Meet the author Derek Blyth in Antwerp

Derek Blyth

Journalist Derek Blyth, author of The 500 Hidden Secrets of Antwerp, has lived in Belgium for almost three decades and has written countless articles about Belgian cities (for example as editor-in-chief of The Bulletin) and books like Flemish Cities Explored. He fell in love with Antwerp in 1993 when it was the cultural capital of Europe and has been raving about it ever since. He also organises walking tours in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent.


What Derek loves most about Antwerp

"I love the sheer grandeur of the city’s architecture. I’m bowled over by the scale of Centraal Station, the Felix Pakhuis and the old harbour cranes along the waterfront. It feels like a big world port teeming with different cultures and ideas."

Antwerp Harbour cranes
Cranes in the port of Antwerp

Derek's perfect day in the city might look like this

"I'd start the day with a New York-style brunch at Maurice Coffee Bar on Cogels-Osylei and then we would be off to explore the extraordinary 19th-century architecture of the Zurenborg district.

For lunch I'd squeeze into Ting Kee Mie noodle bar in the heart of Antwerp’s Chinatown district for a bowl of steaming noodle soup with wonton dumplings.

Afterwards I'd visit Antwerp’s contemporary art museum M KHA where interior designer Axel Vervoordt has created a dark intimate entrance hall to display works from the permanent collection. Don’t miss the view from the rooftop café.

And to end the day dinner at Chez Fred would be perfect, a noisy bistro on the lively Kloosterstraat. I would suggest you order baby lobster if it’s on the menu."