My Love Affair with Portugal

The last time I was in Portugal was back in 1998; some 20 years ago but I can assure you that it will not be that long before I return. I had such an inspiring and relaxing holiday here in September. Food – tick. Wine – tick. Inspiration – tick. People – tick. Architecture – tick… all the requirements for my perfect holiday were covered.

Whenever I visit a new place, I am always interested in looking at how the culture, history and iconography is translated into retail, hospitality and product. I guess being a designer, we are always looking for new ideas and inspiration. The Portuguese love their tiles, colour and pattern…

The food was incredible though I must admit I was over the cod and sardines by the time I left lol. The wine was great; they have this sparkling green wine called Vinho Verde which is tooo drinkable. A visit to Portugal must include a Portuguese tart at least once a day! We tried the pastel de nata at the famous Pasteis de Belem which bake over 23,000 tarts a day. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait longer than 5mins. Our best meal in Portugal was at a restaurant called Prado Restaurante which celebrates the best seasonal produce of Portugal with organic, bio dynamic wine. Highly Recommended.

I think I took over 500 photos just on the tiles alone…

And the most beautiful shades of pink and green…

Our 12 day itinerary:

Coimbra

Stay: Hotel Quinta das Lágrimas

Eat:  Arcadas Restaurant  | Tapas Nas Costas

Visit: Universidade de Coimbra, Biblioteca Joanina, Capela de São Miguel, stroll around town.

 

Porto

Eat: Taberna Está-se Bem | Vinum

Shop: Claus Porto | Chocolataria Equador | A Vida Portuguesa | Livrario Lello

 

Ilhavo

Visit: Vista Alegre Porcelain Museum and Factory

 

Lisbon

Eat:  Prado Restaurante | 100 Maneiras | Sea Me | Nova

Shop: Embaixada

Visit: Alfama | Belem | Gulbenkian Museum | Museu Nacional do Azulejo | Day trip to Sintra

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