As we all know: everything is more fun under the Brussels sun. Too bad the month of July was rainy and humid, rather than sunny with the occasional breeze. Let’s cross our fingers and prepare for a sunny August in the city or away. These shops might just sell what you need.
Every summer, dermatologists emphasise the importance of a good sunblock with the right UV protection. While you might not be fond of the sticky texture and the strange smells, your skin will thank you for it later. At luxury cosmetic shop Cosmeticary you’ll find everything to protect every inch of your body: from UV protective hair care to all sorts of lotions and potions to keep your skin healthy under the blistering heat of the sun. To look good on the beach or in the pool, choose decent waterproof make-up and go for bright nails with the latest colours of varnish. And if you won’t be seeing any sun or sea at all these holidays, cheat a little with self-tanning creams or a hairspray that promises wavy beach hair, as if you’ve spent your days in and out of the sea water. Easy breezy.
rue Auguste Ortsstraat 11B, Brussel/Bruxelles, ma/lu/Mo > za/sa/Sa 10.30 > 18.30, 02-346.89.62, www.cosmeticary.be
Dille & Kamille
Sunny days and picnics, a match made for summer! All you need is a large enough blanket to sit on, delicious food, and great company. Visit Dutch home-ware shop Dille & Kamille for the logistic side of your picnic: a wicker basket, lightweight enamel plates and mugs, bamboo forks and knives, and re-usable glass bottles to store your (homemade) lemonade. That way you won’t end up with tons of waste coming from cardboard plates, plastic cups and cutlery, and empty cans. Make a list of the things you need before you go shopping, as it’s very easy to get carried away at Dille & Kamille. They seem to stock absolutely everything to make cooking and eating more fun.
rue Jean Stasstraat 16, Sint-Gillis/Saint-Gilles, ma/lu/Mo > za/sa/Sa 9.30 > 18.30, 02-538.81.25, www.dille-kamille.be
We’ve probably all walked passed the Dotspot shop in the city centre, and perhaps even laughed at the many funny canvas posters with their quirky quotes. Did you know you could have your very own picture on such a canvas as well? This could be a perfect way to remember your summer holidays. The Dotspot team can photoshop your pics any way you want to, add (and remove) things or brighten them up with a sassy statement or quote. How about one of those canvasses for your office? Or have your picture printed on a T-shirt or canvas tote bag, and get all the attention strolling around in the city or on Brussel Bad/Bruxelles les Bains. And the good news is, you’ll only have to wait 24 hours for your special creation to be ready!
Magdalenasteenweg 31 rue de la Madeleine, Brussel/Bruxelles, 02-513.61.03, www.dotspot.be
Secondhand and vintage shops are great spots to score a cheap pair of sunglasses. Their unique shape and look will make you stand out in the crowd, and unlike designer glasses, they won’t set you back hundreds of euros. But as with all things vintage, you never know where they come from. If you love the look of retro specs, but dread the idea of them being worn by someone else, make your way to Look 50 in Elsene/Ixelles. This vintage shop specialises in all things from the past, but sells new sunglasses with a very vintage feel. They come in all shapes and sizes, from round John Lennon glasses to models that would have suited Dame Edna any day. They’re all priced between 12 and 20 euro, perfect if you can’t choose.
Vredestraat 10 rue de la Paix, Elsene/Ixelles, ma/lu/Mo > za/sa/Sa 10.30 > 19.00, 02-512.24.18
What do Smurfs – the blue creatures, sized 3 apples high – and summer have in common? Firstly, the first Smurf store opened its doors this summer, to honour its creator Peyo (the Brussels writer who passed away 20 years ago). You’ll find the shop in the Horta shopping gallery, near Central Station. You can’t miss it, as it’s located behind a 5 metre high Smurf statue. Secondly, the shop stocks many toys and items to keep your children happy during the month of August. From a beach towel or poncho to take along on holidays (or use in the bathroom), to the entire collection of Smurf books and Smurf board games for those less sunny days and even a whole set of Smurf stationary to gear up for the first day of school. And thirdly, a trip to the shop is an activity on its own. Posing in front of the statue, browsing the shop and perhaps even visiting the comic book museum, located on the same premises. Sounds smurf to us!
Horta Gallery, Centraal Station/Gare Centrale, Brussel/Bruxelles, 02-502.17.00
Whether you go hiking in Scotland or biking in France, a waterproof coat is vital to withstand the whimsical weather gods. The same goes for anyone planning to hit the summer festivals. And who are we kidding, for anybody who stays in Brussels too. Whilst in most shops, umbrellas and raincoats are classed as seasonal items, and therefore only become available in autumn and winter, specialised shops stock everything you need to protect yourself from the raindrops. Visit Avventure outdoor shop in Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek for its large range of waterproof coats, ultra absorbent towels, and fast-drying T-shirts and clothes. They also have bags in water-resistant materials to keep your belongings dry, no matter how hard it rains. Just remember, he who is well prepared has won half the battle.
Leuvensesteenweg 601 chaussée de Louvain, Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek, ma/lu/Mo 12 > 18.30, di/ma/Tu > vr/ve/Fr 10 > 18.30, za/sa/Sa 10 > 18.00, 02-726.11.21, www.avventura.be
(Photos © Katrien Lindemans)
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