Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Modern Day Flemish Masters

Travel with Rubens, Bruegel and van Eyck to their homeland Flanders, where art and creativity continues to prevail.

Indeed, Flanders is a joy for gourmands, fashionistas, and music lovers – with its fabulous food and fashion, delectable chocolates and boutique beers, edgy design and diamonds culture, and scintillating festivals all year long. Such delights are out of this world, really and they all originate in the DNA of Flanders: where state of the art craftsmanship could give rise to artistic talents such as van Eyck, Bruegel and Rubens, and where true Flemish Masters create masterpieces for the enjoyment of every traveller, day and again!

There is no better way to sample Flanders than by leisurely enjoying a local craft beer on one of the terraces of a café that has been run by the same family across many generations. A Trappist, brewed by monks, still today, following the same recipe for centuries, is like a journey back in time for your taste buds. Back to Rubens' day, for instance, as you sample Seefbier. Seefbier has been around since the 17th century and was given a new lease of life in 2012 thanks to a big crowdfunding campaign. The brewery of this beer is open to visitors at the Noorderpershuis at the Eilandje in Antwerp.

Antwerp today is the diamond capital of the world with approximately 80% of all rough diamonds traded here. But the history of diamond trading goes back many centuries, to which the DIVA, Antwerp’s exclusive diamond experience centre bears witness. Also, the painted portraits of the day depict the sparkling wealth of the bourgeoisie, as they posed in fashionable and lavish costumes, draped in jewels, pearls and diamonds. Many of those precious valuables were lost, but a necklace with 25 cut rock crystals set in gold, and 25 roses decorated with red and white enamel, can still be seen at the Rubens House.

As one of the Top 10 most stylish destinations in the world, Antwerp is also a shopping paradise for fashionistas. With its conceptual and avant-garde taste, world-renowned Fashion Museum (MOMU), and constant supply of new talent from the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy in Antwerp, the city is the centre of modern day Flemish Masters of Fashion.

And then there are the mouth-watering chocolate delicacies prepared with an immaculate sense of detail in taste and texture – the Belgian chocolate. It is the “maître chocolatier” – a “master” in the true sense of the word – who continues to refine and reinvent the age-old tradition of chocolate making that has put Belgium in the mind and heart of chocolate lovers worldwide.

Indeed, this - and so much more - is state of the art craftsmanship that any traveller to Belgium should indulge in.

So, on your journey to Flanders, home of the Flemish Masters, you come to realize that it is not about art alone – it is about an experience of the culture, cuisine, design, landscape, and lifestyle of Flanders and its people. That is true art – the art of living!

To partake in this wholesome soul-stirring journey, visit www.flemishmasters.com

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