On the Belgian Coast, a Design Gallery Where You Can Spend the Night

Rooms With a North Sea View

The living room of Paradis Apartment, a design gallery and vacation rental in Ostend, Belgium.Credit…Frederik Vercruysse

Last year, when Micha Pycke, 40, and Albane Paret, 39, bought an apartment in Ostend — a once run-down Belgian seaside town that, in recent years, has become a favorite of artists and designers — they knew they wanted the place to be, says Pycke, “something more than an Airbnb or holiday home.” Instead, the couple, who co-own the Ghent-based arts- and design-focused communications agency Club Paradis, envisioned what he calls “a new kind of space”: essentially, a gallery where guests could stay overnight. To that end, they’ve filled the 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom, which is on the eighth floor of a ’60s-era building overlooking the North Sea, with works by some of their favorite artists and designers, many of whom are also their clients. In the living room, a lacquered wood coffee table by the Dutch designer Linde Freya Tangelder’s studio, Destroyers/Builders, sits atop a limited-edition rug by the Swiss textile artist Christoph Hefti woven with images of foxes. In one of the bedrooms, a copper-colored, ruched-felt tapestry by Rooms Studio — a women-led company from Tbilisi, Georgia — hangs above a Duo seat by the Belgian team Muller Van Severen for Valerie Objects. And if you like something, you can probably take it with you; most of the pieces are for sale, and Pycke and Paret are also happy to connect guests directly with designers. Rates from about $305 a night, — Gisela Williams

The Chefs Embracing the Earthiness of Hojicha

The ice cream sandwiches at Bad Habit in New York (left) get their toasty flavor and earthy hue from hojicha tea (right).Credit…From left: courtesy of Bad Habit; courtesy of Hojicha Co.

Hojicha — the deep brown roasted leaves and stems typically made from the Japanese green tea bancha — might lack the visual drama of now-ubiquitous matcha but, according to the pastry chefs whipping the pulverized leaves into batter and sprinkling them on cakes, that understated appearance is part of its appeal. The Los Angeles-based chef Gerardo Gonzalez, 41, who first used the tea in a guava-and-coconut custard at his now-shuttered El Rey luncheonette in New York, finds its “light, claylike color really beautiful.” Last year, for a Valentine’s Day collaboration with the downtown New York restaurant Dimes, he added it to the black sesame praline filling of crémeux tarts, which were topped with segmented citrus and lovage leaves. “The bitter, tannic notes of hojicha make something really sweet complex rather than 2-D,” he says. An Vo, 32, of the West Hollywood-based online-only bakery AV Patisserie, says she likes the tea’s “hints of cacao” and “warm, toasty caramel.” She folds hojicha powder into the batter of her spongecake, which is soaked in espresso and finished with a combination of mascarpone and whipped cream. Hojicha’s earthiness also pairs well with ice cream. Jesse, 29, and Javier Zuniga, 33, the couple behind the New York-based ice cream maker Bad Habit, say it gives a smoky depth to their baked Alaska. In Chicago, during her tenure at the bakery Brite, the pastry chef Erika Chan, 32, doubled down on the ingredient, glazing doughnuts in a slick of hojicha-milk syrup and mixing the tea into its yeasted dough. “The flavor,” she says, “reminds me of popcorn.” — Lauren Joseph

Boat Shoes Get a Spring Update, With Fresh Colors and New Shapes

Clockwise from bottom left: Bally, $990, Miu Miu, $950, Paul Smith, $825, John Lobb, price on request, Sebago, $185,…Courtesy of the brands
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