Hotel O, Antwerp

Hotel O is a sensual and stylish place to stay in Antwerp. Located on the trendy south side of the city, often called ‘T Zuid, this 3 star boutique hotel is surrounded by chic eateries and bars, and impressive cultural venues like the nearby Museum of Fine Arts.

We were allocated a room on the second floor, overlooking the street below. Everything was black, sleek and design orientated. Sheer curtains draped from the windows to give privacy but allow light in. The multi-light bulb construction on the ceiling gave out a warm golden glow over the room, and could be operated by an efficient dimmer switch system. The room felt a little squashed with the double bed taking up the majority of the space, but we excused this as it was extremely comfortable. The cupboard and desk were awkwardly placed and hard to use, I definitely felt the room was more for pleasure than business.

After a busy day of sightseeing, I was relieved to try the giant black freestanding bath. It was the ultimate indulgence to relax in a hot soapy bath whilst watching night descend over the city from the window. There was a separate rain shower wet room and toilet, fully stocked with toiletries by Rituals.

If you feel a little peckish you can head down to the ground floor, where the restaurant Brasserie Nero serves up Belgian beer and regional cuisine. Continental breakfast is also found here in the mornings, it is a pleasant room with natural light streaming in the large windows.

We checked out early to catch a train to Bruges, so missed out of on breakfast, but instead witnessed a wonderful fresh sunrise in this pretty area of the city. Hotel O is a glamorous and affordable option for style conscious tourists visiting Belgium’s most fashionable city.

More information and book here.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled to Belgium with Eurostar.

·         Eurostar operates up to 9 daily services from London St Pancras International to Brussels with return fares from £69.

·         Tickets to any Belgium station start from £79.

·         Fastest London-Brussels journey time is 2 hours.

·         Tickets are available from or 03432 186 186.

Hotel Julien, Antwerp

The Julien Hotel is not easy to find. The unassuming exterior offers no indicator of the style conscious rooms inside. It is situated within two historic buildings and has a surprisingly quiet atmosphere considering its central position in Antwerp. This hotel is a trendsetter opening in 2004 as one of the first boutique accommodation options in the city.

There are twenty-one rooms, each unique in its layout and feel, some are more rustic than others. Our room was extremely photogenic, I spent the first fifteen minutes observing every detail and snapping away eager to catch the charm through my lens. With a high ceiling and infinite floor space, the room felt airy and spacious. The original features are kept intact which gives the rooms a touch of tradition, but cutting edge modern amenities and luxuries ensure guests feel pampered.

Little details make this hotel special. Tall windows have chic wooden blinds, a monochrome striped carpet adds pattern to the floor, and the bed is topped with fluffy pillows and soft linen. The bathroom was a haven, clad in grey marble with an oversized bathtub and rainshower and expensive Ren toiletries.

Whimsical modern art adds some colour to the walls. Outside our room I noticed a Michael Wolf photograph depicting a building in downtown Chicago. The clever combination of eclectic art and design features makes Hotel Julien a fascinating place for culture enthusiasts.

Breakfast was a highlight of our stay. Pastries come direct from Domestic – the city’s finest boulangerie. The croissants are light and flaky, buttery and divine… I couldn’t resist a second, and we even paid the bakery a visit to see the place where these magical delicacies are made. Also on offer are sweet fresh juices, jewel like chopped fruit and homemade jams and honey.

Should you need it, Hotel Julien has a glamorous but casual bar which is cosy and perfect for a nightcap, and gorgeous meeting rooms which are blessed with good light and kitted out with essential equipment. The décor is minimalist and design conscious and would inspire creative minds at work.

Hotel Julien is more home than hotel, combining character and style in perfect measure, to create a place you’ll never want to leave.

More information and book a stay here.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled to Belgium with Eurostar.

·         Eurostar operates up to 9 daily services from London St Pancras International to Brussels with return fares from £69.

·         Tickets to any Belgium station start from £79.

·         Fastest London-Brussels journey time is 2 hours.

·         Tickets are available from or 03432 186 186.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 248 – Shopping in Antwerp

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.