Want to know the best gift for parents? Well, maybe not in general but for my parents, travelling is the best present ever. So there you have the reason, I went to Antwerp in the first place. Easy. Second, I had never been to either, Antwerp or Brussels, but planned on doing that during my time in the current work location. And third: who needs a reason for a weekend get-away trip? It’s always a great idea. So we drove down to Belgium and checked into our hotel. After that, we took off for a little sightseeing tour around the old city centre right away. The architecture, the old streets, the dome and the harbour district are simply stunning. It feels like escaping into another decade.
Moving to Aachen, which feels like the end of the world, is not that bad when it comes to weekend trips and get-aways. I needed to get out of my hotel that I had been staying at for two weeks and so we drove to Belgium that Friday. A review of the hotel will be coming soon so I don’t want to spoiler too much. It’s only a half-hour drive and Maasmechelen is such a cute and pretty place. We needed some serious relax-time Friday night, only to wake up Saturday fresh and bright and ready for the day. The Maasmechelen Village outlet shopping center is literally around the corner of the hotel we stayed at. They have a good variety of brands and as in every outlet, the possibility of some really good bargains does exist but is not insanely big. That being said, I love how beautifully the outlet and every single shop is decorated. As K said “I imagine this is what would happen if Disney World and the McArthur Glen Outlet in Roermond would have a baby” haha. I couldn’t have said it better. Customer service is awesome, everyone is so helpful and the sales personnel in the boutiques make you feel like you are shopping in a regular store. But budget-friendly.
You’ve probably already read the post about the Steigenberger hotel we stayed at a couple of weeks ago. I told you all about it and how much I loved it, what I didn’t tell you was what I did all weekend and how much fun that was. The original plan was to arrive Saturday because my friend wanted to have a girls’ night out for her bday. But since we spontaneously decided to stay at the Steigenberger on Friday, we had the whole Saturday to stroll around and do some shopping. Walking down the Kö is probably my favorite thing to do in Duesseldorf. Before 1.30pm it is usually not that crowded and you really get to enjoy the scenery with all the beautifully decorated windows of the designer boutiques. I loved the new maje boutique and of course had to go to Chanel to check out my new bag-to-be (my 2017-wishlist is here)…
Also, make sure to check out the smaller streets leading from the other side of the Kö towards the old city centre. It’s a great way to do a “round-trip” and there is an Hermès, Versace and one of my favorite concept stores Apropos. The sales personnel suck but they have many collections from different designers, well-chosen pieces and a beautiful book corner. Also, I love the Closed store and the Uli Knecht boutique in Grabenstrasse. Plus, definitely check out the lovely flower shop Bergine while you’re there. Coffee, cupcakes and ice cream are always a good idea, no matter where you are but if you’re into that stuff, make sure to visit Sugarbird’s café for delicious cupcakes and Giovanni L. for A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ice cream (dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan options available!).
I only started this series last week but it’s so much fun to give you guys little hotel reviews because not only is it a great excuse for me to take pictures of the pretty places I stay at and try out my new camera (my first Canon, yeah!), coming from a reader’s point of view, I always find it so convenient when somebody honestly describes their impressions. Plus, posting genuine pictures of the hotel, the way it really looks, is incomparable to staged professional photo shoots where every little banana is spray-painted. Not that anyone would need to do that at the Steigenberger hotel in Duesseldorf, Germany.
We decided to spend a night here because of all the apartment-moving-madness that had been going on and because my girls and I were going to celebrate my friends birthday Saturday night in Duesseldorf anyway. Traffic in the city is never fun, especially not on Fridays and not these days when every corner of the shopping district is under road construction. But we made it, finding a parking spot right in front of the hotel. The Steigenberger concierge was super nice, offering a dinner reservation in a restaurant of our choice and promised to take my evening-express parcel (the new Canon!) up to our room asap. So lovely!
You already got a little sneak peek of the castle Hugenpoet where we stayed the other weekend in my post from March 1st. Even though I’m not a fan of Valentine’s day, not at all actually, K and I decided to at least “do something” because we hadn’t seen each other in a while – working and travelling have been crazy throughout January and February. I thought we’d just hang out and he decided to surprise me and booked this beautiful hotel. It is located right outside Essen, Germany. The location is beautiful because it is near the Ruhr, a big river, and the castle itself is located at the side of a hill, surrounded by water on a historic site.
We arrived pretty late and I totally recommend seeing the castle at night because the scenery is absolutely stunning. Light spots are everywhere around the castle, highlighting the old brick walls and beautifully decorated windows. Also, they have a separate restaurant and it is supposed to be awesome but that day, we preferred mommy’s chicken bone broth soup. The staff was super nice, they knew our names and led us to our room. 12ft high ceiling and huge windows, brocat wallpaper, wooden doors and furniture… Do I need to say more? It seriously felt like stumbling upon a fairytale. We decided to have breakfast downstairs the next morning and were not disappointed either: a nice variety, very good quality food and prosecco. Plus, the waitress was very nice. Oh and let’s not forget the view of the park!
The only bad thing about castle Hugenpoet? It was raining on Sunday so we didn’t get to take pictures in the beautifully planted park that surrounds the castle. What a pitty! That’s why most of the pics from my outfit post are taken inside. I’m usually not a huge fan of doing that but the alternative would have been pouring rain outside. Not a cute look, that’s for sure. Plus, the interior is beautiful despite the super yellow lightning which absolutely doesn’t coordinate with my blog layout… The struggle is real, haha. Hope you enjoy the pictures and if you are in the area of Duesseldorf or Cologne make sure to check them out and bring your camera 😉 P.S.: They do have a shuttle bus to Duesseldorf’s main shopping district “Königsallee” or “Kö”. So you can dine, relax and shop – WIN.
I had the whole week off and since my new apartment is still not ready, I’m staying at my parents house. Which can be exhausting at times, I’m not gonna lie, but mostly, it’s a lot of fun and I get to spent loads of time with my mommy. So we decided to do a little girls-trip and go to Hamburg. We both love Hamburg. To me, Hamburg is just such a beautiful city because of the old, white houses, the harbor, great restaurants and endless shopping opportunities. Always something going on but not as big as Berlin and rather subtle and classy than hipster.
We started our day at the Mönckebergstrasse, a rather popular street with lots of shops like H&M, Zara, Mango, beauty stores and Starbucks. It’s nothing fancy or special but the buildings are pretty and the stores there are all rather big and usually have all the items from new collections. So I tried on about 20 pairs of shoes, some ruffled shirts… And finally got myself the end-of-one-chapter-start-of-the-next-chapter gift I had missed to get in Frankfurt: the new La Petite Robe Noire Intense by Guerlain. If you haven’t tried it, you absolutely should, it smells delicious! And of course some Essie nail polish 😉 Just on a side note: I like to get myself fragrances on special events in my life or when successfully completing something. Because when you smell the perfume years later, it still reminds you of that accomplishment or occasion.
Between all the work that was going on in December and the holiday season, we needed a little get-a-away. I’ve never been a big fan of Munich, only traveled there once, didn’t really enjoy it. But… my boyfriend is probably the biggest Munich-fan on this planet. He loves it, he wants to live there. So between us boarding the ICE train one week before Christmas and the idea of going on a trip there were many discussions on where to go. He obviously won.
From Frankfurt, it only took us about 3 hrs to get to Munich, which was spent with Youtube videos and reading my current fave book (GIRLBOSS, you probably already read it but I’m still working on it and loving it so far!). Our hotel was only a 10-minute walk away from the main station. Not pretty but a real steel for 80€/ night. We first got ourselves a car2go and drove to the Mercedes-Benz dealership. Kinda lame? Maybe, but we both love cars and this dealership is the biggest I have seen in my whole life. Plus: they have the most amazing Christmas décor. So if you’re just a tad interested in cars, definitely check that out.