This was my first time in Belgium. I had great expectations about this trip because my husband would always tell me stories about his time there when he was little. He had many romantic memories and I was looking forward to sharing some of them with him.
Since it was a work trip for him but not for me, for two weeks during the day I would be left alone with a wonderful map and the enthusiasm to wander around at my own time and pace. I had learnt few words in French and with my map I was ready to order frittes with mayo in every corner and poulet rôti to eat at home whenever I didn’t feel like cooking. I visited beautiful places and it was also a good time for me to be with myself. I had the joy to walk around with no smart phones, no tablets and no rush!
The first week in Brussels while looking at my map I found this flea market and I thought, I need to go! The Place du Jeu de Balle is a flea Market located in the Marolles District. It was quite a peculiar experience and quite tricky for me to get there but at the same time, made me feel very proud of myself for being so enthusiastic about finding collectables and unique things for my tea. In this market you can find almost anything: lamp shades, spoons, records, cassettes, rugs, electronic devices, you name it. In my case I was just looking for cups to my collection and I am really happy with what I found. The pictures I have posted are some of the ones I bought. Of course they were all dusty and covered in newspapers but this is the extreme makeover I was preparing for them! If you like vintage stuff, this is a place to go. If you don’t, don’t even consider it, it will drive you crazy. Later that day, I made some jasmine green tea at the flat and served it in my new cups: merveilleux!
We also had a great time in Antwerp. We went out for dinner and drinks with friends, walked around and fell in love with the city. One day a friend and I planned a day out going to the museum, walking through the river and spending the afternoon together. The next day we met at a café and without noticing, we were doing anything but going to the museum. We went to a hidden gallery close to the Cathedral where a friend of hers was working in an exhibition, then we had some yoghurt ice cream at a new shop at the center and finally, she took me to a store called Dille & Kamille. Even though this is a store to buy beautiful things for home, you can also focus on tea and still find a good variety of accessories and even loose tea leafs. I bought excellent quality wooden and stainless steel tea scoops as well as infusers and spoons. I didn’t buy leaf teas but I highly recommend it for the accessories, plus the store is to die for…
Last day in Antwerp. We had to check out at 10:00am and our flight back to London was at 7:00pm so we spent those hours watching the triathlon, hiding from the rain and walking around. At lunch time we found a little café where we decided to eat before catching our train to the airport. After lunch I ordered a Masala Chai with soy milk and I cannot describe how good it was… The soy milk was so velvety, creamy and smooth, it was sweetened to perfection and the blend of spices was well balanced. The way they served it was also special: it was not a cup but a tall glass with a long spoon and they also accompanied it with letter cookies. I took some pictures and I would recommend anyone who is in Antwerp and like Masala Chai to go and try it. This place is called Jam.
Thank you Belgium for the good memories, we will definitely be back soon. After all those days discovering such beautiful cities, sharing with nice people, eating Belgian chocolate, stopping by any frituur and having all the delicious food I start to understand the crush my husband has on Belgium. Of course, he has fond memories of his childhood that go beyond that but I could feel them whenever we were walking around together.
Now we are back in London, enjoying every minute of the summer and the good weather.
Cheers to the good times!