sweet together, here Puma is lying ON TOP of the dog haha!
Got my hair done at Toni Kalin near Antwerp's Cathedral. They did my highlights and I'm really happy with the result. I asked for a very natural highlight which is exactly what they did. I can highly recommend this hairdresser! // My train was delayed so I got a sandwich at Bio Station in Antwerp's central station. They do different vegan sandwiches, so fresh and much better than Panos next door.
Love Stories always has the best window displays. This winter's theme was disco balls, so funky. // I went to the big Jumbo Market in Breda for the first time, which was an overwhelming experience to say the least (it's basically a MASSIVE super market). We shared a fresh pizza after shopping. Really tasty and so cheap (€3.50)
Went to Amsterdam for a day with a friend who'd never been there. We started at the ice skating rink in front of the Rijksmuseum. It was super crowded so we skipped the ice skating and had hot chocolates instead (it was freeezing that day)
After that I showed the Conservatorium Hotel, we walked through the P.C. Hooftstraat, through the main canals and to the Bijenkorf, where there were crazy sales.
I also showed him the 9 Straatjes with all the little boutiques. // I had a quick look at Zara but escaped ASAP because it was crazy crowded and a huge mess. I can't believe how disrespectful people can be..
Lunch was at The Lobby, a really cool spot where you definitely need to make a reservation (alternatively, you can get sent away by the super arrogant host. I talked to another waitress and she got us a table for 2 PM). The food was pretty good! // After walking around in the cold for a couple of hours we sat down at Winkel 43 for the best apple pie in Amsterdam (or in the world, who knows).
A quick stop at The Rijksmuseum which was already closed. // We went back to the ice skating rink but it was still very crowded so we skipped it alltogether.
Ended our day in Amsterdam at the Banksy x Warhol exhibition in the Moco. I really liked it! These were my two favourite works by Banksy.
Last but not last, I wanted to end with my 9 best Instagram photos of 2016 (check yours here). Food pictures still seem to be doing well ;)