Through the eyes of a G(raduate)
The concept store ‘Le Marais Deux & Koffie’ is one of those places that makes studying appear to be a casual leisure activity, taking place between artsy interior and coffee en masse. In the midst of clothing, art pieces, vintage bikes and the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a surprisingly calm atmosphere arises in the back of the store, where a coffee bar can be found. Even though the entrance area may be buzzing with customers, once one has passed the cashier, it is easy to relax in the more intimate sitting area as well as a little backyard attached to the shop/café.
By the time I had ordered a ‘flat white’, I had already spotted a minty-coloured bike of which I could not take my eyes off. In the end, only the price tag made me move on and I took a seat outside in the little attached garden. Surrounded by simple wooden walls, framing me and other students and guests, I was looking forward to my coffee, which was eventually served on a white wooden tray.
“Students sometimes arrive at 11 am and leave at 5 pm in the afternoon”, the owner of the coffee bar tells me and continues to explain that the ‘& Koffie’ part of this place opened only a few months ago in collaboration with ‘Le Marais’ and has become a place that is increasingly popular amongst students. I agree, it is tempting to exchange the desks of the library and the coffee-automate with robust wooden tables and freshly brewed coffee. Every time I walked in to have a coffee, I felt that its charm is almost seductive, inviting you to indulge in homemade cake and pastries instead of immersing in academic readings. Sadly, albeit its casual and vintage atmosphere, most things sold in the shop are rather expensive; no student can afford a pair of shoes that exceeds half of my month´s rent. But then again, nothing speaks against a coffee surrounded by “wannahaves” and a break without studying at all.
The concept store ‘Le Marais Deux & Koffie’ is located on Heidenstraat 6th and is opened every first Sunday of the month as well as Wednesday to Saturday from 11 am – 5.30 pm. There is free Wi-Fi and if you have ever found yourself wondering where to eat your take-away lunch from ‘Cato by Cato’ just across the road; they have a special deal allowing you to bring your lunch box into the store.