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Portugal Week part 2

September 6, 2013

Hello again! Here are the too many photos of the second part of my visit. I hope you enjoy these too!

Monday was a pretty relaxed day: we went shopping in town (I got myself a couple of things in the sales, woohoo) had some nice food, relaxed and went to the beach with my friend and her daughters at the end of the day.

Mr D and I got his and hers emergency beach towels at the Chinese corner shop. They’re beautiful.

I wore a light cotton dress by Kookai that is perfect for hot Summer days and my Pucci sunnies (both via TK Maxx)

I also visited a church I had never before seen open. As with most churches (and you can find one on every corner) in Lisbon, the baroque art is very beautiful to look at. You can find a couple more images herehere and here.

We also climbed to the top of the Rua Augusta stone arch. It was a novelty for me as it has only opened to the public recently. I got to see the city from a whole new perspective!

You can see what the main street in downtown Lisbon looks like from above here and you can see what the arch looks like from the ground here.

The next day it was my birthday and I started it in the best way possible by visiting the Lisbon flea market with husband and friends. I did some great finds but I haven’t taken any photos yet. Hopefully I’ll be sharing them over the next few weeks.

I wish I could buy the strange naif style paintings. I really loved the futuristic autobahn one, I wish I had asked for the price. I could always kept it for when I live in my own apartment again…

What a funny coincidence that there were two totally unrelated people selling the same image.

The funny thing about this photo is that the sign is misspelled.

It was so hot this cat was sleeping in the shade, under a car. I can see the ZZZZs in the photo!

I also visited this really good shop called Tesouros de Portugal (Treasures of Portugal). They don’t have a website yet but you can have a look at the facebook page here. I went in there because I was looking for one of our traditional northern scarves and I found it there! They have a lot of goodies, all of them authentic or handmade in Portugal. These days because of the tourism boom there are way too many shops downtown peddling cheap made in China imitations of our traditional arts and it’s a shame that a lot of people who visit don’t realize it is so. So when I buy something that’s traditional I actually prefer to pay a bit more and know I am supporting the artisans of my country.

Later that day I met with my family and we had dinner together. I got all dolled up for the occasion and had my first attempt at an updo. I am terrible at doing hair as I have had my hair short for most of my life! The dress is from one of the H&M Garden Collections and  I got it from Ebay. The see through clutch is from Bershka and I got it on sale the previous day. The sandals are the same golden ones from Topshop and the nail polish is by Kiko and was a present from my friend Sandrine.

The next couple of photos were taken by my sister Ines. She is 14 and has a fashion blog called Fashion Maniac. Most of it is in Portuguese but trust me when I tell you that she is good!

The next day I hauled my luggage back to the UK, making me want to come back soon!


The top 5 things I miss the most about Portugal

September 4, 2013

I am not one to complain and spend my days sighing for the life I left back home in Portugal (otherwise, why would I have moved, right?) but there are always things that I feelare missing. During my latest visit the other week I thought I’d show them to you, in no particular order.

The bread 

Omg, how I miss the bread. Not that there aren’t nice breads in England but I have to say that the bread that can be found in Portugal is in general a lot better. (sorry!) My favourite is from Alentejo, a region in the South of Portugal and I think the best way to describe it would be that it is a sort of sour dough. When it’s freshly baked the outside crust is brown and crispy and the inside white and soft. It goes well with virtually everything – butter, cheese or  even dipped in good olive oil. Deliciousness!

 The light

The light has to be one of the main things I have been missing in the last 3 years. Not only because photos look a lot nicer when the light is bright but also because of my mood.  This past Winter was hard and long and my happiness levels were crumbling down – it was difficult not to feel crappy when it was cold and miserable for so long… I had never thought how the lack of direct sunlight would be affecting me so much until the Summer arrived and I had an immediate mood boost. Maybe I should get one of those special lamps to keep me perked up through the Winter.

The seafood and the hundreds of ways off cooking salted cod

I think the title says everything. We are a country by the sea with warm weather in the Summer -the best combination for having delicious meals al fresco of all sorts of grilled fish and seafood. Our national dish is also the salted cod and we really have a gazillion way of preparing it, from simply boiled to other more sophisticated and inventive ways with sauces, and side dishes. You really have to go there to try it! The photo above was one of my lunches, of grilled squid, which I never really have the opportunity of eating here.

The fantastic views all over Lisbon

 Not everywhere will have the same view as above but as the city sprawls over a few hills, you always have a different perspective wherever you are. This makes for a lot of beautiful views and there are a lot of view points with gardens and seating you can take advantage of, particularly in the Summer. The area of the country where I am is flat as a pancake and that makes for a fairly boring landscape sometimes. Maybe I’m too used to living in a hilly city, I don’t know.

Friends and Family

Last but not least, of course. I’ve been here for 3 years now and I am happy to report that I still have good and close friends back at home. You can see me and my friend in the above photo – we got the Saudade tattoo exactly one year before we took this photo on our trip to the beach. Distance means nothing when someone is close to your heart.

Stay tuned for the next and last post on my latest trip to Portugal – more adventures and outfits coming your way!


Portugal Week part 1

September 2, 2013

With this post I inaugurate Portugal Week here on the blog. Last week I spent a few days in my home country and came back with loads of photos! So today I will be showing you what I did and wore on Saturday and Sunday.

Ready to go, on my hotel room at the airport. As soon as I arrived Mr D and I went for a walk around town, to see what is going on and what has changed. A lot has changed but most things are pretty much the same.

The cat with the hat.

A traditional grocery store in Bairro Alto. Most of the shelving is still the wooden original.

The typical cobble stone sidewalks. Very pretty to look at but terrible on footwear. Forget about heels!

The decorations from the typical Summer festivities are still up. they’re all very colourful, just the way I like it.

My travel attire: Primark skirt and headband, Hello Kitty tee that I don’t remember where I got it from, I’ve had it for too many years.

Saturday night I had a little get together with my friends and it was great. It was lovely to see everyone. I changed into something nicer and I wore a Topshop dress I bought from someone at work (I think it’s seconds), the flower crown is Primark, the sandals are from Topshop but they were thrifted on my trip to Sheffield. The lovely little necklace was a present from Mr D’s grandma and it is a Hershey’s Kiss.

The next day Mr D and I joined family and friends for a nice lunch in Sintra, at the Orixas Brazilian restaurant. I had never been there before and it was a nice surprise – the food was tasty, the desserts buffet amazing and the restaurant itself very interesting looking.

Fantastic Egyptian art tile panel in an old house. I’m not sure when the house was built though but it may be late 19th, early 20th century.

After lunch we made our way to Guincho beach as I haven’t been there in years and Mr D never visited before. As you can see in the photo, I am doing the Marilyn because it is sooooo windy. It is always windy there and that is why you can see people doing kite surfing or why there are windsurfing competitions regularly.

After our tour of Guincho and Cascais we were treated to cocktails at the Estoril Palacio Hotel, where my friends were staying. Mr D had the pina colada, I had the cosmo. So nice!

I couldn’t resist a photo in that fantastic huge mirror at the hotel restroom. It really is a beautiful old hotel, where royalty used to stay at. The dress I wore that day was from TK Maxx and the sunglasses are Pucci. The sandals are the same (I only took one pair of shoes with me, I know, unbelievable).

After we got back to Lisbon we joined friends for a meal at the illegal chinese restaurant in Mouraria. It never disappoints and as always had really nice food – tofu, prawns, pak choi… the works. After that we went to Santini for some gelato and I have to say it was the best I’ve had in a while. Santini had an ice cream shop in Estoril since I can remember (I just checked and it’s been there for 60 years) and was opened by an Italian man named Santini. Just before I left for England, they opened a shop right in the centre of Lisbon and finally I was able to pay them a visit and eat some deliciousness.

I had fig and cantaloupe flavourson a cone. Yum yum! After all this we just walked home and went to sleep.

I’m joining the party at Judith’s Hat Attack! Hope you have enjoyed the part one of my adventures in Portugal. Stay tuned for the visit to the flea market and other places!