A Brief City Guide to Antwerp

Our latest endeavour takes us to Antwerp, opening our first Belgian store in the heart of the city within the Wilde Zee shopping district. Antwerp itself has birthed some of the most celebrated fashion designers in the world today, so we’re pleased to be able to join this creative community by opening a size? store in the city with a curated selection of men’s & women’s footwear and accessories. Our longstanding relationships with some of the biggest brands mean a selection of products are produced exclusively for size?, so you won’t be able to find them in any other retail locations across the globe.

For this new retail concept for our fascia, we partnered with London architectural & interior design agency Counterfeit-studio to create a retail space void of fuss and clutter, allowing for a streamlined approach to clean product presentation without distractions. Formed using a combination of materials alongside a muted palette, the green hue running throughout was repurposed from the original brickwork found within the facade of the store unit.

In anticipation we give you a lowdown of everything Begium’s cultural capital has to offer.

Historically, Antwerp played second fiddle only to Paris. Illustrious artists such as Van Duck, Jordaens and Rubens turned the city into one of Europe’s leading artistic influences. The city had also become, and has remained, the diamond capital of the world leading it to become one of the world’s wealthiest cities.

The 1980’s brought a wave of Antwerp-trained designers into the forefront of world fashion. Dubbed the ‘Antwerp Six’, the experimental works of designers such as Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Walter Van Beirendonck resulted in the city gaining cult status in fashion. Today, these designers continue to inspire Belgium’s current crop of designers like Raf Simons and Kris Van Assche, and as you walk through the city’s cobbled streets the extensive selection of lifestyle shops is symbolic of the city’s emphasis on style.

What To Eat

Belgium proudly claims to be the country that invented chips, or ‘French Fries! Situated only a short 10 minute walk from our Antwerp location, Haute Frituur offers one of the best fries in town. Utilising an environmental approach, they select as many homemade produce as possible and work with local farms and suppliers to provide the best quality and an authentic taste.

Désiré de Lille was founded in Antwerp by the grandson of Désiré Smidts, the creator of Lacquemant, a type of thin waffle topped with syrup. He debuted the treat at the Antwerp Carnival in 1903 and its become a favourite across the country since. Offering a variety of waffles prepared with fresh batter and warm chocolate sauce, the tearoom and takeout location both provide some of the best waffles in the city. Need we say anymore?

Bars

Belgium has an automatic and intrinsic association with beer, and boasts an impressive 180 breweries within its borders. Belgian Beer culture is so renowned that it was classified by UNESCO as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ in 2016. Taking a tour through the De Koninck Brewery and sampling the city’s signature beverage also offers a glimpse into the craftsmanship required to pour the perfect pint.

For a more global beer experience, The Kulminator is a proud stockist of over 800 varieties of beer from across the world, many of which are native to Belgium. The three time winner of the ‘best beer-pub in the world award’, the Kulminator provides a tried and tested venue only 5 minutes away from our Antwerp store!

To experience Antwerp’s unique nightlife, Café d’Anvers offers a world class experience (voted 38 in a poll of ‘Top 100 Clubs in the World’) located within a 16th Century Church. Playing host to DJs and producers from around the world.

For an alternative night out, The Ampere is a ‘cultural and creative event space’ which provides an ecological and sustainable platform for young organisers and performers to showcase their projects. No matter when you visit, there’s always interesting events and lineups taking place at their bar and club space for after-hours entertainment.

If you’re on a lower budget saving for a size? Antwerp spree or travelling alone, the ASH (Antwerp Student Hostel) provides a great stay for those looking to socialise and discover the city. Beds available from £14, and on-site bike rental make this an affordable way to get around. Located within a minutes walk of Centraal station, the ASH is in an ideal location for those wanting to be at the heart of the city without breaking the bank.

HotelO Kathedral offers a premium experience that is still affordable. With rooms that face out onto the Cathedral of Our Lady, staying here provides the opportunity to be close to one of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks. As an ode to the cathedral and the work of Rubens displayed within it, many replicas of his murals decorate the hotel interiors. From around £82pn, you can enjoy the views as well as all the luxuries needed from a hotel experience.

Once the world’s first industrial printing works, the museum now features the world’s oldest printing press, historic manuscripts and a bookshop that dates back to 1700 as well as the 1640 library.

At ten storeys high, the MAS is the largest museum in Antwerp and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Choice is plentiful with a wide selection of special exhibitions, along with the museum’s collection of permanent pieces. Want one of the best views for your IG? Take an external escalator to the museum’s open roof.

Rated as one of the planet’s five most beautiful stations, the 1905 Antwerp-Centraal train station is one of the city’s leading landmarks. Definitely one to drop by if you’re in the area.

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