January 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
If you’re visiting Lisbon with kids, don’t forget to go to the Oceanarium. It is a beautiful aquarium where you can see up close the wonders of the sea. You’ll find a large sample of marine sea life: scary sharks, elegant manta rays, cute penguins, fragile sea horses, and much more.
The Oceanarium is located in the Park of Nations, a large public park by the river, in the north of the city. The best way to get there is to take the subway. You’ll arrive at the most elegant subway station in Lisbon, a light, airy structure designed by Santiago Calatrava, an architect who often turns to sea life for inspiration.
The Oceanarium is open every day except for New Year’s and Christmas. Click here for more information.
December 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
We’ve all been there. We’re going to a party and would like to take something special, but we ran out of ideas. There’s an easy solution to this problem: just call Pipa Bolacha, maker of brilliant, handmade cookies! You can personalize your cookies by choosing shapes, colors, and designs.
Dinner with an actor? Take cookies with greek comedy and tragedy masks. Lunch with a pilot? Bring cookies with cloud shapes. Breakfast with a poet? Order cookies with words that can be combined into poems. Date with a chemist? Chose symbols from the periodic table (earth metals if the relationship is serious, helium if your feelings are volatile). These delicious cookies will be the life of the party!
You can contact Pipa Bolacha by phone (962 691 389) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Click here to see photos of her recent cookies.
December 12, 2013 § 7 Comments
We live in an unusual world. On one hand, we have access to a seemingly endless variety of goods. On the other hand, everybody has access to the same things. So, it is difficult to come up with exciting, unexpected gifts that show the receivers that we thought about them.
Well, we’re here to help. Here are ten gifts that will surprise and delight even those who already have everything. Just click on the bold words to see more information about these items before you contact Santa!
1) A vacation in Portugal!
2) Cozy felt blankets from Loja do Burel in Lisbon.
3) A bottle of a delicious cherry liquor called ginginha.
4) Rare, fragrant tea from the Azores.
5) Original t-shirts and sweaters from Perdição de Maria.
6) Amazing olive oil.
7) Amazing vinegar to go with the olive oil.
8) Perfect cutlery from Cutipol.
9) Perfect espresso and tea cups from Vista Alegre.
10) Elegant jewelry from Reverso.
December 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
If you have a cold, drinking lemon tea from beautiful Raúl da Bernarda cups is likely to make you feel better. If that plan fails, you can always take comfort in this poem by the great Fernando Pessoa:
I have a terrible cold,
And everyone knows how terrible colds
Alter the whole system of the universe,
Set us against life,
And make even metaphysics sneeze.
I have wasted the whole day blowing my nose.
My head is aching vaguely.
Sad condition for a minor poet!
Today I am really and truly a minor poet.
What I was in old days was a wish; it’s gone.
Goodbye forever, queen of fairies!
Your wings were made of sun, and I am walking here.
I shan’t get well unless I go and lie down on my bed.
I never was well except lying down on the Universe.
Excusez un peu …
What a terrible cold! … it’s physical!
I need truth and aspirin.
(Translated by J. Griffin).
December 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
Georg Friedrich Hegel described the evolution of human ideas as involving a thesis, followed by an antithesis, and then by a synthesis that reconciles the two. Believe it or not, these concepts are useful to explain the cuisine of Belcanto, a fantastic Lisbon restaurant owned by chef José Avillez.
The modernist cuisine of restaurants like elBulli is the antithesis of traditional Portuguese cooking. Avillez combines the two in a delicious synthesis that is both familiar and surprising. He serves olives bursting with flavor, golden eggs, seafood immersed in the smell of the sea, manta rays transformed into Pollock paintings.
The Michelin inspectors were so impressed with Avillez’s culinary dialectic that they awarded Belcanto a star. We suspect Hegel would agree.
Belcanto is located at Largo do São Carlos in Lisbon, tel. 21-342-0607.
November 28, 2013 § 6 Comments
It’s very easy to have fun in Lisbon. But, to have an unforgettable vacation, you have to make this city your own. All it takes is a little effort: choose a window and write a story about it. Suddenly, Lisbon will be more than just another tourist destination. It will become your city, a place where you have a window.
The photo shows our window. Our story is about a couple that can live anywhere in the world, for their talents are many. He and she came to Lisbon for a short stay and rented this apartment in the Campo d’Ourique neighborhood.
One late afternoon, they were enjoying the view of the Tagus river, when he said: I think we should move to Lisbon; this place should be our home. She smiled tenderly at his impractical idea. Then, she noticed that his eyes had the same color as the Tagus river. And, from that day on, she called him river.
She began to notice the same blue color everywhere, in the ancient tiles, in the hydrangeas sold by florists, in the old pottery on the windows of antique shops. And she began to wonder. Isn’t blue the color of heaven? Can you keep a river from flowing to the sea?
November 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
Normally, we dread the arrival of Winter, but this year we look forward to the cold and rainy months. It’s all because of Loja do Burel, a marvelous new store in the Chiado neighborhood. Burel (pronounced “bhoorhel”) is a beautiful wool felt produced in the Estrela mountain to make capes for shepherds. Loja do Burel turns this wonderful felt into the prettiest blankets we have ever seen. We can’t wait to cosy up with them by the fire drinking a glass of port. So, Winter, we welcome you!