Antwerp is the fashion capital of Belgium and I found many blog worthy design shops while I was visiting. The city is compact and so it is easy to walk around and see most things in a day. We particularly enjoyed the antiques ridden street Kloosterstraat, head here for a endless array of rare vintage finds. Those who prefer something new and shiny will be satisfied with the glamorous jewellery and designer clothes shops. Here are my top boutiques in the city worth heading to first.
The Recollection – a beautifully curated lifestyle concept store stocking Aesop toiletries, Kaweco stationery, Piet van Eek furniture and other stylish objects of desire.
Huis Boon – Established in 1884 this gorgeous little glove shop has been an institution since opening. Boxes line the walls, filled with every colour of glove you could every wish for. I fell in love with a pair of cashmere lined emerald gloves. For something more delicate Huis Boon also make gloves in other finer materials, like lace.
Domestic – this minimalist bakery creates the most delicious croissants I have ever tasted. This boulangerie was opened by Julien Burlat and Sophie Verbeke, who also own two of the city’s most prestigious restaurants, Dôme and Dôme Sur Mer. Hotel Julien serve Domestic pastries at breakfast, and it is reason alone to stay!
Hay – this is one of the flagship stores of the successful Danish design brand. The colourful products for desk and home are irresistibly chic, especially when displayed all together.
Goossens Chocolatier – this unassuming chocolate shop is not found in the centre of town but it is worth visiting for their renowned, top-quality chocolates. They are a favourite with royals and presidents around the world, and most excitingly supply the chocolate for the White House.
Loft Styles – we found this shop amongst the antique outlets on Kloosterstraat, though Loft Styles felt special. The retro furniture and ornaments are mostly industrial in style, exhibited in an effective way and priced reasonably. If only I lived closer I would have bought something from the unique collection.
Woontheater – everyone I spoke to recommended this shop, and I can reiterate… it is serious vintage furniture heaven. What amazed me most was the way this shop makes old vintage furniture look contemporary and cool.
Wunderkammer – a shop of beautiful curiosities to decorate your home with. A lot of things you don’t need, but really, really want.