Graanmarkt 13
Urban Retreats — Travel

Graanmarkt 13

Belgium

Mood of Living  /  Aug 20, 2015

A welcoming home away from home hidden right in the center of Antwerp, Graanmarkt 13 is considered the best-kept secret in this enchanting Belgian city. The combination shop, restaurant, gallery, and apartment culminates in an all-encompassing, relaxing escape situated in the midst of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.

Graanmarkt 13 was created by couple Tim Van Geloven and Ilse Cornelissens, who founded and renovated the old townhouse. Their vision was to develop a destination for design, fashion, art, culture, and food. Guided by their vision, every component of this singular experience — from the produce grown onsite to the eclectic art featured in the gallery — holds a unique story.

The emphasis on curated experience extends throughout the apartment, where architect Van Duysen’s sleek style combines softened elements of Brutalist architecture with natural materials and an open floor plan. The resulting rugged yet contemporary simplicity captures the off-the-beaten-path spirit of Graanmarkt 13: a house hidden and underestimated by the world, yet nonetheless a home full of beauty and culture.

 

The apartment spans two separate floors and contains four bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a living room, kitchen, dining room, and terrace with views of the bustling city center. The kid-friendly accommodations provide a sense of home and relaxation. Although there are hotel amenities, such as a daily breakfast delivery of fresh local produce, Graanmarkt 13 still retains a sense of privacy and individual immersion into Antwerp.

Linen-covered beds, concrete countertops, and kilim-inspired rugs contribute to a home away from home that is modern and welcoming. After watching the sunset from the terrace, you can meander down to the restaurant and sample the award-winning cuisine. In 2015, Graanmarkt 13 was honored as the best vegtable restaurant of Flanders by the prestigious culinary magazine Gault & Millau. Staff grow herbs on site, and Graanmarkt 13 runs multiple beehives on the roof of Antwerp’s Opera Building. In addition to fresh and organic produce, the constantly fluctuating menu showcases the best of local vendors.

These collaborations with neighborhood business further integrate visitors into the local culture and expose another side of this urban retreat. Graanmarkt 13 also works extensively with local cheese producers Schoonvliet, nearby nursery Sanguisorba, and North Sea Chefs, a collaborative sourcing group that seeks to work only with local fish from the North Sea.

Whether by sampling the restaurant’s selection of local cuisine, sifting through the store’s catalogue of Belgian products, or exploring the city itself, a stay at Graanmarkt 13 truly captures the culture of Antwerp.

 
FIND Graanmarkt 13 ONLINE
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Photography courtesy of Frederik Vercruysse

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