going all the places, running all the races, eating all the things

To Maastricht for the prettiest bookshop in the world

Having Maastricht so close to Antwerp really is a treat when I come visit. On this occasion we went there to visit a bookstore.

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Morning over Maastricht was very lovely.

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It’s inside an old church. Used to be independent but now is Polare which is a chain we have in Belgium too.

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Isn’t that just amazing? Such a great use of a really magic space.

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They also have a really impressive selection, second hand upstairs had some great gems – almost everything in Dutch though!

Kalmthoutse Heide, sandy walks on the moors

The Kalmthoutse Heide is a park about half an hour drive from Antwerp and which straddles the Belgium/Holland border. It’s theoretically possible to go on a short wall which crosses over – though we chose another route this time.

The walking is on sand which makes it a bit harder work at times. This bring Belgium however it is also so flat that it’s almost hard to believe. Apparently there is also a herd of sheep that live here and some shaggy little cows too.

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There is also a Suske and Wiske walk with sculptures all the way.

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It’s really pretty terrain, and quite varied – definitely strange for an Australian.

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And here the walk home..

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Morning tea at the Bourla, Antwerp

There are few lovelier places for a cup of coffee & a piece of cake than the Bourla. It’s almost hidden in that there is no signage downstairs except for the theatre. Just keep going inside & up the stairs, you won’t regret it.

They also do a buffet brunch on the weekends which looks like a lovely way to celebrate something..

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Vogelmarkt on a festive Sunday

European Christmas season brings a whole bunch of things in their real forms that we don’t have in Oz – here’s my first mistletoe for instance..

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This year I had requests from my little brother & others for the good chocolate slices for sandwiches for the market – a kilo of chocolate later..

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Then the perfect early lunch – did someone say oyster degustation?

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Waiting to be shucked.

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What a gorgeous sight on heirloom oyster plates with a glass of cava. All their liquor intact, the Speciale Gillardeau was definitely the stand out. This place also does wonderful homemade shrimp croquettes.

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Darlie Laundromatic, G&T flight

So technically it wasn’t a “flight” but there were a bunch on the menu and it did drink them in order.

So good! Hendricks was unsurprisingly the fave, but all were tasty & garnishes really brought out the botanicals. Would drink again.

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Bonus beer from Brooklyn – DS said it was delicious.

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Chat Thai Randwick: spicy post beachy times

Post sunset beach swims on a brisk day a visit to Chat Thai Randwick will warm you right up and fuel you for the trip home.

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todt mun goong: Plump juicy prawn cakes in panko type crumbs fried until super crunchy. Could have been more strongly spiced though, and sweet chilli sauce & I are still not really very close.

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som dtum – always wonderful, fresh, spicy and with tiny chewy dried shrimps throughout.

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gaeng keaw louk chin bpla gaia – green curry with house-made fish dumplings and apple eggplants. This was utterly wonderful, dense and tasty fish dumplings in a deep rich sauce with crunchy quartered apple eggplants.

Chat Thai Randwick on Urbanspoon

Bang bang cafe: veggie breakfast in SuHi

Bang Bang is kind of out of the way for me. It’s never on the way to something, but is worth the detour to visit.

Cute interiors, good coffee and a monster vegetarian breakfast (for the princely sum of $17).

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