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The aperitif season is open! Discover our favourite places for an al fresco drink in Brussels

The Roof Sofitel Brussels Europe (c) Maud Delaflotte
18:45 02/05/2022

Once temperatures rise and daylight lingers, a swathe of pop-up bars and rooftops begin to open their doors. From urban rooftops to parkside green spaces, here’s the first of our guides to seasonal refreshment spots and afterwork venues in Belgium. First pitstop: Brussels!

Guinguette Maurice

Guinguettes originated in France as open-air cabarets in parks; bucolic and carefree scenes immortalised by Impressionist artists. For a couple of years now, they’ve been enjoying a steady revival. In Brussels, the site Guinguettes Barc  (bar + park) groups together a number of outdoor spots and activities in city parks, all opening from various dates in May. The newest addition is Eddy in Auderghem’s Jean Massart botanical garden (from 22 May). One of the most popular for expats and also the largest, is Guinguette Maurice (pictured) in Cinquantenaire park (from 8 May). Until 26 September, across Brussels

Soko rooftop

One of the greenest as well as most stylish rooftop terraces around is Soko Rooftop (pictured) on the 11th floor of the snail building on the edge of Brussels bordering the ring. Fear not, the Soignes Forest is the predominating view and aperitif platters and tapas will further tempt you to extend your stay. From 3 May, Chaussée de Malines 455 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)

Perché Jam Hotel

Perché rooftop is the hip bar (pictured) at the Jam Hotel, an interior design gem. The cosy spot has a small pool as well as fabulous views; the perfect place to watch the sunset while sipping a perfectly mixed Negroni or another signature cocktail. Gourmet platters also available. Chaussée de Charleroi 132 (Saint-Gilles)

Combine an afterwork tipple with networking at The Roof in the EU quarter (pictured main image). Situated on top of the Sofitel Brussels Europe hotel, it’s also an attractive destination thanks to the creative Belgian cuisine of Jean-Philippe Watteyne at gastronomic restaurant 140. While Thursday is dedicated to networking, Friday and Saturday’s gatherings are accompanied by a live DJ. Thursday to Sunday, 17.00-23.00, Place Jourdan 1 (Etterbeek)

Solar Rooftop (c) Les Organisateurs

Bozar’s Solar Rooftop welcomes the public to enjoy its panoramic views until the end of the summer (pictured). Renovated in 2021, the new pop-up space honours the original plans by its iconic designer Victor Horta. 5 May-30 September, 12.00-23.00, Rue Ravenstein 23

Gare Maritime

If the weather’s a little unseasonal, head to Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis on a Thursday evening for the weekly afterwork at its covered food market (pictured). Background music injects a festive vibe. Thursdays, 18.00-21.00, Rue Picard 9

Place Luxembourg (Plux) afterwork gatherings need little introduction. With happy hour reigning between 18.00 and 19.00 in many of the square’s bars, the EU hub remains the international place to be. Thursday evenings, Place Luxembourg (Ixelles)

Place du Châtelain is the traditional afterwork meeting place for epicureans when the weekly market graces the square, full of tempting produce and liquid refreshments. Wednesday evenings, Place du Châtelain (Ixelles)

Warwick Hotel

Opening shortly Cast your eye over the medieval city-centre from the lofty height of Secret, the Warwick Hotel’s rooftop bar (pictured) that’s due to open in May, depending naturally on weather conditions! Rue Duquesnoy 5

Written by The Bulletin