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Beautiful chaos.

Graanmarkt 13 is a boutique which houses stylish high-end fashion, curious design objects and collectibles. Items that inspire and feel like coming home, carefully selected by Graanmarkt 13, run by old mutual friends of mine, Tim and Ilse.

Graamarkt 13 also houses a restaurant run by Seppe Nobels who learned his trade in the kitchens of top chefs such as Gianni Brunelli (Osteria le Logge, Siena) and Wout Bru (Chez Bru, Eygalières). He takes the honest, regional cuisine to a higher level and was voted ‘best junior chef in Belgium’ in 2005.

In collaboration with Bart Belmans, Seppe turned all available space of Graanmarkt 13’s garden and rooftops into a genuine city garden. Turning it into a small-scale nursery-garden growing herbs, wild plants and forgotten vegetables.

Vegetables grow happily in the garden of Graanmarkt 13 while herbs stretch towards the light on the roof terrace. Their own bees provide heavenly honey and the optimal pollination of their kitchen garden. What they can’t grow themselves, they get from close by: fish from the North Sea, meat from carefully selected farmers in the local area. Their farmers raise their animals outdoors with a commitment for high quality and healthy foods.

In fact the city-garden barely qualifies for the term since its agricultural area encompasses as much as 40 m2. At first sight, this does not seem much, but it is sufficient to harvest part of the season’s herbs and vegetables for Seppe’s dishes.
In it you’ll even find several themes: a Mediterranean garden, a sea-garden, a vegetable- and fruit-garden, and onion-garden and a shadow-garden. Go for a three course lunch while shopping!

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Hide and seek.

During one of my recurring work trips I happened to end up in Antwerp, Belgium for an overnight stay. Instead of rushing back to Amsterdam my boyfriend and I decided to stay for a romantic evening in Antwerp. And so I happend to end up spending a night in one of the most charming bed & breakfast’s of Antwerp Boulevard Leopold .

A beautiful house dating from the 19th century in the middle of the Jewish quarter of Antwerp. Owned by Bert Verschueren and Vincent Defontainers, Boulevard Leopold is located between the Albert Park and the City Park; the owners say their aim in the interiors was to create a sense of “forgotten glory.”

With three regular rooms for rent and two larger apartments available on longer terms, the B&B, built in 1890, features a mix of intact antique and contemporary design Hardware from that period throughout the entire B&B.

One fine line comes up while staying there “the eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” Henri Bergson (French Philosopher, 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature, 1859-1941)

Some special things you should look out for when staying there:

A tabletop adorned with cloche-covered hydrangeas and black candles in crystal.

A black-stained cabinet of curiosities covered with a mix of old books, antique crucifixes, and animal specimen.

A bathroom with tiles from 1900 in one of the two apartments available for long-term lease.

And last but not least the jungle-like dining room where the B&B serves residents breakfast; for those not staying at Boulevard Leopold, breakfast is still available for €10. When staying there I would really recommend room number 01!

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Jetteke.

When only a few phrases could be used to describe the diverse work of my close friend and great fashion editor Jetteke van Lexmond these could be; inexhaustible driven, passionate for the chic and aesthetic feminine look.

Jetteke is highly energetic and a perfectionist, and foremost dedicated to her strong belief that women need to look powerful and confident.
Because of her fashion forward vision and continuous drive to push her abilities to the highest level, Jetteke has become one of the best in her field and her style is well know and autographed in the business.

Both nationally and internationally she has left her footprint on the fashion world and worked with some of the most talented people in the industry. Arthur Elgort, Marc de Groot, Paul Bellaart, Philippe Vogelenzang, Alique, Petrovsky & Ramone and Anne Menke just to name a few.

Jetteke’s roots made her to what she is today. Young as she was, growing up in a small farmers village in the warm surroundings of a close free spirited family, she was always an explorer, traveling to South America, Asia and India meeting new cultures and at a young age made her realize boundaries do not exist and an open mind is something you should cherish. These episodes became the mantra in her life and are a great inspiration in her work.

After graduating the Amsterdam fashion academy she was appointed fashion editor at a large weekly magazine where she learned the tricks of the trade. The years after that she dedicated to launch Elle Girl and Glamour Magazine in the Netherlands, this was a dream come true. The freedom of work and endless flow of positive energy made her create and discover the best in her. It was there where she shot the first ever covers of Doutzen Kroes and Behati Prinsloo. Also Lara Stone was one of the much favored models and made her appearance many times. Both Elle girl and Glamour won numerous awards and Glamour became one of the largest and most successful monthly selling titles in the Dutch fashion magazine industry. Nowadays Jetteke’s work can be admired in the Dutch Vogue.

Jetteke’s work is inspired by great diversity . As a painter herself, the works of strong characters like Picasso and Cy Twombly inspire her. Strong femine women like Lauren Hutton, the sisters Lee Radziwell and Jacky Kennedy left their mark on both Jetteke’s approach in work as in her daily practice. Diane Vreeland with her larger than life style is her personal constant push on where she sets the standard.

The most important goal for every photoshoot is; You need to want to be the person in the picture, you want to wear her dress, put on her make-up and jewelry and travel to the setting. I want to make the dream come true

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Explorers.

THE EXPLORERS CLUB NEW YORK CITY FOR THE SELBY BOOK

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Sarah’s carob’s.

I just love Sarah Britton’s food blog and I really wanted to share a new fact of hers with you. Specially since I just spent a week on Ibiza where I happened to discuss what to do with this curious thing called carob.

Carob is not Chocolate

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When Sarah started eating more healthfully, she was introduced to carob as being a caffeine-free, high-fiber, nutrient-rich alternative to chocolate. In truth, it is all of those things, but um, sorry…it’s nothing like chocolate. So for years, she scorned carob as the unsexy imposter that seemed to lurk in vegan baked goods pretending to be something it so clearly was not.

Years later, she decided to wipe the slate clean and give carob another shot. After baking with it, making warming winter beverages, and adding it to smoothies, she had a breakthrough: carob is carob. And in its own special way, it is delicious. Malty, earthy, sweet and caramel-y, carob can be many things, just not chocolate. And how it ever got peer-pressured into being something other than what it is, is beyond her. Once she started appreciating carob just for being its amazing and tasty self, well everything changed.

Read more and get the recipe here!

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Terrasses.

Les Terrasses is a place where styles are forgotten, a spirit where ordinary rub elbows with extraordinary, a place where French elegance meets boho chic. A laidback bolthole, with 12 beautifully styled rooms and a sociable, arty atmosphere.

As you drive from Ibiza Town to Santa Eularia, you pass a big Yves Klein blue stone on the side of the road. This is the incongruous marker for Les Terrasses, and it sets the scene for an extraordinary place. One of the first finca hotels on Ibiza, French owner Francoise opened her doors in 1987, bringing a massive dose of Ab-Fab bonhomie to the island – and it is still unique. Here, the cliché about being a friend rather than a guest is true: you’re immediately swept up in the joie de vivre of the place, and it feels more guesthouse than hotel.

A favourite for fashion shoots, the white sugar-cube buildings are surrounded by greenery and staggered up a slope. Orange and lemon trees are everywhere, pink bougainvillea climbs the walls and vast cacti dominate flowerbeds. Inside, the 12 rooms are simply elegant: whitewashed throughout, with mini chandeliers. Overall it’s charming, quirky and cool – like Francoise herself.

A must-do is the Tuesday night couscous night, a Morrocan delight with the French touch of Francoise.

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La Paloma.

If you ever decide to go to Ibiza here is a must-do: go for breakfast or lunch to La Paloma and go back for a romantic dinner as well as they have different owners and therefor changing menu’s during day and night time!

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Homemade sunscreen.

Wellnessmama gives you an insight on how bad most of the sunscreens really are and has come up with a great recepie for a Natural Homemade Sunscreen.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
1/4 cup beeswax
2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference

Note: All ingredients and many essential oils are available here.

How to Make Natural Sunscreen
Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives, or other foods.

Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.

Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.

As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!

Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated. Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.

For the lazy ones: An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen. Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t contain citrus oils!) Add a couple Tablespoons of Zinc Oxide. Mix well. Use as Sunscreen!

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Passion.

Passion café is a juice and superfood smoothie bar and café in Ibiza. They opened as a juice bar with a few sandwiches, salads and homemade cakes, but nowadays have grown into a complex juice and superfood smoothies bar and café serving an award winning breakfast, deli sandwiches, innovative salads, homemade cakes and desserts, gourmet burgers, wraps, delicious pasta and so much more… The list is endless!

It is not a vegetarian café but their focus is very much on vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic and raw food dishes including raw desserts, including homemade raw nut milks and raw ice creams.

The Passion café philosophy is good, natural, wholesome food using the best quality ingredients they can find. Their food is unadulterated and unadorned. Sourcing locally grown food as much as they can and going organic whenever possible.

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Babylon.

At Babylon Beachclub you can recline on sun beds, overlooking the Mediterranean or happily sit in the shade of the Chiringuito relishing a seasonal menu of fresh produce sourced from Babylon’s own organic farm. Enter through towering bronzed doors to the tented Restaurant. Children laugh with delight in the enclosed eco adventure playground, where they can play to their hearts content allowing everyone else to take in a deep breath and relax.

Serving a seasonal menu and daily specials sourced directly from Babylon’s own farm. Ca’n Pere Mussona is Ibiza’s first certified ecological livestock farm. Babylon Beach sources the majority of the menu’s fresh produce from this collaborative project. The farm is dedicated to animal welfare and provides a clean and healthy life for all the animals in its care. Ca’n Pere Mussona works closely with the University of Cordoba on a unique breeding program designed to regenerate endangered breeds native to the Balearic Islands. Its pristine farm kitchen and vegetable garden provides a tranquil and inspiring environment for Babylon’s chefs to create, invent and test their dishes.

At Babylon they are very happy to cook many items from their menu in a wonderful Inka oven. A combination of both grill and oven in one, which works with charcoal and wood, sealing, smoking, grilling and roasting at high temperature which allows their chef to grill and roast without baking the food. The result is a best described as delicious, with a unique texture and juiciness. Using 40% less charcoal consumption that a usual grill this eco friendly oven is enclosed therefore reducing the flames and prevents the food drying or burning. Love this place!

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