Mod, Bakelite, & Lamé












Drop me off at the Fashion Collection at the Victoria & Albert in London or the Museum of Clothing in Madrid and I will be content.  I think it all started when I began watching old Audrey Hepburn movies as a child.  I was mesmerized by the elegance with which she wore Givenchy’s beautiful dresses.  Obviously, with this kind of sophisticated taste in fashion, by the time I got to high school, I wasn’t going to wear some frilly gown to the prom.  Come on, it was the 80s…you know exactly what I mean — ruffles, puff sleeves, and A-lines!!  To counter the hideousness that was prom dresses of the 80s, I went round to the local vintage shop, La Di Da, and bought a gorgeous 1950s silver moiré taffeta tea-length dress. It wasn’t Givenchy, but it was his style and it looked fab.  It even had the original price tag from Furchgott’s on it — $14.95!

So with this in mind, it should come as no surprise that I was quite excited when I happened upon the Museum of Design and Fashion in Lisbon.  Housed in an industrial warehouse with cement floors & walls, this museum is a design lovers delight.  Quirky, funky, & mod, this collection runs the gamut from furniture to shoes to lip-shaped sofas to bookshelves.  Definitely check it out to get your kitsch on!


Chocolate & Danish Modern


When you think of museum cafés, you don’t often think “swank”.  However, that is not the case with the café at the National Gallery of Art in Copenhagen. With towering glass windows offering beautiful views of the Østre Anlæg park, this café imbues modern Danish art & minimalist design. The unconventional bright green tables and chairs mark a collaboration between artist Bjørn Nørgaard and designer Peter Lassen of the Montana Furniture Company.  Continuing the minimalist theme, each table is topped by only a porcelain vase with a single fresh flower.


Chocolate Mousse with Dried Rose Petals

Chocolate Mousse with Dried Rose Petals

In addition to these special chef creations, there is a daily buffet that will not disappoint.  It features salmon, herring, roast pork, & ham paired with a selection of salads, fruits, and cheeses.  Save room for a café latte and a chocolate truffle.

The Danish Version of Coffee & Donuts

The Danish Version of Coffee & Donuts

In typically Danish fashion, this café offers modern cuisine in a sleek, yet cozy, environment.  Velbekomme!


Urban Chic in Antwerp

Hotel Julien

In the heart of historic Antwerp lies the Hotel Julien, an upscale boutique hotel in a 16th century townhouse with an interior courtyard and a rooftop terrace.  Minimalist in design, yet melding cosmopolitan and traditional elements throughout, each room is uniquely appointed with designer furniture and custom Egyptian cotton percale sheets, providing an inviting sanctuary following a long day of business or sightseeing in the city.  Be sure to grab a cocktail or a Belgian ale at the boho-chic Honesty Bar in the lobby before heading out for an evening on the town.  And if you fancy the photographs on the walls, ask about purchasing one from Gallery Fifty One, with whom the hotel partners to showcase the work of local photographers.