Paris, the city of love, food and fashion. It's a pleasure to be part of this vibrant city and I simply enjoyed my stay here. I started my evening with a very good asian-fusion restaurant named "Bon" at rue de la Pompe. This trendy Philip Starck designed bar-restaurant is a discreet destination for 16eme locals and expats. Get a platter of the most excellent spring rolls-shrimp coriandre, beef basil & chicken curry, spicy beef salad and crispy chinatown duck for savory re-invented classics!
A good place to start shopping in Paris is the nice old quarter of Le Marais. I think Le Marais is the best shopping neighborhood in the city. There are tons of independently owned boutiques as well as luxury shops, trendy restaurants, hip galleries and wonderful markets. Today, the neighborhood is a mix of several communities which, at one time or another, played an important role in its history. Le Marais remains a central part of the Jewish community in Paris, and is also home to other more recent immigrant communities such as Algerians and Asians. Le Marais is also one of present-day Paris’ most prominent gay communities, with lots of gay night clubs, shops, and restaurants. The second place that I went to was the Furla store at Rue Saint Honoré. I purchased my little bag in this "chic" shopping area. (I have a bag obsession!). Here you've got expensive couturiers, more moderate designer boutiques and also you'll find the famous cult store Colette.
After a wonderful shopping session it was time to have some lunch. Ladurée is perfect for macarons and afternoon tea. Ladurée's salted caramel macaron is by far my favorite!
Going to Antwerp means going to my neighbor country where they also speak Dutch but in a slightly different way. Antwerp is not the capital of Belgium, that's Brussels, but it is a big city with a lot of remarkable cultural and fashionable hotspots. I made a reservation in one of The Soul studio's on the Marnixplaats in the bustling het Zuid district. This hip apartment hotel is a 3-minute walk from a tram stop and 8 minutes on foot from modern art exhibits at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst and the FOMU. "The Soul" is an experience for the body and soul.. It offers healthy food and drinks in The Soul Café and a good night sleep in The Soul Studios, Apartments and Loft. For a professional and luxurious treatment for your hair you can visit The Soul Hairspa. A nice experience and the studio was designed very well.
I visited the FOMU, the foto museum of Antwerp. They have interesting exhibitions all year long. You only have to walk ten minutes from the FOMU to reach the centre of Antwerp. During my walk to the centre I saw many nice vintage stores. There were lots of them with all different types of antique like, old school maps, furniture, toys, cloth... you name it! Antwerp is also a city of fashion and there are so many shops with high end brands. Belgium people know how to dress! And if you want to buy a high end delicacy to pair with your coffee or champagne, go to Ladurée in the Schuttershofstraat 51. This is un upscale bakery with Parisian origins, specializing in French macarons in a number of flavors. Be prepared!
The Wasbar...it's absolutely worth a visit! The decor is cute and the atmosphere is very relaxed. It is a great place to chill, mingle with friends and do your laundry while having lunch or a nice drink. I choose the 'cappuccino wasbar', a cappuccino with little marshmallows in it. It looks like my coffee had detergent in it and it tasted a little bit weird. But after all it was fun to have this drink especially in the Wasbar.
if you want to have a nice dinner go to Pasta Hippo Vino. You may notice the absence of pizza when you read the menu. What you will find here, however, is food made from real, home-made ingredients, made to the highest standards. The restaurant is not far from the Grote Markt, in the middle of the centre of Antwerp. If you don't want Italian wine, try the real Begium beer. Vedett is a good option ;-)!