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Antwerp Elegance

The Facts

GETTING THERE
Often called the surprise between Amsterdam and Brussels, Antwerp is a short train journey from both cities. It's also an easy shot from London, either via the high-speed Eurostar (changing at Brussels) or on VLM Airlines,which has frequent hops from London's City Airport.

HOTELS
Hotel De Witte Lelie 16-18 Keizerstraat; 32-3/226-1966; doubles from $214.
Hotel 't Sandt 17-19 Zand; 32-3/232-9390; doubles from $126. Charming, inexpensive small hotel in a 400-year-old tollhouse on the Schelde River.
Hilton Antwerp Groenplaats; 32-3/204-1212; doubles from $204. Luxury property with 211 rooms, created six years ago in a 19th-century former market house.

RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS, AND BARS
Euterpia 2 Generaal Capiaumontstraat; 32-3/235-0202. Glamorous dining in an exotic Neo-Greek mansion in Antwerp's architecturally significant Berchem district.
Zuiderterras 37 Ernest Van Dijckkaai; 32-3/234-1275. Strikingly modern restaurant.
Pottenbrug 38 Minderbroedersrui; 32-3/231-5147. Popular French bistro.
Hungry Henrietta 19 Lombardenvest; 32-3/232-2928. Sleek new setting for one of the city's most popular restaurants, specializing in not-so-lean Belgian cuisine.
L'Entrepot du Congo 42 Vlaamse Kaai; 32-3/238-9232. Crowded 't Zuid hangout.
De Foyer 18 Komedieplaats; 32-3/233-5517. A glorious Belle Époque café.
Frituur Erik 35 Waalse Kaai; 32-3/248-2447.
't Ogenblik 10-12 Grote Markt; 32-3/233-6222.
Bar Tabac 43 Waalse Kaai; 32-3/238-1937.
Fair Food 60 Graaf Van Egmontstraat; 32-3/238-9296.

SHOPPING
Walter 12 St. Antoniusstraat; 32-3/213-2644.
Lieve Van Gorp 58 Keizerstraat; 32-3/231-1917.
Het Modepaleis 16 Nationalestraat; 32-3/233-9437. Dries Van Noten's shop.
Ann Demeulemeester 38 Verlatstraat; 32-3/216-0133.
Stephan Schneider 53 Reyndersstraat; 32-3/226-2614.
Louis 2 Lombardenstraat; 32-3/232-9872. SeveralBelgian designers under one roof.
Fish & Chips 36-38 Kammenstraat; 32-3/227-0824. A virtual mini-mall dedicated to fashions for the Doc Martens set--plus a cool café and a hair salon.

DON'T MISS
The Zurenborg quarter of Antwerp's southern suburb, Berchem--blocks and blocks of Art Nouveau and Neoclassical mansions and row houses.

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