I had known Debbie since my Banyan Tree days when she contacted the PR department for some information for a story. That was back in 2007, I think. We never met until earlier this year when AB and I were in Antwerp for a weekend. Fortunately she was in town, instead of trotting around the globe as she usually would be, so we met up at a neighbourhood Spanish bar in her neighbourhood.Las Mañas @ 36 Ankerrui07p50bwLas Mañas @ 36 Ankerrui is a casual restaurant-bar in the north of the city, located by a major highway and started out being a pitstop for truck drivers when it opened in the 1970s. Now run by the third generation of the Galician family, it has a come-as-you-are vibe where you won’t be embarrassed for talking too loudly or gesturing wildly. Las Mañas serves tasty tapas and affordable, good Spanish wine that you enjoy while watching a game of soccer on the giant TV or listening to the musicians perform familiar tunes. Very familial and convival!Las Mañas @ 36 Ankerrui03Las Mañas @ 36 Ankerrui05p50bwI didn’t eat too much of the tapas as I was busy chatting. Which meant that I had a little too much too drink and a hangover the following morning. But at least it was a fun night with great company!Las Mañas @ 36 Ankerrui05Las Mañas @ 36 Ankerrui10p50bwThe photos in colour were taken by someone in the group, while the black and white ones were by me at the end of the night, when some of the regulars were smoking at the bar as the bar was officially closed.

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