FRAGMENTS_ Haptic House

FRAGMENTS_ Haptic House Antwerp - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

Just outside the city of Antwerp, designer Ben Storms transformed a former furniture store into a plaground for his creative endeavors.   Under the name Haptic House he created a greenhouse for artistic designs and ideas where likeminded creatives such as Nathalie Van der Massen, C3T, Clay Club, Wilder, Mr. Frisko Vintage Furniture and Wiesi Will found their home.  Today Haptic House is opening their doors to the public, but I already got a little sneak peek of their exhibition and studios.  I’ve gathered a few fragments of the beautiful Haptic House studios in this blogpost, but if you’re in the neighborhood today, I suggest you discover their surprising mix of furniture design, textile, ceramics, glass, jewelry design, photography, floristry, graphic arts and collectible design for yourself!

Haptic House studios, Turnhoutsebaan 1-3, 2100 Antwerpen - facebook - opening event

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EXPLORED_ Rice ‘n Roll

EXPLORED_ Rice 'n Roll Antwerp - Hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles

When the people of Rice ‘n Roll asked me to shoot their brand new restaurant in Antwerp, the industrial meets boho interior quickly stole my heart. I didn’t expect anything else though, knowing that Nathalie Teugels is responsible for this interior with an underground Vietnamese takeaway twist.  However, Rice ‘n Roll doesn’t only please the eyes, its summer rolls are a treat for your tastebuds as well.  Think finger-licking good and no guilt needed, because these dishes are healthy as can be (and even gluten free).  At Rice ‘n Roll they are well aware that “sharing is caring” and “choosing is losing”, as their menu is perfect for those who want to try it all.   We had a go at all the vegetarian and vegan rolls on their cosy terrace and could only approve of Antwerp’s latest culinary addition.  So hop on your bike to try these tasty dishes yourself, or have them delivered straight to your doorstep, it’s up to you.  Bon appétit!

Rice 'n Roll - Scheldestraat 98, 2000 Antwerpen - website - facebook - instagram 

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EXPLORED_ Hart en Ziel in Antwerp

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When you step into Hart en Ziel, a brand new concept store tucked away in Antwerp’s most diverse neighborhood Borgerhout, you can’t help but smile at the abundance of green and beautiful objects.  And then you haven’t met the lovely owner Gitte Van Tilborg yet, who’ll surely bring a smile to your face.  After 15 years, she decided to follow her dream and open a concept store, filled with heart-warming and often handmade objects.  The result is appropriately called Hart en Ziel – that’s dutch for heart and soul – and offers all kinds of cute plants, greeting cards, naturally tanned sheep skins, home accessories and soon also flowers and furniture.  Hart en Ziel has something for everyone, for every budget and always with a story.  It’s still a work in progress, but  after only two weeks, it is already the go-to place for neighbors who need a gift for a loved one or who want to treat themselves.

But Gitte has bigger dreams than merely selling pretty things.  In the future, you’ll be able to follow workshops about drawing, knitting, mindfulness and anything that’s good for the heart and soul.  Moreover, artists will be able to display their work, use the back of the store as an atelier and meet their potential customers at the same time.

During my visit to Hart en Ziel, I’ve fallen in love with this beautiful new addition to the neighborhood, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  If you’re as excited as I am about this hidden gem in Antwerp, I’ve got good news for you! We’ve decided to treat one lucky reader to the plant hanger (including plants!) at the bottom of this post.  Keep an eye on my instagram today to find out how you can win this eye catcher!

Hart en Ziel, Laar 12, 2140 Borgerhout - website - facebook - instagram

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SUNDAZE_ Jarri Van der Haegen

SUNDAZE Jarri Van der Haegen - by hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles-27

If the name Jarri Van der Haegen doesn’t ring a bell, the name of his blog Disco Naïveté most certainly will.  For 6 years already, Disco Naïveté is the go-to place on the web if you want to know which music will be hot and happening in the future. It is remarkable how much this 25 year old accomplished through blogging, while still keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground and remembering that there’s more to life than work.

We met when Jarri organized the first vierkantwerpen meeting and I immediately knew he’d be the perfect candidate for another Sundaze blogpost, so I asked him to share a peek into his life and show me his favorite spots in the city.

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SUNDAZE_ Lies Mertens

sundaze - lies mertens - hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles-17

Sundaze is all about that Sunday feeling, with no obligations, only endless possibilities.  Whether your day off is on an actual Sunday or any other day of the week: everybody knows and loves that feeling.  In this topic, I document inspirational people on their day off.  How we spend the day is up to them, no obligations, remember?  Through this topic, I intend to see the city through their eyes, but also find out a little bit more about what drives this person in their daily life.  The first person to offer a peek into her life, is Lies Mertens, a 25 year old graphic designer and leather accessory designer located in Antwerp, but with a lot of love for travel.

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A WEEKEND IN ANTWERP

au pays des merveillesphotos by me

A few weeks ago, some friends from my erasmus time in Portugal came over for the weekend.  It was so nice to see them again after such a long time, and to be able to show them my new city.  We walked around my beautiful neighborhood Zurenborg, cycled through the city and admired Antwerp’s skyline from the roof of the MAS.  Soon I’ll finally have more time on my hands and be able to spend more weekends like this.

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KRACHTVOER

krachtvoer via au pays des merveilles

A few weeks ago, the girls behind Alle Dagen Honger organized a food festival named ‘Krachtvoer’ at DEstudio in Antwerp.  This two day festival consisted of documentaries, lectures, tastings, diners, workshops and expositions, all related to food.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to any documentaries or readings (I find it very interesting (and scary at the same time) to hear more about the food industry, it’s ecological impact is what convinced me to become a vegetarian) but I did manage to make a quick stop at the food market and the expositions.  The food was of course delicious and the location and decorations were stunning, as was the exposition with works of Alle Dagen Honger’s own illustrator Mayken Craenen  and others.  For a more elaborate impression of the festival, I added the aftermovie at the bottom, made by my flatmate Mathijs Vleugels.

This was only the first edition of Krachtvoer, so keep an eye out on the Alle Dagen Honger blog (also in english here) if you want to stay up to date on future editions of Krachtvoer or if you’re interested in the food industry as a whole.

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LIFE BACK IN BELGIUM

au pays des merveilles

Unfortunately, it’s that time of the year again: the exams are coming up, so us students are locked up behind our books and not allowed to think about anything else, like… let’s say blogging.  Which means it’s probably going to be (even more) quiet here in the next few weeks, especially since these are the last photos I saved up to share with you.  Today I’m sharing a little bit of randomness: my favourite boots on the grass during that first day of spring back in march, some impressions of Antwerp during a school trip (luckily on one of those other rare spring days), the view on Leuven from the top of this year‘s Existenz location and Portico Quartet in the AB, one of the few concerts I’ve done since I got back (I’m saving up to go back to Lisbon!) but definitely one worth remembering.  There were very few tickets sold, resulting in a very intimate concert in the AB club covered in twinkling lights and a little talk with the super friendly band afterwards.  I’m ending this with ‘Ruins’ by Portico Quartet, because even though I loved how intimate the concert was, they deserve a much bigger audience!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQH0GPL33uc&h=37]

antwerp via au pays des merveilles

leuven via au pays des merveilles

portico quartet via au pays des merveilles

portico quartet via au pays des merveilles

portico quartet via au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

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MAS

I recently visited the MAS again, and this time I got to see the collection (last time the museum wasn’t officially open yet), but I must say I was a little bit disappointed!   The museum rooms were too crowded and too dark to my liking, and all the items were placed very closed to each other, which made it even harder to enjoy the collection easily.  Maybe I have to give it another chance on a calmer day?   Anyway, I did get a nice photo out of it.

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MUSEUM AAN DE STROOM

Last weekend, the ‘Museum Aan de Stroom’ (or simply the MAS), was opened in Antwerp with the expected festivities.  I didn’t make it to the opening, but a few weeks ago, we already payed a visit to the MAS for one of our courses.  Here are a few pictures!

all pictures taken by me