All posts tagged: lisbon

Been There | Landeau, Lisbon

Lisbon in May is a rather different beast to Lisbon in February. The orange trees are past their harvest, having budded into full lime leaf, and instead bougainvillea, wisteria and the most eager roses drape the city streets. The avenues are full. Tourists armed with guide books and cameras lurk at every miradouro in Alfama. The quiet nooks that I first fell in love with, that rain-soaked Valentine’s weekend, were a little harder to find. In fact, much of central Lisbon – particularly the district of Baixa-Chiado – feels like a tourist trap designed to ensnare even the canniest traveller. It was something not so marked during a wet Lisbon winter but this spring, as the sun set the streets alight with gold, it was harder to ignore. Much of the city centre is marked by gaudy pastelerias piled high with overpriced pasteis de nata, cavernous souvenir shops hawking tile-printed wares and ‘snack bars’ designed to take your money and maybe give you food poisoning for the privilege. But on our stormy last day we were desperate for somewhere pleasant, away from the …

Been There | 10 Postcards From Lisbon

[1] When people ask me about the trip, the first thing I say is HOT. Santo deus, that heat, that heat! Devastating and longed-for all at once. We flew from a polar London, 1C the morning we upped and left, so to be deposited in a sweltering, 30C, sticky-fingered Lisbon was disorientating, delirium-inducing and altogether delightful. The first noon I wandered around blinking like a mole, uttering over and over I’m so happy. Accordingly, our finest hours were spent eating gelato – dulce de leite-chocolate for him, raspberry-straciatella for me. [2] The light in Lisbon is something else – soft, dawdling, always golden. [3] Happiest hours also spent sitting drinking beer on pavements, where corner shop owners drag benches and tables into the streets and serve drinks to anyone they please. [4] There’s an air of disrepair to Lisbon and I like that. Unlike London, where most everything is shiny and new – the old made glossy, the layers of time painted swiftly, quietly, away. [5] Just him, eating crackers at a tram stop. We did a lot of waiting for …

Five Reasons You Should Visit Lisbon

In a week I am flying to Lisbon for a few days of sun, sand and Vinho Verde. We’ve rented a minuscule (cosy!) AirBnB apartment in Estrela and I am already dreaming of taking the train to Estoril to read on the beach, of photographing all the psychedelic tiles (me) and eating all the seafood (him). Also on my list: the cavern-like setting of this glorious bookshop which I didn’t make it to last time, and a ferry ride across the Tagus river! In honour and anticipation of my upcoming trip, I thought I’d post a little guide to the Portuguese capital, tips gleaned from my inaugural visit back in 2014. Have you been to Lisboa? What would you recommend seeing, eating, doing, experiencing? The buildings are covered in tiles. Tiles are an important part of Lisbon’s cultural history (there’s even a national museum dedicated to the beauties) and it’s impossible to walk a few steps in Lisbon without being bombarded by this visual feast. My favourites are the classic blue and whites, evoking dainty porcelain plates, and the deep forest green patterns. …

A life in Lisbon.

I’ll live in a yellow house, the paint scratched and ageing. There will be an orange tree tall enough to reach from my window. In the mornings I will rise and brew strong black coffee and stand on my bare tiptoes, robbing fresh fruit off the tree from the balcony. We will eat the oranges sliced into quarters, juice dribbling down our elbows. I will hang out my underwear to dry in the wind and wear a house dress like all of the old Portuguese women. At night we shall sip vinho verde outside on the steps in Bairro Alto, our legs kissing the cool pavement as the sound of fado drifts through the street. You’ll teach me Portuguese and lift me up to dip my toes in the Atlantic. One day you pick fresh bougainvillea and place it in my hair. I will feed all the stray cats tinned tuna.