Those of you who follow us on Instagram will already know that we took a trip to beautiful Lisbon in January. I have to say, within half a day we’d fallen in love with the place; much the same as we did in the reminiscent surroundings of San Francisco. With clean, crisp air and wonderful sunshine, it was the perfect antidote to a grey January. Needless to say, we’ve come back truly inspired and ready to design new pieces. Here are a few of the highlights.
Having seen the photographs of the palaces in various guides, I knew we had to go. Uber is such a great tool for city breaks, as this is a half hour drive away towards the west coast (only €25). Uber drivers are also completely unbiased, so great for tips and even better when they're as friendly and helpful as the Portuguese. Our driver urged us to go straight to the 'Parque e Palácio Nacional da Pena’ a bright yellow palace placed on top of the mountain, set against the vibrant blue sky. The range of tiles used is incredible, from geometric forms to imitation coral and of course, lots of the classic colourful flat Portuguese variety. The views are breath-taking and continually evolve as you wonder through the palace and over the terraces.
Again, we took our drivers advice and followed the signs to the Valley of the Lakes (really three lovely ponds) and over to the stables. It seems tourists don’t venture this far so we had the countryside to ourselves and few gardeners tending the land. This was one of the real highlights of our trip, this area was more like a Californian ranch than a Portuguese mountainside. With a few stone benches dotted around the paths, we sat down to take in the unbelievably fresh air, the sounds of the birds and the occasional neigh from the horses.
Boutique Hotel H10
Normally we try and book an AirBnB but when it’s this easy and this beautiful it’s hard to resist. We found this hotel through the BA sale, which was a great deal. Lovely, light and airy rooms with super king beds, it would be hard not to relax here. The roof boasts a terrace bar, which unfortunately doesn’t serve during the winter months, but you can order from the ground floor and take your drinks up there for stunning views across the city and down to the sea. The staff were brilliant and very friendly, we’ve already agreed we’d stay there again.
H10 Duque de Loulé, Avenida Duque de Loulé, Lisbon, Portugal
Castelo de S. Jorge
Be prepared for a steep walk, but it’s worth it. With views over the city and the sparkling water ahead you’ll be glad you spent the €7 entry. And with seating along the front of the gardens you can enjoy the views as long as you like.
This is a great option if you’re in a group with lots of different preferences and tastes. Just next to ‘Cais do Sodré’ the markets’ surround is lined with kitchens with a variety of cuisines including traditional Portuguese dishes, pan asian and sushi spots. The majority of the space is taken up with big communal tables, mostly couples and families sampling small plates and taking the advantage of the great wines on offer.
Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-109 Lisboa, Portugal
If you like Mexican food, this place is a must. With delicious margaritas and guacamole - you can’t go wrong. We shared two starters and two mains which was more than enough. The tuna ceviche tacos were incredible.
R. da Rosa 321, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal