History teaches us that Antwerp is a strategic port city known for shipping and a lucrative diamond trade — once considered the very centre of world commerce.
Yet dig deeper to discover why Antwerp is a hidden gem.
Antwerp is the capital of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of Belgium, with a population of 500,000 people. Its cultural heritage is shaped by the River Scheldt — including the Old Town (where INMA conference venue Antwerp Hilton is situated).
Belgium's largest city is home to world-class gastronomy, avant-garde fashion, deep-rooted cultural and historical institutions, and unique window shopping:
All of this in a city of a half million people? That's what makes Antwerp unique. In this bundle of creativity, only steps from the Antwerp Hilton, is a city largely undisturbed by tourism — an authentic venue with personal and professional (media) twists galore.
Join INMA in Antwerp, and see why the locals fall in love.
Antwerp's diversity of tastes will be on full display as INMA European News Media Conference delegates will enjoy — much like the country's news brands — a taste of the quality and a taste of the popular. Our opening reception Wednesday evening will be to Royal Museum of Fine Art (also known as KMSKA), and our Thursday evening dinner will be at the Antwerp Brewing Company. Here is why you'll love both evenings:
So, where does Antwerp fit in the grand history of Belgian beers?
During our Thursday evening dinner at the Antwerp Brewing Company (Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie), get a taste of the story behind the beer.
Antwerp Brewing Company is a small, local brewery in the heart of Antwerp.
While the brewery is a little over a decade old, today it aims to recapture what almost became the lost glory of a style of beer that dates to the year 1500. Back then, there were around 200 breweries in Antwerp – with a style called “Seefbier” emerging as the city breweries’ calling card.
Seefbier becomes the beer style of the city and the most popular beer of Antwerp. The beer is nicknamed the “working man’s champagne.”
As 20th century wars strip the breweries of their copper kettles, not only does the beer disappear, but so does the famous recipe.
The Seefbier recipe ultimately is rediscovered after nearly a century – city archives, conversations with old brewers, and preservation societies.
In 2012, the Antwerp Seefbier is brought back to life by Johan and Karen Van Dyck with the launch of the Antwerp Brewing Company.
At the Thursday evening barbecue dinner at Antwerp Brewing Company, taste the nearly-lost Seefbier that is Antwerp’s pride.
We asked Antwerp native and INMA Europe Division Manager Tom Corbett for his favourite Antwerp restaurants in a city known for its gastronomy. Here are his recommendations:
At PLANTn they are passionate about bringing plant-based food around the clock. You can have breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. In this unique and relaxing bistro setting, Michelin-starred chef Bart De Pooter brings together the season's finest ingredients from its farm and local producers. Packed with flavour, the menu offers a choice of appetizers to share, healthy bowls, lush burgers, delicious desserts, and mouthwatering signature pancakes. The restaurant is also located in the beautiful building of the Sapphire House hotel next to the Handelsbeurs.
Probably the best classic French cuisine at the best prices in town. Be sure to reserve a table or come early, as this small restaurant has limited places.
Like the port of Antwerp receives goods from all around the globe, Pazzo's kitchen is open for a diversity of culinary influences: French, Italian, and Japanese. They cook the best of each, but at the same time respect traditional values as well. That's why you will find preparations with butter and olive oil, goose liver and tempura, risotto and curry, carpaccio, sashimi, and truffles. Pazzo defines itself as a wine restaurant, a place where wine meets food. If you’re a wine aficionado, this is the restaurant for you.
Go here for typical Belgian dishes such as Flemish stew, vol-au-vent, steak tartaar, and Ballekes in tomato sauce. All served with the famous Belgian chips (fries) and chicory (endive).
Fish-lovers rejoice! Fiskebar is the place for you. Fresh, sustainable and pure flavours in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Fiskebar works exclusively with European fish and shellfish. The restaurant has elegant plates, seasonal local organic vegetables, and an extensive wine list.
INMA has intersected with Antwerp many times through the years – notably via INMA CEO Earl J. Wilkinson. Read why Antwerp is a special city to Earl and learn a few pro tips how to navigate and digest the host city of the INMA Media Innovation Week. Click here to read the article.