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Sol Ar is a gorgeous shop selling Portuguese delicatessen and wines, located on rue du Page in the middle of the Chatelain. When you push the door, a part of you is already in Portugal. Maria -one of the lovely shop tenants, basically transported me to her home country with her tales and the beautiful stories behind each product.

At Sol Ar, you can find wines from Portugal’s 18 districts. And quite some treasures, too! Bottles from Alves de Sousa, Quinta de Lemos or Monte Cascas. No wonder Michel-starred restaurants like Bon Bon, Villa Lorraine, Le Chalet de la Forêt or Pouic Pouic work with their wines! And did you know that in the region of Colares, Monte Cascas plants its vines in the sandy soils near the ocean? Imagine trenches of sand with grapevines challenging the Atlantic winds… You could listen to Maria talk about Portugal for hours. As a matter of fact, at Sol Ar, you can also get enough golden tips to plan a whole trip!

But there’s more to life than wine, some may say. And here you’ll be spoiled for choice. Artisanal canned fish, risottos, vegetables, syrups, sea salt and precious olive oil. I had an instant crush for the Jose Gourmet canned fish. Trout, squid, sardines, chub mackerel… all fished with handline and hand-canned too. Their packaging was designed by Lisbon students of Fine Arts and is absolutely beautiful. The products come with little recipe flyers (in English too!) to inspire you in the kitchen. (I’ve put one of their recipes below).

Sol Ar also sells beauty products. From traditional toothpaste to handcreams and soaps. I thought they’d make great ideas for gifts.

All in all, it’s a lovely shop selling super high quality wines and products. Also, they do wine tastings for small groups. At 30euros/p you taste 6 wines and nibble on some savoury delicacies. Could make for a great evening with friends or collegues!

Pssst!!! A little contest to come soon! :)

Sol Ar, rue du Page 70, Brussels. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 to 19h. T: +32 2 537 78 47.

[ Squid tacos recipe ]

Chop 8 iceberg lettuce leaves in julienne style and then stuff the chopped lettuce into mexican tacos. Cover with 2 tins of drained squids (preserving the sauce). Use the sauce of the tin and add 4 tablespoons of cream cheese and use as spread.


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