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Category: ..Denmark

Marjon reporting from Copenhagen

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**Report by Marjon Hoogervorst


At the beginning of 2009 Maaike and I went to Copenhagen. Basicly we are only interested in shopping and eating. So you won't get any advise from me for cultural/architectural happenings! 
We started with the regular centre of the town where you have beautiful shops... First we had a delicious lunch at the very stylish Kafunky with great design, food and coffee (at the corner at Gammel Torv)(it is a little bit emty because we were early and hungry): 

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I love the HAY shop when we talk about the design stores. Here you find nice design souvenirs to take home (I bought The Apehanger from OurChildrensGorilla  for my little son) and also beautiful pillows, furniture, carpets, .... And this lamp... i'm in love with it for two years now:

We walked in the area Norrebro and Vesterbro. These nice areas contains a lot of nice shops from upcoming artists and designers.

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As usual we started with a smoothy and a muffin in this cafe ...

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Category: ..Belgium

Anna reporting from Brussels

I like to tell my visitors that the city of Brussels, once a settlement in the swamp (Broeksel, means ‘home in the marshes’), makes a bad first impression, but a great second and third impression. The ever-changing facade of the city houses a population as diverse as the member states of the European Union, which Brussels is currently the home of. It impresses mainly through the variety of experiences one can have in this town. The Brussels Capital Region, scarred by politics and economic ambition, is made up out of 19 municipalities; each with their own unique atmosphere. 

When Irene asked me to write a report on Brussels for Bloesem, I decided quickly (aided by stormy weather, I must admit), that taking on the entirety of Brussels is too ambitious a project. Instead, I will focus in my report on my own neighborhood, Ixelles (Elsene in Dutch). It is where I moved to in the spring of 2009 and the part of Brussels I have become most familiar with. Brussels is geographically divided into a lower part and an upper part, and Ixelles is located in the upper part to the south of Brussels. This leafy neighborhood houses a large African community and is also home to a lot of expats who shop in the high-end stores on the Avenue Louise. For Bloesem, I picked a few smaller, lesser-known boutiques south of the Avenue Louise. 

We’ll start all the way near Place Brugmann, where we find Graphie Sud. This concept-store by Violaine Damien has an impressive collection of clothes (by Isabel Marant, Claudie Pierlot and others), decorative objects and knick-knacks from independent designers and luxury brands alike. There’s truly something to be found for every budget. 

{Graphie Sud: Rue Berkendael 195, 1050 Ixelles, +32 (0)2 344 31 92}

Walking up through the beautiful art nouveau quarter of Brussels, we reach the Rue de Page. This street that leads up to the Place du Châtelain, where each Wednesday-afternoon a crowd gathers to buy cheeses and vegetables on the cosy organic market, to end the evening with a glass of champagne or beer in (or outside of) one of the many cafes. From the Chaussée de Waterloo, we quickly come across a delightful little shop on Rue de Page 92: Little Circus. I absolutely freaking adore this shop. I literally was jumping up and down the first time I entered it. Owner Morgane Teheux has great taste in children’s clothes, furniture and accessories, but the store is a treat even if you don’t have children. Among others, she sells goodies by Cocon, Sophie Cuvelier, The Small Object, Cotton & Milk, Fine Little Day, Paumes and Piqpoq.

{Little Circus: Rue du Page 92, 1050 Ixelles and the blog}

A little further up the Rue du Page, on the corner with the Rue du Prévot, we find A La Page. This charming shop, decorated with blue tile and opulent plants, recalls simple times gone by. White porcelain, vintage linens, kitchen utensils, silverware, and ancient shoes and clothing are all beautifully laid out on display. This shop regularly updates its collection with carefully selected second hand items and is an oasis of calm and reflection full of vintage treasures for your home.

{A La Page: Rue du Prévot 2, 1050 Ixelles, +32 (0)2 537 33 04}

Le Typographe, recently relocated to the Rue Américaine 67, is simultaneously a shop, a print atelier for artists, a papeterie, and a professional printer using ancient authentic techniques. The shop offers a variety of beautifully printed cards and stationary, as well as charming office supplies, pencils and gifts. Occasionally, the atelier is opened to the public and you can see the magnificent old (letterpress) printers at work. Impressive!

{Le Typographe: Rue Américaine 67, 1050 Ixelles, +32 (0)2 345 16 76}

Finally, walking towards the busy Rue de Bailli, another well-known shopping street in Ixelles, we find the Rose shop behind the church. This relatively large shop houses a collection of design goodies I like to describe as ‘things you really don’t need but really want’. During previous visits I have bought (1) porcelain container shaped like a bird, (2) Pantone color chairs, countless postcards, (1) bright blue iPhone case, and (1) red scarf. The store is organized according to color and this makes browsing the store a pleasurable experience. But perhaps that’s just me. I arrange my books by color.

{Rose: Rue de l’Aqueduc 56-58, 1050 Ixelles, +32 (0)2 534 98 08}

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little store-by-store tour of my neighborhood. I must say I’ve left out quite a bit and I could go on for hours. But hey, if you made it through the tour this far, you’ve at least seen some of the highlights. Special thanks to my friend Debbie and boyfriend Ashwin for accompanying me on my walk.

Love, Anna Denise

Find me also at my blog The Yellow Umbrella

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Category: ..Japan | ..Travel | ..WorldTours

Amy reporting from Kyoto

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I'm taking a month off from organising the PikaPackage Project , which will resume in July, for a recharging month in Kyoto, Japan.  I love Kyoto -- although I've been to Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, my heart is set on Kyoto -- it's a place where modern shopping conveniences are just a hop and skip away from the suburbs (surrounded by mountain fresh air!).
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There are so many shops that I'm in love with, but I'm going to let the readers at Boesom have a quick look at the wonderful shop fronts at Kyoto which I have discovered along my walking tours in the district -- which I'm hoping to compile into a small book soon!
The Sanjo and Shijo district is particularly my favourite, with a rooftop shopping experience designated along a few streets. There's modern delights -- coffee shops and clothing stores, as well as quaint Japanese style shops offering tabi (traditional men's shoes) and kimono fabrics sitting comfortably next to each other.

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Amsterdammertje

 

Irene When I was little I used to say to people I am an ‘Amsterdammertje’ by which I meant that I was proud my first crib was overlooking the famous Museum quarter. Although I grew up in the east of the Netherlands (which is beautiful too, but nothing like Amsterdam and a world of its own with a different language or dialect actually… we spoke ‘tukkers’…). Moving back to Amsterdam was always on my mind. When I turned nineteen, I finally went back where I belonged. I admit it took me probably another ten years before I actually visited all of the incredible museums and other historic places that you literally find at every corner in Amsterdam. But I guess that this might be typical for most Dutch people, they should appreciate their heritage more... No more excuses. I hope to make up for this lack of patriotism a little bit with this weekend read… The read is not about historic stuff though. It is about places that I feel define Amsterdam and its people today, hopefully uncovering some beautiful spots you may have overlooked on your previous visits to this wonderful city. Quite a challenge I realize, as many of you are Amsterdam experts already...

 

 

Sugar + water + glucose = PapaBubble

But there is more to PapaBubble than just these three basic ingredients. It is what they do with them in their candy laboratory that makes sweets worthy to carry the PapaBubble name. From now on you will put your favorite lollypops in a vase rather than tulips. Offering a sweet to someone has never been this fashionable. You are basically giving away little pieces of edible art.

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PapaBubble is strategically located around the world, so you can’t miss them on your city trips when you need to satisfy that sweet tooth…. Mark your map as follows: Amsterdam, Barcelona and Tokyo… a sweet triangle… PapaBubble teamed up with Comme des Garçons to create the ‘taste of Comme des Garçons’. It is a powder candy that matches the perfume. Can you imagine giving your date an actual taste of your perfume… talking about seduction techniques…Your first order is for free when you purchase a bottle of perfume. A sweet collaboration indeed…

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A true taste of Amsterdam

 Proef

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Truly amazing. Food is no longer just about eating. Sound, atmosphere, styling, an inspiring crowd and much more. Marije Vogelzang is food designer and invented Proef. Proef means 'taste' and gives new meaning to the word restaurant. A whole new eating sensation, stimulating all of your senses... Imagine eating your plate for desert, don’t worry it is made of sugar. Only eating stuff your body reacts favourably to. Seduced by colours, texture and design. A special breakfast that will ignite you with energy, pushing all the right buttons to get you started for your Amsterdam weekend escape. And it’s all healthy too. No more boring Dutch staple dishes (remember Van Gogh’s ‘potato eaters’…?). Proef gives a fresh impulse to both Dutch cuisine and design. Marije also did some marvellous projects for Droog Design and Hella Jongerius.

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And it gets even better. Proef is located in the 'Westergasfabriek', a former industrial park which has transformed to Amsterdam’s newest signature piece. A creative and cultural melting pot. Merging artistic entrepreneurship with commercial enterprise. This is ‘New Amsterdam’, putting you right into our next ‘Golden Age’.

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