14 May, 2018
Lisbon is a grand European capital city that basks in warm sunshine and glows with warm people. A city with a rich history, a unique style and a pioneering modernity. A culture fueled by passionate cooking and distilling. And hills. So many hills that a cast-iron elevator was built in 1902 to link Carmo Square with the streets below. Look out for this filigree’d work of art, the Elevador Santa Justa. Your calf muscles will thank you.
Our visit was way too fleeting but here are some favourites chosen for their authenticity, off-the-beaten-track value and quirkiness.
Travessa de São José – 1
This tiny dot of a restaurant is housed in a former grocery store dating back to 1870. Vintage décor and it’s petite size make for a uniquely convivial atmosphere. In summer you can sit pavement-side. The menu focuses on petiscos (Portuguese small plates) but with a gourmet twist. Every choice was a hit and well supported by the wine list.
Phone: +351 21 395 1521
Lick your lips over these…. Salad de Verão , perfectly balanced mixed lettuce leaves with smoked salmon, figs, orange and vinaigrette. The Bõlero, so delicious I almost inhaled it, a salted corncake with vegetables, sundried tomato and Azorean cheese. The Pica-Pau is an unmissable double garlic hit featuring beef strips with sautéed garlic and garlic & lemon sauce. Carpaccio de Bacalhau, a delicately delicious mélange of codfish tenderloin carpaccio with rose pepper, black olive dust and wild rocket. And finally the seabass ceviche with leche de tigre, avocado, sweet potato, coriander and hot pepper.
Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara 81, 1250-238 Lisboa, Portugal
(Bairro Alto / Príncipe Real)
T: +351 21 346 13 81
F: +351 21 347 84 02
Gin Lovers Bar
Praça do Príncipe Real 26, 1250-184 Lisboa – Embaixada Concept Store
Tel.: +351 213 471 341
A faded frontage and closed red door hide a curation of more than four thousand curious collectables spanning five rooms. Yet this is not an antique shop or a museum, it is a bar, a treasure trove and a collector’s folly housed in an old grocery store. It’s very existence is only spread by word-of-mouth and sharing of their business cards and it can be easily missed by the casual passer-by. However, ring the doorbell after six pm and you will be warmly welcomed by retro-red-waistcoated hosts.
Don’t miss Pavihão Chinês!
Rua Dom Pedro V, 89/91
Some detective work and sign language may be in order before being directed to a scruffy, lonely, graffiti’d lift at the basement of a multi-storey car park. Hit the button for the top floor and spend a few minutes scanning some unintelligible elevator wall art and imagining scary movie scenes. That is until the doors snap apart and you are redelivered into the sunshine of Lisbon. A little out-of-body but definitely good out-of-body. This hip rooftop bar is a meandering space peppered by trees and shrubbery in between low-slung wooden seating and lounging. The warm people of Park are at hand to help you though an array of more-ish drinks and snacks.
Pull up your handbrake…..
Park Calçada do Combro, 58
Other tips and tipples of Lisbon ….
Drink the local cherry liqueur Ginjinha …. I loved it with bubbles (like a Portuguese Royale).
Eat lots of Pasteis. Especially here when you go to Belem
The wine varietals can be overwhelming. We found the most quaffable white wines were of the Alvarinho variety.
Look out for the Santini ice-cream shops (red and white striped facades).
Barrio Alto for nightlife or Chiado for its central location and historic sights.
This looked like quite a fascinating place to stay ……..
And we stayed in this simple yet perfect apartment which was well located
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