BANANATIME takes you into the world of travel together with their friends. Every month we introduce you to one of our friends. This month in the spotlight: Ilse Cornelissens and Tim Van Geloven, founders of Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp. We asked them six questions to get to know them better.
Please can you share your story how you started your beautiful concept of Graanmarkt 13 - the store, the restaurant, and the apartment?
It all started 11 years ago. We had the idea of creating a special place, an open house where people could feel inspired and where people could buy or enjoy a little piece of the Graanmarkt 13 lifestyle every time they visit. During the first 4 years we lived in the Apartment with our 2 children (back then we were still a family of 4). Our home has always been the place from which everything started and took shape. Our multi-house is an extension of our own home and way of life. A microcosm of how we experience the world. An expression of everything we stand for, from an independent sense of beauty to supporting craftsmanship and sustainability. We want to connect our guests with everything we love, from sustainable fashion to sustainable food. Every piece of clothing, every object, every piece of furniture, every accessory has passed under our eyes and through our hands. Everything at Graanmarkt 13 is the result of teamwork. Architect Vincent Van Duysen sculpted the beautiful open spaces with a strong linear, yet warm hand. The downstairs restaurant is run by acclaimed chef Seppe Nobels. He transforms the daily harvest of locally sourced fresh ingredients, garden herbs and Graanmarkt rooftop honey into generous dishes. Renowned art director Bob Verhelst took the concept of Graanmarkt 13 to another level with his unusual scenography, not following the fashion system as we know it today. And so on.
Can you describe a perfect 24 hour day for you in Antwerp?
Our perfect day starts with a dip in the pool or exercising the "5 Tibetans” followed by breakfast with the kids. On Saturdays we like to stroll down the market next to the Graanmarkt square. Every Saturday local farmers, fishmongers, cheese merchants, Italian specialty merchants, ... take up residence on the square. It’s perfect to meet people, to go grocery shopping and to enjoy fresh dishes (my favourite dish is the market’s pasta vongole). It’s always nice to have a beer on our square, 'Café De Duifkens’ packs a lot of history and it’s known as a favourite hangout for local artists and for the Graanmarkt 13 staff. Afterwards we like to go to the Middelheim museum, it’s an open air museum full of beautiful sculptures and special exhibitions year-round. One of our favourite dinner places is definitely Middle Eats, they serve delicious Israeli food in their disco dining concept, the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Are there some favourite must go to places that you can recommend in Antwerp?
Former Graanmarkt 13 employees & passionate gourmets Valentine and Sander serve über fresh, homemade dishes to share in their homely French bistro-styled restaurant on the Antwerp ‘Eilandje’. You might run in to more of our employees when visiting the restaurant, since we’re all hooked on the amazing food (must-try: the beef tartar which gets a make-over every few weeks) and the fine wines.
Tim Van Laere Gallery
The beautiful and spacious gallery exhibits mostly postmodern art, with artists such as Ben Sledsens (our favourite Antwerp artist), Kati Heck, Franz West, …
An über cool kids store (0-10 years) where we like to shop for our 2 boys and girl.
Axel Vervoordt’s interpretation of city life and how it should be. A beautiful architectural experience and a chance to visit Axel’s son Boris Vervoordt’s art gallery.
Is there any city you love to travel to the most?
Amsterdam :) always nice memories there! It’s such a warm and vibrant city.
What has been your most memorable vacation? What made it so special for you?
Corsica with my uncle and aunt. He is Corsican and our days were filled with pure and simple experiences. In the morning my uncle would take his boat and go fishing for that day’s lunch, in the evening we would enjoy beautiful sunsets in small bays. Luxury was far away.
What is your favourite means of travel? Train, Plane, Bike, Boat, other?
By car next to my husband. He drives and I follow. One of the rare moments we can enjoy some nice relaxing time together.
How do you mix BANANATIME pieces with your wardrobe? Do you have any favourite prints/styles?
I find myself combining it with cashmere most of the time. There’s nothing more luxurious than the feeling of silks and cashmere on your body.
"There’s nothing more luxurious than the feeling of silks and cashmere on your body."