EXPLORED_ Copain in Hasselt

EXPLORED copain in Hasselt - by hannelore veelaert - via au pays des merveilles-5580

After the hype of the gourmet burger and the haute dog, it is time for the croque monsieur to shine, at least if you ask Nele from Copain in Hasselt.  Whether you like to stick to the classics or enjoy a rather surprising combination, the seasonal menu of Copain has got your desires covered.  Even if you’re not craving a croque during your visit, you’ll surely leave with a smile on your face as the menu also offers delicious granola (approved by yours truly!), a cup of coffee and sweet treats.   Next to the menu, Copain also impresses with their interior.  Lots of wood, a few mint green accents and fresh flowers bring a little bit of Scandinavia to the city Hasselt and form the perfect backdrop for your lunch break.  Eat, drink, smile, repeat is Copain’s tagline and I advise you to do exactly that.  I know I will.

Copain, Zuivelmarkt 38, 3500 Hasselt - website - facebook - instagram

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COLLECTION_ stationery

collection STATIONERY via au pays des merveilles

Stationery is one of my weak spots and something I can never get enough of, so for today I’ve rounded up my most recent discoveries.  It’s a selection of both Belgian and foreign design, and both young designers and established brands, but all of have simplicity, interesting details and monochrome prints in common.  Hopefully you like them as much as I do!

  1. The Daily Fiction collection by Normann Copenhagen.  More photos here, the collection is available in Belgium at Espoo. bütik and La Fabrika.
  2.  Brassing ballpoint pen by Ystudio, on which you can create a personalized brassing effect by removing the paint on the surface with sanding paper which is attached in the product’s package.  More info here.
  3.  Wynnie notebook by Monki.  Get it here.
  4.  Spring scissors designed by Lex Pott, available here.
  5.  Notepad created out of waste paper by Re_Do,  find it here.
  6.  Geometric paper clips by Fundamental.  Buy them here.
  7.  Moon poster by Mayken Craenen, only today still available here, so be quick!
  8. Oversized paperclip that can be used as a staple, bookmark or paper weight, designed by Carl Auböck.  Get it here.
  9. Notebooks by Selma Lamai.  Get your hands on them here.  (Photo by Riika Kantinkoski.)

EXPLORED_ Reading between the lines

EXPLORED reading between the lines - by hannelore veelaert - via au pays des merveilles-5376In an attempt to make my driving lessons a little bit more interesting, I’ve been exploring the region of my hometown for interesting breaks in between practicing my driving skills.  I’ve already shared one of these destinations with you, and today I’m introducing you to another work of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh.  “Reading between the lines” is probably the most well known installation by this multidisciplinary design studio and is a part of “pit”, an artistic trajectory with works by ten artists.  (So I might have to take my driving lessons up there again to check out the other works!)  The transparant “church”, constructed out of 30 tons of steel, looked stunning amidst the gorgeous landscape of Borgloon and the sunset only added to the view.  So, if you don’t have any plans for today yet (or tomorrow, it’s a long weekend after all), you do now, because “Reading between the lines” is waiting for you.

Reading between the lines, walkway between Sint-Truidersteenweg and Romeinse Kassei, 3840 Borgloon - website
Gijs Van Vaerenbergh - website - facebook - instagram

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EXPLORED_ De Sladerij in Hasselt

INSIGHTS De Sladerij in Hasselt - Hannelore Veelaert via Au pays des merveilles-5709

Fresh and healthy salads in an interior inspired by a traditional butchery (or slagerij in Dutch), that’s De Sladerij in a nutshell.  The food alone makes this place worth a train ride to Hasselt, but add their selection of cookbooks (all for sale), the beautiful branding and their clean but cosy interior to the mix, and you know the lovely owner Géraldine Eechaudt has created a spot where everybody wants to hang out.  Need more reasons to visit Hasselt, besides de Sladerij?  Take a look here and keep an eye on the blog, because I’m working on a city guide for Limburg’s capital!

De Sladerij, Havermarkt 39, 3500 Hasselt - website - facebook - instagram

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EXPLORED_ Titi +The German Kid in Hasselt

EXPLORED_ T+TGK in Hassel - Hannelore Veelaert via Au pays des merveilles-5674

If you’re in Hasselt and looking to satisfy your hunger for unique streetwear, Titi + The German Kid might be just the place you’re looking for.  Kristien Follon started out almost a decade ago, with a collection of t-shirts with handdrawn prints on them, available through myspace.  Since then, T+TGK has evolved into a brand known for its unique style, inspired by street art, graphic design and illustration, its unusual showcases and the fanzines that accompany each collection.  Curious for that cooky world of Kristien Follon?  Good, because you can see the T+TGK universe for yourself in her design studio slash store located in Hasselt, or you can stop by De Invasie in Antwep this weekend!  (More info about De Invasie and my favorites here by the way!)

Design studio + store TITI + THE GERMAN KID, Schrijnwerkersstraat 20/1, 3500 Hasselt - website - facebook - instagram - twitter

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COLLECTION_ de invasie + give-away

collection de invasie - via au pays des merveilles

Next weekend De Invasie is finally taking over Antwerp again.  This platform for young talent will invade several locations in the city, where over 80 Strijders – warriors – will present their newest creations in fashion, interior design, illustration and many other domains.  To celebrate the launch of her first collection of leather goods at De Invasie, I’ve teamed up with my friend and one of my favorite Strijders Lies Mertens.   Keep an eye on my instagram account today to find out how you can win one of her handmade designs!

  1. Lies Mertens designs and makes beautiful leather goods, sized to fit modern life.  (You’ve seen her on the blog before here.)  More info here. (Photo by Eline Ros.)
  2. Margot Thyssen creates ceramics that are stunning in their simplicity. Find out more here.
  3. Architect and all-round creative Anouk Taeymans is presenting an innovative design-shelf with her label byANOUK.  See more of her work here.
  4. Atelier Belge is the brand behind the beautiful modular organizer Loopholes, find out more here.
  5. Ophelia creates gorgeous lingerie by hand, inspired by contemporary art, vintage, and modern women.  Read all about it here.
  6. Textile designer Jente Hendrickx is the brains and hands behind a collection of stunningly fragile textiles.   See more of her work here.  (Photo by Eefje De Coninck.)
  7. Nord interior design is the furniture label of interior designer Femke De Witte.  Soon more info here.
  8. Graphic designers Linde Luyten en Tille Lingier from RE_DO give new life to paper waste from printers and turn them into unique notepads and weekplanners. Find out more here.
  9. Leen Vanbroekhoven founded Oh My Kids, a brand of graphic sweatshirts for kids.  See more here.

For more info about De Invasie, the Strijders and the locations they’ll be invading, take a look here.

EXPLORED_ Z33 in Hasselt

FRAGMENTS_ Z33 by Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

Growing up,  I spent a lot of my free time in the nearby city of Hasselt.  Back then, I was mostly attracted by the chain stores, unaware that Hasselt had so much more to offer.  One of those things I missed out on for a long time, is Z33.  Located in a historical beguinage, this house for contemporary art offers unique exhibitions and space for experimentation and innovation.   During my last visit, I explored expo Toegepast 20: Looking for the in-between.  The design competition of Toegepast 20 selected 6 young and talented designers to be coached by professionals for a year and ultimately give them the chance to show their work at Z33, hopefully leading to a successful career in the creative sector.  The selected designers have very different backgrounds, ranging from architecture (Ruben Castro) to jewelry (Anneleen Swillen) and from textile ( Charlotte Vandenborre) to graphic design (An Onghena, my personal favorite of the selection).  The result is an interesting expo with beautiful scenography by Adriaan Tas, who’s home you might have already spotted on Instagram and will soon appear on the blog.  This particular expo unfortunately came to its end, but their current agenda looks very promising and a walk around the beguinage is always a good idea, so don’t miss out on this hidden gem when you’re visiting the city!

Z33, Zuivelmarkt 33, 3500 Hasselt - website - facebook -  twitter

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EXPLORED_ Liv in Leuven

EXPLORED_ Liv in Leuven - by hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles-2

Monochrome and marble paradise LIV in Leuven is yet another place in this city that I wanted to share.  Those who know me in real life, know that I prefer to go through life dressed in black and white, so this bright and beautiful store owned by the like minded Evelyn had to be included in my city guide of Leuven.  Providing you with French and Scandinavian brands such as By malene Birger, Anine Bing, Samsoe&Samsoe, The kooples, Vanessa Bruno athé and L:A bruket, LIV never fails to disappoint.  Sure, this stop is not for those with a small budget, but if you value quality over quantity, LIV should definitely be on your schedule for your next trip to Leuven or your next round of web shopping.

LIV, Mechelsestraat 16, 3000 Leuven - website - facebook - instagram

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WORK_ Balenmagazijn by TRANS

WORK_ Balenmagazijn by TRANS - Hannelore Veelaert via au pays des merveilles

Office for architecture and urban planning TRANS has asked me several times to document their Balenmagazijn project, from when it was still under construction to when it was finished with its reflective extension on the roof.   This former warehouse will now host a canteen, offices and meeting rooms that can be used by the businesses located on the UCO site in Ghent.  Seeing this project come to life (I was working at the office as a trainee when this project existed only as a maquette) has been a pleasure, so after giving you a peek into their studio in this blogpost, I wanted to share this project with you as well.  For more info about TRANS, take a look at their website.

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