When I stumbled across Helen B’s instagram account, it was love at first sight. The joy that her designs spark in such simplicity, is what I love most. Her drawings always put a smile on my face. And, as I’m always interested in supporting local or national artists and creators, I took a little trip to her shop in Ghent (a good excuse to go back again!). Let me tell you, it was hard to decide what to get. Funny story; a few weeks later, one of my friends bought me a couple of extra coffee mugs for my birthday. Turned out we had discovered this cute shop separately, but shared a mutual love for the designer.
Where? You can buy stuff from the webshop on the website but I’m more of an old school shopper, so you can go to the shop at Bij Sint-Jacobs 7, 9000 Ghent. On the website, there’s a list with all the other shops that sell Helen B.
When? Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10am to 6pm and every first Sunday of the month from 11am to 5pm.
Goesting is a small, barely noticeable establishment in Ghent where you can have lunch, soup, coffee, tea and, of course, lots of pie. What I like most about Goesting is its name, because it is a typical Flemish word that reflects exactly the feeling you get when you are craving something, whether it be food or something else. You can totally have “goesting” for a piece of pie, for example. The second thing I like about Goesting is its simplicity: the interior, the menu, the way they serve the food, everything is kept simple. But hey, less is more sometimes.
Because Goesting is located right next to the water, it’s a perfect spot for people watching. Especially considering it is located right by the Dille & Kamille (always a nice treat to pop in there) as well as the busy Veldstraat, which means that there’s always plenty of cyclists and people walking by. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find yourself basking in sunlight behind the glass window, which feels amazing, especially while sipping a cup of great coffee.
Where? Goesting is located on the Predikherenlei 25 in Ghent.
When? Every day from 10am to 6pm, except for Tuesdays.
Alice is a Rococco-like old manor house located only a short walk from the main shopping street, the Veldstraat. With its chandeliers, etsy chairs and baroque paintings, you’d think you are visiting Louis XIV. Nothing is less true of course, because the relaxed atmosphere in combination with the oh so fancy decor is what makes this place so special. No need to tiptoe around, just a very cool place to have a coffee or dinner with friends. Did I mention I also had the best cake (of my life!) there? It was a mascarpone and brownie piece of pie and I still dream about it sometimes. I’ve also read that Alice does afternoon tea and that is something I feel needs to be tried before I eventually move away from Ghent, too. I’ll definitely report back on that later…
(And, if you’re a bit of a weirdo, like me, you’ll very much enjoy the rounded door in the bathroom. Just one of those things that excite me for no apparent reason).
Where? Alice can be found at Onderbergen 9, right across from the beautiful “het Pand”, which is part of the university and is also worth a quick browse. Because it’s so close to the main shopping street, it’s perfect for that little pick me up that you so desperately need sometimes while on a shopping spree.
What? A festival held every five years all about making artworks out of flowers. An impressive and beautiful sight to see.
Where? Ghent. This year, at 4 different locations: the Sint-Pieters square, abbey and abbey garden, the Bijloke, the old barracks (Leopoldskazerne) and the Citadelpark.
More information? The Floraliën still run until May 1 2016. Tickets are available from their website, as well as more information: click here. (I swear I am not sponsored, but I realise I just sounded like I am)