Hi there! If you’ve read part 1, welcome back! If you came here and didn’t read part one, here’s a short recap; I went to Antwerp for a weekend and ate so much I had to get a gym membership when I got home. Let’s jump back into my food-infested weekend away shall we?
While we were still recovering from the food babies the Queen A Antwerp breakfast gave us, we quickly retreated into the hotel café which was a very pleasant space all around. The last of the breakfast goers had just left and while the friendly kitchen staff worked around us we received countless cups of gorgeous fresh leaf tea and a very polite request to leave, not for the staff, but for our own good, since the place needed to be vacuumed. After we reassured the staff that the noise wouldn’t disturb our #girlboss routine they went on their vacuuming way and thanked us for our understanding after they were done. Adorable.
When our laptops died and we felt energized enough to leave the hotel we headed over to Camino. This tiny restaurant situated in a quiet square of Antwerp can be found if you know where to look, and I’m about to tell you because you should make a stop there on your next trip to Antwerp.
Camino was founded by two very appetizing brothers (if you know what I mean… *wink wink*) called David and Ceriel. They used to have a food stall at the local market of Antwerp and got so busy they decided to open up shop permanently at Munstraat 4, Muntplein. Ever since then it is impossible to walk in without a reservation and it is not hard to see why. If not for the sympathetic brothers, it’s the flavorful food that will wow you into coming back time and time again. We tried the homemade lemonade and sipped away happily in the sun until our food came, a nice big bowl of melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, kimchi, a sunny side up egg and loads of fresh veggies. YUM! David also shared his passion for fair produce with us. All the pork belly and bacon served at Camino is local and he knows the pigs have had a good life before he puts them on the table, and you can taste it too. What’s also funny is how passionate David is about his food and his kitchen. He kept coming over to our table to tell us more about Camino and also shared he has never been to Asia, doesn’t have an Asian wife or girlfriend but instead learned what he knows from a book he ordered, because he liked the pictures so much. What he’s most passionate about is the way the Asian kitchen has no rules and how much room there is for experiment. Whatever he’s experimenting with – it’s worth a visit! Your tastebuds will thank you ;).
Later that night after a power-nap we decided we actually would need some dinner before our last day on Sunday. Thankfully the hotel provided us with this adorable and handy little guidebook that came with the room. I know what you’re thinking; ‘guidebooks? PSH! Lame!’ I know, I feel an uncontrollable urge to scream whenever and wherever I see people following their Lonely Planets around but this book was different! Not only was it very stylish and Instagrammable, the actual content didn’t make me want to scream and pull my hair out. Far from it actually. The guidebook is made up of small lists of things like ‘Restaurants with the most beautiful gardens’ and ‘Most Instagram-worthy coffee shops’ and so on. These lists are accompanied by beautiful photography, like the kind from a coffee table book and also come with a map of the city in which it points out where these places all are. These hidden gems were all bundled into a book called ‘The 500 hidden secrets of Antwerp’ published by Luster, a Belgian publicist.
These books do not only come in English, right now there are more than 12 city-guides and more are in the making! I personally can’t wait to see more of my new-found guidebooks come out (which will happen in June by the way), and you should really check them out too. Also, the price is around €16,95, which is seriously not a bad price considering I’ve had an AWESOME night at Den Druiventros thanks to this book, so go get one too!
By the way, Den Druiventros is owned by two young men who won a Belgian cooking show on TV and they serve a mix of French and Asian cuisine. The restaurant is housed in an old building that is in nice contrast with the hip interior. All tables offer a nice view of the kitchen and the atmosphere makes for an intimate setting. What you see is what you get – and what you get is amazing!
Before going back home the next morning our final visit was to Franks Deli. This alter ego of Frank and Brut comes out during the day. It has a different menu, logo, style, and even the inside of the restaurant changes from day to night due to panels that can be switched and cupboards that are boarded up. It’s clever and so much fun! The waiters greeted us with glee and were happy to feed us some more. After brunch mimosa’s they served us a giant brunch platter with cold cuts, different cheeses, eggs benedict with your choice of salmon, veggies or bacon and some fresh fruit in a bowl of granola. Seriously mouthwatering. We ate our fill and watched the Antwerp Marathon go by the restaurant. Nothing beats stuffing your face while watching others run a 40k.
So that’s it – this was the story of how I gained 5kg in one weekend. What are you waiting for? Grab your bags (and a gym membership) and head of to one of my favourite European cities, Antwerp!