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When the sun finally shows up in Brussels, says author and blogger Emma Beddington, it’s time to get outside. From the best terraces for catching rays, to a market for al-fresco munchies and a shady park for cooling off, here are her top addresses.
Locals envy visitors lucky enough to stay in this art school-turned-industrial-chic boutique hotel.
In summer, the rooftop is the place to be: admire the twinkling city lights with a G&T in hand, or take a dip in the heated outdoor pool.
Doubles from €65
‘Pizza and cocktails’ is the seductive slogan at this buzzy new Italian.
Start with nibbles and Campari-based sundowners on the buzzing terrace before attacking the sublime pizzas, with proper Italian toppings like Calabrian ’nduja and Luciarello yellow tomatoes.
Anticipate major house envy in this perfect art deco villa, full of exquisite art and textiles.
The huge, peaceful gardens are even better, bursting with flowers and fruit trees. Don’t miss the sweetly romantic, impeccably-kept Garden of the Heart.
Arrive early – and hungry – to take advantage of the seasonal fresh fruit tasters and tempting food trucks serving up everything from antipasti platters and tacos to oysters and fizz.
But make sure you finish with a salted caramel Breton crêpe from the Ty Penty van.
Saturday & Sunday 10–14:30
A strong contender as Brussels’ best sundaes, Gaston’s homemade flavours include Alfonso mango, saffron rice pudding and gianduja brownie.
Combine with a rocket-fuel espresso in the Scandi-inspired interior or on the sun-soaked terrace.
For a taste of the country in the city, take metro line 5 out to the idyllic Hérronière park, where you can spot herons and frogs, play pétanque or feed the ducks, before refuelling with perfect brasserie classics at atmospheric former dairy Les Pêcheries.
Park entrance on Rue des Pêcheries
There are outdoor musical happenings all summer long in Brussels: check the dedicated visit.brussels page for ideas.
Apéros Urbains is one of the biggest and best, with a new venue every Friday night from May to September, featuring DJs, live acts and food trucks.