Tag Archives: interiors
Three nights in Antwerp – where to stay? A
overpriced fancy hotel in the centre of town, a cheap but unpredictable Airbnb, or something more unique – like Boulevard Leopold?
We chose the latter on recommendation by good friends. A handsome 19th century townhouse in the Jewish quarter, it’s billed as a B&B, but it’s not your average Formica-and-nets affair. With three rooms and two apartments, it has the feel of a private upper-crust home, with breakfast served in a plant-filled atrium that looks onto a verdant garden. We stayed in early January but I imagine feasting on the breakfast hams, jams and cheeses al fresco is no bad way to start your summer daytripping here.
In the adjoining lounge the vibe is relaxed and a little dreamy with moody candlelight, bell jars and mysterious tableaux of pictures, books and curiosities decorating every nook. It’s a particular arty aesthetic, one that’s appreciated by the design and fashion guests who can’t help but become repeat visitors.
We stayed in a generously-proportioned, golden-walled room on the second floor. (Note: there’s no lift, it’s not a hyper-modern type of place and that’s all part of the charm.). From the faded-luxe décor – think marble fireplace, foxed mirrors, vintage dressing table – to the comfy velvet armchairs, this is the kind of place you definitely want to spend some time in, soaking up the atmosphere. (Side note: style bloggers I don’t have to tell you this is #OOTD heaven.) The bathroom is gorgeous too, with the same vintage appeal offered by whitewashed floorboards, original radiators and a huge clawfoot tub.
Despite the lack of lifts and hotel extras like room service and a chocolate on your pillow, Boulevard Leopold is perfectly homely with as much come-and-go ease as our London flat. That’s helped by the amiable host, Martin who will leave you in peace if you’re the anti-social type, or answer your every question about Antwerp, vintage shopping, transport and local eateries. Talking of transport, it’s very easy here because the tram stops right outside, or you can do what we did, which is walk everywhere. The location, in the midst of the traditional Jewish district is a big bonus, in keeping with the historic gentle-paced spirit of Antwerp. In short, if you want a place to stay that’s relaxed, authentic and rather special, then Boulevard Leopold awaits your call…
BOULEVARD LEOPOLD, 135 Belgielei, Antwerp. Bedrooms from €125 a night
Disclosure: Boulevard Leopold hosted us for one night of out three-night stay. (The B&B doesn’t accept credit cards – not uncommon in Antwerp – so remember to take enough cash.)
WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
PHOTOS TAKEN WITH THE OLYMPUS PEN E-PL7
Check out my Antwerp shopping guide here
My favourite colourists and patternists, Eley Kishimoto just unveiled their first collection of hand-printed wallpapers at Decorex International. Yes, some of them are downright tripppy but they’re sooo good!
Eley Kishimoto wallpapers are screen printed to order and you can buy them HERE.
Right, fantasy desk accessory time. I’m totally going to start arranging vintage stamps , malachite candle holders and (faux) coral-handled magnifying glasses on my shabby chic desk like an eccentric professor. These rather refined goodies are from L’Objet, the home decor brand by Elad Yifrach. The former interior designer launched his Mediterranean-inspired luxury tabletop and accessories line nine years ago, with Bergdorf Goodman as his first client. Continue reading
After my trip to the Saatchi for the Hermes Festival Des Metiers press preview, I nipped into Anthropologie for a quick browse. That’s a lie of course. There’s nothing quick about an ‘Anthro’ browse. I was there for the best part of an hour, upending every cup and plate and inspecting every book. Continue reading
Check this out! I was really chuffed to be asked to be featured in the March issue of Elle Decoration (along with Shini and Fred) talking about design, blogging and homesy things. I nearly turned it down as I don’t really like having to
tidy up my crap pose for photos but … Elle Deco, people!!! And lovely Tara Darby did a great job with the pictures, while Talib Choudhry did well to to edit my ramblings into something coherent. Also, gotta love the fact that Fred, Shini and I all included Susie Bubble (AKA the patron saint of UK fashion blogging – ha!) in our top three must-read blogs.
Playing with my books is my favourite way of whiling away the post-Christmas days. I don’t buy as many interiors books as photography books these days, but if you’re looking for thrifty styling inspiration, then I’d recommend this one.
Sarah Bagner is a non-stop creative juggernaut. Her Supermarket Sarah walls are a stroke of genius retailing – super-styled walls that are instantly shoppable, curated with a themed mix of craft works, vintage finds and emerging designer pieces. Continue reading
More than ever I’m finding that the magazines I read (as opposed to buying, then placing untouched in a pile for two months) are those with a unique or personal point of view. Possibly an influence from the blog phenomenon, it feels like these mags have more to say and are therefore savoured, returned to and kept. Three I’m liking at the moment: Continue reading
Part of my recent trip to Paris with Hermes involved a visit to the new(ish) flagship store. Situated in a former 1930s swimming pool, it felt tres strange to be standing on the floor of the pool surrounded by original tiles! The store is vast and includes a cafe, a florist, a bookshop and lots of home wares. Continue reading
Just when you thought Diane von Furstenberg (so impressed I can spell that without looking it up) couldn’t get any more fabulous, her Manhattan penthouse appears in Architectural Digest. And suddenly I want a wooden bathtub, animal-print carpet and a table in the shape of a tree. Cue a Pinterest frenzy…