Antwerp

You know a city is good when, within the first ten minutes, you find yourself wanting to live there. To me, Antwerp is certainly one of the most appealing cities in Europe. Somehow, it manages to exude an air of sophistication while remaining totally unpretentious. Locals are friendly, helpful, and incredibly down-to-earth. The stunning old city center, a maze of cultural and architectural highlights, is worth the visit alone.

Just the short walk from Antwerp’s monumental train station via the Meir to the Grote Markt feels like a short course in European architecture. From the phenomenal Baroque buildings that mark the entrance to Leystraat to the Rococo Paleis op de Meir (which houses the Chocolate Line)┬áto the beautiful Renaissance Stadhuis, it just keeps getting Continue…

The Shock-o-latier

If Marie Antoinette and Willy Wonka had a love child, that would be Dominique Persoone. In the land of chocolate, the so-called “Shock-o-latier” is half rock star and half master chef. And his mouth-watering works of art are literally sold in what looks like a museum.

As soon as you enter The Chocolate Line in Antwerp, it’s clear this is no ordinary chocolatier. Looks a little like Napoleon’s kitchen? That’s because it actually was. Apparently, if it’s good enough for Napoleon, the Princess of Orange, and King Leopold II, it’s just about good enough for Persoone’s chocolate creations Continue…