I’ve never thought of Cologne
as a trendy destination to spend a weekend if Thalys was not invited me to the event Le Bloc in the Belgian Quarter, the hipster Babel with the streets names: Brüsseler Str., Antwerpener Str. and Genter Str.!
I arrive in Cologne with an incredible blue sky, blazing sun and 30°! The station is opposite the famous Cathedral (massive). And the Belgian Quarter is 10 minutes by taxi, about 20 minute walk or 2 metro stations.
Here Pharrell could have filmed a sequence shot of Happy!
It feels good instantly, arty atmosphere (without attitude) and smiling people. I walk from one designer shop to another, when I find a pastry with amazing couture cakes (picture 7, N°2).
I also notice shops with well known brands such as Marimekko (picture above), flea markets and welcoming shaded terraces (I do like!). And quite unusual for me, people walk with their beer in hand day and night.
Le block has highlighted designers for seven years.
This event focuses on fashion, design and music in Cologne. This year among the special guests: Conni Kaminski from Brussels and Toos Franken from Antwerp.
After the fashion shows, invited by the Flandern, we head towards Franz, a very nice small restaurant (picture below, Nos. 1 & 2), featuring an assortment of flammekueches with extra fine paste and varied flavors (salmon, goat-zucchini …). Plus an exclusive live of the beautiful Mariama, a German folk singer living in Paris who plays for us only! Then Conni joined us.
Around midnight, the streets are crowded (pictured below, No. 3, a wood bar). Happy vibe, people talk and drink next to the bar. We choose an outdoor bar at random. After several cocktails, a diet coke for me and more giggles, I collapsed on my bed at 3am!
Photos : Mademoiselle Le K – copyright 2014, tous droits réservés.
My tip : Book your hotel in the Belgian Quarter if you like to go out at night. There are many nice bars and small restaurants. Walking distances: you can do everything on foot in the neighborhood.
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I was a guest of Thalys and these are my opinions of course!