Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bruxelles in a day and a half - Day 2

Hello there, my dear readers!! :)

Here I am, as promised, telling you about the ending of my trip to Bruxelles... ;) My 2nd day was such a full and intense one that I really enjoyed!

First thing in the morning, I decided to go to a street my dear friend Katerina had told me about, which is the Rue A. Dansaert. I started off at the Bourse and kept walking for a little while.

What I loved the most about it were the incredibly beautiful and interesting and modern boutiques you could find every two steps... *-* There were also stores of chic brands like the french Sandro, but they didn't break the mood at all, because they followed that very Parisian-chic vibe of the street.

Rue Dansaert, 89
A glimpse at this window display equals going to heaven and back. For a taste of designer shoes bliss, Hatshoe is definitely the way to go. Chloé, Ferragamo... *-* Music in my ears! :)

Rue Dansaert, 97
Very, very, very, very extremely cool sunglasses!! ;)
Check their website here.

101, Rue Antoine Dansaert
Well... I must say I did not go into this particular shop, but limited myself to take pics of the outside, because... I dont know, I guess it just caught my attention. I thought it was a normal jewelry shop that also sold "curiosités" like art books or something, but it turns out that right now I've really no idea what it is they were selling... Check their website here to know what I mean. (Don't worry, it's not disgusting or disturbing in any way, just very cool and artistic, and very surprising, and ok, maybe a bit confusing... :D).

84, Rue Dansaert
I found super interesting that togas and uniforms should be sold next to the coolest modern designers!! They looked very high quality, if you want to know more for whatever reason (maybe you have an uncle that's a judge or something! ;p), you can go here.

Rue A. Dansaert, 64
Beautifully simple clothes with delicate details. Check their website here to see their latest collections.

Rue Dansaert, 80
He's a fashion designer, but I must confess that what caught my eye the most were those incredible accessories... ;) I found them fun and interesting, and wouldn't have minded owning a couple! To know more about the designer, you can go here.

So, after this quick review of the couple boutiques I got to see, I'd like to tell you about one I thought was the most special of them all... ;) 

I started by taking a look at the display, liked very very much what I saw, and got into the shop. And after browsing around for a couple of seconds, I met the lovely Eva. Although she's a photographer, she also works at the beautiful Particularités Précieuses. And let me tell you... what a store! I loved the cute mix of things they sold, from scented candles to amaaazing socks... *-* I bought a pair from a very "culte" japanese brand called Antipast. They are extremely soft and with really unexpected designs. And guess what I just noticed on the label and on the sole? The cutest little thing: "When words and textures weave lustrous trailing notes, laughters bounce and flowers bloom".  Isn't it lovely? :)

Particularités Précieuses.
83, Rue Antoine Dansaert.
(Sorry for the ugly pictures! I was just a bit nervous, I guess. :D)

At Particularités Précieuses, they also have the most beautiful accessories and perfumes by Comme des Garçons, and most important of all, jewelry designed by the owner of the three Précieuses shops in Bruxelles, Pili Collado. Colourful, fun and chic, they truly make justice to the style of her boutiques, where the attention to details and the intense chic-ness of it all make them just a delightful place to be in! I really do recommend your paying a visit whenever you get to go to Bruxelles. ;)

So anyway! After my lovely morning walking down Dansaert Street, I joined my mom at the Place du Jeu de Balle flea market for a bit of treasure hunting... It was really really cold, but nothing would have kept me away from those huge piles of beautifully old things! All that rummaging was definitely worth it in the end, because I found a really warm sweater made with 100% Norwegian wool (I guess I needed that - see it here), along with some amazing Grandma jewelry. :)

Place du Jeu de Balle - Marché des Puces.
Open every morning.

Afterwards, we were looking for a place to have lunch and started walking up Rue Blaes... Alright, we did not find lunch there, but my God... O.O We saw vintage store after vintage store with the most amazing window displays, and then also antiques... *-* It was truly beautiful! I found an amazing old hat that my History of Fashion teacher says must be from the 40s, more or less. I don't really care when it was from or when I'll be able to wear it, it is just so beautiful!! :D I promise to show it to you guys soon.
Here you have a couple of pics form the store:

I can't find the 'carte de visite' I took from the store, so until I find it, I can only tell you it's in Rue Blaes, really close to the Place du Jeu de Balle. Sorry! :)

Which leads me to the closure of this closure post... ;) I hope you enjoyed this 2-episodes trip to Bruxelles! I leave you with the last pics, that I took on our way back to the hotel. Thank you so much for reading, and be very very welcome to comment, I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts!! :)

Have a great weekend!! :)

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[All photos are by me. I'm happy if you decide to copy and keep them in your computer as a reference, or post them in your blog or anywhere you want. But you MUST put my name or a link to the blog somewhere, saying where you took them from. Not putting anything is in my opinion almost as bad as saying you took them yourself.]

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bruxelles in a day and a half - Day 1

Hey there, cyberpeople!! ;)
Yes, I know, I've been sucked into a vortex for the past month and a half, but I'm back! And ready to share some interesting stuff with you guys!! ;)
As some of you might know, I've had the chance to go to the amazing Bruxelles for... well, a day and a half, but still! :D I tried to make the most of the time I had, and discovered an absolutely beautiful city, full of hidden treasures that of course I only merely began to discover... 
Our hotel (I was in fact accompanying my mom to a Congress about Dermatology, but any excuse works, right?) was next to the Jardin Botanique / Kruidtui Gesu, which was really really beautiful, and there I took the chance to take a couple of Chictopia pics.
The first outfit was actually my “travelling” outfit, and the photo was taken early on Friday morning as soon as we made it to the hotel. I think it’s both my favourite outfit and my favourite picture in a long time, because I think it reflects pretty well the style that I like (well, a part of it), and also the morning light was really nice, which I think really enhanced the picture. 
So anyway, here you have it:

Mango camel coat
Bimba & Lola grey leather bag
Sandro black blazer with padded shoulders
Bimba & Lola electric blue skinny jeans
Vintage silk foulard
Camila's suede leather loafers
Vintage Norma Kamali sunglasses (my mom's!!)

If you want to see the full Chictopia post, you can go here.

So anyway, as our hotel was so near the city centre I decided to just walk everywhere I could. I had prepared my trip a bit in the 2 days I had before leaving, and thanks to that I knew more or less where I was going. What I've been doing lately when preparing my trips is buying the Moleskine blank city guidebooks, that I fill before I go with as much info as I can manage to find in the net or in other guides, and what people advise me to visit (this time, my trip advisor was Katerina, a fellow student of Fashion Design who's actually from Belgium... thanks, dear!! ;) ), and so I write everything down, and locate all the addresses in the maps that already come in the guidebook. That's what I really like about these Moleskine books: they come not only with basic & general practical info, but also with a subway map and an overall view of the city, that's then divided like a grid with the zoomed maps of each area. I find that extremely useful, because planning my itineraries becomes super easy.
And finally these guides are tiny (A6), which makes them very comfortable to carry around! ;)

So I started by walking down the Rue Neuve / Nieuwstr. (of course everything's written both in French and in Dutch!!), which wasn't bad depending on the time of the day (I don't recommend it in Saturday afternoons... it's packed with people, and so not worth it!!), but extremely boring because they were all chain stores we can find anywhere else in the planet. It was something like: Zara, H&M, C&A, Bershka, another Zara... You get the idea. Well, they had COS at some point, which was nice (finally some quality!! :D), and where I bought a pretty and super soft blue dress, and a really cool beige top with a pristine white dickey or bib (thanks, Cindy!!) with tiny pleats on it, which I wore later that very same day to go out for dinner:

Sandro black blazer with padded shoulders
Bimba & Lola grey leather bag
Aninoto grey high waisted pants
COS ivory top with white pleated bib/dickey
Nice Day Nice Things plaid scarf
knitted cardigan from unknown brand
Camila's suede leather loafers
Marithé+François Girbaud watch

Check out the full Chictopia post here.

I should probably point out how unbelievably COLD the weather was so that you can better understand why my smile looks a bit strained in these pics... I was just f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g, and I had trouble to keep my teeth from chattering! ;) So as you can imagine, I also wore the Mango coat over the blazer, it just isn't in the pics.

So anyway, the Rue Neuve gets more and more interesting as you go on, especially when it becomes the Rue des Friperies and then du Midi, where the shops are smaller and you can find boutiques, and the cutest places to grab something to eat - bistros, crêperies or amazing bakeries with great options for lunch. You really don't feel like you're a couple of streets away from la Grande Place, a big touristic destination.
If you ever go, I really recommend those: 

· Les gens que j'aime (15-17 Rue du Midi) - Small bistro with cool music, great food and trendy crowd. Prices are not extremely cheap, but not at all expensive. They also have wifi, and a decoration that I really liked, very much into the old&used vibe, but with pretty details. I had a tomato&mozzarella salad (it came with the most amazing toasted bread I've ever had in my life!!) and a lasagna (also incredible... *-*), and both were delicious. 

· Paul (I don't know the exact number, but it's on the Rue des Fripiers, between Rue Grétry and Rue du Marché à Poulets) - Incredible bakery, with anything you can imagine from huge braided brioches (I took one home with me and have had a slice of it with butter for breakfast during this whole past week! :D), to a wide choice of cereal breads, macarrons, and all sorts of cakes and tartes... :) Pastry heaven!! (PS: The hot chocolate is to die for as well! ;) )

In the area is also an amazing store called Mr. Ego (29 Rue des Pierres) which I found completely by chance right after having lunch at Les gens que j'aime, and where you can find a hip and colourful mixture of styles for mostly clothing and accessories, but also some really cool jewelry and watches. 

I couldn't help but indulging in a watch, a beauuutiful dress (see it here) and a pair of jeans (which I really needed! ;p see them here), because everything they had had that special something that just might make us resemble the very trendy crowd that browses through the racks of the store...

I also did go to the Grande Place (wouldn't have been able to say I'd been to Bruxelles if I hadn't!! :D), and it's just so bewilderingly beautiful... It really surprised me. I don't know what I expected, but what I saw really took my breath away. The complex beauty (the kind I like... ;) ) of the architecture was truly mesmerizing, and whole stories of old times popped up in my head just by standing there, looking around me...

At F Rubbrecht (Grand-Place, 23) I bought some handkerchiefs embroidered with the very famous lace from Belgium. I was surprised at their being so inexpensive! I think they were around 7 €, so I bought 4: one for me, one for each of my Grandmas, and one for one of my dear aunts. I don't know, maybe they were and it's just me who, true enough, has zero experience in handkerchief shopping... :)

The whole area around the Grande Place is just so cool and beautiful. Here you have a few pics to get an idea:

So anyway, when my mom was done for the day with her conferences, we went for a little stroll before dinner, and checked out the wonderful Galeries St. Hubert... They date back from the 1840s, and they're a cool thing to see. I especially liked the Librairie des Galeries, it had such an exquisite selection of beautiful books... *-* I was just mesmerized by a huge tome called something like: "Five centuries of Indonesian textiles"...  (yaayy! I found it!! this is definitely gonna make my christmas wish list... :) check it out here).

We had dinner at a Thaï-Vietnamese restaurant, and it was ok, but it's not really worth my recommending it... (too much cilantro in everything!) But anyway! I think what was really amazing about that evening is the night view of the Grande Place... *-* Isn't it just magical?

I leave you with these images for today... :) Stay posted to know about my second day in the beautiful Bruxelles (flea markets, new acquaintances...)!! And don't forget to comment, I'd love to hear from you... ;)

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[All photos are by me. I'm happy if you decide to copy and keep them in your computer as reference, or post them in your blog or anywhere you want. But you MUST put my name or a link to the blog somewhere, saying where you took them from. Not putting anything is in my opinion almost as bad as saying you took them yourself.]