Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

[Centred]

Display Grid Slider

No

Grid Slider Styles

[caption2]

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

© Maxime L. Powered by Blogger.

Follow my blog

48 hours in Leuven



Staycations have become my new favorite thing. I’ve always had this strong longing to see every far away country as long as it wasn’t my own. But I’ve come to realize there are so many Belgian cities I’ve yet to discover. The most well-known city trip destinations in Belgium - Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and by now you know of my undying love for Bruges - are without a doubt all visit-worthy, but often cramped with tourists. The smaller ‘unexplored’ towns are logically left more authentic and are also more interesting budget-wise, which after our trip to not-so-cheap Copenhagen is something I’m definitely looking for right now. 

In August we decided to take it to Leuven for a short weekend. As the capital of Flemish Brabant, it’s a city full of history but it has a youthful aspect to it as well, seeing as many students from Leuven’s University live there during school months. Therefore hip cafes and innovative concepts have increasingly become a part of the city’s culture. For us it was the perfect choice for a two-day getaway. Read on for more details on how we spent 48 hours sightseeing, sipping coffee and shopping our way through Leuven.

See & do


The Great Beguinage + Saint John the Baptist Church 

We started our first day in Leuven with a visit to The Great Beguinage, which immediately stole my heart with its medieval charm. Its authentic sandstone houses and alleys date back to the 13th century. The Saint John the Baptist Church situated in the middle of the beguinage is also free for visitors.

Saint Peter's Church

Another notable church is Saint Peter’s. Located in the very heart of Leuven and originally built in 986, it’s the city’s oldest church and a beautiful example of late gothic architecture. Inside you can discover the most famous work of Flemish painter Dieric Bouts: The Last Supper.


The Town Hall

Leuven’s most remarkable building is without a doubt the Town Hall. It was built by three different architects and has 236 statues gracing its facade. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the building, there are daily guided tours in Dutch, French and English where you can visit the council hall, the wedding hall and the reception rooms.
Tip: We booked our tickets beforehand via Visit Leuven. With the ILUVLeuven XL formula we got to visit the Town Hall, University Library and the M-Museum for only €16.

The University Library + Tower

If you’d like to visit Leuven’s University Library, do it on the weekend. Only then you’re free to walk around the reading room without having to bother any students - which I may have done to get this photo. Also make you sure your ticket includes the library tower: five floors take you up to the balcony where you can enjoy a wonderful view over Leuven. 


Stella Artois Brewery

There aren’t many cafes in Leuven that don’t serve Stella Artois beer, so visiting the brewery is kind of a given. I found it really interesting to see and hear all about how the beer is made and having visited a few breweries, I can say this was one of the better tours. There’s a tour every Saturday and Sunday and you can easily buy your tickets online here.

The M-Museum

Honestly we only visited the M-Museum because it was included in our ILUVLeuven Tickets. I’ve never really been a museum person, but it did add a nice bit of culture to our trip. The M always has new expositions going on so check their website to see the current program.

Food & shopping

Harvest Club

For a bit of eco-friendly shopping, check out Harvest Club on the charming Mathieu de Layens square. They sell everything from women’s, men’s and kids' clothing to beauty products and small deco items: all ethical and sustainable. And they have plants and cacti too!
MATHIEU DE LAYENSPLEIN 7 | harvestclub.be

Koffie en Staal

Koffie en Staal - literally ‘Coffee and Steel’ - specializes in coffee and lunch as well as handmade jewelry and furniture. So after you’ve enjoyed a delicious toast with hummus or a cappuccino on ice, be sure to take a peek at the lovely earrings, bracelets and necklaces in their little shop.
MECHELSESTRAAT 140 | koffieenstaal.be

Bar Stan

Cozy vibes, great coffee and more cozy vibes: Bar Stan is my favorite breakfast spot in Leuven and definitely worth a little walk from the center. Imagine large sansevierias, vintage school chairs and the smell of fresh homemade granola. Sold? I know I am.
CONSTANTIN MEUNIERSTRAAT 2 | barstan.be
 

Nosh

Just across from the Town Hall, you’ll find Nosh. This brunch spot is mostly known for its scrumptious bagels and American pancakes. We went for the latter in the maple syrup, yoghurt and blueberries version. Their menu also offers a couple of brunch formulas, from which I picked the ‘Veggie Breakfast’ with avocado toast, cheese and fried eggs - huge but delicious!
NAAMSESTRAAT 14 | nosh.be

Thelma Coffee & Design

Thelma is a concept store combining designer clothing and interior bits with coffee and homemade (vegan) cake - which sadly we didn’t try. The shop is wonderfully bright and spacious, and a must-visit whilst shopping in Leuven as it’s located in a side street of one of the city’s most prominent shopping streets: the Diestsestraat.
VAARTSTRAAT 12 | thelmacoffeedesign.com
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :

15 things to do in Copenhagen



Getting to explore a new city is always a joy and København quickly found a way to my heart. The capital is very lively and modern with lots of interesting historic sites, colorful buildings, lovely food and of course an endless amount of Danish design shops. We spent a good four days there and managed to squeeze in quite a lot of our to do list. To give you an idea of everything there is to discover in Copenhagen, I made an overview of all the places we visited along with some other tips and ended up with these 15 must do's!

Visit the Church of our Saviour

For the most beautiful view over Copenhagen the Church of Our Saviour is where you need to be. There are 400 steps to be climbed and because of it’s old structure trust me, it’s no picnic. But once you get to the top of the golden spiral staircase, the view is absolutely stunning. From Christiansborg to Amager and the entrance to Copenhagen’s harbor.

Take a walk through Kastellet

Kastellet is Copenhagen’s old citadel. It’s a star-shaped fortress with rows and rows of red barack buildings which used to house a garrison of about 1800 men. Though it remains an active military area as the head quarters of the Danish Defence Intelligence, the public is free to walk around and enjoy the bastion’s 17th century vibes and the beautiful green ramparts surrounding it. Also worth a visit is the St. Alban’s Church right next to the citadel.

See the (alternative) mermaid

There’s not much to see about the statue of The Little Mermaid and yet every first-time Copenhagen visitor makes the effort to go and take a picture of the famous landmark. If you’re one of them, here’s a fun fact: walk a bit further along the coast and you’ll discover the mermaid’s lesser-known younger sister. An alternative version known as the Genetically Modified Mermaid was sculpted by Bjørn Nørgaard in 2000.

Take a boat tour

A canal tour may sound like the obvious thing to do in a port city like Copenhagen, but honestly this was one of the highlights of our trip! We hopped on a boat near Nyhavn and were taken on a journey around the harbor by the most enthusiastic guide I’ve ever met. I loved being able to experience the city and its most famous parts like The Black Diamond, Amalienborg and Christianshavn from a different perspective.

Visit Rosenborg

I remember Rosenborg Castle to be the most charming building we visited in Copenhagen. It was built as a summer palace by Christian IV, Denmark’s longest-reigning monarch. As a visitor you’re free to explore the entire ground, first and second floor, where each room is more interesting than the last. Take a tour around Christian’s bedroom, magnificent marble room and pretend you’re attending a royal ball in the Knight’s Hall. In the basement treasury you can admire the Danish Crown Jewels.

The Botanical Gardens

Right across the street from Rosenborg, you can visit Copenhagen’s Botanical Gardens. I loved taking a stroll through the gardens and discovering all the different plant species. There are also some greenhouses which you can enter. The largest one is called The Palm House and has a passageway at the top to enjoy the view from above.

Grab a bite at Torvehallerne

Torvehallerne is a food market consisting of two large halls with over 60 stands. There’s a large variety of products from fresh fish to cheese, pizza, sweet pastries and the occasional flower shop. It’s the ideal spot to try Danish specialties like smørrebrød or a fresh cinnamon roll.

Hop on a ride in Tivoli

Founded in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. There’s a wonderful sense of nostalgia to the place and the rides are all beautifully designed and detailed. The only downside is you have to pay for each ride individually and it can get quite expensive. Just taking a walk through the park is still a magical experience on its own though, especially when you visit at night and all the lights are twinkling.

Nyhavn

I couldn’t leave this one out, could I? Nyhavn, or ‘New Harbor’, is probably the most photographed place in Copenhagen and for good reason. I was a bit afraid that it would be one of those overrated tourist traps but honestly it was even more beautiful than I’d imagined. I suspect during high season the place must be crowded with people but when we visited in May, there was an enjoyable fuss hanging in the air which I could really appreciate.

Eat a Danish hot dog

A hot dog is the obvious choice if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat in Copenhagen. Hot dog stands are scattered all around the city serving typical Danish sausages in a bun with mustard, ketchup, fried onions and other toppings of your choosing. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, visit Den Økologiske Pølsemand next to The Round Tower.

Visit Christiansborg

Where to start? There’s a whole lot to learn and do at Christiansborg Palace. Its history is very interesting, as it’s actually a castle built on top of a row of other castles which either burnt down or were destroyed. Currently Christiansborg serves as the seat of the Danish Parliament as well as a location for the Queen of Denmark to host parties and gala banquets. The Royal Reception Rooms, Royal Stables and - my favorite - the Royal Kitchen are all open to visitors.

Visit Hans Christian Andersen’s grave

Thumbelina, the Princess and the Pea, the Ugly Duckling. Hans Christian Andersen wrote so many of my favorite fairytales so it seemed evident to pay a visit to his grave. He is buried at Assistens Kirkegård, which besides a cemetery is also a beautiful public park where locals love to gather for a picnic and relax under the trees.

Discover the shops in Jægersborggade

Start your exploration of the hip Nørrebro neighbourhood in Jægersborggade. The street is full of charming independent shops, art galleries and cafes. Immerse yourself in the plant heaven that is Plant København or shop a pair of sneakers while sipping coffee at - you guessed it - Sneakers & Coffee.

Snaregade & Magstræde

As I mentioned in my previous post, Snaregade and Magstræde are two charming cobbled streets and two of the oldest in Copenhagen. They’re not exactly the most beautiful, but there’s just something about them. It’s also fun to know that Einar and Gerda take a stroll through Snaregade in a scene from The Danish Girl.

Climb the Round Tower

One of Copenhagen’s most famous lookout points is the Round Tower or Rundetårn, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. A spiral ramp instead of stairs makes the way up a bit more pleasant and once on top you can enjoy a view over the old part of Copenhagen.

More nice-to-knows

(Don’t) Visit Carlsberg

The biggest disappoint of our trip was without a doubt the Visit Carlsberg museum. We were pretty excited to take a tour around the old brewery but there really wasn’t much to see. The museum is really small and there’s barely any information anywhere, let alone any interactive media. The only positive thing to mention is the free beer at the end of the tour, but then there are more than enough places in Copenhagen to enjoy a Carlsberg in a cozier setting.

The Royal Library

There are two sides to Denmark’s Royal Library. Literally. The old building from 1906 has a garden which is very charming and a lovely spot to hang out during summer. Its waterfront extension, The Black Diamond, I found less interesting. It’s a striking piece of architecture from the outside, but when you enter there’s not much to see as most rooms are only accessible to readers and students. Guided tours are optional but mostly for large groups and they’re also quite expensive.

The Copenhagen Card

If you’re planning a vacation from 3-5 days, be sure to check out the advantages of getting a Copenhagen Card. With the card you can enter a lot of attractions for free and all public transport in the city is free as well. We found Copenhagen to be really expensive in general so we’re glad we got to save at least some money thanks to The Copenhagen Card. You either buy it online or get one at the information desk at the airport.
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :

4 days of breakfast in Copenhagen



If there's one Danish word I'll remember after spending four days in Copenhagen, it has to be morgenmad, meaning breakfast. Most coffee shops in Copenhagen are open from early morning, ready to serve up full brunch plates and traditional pastries. We spent the week indulging in cinnamon roles and bread with cheese while discovering some of the city's many breakfast places. On our list: Cafe Taxa, Mad & Kaffe, Atelier September and Wulff & Konstali.

Cafe Taxa

In the hip Nørrebro neighbourhood near Jægersborggade, you’ll find Cafe Taxa.  They serve their morgenmad until 4pm each day, so there’s no excuse to skip breakfast. We enjoyed some blueberry pancakes and a lovely chia seed pudding with almond milk. If the weather permits, find yourself a seat on their beautiful terrace and order an ice-cold latte. Thank me later.
HØRSHOLMSGADE 32 | cafe-taxa.com

Atelier September

An art boutique turned lunch cafe, Atelier September is based just a few blocks from buzzing Nyhavn, and yet the perfect spot to spend a relaxing morning with coffee and croissants. Other than the breakfast basics, you can take your pick from various dishes like burrata with fennel and blood orange or their celebrated avocado sandwich.
GOTHERSGADE 30 | cafeatelierseptember.com

Mad & Kaffe

I’m inclined to say Mad & Kaffe was my favorite breakfast experience in Copenhagen. We visited their Vesterbro venue and were treated to a delicious ‘morning plate’. The idea is to pick 3, 5 or 7 dishes from the menu, which all come in little bowls so you can try lots of different things at once. There’s plenty choices from scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fried chorizo sausages to a classic Danish poppy pastry. The highlight for me was the sweet apple compote with almonds and whipped cream - it’s heavenly!
SØNDER BOULEVARD 68 | madogkaffe.dk

Wulff & Konstali

Wulff & Konstali operates on the same principle, though you can only have brunch at their location near Amager Beach, which unfortunately we only realized until we arrived at one of their other spots. Luckily all of their food shops sell lots of sweet pastries like chocolate croissants and cinnamon rolls, and homemade paninis for lunch. Great for a quick on-the-go breakfast!
ISAFJORDSGADE 10 | wogk.dk
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
1 Comments
Share :

Round in circles



On our first day in Copenhagen we were walking through Snaregade and Magstræde, two of the oldest streets in the city, when we stopped to snap these photos. It’s been a while since I’ve felt as comfortable in an outfit as this one. Lately I feel like my style has been evolving as I seem to be drawn toward more classic silhouettes. I’ve literally come to a point where I want to throw out half of my wardrobe. Is this me growing up?

In any case, this Mango top has become one of my new favorite pieces. I just love its fluttery sleeves and crossed front design. The waistband makes it look really flattering paired with an A-line skirt, which is always a staple for me. I’m pretty pleased with this polkadot version from Mint&Berry that I recently got my hands on. A skirt that has pockets is always a win!






OUTFIT DETAILS | Top & Bag: Mango - Skirt: Mint&Berry - Shoes: Pier One via Zalando
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :

Wishlist: Summer '18 essentials



As I’m always wishing it could be autumn 365 days a year, you can understand it took me a while to get in the summer mood. Luckily our trip to Copenhagen - posts about that coming soon - sped up the process, along with a few trends that I’m currently stacking my wardrobe with… Read on to discover my current color crush, accessory obsessions and other summer essentials.

Yellow 

 
Lately I’ve been smitten with all kinds of yellow pieces, from intense yellows to paler lemon shades. A simple yellow jumpsuit combined with some golden jewellery or a bright yellow pair of shoes to spice up an outfit is as good as it gets for me this summer. I’m currently crushing on these soft mustard sandals by Mango so I'm keeping my eye on this website for a discount code. I've recently discovered it and it comes in really handy for finding all promotions at Zalando, ASOS and more.

Woven


Straw hats, braided leather shoes, jute bags, I want it all. The neutral beige and tan tones just match so well with everything. I especially need to get my hands on a pair of woven mules and I’m really digging the understated net bag look as well.

Sixties


Can’t really call this a trend as it’s my everyday style inspiration, but lately I’ve noticed some sixties vibes in stores as well. Zara, Mango and Urban Outfitters all have some classic cat eye sunglasses, high waisted shorts and puffy sleeve tops in their collections. I love this button detailed version from ASOS.
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :

My Antwerp address book



On account of my barista trainings I’ve spent quite some time in Antwerp these past couple of weeks. I’ve come to really appreciate the city’s down to earth atmosphere. This may be just a feeling I have, but people in Antwerp seem to be more sociable and open-minded. Probably because the population is so diverse and you encounter so many different cultures and styles walking through the streets.

Of course I made good use of my days there to explore and capture the city’s many coffee and foodie spots. Some new discoveries and some long time favorites, here’s my guide to Antwerp’s best addresses whether it’s for brunch, plant shopping or the best (square!) donuts you’ve ever tasted!

Momade Cupcakes

At Momade you’re sure to find your guilty pleasure fix. Enter this small cupcake shop and be overwhelmed by a gallery of cupcakes with 40 different flavors, from apple, honey and walnut to lime, passion fruit and praliné. #Treatyoself!
REYNDERSSTRAAT 37 | momadecupcakes.be

The Plant Corner

The prettiest green spot in town is located on the corner of Antwerp’s Isabellalei. Shop your way through a beautiful collection of houseplants and get the best advice on taking care of your new babies from Sofie, The Plant Corner’s passionate owner.
ISABELLALEI 144 | theplantcorner.com

Tinsel

Tinsel is a little gem of a coffee shop located in Antwerp South. The reason I’m calling it a gem is because you can actually taste the love they put into their plates, which are all beautifully presented as well. Try the Tinsel pancakes, vegan French toast or green eggs with spinach and feta cheese. Or check out their board for weekly breakfast and lunch specials. Pictured is the toast with goat’s cheese, grilled pear and walnuts which was absolutely scrumptious!
VLAAMSEKAAI 40 | tinsel.be

Mirlo’s

If you’re after a late breakfast, find yourself a seat at Mirlo’s. This small but charming place guarantees some serious Instagram-worthy latte art and serves up croissants, cornflakes, blueberry-banana pancakes and more all day long.
VERBONDSTRAAT 1 | mirlos.be
 

Kaffeenini

With its warm and colorful interior, Kaffeenini is the perfect spot for a cozy family brunch. A breakfast and bagel bar, and the little sister of Barnini, they offer a classic breakfast menu and a number of homemade bagels. If you go for a sweet afternoon break, you can take your pick from a selection of fresh cakes at the counter.
NATIONALESTRAAT 114A | kaffeenini.be

Nellie’s Coffee Bar

I love Nellie’s because they’re super friendly and the cappuccinos are amazing. Their ‘brekkie board’ lets you choose a smaller portion of two items on the menu, which is perfect for people like me who are always indecisive on what to order. Why only try the turkey sandwich when you can have the acai bowl as well, right?
OUDE VAARTPLAATS 35 | facebook.com/nelliescoffeebar

Hoeked Doughnuts

If you’re in need of a little sugar rush whilst shopping, Hoeked is only a few streets away from Antwerp Meir. This donut shop is very hyped but for a good reason. Doughnutier Joris bakes the square-shaped donuts (hoek loosely means square in Dutch) fresh every day and they are literally the best: buttery, sweet and with the most amazing fillings and toppings. I’d go back for the lemon glaze flavor any day!
OUDAAN 4 | hoekeddoughnuts.be
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :

Daisy bell



Y'all know by know I have a thing for clothing with quirky prints. I admire ladies who can make simple basics work, but I feel utterly boring when my outfit doesn't include any kind of illustration, checkered or polka dot detail. Mixing prints however is always risky business since most of the time the result either playful or downright awful. This bicycles meet tartan look kind of happened by accident as I was trying on outfits for our little getaway to Mechelen, which you can read all about in my previous post!

 

I initially bought this Forever 21 top to layer with a pinafore dress I ordered at the same time. But as it usual goes with pinafores in my experience, the bottom part fit perfectly and the top part was way too long (and sadly not adjustable). Am I the only one with this small upper body/large hips problem? If you can recommend any brands, please do!

Coincidentally I had this lovely wool skirt from New Look that until recently I couldn't find anything to pair with and loved the green bicycles in combination with the deep rust color of the skirt. I wore it with yet another Mint&Berry bag that I'm obsessed with - seriously how perfectly vintage-inspired are their designs? I just couldn't resist.

 
 
OUTFIT DETAILS | Top: Forever21 - Skirt: New Look - Bag: Mint&Berry - Tights: H&M
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :

My tips for Mechelen (Antwerp)



Instead of taking a trip abroad for our eight year anniversary, this year Rens and I decided to stay a little closer to home and spent a weekend exploring Mechelen, the second largest city in Antwerp. I'd previously fallen for its charm when I did my internship there nearly three years ago and I'd been wanting to go back ever since. With stunning architecture like the St. Rumbold's Cathedral, Mechelen is an interesting destination to spend a day or two. It's jam-packed with coffee shops and concept stores, but without all the hustle and bustle of uptown Antwerp. Just the way I like it! I've put together a little list of the places we loved and are definitely worth a visit!

Sister Bean

One of the best-known coffee bars in town, Sister Bean is located on Mechelen’s old fish market square. Sadly we were too late for breakfast and missed out on the blueberry pancakes, but my toast with goat’s cheese was very tasty as well. If you can, go sit upstairs where there’s a beautifully decorated seating area with large windows and a beamed ceiling.
VISMARKT 26 | sisterbean.be

Beans

On the Ijzerenleen you’ll find a small breakfast spot called Beans. Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, this place has got you covered with buckwheat waffles, banana bread and overnight oats as well as wraps, salad bowls and lots of bagels to choose from. They have amazing scones too!
IJZERENLEEN 37 | beansbar.be

Kaffee-Ine

The award for Mechelen’s best cappuccinos goes to Kaffee-Ine. In this no nonsense espresso bar you sip your coffee seated in worn out second-hand sofas and can feast your eyes on walls decorated with large world maps and old coffee grinders.
ONZE-LIEVE-VROUWESTRAAT 6 | facebook.com/Kaffee-Ine-Mechelen

My Ex Boyfriend

For dreamy vintage furniture and other home knick knacks, you can pay a visit to My Ex Boyfriend. I fell in love with a gorgeous dresser that I really need in my living room one day and their art prints and illustrated tableware are just adorable!
ONZE-LIEVE-VROUWESTRAAT 106 | myexboyfriend.info

Hut

HUT is a mini concept store that’s full of gifts ideas, from books and stationary to ceramics and kitchen gadgets. All items are selected from independent labels by owner Hilde.
ONZE-LIEVE-VROUWESTRAAT 88 | hutshop.be

Noen

If you fancy a break from shopping in Mechelen’s main shopping street Bruul, you’ll find the perfect lunch spot nearby. Noen offers a variety of delightful toasts, salads and daily fresh soup. For dessert there’s ice cream and milk shakes from their own brand Eiskreem.
LEERMARKT 24 | denoen.com
 
Also check out:
FOR COFFEE
Foom | foom.be
Dora's Coffee Bar | doras.be

FOR SWEETS
Niki's Bakery | nikisbakery.be
Cups 'n Cakes | cups-n-cakes.be
Zoet | snoepzoet.be

FOR THE BEST BURGERS IN TOWN!
Il Cardinale | ilcardinale.be
QuickEdit
Maxime Loncke
0 Comments
Share :
[name=Maxime Loncke] [img=http://i65.tinypic.com/5p0dgy.jpg] [description=I'm Maxime and I'm a 25 year old writer and photographer living in Ghent, Belgium. Toujours Maxime is where I share my personal style, travel tips & baking endeavors.] (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/toujoursmaxime) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/toujoursmaxime) (twitter=https://twitter.com/maximeloncke) (bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/@maximeloncke)

Follow @Instagram